For Students

The Students of North Lake

The phrase alternative education is often associated with students who are at risk and who display extreme misconduct. The dictionary defines the word alternative as “different from the usual or conventional.” 

Our alternative programs are different from traditional classes. They are separate, and can be as small as one class inside of your school or as big as multiple classrooms in a completely different setting within the district. We view our alternative program as a special way to serve students who are unique. Students thrive as we use our creativity to build a program that addresses the barriers to their success.

Looking through a positive lens, alternative education means smaller classes, deeper student/teacher connections, intentional social and emotional interventions, and increased resources. It can be easy to overlook students who do not display adverse behaviors but struggle internally or just need something different from most students. Some students may need a change in setting to help shift their mindset and motivate them for success.

At North Lake we identify our students needs. Providing students with a smaller classroom setting, which offers individualized attention, and more social and emotional support can help address those needs.

We challenge the norm and ask, why cant we..?

Removing ourselves from traditional thinking and limited perspectives. There are always some systems that need to be challenged. We are not limited by old thought processes. Creating plans that push against the boundaries. Most of the answers to critical problems in education are innovative and have risk.

We strive to build a safe environment. It’s important for students to feel emotionally safe in an alternative setting. It’s widely known that students are more likely to succeed when they feel safe. Students enrolled in an alternative program could have some insecurities about being educated differently from their peers. Teachers, Staff, and Administrators here give students support by celebrating their differences and empowering them. We are willing to spend extra time encouraging and supporting their efforts to overcome their barriers to education.

At North Lake we have been improving our space. Most importantly, we include those we are here to help learn, our students. The culture at North Lake is one that starts with each and every student feeling they belong and knowing they add value to their school. We have had great success in developing this culture through the many projects we have taken on, with help of the Lake Shore Foundation and support of Dr. Diponio, Dr. Lip, community members, and the belief in ourselves.

Most of all, traditional school settings aren’t a good fit for all students, and needing something different doesn’t make a student bad. Providing students with a high school education that is tailored to their needs helps increase their academic success.