About Our School

At the Alternative/Optional Education Center (AOEC) our mission is to provide students with an alternative to the traditional comprehensive high school experience that honors and addresses each individual's inherent unique worth, varying learning styles and rates. To inspire students to be better than they thought possible, to value others as well as themselves, and to make decisions that will have a positive impact on the world around them. Our vision is to forge empowering relationships with parents and community to provide a safe, caring, and challenging environment in which all students develop as lifelong learners and contributing members of a changing society.


1.What is AOEC?

AOEC is a credit recovery program for Waukegan High School students in which students use a virtual platform, either Edmentum and/or APEX, to work at their own pace to recover credits and graduate on time with their class. Programs offered at AOEC are for 11th and 12th grade high school students. To apply for the AOEC program, students must be on track to graduate by 21 years of age.

2. When can I enroll? 

While there is open enrollment throughout the school year, seats available at AOEC fill up quickly. Once all seats are filled, you will be put on a waiting list for future openings that may become available.

If you transfer AOEC from another school in the district during the school year, you must be accepted into a seat available at AOEC before you withdraw from your previous school.

3. Is there a deadline to enroll?

There is no deadline to enroll at AOEC throughout the school year provided there is a seat available for you and you have been accepted. When seats are full, applications are taken for the waiting list.

4. When does school start?

School starts for the AOEC program the same day as the rest of the district.

The 2022-23 school year begins on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

5. What are the class hours?

AOEC has two different attendance sessions, morning or afternoon. Depending on credit needs, an additional class period may be added at the discretion of the School Counselor. 

Class sessions are as follows:

Monday - Thursday

Morning Session: 7:30AM - 12:30PM

Afternoon Session: 12:30PM - 5:30PM


Morning Session: 7:30AM - 11:00AM

Afternoon Session: 11:00AM - 2:30PM

6. Where do I go to sign up?

Currently enrolled students should meet with their School Counselor to submit an application. Students new to the district should contact our Alternative Placement Officer, Ozzie Young at [email protected]

7. What do I need to register?

Please use this link to gather information as it pertains to registration. 

8. Is there lunch?

Yes, breakfast and lunch are available.

9. What other alternative programs are available?

The AOEC campus encompasses programs designed to target high school students who have not found success within the traditional school setting. Besides the AOEC, there are other alternative programs that may be deemed to be a more appropriate setting. These include Ombudsman, ROE, or Twilight.

10. Do I still get a diploma if I am enrolled in an alternative program?

Students attending any of the credit earning alternative programs - AOEC, Twilight, Ombudsman and ROE are considered Waukegan High School students. Students enrolled in any of these programs, upon completion of Waukegan High School graduation requirements, will receive a Waukegan High School diploma. 

11. Can I still go to prom if I am enrolled in an alternative program?

Students enrolled in any of the alternative programs through the AOEC Campus are still considered Waukegan High School students. As long as their school schedule does not conflict with the activity and they are in good standing, students can attend prom, homecoming and other dances as well as participate in clubs and interscholastic sports.

The exception for this is expelled students. Those expelled students who attend an alternative program, must still follow the rules of the expulsion and are NOT allowed on school grounds during their expulsion.

12. Are Diverse Learner students eligible to enroll in one of the alternative programs?

The Diverse Learner Department has many placement options for Diverse Learner students. AOEC, Ombudsman, Twilight, etc. with the advisement of a student's IEP and corresponding service requirements, are programs that can accommodate Special Education students.

13. Are Bilingual/ESL students eligible to enroll in one of the alternative programs?

Bilingual/ESL students level 3 and above are eligible to enroll at AOEC.

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