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Alternative Schools & Programs of Choice - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

The purpose of alternative schools and programs of choice is to provide different means of achieving grade-level standards and meeting students' needs. Alternative Schools and Programs of Choice are voluntary for districts, teachers, students, and their parents/guardians/caregivers.

These schools and programs are often characterized by responsiveness to learning and instructional style differences and small unit size. The effective use of such instructional strategies as independent study, community-based education, focused or thematic education, and flexible scheduling increases attendance and improves performance. In addition, Alternative Schools and Programs of Choice must meet the same standards for curriculum, instruction, and student performance as traditional schools.

Alternative Schools of Choice must be maintained and funded at the same level of support as other educational programs

Districts may seek waivers of any provision of the California Education Code for these schools and programs from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Questions:   Educational Options Office | altchoiceschools@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-2183
Last Reviewed: Friday, November 19, 2021
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