Bentley Alternative Education was created in 1993 in the old Bentley Elementary Building on the corner of Summit and Hollister Streets. The program has evolved over the years from its beginnings with two teachers (Al Vicki and Dave Mazzotta), a secretary and a part time administrator to a program designed to serve around 50 students with 8 teachers, a school counselor, school psychologist, social worker, two paraprofessionals, two behavior technicians, a secretary and an administrator. The program has grown in order to offer the best support possible for our student body. The current student body is comprised of high school students. We craft individualized schedules to meet the goals of the students; this includes taking classes at MHS for those students seeking elective or academic classes not offered by our staff, or for those seeking to matriculate to MHS full-time.
Bentley has three counselors who work with students and their families to develop strong social skills, coping skills, and all of those skills and qualities that enable students to become successful.
Our counseling team works with parents and community providers to create support for each student to maximize their well being and personal growth.
At Bentley, we currently have three groups in place. Group counseling helps students develop communication skills and socialization skills, and allows students to learn how to express their issues and accept criticism from others. Group counseling also allows individuals to develop self-awareness by listening to others with similar issues.
Young Men’s Group- School Social Worker and Youth Services Bureau staff collaborate to run this weekly group specifically for young men. The focus of discussion in group is on meeting the challenges adolescents face in today’s world and understanding one’s place in that same world.
Girl’s Group- School Psychologist and School Counselor run this group for girls to have the opportunity to share their feelings and struggles as they openly discuss important issues in a safe and supportive environment. Some topics that are included are empowerment, self-awareness, coping strategies, problem-solving skills, relationships , and healthy decision making.
UCONN Group- UCONN undergraduate students work with our high school students to enhance their leadership skills and self-awareness. The group is celebrated with a fun day at UCONN.
Bentley uses a college and career readiness curriculum (envisionIT) to prepare the 21st century student. The envisionIT Curriculum is a 12 unit curriculum and course model for students in grades 6 - 12. The curriculum covers topics in: Information Technology Literacy, English Language Arts, College and Career Readiness, Financial Literacy, and Career Technical. At the end of the 12 units students create a Transition Portfolio (transition assessment results, career research, post-secondary goals).