The mission and starfish logo of Alternative Schools are summarized in the words of Loren Eiseley and remind us that each of us can make a difference in the lives of the students we serve.
As the old man walked the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the youth, he asked him why he was doing this. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left under the morning sun. “But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish,” countered the other. “How can your efforts make any difference?” The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and threw it to safety in the waves. “It makes a difference to this one,” he said.
Dr. Cynthia M. Janssen
Mission: Prepare students to be successful in their home school or complete requirements to graduate with a high school diploma.
- New Beginnings Immokalee (NBI)
- New Beginnings Naples (NBN)
- Phoenix Immokalee (PHX-I)
- Phoenix Naples (PHX-N)
Teenage Parent Programs:
- Teenage Parent Immokalee (TAPP-I)
- Teenage Parent Naples (TAPP-N)
Educational Alternative Programs:
- Beacon High School Immokalee
- Beacon High School Naples
- Educational Day Treatment (EDT)
Juvenile Justice Programs:
- Collier Juvenile Detention Center
- PACE Center for Girls (PACE)
Main Office Location: Alternative Education Center, 3710 Estey Ave., Naples, FL 34104
- Alternative Schools served 2030 students this past year in 11 programs, at 8 locations throughout Collier County.
- On average, 900 students were served daily during School Year 2019-20.
- The number of graduates was 279 (including 3 Certificates of Completion); these students very likely would have dropped out had it not been for Alternative Schools programs.
- The percent of graduates earning a standard diploma (versus a Certificate of Completion) has steadily increased each year.
Alternative Schools Historical Data:
- Alternative Schools began with the 1996-97 school year as the umbrella school organization for 5 alternative programs in the county, serving a total of 498 students.
- In two years, that number more than doubled to 1057 students served in 8 programs.
- Since then, several programs have been added and/or expanded, while others have closed.
- Closed programs include: Parkway, Sunshine School, DRILL, EXCEL, Enhanced Assist, FLAGS, Renaissance Academy, Naples Marine Institute, Collier Half-Way House, Big Cypress Wilderness Institute, and EdOptions Academy.
- Collier Virtual School operated under the supervision of Alternative Schools since it began in 2009; it was moved to the district in August 2019.
- The total served this past year was 2030 students in 11 programs at 8 locations throughout Collier County.
Phoenix Historical Data:
- The Phoenix alternative to explusion program opened in two locations in 1997, serving 51 students at both sites.
- In two years, that number doubled. By SY2003, the number of students served in the Phoenix programs doubled again.
- The Phoenix programs served 333 students during SY2018 as a result of new legislation increasing the requirements for referral to an "alternative to explusion" program; this was a 46% increase over the number of students served the previous year.
- Last year's total of 425 for both sites is a 28% increase over the number of students served during SY2019.
- Although referrals for an "alternative to explusion" program ended March 6, 2020 due to COVID-19, the number served by Phoenix during the SY2020 school year was 417.