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Camber Children's Mental Health

What to Expect From an Alternative Education

alternative school - Niles Prep

For some students, school can be difficult and the structure of a standard classroom can hinder their success. These young learners need the additional support that an alternative education program or alternative school can provide such as individualized attention, counseling services, case management and more.

What is an alternative education program?

Alternative education programs are different from traditional classroom settings. These programs can vary in the curriculum, length of class time, school day, graduation requirements and teaching methods and can include counseling. The goal of alternative education is to help a student succeed in their school work and discover healthy ways of behaving. Typically, children can be enrolled in an alternative education program anywhere from three months to a few years before returning to their referring school.


Watching a child struggle is one of the most heart-wrenching things for a parent to witness. Alternative schools that provide therapeutic education can help children build a healthy foundation for learning with the support of behavioral and therapeutic sessions. Here are a few benefits:

  1. A consistent schedule that clearly communicates and facilitates the expectations and progress in learning and improved behavior.
  2. Smaller class sizes that offer students more focused attention from teachers.
  3. Therapeutic activities that allow students to express themselves like art, recreation, play, horticulture, music and virtual reality therapies.
  4. Individual and group therapy offered to address treatment goals which are individually set for each student to succeed.
  5. Family therapy offered to help support and sustain the student’s progress.

Selecting the right school:

There are a lot of things to consider when researching alternative schools for your child. Priorities for each family can vary, but here are some important steps before selecting an alternative school.

  1. Talk with your child’s current school and discuss their goals for your student as well as your child’s goals for himself or herself.
  2. Learn what services alternative schools offer. You may ask if they offer medication management, group therapy, employ therapists or contract with therapists and what treatments they specialize in.
  3. Discover how you as a parent can be involved in your child’s learning and therapy.
  4. Understand how your child learns best.

With any school change, there is a lot to consider. The more you learn what a school can do and how they can help your child, you’ll be more informed and better positioned to decide what is best for your family. Niles Prep, a therapeutic alternative school located in the heart of Kansas City, is now enrolling students for the next school year!

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