Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will adjust the levels of instruction at the sites of the four secondary alternative learning centers (ALC), effective with the 2012-13 school year. The county is also making changes to the Woodson Adult High School program, which will be renamed Fairfax Adult High School.
The ALC provide continued educational opportunities in core classes for students, a majority of whom are placed by the FCPS Hearings Office or at the recommendation of their parents or school counselors due to behavioral or academic difficulties. The ALC follow the FCPS Program of Studies and use a range of intervention strategies in a highly supported environment.
The changes, effective in September, include:
- Montrose Alternative Learning Center, which provided services for students in grades 7-10, will now offer instruction for students in grades 7 and 8 only.
- Mountain View Alternative Learning Center and Bryant Alternative Learning Center, which also provided services for students in grades 7-10, will now offer instruction for students in grades 9 and 10 only. Because these centers are adjacent to alternative high schools, students will have the opportunity to access additional high school elective courses.
- Pimmit Alternative Learning Center, which provided services for students in grades 9-12, will close.
Almost all of the ALC students in grades 7-10 return to their base schools or another general education school after a semester, while students in grades 11 and 12 typically choose to stay at the alternative high schools.
FCPS’ decision to close one ALC center reflects a reduced need for this level of intervention and the successful implementation of a systematic positive behavior program over the last five years. Data showed lower student enrollment and shorter stays by ALC students, indicating that three program locations could meet the needs of the students.
The reorganization of the three remaining ALCs provides more typical age groupings, while reducing the number of grade levels taught by the core teachers and improving the alignment between teacher endorsement and courses taught.
By offering the grades 9 and 10 ALC on the grounds of the alternative high schools, the schools can share buses and students attending ALC can access a wider range of electives.
Adult high school changes
The Woodson Adult High School Program will move its day program to the Pimmit Hills site, 7510 Lisle Avenue, Falls Church, while retaining its night program at its current location in the City of Fairfax. FCPS will rename the program Fairfax Adult High School.
The adult high school program offers students over 18 years old — who have not completed high school in the United States or another country — the chance to earn a high school diploma. Most students in the program have full-time jobs and study with FCPS on a full-time or part-time basis.