Senior Vocational Education gives support to students who demonstrate mild cognitive disabilities and significant academic delays. Programming emphasizes development of literacy and numeracy skills, and the application of important academic, social, work and life skills in the classroom, school and community. It has a large component of small business ventures and work experience – designed to facilitate independence post-graduation.
Students in the Senior Vocational Education program are those who experience significant difficulty in a regular classroom due to any or all of the following: poor adaptive functioning and/or social skills, behavior and/or emotional needs, and significant academic delays. Appropriate documentation and testing is required before finalizing placement. Students most often meet Alberta Education eligibility criteria for severe disabilities. Registration and referrals into the program may be completed by the child’s school learning team and parents, but must be approved by the Deputy Superintendent – Inclusive Education.
Students participate in programming to gain functional skills that enhance their quality of life. The teacher provides a consistent instructional program monitored by individual goals, set to increase each student’s development in six functional domains: life skills, language arts, math concepts, social skills, physical activity and vocational skills. Activities in these domains may include self-care/functional life skills (cooking, cleaning, shopping, and laundry), functional academics (reading and math groups, computer skills), social development (role plays, leisure skills, and social stories), physical activity (swim program, weight/cardio training, recreational sports), and vocational skills (resume preparation, small businesses, and work experience). Students are also integrated into mainstream option classes for one block per day which includes: art, cooking, wood-working, photography, gym, music, drama and cosmetology.
Parent communication is an integral part of the program. Daily home-school communication procedures are set up with the teacher via Daily Journal/Agenda. Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in all aspects of their child’s program. Team Meetings are held 3-4 times per year to review jointly planned goals that are presented in a Program Report Card. An Individual Support Plan (ISP) is developed to identify key strategies that are being used in school and possibly at home to further the child’s development. Transportation is set up with the family based on the family and child’s needs. Referrals to outside support services such as Inclusive Learning Outreach, Wood Buffalo Student Health Initiative Program (WBSHIP), or private services are made based on individual needs, and determined at team meetings. Families are supported in transitioning their children to adult services by connecting them with Keyano College, Persons With Development Disabilities (PDD) and other community supports as needed.
The Senior Vocational Education Program provides a family of supports for students and parents. The goal of this program is to help students achieve the highest degree of independence possible given their individual strengths/abilities and provide the necessary tools and supports to do so. Vocational Education fosters respect, compassion, perseverance and integrity in school, home and community – it is our philosophy as Catholics to value each person as God’s image and welcome all members of our community. We respect each person’s unique needs, strengths and path of development. The Spirit of Christ makes this a positive learning environment.