Choices Program (6-12)

What is the Choices program?

Choices is a 10 session instructional program for students who consistently demonstrate inappropriate behaviors, excluding truancy, that interfere with learning. Students placed in this program have not successfully implemented the behavioral interventions recommended by the school’s Student Support Team (SST) and administrative staff.

How are students referred to the program?

The principal, parent/guardian, hearing officer or School Board Discipline Committee may initiate the placement process as an alternative to suspension. Choices is designed to serve eight-10 students at one time during the regular school day. Students should be referred to Choices after interventions from the Student Support Team have proven unsuccessful or prior to suspension.

What is the referral process?

The principal/assistant principal meets with the parent/guardian and the student to review the requirements of the Choices program to determine whether or not the student and parent/guardian accept the responsibilities of this placement. If Choices placement is agreed upon, the principal/assistant principal explains each of the program’s contractual components and has the student and parent/guardian initial each area. The school’s principal/assistant principal contacts the Choices intervention staff assigned to their building to reserve the next available placement date and forwards copies of the completed contract, referral form and discipline record of the student. A copy of these documents should be provided to the parent/guardian of the student and retained in the student’s discipline record.

What curriculum and services are provided?

Two Choices programs are offered: one at the middle school level and one at the high school level. The Second Step curriculum model will be implemented in the Choices program for the middle school students. The Reconnecting Youth curriculum will be implemented with high school students. Both Second Step and Reconnecting Youth are research-based social skills curricula designed to reduce impulsive, high-risk and aggressive behaviors. Included in these curricula are group discussions, modeling, coaching and practice to increase the student’s decision-making ability and self-regulation. Trained intervention staff from Virginia Beach City Public Schools facilitates the program.

Are special education students accepted?

Yes. The school will provide a copy of the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) to the Choices intervention staff to ensure all appropriate accommodations are provided during the program.

What are the criteria for completion of the program?

Students are required to make up any missed Choices curriculum assignments. Because consistent attendance in the program is critical, the following protocol applies:

  • One excused absence requires the student to make up the missed curriculum.
  • After a second missed session, Choices intervention staff will contact the parent/guardian to determine the appropriateness of the student continuing in the program.
  • A recommendation to the school’s principal or designee will follow.
  • Students, parents/guardians, teachers and school administrators will receive notification when Choices is completed.
  • Students completing Choices will be referred to a Student Support Specialist for additional support services in their home school.

Who can I contact for additional information?

Secondary Instructional Transition Specialist James Fayton may be reached by phone at 757.648.5937, Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.