The focus is on moving the student forward from where they are socially, emotionally, behaviourally, and academically.
The order of these four components is significant in that without addressing the first two there is little success addressing academic needs. The approach used involves students staying with one or two teachers for their entire day.
- There is a focus on social responsibility and social skill development
- Belief that all behaviour has meaning and that children and youth do well if they can
- Smaller class sizes and high adult: student ratio
- Child and Youth Care Worker, Drug and Alcohol Counselor, & PLEA worker (for youth currently on probation)
- High degree of parent/guardian participation
- Parenting/guardian workshops
- Individualized programming (e.g., modified, adapted) and integrated, project-based high interest curriculum
- Work experience/trades training opportunities
The Connex program enrolls students whose behaviour is under controlled or over controlled. Students whose behaviour is under controlled suffer from impulsivity, bullying, intimidation, defiance, or anger management difficulties, for example. Students whose behaviour is over controlled suffer from anxiety, depression, or phobias, for example.
Students may also attend the Connex Program when the school district has insufficient information in relation to programming needs, and the student requires assessment, diagnostic teaching, and intervention development. These services will be provided until there is sufficient information to assist with the transition to a long-term program.
Student entry into the program generally occurs between the ages of 12 and 15 years. Older and younger students are considered on an individual basis. Most students are on an individualized program and so they may or may not be working at grade level.
The Ministry of Education has established guidelines for providing support and intervention to students who experience behaviour and mental health difficulties (Special Education Services: A Manual of Policies, Procedures and Guidelines).
Referral to the Connex Program should be made only after these school-based services have been exhausted. Students being considered for the Connex Program have been referred to the school-based team and have an IEP in place. District personnel (e.g., school psychologist, Student Support Services facilitator) have been involved and the student has a BC Ministry of Education designation.
The student’s home school makes the referral. The referral should be sent to the principal of Alternate Education. Consult with the principal of Alternate Education, or a school psychologist or district facilitator if you are unsure whether the referral would be appropriate.
The district screening committee makes placement decisions. This committee consists of school district staff, as well as community personnel as appropriate.
Arthur Peake Centre, 23125 – 116th Avenue, Maple Ridge, BC.
The Connex program is a half-day program. Students attend as much as they are able (i.e., some students attend from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. for five days/week, whereas others attend for 2 hours/week or less). Students are screened for program entry every 2 to 4 weeks depending upon enrollment.
When a student’s emotional status makes it impossible for them to attend the Connex Program, a teacher and/or child and youth care worker meets with students at their home or at some other non-traditional location.