Alternative Schools provide programs designed to help students with life challenging circumstances. Throughout regional public school systems, programs are offered to achieve the necessary academic and social tools required to facilitate learning.
Fairfax County Public Schools – Provides a variety of nontraditional school options such as alternative learning centers and interagency schools. Two featured alternative high schools are Bryant Alternative High School and Mountain View Alternative High School, which offer programs designed to help students whose life circumstances could result or have resulted in an interruption of their education or in their dropping out of school. The adult/alternative high school population consist of students who may be pregnant or parenting, students for whom English is a second language, older students who are returning to finish courses to earn their diploma, or students who need a flexible or extended program to accommodate their work or family requirements. In addition, adult / alternative high schools accept students based at other schools but who wish to accelerate their educational program. Students are also administratively placed through an area records review process or by the School Board. Students with severe discipline problems are not a target population for these schools.
These schools offer:
- Open enrollment
- Day and extended day classes, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m
- Summer evening classes
- Scheduling that allows students to complete a yearlong course in a semester
Bryant Adult Alternative High School - Predominately serves students from Area 1 of the Fairfax County School System. Bryant has both day and evening programs, where the faculty and staff create a supportive and learning environment. Small class sizes allow teachers to focus on individual strengths and needs. The program promotes development of academic, personal and career skills so that these students can contribute responsibly to the community as reliable citizens, capable workers, and effective family members.
Mountain View Alternative High School – Continues to provide exciting experiences for students. With the support and efforts of the community, particularly the members of the Dulles Area Chamber of Commerce, the classroom activities consistently extend beyond the individual classroom into the "real world." Mountain View provides students with the academic knowledge and personal skills necessary for citizenship in their communities near or far.
More information on additional Fairfax County Nontraditional School Programs.
Prince William County Public Schools – Provides a continuum of services, which focuses on meeting the needs of each child so that his/her maximum potential will be realized. These services include, but are not limited to, those, which address behavior, academic progress, work readiness, lifelong learning, and effective group participation so that these students will become productive members of society. The Alternative Education program goal is to provide a continuum of services or range of options to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of at risk population K thru 12.
Prince William County Middle and Secondary Schools provide:
- Challenge Program
- Distributed Learning
- GED Programs for 16 and 17 year olds
- Job Corps
- New Dominion Alternative Center
- Night School
Alternative Centers - are designed for the following students who:
- Are disruptive to the learning environment at their base school.
- Lack motivation to meet basic requirements for success.
- Do not qualify for special education services yet require individualized attention to achieve academically.
Students at New Dominion and New Direction Alternative Centers receive a quality instructional program based on Prince William Schools curriculum and a life skill component that focuses on appropriate behavior and vocational education. For more information:
Prince William County also has two specialty high schools that serve the adolescent population Independent Hill School - Pace East and Pace West Special Education School.
Independent Hill School - Pace East – At Pace East Special Education our mission is to provide a holistic educational program for all children, that includes academics and counseling, and thus enables all students to be successful when returning to their base schools.
Pace West – is a regional special education program, which provides services for students with serious emotional and behavioral issues. The faculty and staff at Pace West are committed to providing every student a quality education which emphasizes both academic and social/emotional growth.
For more information visit Prince William County Schools.
Loudoun County Public Schools – Provides a variety of Alternative Schools and Adult Education resources and locations throughout the county.
- Loudoun County High School
- Potomac Falls High School
- Ashburn Annex
- Monroe Technology Center
- Park View High School
- Loudoun Valley High School
The Douglass School Alternative Secondary School Programs – Douglass school is the center for Alternative Education Programs for middle and high school students of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). Seven different programs, each targeting a different population, are offered. This includes one outreach program coordinated by Douglass but offered at each LCPS high school. During the current school year over 600 students will attend one of the Douglass alternative programs.
For more information visit Loudoun Public Schools.
Choosing the right school can seem to be an overwhelming process, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, the search to find the best fit for you can be an exciting hunt! Try some of these sites to help get you on your way.
Mapping Your Future
A great place to start planning for your dreams to come true. Their "Ten Steps to Selecting a School" is packed with useful tips, too. (You may also want to use this site for exploring financial aid resources or planning a career.)
Choose a campus and go visit it virtually!
The place to go to do a web search on career offerings at colleges, universities, and vocational schools.
International Education Site for Study Abroad Advice
An ultimate guide for information about studying abroad programs and opportunities.
Information on Standardized Tests (SAT, ACT, PSAT, TOEFL etc.)
So many tests, so little fun! Yes, not many of us look forward to taking standardized tests, but they are usually a MUST for your college applications. Click here to find out the different kinds of tests you might have to take.
SAT and ACT Skill Boosting
Free online resources to boost your knowledge, skills, and stamina for these standardized tests. Plus, they have a FREE online, weekly classroom to help you prepare!
For more specific details about each test, go straight to the source. Kaplan has been preparing high school students for college entrance exams probably since the time of the dinosaurs!
Writing Essays for College Applications
"The application is a lifeless thing--a few sheets of paper and a few numbers. The essay is the best way to breathe life into it." –Admissions Officer
So, you're kind of freaking out about having to write about yourself…it's normal! To help ease your stress, here's a place you can go to get some fantastic tips on the process from start to finish:
Application Essay Writing 101
This site is simple and fun. Not only does it help you write your essay step-by-step, it also answers important questions such as: Who actually READS your essay? Is a title REALLY necessary? Is it a good idea to use ONE essay for several DIFFERENT applications?
Many times you may sit and wonder where's the money? There are several grants and scholarships available throughout Northern Virginia and various localities. Check with your area One Stop or library to gather more information.
Kiplinger - Special Report on Paying for College
Whether you have 18 years or only 1 year to go, check out these helpful tips on paying for college! This site includes important information about how to calculate school costs and locate financial assistance.
Here you will earn about the basics of financial aid and how it may help you pay for school. This is also a great site to ask an expert any of your financial aid questions online!
According to its site, FinAid has a "stellar reputation in the educational community as the best Web site of its kind. It's comprehensive, it's informative, it's objective--and it's the first stop on the Web for students looking for ways to finance their education."
It’s a helpful starting point and includes loans, scholarships, and even military aid information. Keep in mind the operators of this site may give out your information that you give them online.
Apply online for financial aid (FAFSA-Free Application for Student Aid) and find other great resources for college money.
Hunt around this web site for all kinds of scholarships and grants….athletic, minority, religious, disability, military…the list goes on and on!
Back to College – College Tuition Chooser
An interesting tool where you can enter in how much you want to pay for school and it will give you a list of schools that match.
Tuition Assistance Programs (TAP)
Back to College – Will Your Employer Pay Your Tuition?
Will your employer help pay for your tuition? Find out!
A brief lists on books about Tuition Assistance Programs
National Guard – Tuition Assistance
Information about the Army-National Guard Tuition Assistance Program and GI bill.
Learn about basic education grants provided by the federal government. For more specific information and to find out what programs under this grant may be in your area, try your local Social Services agency to help direct your call.
Educational Tax Credit Information
Tax Benefits for Education
For the inside scoop on how to take advantage of the Hope permit and Lifetime Learning educational tax credits…very valuable info for your parents as well!
*You can also find fun, helpful articles on most of these topics about college and more in just-for-teens web magazines including:
The Next Step
"For high school students who want more!"
It's all here! You'll find just about everything from financial aid resources to tips on handling all the stress of applying to schools at this site. Plus, enjoy editorials by high school students and cool links to other teen resources. This is also a great place to get information about other options for after high school including studying abroad, joining the Peace Corps, or exploring military programs.
College Articles Written by Teens!
This site also has valuable info on college worries, test stress, as well as the joys and pains of the admissions process. It also will be worth your time to check out their College Directory and College Reviews sections.
Have you ever thought about dropping out? If so, here are a few known facts you need to think about.
Average earnings will be $1,251/month or $15,011/year.
Average earnings will be $1,864/month or $22,154/year.
Only 11% of you will earn $25,000 or more a year.
Over 29% of you will earn $25,000 or more a year.
Your unemployment rate is about 9.3%.
Your unemployment rate is only about 4.8%.
You make up 1 out of 10 people in the labor force.
You make up 3 out of 10 people in the labor force.
You are one of 3.5 % not to finish high school.
You are one of 96.5% to graduate from high school or get a GED.
You spend long hours working part - time or full - time jobs.
You are one of the 81% that enrolls in post secondary education.
You cannot enlist in the military service.
You can enlist in military service and take advantage of related educational benefits.
Your lifetime earnings will be $713,600.
Your lifetime earnings will be $970,800 (That's 36% more than dropouts earn).
66% of the prison population did not graduate from high school.