John Chisholm Alternate School - history and background In operation for many years and has had many transformations – Originally a school for students with intensive needs – Morphed into a high school for those who struggled in regular setting or were unwelcome in regular setting – Students used to be able to graduate from JC
Spring of 2008 a review of the needs of the program was conducted including all stakeholders – Staff at JC, staff at high schools and elementary schools, students, parents, city police, mental health, public health, justice/corrections and public safety, social services.
Results? Program goals: – 1. to provide a range of options (layers of supports) that provide students with what they need to be successful – 2. provide high quality learning opportunities for development of the whole person – 3. provide opportunities for positive relationships with adults and peers
Structural Changes Occurred JC became a school under the umbrella of RVCI – Principal at Riverview Collegiate Institute (RVCI) – Vice Principal at JC – Total FTE at JC is 6.0 – This allowed for sharing of more resources – staffing, shops, materials, programming (students could take regular high school classes at RVCI while receiving the needed supports from JC)
Development of Outreach Outreach consultant hired – Full time, teacher, with masters in related field (psychology) Purpose was to try to push the kids back into their regular school – Find them earlier – middle years or sooner – Put supports and interventions in place at home school
Outreach Staff – 2.0 FTE JC teachers began to work in regular classrooms – Referral was made to JC from an elementary school – Rather than pull the student out, the JC Outreach teachers go in – Teach the class so that the teacher can build a relationship with student – Spend 1-1 time with student at the school – direct and indirect support – Involve the student in some of the Outreach Activities organized by JC
Creative Outreach Activities Meant to build on interests and skills that youth have Not a punishment/reward system Constant coaching taking place during outreach Mastery, independence, belonging and generosity are all filled through Outreach
Other Activities Canoe building Archery Art Bike reconstruction Various shop activities –small motors, woodworking, model building Paddle making Shovelling walks Fitness activities – hiking, canoeing, walking
AND THANKS Don for arranging and allowing this to occur—canoeing this spring, transition to HS and Worms taking John to AEP every day 5 PM for shop, etc, etc, etc. I may not say it enough to folks in yours, Worms, and Krista’s positions with JC/Outreach, BUT I sure appreciate it as an elementary-in-school- admin…..
Hello Mike, We spoke very briefly on the phone the other day, thanks for straightening everything out where BOB needed to be! We’ve never had the opportunity to meet, but I just wanted to give out a big thank you for working with BOB this past year, as well as the great report that you sent in. It was probably the highlight of the year (and previous years) as far as giving him praise & highlighting his strong areas, this is not the norm with most other report cards, so it felt really great (and for BOB too)J BOB is definitely a unique intelligent individual, I can’t tell you how glad I am that he got to spend some “school time” doing work that he loves, in a positive stress fee environment, it really seemed to bring out the best in him. Keep up the good work! BOB seemed to relate to you very well & had great things to say, his time there seems to have truly made a difference. Have a great summer Sherri – BOB’s Mom
Home School Responsibilities To understand and support the need for the outreach programming To realize its not a reward or punishment system To continue to accept and love all of the children in their schools! To continue to try to build the capacity within their own schools to fill the Circle.
Students Who `Stay` Each year there are about 10 students whose home is JC Many become the extension of the VPs arm – Significant behaviors that are too risky to have in regular building – Extensive team involvement – Justice, Police, Mental Health, Social Services, Addictions, John Howard etc. – Always with the goal of re-integration!
Students Who ‘Visit’ Usually established as a 6 week plan – The sending/home school remains responsible for sending work, marking, reporting etc – Sending school remains responsible for PPP – Student and team establish a goal for attendance, behavior, health, safety to be accomplished in the 6 weeks. – Regular reviews that are lead by the home school team
Referral Stats from 2011-2012 52 students referred and arrived Non compliance – 5 Non compliance and attendance – 7 Attendance - 40
Where are they now? Not attending anywhere – 17 (hanging around but not enough to be considered attending) At JC as of June 28 – 16 (many will transition back in September to home school Back at home school – 6 (transitioned back during the year) In custody – 4 Working – 2 Other divisions – 7
JC is still a ‘school’ Students can still achieve credit for their courses. Course recovery often takes place at JC. Responsible for creating a Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) as a ministry requirement. Responsible for having a School Community Council (SCC) as a ministry requirement. Has a decentralized budget for supplies, materials, PD etc. (supplemented by their very generous superintendent)
General Results from the Shift to Push In vs Pull Out Model Average age of JC student has decreased – far more middle years students now. Schools are beginning to realize their responsibility for ALL students. Administrators are beginning to find their own creative outreach opportunities.
What Next? Each year the focus has shifted in an attempt to respond to the needs of students and schools – attendance issue has to be tackled! Continue to help teachers and admin understand the value of keeping challenging students in their building – long term goal of filling the circle and the payoff to society Continue to find unique ways to meet the needs of our most vulnerable students.