Alternative education: Success for all
Alternate education programs are created in school districts to meet the needs of at-risk, high-risk, vulnerable youth who are not connected to their homeschools or communities. This descriptive multiple case study explores the research question: What are the underlying philosophies and models of two BC school district alternate education programs and how are they being upheld? Four alternate school staff members and one administrator from one central Vancouver Island district were interviewed about the models and philosophies in their alternate programs. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interviews about the experiences, perceptions and interpretations of the participants working in the alternate programs. Program 1 is a junior and senior alternate program for grades 7 to 12, that is modelled on the Circle of Courage. Program 2 is a grade 8 to 12 alternate program for students with social-emotional and mental health challenges. It is modelled on four wellness areas recognized in the program: stress and anxiety management, active living, healthy eating and building social connections. According to the participant it also focuses on safety, inclusivity and community building. The findings reveal that the key features of these programs are a clear mission, goal and model, cohesion, pedagogical relationships, flexible and positive environment and inclusion.