One school district has developed unique support offered to students facing mental wellness issues.
In North Vancouver, all secondary schools offer the Choices program. The intervention program offers tiered support for students who have behavior or social challenges, or those who are experiencing a crisis in their lives and want to remain in their school with mainstream classes. Students can remain in the regular classes and complete the curriculum, but they are able to access the Choices classroom at any time during the day for emotional and academic support.
“It really is that kind of team approach to supporting kids in their mainstream school,” says Maureen Stanger, district principal of the North Vancouver Distributed Learning School and head of the Choices program.
“I think it’s an amazing program because I actually, believe it or not, don’t hate school and Choices makes it so if I’m too anxious I can go to Choices, I can do my work, I can actually attend school on a regular basis,” said Laura Kiudorf, a 15-year-old student in the program.