The Alternative School at Somers High School is an academic program that promotes success through small classes, a supportive and encouraging non-traditional instructional environment taught by four faculty members in the core academic subject areas of math, science, social studies, and English. All courses are taught in accordance with the New York State Regents standards curriculum, and students will be required to take and pass Regents exams in order to meet their graduation requirements.
Our philosophy encompasses the belief that each student is capable of success, but not all students succeed in the same academic setting. Classroom instruction is interdisciplinary; it is team taught by two faculty members in English and social studies, and two teachers in math and science. In a two-year program, juniors and seniors will complete the same academic courses they would otherwise be required to complete for graduation and would otherwise be available. The junior year consists of English 11 and US History, each culminating in the NYS Regents exams, as well as Environmental Science and Integrated Algebra. The senior year experience is comprised of social studies electives (Economics and Participation in American Democracy), English electives (Search for Self, Beyond the Classics), Contemporary Issues in Science, and Topics in Math. In addition, all seniors are required to complete an internship of their own choosing and design throughout their spring semester. Students also earn credit in physical education through the Alternative High School during the last semester of their senior year. The curriculum is presented with a commitment to small student/teacher ratio, individualized instruction, hands-on project based learning approach, in an appropriate educational environment for all students.
In further supporting our students, we have coordinated time with a school psychologist to address the needs of our students throughout their enrollment. The Alternative High School serves all types of students with different abilities and talents. Many of our students have experienced difficulties within the regular high school program for a variety of reasons. Some have a need to catch up on course credits required for graduation, others benefit from small classes, meaningful connections with teachers, organizational skills support, reduction in frequency of high stakes exams, and increased social and emotional support in academic settings. By offering the course loads required in the program through large block scheduling during periods 8 & 9, and extending the school day to 2:15 pm, we also are able to offer increased flexibility in the junior and senior year schedule.