Why Do Some Students Choose an Alternative School?

Trouble Learning in a Traditional Classroom
One of the main reasons students attend alternative schools is because they don’t learn well in a traditional school. They may have learning disabilities that make it challenging for them to sit in a classroom all day, they may struggle to retain information learned this way, or their classes may interest them so little that they have no desire to attend school or complete homework. Alternative schools specialize in using varied and creative ways to teach the material, and their teaching methods are often much more tailored to each student’s learning preferences.

Need More Support/Guidance
Some students also need more guidance than traditional schools can provide. This can be academic support or emotional support/counseling. They can benefit from the smaller classes of alternative schools as well as the increased access to counselors and support groups. Many alternative schools also often have regular meetings with a student’s teachers, parents, and counselors to make sure the student is on track, which can also be beneficial for many students.

Bored or Not Challenged at Their Current School
Alternative high school may also be an option if you don’t feel challenged or interested at a traditional school. This may be the case if you don’t find yourself caring about your classes, struggle with sitting at a desk all day, find the coursework too easy, or want to focus your studies on a subject your school doesn’t offer. Alternative schools often use a wider variety of teaching methods, including hands-on, interactive, and self-directed work, which can benefit you.

Social or Behavioral Difficulties
A student might also have issues with classmates or teachers. This can include being bullied, struggling to make friends, befriending the wrong crowd, or coming into conflict with teachers and students. A student’s social network is a huge part of their high school experience, and if they don’t feel included or welcomed at their school, or don’t contribute to an inclusive and welcoming environment, it can be very difficult for them to do well. Attending a new school with new classmates as well as teachers and counselors who can better meet their needs can have a significant improvement on their high school performance.

Difficult Life Circumstances
Additionally, some students have experiences that make attending traditional high school challenging. These can include pregnancy, serious illness, family problems, and more. Circumstances like these can make it difficult for a student to concentrate on classes, and they may need more individual support and flexible scheduling.