In the fall of 1994, superintendents from five school districts (Burlington, East Troy, Union Grove, Waterford, and Westosha) met to talk about developing an alternative high school for students who were having problems in a traditional high school. Each superintendent indicated that he had students in his high school who met this need.
In the summer of 1995, representatives from all five schools met to develop the framework for the alternative high school. These representatives brainstormed ways to best meet the needs of students. Many topics were discussed, and after thirty hours a foundation was set for the Southern Lakes Consortium Alternative High School. Their recommendation was that the school should open in January 1996.
The superintendents and representatives then met at the end of that summer to finalize plans. It was agreed to have the alternative high school open in January 1996 with an enrollment of twenty-four students. A personnel committee was established to select a lead teacher and two assistants. A staff was hired and the school officially opened on January 19, 1996.
During the second year of operation, the program expanded to thirty-six available slots for students from the five consortium districts. The first graduation was held in May 1997 at the St. Francis Friary and Retreat Center. Ten students received diplomas from SLCAHS. The second graduating class in May 1998 included eight students.
In the spring and summer of 1998, a group of administrators from the consortium districts worked with the SLCAHS staff to restructure the program in order to better meet students’ academic needs and prepare them for the workforce. A new teaching staff was hired in the summer of 1998 to begin implementing the program changes. In May of 1999 seven more students received diplomas from SLCAHS and in June 2000, there were 16 graduates. In the fall of 2000, SLCAHS moved into its own building and increased enrollment to 50 students. In May of 2001, there were 13 SLCAHS graduates; and in June of 2002, 23 students received their diplomas. In June of 2003 9 students graduated from SLCAHS.