Mary Bethune Alternative School

Mary Bethune is an alternative school within the Hattiesburg Public School District with the motto, “A school of new beginnings.” Our school is committed to providing a safe, structured environment that is conducive to learning while working to improve student behaviors and academics. Alternative school programs around the nation have been under extreme pressure to provide quality services and interventions for “at risk” youth and are often viewed as unsafe and poor quality schools for “bad kids.” Many people view the alternative school as a “dumping ground” rather than a second chance opportunity for an education. The alternative school offers an educational environment that addresses various students' deficiencies.

Additionally, the alternative school teaches the students to self advocate. They learn to advocate for themselves and to be proactive about their education. They are encouraged to use their voice to change their situations. Furthermore the alternative school emphasizes character education through Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits. Changing the student’s paradigm is a core focus and has become part of the school’s culture, creating a positive environment that follows them into the community. The main purpose of Mary Bethune is to reintegrate students back to their home school and community equipped with the tools they need to succeed.

Mary Bethune has expanded her program to address the needs of those students who need other educational options based on age, attendance issues, social and emotional factors, and/or family dynamics.

Community Partners:
NAACP Forrest County Branch, Kensington Woods Church of Christ, Trinity