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SD72’s In-Reach/Out-Reach programming is enhancing education experience

Students with complex learning and behavioural needs are referred to the In-Reach/Out-Reach team
The team’s out-reach programming is offered at Robron Centre. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

School District 72’s In-Reach/Out-Reach program has been receiving “significant positive” feedback, according to the team’s presentation at the board’s meeting on April 30.

The In-Reach/Out-Reach program, led by Brenna Ewing, director of inclusive education, and Erin Stephens, team lead, offers support to students with complex learning and behavioural needs within a six-week cycle at their respective elementary or middle school (in-reach) at Robron Centre (out-reach) for those not ready for a classroom setting (kindergarten students to Grade 5). Students are referred to the team by school staff, but only after all efforts from the school have been exhausted.

If needed, the six-week cycle can be extended or completed earlier. Students can also receive in-reach and out-reach programming at the same time if needed.

The program also has

“Myself, as the inclusion support teacher, and our inclusion support workers (ISW) will go to the school. We’ll collaborate with the team there to develop programs to support students and the school teams. It looks a variety of different ways; it could be that we’re doing direct service with the student and their team on the school sites, could be that we are capacity building for support staff for teachers - especially if we’ve got new EAs or new teachers to the building - we do program development if that’s what’s needed, we support with development allotment or regulation support plans, so we’ve got protocols around those and implementing those and working with the teams to develop them, and then we do meet with families and caregivers whenever possible,” says Stephens on the in-reach portion of the program.

In out-reach, the focus is getting students to Grade 5 students ready for the classroom and attending school. Students go to Robron Centre for three days a week for two hours. There is a primary group that attends in the morning and an intermediate group in the afternoon, with only four to six students in each group. The sessions focus on relationship-building, self-regulation, and social skills. The out-reach program, with a youth care worker, is also offered to students who have barriers to attending school full-time.

“The Youth Care Worker Outreach Services are for students who are not attending school at all or who exhibit other significant barriers to full-time attendance at school,” says Ewing. “Opportunities through out-reach for this portion are highly individualized and require ongoing collaboration with the school team and ongoing case management is the responsibility of the school team.”

As of April 30, 56 students receive in-reach programming, and 14 in out-reach programming. There are 22 students receiving both. In addition, 35 students are receiving youth care-assisted outreach programming.

The team sent out a survey to schools and received positive feedback on the program’s safe and supportive environment, personalized support, and strategies to support the district’s students and staff.

“One of the pieces we’re trying to triangulate is the data, so I mean, some of it is anecdotal, observational, and then of the pieces is that we’re keeping track of some of our challenging behaviour reports that come in or other safety-related incidents that come in and see if we have a decrease in those over time. We are trying to triangulate that date to be able to share those pieces, but anecdotally we’re feeling like there’s some definitely some successes and then we’ve highlighted,” says Ewing.