(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – In an effort to recognize the work of educators and programs that serve at-risk students, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has named seven Alternative Programs of Distinction. The programs were recognized at the Kentucky Board of Education’s regular meeting June 8 in Frankfort.

An alternative education program exists to meet the needs of students that cannot be addressed in a traditional classroom setting, but can be met through the assignment of students to alternative classrooms, centers or campuses that are designed to remediate academic performance, improve behavior or provide enhanced learning experiences. Alternative education programs do not include career or technical centers or departments.

The seven programs named are:

  • Bullitt Alternative Center (Bullitt County)
  • Transformational Learning Center (Covington Independent)
  • Regional School Programs (Dayton Independent)
  • The Learning Center at Linlee (Fayette County)
  • Western Day Treatment (Jefferson County)
  • The McDaniel Learning Center (Laurel County)
  • McCracken Regional School (McCracken County)

Twenty school districts nominated programs for recognition based on criteria developed by KDE and the Innovative Pathways for Success Cadre. A four-member panel screened the applications and 16 finalists received site visits from a four-member team.

Each program selected as an Alternative Program of Distinction receives $2,000 from the Kentucky Department of Education and $1,000 from the Kentucky Center for School Safety for instructional support. Information on the schools also will be posted on the KDE website, so other schools can use the programs as models.

KDE began highlighting exemplary practices in public school alternative programs in 2009. Alternative programs include school district-operated and housed instructional programs that provide services to at-risk students with unique needs. They also can be district-operated instructional programs that are located in nondistrict facilities or schools and serve youth who are considered state agency children through the Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children (KECSAC), the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Community Based Services and/or the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities.