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 Alternative Education Program and Magnet Schools


Alternative Education Program

Georgia's Alternative / Non-traditional Education Program began as a state grant funded program in 1994 and was known as the Crossroads alternative education program. With the passage of the A+ Education Reform Act of 2000, Crossroads grants were eliminated and Quality Basic Education (QBE) funds began providing for the Alternative Education Program for students in grades
6-12. Effective May 2010, the State Board of Education adopted the name, Alternative / Non-traditional Education Program (AEP). 

Non-traditional schools and programs are an option for students who may experience difficulty in the traditional setting. These students may require creative, innovative, and structured alternatives within a different educational setting.  Alternative / Non-traditional educational programs offer these options to students as it recognizes that a one model approach is no longer effective in meeting the goal of making all Georgia students’ college and career ready.


Attributes of effective alternative programs according to Georgia’s Alternative Education Program Standards include;

  • Addresses personal responsibility and self-discipline, as well as career preparation which is aligned to the College and Career Readiness Program Index
  • Develops, implements, and monitors individualized graduation plans
  • Implements research-based instructional strategies aligned with student needs
  • Implements a transition process to ensure a seamless entry to the AEP and a seamless return to the traditional home school or external agency
  • Provides students with opportunities to maintain or accelerate their current progress toward graduation
  • Provides guidance and counseling, school social work, and school psychological services to support student performance
  • Has district support to ensure effective implementation of programs and/or schools

Georgia's Alternative / Non-traditional Education Program is designed to provide some program flexibility at the local level. Local school systems must provide a disciplinary alternative education program. Local school systems may collaborate with other districts, Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs) or contract with an external vendor to provide services to disruptive students.

A local school system may provide the following:

  • An attendance recovery program
  •  A choice alternative education program
  • A community-based alternative education program
  • A credit recovery program
  • Other alternative education program models that otherwise meet the requirements of the State Board of Education Rule 160-4-8-.12 Alternative/Non-traditional Education Programs.  
  • Additionally, the local alternative education program may function as a single-system or multi-system program and may be located on or off a regular school campus.

Magnet Schools

 Magnet schools offer a wide range of distinctive education programs. Some emphasize academic subjects, such as:

  •  Math
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Language immersion
  • Visual and performing arts
  • Humanities

According to the United States Department of Education, “…the term ‘magnet school' means a public elementary school, public secondary school, public elementary education center, or public secondary education center that offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds."According to the United States Department of Education, “…the term ‘magnet school' means a public elementary school, public secondary school, public elementary education center, or public secondary education center that offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds.
Magnet Schools List