Students with disabilities use of various options to access alternative schools and area learning centers

Deborah J. Gorney, Zipora Shechtman

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Alternative schools that were developed to encourage students experiencing difficulties in conventional schools to graduate from high school have been in existence since the 1970s. Alternative schools represent a form of school choice available to parents and students. This investigation focused on the extent to which students with disabilities are accessing Alternative Schools and Area Learning Centers (ALC) in Minnesota. More specifically, attention centered on (a) the option used by both students with and without disabilities to enroll in the school, (b) the extent to which students crossed district boundaries to attend the school, and (c) differential participation by category of disability. Results indicate that students with disabilities are accessing Alternative SchooVALC programs in ways similar to non-disabled students. Moreover, students with emotionalhehavioral disorders are heavily represented in these schools. It also was discovered that when students enter these programs, special education labels are often dropped and services discontinued. Implications for students with emotional and behavioral disorders are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-143
Number of pages19
JournalSpecial Services in the Schools
Issue number1
StatePublished - 14 Oct 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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