ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County is opening a brand new alternative school.
The school board approved transitioning its alternative program into an alternative school for next year.
“Where they are in the alternative programs, they have a temporary opportunity to learn in that setting. Right? And so this really provides more of a long-term learning opportunity for a child who may just need a non-traditional place to learn,” said Dr. Paulette Hart, the executive director for Alternative Education.”
South Georgia Regional Achievement Center is currently providing temporary alternative instruction.
Opening an official school will allow them to receive more funding and provide long-term support for students.
School leaders said that they’re trying to let people know that alternative school is not just for punishment. They hope the option of attending a school, rather than a temporary disciplinary program, will help remove the stigma around alternative education.
“The core of alternative education really is, how do you meet the needs of children? And, we all have different ways that we learn, different ways that we process things,” said Hart. “There may be times that a student may only stay for X period of time, based on something that’s going on and may return to another school in the system. But the difference this time around is the opportunity exists for you to continue your education in this setting.”
Students who wish to earn their diploma from the new alternative school will have that option.
The school will be located at the old Dougherty Middle School.
Hart said they’re currently working on completing a checklist required by the Department of Education.