When public school isn’t working out for your child, there are plenty of alternatives. Despite perceptions, homeschooling is not the only option. There are many programs to fit the individual needs of every child. Maybe you’ve heard of charter schools or private schools but are curious to learn more. At Optimal Edu Options, we make it our business to know many options in Arizona and nationwide. Knowing about many options helps to ensure each family finds the educational program that will work best with their child. Here are some of the more common programs:  

Charter schools 

Charter schools are publicly funded but privately run schools that are free to attend. The schools are not affiliated with a school district. Charter schools may specialize in areas such as an increased focus on STEM subjects, the performing arts, or training high school students for specific careers in law enforcement or firefighting. Other charter schools may have an accelerated to decelerated learning pace to meet the needs of particular student populations. Others operate with a more generalized curriculum, much like a public school, but control what subjects are included and how they are taught. 

Private day schools 

Private day schools encompass a wide variety of options. Students’ families pay for private schools, and often children must meet specific admissions criteria. Without public funding, they have a flexible variety of educational options. For example, some schools provide a curriculum with certain religious beliefs, while others focus heavily on academic achievement. There are also private schools that provide for those with educational or developmental disabilities, such as children with autism. Others specialize in learning differences, including dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and ADHD.

Boarding schools 

If you’ve seen one of the many movies with school kids in uniforms who live at their schools, then you’ve gotten some exposure to boarding schools. The main difference between boarding schools and traditional day schools is the living situation, as students live on campus, away from their families during the school year. In addition, some boarding schools emphasize a particular area, such as preparation for college or military careers. Finally, some boarding schools offer therapeutic and learning supports.

Therapeutic schools and residential treatment facilities 

Residential treatment facilities provide at-risk students with a highly structured environment.  RTCs and therapeutic schools provide children with education, treatment, and therapy for challenges such as autism, learning differences, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, school refusal, or other severe mental health issues. These options are best when all other avenues have been tried, such as outpatient or in a less restricted educational environment. 


While the variety of alternative educational program options for students can be overwhelming as parents review them, Optimal Edu Options is here to help. Our educational consultant, Gail Curran, can help by analyzing your child’s needs. After the evaluation, she’ll recommend programs that best fit your child, and together you can choose the best option. She’ll also be able to help introduce you to the many funding options for alternative education programs. And if she cannot help, she has the resources to recommend families for other help. So, if you’re at a loss as to where to start, give Optimal Edu Options a call today! 

Optimal Edu Options is an educational and therapeutic placement consulting agency. We work with families across Arizona and throughout the United States. Our experienced team has the expertise necessary to effectively support your family and child in finding the best educational and therapeutic options to meet your family’s needs. Reach out to us today for more information about our services and how they can help. We offer a free 30-minute consultation. Email gail@optimaleduoptions.com or call us at (602) 904-1282. Book online at https://calendly.com/help4families