Alternative High School

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Since 1979 Second Start offers an Alternative High School Program for adolescents who have previously been unable to succeed in a traditional high school setting. The Alternative Program is based on the belief that some students need a small, structured, and highly individualized school setting in which to make academic and personal progress.

The Alternative Program at Second Start enrolls approximately 32 adolescent students from the Capitol City area. Many of these students have been identified as having learning and/or emotional handicaps that have interfered with their functioning effectively in a previous educational setting. The Alternative Program is approved by the New Hampshire Department of Special Education to serve both Learning Disabled and Emotionally Handicapped students.

The PRIMARY OBJECTIVE of the Alternative Program is to develop a student’s skills in the basic academic areas of reading, writing and mathematics. This core curriculum is supplemented by instruction in content areas such as science and social studies. A student’s program is highly individualized and is combined with participation in small group activities and discussions. Physical education and outdoor recreational activities are a regular part of the Alternative Program.

It is a fundamental belief at Second Start that a student’s success in the academic areas has a very positive and observable impact on self-concept. The resulting improvement in self image and self confidence enables the student to establish and maintain better relationships, to improve functioning within a group and to develop more appropriate and satisfying social behavior.

Second Start does not offer its own high school diploma. Credit for work completed in the Alternative Program is arranged with the referring school. Arrangements for specific credit needs are made during the development of the student’s individual educational plan.

The Alternative Program is made up of two teams of 15 to 16 students led by three certified education teachers. Two teams meet during the morning session (8:00 to 11:00); two meet during the afternoon session (12:00 to 3:00).