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At the May school board meeting, Mr. Smith is recognized as MCS's Secondary Teacher of the Year.  

Congratulations Mr. Michael Smith, McDowell County Schools Secondary Teacher of the Year!

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Principal's Message

At the Alternative Education Center, we envision a partnership between home, school, and the community where each is an active participant in the academic and emotional growth of students. We serve students in grades 8-12, with the majority of our population being high school students.  We are a small school with an enrollment of 100 students. We are alternative to a traditional large school and we believe in an individualized approach to education. 
 
The climate is orderly, safe, and conducive to teaching and learning. A unique aspect of the Alternative Education Center is our small class size (1:15 teacher pupil ratio in all classes). The atmosphere fosters respect along with a spirit of understanding, tolerance, and friendship.  The environment allows each individual to develop physically, mentally, morally, and socially. 

We believe there are no limits to learning. We have high expectations and truly believe that the dignity and worth of the individual demands quality and equity. 

We envision learners who can come to see education as increasing their own choices, building bridges to new opportunities, and improving the quality of their lives. With the help of parents and a concerned public, we are proud to accept the responsibility of helping all of our students recognize their potential.
 
 

News & Announcements

Mr. Smith, one of the AEC's social studies teachers, has been awarded McDowell County Schools Secondary Teacher of the Year.

There are times when there simply are no words. There’s just nothing you can do or say to capture what you are experiencing. It’s not a feeling - it’s much deeper than that. But it’s an awareness for which there is no available expression. That’s where I am right now, and yet fully understanding that SOMETHING, in the way of a response, must be done. I just received an honor that so many others could have received, and it would have been good and right. While I’m grateful for it, my gratitude is overshadowed by a humility that any honest person would surely have in the receiving of such a thing. Honor is a bestowment. It is something less earned, and more granted. You acknowledge you were chosen from a company of others who could have more justly been chosen. Grace always takes away boasting.

On behalf of the Alternative Education Center, I’m grateful for the privilege to work with such a great collection of educators, staff and students. This is a remarkable place. I will do my best to let the McDowell County Secondary Teacher of the Year honor serve as a job description, as I do my part on this team. That’s what we are here; a team. To you Ms. Widmann, thanks for your guidance and your expectations for all your teachers. We need high standards. Students, I appreciate, your kind words, gestures and notes. I honestly don’t feel that I have worked a day since April of 2004 when I started here as director of Community Short Term Opportunity Program (C-STOP). And I would be remiss if I failed to mention two guys who are no longer at our school, but both instrumental in my decision to get certified - Brian McKinney (literally taxied me to the RALC in Catawba) and Zack McCartha. It was the right choice.

New Attendance Information

Our attendance policy has changed.


Middle school students must be must be present at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the school’s instructional day to be recorded present for that day.

High school students must be present at least seventy-five
percent (75%) of the class period to be recorded present for that class period.


In addition, a high school student absent more than six (6) times in the same class period in a semester shall not receive credit for that class. However, the student must continue in the class
with appropriate behavior and must complete required work. Students who lose
credit for absences but who are passing the course(s) may make up the credit by
attending the after school enrichment sessions or the summer school enrichment classes.






If you have any questions about attendance, do not hesitate to ask any of our staff!

The AEC Vision

At the Alternative Education Center, we envision a partnership between home, school, and the community where each is an active participant in the academic and emotional growth of students. The climate is orderly, safe, and conducive to teaching and learning. The atmosphere fosters respect along with a spirit of understanding, tolerance, and friendship. The environment allows each individual to develop physically, mentally, morally, and socially.

We believe there are no limits to learning. We have high expectations and truly believe that the dignity and worth of the individual demands quality and equity.

We envision learners who can come to see education as increasing their own choices, building bridges to new opportunities, and improving the quality of their lives. With the help of parents and a concerned public, we are proud to accept the responsibility of helping all of our students recognize their potential.

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