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Exemplary Practices in Alternative Education Recognition Program

In Partnership with the Governor’s Advisory Council for Alternative Education and the Tennessee Alternative Education Association

The exemplary practices for alternative education were adopted in 2017 by the state board to assure high-quality educational services for students served by alternative and nontraditional education programs. The exemplary practices provide a framework for districts and schools to utilize in the development and implementation of a standards-based approach to high-quality alternative education programs, identifies essential characteristics of high-quality programs, and stresses the importance of meeting the educational and social and personal needs of all students.

The department, in partnership with the Governor's Advisory Council for Alternative Education, established the Exemplary Practices in Alternative Education Recognition Program to recognize the efforts of schools who exemplify high-quality alternative education services.

The schools that received recognition as exemplary for alternative education for 2017-18 are: Richard Yoakley Alternative School, Knox County; Jefferson Academy, Jefferson County; and, G.W. Carver College and Career Academy, and Shelby County.

For the 2018-19 school year, the department is again soliciting alternative education schools or programs to apply to be recognized as exemplary programs. Schools or programs wishing to apply will need to submit the following information:

  1. Description of the alternative school or program to include:
    • mission and vision;
    • academic program (includes use of technology);
    • intake/orientation process;
    • discipline program;
    • available student supports;
    • transition services; and
    • other program details pertinent to the application.
  2. Self-assessment and action plan (please include the date of the last action item to be completed);
  3. List of team members to include faculty and staff; and
  4. Additional information about the school or program, including media, pictures, awards, community service projects, and strategic plans, etc.

Upon submission, the application will be reviewed by a team comprised of members from the department and the Governor’s Alternative Education Advisory Board. Once the application has been reviewed, members from the team will conduct a site visit to the school or program. Upon completion of the site visit, the team will meet to discuss the district application. If the school or program is selected as an exemplary school or program, they will receive a certificate of recognition and banner at a special meeting at the department of education in Nashville as well as the district’s school board meeting, and the annual Tennessee Alternative Education Association conference. As a best practice for alternative education, the school or program will be endorsed as a model program to guide other districts and schools across the state.

Those schools wishing to apply should submit a letter of intent by Oct. 24 to Pat Conner at

The application narrative (1, 2, and 4) should be no longer than five pages double-spaced. The narrative, along with the self-assessment and any additional information, should be emailed to Pat Conner at no later than Nov. 21.