The Alternative Learning Program at Dennis-Yarmouth High School is designed to help students in grades 10 – 12 who have identified themselves as being “at risk” for dropping out of high school. There are two qualities that candidates for ALP must have:
1. Their academic work and grades do not reflect their abilities
2. The student recognizes this and wants to change – this is demonstrated by the signing of, and strict adherence to, a contract regarding grades, attendance, and behavior. Students who repeatedly refuse to adhere to the contract and/or do not make sufficient progress do not remain in the program.
ALP students are enrolled in classes both inside and outside the program. ALP academic classes are equivalent to the college preparatory classes taken in the mainstream – however, small class sizes allow for more individualized attention. The contract holds them accountable for their performance in both ALP and mainstream classes.
ALP students are expected to participate in a number of field trips, including trips to colleges and technical schools, as well as a 4-day camping trip in September at the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, Maine, where they meet challenges and learn collaborative skills.
The P.M. program is an alternative program for students who have met junior credit and distribution requirements and have been in high school for a minimum of 2-½ years. The PM Program is intended to help those students for whom the day program presents financial, familial or social barriers. Some students are living independently of family or are significant contributors to their family’s finances, necessitating a full-time job. Others might find that the reduced distractions from peer issues and other aspects of the day program to be more conducive to their learning.
Students meet four hours a night (2:15 to 6:15 p.m.) and receive direct instruction in English, History, and Current Event classes. They are also expected to take courses in a variety of academic areas through PLATO – a computer-based, accredited program. Students also gain credit for work-based learning, taking physical education through local gyms, and performing community service.