Policies - Section 3500 » 3527 - (IHBI) Alternative Learning Plans

3527 - (IHBI) Alternative Learning Plans

3527 (IHBI) Alternative Learning Plans 3527 (IHBI)


In an effort to reduce the number of students who do not complete the requirements to
graduate from high school and earn a diploma, the Board establishes a program for
alternative learning plans for students to obtain a certificate of completion, high school
diploma or its equivalent. The District, through an Alternative Learning Plan team
comprised of teachers, administrators, case managers, and school counselors, and
other school personnel are directed to identify students who may be at risk for dropping
out of high school or whose Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals supersede other
requirements set forth by the State of New Hampshire. The Alternative Learning Plan
team is responsible for developing alternative learning plans consistent with this policy,
and for assisting students who are participating in alternative learning plans.
Alternative learning plans may include, but are not limited to, extended learning
opportunities, independent study, private instruction, performing groups, internships,
community service, apprenticeships, online courses/distance education, or other
opportunities approved by the Superintendent or his/her designee, in conjunction with
Board policies.

The purposes of alternative learning plans are to provide students with educational
experiences that are meaningful, to provide students with opportunities to explore and
achieve at high levels, and to meet State and District requirements to obtain a high
school diploma or its equivalent. In order to maximize student achievement, this policy
permits students to employ alternative learning plans that fulfill or exceed the
expectations set forth by State minimum standards and applicable Board policy.

Alternative learning plans may include extended learning opportunities taken for credit
or taken to supplement regular academic courses. If the alternative learning plan
includes extended learning opportunities taken for credit, the provisions of policies:
  • IMBC (3531 #4), Alternative Credit Options and
  • IHBH (3531 #4), Extended Learning Opportunities, will apply.

The granting of credit shall be based on a student's mastery of course competencies, as
defined by policies:
  • ILBA (3005), Assessment of Educational Programs and
  • ILBAA (3531 #3), High School Competency Assessments.
Qualified teachers and the Principal must authorize the granting of credit for learning
accomplished through extended learning opportunities. If credit is not granted, the
extended learning opportunity may be used to fulfill prerequisite requirements for other

Roles and Responsibilities

Alternative learning plan components shall have specific instructional objectives aligned
with the State minimum standards and District curriculum standards. All alternative
learning plans will comply with applicable laws and regulations, including child labor
laws and regulations governing occupational safety.

Teachers, School Counselors, Case Managers, and Administrators should inform
students of the District's promotion of alternative learning plans and similar programs.
District employees who believe a student may be at risk for dropping out of high school
should inform either the Principal or the School Counselor of the Teacher's concerns.
The Principal with the team will then schedule a meeting with the student, the Principal,
the School Counselor, and the student's parent/guardian to discuss the student's
participation in an alternative learning program. Students expressing interest in pursuing
such a plan or program should be referred to the School Counselor, Principal, or the
Principal's designee.

The School Counselor or Principal's designee is responsible for assisting students and
their parents/guardians in preparing application forms and other necessary paperwork
for alternative learning plans. The alternative learning plan components will be
determined through a team consisting of the student, school personnel, parent/guardian
and other appropriate people based on the individual student need.

The Principal or Principal's designee and the designated team will have primary
responsibility and authority for approval and implementation of alternative learning plans
and will oversee all aspects of such programs. The Principal will be responsible for
reviewing and approving alternative learning plans and credits awarded toward the
attainment of a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Parents/guardians and/or students may appeal decisions rendered by the Principal
within the provisions set forth below (see Appeal Process).

Students approved for alternative learning plans must have parent/guardian permission
to participate in such a program. Such permission will be granted through a
Memorandum of Understanding for Educational Services signed by the parent/legal
guardian and returned to the district before beginning the program. For alternative
learning plans that require off-campus attendance, the District will require a signed
agreement among the school, the student, and a designated agent of the third-party
host. The agreement should specify the roles and responsibilities of each party.

Students engaged in alternative learning plans will remain as enrolled students of the
district, until such time as the plan can be enacted. Alternative learning plans that are
approved by the District become the responsibility of the District to facilitate
implementation, including associated costs and transportation.
Approval Process
  1. The student/parent/guardian seeking an alternative learning plan shall meet
    with the school counselor or principal to discuss alternative learning plan options
    and initiate the formation of an alternative learning plan team. The team,
    including the student and parent/guardian, will meet to design the alternative
    learning plan designed to enable the student to remain enrolled in school and
    complete educational requirements.
  2. The Superintendent or Superintendent's designee will review the paperwork
    and will determine whether or not to approve the alternative learning plan. The
    Superintendent or designee's decision will be made within ten (10) days of
    receipt of the paperwork. The student and parent/guardian will be notified in
    writing of the decision. If additional information is requested, the information must
    be submitted within ten (10) days of receipt of the request.
  3. It is the student's responsibility to maintain academic standing and enrollment
    in the approved program. Any failure to complete an approved program may
    jeopardize the student's ability to remain in the program and receive credit
    towards obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent. The student and
    parent/guardian recognize that in the event the student withdraws from an
    approved program, the District cannot guarantee placement in an equivalent
    District-offered course.
  4. The District reserves the right to determine the number of credits to be
    awarded. The course name and actual grade earned will be noted on the
    student's official transcript.
Evaluation Criteria

The Superintendent or designee will evaluate all applications of students wishing to
participate in an alternative learning plan or program. At a minimum, any alternative
learning plans must meet the following criteria:
  • Provides for proper administration and supervision of the program or plan
  • Provides that certified school personnel oversee and monitor the program
  • Requirement that each extended learning opportunity, if included in the alternative
    learning plan, meets rigorous standards, including the minimum standards established
    by the State Board of Education and all other applicable District standards
  • Includes age-appropriate academic rigor and the flexibility to incorporate the student's
    interests and manner of learning
  • Are developed and amended, if necessary, in consultation with the student, a School
    Counselor, school personnel, and the school Principal and at least one parent/guardian
    of the student

Appeal Process

If the submitted plan is rejected, the Superintendent or designee will provide the
student/parents with a rationale as to why the proposal was rejected. Students whose
application has been denied by the Superintendent may appeal that decision to the
School Board. The School Board will place the item on its agenda for its next regularly
scheduled meeting. Alternatively, if scheduling and time constraints do not allow for the
matter to placed on the agenda at the Board's next meeting, the Board may hold a
separate meeting to hear the matter. The matter will be discussed in non-public session,
pursuant to RSA 91-A:3, II, unless the parents request the Board hear the matter in
public session, in which case the request will be honored. If the School Board upholds
the Superintendent's determination, the decision of the School Board may be appealed
to the State Board of Education, consistent with applicable law. The School Board will
inform the student/parents of their appeal rights.
Program Integrity

In order to insure the integrity of the learning experience approved under this program,
the student will be required periodically or upon demand to provide evidence of
progress. The Principal will be responsible for certifying completion of the plan or
program and the award of credits, consistent with the District's policies on graduation.

If a student is unable to complete the alternative learning plan for valid reasons, the
Principal will evaluate the experience completed to date and make a determination for
the award of partial credit or recommend an alternative experience. The Principal will
determine the validity of such reasons on a case-by-case basis.

If a student ceases to attend or is unable to complete alternative learning plan for
insufficient reason (lack of effort, failure to follow through, indecision, etc.), the Principal
may determine that the student's transcript be adjusted to reflect the experience as a

In order to certify completion of curricular programs and activities based upon specific
instructional objectives aligned to the standards, the Principal will develop appropriate
mechanisms to document student progress and program completion on student
personnel records.
Adopted: July 17, 2023