Consultation around student needs and a clarity of purpose will be taking place to determine the path for any changes to the Salmon Arm Storefront program and the possible establishment of an alternate program to serve secondary school students across the district.
Director of Instruction Carol-Ann Leidloff explained to trustees that initally it was considered to reduce Salmon Arm by one full time equivalent (FTE) teacher and assign that FTE to Pleasant Valley Secondary to establish an alternate program to service students in Armstrong and Enderby. “However, after discussion with staff and principals, we have decided to slow our process down and move into consultation process.”
She said they will gather information from other successful programs around the province, take the ideas and adapt the pieces that work to create a made in SD83 solution.
Locally they will look at student needs, space requirements and other considerations, allowing more time to plan and successfully implement the proposed changes, probably in September 2020.
She added historically the school district has had a number of different types of alternate education programming, and at one point every community had an alternate education program attached to their secondary school.
These programs were collapsed and Inclusive Support Programs (ISPs) emerged, which primarily supports students within regular classroom settings with some specific support and skill development in a separate classroom area for students as needed. There are also programs at Salmon Arm Storefront, the Teen House and after school support programs at Eagle River and Pleasant Valley secondary schools.
The Salmon Arm Storefront School currently enrolls 43 students in Grades 11 and 12 from Salmon Arm. “While Enderby and Armstrong have ISPs that support students from Kindergarten to Grade 8, there are few academic and behaviour supports available for our students in Grades 9-12, whose needs are not able to be met effectively within the regular school program.”
She also noted that in a recent enrollment audit, the Chief Auditor expressed concern about the lack of robust programming and enhanced services provided for students enrolled in the Storefront School. “Students have limited hours in which they are able to attend (two hours/day) which impedes their ability to successfully fulfill the requirements for graduation in a timely manner.