Bryant Alternative Learning Center Reorganizes to Serve Older Students
Students in grades 7 and 8 will now be taught at Montrose Alternative Learning Center.
Fairfax County Public Schools will adjust the levels of instruction at Bryant Alternative Learning Center — along with three other secondary alternative learning centers — starting with the 2012-13 school year.
The Bryant learning center has provided services for students in grades 7-10, but it will now offer instruction for students in grades 9 and 10 only. Because the center is adjacent to Bryant Alternative High School, students will have the opportunity to access additional high school elective courses.
The learning center provides continued educational opportunities in core classes. The majority of these students are placed by the FCPS Hearings Office or at the recommendation of their parents or school counselors due to behavioral or academic difficulties.
Other changes coming at alternative learning centers this year:
- Montrose Alternative Learning Center, which provided services for students in grades 7-10, will now offer instruction for students in grades 7 and 8 only.
- Pimmit Alternative Learning Center, which provided services for students in grades 9-12, will close.
- Mountain View Alternative Learning Center, which also provided services for students in grades 7-10, will now offer instruction for students in grades 9 and 10 only.
The students in grades 7 and 8 who formerly attended the Bryant learning center will now be taught at Montrose, located near Annandale. Mary Ann Panarelli, director of Intervention and Prevention Services for FCPS, said the central location of Montrose was a good for for the county and that the reorganization will allow teachers at the learning centers to concentrate on teaching only a few grades at a time.
“We’re dividing the kids up by age a little more,” she said.
Bryant Alternative High School generally teaches teens 17 and older. About 80 percent of students there are attending by choice, due to difficulties with traditional high school or conditions such as pregnancy, Panarelli said. The remainder are students who faced expulsion from a traditional high school.
As part of the reorganization, the school district will provide transportation to these students.
At the Bryant learning center, about 80 percent of students were recommended for expulsion, Panarelli said, and about 20 percent faced less severe disciplinary problems in traditional schools. Most students attended the learning center for one semester only before moving back to a traditional school or an alternative high school.
As part of the changes, the alternative learning centers will now offer a full day of instruction.