Helping Alberta’s Youth Stay in School

Ten new outreach programs help students get their high school diploma

Edmonton…Ten new outreach programs have been approved across Alberta for the 2005/06 school year to help keep students in school and to help them attain their high school diplomas.

Outreach programs are an educational alternative for students who, for different reasons, require a non-traditional learning setting. “Outreach programs demonstrate government’s continued commitment to increasing high school completion rates across the province, and our progress towards meeting key recommendations of the Alberta Commission on Learning,” said Education Minister Gene Zwozdesky. “These programs provide students at risk of dropping out of school with new ways of achieving their high school diplomas.”

Students participating in outreach programs include working students, teen parents, and other students who find conventional high school settings to be a difficult fit. These programs are adapted to students’ unique learning needs and provide additional support to encourage school completion, including time management, personal and career counselling, conflict resolution, anger management training, study skills and work experience. Programs also link to community and social agencies, where possible, to ensure students have access to these supports and services.

“Finishing high school is an important step for all Albertans to create a positive future for themselves, their families and their communities,” Zwozdesky added. “These programs are one way of ensuring all of our students have the opportunities they need to succeed in school and beyond.”

As of September 30, 2004, there were 110 outreach programs operating throughout the province, serving approximately 7,500 junior and senior high students at risk of not completing their high school diplomas. Alberta Education will increase a school board’s base instruction funding by $52,020 in the 2005/06 school year for each approved outreach program operated by the jurisdiction. In total, Alberta Education will provide almost $6.3 million in funding support for outreach programs in the 2005/06 school year. More information about outreach programs is available at www.education.gov.ab.ca/educationsystem/OutreachProgHandbook.pdf

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