Alternative Education

An alternative school is any school that offers an “alternative” from a traditional school. Some students are just unable to learn in a traditional school setting and need a school that is more accommodating to their unique needs. For them an alternative school is the best option.

Intermediate Unit 1 operates alternative schools for students at the middle and secondary school level. The Educational Campus at Colonial serves students from Fayette County. The length of stay can vary from a few months to a few years depending on the student. The ultimate goal of the alternative programs is to help students develop the necessary skills that will enable them to return to their home school.

IU1 Alternative Education Programs are supported, in part, by Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth Grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and therefore abide by the guidelines established by PDE. Admission criteria states that students are admitted to an alternative education program only when other established methods of discipline have failed and programs shall limit enrollment to disruptive students as defined under 24 P.S. Section 19-1901-C (5). Eligible students must exhibit to a marked degree any or all of the following conditions:

  1. Disregard for school authority, including persistent violation of school policy and rules;
  2. Display of or use of controlled substances on school property or during school affiliated activities;
  3. Violent or threatening behavior on school property or during school-related activities;
  4. Possession of a weapon on school property;
  5. Commission of a criminal act on school property;
  6. Misconduct that would merit suspension or expulsion under school policy;
  7. Habitual truancy; and
  8. Special Education students in need of a 45-day interim alternative placement due to a weapon/drug/or serious bodily injury offense.

IU1 Educational Campuses at Clark and Colonial offer educational programs aligned to the Pennsylvania Standards and Anchors in safe orderly environments. Teachers are employees of Intermediate Unit 1 and Pennsylvania certified. In addition to the academics, students are also offered the services of a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, school police officer, juvenile probation officer, and various other social services.


For More Information

For more information about our Alternative Education programs, please contact:

Sean Van Eman
Principal, Educational Campus at Clark

Leigh Dennick
Director of Special Education Services
724-938-3241 ext. 273