IHBI – Alternative Learning Plans


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 either a high school diploma or its equivalent. The start of a multi-year plan can be initiated at any point in the students high school enrollment.

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 Policy IMBC will apply. The granting of credit shall be based on a student’s mastery of course competencies, as defined by
Policies ILBA and ILBAA. Highly Qualified Teachers 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 courses.

Roles and Responsibilities

Teachers, guidance counselors and administrators should inform students of the District’s promotion of Alternative Learning Plans and similar programs. Students expressing interest in pursuing such a plan or program should be referred to the guidance department, principal, or the principal’s designee(s).

The guidance 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 student, school personnel, parent/guardian and other appropriate people based on individual student need.

Students approved for Alternative Learning Plans must have parental/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, as a part of the approved Alternative Learning Plan. 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.

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.

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.

Approved Alternative Learning Plans and credits awarded toward the attainment of a high school diploma or its equivalent shall be reviewed and approved by the principal.

Parents/guardians and/or students may appeal decisions rendered by the principal within the provisions set forth below.

Students engaged in Alternative Learning Plans will remain as enrolled students of their district. Alternative Learning Plans that are approved by the district become the responsibility of the district to implement, and may include associated costs.

Approval Process

  1. The student/parent/guardian seeking an Alternative Learning Plan shall meet with the guidance counselor or principal to discuss Alternative Learning Plan options and initiate the formation of an Alternative Learning Plan team. In the case of a Special Education student, the team will include the IEP Team. The Team, including 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 Principal will review the paperwork and will determine whether or not to approve the Alternative Learning Plan. If Special Education, the Principal will review the paperwork in conjunction with the IEP Team. The Principal’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. In the case of a Special Education student, the program placement
    determination will be made by the IEP Team. 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

At a minimum, all 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 pupil’s interests and manner of learning
  • Are developed and amended, if necessary, in consultation with the pupil, a school guidance counselor, the school principal and at least one parent or guardian of the pupil

If the submitted plan is rejected, the Principal will provide the student/parents with a rationale as to why the proposal was rejected. Students whose application has been denied by the Principal may appeal that decision to the Superintendent.

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 failure.

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

Legal References:

RSA 193:1, Duty of Parent; Compulsory Attendance By Student
NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed. 306.04(a) (13), Extended Learning Opportunities
NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed. 306.27(6)(4), Extended Learning Opportunities – High School

Category: P


1st Reading: October 28, 2008
2nd Reading: March 31, 2009
Adopted: March 31, 2009