What is an Alternative School? Is it Right for Your Child?

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a group of wooden cubes with colorful blocks. Alternative school Ohio

If you’re frustrated with conventional learning environments that don’t meet your child’s needs, non-traditional schools may be the solution for your family.    

Imagine your child waking up excited to go to school. They spend the day engaged in learning and positive interactions with their teachers and peers. And when they come home, they can’t wait to tell you all about it. 

If this isn’t the reality for your child, you’re not alone. 

However, it may be time for you to find out what an alternative school is and how this unique learning environment can help your child thrive.

As a parent, you want the best for your child, especially when it comes to their education. Many traditional learning environments lack the expertise and resources to support students who need special education instruction or have specific academic or behavioral challenges. Seeing your child disengaged and unhappy at school can be incredibly frustrating. 

Luckily, there are alternatives to public school if the “one-size-fits-all” approach to learning isn’t working for your family. 

At Education Alternatives (EA Schools), we know that “the best” doesn’t look the same for everyone. We are an alternative school in Ohio committed to helping you find the individualized learning program to help your child succeed.  

Keep reading to discover why a non-traditional school, like EA could be the change you need. 

What is an alternative school? 

An alternative school is a unique learning environment that uses personalized and non-traditional methods adapted to meet each student’s needs. It is an excellent alternative to public school for students who need more academic or behavioral help. 

These learning environments aim to accommodate a wide range of students’ needs. For example, an alternative school’s personalized instruction and flexible teaching techniques can improve learning outcomes for students with learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders. 

An alternative school can also create a nurturing and safe environment for students facing emotional or behavioral challenges, allowing them to cultivate social skills and emotional resilience. 

For students on the autism spectrum, alternative schools provide the individual support, structure, and opportunities for social growth that they need to flourish. 

At EA Schools, we work with families and school districts in the greater Northeast Ohio area to ensure that children from Kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) receive the proper educational support they deserve. For 25 years, our research-based combination of education and therapy has been helping students find an alternative path to success outside of the traditional public school system.   

What is an alternative school like? 

An alternative school provides an environment that focuses on your child’s overall well-being. School should not only be a place where your child wants to go but a community that fosters their love of learning and personal development. 

At EA Schools, our commitment to maintaining small class sizes, hiring highly qualified educators, and fostering positive relationships makes us stand out, even among alternative schools. 

Here’s why these specific elements of alternative education are so essential to us. 

Small class sizes

Why does class size matter? In a traditional classroom of 25 or more children, it’s easy for students who require more personalized attention to get lost in the shuffle. This large number of students makes it quite challenging for teachers to support those who struggle to keep up with the pace of instruction or who have unique academic or behavioral needs. 

To us, your child is more than just a number. That’s why we like to keep ours small. Every classroom at EA Schools has a maximum capacity of 12 students. Being intentional about the size of our classrooms allows us to prioritize each student’s learning experience. Our low 1:6 staff-to-student ratio allows for more one-on-one learning opportunities to ensure your child receives personalized instruction based on their Individual Education Plan (IEP). 

Reduced class sizes help our students 

  • improve their academic performance 
  • strengthen their social skills 
  • stay engaged and motivated 

Better-trained and qualified staff for your child’s needs  

Having expert, empathetic teachers in our classrooms is essential to creating an environment where your child can thrive and reach their full potential. 

Our teachers are trained to effectively teach the standard curriculum set by the Ohio Department of Education in a way that is accessible to your child, regardless of their unique learning needs. 

Unlike most traditional schools, our staff is here to support your child beyond their academics. Our team of licensed educators and mental health professionals is also equipped with the therapeutic expertise to support your child’s emotional and social needs. 

Fostering positive relationships

EA’s therapeutic approach, rooted in positive relationships between students and our staff, is essential to our mission at EA Schools. While punishment and intimidation may be the norm elsewhere, we know that our students need relationships built on trust to succeed. The positive relationships your child builds with our educators will serve as a healing presence and offer the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.


EA’s alternative school programs

At EA Schools, we offer many alternative programs designed for students with a wide variety of learning needs.

Day Treatment Program

The Day Treatment Program is our most popular alternative school program, providing a unique blend of special education and mental health services.

The main goal is to address the underlying challenges affecting students’ abilities to learn in a traditional school setting.

In daily group therapy sessions, our students:

  • discuss emotional triggers
  • learn coping mechanism
  • practice interpersonal skills

The Day Treatment Program looks and feels like a regular school but is designed to equip K-12 students with the emotional and social skills they need to succeed. 

Coral Austim 

Our Coral Autism program is a school-day program for students on the autism spectrum. The licensed teachers and aides leading the program are trained in ABA (applied behavioral analysis) therapy to support each student’s social and emotional needs.    

These are just two of our many programs designed to meet our students’ diverse academic and emotional needs. Explore the complete list of our alternative school programs here!

Choosing the right alternative school program for your family

Finding the school that best meets your child’s needs can feel overwhelming. How do you know what program is the right fit? And even more importantly, where will your child be happy? 

Your child is one of a kind. Their education should be, too.

That’s why, regardless of your child’s unique learning needs, our mission is to help you find the right program for them to learn and thrive. 

Think EA Schools could be a good fit for your child?

Contact us! Our team will happily answer any questions you have about our programs. Finding the right school for your child is a big decision. That’s why we are here to support you every step of the way.
Ready to enroll? Take a look at our enrollment page for the essential information you need to take the next steps toward your child’s success!

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