Offered at Argyle, Carson Graham, Handsworth, Seycove, Sutherland, and Windsor Secondary Schools, the Choices Program is designed to support students with social/emotional and behavioural issues. Students receive assistance in recognizing and overcoming challenges that have caused barriers to their learning and have the opportunity to remain connected with, and belong to, their local school community.
Students who are involved in the program may come to the Choices classroom for support in connection with a regularly scheduled class, may work on adapted curriculum in a specific Choices block, or simply touch base with the Choices team outside of their regular schedule. Key to Choices is the partnership with regular classroom teachers, grade counsellors, School District counsellors, Choices staff, parents and community partners who collaborate, create, and maintain a program of personalized, individual support for students.
Choices provides secondary school-based support for at-risk youth across the North Vancouver School District. In this way, students with social, emotional, and behavioural challenges who struggle in a traditional school setting receive the additional support they need to learn and develop a sense of place within their local school community.
Features and Benefits of the Choices Program
- Provides on site behavioural support program for students to be able to maintain attendance at their local secondary school
- Offers personalized, flexible support to meet individual social/emotional and behavioural issues
- Provides students with access to the wide range of elective and extra-curricular opportunities available at a mainstream secondary school
- Allows for wider peer group connections within a student's local secondary school environment
- Supports at-risk youth by utilizing the skills and expertise of classroom teachers, grade counsellors, District counsellors, Choices staff, parents, and community agencies.
Eligibility Criteria/Referral Procedures
The Choices Program is for students who have been identified through the School-Based Resource Team process. Identified students have ongoing social/emotional/behavioural issues that are interfering with their attendance and academic progress. They may have a formal special education behaviour designation, but this is not a requirement for referral.
The Choices Handbook provides more information. If you would like to learn more about Choices, please contact:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Choices and an alternate school?
An alternate school provides not only specific, personalized support but also a small school environment, an increased teacher to student ratio, increased flexibility in scheduling, and more intense on-site community supports.
Because many student with social/emotional/behavioural issues can be supported in their mainstream school, only students who have first exhausted the supports available through Choices are eligible to be recommended for alternate placement. These students would be referred by the School-Based Resource Team (SBRT) to the District Resource Team (DRT).
How is Choices designed to provide the varying levels of support that individual students might need?
Choices is structured around three tiers of support. Students may be placed in one of three tiers and move between them based on the level of support required at a specific time, as determined by the Choices team.
Students in Tier 1 need a supportive connection to adults who have the ability to track their academic progress, attendance, and behaviour, and step in when needed. Tier 1 has a focus on relationship building.
Students in Tier 2 require further supports. These students are given the flexibility to come to the Choices room during class time for academic and emotional support, a change in environment, and counselling when needed.
Students in Tier 3 require the highest level of support. They are removed from classes that may be particularly problematic for them and receive curriculum support/adaptations in the Choices classroom. Working with the Choices team, they may also be focusing on behaviour challenges, improving self- esteem, and developing self-advocacy and leadership skills.
Is Choices a permanent placement?
No. Choices is not intended as a permanent placement. The goal is to maintain existing relationships and connections to academic and elective classes, sports, and other extra-curricular activities that are working for the student, and, if possible, provide the student with the skills they need to reintegrate back fully into the mainstream school. Other students may require a change to the approach of their support; the options available for this are facilitated by the School-Based Resource Team and District Resource Team.