The Connections Alternative Program

The Connections Alternative Learning Center is a comprehensive, academic alternative educational program providing evidence based practices using a multi-disciplinary approach to meet the needs of students who have faced challenges within a traditional classroom setting. The program is designed to support students that despite completion of work and sustained effort still cannot achieve academic success. The staff consists of two certified instructors, two paraprofessionals, one social worker and a part-time administrator. Student population consists of both special education and non-special education students. Academic and counseling supports are provided to all students in the program. Support is implemented based on the individual strengths and needs of each student.

Placement into the program will be deemed appropriate for high school students grades 10-12 who have demonstrated some or all of the following characteristics over a period of one high school year or longer and for whom prior high school interventions have not been successful:

-Lack of academic success (failing two or more courses).

-Significant decline in academic achievement.

-The need for a low teacher/student ratio to be successful.

-Lack of regular attendance.

Although a student may demonstrate one or more of the above characteristics, the reason(s) for a student demonstrating a characteristic is also considered for placement. For example, if a student has failed two or more courses, but had not completed work required for the class or had not put forth the effort required to be successful, he/she may not be deemed appropriate for this program.

Students who are identified as needing special educational supports and services may also be determined eligible and recommended for placement by a planning and placement team (PPT).

Students who are not identified as requiring special education supports and services

will be recommended for consideration to the program via the SRBI team at the high school.

The Director of Alternative Education and the Director of Pupil Services will review recommendations and will determine if placement into the program is appropriate. With limited seats available in the program, not all the students meeting the requirements can be accepted.

The Connections Alternative Learning Center hours are 8:00am – 12:04pm, except for Wednesday Block days and when the high school schedule has been altered. Students arrive, via transportation provided, between 7:30am – 8:00am. At 12:04 pm, students will attend lunch and elective courses periods seven and eight within the mainstream high school setting. Students are expected to use transportation provided, to and from school, on a daily basis.

The Tutorial sessions, conducted by the Connections staff, run from 12:30pm – 2:00pm. These sessions are for students placed in that program via Pupil Services and are not considered Connections Alternative Learning Center students. Transportation is not provided for this program and students are expected to attend sessions in their entirety.

Exiting the program:

Students who do not demonstrate a willingness to adhere to the Connections Alternative Learning Center guidelines and expectations may be exited from the program.

Students wishing to exit the program must write a letter to the Director of Alternative Education stating their desire to exit the program.

In both cases, an exit determination meeting will be conducted with the student, his/her parent(s), the Director of the program and appropriate staff.

The Director of Alternative Education and the Director of Pupil Services will be responsible for reviewing and determining appropriateness of requests to exit the program.

Educationally, the most effective time for students to enter or exit the program is the beginning of a school year or at the start of the second semester. Administration will determine the most appropriate entrance and exit process for students.

*Special Education students will exit the program via a planning and placement team meeting (PPT).

Program Expectations:

  • Students must use transportation, provided by the BOE, to and from school.
  • Regular and timely attendance is essential to student achievement.
  • All Oxford BOE policies and OHS Student Code of Conduct apply to the Connections Program.
  • Students will be fully engaged in the educational process.

Staff List and Email Contact Information:

Frank Savo – Director of Alternative Education –

Mike Castiola – Special Education Teacher -

Nora Curley – Special Education Teacher –

Christine Marin – School Social Worker –

Kristin Savo – Paraprofessional –

Ivy Flemming – Paraprofessional –

Main Phone Number : (203) 888-2468

Created on 9/25/2015 - Last updated on 9/25/2015