Cherry Hill Alternative High School
Cherry Hill, NJ
Cherry Hill Public Schools

The Cherry Hill Alternative High School is a replacement program for at-promise students in grades 9 – 12. Our students are intelligent, caring, compassionate children, who have failed to thrive in our larger comprehensive high schools. Our students have unlimited potential and are destined for success, although many of them do not recognize it yet. Our staff work together closely in an interdisciplinary team setting to ensure that our programming, curriculum, and character development are seamlessly aligned. We work diligently to provide academic and emotional support, in order to create a conducive learning environment where students feel empowered to be risk-takers.

Our approach to character development comes from a visioning activity that the staff participated in during the spring of 2008. This collaborative work indicated that our mission should be to prepare our learners for the next phase of their lives by focusing on transition planning, academic rigor, character development, and career exploration. In regard to character development, the charge became respect, responsibility, and citizenship.
Lickona and Davidson (2005), espouse that “character is the pathway to excellence and ethics” and we have attempted to embody this by creating a school that ensures that all students are known, feel safe, and have a voice. To that end, we provide opportunities for theoretical character to be applied to real world situations through authentic learning experiences.


The greatest change in our program has been the daily application of character goals. We started with monthly service learning but it didn't stick with our students. There was no reflection. Now character education is woven into every fiber of our school, from daily lessons to spontaneous teachable moments. Our students cannot escape our values. The student body has moved from obligatory cooperation, to tolerance, and now a synergetic climate of respect, responsibility, and citizenship.
- Lauren Arno, Art Teacher

We encourage and document students modeling good moral character. We provide student volunteer opportunities to give back to their community: assist with hands-on activities at the preschool, rake leaves at a cemetery, help residents at assisted living, assist at local food bank, charitable collections. We adopted the Nurtured Heart Approach to help students find their inner wealth by disowning students' negative behavior and praising their rebound from it.
- Phyllis Burke, Educational Assistant

What I like most about my school is that you can get the help you need. What I mean is that the classroom sizes are the right amount of students so that the teacher is able to accommodate to your specific needs and help you one to one in class. Not only do you get the specific help you need but you get to learn new things through the service trips that we do. On service trips you get to learn things like how to work with children, how to teach lessons to kids and so much more!
- James Grade 10

My son was very apprehensive about entering into the program but from the day we went to visit the school all worries had washed away. We were hanging by a thread and about to lose hope for Evan. He went from being deep in a hole academically and emotionally with no hope. Now he has been on the Honor Roll twice and has a constant smile on his face and in his soul. I thought I had lost my son but the HOME he has found in Malberg and Wrap-Around has given us a bright outlook for Evan's future.
- Gary Allbee (father)

It is my pleasure to write a testimonial for the Alternative High School as a School of Character. Over the past several years, we partnered to develop a number of innovative and successful programs, emphasizing and reemphasizing community service. I am repeatedly impressed. It has been a pleasure to participate in the climate of service that continues to thrive. The students are the next generation to care for the world. Their enthusiasm and character development are a wonder to behold.
- Helen J. Weinheimer Rotary International

Contact Information

Dr. Neil Burti
45 Ranoldo Terrace
Cherry Hill, 08034
Phone: 856.429.5600