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Thursday, 4 February 2021

Alternative High Schools: Everything You Need to Know About Them

As a parent, you naturally want the best education for your child. Besides traditional schooling, there are other options that you can look into, such as enrolling your kid in an alternative high school. You might find that their teaching style suits your little one better. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this type of educational institution. 


What Is an Alternative High School?

Are your children not challenged enough in their current school? Or maybe, you prefer a more flexible schedule for them? An alternative high school offers all of these and more. Basically, you can expect a non-traditional learning experience for your kids—from the classroom arrangement to the teaching style. Here are more ways they differ from regular educational institutions:


Smaller Class Size

With fewer students per class, your child will have more face time with the teacher. It will also be easier for the instructor to identify and address any issues your child might be having in a certain subject. 


Different Teaching Methods

Alternative high schools use different teaching styles that place emphasis on creativity and interaction. Some examples include game-based learning and virtual field trips.


Flexible Schedules

Some alternative high schools allow you to choose between morning and evening classes. This is a great option for students who would also like to focus on other interests like taking piano lessons or joining art clubs. 


Less Emphasis on Grades

Some non-conventional high schools do not issue grades; instead, they assess the child’s performance through written evaluations. Projects and papers are also given in place of exams. Students can use these to improve their portfolio. 


Caters to Children’s Social, Mental, and Emotional Well-Being

Alternative schools also place great importance on a child’s mental being. Often, they provide resources like counseling sessions and support groups. 


Different Types of Non-Traditional High Schools

There are different factors that you should consider when choosing an educational institution for your child. This includes the curriculum, teaching methods, and learning environment. Here are some things you need to know about the most common types of alternative high schools: 


Specialized High Schools

This type of school offers intensive learning courses in specific subjects. One example is high schools with a STEM-based curriculum. They allow students to choose among a wide array of subjects like engineering, mathematics, science, and technology. 


Charter Schools

Charter schools are government-funded learning institutions that do not adopt the same curriculum as other public schools. Instead, they utilize innovative teaching styles like computer-based learning and self-paced courses. 


Boarding Schools

Boarding schools are private institutions where children are required to live in on-campus dormitories. Oftentimes, the curriculum is more challenging, with students spending an average of 17 hours of homework every week. On top of that, engaging in extracurricular activities like sports is also required. 


Independent Studies Programs

This type of alternative schooling allows children to focus on a specific subject of their choice. Learning is self-paced, and students are not required to attend physical classes. However, they will be assigned an adviser who they can consult. 


Vocational-Technical (Vo-Tech) Programs

With Vo-Tech programs, students still attend regular high school classes like English, history, and mathematics. But, they also spend a great portion of their school day taking a vocational course. Some of these programs include carpentry, computer programming, culinary arts, and financial services. 


Home Schooling

As the name suggests, home schooling enables students to finish their education at home. Parents take on the role of the teacher, allowing them to use different teaching methods and customize lesson plans to suit their child’s needs. 


Cyber Charter Schools

This type of learning institution is similar to normal charter schools, except everything is done online. Classes can be classified between synchronous, where sessions are done in real-time in the presence of a teacher and classmates, or asynchronous, where learning is self-paced. 


Key Takeaway

The type of high school you choose for your children will play an integral role in shaping their intellectual and personal well-being. That’s why it’s important to pick an educational institution that will push your kids to achieve their full potential. If you think traditional learning doesn’t meet these standards, then you could look into alternative schooling. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons so you can find an institution that will cater to your child’s specific needs. 

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