Students who have been assessed as having a learning difficulty are placed on a modified grade program. Alberta Education mandates inclusive education; therefore students will spend the majority of their time in an inclusive setting for all their subjects. However, the work they are doing may not be the curriculum for that grade.
Small group and individualized instruction is coordinated with the availability of staff and programming opportunities. Educational Assistants may be assigned to assist the teacher and students in a particular class.
For some students, a “Life Skills” program is available. The purpose of our Life Skills program is to provide students with daily and practical life skills to easily navigate their social world. Many types of skills are required in today’s social environments. Surviving daily challenges and experiencing independence and success in everyday living is a goal for all students. Students with special needs, in particular, require extra help in focusing on learning these tasks. The homeroom teacher, in consultation with specialists/consultants and therapists, directs the Educational Assistants to help the students in developing and strengthening those skills that have been identified as most beneficial to help our students become independent in their homes, at school and in the community.
While skills such as reciting one’s own name and address may be quite elementary, The Life Skills program focuses on placing specific skills within the context of real life situations. Students are taught when they would reveal their name and address and identify why it is important to know who one’s doctor is and what medications he/she is taking. While this information may be obvious to most children, students in Life Skills, for whom this program is directed to, need the extra focus of understanding how to fit into the real world and how to develop those skills that they will need to become independent of their parents, home and/or protection of school. Our goal is to have students gain the freedom that their education counterparts are experiencing. We want them to become familiar with their community, know how to perform certain tasks on their own, and be able to enjoy leisure activities safely and thoroughly. These students need to focus on particular, targeted skills, with extra time and practice allotted for mastery of these skills.
Some of the activities that the Life Skills students participate in include:
- Practical Math (e.g., money, menu math, calculator use, calendar)
- Reading Milestone
- Basic computer skills
- Cooking and sewing
- Personal Hygiene
- Personalized physical education program
- Conflict resolution
- Shopping field trips
With the assistance of a Educational Assistant, Life Skills students are integrated into the regular classroom activities wherever possible (e.g., health classes, music, physical education, our options in Exploratories and co-curricular field trips).