ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Some children have great difficulty coping with the conventional school program and as a result will drop out of school. Some children require more support and direct supervision than is reasonably available in conventional school settings. And, some children, along with a highly structured academic experience, require a special focus on life skills and an appropriate vocational involvement.

The School Committee will provide alternative education programs where these needs have been identified, where establishment of such programs is feasible, and where the proposed programs fall within the function normally associated with the public school system.

These alternative educational programs will seek to provide an appropriate academic, social, and work experiences to aid these young people either to reenter the regular school system, move into another educational setting, or prepare them for successful employment.
At Leicester High School, the alternative school program is referred to as the Renaissance Program.

The Renaissance Program has been designed to meet the challenge of providing education opportunities for students who are experiencing difficulty in the traditional school setting. Students who have not transitioned socially, emotionally, or academically may be considered for referral.

The Renaissance Program is a substantially separate program with partial mainstreaming of select students who are able to meet the demands of a regular education class or classes.

The program’s foundation lies in the behavior modification system. The behavioral system is student driven in that the students hold themselves and each other responsible for their actions. The program includes a daily class meeting to deal with attendance and tardiness issues, level drops, raises and general concerns of the day. The meeting is the core of the program and is a time for students to receive both praise and constructive criticism regarding their attendance, behavior, and effort in class.

The level system allows students to earn privileges for remaining on the appropriate levels. Students have the opportunity to earn such rewards as morning breaks, snacks, lunches, and field trips. Students on the lower levels do not receive these privileges. This motivating force, as well as peer constructive criticism compels these students to exhibit appropriate behavior and move up the level system in order to take advantage of these rewards. Students that are viewed as leaders by their peers have the opportunity to achieve the higher level and gain even more privileges.

Parent involvement is not only encouraged but it is critical to the success of the Renaissance Program. Phone contact, written correspondence, and individual parent meetings are essential to the academic, social, and emotional growth of each student. Parents are welcome to visit the program and communicate with the teacher on a regular basis.


SOURCE: MASC
LEGAL REFS.: M.G.L.71:37I;71:37J
APPROVED: February 10, 2015