Gaining Occupational & Life Skills (GOALS)
GOALS is a district program, which is designed to provide students with the necessary skills that will allow them to live and work as an individual. Their educational experience provides opportunities for acquiring living and working skills as well as breaking down attitudes about students with handicaps. One of the most important goals of the program is to enhance the development of a positive self-concept. Students are integrated into the regular program in some levels. The prescribed curriculum is to be covered in a three to four year period.
The GOALS Program is individualized to support each student’s needs and maximize his or her strengths. School staff will work in partnership with students and families to ensure successful student-focused planning. Inclusive-minded programming focuses on students being engaged and connected to their school and community. Technology will be used as a tool to facilitate 21st Century learning and increase independence. GOALS is a springboard for each student to build the skill sets, opportunities and experiences he or she will need to be prepared for a successful transition into adult life.
To be inclusive, a school needs to identify the barriers within the school’s environment, teaching and learning strategies, attitudes, organization and management that prevent the full participation
of a GOALS Program.
Many inclusive schools have adopted four principles to guide them on their journey to inclusion:
- Children with learning difficulties belong and have the right to the support they need in ordinary classes.
- All children with and without impairments benefit from inclusion, which is an important component of a quality education.
- All children have a right to an education that will prepare them for life in the community.
- The kinds of teaching and learning which are good for inclusion are good for all children.
While the words disability and disabled are rife with negative connotations, the chart below provides an illustration of our direction. We are envisaging a focus on being sure we are directing our efforts to move to ‘Inclusion’ from an ‘Integrative’ environment.
Knowledge and Employability (K&E)
Since inclusive-minded programming focuses on students maximizing their strengths, quite often the Dash 4 route may become an option. Some students may be capable of earning a High School Certificate of Achievement. These courses are designed for students who learn best through experiences that integrate employability skills into career contexts. They provide students opportunities to enter the workforce immediately upon completion of high school, with the training they receive in occupational courses, or to continue their education. Students earn a Certificate of Achievement after successful completion of the required courses. Students can also enter into RAP or Work Experience for further training in preparation for specific employment opportunites, or they can challenge an additional six courses and complete their Alberta High School Diploma.
Transitional Recommended Year (TRY 10)
The TRY 10 Program is for students who require academic support, need extra one-on-one help from their teachers (i.e. organizational and time management strategies), and have an overall academic need (not just one subject area). Students will be accepted into the program based upon referral from their junior high teachers/counsellor. TRY 10 will be offered subject to sufficient enrolment. TRY 10 will involve students being placed in a cohort group for their Grade 10 year. They will travel as a cohort to their core classes throughout the year. These classes include English Language Arts 10-2, Social Studies 10-2, Science 14, and Math 10-3. They will be able to choose their own options, but may be limited in their selection based on the restrictions of their core course placements. We are attempt to create smaller class sizes for the program, in order to best support learner needs.