Connex (SD42 Alternate)

The Connex Program is a part-time transitional program for students 12-19 years old who have been out of school or are at risk of being out of school due to behaviours (e.g., anxiety, depression) that make it difficult for them to function in a regular setting.

Connex has a high adult to youth ratio, and student programs are individualized and administered in an informal environment. Students typically attend school three hours per day, although students who can do so may arrange to participate in full days. Students are evaluated on an ongoing basis and return to a regular secondary school with appropriate support when ready to do so.

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Program characteristics

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 Counsellor, & 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
Characteristics of students for which the program is intended

The Connex program enrols 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.

Age/grade requirements

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.

Application process

The Ministry of Education and Child Care 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 and Child Care 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.

Schedule/starting dates

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 enrolment.

Educational outreach (visiting teacher)

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.

District Alternate logo

A new logo was created for District Alternate in June 2023 to more authentically reflect the current values of the program and represent the student population.

The logo features a pair of salmon: one with a nod to Coast Salish design and the other with a western design. The salmon illustrate Connex’s use of the two-eyed seeing approach in the way it supports its students and critically evaluates the systems within which it operates, specifically the way these systems affect BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) students.

Featured prominently at the top of the logo, the infinity symbol of the Métis flag emphasizes the necessity for a precise understanding of how systemic factors affect Indigenous communities.

The two-spirit feathers at the bottom represent District Alternate’s commitment to support and protect 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.

Seven salmon roe are at the centre of the logo, symbolizing the Seven Sacred Teachings at the heart of the program: love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility, and truth.

The pair of salmon wrap themselves around the roe, just as the staff of District Alternate protect and hold up their students.

Many thanks to current Connex student S. Quiceno for designing the logo and former student Nolan Larson for their contributions.

Our vision
Our vision is for every individual to feel valued and for all learners to reach their potential.
Our mission
Our mission is to support all individuals in their development as successful learners, and as respectful, caring and responsible members of society.