Alternative Solution for Alternative School Students

The Jackson County School District is trying out a new program that will make the transition back into public schools a little easier for students returning from alternative school.

"There's a kind of stigma that attached when they go back to regular school and they're kind of looked at as being bad kids," Jackson County Alternative School Principal Karl Swanson said. "They have a lot of proving to do when they go back and sometimes it's hard for them."

This new program is designed to help students returning from alternative school reacclimate themselves to student life and find success in the classroom.

"We're starting to meet with the students when they come back and we're doing some one-on-one counseling and identifying some problem areas," St. Martin Guidance Counselor Kim Aflague said.

Counselors are also helping students become involved in clubs and other school activities.

"Hopefully this'll help them get more of a feel for school and feel more a part of the school when they come back," Aflague said.

In years past, students in the Jackson County School District who returned to the traditional classroom and found themselves in trouble were sent back to alternative school. This year the county school board changed its policies. Now students can go through alternative school only once, after that they face expulsion.

Aflague said so far the program seems to be a success. If that success continues, she says the county school district could adopt the program to be used in the Vancleave and East Central Schools as well.

by Josh Ridgdell