Piggott Elementary excited to begin ALE program

Piggott Elementary excited to begin ALE program

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT) - Alternative Learning Environments are becoming more prominent in schools across the state.

They are classrooms designed to allow for every child's need to be met, no matter what may be standing in their way.

A Region 8 elementary school is embarking on their first year of the ALE program.

Piggott Elementary will begin its school year with a new ALE classroom.

Debbie Dunlap has taught for more than 30 years and will be the ALE instructor.

Dunlap said times have changed, which has changed the way the classroom setting works.

"It goes back to home environment," Dunlap said. "That has changed a lot."

She said home environment can relate directly to disciplinary problems which can interrupt the learning process for the student, teacher and other classmates.

Dunlap said they also have students who change schools often, which can also interrupt the learning process.

Dunlap said these are just a few things that contribute to the need for an ALE classroom.

"They're sort of falling between the gap, and that's what we don't want to happen at Piggott Elementary," Dunlap said. "We want to help every child."

The classroom will be for third through sixth grade. There will be an evaluation process for incoming students which will involve the principal, Dunlap, teachers and parents.

Dunlap said no student should want to be in her class, but she wants the kids to know it's not a bad place to be.

"I don't want them to ever think this is punishment class because it's not," she said. "I'm here for them. I'm here to meet their needs. I want them to enjoy coming to my classroom."

Piggott High School already has an ALE program and the district strongly supports the expansion of the program.

Dunlap said while it will be a challenge to be in a new classroom setting, she can't wait to get started.

ALE is funded by the Arkansas Department of Education.

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