Written by CAASP – March 1, 2002



The name of this organization shall be “Connecticut Association of Alternative Schools & Programs”, noted hereafter as CAASP.



Alternative Education: The study or practice of implementing alternative schools or programs.

Alternative School: An established environment apart from the traditional school designed to accommodate specific student educational needs such as work – related training, reading, math, science, communication, social skills, physical skills, employability, study skills, or life skills, cultural awareness.

Traditional School: An established environment designed to provide a comprehensive education to the general populace and to which assignment of students is made more on a basis of geographical location than unique educational need.

Public Alternative Education: Public Alternative Education serves to ensure that every young person may find a path to the educational goals of the community. Programs focus on what they can offer the student, not on what problems that student has had in the past.

Charter Schools: Schools approved by the Connecticut Board of Education under the relevant statutes.

Schools Within Schools: School programs within a regular school, that may not have been designated as alternative programs, but do offer a choice to some students that they otherwise would not have.

CAASP STARS: A youth organization of chartered chapters recognized by CAASP to promote a variety of activities for youth involved in alternative educational programs. Goals and organization are described in the CAASP STARS Constitution.

Region: The organization, roughly based on the geographical area where CAASP members have organized and aligned themselves with Alternative Programs to form the CAASP organization.

IALA: International Affiliation of Learning Alternatives, a league of state, national and international educational alternative associations founded in 2001 by a group of delegates from state associations with similar concerns, needs and aspirations.



Section 1. The purpose of education is to provide for the maximum intellectual; personal/social; and career vocational development of students so they can function as effective citizens. Alternative schools play a vital role as a change agent in the educational system.

Section 2. The Mission of CAASP is to lead, promote and support innovative learning experiences.

Section 3. The purpose of CAASP is to meet the needs of students, parents, teachers, future teachers, administrators, and the general citizenry through a professional organization dedicated to the improvement of alternative education.

A. To provide educational options that will allow learners to develop their personal, academic and career potential on their way to becoming productive citizens.

B. To provide technical assistance to practitioners.

C. To be a change agent for the traditional educational system.

D. To represent the common interests of alternative learners to the greater community.

E. To provide professional development opportunities.



Section 1. Any person involved or interested in alternative education shall become a voting member upon payment of dues of CAASP. CAASP members are eligible to vote, hold office and attend meetings.



Section 1. The officers of CAASP shall be President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Conference Coordinator, all elected by the organization members at the May meetings. The past president will also serve as an officer on the executive board.

Section 2. The length of term for each office shall be two (2) years.

Section 3. In the event an officer is unable to fulfill the term of office, the President shall direct that a vacancy exist in the monthly mailing. Nominations will be accepted at the next monthly meeting and an election shall be held at the monthly meeting following the nominating meeting. This choice will be based on a majority vote of members attending.

Section 4. The officers of the CAASP organization will be designated the Executive Board. Except for the power to amend the Articles of the Bylaws, the Executive Board shall have all the powers and authority to conduct the normal business of the organization. Meetings of the Executive Board shall be reported at the next regular meeting of the membership.



Section 1. The President shall preside at all meetings of CAASP. Responsibilities are to plan and preside over monthly membership meetings, conducting Executive Board meetings and report on such meetings to the membership, and appoint all committees. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and assume the responsibility to see that the committee’s function.

Section 2. The vice president shall act in place of the President at all CAASP meetings, which the President is unable to attend and assist the president in any area needed. The Vice President shall take on the leadership of CAASP statewide special projects or initiatives.

Section 3. The past President shall serve as chair of the nominating committee, coordinate all voting and perform such duties as may be assigned by the executive board.

Section 4. The Secretary shall keep the records of the current activities of CAASP.

Section 5. The Treasurer shall collect dues and dispense funds of CAASP, subject to the approval of the membership. Treasurer shall be responsible for the maintenance of the membership roles of CAASP; shall keep a complete financial record, which ensures responsible fiscal operation; shall submit a financial report to the Association at its annual meeting. The Financial Report shall be kept from July1 to June 30, which shall be considered the fiscal year. A committee of no less than three persons, appointed by the President will conduct an annual review by August 31 every two years The treasurer shall submit a proposed budget to the September meeting.

Section 6. The Conference Coordinator shall organize and plan for the Annual State Student Conference held in March of each year. The conference Coordinator shall serve as chairman of the conference planning committee. 



Section 1. A nominating committee to be chaired by the immediate past president shall be appointed by the President at the April meeting in an election year.

Section 2. The nominating committee shall present a candidate each for the offices of president, vice president, Secretary, and Treasurer and conference coordinator, to the membership at the annual meeting to be held in May. Election of association officers will follow every even numbered year thereafter. Nominations from the floor for any of these positions would also be accepted.



Section 1. A member or members of the Association may propose an Amendment to the By-laws in writing. A proposed amendment must be presented to the executive board who will publish it a minimum of thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting.

Section 2. Adoption of a proposed amendment of the bylaws shall be by the two-thirds vote of those members attending the annual meeting.


1. Committees

The Association, through its Executive Board, may establish such committees as may be desirable. The President will appoint chairpersons of the committees.

Standing Committees:


 Nominations Past Pres.

Bylaws Appointed


2. Dues

The annual dues for membership shall be established at the September meeting. All dues will be recommended by the Executive Board and approved by the voting membership. In case of an emergency, members will be assessed an additional amount to cover expenses, the amount to be determined by the Executive Board. Dues shall be used for normal operating expenses.

IALA dues are the responsibility of the individual members and member programs.

3. Rules of Debate

At the Annual Meeting the Association shall be governed by the ruling that in debate, each speaker shall be limited to three minutes unless otherwise ordered.

4. Voting

Section 1. At regularly scheduled Association meetings one vote over half of the membership present shall constitute a majority vote.

Section 2. The Executive Board may call for a written ballot when they deem necessary. All such voting will be on ballots provided to members only by the Executive Board.

Section 3. The Executive Board or their designee will count all ballots.

Section 4. The Immediate Past President, serving as chair of the nominations committee, shall submit a copy of the official ballot to the Executive Board for approval, before the Annual Business meeting of the full CAASP membership. 

5. Revisions

The standing rules may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the CAASP members attending the CAASP annual meeting.

6. Guidelines

Attendance at National Conference: CAASP shall provide a stipend for of $300.00 for each member of the executive board or committee chair to attend the International Alternative Education Conference.  

2. Governance: The CAASP organization shall be the governing body guided by these by laws, and the CAASP Executive Board acting on behalf of the members shall recognize and issue or revoke charters to regional and youth organizations. CAASP STARS shall be governed by its own constitution and shall maintain contact with CAASP through the CAASP STARS Standing Committee and its Chair.

Financial Support: The CAASP Executive Board shall determine how money collected through CAASP membership dues shall be distributed. CAASP may designate, in general, what these funds shall be used for, such as scholarship funds, organizational expenses, and teacher training.


Adopted Feb.11, 2003

 Resolution on the Establishment of an Alternative Program without Assigned Certified Staff

WHEREAS the Connecticut Association of Alternative Schools and Programs (CAASP) encompasses public alternative programs across the state of Connecticut and

WHEREAS CAASP represents a variety of successful teaching practices enabling students of all levels to succeed in public high school settings and

WHEREAS CAASP supports a holistic approach to education fostering a teacher – student relationship, establishing role models and mentors for developing life skills and

WHEREAS CAASP strongly recommends the use of current relevant materials to facilitate high interest and cognition beyond factual knowledge to include higher order thinking skills such as application, analysis, synthesis and self evaluation and

WHEREAS Computer Aided Instruction has made many new tools available through software and Internet communication and

WHEREAS the computer has provided a tremendous opportunity to expand the classroom with distance learning;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that CAASP does not support any “Alternative Program” where direct and meaningful contact between certified staff and students has not taken place;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CAASP believes that students require certified teachers whenever engaged in meeting state and/or local mandated requirements such as those involved in obtaining a Connecticut high school diploma;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CAASP calls for such alternative programs to serve a targeted population defined by the district and the certified staff of the program which will enable enrolled students, especially those who have experienced limited success in traditional school settings, the opportunity to change negative behaviors in order to achieve at a high level;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CAASP endorses Computer Aided Instruction with student supervision by Certified staff to augment teaching strategies in the development of a holistic approach to student achievement.