McLean County Public Schools has finalized its application process for the district’s new alternative school, McLean County Alternative Center, or MAC, located in Calhoun.

The alternative school option, according to MCPS Superintendent Tommy Burrough, is meant to help students who are in need of credit recovery to graduate and is mostly geared toward high school seniors.

“Basically the target area groups is seniors that are in fear of not graduating … due to lack of credits,” Burrough said. “It’s for people that have trouble and can’t do it, so we’re here to help them graduate.”

MAC will be located at the old health department building on in Calhoun, Burrough said. It will run Monday through Thursday during the normal school year and will consist of a morning and afternoon session, 8-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Students participating in the alternative option will attend the MAC school instead of McLean County High School. Classes will be program-based with students working digitally in classes of 10 per session with an instructor present. There will not be lectures from instructors, however, according to Burrough, as all learning will be done through the digital programs, with the exception of any extra assistance or guidance needed from on-site instructors.

“We’ll have two teachers and a receptionist there," he said. "And the two teachers, they’ll be monitoring the program and they’ll help as needed.”

The school will be equipped with its own set-up and supplies, including internet access, computers and learning materials. Each student will also be working on different subject programs based on what credits they need, whether it be English, reading, algebra, etc., Burrough said.

Although work is done digitally, Burrough said students will have to be present to be counted for attendance.

MAC will not have extracurriculars and graduates will have their own separate graduation outside of MCHS.

“They will not go back to the high school once they go there. They’ll be transferred to that school … we don’t allow them to go back and forth. Once they leave the high school, they’re done. There’s no extracurricular activities, they’re there to basically catch up and to graduate. We’re wanting to help them graduate,” Burrough said.

There are, however, requirements for being accepted into the MAC school. There are only 20 seats available and students must have at least 17 credits and will go through an interview and application process.

Burrough said the MCHS guidance counselor and principal handle the application process and have likely already targeted certain students for participation in the program.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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