The home-school program in the Edmonds School District lost almost a quarter of its students over the past year in the wake of the district's decision to relocate its alternative high school to the same campus as the home-school program.
I can understand why parents are concerned. I would be a little concerned by this.
They cited police calls to the alternative school that included two incidents involving weapons and five involving drugs.
I see potential for problems.
The separation is so complete, in fact, that some teens at the two schools are hoping for more interaction.
"They're kids like us. If we could hang out with them, that would be cool," said Garrett Spesock, an eighth-grader in the home-school program.
I don't think I would want my kids to think it is "cool" to hang out with the stoners, gang bangers, drop outs, and unwed mothers who are the majority of students in the alternative school. That is not to say there are not good kids at the alternative school and the potential for positive relationships. I am saying that this mix brings with it a risk that I wouldn't choose for my grade school homeschool student.
My experience with my local alternative school has left me with a very bad impression of this type of program and the behavior of students who attend. My local alternative high school is a daycare for teenagers that hands out unearned diplomas. The students leave with an inflate sense of their abilities and zero competency.
If it were like the program in San Jose that Joanne Jacobs writes about, then it could be a good mix.