Administrative Procedure 220

ALTERNATE LEARNING PROGRAMS

Background

The Division shall administer alternate learning programs through the Westwind Alternate School. These programs shall include but are not limited to, Home Education (code 600), Personalized Education Programs (code 620) and Outreach Programs (code 630). Cooperation and collaboration between the administration and staff of the Alternate School and resident schools is essential for the success of these programs.

Definitions

A Joint Programming Option is created when students are concurrently taking courses at a resident school and in the PEP or Outreach Programs at Westwind Alternate School.

Home Education (code 600) refers to the traditional concept of “home school” where parent(s) choose and direct the learning program for a student(s) and for which limited funding is provided. These programs are governed by the Alberta Education Home Education Regulation.

Outreach Program (code 630) refers to a program of basic education for high school-aged students who find that regular school programs and services do not meet their needs. To encourage these students to continue and complete their education, Alberta Education provides funding for outreach programs.

Online Learning Program (code 620) is a structured learning environment in which students engage with their teachers in online courses in an educational program that meets the outcomes of the Alberta Education Programs of Study. The majority of instruction and assessment takes place over the internet and where Alberta certificated teachers employed by a school authority are responsible for instruction. Online Learning Programs are administered through Westwind Alternate School through a ‘Personalized Education Program’ (PEP) and offered in conjunction with the Alberta Distance Learning Center (ADLC)

Print-based Distance Learning (code 620) is an educational program that meets the outcomes of the Alberta Education Programs of Study where the majority of instruction and assessment takes place through print-based resources, and where there is generally a separation of student and teacher in time and space. Certificated teachers employed by Westwind are responsible for the delivery or supervision of the instruction. At Westwind Alternate School this is the main program for students in grades 1 - 9 and is administered in the ‘Personalized Education Program’ (PEP).

Personalized Education Program (PEP) (code 620) is a teacher-directed, print-based distance learning instructional option that meets the outcomes of the Alberta Education Programs of Study through online or print-based distance learning programs as described above.

Resident school is the school within the Division where a student would normally be registered based on geographical school boundaries.

ADLC refers to Alberta Distance Learning Centre

Procedures

  1. Alternate Learning Programs
    1. The Principal of the Westwind Alternate School shall be responsible for administering alternate learning programs throughout the Division.
    2. Students whose parents choose a Home Education Program, an Outreach Program or a Personalized Education Program will be enrolled in the Westwind Alternate School (Code 600/620/630).
    3. The Westwind Alternate School shall provide specialized/individualized programs for students as directed by the Superintendent.
      1. These may include ADLC courses that are offered via a joint programming option by resident schools and the Westwind Alternate School.
    4. The Principal of the Westwind Alternate School shall seek Board approval for any and all alternative curriculum resources not officially approved for use by Alberta Education. The Principal and the Superintendent shall ensure that adequate budget and staffing is provided for the alternate programs offered.


  2. Home Education (Code 600)

    The Division recognizes a parent’s right under the School Act to choose a Home Education Program (code 600). This will be accomplished through compliance with the Alberta Education Home Education Regulation.

    1. Eligibility
      1. Before approving any application for Home Education, the Principal shall make every effort to accommodate the educational needs of the student with the resident school or the Personalized Education Program (PEP) at the Westwind Alternate School. Home Education students will be registered in the Westwind Alternate School. Home Education students will not generally have access to regular instruction or activities provided by the Westwind Alternate School or Division resident schools. Any limited exceptions will be at the discretion of the school Principal.
      2. Home Education Programs will not be offered to non-resident students without the approval of the Superintendent.
      3. A parent wishing to home educate their child must notify the Division or Westwind Alternate School of their intent to home educate and request that the Division via Westwind Alternate School supervise the home education program. Notification of intent to home educate can be made at any time during the school year.

    2. Funding
      1. Funding available to the parent(s) shall be one-half (1/2) of the per student home education grant.
      2. Requests for funding shall be made through the Westwind Alternate School and shall require the approval of the Principal.
      3. Funding approval will be based on the Westwind Alternate School Funding Guidelines.
        1. Home Education expenditures support the program plan submitted as per the Alberta Education Home Education Regulation. Westwind Alternate School will reimburse parents for approved educational expenditures to a maximum amount of one-half (1/2) of the per student home education grant.
        2. All requests for funding reimbursement must be received by May 1 of each year.


    3. Resources
      1. All resource materials, with the exception of worksheets and other consumables, shall be the property of the Division and shall be returned to Westwind Alternate School when they are no longer needed.

    4. Performance and Evaluation
      1. A certificated teacher will approve the student education plan and schedule two (2) in-home visits per year to ensure that the education plan is being followed in accordance with the Alberta Education Home Education Regulation and to review the student’s portfolio and provide a written report of the student’s progress.
      2. A parent who intends to provide a home education program must develop the program in accordance with the Alberta Home Education Regulation.
        1. If the parent develops a program that does not follow the Alberta Program of Studies, the parent must certify that the program is consistent with the student learning outcomes listed in the schedule in the Alberta Home Education Regulation.
        2. Parent(s) must complete and sign the Home Education Notification Form.
      3. Home Education students are encouraged to participate in the Alberta Provincial Achievement Testing Program for grades six and nine.
      4. If Westwind Alternate School terminates a home education program, it is responsible for the student’s education program for the remainder of the school year and will ensure that the student has access to an education program for the remainder of the school year.
      5. If a student is recorded as having demonstrated that he/she has not met acceptable provincial standards, the Division shall assess the student to determine the student’s level of achievement in the core subjects of language arts, mathematics, social studies and science.


  3. Outreach Programs (Code 630)

    Outreach Programs provide 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. Diverse, flexible and innovative approaches are taken to teaching, learning and assessing in recognition of individual student needs. The division supports the operation of Outreach Program(s) to be administered through the Westwind Alternate School.

    1. Eligibility
      1. High school Students who have been opted out of the regular school environment during the school year shall be enrolled in the Westwind Alternate School Outreach Program (Code 630).
      2. Outreach Programs will focus on and serve the needs of students aged fifteen to nineteen (15 to 19) years who are enrolled in grades 10 - 12, and, when appropriate, accommodate students aged twelve to fourteen (12 to 14) years who are enrolled in grades 7 - 9.
      3. Programs will focus on those students who due to individual circumstances, find that the traditional school setting does not meet their needs. These students may include at-risk students, students who have opted out or have been opted out of traditional school settings, teenage parents, expectant teens, students with unique medical, health or socio-emotional challenges, working students and others with unique needs, schedules, or learning styles.
      4. When determining eligibility, the best interests of the individual student will be the deciding factor, however consideration will also be determined by best practices with respect to the necessity of inclusive, safe and caring educational environments for all students at division schools.
      5. Students may enroll, or may be enrolled, in a Joint Programming Option where courses are taken from Westwind's alternative education provider and a Resident School and/or ADLC.
    2. Attendance
      1. Outreach programs have clear attendance expectations, defined in terms of both progress rates and contact frequency (e.g. physical attendance).
    3. Program
      1. Outreach academic programs are focused on helping students complete courses sufficient to meeting qualifications for any of the following: An Alberta High School Diploma, a Certificate of High School Achievement, a High School Equivalency Diploma or a Certificate of School completion.
      2. The Outreach program also provides students with educational supports and services as well as various enhanced learning opportunities, often geared towards student well being and the encouragement of the pursuit of life-long learning. Examples of these services may include: personal and career counseling, conflict resolution, time management, anger management training, study skills, functional life skills, addictions counselling, Artist In Residence mentoring, and Outdoor adventure and situational learning opportunities.
      3. Instructional options may include Print-based distance education format courses (modules) and/or online courses in association with the Alberta Distance Learning Center (ADLC).
      4. Individual programs will be based on an assessment of individual student needs and created in consultation with the student and his/her parents.
      5. Students, in consultation with teachers and/or the Principal, will have the primary responsibility to develop and implement their own individual program.
    4. Performance and Evaluation
      1. Students are expected to meet standards of performance consistent with those established by Alberta Education.
      2. The pace of student learning and performance goals will be set by each individual student in consultation with teachers and/or the Principal, consistent with a determination of the student's current potential or ability. For most students, the minimum acceptable progress rate is one academic course per semester.
      3. Students will be evaluated on a regular basis using appropriate assessment strategies, including rapid formative assessment, alternative test formats, and assessment for learning strategies.
      4. If, after significant teacher instruction and appropriate response and intervention practices, the student is not experiencing success in an outreach program, the student’s program will be reviewed and adjusted or discontinued.


  4. Personalized Education Program (PEP) (code 620)

    1. Eligibility
      1. Applications for Print-based Distance Education courses and Online Learning Program be made through the Principal, Westwind Alternate School.
    2. Program
      1. The Division supports those students endeavouring to further their educational opportunities through Print-based Distance Education courses and Online Learning Program courses, which are administered within the ‘Personalized Education Program’ (PEP)
      2. Westwind Alternate School may at any time if so determined by the Principal, create and offer/deliver its own Online Learning program.
      3. The Principal of the Westwind Alternate School shall seek Board approval for any and all alternative curriculum resources which have not been officially approved by Alberta Education.
      4. Certificated teachers employed by Westwind are responsible for the delivery or supervision of the instruction. At Westwind Alternate School this is the main program for students in grades 1 - 9 and is administered via a number of different instructional options.
      5. Program resources, including financial resources, may be allocated on a 'per student program' basis at the Principal's discretion. Funding approval will be based on the Westwind Alternate School Funding Guidelines

    3. Performance and Evaluation
      1. Students registered in the Personalized Education Program are expected to write Provincial Achievement Tests for the core subjects and are given the same opportunity and necessary supports to write these provincial assessments as students in a classroom-based setting.
    4. Fees
      1. If a parent enrolls a student in an alternative program, the board may charge that parent fees for the purpose of defraying all or a portion of any non-instructional costs that
        1. may be incurred by the board in offering the alternative program, and
        2. are in addition to the costs incurred by the board in providing its regular education program.
        3. Any such costs/fees will be determined by the Principal.
        4. The fee is payable to the school in advance, by direct deposit, cash, money order or certified cheque.
        5. Any such fees will be enumerated and submitted to the Minister of Education for approval annually and such information provided prior to enrollment in a course or program.

Reference

Section 3,11,13,18,19,33,52,53,196,197,222 Education Act

Home Education Regulation 126/99

Guide to Education ECS to Grade 12

Alternative Program Handbook

Home Education Handbook

Outreach Programs Handbook

Vital Statistics ActOutreach Programs Handbook

 

Approved: November 4, 1995

Amended: June 6, 2007, August 21, 2018; October 2019