A Study of the success of the Abeyance Alternative Schools Program


Alternative education; Alternative schools; Problem youth; School violence


This study was an evaluation of the Abeyance Alternative Schools Program (AASP) in the Brevard County Public School System, which consisted of three sites located in the north, central, and south areas of the county. The purpose was to investigate the effect that the AASP had on expellable, felony suspension, or community control students who had transitioned back to their home schools after participation in the AASP. Pre- and post-data in the areas of attendance, discipline, and grades were compared to ascertain if students' performance had improved after AASP participation. Further, the study examined if any particular AASP site demonstrated more student success, and if so, what factors may have contributed to this success. The study was conducted in Brevard County, Florida, the ninth largest school system in Florida. The research population included 113 students who were returning to their home schools after spending a minimum of four months in the AASP. It was noted that this was a small research group and a delimitation of this study. The data collected were primarily from students' cumulative files and the school system's mainframe computer. Data were nominal in nature and descriptive statistics as well as Pair-Wise T-Tests were utilized to compare pre- and post-data. A semi-structured interview with five AASP site administrators, five counselors, and seven teachers was also conducted to determine program differences among sites and offer suggestions for improvement of the AASP. An overall analysis of the total population data revealed that students were classified as "Improved" in the area of academic performance only. Further, it was established that students attending the North Area AASP showed improvement in attendance and discipline while students attending the South Area AASP showed improvement in grades. The following conclusions were reached: (a) Alternative programs must embrace the research-based characteristics of successful programs to maximize success for all students; (b) Alternative schools should conduct evaluations of incoming students and develop individual education plans based on students' .academic and social problems; and (c) The AASP should be funded to provide adequate numbers of computers and other innovative materials. Recommendations for further research were made.


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Graduation Date



Pawlas, George E.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Instructional Programs and Educational Leadership




189 p.



Length of Campus-only Access


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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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