Middle School Alternative (MAP) Program


The Middle School Alternative Program (MAP) is an alternative instructional program for certain FCPS students in grades six through eight. At the MAP we are committed to helping students who wish to successfully complete their middle school academic requirements and prepare for high school by offering smaller classes, individualized instruction and a strong emphasis on academic and social skills.

Who Attends the MAP Program?

Students who:
  • have not been academically successful at the home middle school
  • lack self-confidence
  • have difficulty working within the structure of the home middle school
  • desire a second chance at being successful in school
  • have excessive absences/ truancy
  • have negative feelings about school

How can the MAP program help?

The program helps by:
  • individualizing instruction within a supportive learning environment
  • improving reading, language arts and math achievement.
  • keeping our class size small
  • nurturing an attitude of mutual respect
  • maintaining a cooperative relationship between the student, parents and our staff
  • monitoring progress on a daily basis
  • providing opportunities for community service

Success Is a Cooperative Effort 

A successful educational experience is dependent on students, parents, teachers, guidance and administration working together. We believe that supporting the child by keeping the lines of communication open between home and school will have a positive effect on the student's success. 


Students may be referred for admission to the Middle School Alternative Program (MAP) by a parent, teacher, principal, or by the student himself. A referral is made by completing a short form which is turned in to the guidance department at the home middle school. Students may be considered for entrance into the MAP program at any time during the school year. After the start of the 4th 9 week grading period, students will be accepted on an emergency basis only.

The MAP screening committee will review data including, but not limited to academic records, standardized test scores, attendance records, and discipline history to determine whether the record indicates that the student will be more successful in the MAP setting than he has been in his home school.

The home school guidance counselor will then make contact with the parent and let them know about the MAP option. If interested, a meeting is scheduled for the parent and student to come to Dowell J. Howard to learn more about the program.  The parent receives an application at this time and must return it within one week to the home school guidance counselor. Returning of the application indicates that the student and parent have chosen to come to the MAP. 

Students who enter the MAP program must stay until the completion of the school year. Eligibility is reviewed annually. A transition plan will be developed during the last semester for students planning to leave the MAP either to return to their home schools or to enter high school. 

Students attending our program are still considered members of their home school. As such, they are eligible to participate in after-school athletics, clubs, dances and other events as long as they meet the criteria for participation designated by the home school.

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