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Judy:  Our administration is stating that we must pass our alternative high school students even if attendance is 50% and/or work completion is minimal. Typically the eligibility is ED, but a couple are SLD or OHI without an ED label. (Illinois). Our worst offenders are 17+ so we don’t have any outside supports from truancy officers, etc.

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Jill G
04/06/2016 2:05 pm

Judy –

I can’t speak to the legality of this practice. I do want to say – if an IDEA-eligible student is absent 50% of the time (or even 10% of the time), it would be *very* easy for the parent (or student) to make a case that he/she is not receiving FAPE

The “alternative school” in my district faced a similar situation a few of years ago, until the state intervened and required change. The program was revamped to meet student needs. At the programmatic level, this included more guidance support, flexible schedules, and increased access to extracurriculars. They also really fine-tuned their transition planning process, especially the way students participate in it. I think this made students understand the importance of school participation, and its connect to success in later life.