Alternative schooling provides potential dropouts a variety of options that can lead to graduation, with programs paying special attention to the student’s individual social needs and academic requirements for a high school diploma. “Among the advantages of alternative schools for students at risk of dropping out are reductions in truancy and drop-out rates, … and re-engagement with learning and the community that can occur when students are in a more responsive and flexible environment” (Paglin & Fager, 1997, p. 3). “Graduates of alternative schools report that alternative school experiences made all the difference in helping them to become productive citizens” (Morley, 2002, p. 40).
Many schools provide after-school and summer enhancement programs that eliminate information loss and inspire interest in a variety of areas. Such experiences are especially important for students at risk of school failure because they fill the afternoon “gap time” with constructive and engaging activities. “Afterschool sports or other programs at the school site give students a chance to make new friends, experience a positive atmosphere, and feel a sense of accomplishment, which, in turn, may reduce their likelihood of skipping school” (DeKalb, 1999, p. 3). “Well-designed and effectively implemented after-school programs add to the chances that at-risk students will stay out of trouble, stay in school, and stay engaged with their education” ( Peterson & Fox, 2004, p.183).
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