"Alternative Learning Communities" were created in September 2005 to meet the demand for an alternative learning environment for 14-18 year old students. Since then, many students have graduated and made a successful transition from school to postsecondary studies or school to employment. We work towards a successful outcome for each of our students by focusing on “Hope, Opportunity, and Excellence”.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, … plans to give you a future with hopeJerimiah 29
In Christ-centered settings, these specialized programs take a holistic, multidisciplinary approach that focuses on students’ mental, physical, social/emotional and spiritual well-being. Each program meets the needs of students who benefit from the opportunity to refocus their efforts through a fresh start. LAUNCH (for 14-16 year olds) and CROSSROADS (for 16-17 year olds) provide platforms for students to work at their own pace towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. They take individualized approaches to student learning in recognition of the fact that students have different interest, needs and learning styles. Each program provides a safe and flexible learning environment with a focus on credit acquisition, the development of social/emotional competencies, and preparation for life after high school – whether postsecondary education or the workplace. They offer many opportunities for students to build on their strengths and develop the skills, attitudes and knowledge they need to succeed.
Each off-site alternative education program provides opportunities for students to meet all the graduation requirements. Primarily through an independent learning model, they offer a variety of compulsory and optional courses, “credit recovery” for previously failed courses, preparation for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) or the Literacy Course, and the chance to participate in Christian service activities. In addition, through cooperative education programs, career days and hands-on activities with community partners, they encourage students to discover and investigate postsecondary career and educational possibilities.
The success of our off-site alternative education programs can be attributed to many factors. Paramount amongst these is the team approach undertaken by a highly trained and dedicated staff that includes teachers, representatives from behaviour resource and psychological services, CYWs, and secretarial support. The team works as a Catholic Learning Community and is passionate about student success. They are committed to the goal of providing every student with “a successful outcome”.
Our sites offer students and parents something different from mainstream schooling. We believe that each student is imprinted with God’s image and is worthy of dignity and respect. We are a community rooted in Christ and committed to a model of discipleship that enhances the Christian formation of all members based on gospel values. We feature a small student population, a commitment to innovative and experimental programs. We offer Ministry of Education and Institute for Catholic Education (ICE) approved courses, that are delivered in a learning environment that is flexible and meets the needs of individual students.
Courses may be delivered through large group instruction, smaller cooperative groups, and Independent Learning Courses (ILC), which are provided by the Ministry of Education and incorporate appropriate provincial curriculum. Our various sites provide small, flexible and positive environments that support a diverse group of students in the development of life-long learning skills as they prepare for a successful future. We provide a nurturing environment for students who benefit from having staff know them individually.
In our programs, we provide learning opportunities and settings for students in Grades 9 to 12 who require an alternative environment. We facilitate the spiritual, academic, social and emotional development of each student. We provide a safe, caring environment, which fosters respect, responsibility, individuality, diversity and creativity. We teach students the skills required to be life-long learners, contributing members of the community and successful in school. Our staff models life-long learning, has expertise in differentiated instruction, and works cooperatively with parents and the community to support student success. The virtues and social skills necessary for a life of compassionate service and respect for others is nurtured and celebrated.
There are several programs listed under Alternative Learning Communities: Launch, Crossroads, Jerimiah's Place, Choices, and Salep.
The programs are designed for students "at risk" who, for various reasons, are unable to cope in a regular school setting. Students may be affected by any of the following factors:
The programs provide a structured, encouraging environment where students have the opportunity to:
Students are expected to:
Students are encouraged to relate more effectively with others by developing mutual understanding and cooperation and thus be able to deal effectively with their own feelings and rationally deal with conflicts in positive, productive ways.
The centres operate from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Visits outside operating hours are by appointment only.
Each student is provided with a timetable based on individual needs, following an interview with program staff.
Students are strongly encouraged to combine their efforts at the centre with part-time work.
Students are referred to the programs through their home school. Administration of the pending school will conduct the screening and submit a recommendation for admission to the program
Students must demonstrate a willingness to take responsibility for their behaviour and the changes that will be needed to be successful in this new setting.
They are asked to follow the policies and procedures set out for them in order to achieve success.
Students must demonstrate a commitment to participate in the regularly scheduled group or individual personal and social responsibility sessions.
They are required to attend their scheduled classes, be on time, stay on task and complete required assignments.
Students will strive towards returning to their home school successfully.
Students must abide by the same code of conduct and disciplinary procedures in effect at their home schools. They are also expected to:
Parents must ensure that their son or daughter attends classes regularly and on time. They must be willing to provide transportation to and from the centre if required.
Parents must monitor homework and assignment completion on a daily basis.
They must provide positive reinforcement and encouragement.