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Alternative Education
Alternative Education aims to provide a unique educational environment. The delivery of services meets the individual learning needs of a diverse population in a nontraditional setting. Alternative Education provides a choice for students and parents, capitalizes on the high quality of available expertise, and fosters caring, respectful relationships where students are valued.

Universal Education Center, School-To-Work

The Orange County Public Schools, School-To-Work has over fifteen years in partnership with Universal Orlando, which provides an alternative to the traditional high school. Universal Education Center (UEC) is a School-to-Work program located on the grounds of Universal Orlando. UEC delivers:

  • Smaller learning environment with individualized academic instruction
  • A daily school schedule that is divided between academic and work
  • Workforce readiness skills and practical work experience
  • Summer school, and yields one additional credit toward graduation (half academic and half elective credit earned)
  • A school-community-business connection
  • Students follow the Core Class Progression based on individual requirements for graduation
  • Classes taught by Orange County Public School teachers
  • Scholarship Opportunities - Valencia College Bridges to Success
  • Students high school diploma reflect the name of their home school
  • Participation in home school events, i.e., Prom, Homecoming, and Graduation
  • OCPS school bus transportation

Qualifications

  • 16 years of age or older
  • Qualifying GPA
  • Strong desire to work and gain valuable work experience
  • Strong desire to be successful in a non-traditional school setting
  • Commit to working 3 hours a day, Monday - Friday for a minimum of 15 hours a week
  • No major discipline referrals

Students who are interested may see their Guidance Counselor at their home school or contact the School-to-Work Recruiter at (407) 318-3150 ext. 6382231 or SchooltoWork@ocps.net.

Simon Youth Academy, School-To-Work

Distinct to the Simon Youth Academy is the cooperative agreement between OCPS and the Simon Youth Foundation (SYF). The SYF mission is to help "at-risk" students earn their high school diploma and to award scholarships to teens in Simon Mall Communities all over the nation. Simon Youth Academy is a School-to-Work initiative located at Outlet Marketplace, which provides students with the following:

  • Smaller learning environment with individualized instruction
  • Daily school schedule divided between academics and work
  • Workforce readiness skills and practical work experience
  • Summer school with one additional academic credit toward graduation
  • A school-community-business connection
  • Students follow the Core Class Progression based on individual requirements for graduation
  • Classes taught by Orange County Public School teachers
    Scholarship Opportunities - Valencia College Bridges to Success
  • Students high school diploma reflect the name of their home school
  • Participation in home school events, i.e., Prom, Homecoming, and Graduation
  • OCPS school bus transportation

Qualifications

  • 16 years of age or older
  • Qualifying GPA
  • Strong desire to work and gain valuable work experience
  • Strong desire to be successful in a non-traditional school setting
  • Commit to working 3 hours a day, Monday - Sunday for a minimum of 15 hours a week at work sites in Orange County
  • No major discipline referrals

Students who are interested may see their Guidance Counselor at their home school or contact the School-to-Work Recruiter at 407-318-3150 ext. 6382231 or SchooltoWork@ocps.net.

Project COMPASS

Project Compass Alternative School program is the educational component of the partnership between Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) and Goodwill Industries.

The Project Compass school program serves middle and high school students ages 11-19. The school environment is a different approach from the traditional educational setting emphasizing smaller class sizes. Project Compass gives students academic and possible employment opportunities while developing life skills and obtaining a high school diploma.

Program Features:

  • Middle/High School traditional school curriculum to prepare students for graduation.
  • Smaller learning environment with individualized instruction
  • Students follow the Core Class Progression based on individual requirements for graduation
  • Classes taught by Orange County Public School teachers
    Scholarship Opportunities - Valencia College Bridges to Success
  • Students high school diploma reflect the name of their home school
  • Participation in home school events, i.e., Prom, Homecoming, and Graduation
  • Industry Certification in Hospitality (as part of a school to work component)
  • OCPS school bus transportation

For more information, contact Project Compass at Goodwill Industries at 407.235.1500 Ext. 475. or 407.745.5475.

Teen Parent Program (BETA)

The BETA Alternative School program is the educational component of the partnership between Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) and UCP of Central Florida, Inc.

BETA provides open enrollment to a pregnant teen or young mother within OCPS district and serves approximately 60 students (ages 11-19). The school environment is a different approach to the traditional educational setting emphasizing smaller class sizes. BETA gives pregnant teens and young mothers academic and possible employment opportunities while developing life skills and obtaining a high school diploma.

Program Features:

  • Middle/High School traditional school curriculum to prepare students for graduation.
  • Smaller learning environment with individualized instruction
  • Students follow the Core Class Progression based on individual requirements for graduation
  • Classes taught by Orange County Public School teachers
    Scholarship Opportunities - Valencia College Bridges to Success
  • Students high school diploma reflect the name of their home school
  • Participation in home school events, i.e., Prom, Homecoming, and Graduation
  • Electives such as Parenting Skills, Debate, and Journalism,
    Industry Certification in Early Childhood Education (as part of a school to work component)
  • Childcare (on property)
  • OCPS school bus transportation for students and babies 

Contact BETA for more information at 407.374.2630.

CONTRACTED SITES

PACE Center for Girls

For more than 28 years, PACE has been a leader in providing voluntary, gender-responsive alternatives to education for girls. PACE serves girls between the ages of 11 and 17. The PACE model provides year-round, comprehensive and holistic education, social services, case management, counseling, therapeutic treatment and career readiness.

  • Career Preparation Assistance
  • Individualized Instruction
  • Support after Program Completion
  • Academic Advising
  • Credit Recovery
  • Service Learning

Contact PACE for more information at 407.992.0456, or online at www.pacecenter.org.

AMIkids Orlando

AMIkids Orlando is a day treatment program with an aftercare component, serving teen boys and girls ages 14-18 referred by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice or Orange County Schools. The program operates during day hours with youth returning home in the evenings. Together, with the support of families, AMIkids provides comprehensive services to area youth through the AMIkids Personal Growth Model©.

The AMIkids Personal Growth Model is a research-driven, evidence-based intervention at the core of all programming. It is a unified approach that combines education, treatment and behavior modification that provides holistic services to each teen, allowing them to grow personally and prepare for the future.

What makes us different? At the center of the AMIkids Personal Growth Model is our culture, essential as a foundation to everything we do for kids. We provide teens with a values-base environment. Students receive vital direction through role-modeling and showing kids every day, in every situation, what it means to be responsible and accountable. It is this family environment that sets us apart. Our culture is the link between what our kids are capable of and what they choose to become.

Contact AMIkids Orlando for more information at 407.886.5405.

Alternative to Suspension

Every parent has high hopes and dreams for their children when they enter school. In OCPS, children are met by caring adults who provide engaging instruction with the goal of helping each child achieve success and reach their dreams. However, there are times when children may engage in behavior that results in a temporary separation between the child and the school, known as a suspension. OCPS has a program to assist students who are suspended from school to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn every day. Parents whose children may be suspended are invited to contact one of our alternative to suspension education sites. At these sites, children will be supervised by a team of adults, receive access to their education, gain life and social skill training, be provided
breakfast and lunch, and treated with respect and dignity. Because alternative to suspension education sites are regionally located throughout Orange County, parents may choose the site closest to their home, work, or other location. To learn more information, please visit suspension.ocps.net or contact one of the following centers:

A2S Sites - OCPS
Bithlo Community Center
18501 Washington Avenue
Orlando, FL 32820
407.254.1939

James R. Smith Center
1723 Bruton Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32805
407.246.4437

Faith Based Sites – OCPS Partners

Keeping Up!
109 Washington Ave.
Orlando, FL 32810
407.660.1288

Fresh Start
8001 Silver Star Rd.
Orlando, FL 32818
407.522.6511

ALPS – Alternative Learning Placement Services
989 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 204
Orlando, FL 32810
321.263.0668

Acceleration East and Acceleration West High Schools

Our Acceleration campuses’ primary purpose is to empower students today for a bright future tomorrow through accelerated learning. These schools provide and model a rigorous educational program within an encouraging learning environment supported by a high level of personal commitment from both students and staff. Staff at the Acceleration East and Acceleration West believe that each student has the courage to overcome any and all obstacles, the energy to excel beyond expectations, and the determination to do and be their best. Acceleration East and Acceleration West offer a high-school curriculum within a small learning setting that focuses on career and college readiness to ensure students have multiple pathways beyond their high-school diploma. Enrollment is based on the geographical location of the student’s home. For students who live on the east side of Interstate 4, please contact Acceleration East. For students who live on the west side of Interstate 4, please contact Acceleration West. OCPS bus transportation is provided for students attending either Acceleration campus.

Acceleration West Middle School

Acceleration West offers an accelerated middle school program that allows students to complete 7th and 8th grade in one year. This program is for overaged students that have been promoted to 7th grade. Within the school’s block schedule, students take only the 7th grade core classes in the fall semester and the 8th grade core classes in the spring semester. If they pass all eight of these core classes they will complete their last two years of middle school in one year.

Contact Acceleration East at 407.992.0917, or Acceleration West at 407.521.2358.

High School Career and Technical Education Programs

Every OCPS high school has career and technical education courses that help students learn career-related skills, achieve industry certifications, and earn college credit – all from their home high school. Career and Technical Education courses prepare students for a career in their field of interest through industry-based curriculum, highly qualified teachers, and modern equipment currently used in the field. There are many career fields to explore within OCPS high schools including Gaming & Simulation, Multimedia Design, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Automotive and more. Please visit the Career Specialist on your high school campus for more information.

Career Dual Enrollment

Career dual enrollment allows students to immerse themselves in their chosen field by enrolling in technical college classes while remaining enrolled at their home high school. With cutting-edge programs in a variety of growing career fields, every student is one step away from finding their passion in life and gaining valuable experience – all before they graduate from high school. Career dual enrollment programs may be offered on the high school campus or may require students to spend half of the school day at the technical college. There is no cost to the student to participate in career dual enrollment.

Youth Apprenticeship

Youth apprenticeship programs in the Academy of Construction Technology are two-year programs that are great ways to explore careers in construction. These in-depth, hands-on trainings offer an overview of a variety of trades (masonry, carpentry, HVAC, electrical, plumbing) and related instruction to emphasize the qualifications and skills needed for each trade. Career entry advice and emphasis on the importance of succeeding in school and in the workforce are included benefits. Youth apprentices are also given the opportunity to interview with one of 50 industry contractors for a summer on-the-job-training experience.

Contact Orange Technical College for more information at 407.841.TECH, or visit www.orangetechcollege.net.