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Alternate Programming

Big Lake Schools is proud to offer alternative programming options for at-risk students who can't reach their full potential in a regular school program or need additional time to develop skills and abilities. Simply put, an at-risk student is someone who is off-track for graduation.

Instruction in these programs is designed to meet individual student learning styles and academic needs. Teachers build connections with students and focus on vocational and career skills. Community, county and state partnerships provide additional support and resources. 

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Targeted Services

Targeted Services acts as an intervention strategy to assist at-risk students in growing academically and social-emotionally in order to be successful in school.

Sessions take place in the summer and after school during the school year. Having sessions outside of the regular school day allows for students to receive additional support without missing time in the classroom.

Our programs provide small group instruction with under a 13:1 student to teacher ratio, and individualized assistance based on individual student need.

Wright Technical Center

Big Lake students may receive services through the Wright Technical Center in Buffalo. The WTC is an Area Learning Center, which means that it provides year-round comprehensive educational services and opportunities to help students make up lost credits or to prepare for graduation tests, and serves students across eight area school districts. 

The middle school program is designed to help students transition back into a traditional school setting by emphasizing thinking skills, positive life coping skills and strong study skills. 

The high school program offers independent study programs in English, mathematics, on-the-job training, physical & life science, social studies, health/physical education, and art.

Wright Technical CenteR Website 

Eligibility Requirements

The State of Minnesota has created mandated criteria that students must meet in order to be eligible for alternative programming options. These criteria fall under the state's graduation incentives program.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be under the age of 21

  • Perform substantially below peers on an academic assessment, such as MCAs or MAP

  • Behind in satisfactorily completing coursework or obtaining credits for graduation

  • Is pregnant or is a parent

  • Has been assessed as chemically dependent

  • Has been excluded or expelled

  • Has been referred by a school district for enrollment in an eligible program

  • Is a victim of physical or sexual abuse

  • Has experienced mental health problems

  • Has experienced homelessness

  • Speaks English as a second language or is an English learner

  • Has withdrawn from school or has been chronically truant

  • Is being treated in a hospital in the seven-county metropolitan area for cancer or other life threatening illness or is the sibling of an eligible student who is being currently treated, and resides with the pupil's family at least 60 miles beyond the outside boundary of the seven-county metropolitan area.