Administrative Procedure 216

AP 216 - Outreach Programs

Background

An outreach program provides an educational alternative for students who, due to individual circumstances, find that the traditional school setting does not meet their needs. The program allows students to access resources that improve their ability to succeed academically and socially. A flexible approach is taken to teaching and learning in recognition of individual student needs.

The division will establish Outreach programs, where practical, to meet the needs of students with unique educational, social and psychological concerns. These programs will provide an alternate educational delivery system to students who are at risk of non-completion in the traditional educational settings and will provide this service using the following procedures.

Procedures

  1. Target Population
    Outreach programs in the division are intended to meet the needs of students who exhibit one (1) or more of the following characteristics:
    - Do not function well in a traditional school setting;
    - Prefer to enroll in courses which are provided through an outreach delivery model;
    - Have dropped out of school or are currently at risk of dropping out of school;
    - Have health problems or extenuating family circumstances which preclude regular school attendance;
    - Are unable to meet regular school class times due to employment or personal commitments;
    - Wish to enroll in a low enrolment course that may not be offered in a regular school setting;
    - Need only a small number of courses or credits to graduate;
    - Wish to accelerate their high school program; or
    - Are able to work independently.
  2. Admission
    1. High school students who are nineteen (19) years or younger as of September 1st in the current school year are eligible to enroll in an outreach school.
    2. To ensure that appropriate programming is available, each student seeking admission will be interviewed and assessed by the staff of the outreach school, with placement contingent on that assessment. As with all student placements, decisions are subject to appeal by the parent/guardian or independent student, pursuant to Policy 13 – Appeals and Hearings Regarding Student Matters.
    3. Referrals to an outreach school may be made by the staff of division schools, the Associate Superintendent (Education Services), partner agencies, parents or guardians, or an independent student. All approvals for placement arising through such referrals will be subject to consultation with those parties.
  3. Attendance
    1. An outreach school is an open facility with flexible attendance possibilities for students. Hours of operation will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, with additional hours extended from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at least one (1) day per week. A certificated teacher will be in attendance at all times.
    2. In consultation with the staff of an outreach school, students will be expected to establish a timetable for their attendance at the school. Staff will encourage and support regular attendance, maintaining a record for each student. Each student, however, will be expected to be responsible for adhering to his or her own timetable.
    3. Where attendance is required by probation order, attendance will be closely monitored and reported to the appropriate agency. Again, it is the responsibility of the student to adhere to attendance requirements imposed by outside authorities.
    4. Full-time attendance will be the exception rather than the rule. When parents place an expectation that their children attend on a full-time basis, the onus is placed on the student and the parent for that to occur. The staff of the outreach school will monitor and assist as necessary but cannot accept total responsibility for ensuring students are in school.
    5. It is the responsibility of the student and/or the parent/guardian to keep the staff of an outreach school informed of continuing attendance at the school. Unexplained absences for a period of fifteen (15) or more school days could result in a removal of the individual as a registered student.
  4. Student Resources and Materials
    1. Student resources and materials consist of technology-based course software designed to allow students to proceed at their own rate. In addition, where appropriate, students will have access to distance learning courses available through Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC) or Palliser's own online school.
    2. In addition to academic programming, students will be provided with additional on-site services designed to enhance opportunities for educational success and positive personal development. Examples of such services would include personal and career counselling, study skill development and training in conflict resolution and anger management.
    3. The outreach school shall offer programs and courses approved by Alberta Education, as well as locally developed courses approved by the Superintendent.
    4. Students shall have access to the number of instructional hours as specified in Alberta Education’s Guide to Education.
    5. Students shall have access to instructional materials that follow Alberta Education’s Program of Studies.
  5. Student Performance
    1. While courses are designed to allow students to progress at their own rate, expectations that students will successfully complete courses in an appropriate timeframe will be no less than expectations for course completion present in traditional schools.
    2. An appropriate completion rate for courses will be somewhat dependent on student circumstances and, therefore, negotiable with school staff and the parent/guardian at the beginning of the school year or following registration. Generally, however, senior high school students will be expected to successfully complete a minimum of ten (10) credits each semester.
    3. School staff members are available for instruction and assistance to students at all times during the school day.
    4. Students enrolled at an outreach school but who fail to meet completion schedules in their academic program may be placed on a probationary status. Such probation will require a specified amount of coursework to be completed by a time certain, as determined through consultation involving the student, the staff and the parent/guardian. Failure to meet probationary standards may result in the student being removed as a registered student at an outreach school.
    5. Students will be provided with ongoing evaluation of academic performance via course software or by markers for courses taken through the Alberta Distance Learning Centre.
    6. All students enrolled in senior high school courses having diploma examinations will be required to write those examinations at the provincially scheduled times in order to complete the course.
    7. All senior high school courses offered at an outreach school are eligible for credit, with those credits transferable to any other high school in Alberta. Credits for courses successfully completed will be forwarded to Alberta Education and recorded on the student’s official transcript. 
  6. Responsibilities of the Outreach School Principal
    1. Drafting an annual budget to provide for the financial stability of the program;
    2. Developing and articulating a process to accept students into the outreach school in consultation with the Associate Superintendent (Education Services);
    3. Ensuring that students are properly identified and possibly re-integrated into a regular school;
    4. Assisting with proper grade placement of students for the outreach school;
    5. Implementing Standards for Special Education, amended June 2004, for each student with identified special education needs;
    6. Ensuring that appropriate resources are available for students;
    7. Monitoring the evaluation of students, teachers and programs in the outreach school;
    8. Providing leadership and professional development for teachers, teaching assistants and student support workers.
    9. Other duties as assigned by the Superintendent.

References

School Act, Section 8, 21, 39, 61
Policy 1.1.4, Outreach Programs
Guide to Education, ECS to Grade 12
Standards for Special Education, amended June 2004