When it comes to education, it is clear that the “one size fits all” philosophy doesn’t work for everyone.
In fact, the U.S. Departments of Education admits that homeschooling is on the rise among students in the United States. Almost 2 million kids are homeschooled each year as an alternative to traditional public school.
Are you an educator or philanthropist with a passion for alternative learning? Don’t miss these seven tips for opening your own alternative high school.
1. Write a Mission Statement
A mission statement is what you will use to introduce your alternative high school. It’s like a business plan for new businesses. You will want your mission statement to be clear and concise.
It’s the first impression people will get from your new school.
2. Get Approval
Every school needs to go through an approval process. This includes presenting your mission statement and petitions to the district level board of education.
Part of the approval process includes meeting with the board and answering questions about your alternative high school. Be prepared with solid answers on your vision and goals.
3. Implement the Plan
Once you get approval, which can take months, it’s now time to start implementing your plan into action.
This is where the real work begins. There are a lot of details that go into starting a new school. Everything from classroom sizes to school cleaning companies needs to be addressed.
4. Raise Money
Charter schools normally receive money from the state for their schools. But often this money is not sufficient to start a school from scratch.
You may need to look into other options such as government grants or fundraising.
Federal Startup Grants usually last the first 2 years, then once that is dropped, you may have to rely on fundraising and donations to bridge the gap.
5. Create a Board of Trustees
Each school needs a board to govern the school’s activities and operations. Board members are usually not paid and they volunteer their time and skills.
A successful board would be made up of individuals who have a lot of knowledge in different areas such as education, real estate, and finance.
It may also be a good idea to include a few parent-elected board members as well. You will want to make sure to have the parents’ community represented.
6. Recruit Teachers
Recruiting teachers may not be as hard as you might think. Either the teacher wants to be a part of your alternative high school, or they don’t.
Some teachers will love the idea of starting something new and building a new school from the ground up, while others would prefer the stability of a more established school.
From there, it is always a good idea to have some mock teaching assessments to be sure you are hiring the best teachers available.
7. Find a Facility
Be warned that finding a facility can be tricky. Buildings used for education have their own specific regulations. For example, children younger than 2nd grade have to be on ground level. This is for safety and evacuation purposes.
Just be aware that finding the right building for the right price while fitting all your needs might take a while. So start on this early in the process.
Successful Alternative High School
If you have enough passion and are willing to put in the work, then building an alternative high school can be a reality. We offer many resources that will help you be successful in giving our children the best education possible.