In 2000, the General Assembly asked the Vermont Agency of Education to conduct a study of Vermont's alternative schools and programs. This request was included in H. 270 - An Act Relating to Supporting Safe Learning Environments in Vermont Schools.
Following a competitive bid process, the contract for the study was awarded to a research team at the University of Vermont headed by Drs. Ray Proulx and Susan Hasazi. This report is the result of that study.
The need for high-quality alternative programs is clearly demonstrated in the report. More than 1,500 students are already enrolled in alternative programs. Of those, 52 percent are special education eligible and 48 percent are considered at risk of academic failure. The report also shows that the number of alternative programs in Vermont (now at 97) has grown by 40 percent since 1998.
The need for these alternative programs will continue to grow in the years ahead. This report will help to serve as a springboard for school districts and regions to develop programs that will meet the needs of our students as efforts are made to increase attendance and graduation rates within our schools.