Ombudsman Educational Services
Libertyville, IL USA
Ombudsman provides an alternative learning option in partnership with school districts attempting to meet the needs of a diverse student population. As one of the most experienced providers of alternative education for middle school and high school students, Ombudsman delivers an individualized and meaningful education for at-risk students. The Ombudsman option provides students with a low student/teacher ratio and a dedicated staff of professionals in a technologically enhanced learning environment. Ombudsmanís learning centers are further supported through the accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools (MSCES), the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (NCA), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the Commission on International and Trans-regional Accreditation (CITA).
Ombudsman strives to maintain the cost of the program at an affordable level that is significantly less than a districtís average operating cost per pupil and/or the cost of district-sponsored alternative program(s). Throughout its 30 years of service to more than 100,000 students, Ombudsman students have achieved an 85% retention rate . Most importantly, many students feel success for the first time, achieving academic goals necessary to earn promotion to the next grade, accrue credits on a semester basis, and/or graduate from high school and/or middle school.
Students who enroll in the Ombudsman Program are taught how to learn and therefore must be willing to take responsibility for their behavior as it relates to their education in partnership with the Ombudsman staff. Ombudsmanís educational approach is competency-based, three-hour computer-assisted instruction, allowing all students to work at their own pace and in many instances accelerate their own learning. An Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) is developed for each student in conjunction with the district, focused on developing the studentís learning skills and progressing toward the necessary learning standards. Ongoing assessment of the studentís academic skills allows Ombudsman to customize the learning path for each studentís needs and expected outcomes.
Based upon Dr. William Glasserís philosophy on quality schools and non-confrontational approaches to learning, the Ombudsman Program guides students into taking responsibility for their actions and demonstrating a commitment to learning. By focusing on quality work and providing students with a unique and technologically enhanced learning environment, students are motivated to succeed.
Ombudsman is not a certified special education program; therefore it is not supported by special education instructors employed by Ombudsman; however Ombudsman may serve as the academic component of a studentís Individual Education Plans (IEP). Certain students, who have been identified by the District as needing specific special education services thereby requiring the District to adhere to said students IEP, may be selected by the District for referral to the program. The District must have determined and documented that Ombudsman is to serve only as the academic component for such referred students; that require the District to maintain a related IEP. The District, parent and student must acknowledge that such students will be held to the same expectations of the Ombudsman Program related to academic progress, attendance, consideration for others and learning center general rules, as students not identified as needing certain special education services.
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