Building a Community for Learning: Integrated
Compiled and edited by Loraine Thompson
SSTA Research Centre Report #92-16:61 pages, $14.
|Overview||In 1992, the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association sponsored an interagency forum to explore new structures for the provision of services for children. This resource summarizes the literature and forum discussions on the changing role of schools.|
|What Makes Integrated Programs Successful?|
|A Vision for Integrated School-Based Services|
|Issues in the Delivery of Integrated School-Based Programs|
|Building A Community for Learning:
Integrated School-Based Services
|Appendix A: Forum Program
Appendix B: Forum Participants
Appendix C: Preliminary Inventory of Integrated School-Based Programs in Saskatchewan
Appendix D: References
Back to: Students - Diverse Needs
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The opinions and recommendations expressed in this report are those of the author and may not be in agreement with SSTA officers or trustees, but are offered as being worthy of consideration by those responsible for making decisions.
The Forum on Integrated School-Based Services was held November 9th and 10th, 1992 at the Saskatoon Travelodge. The Forum was organized and sponsored by the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association. Its purpose was:
· To provide a networking opportunity for school boards exploring new structures for the provision of services for children.
· To articulate a school board perspective on a policy framework and action plan for Integrated School-Based Services for Children.
A detailed Forum program appears in Appendix A.
Approximately 55 individuals representing 20 boards of education and other organizations participated in the forum. The names of the individuals participating appear in Appendix B.
Integration of services to children is not a new idea. For many years, boards of education and other agencies have recognized the value of working together for the good of the children and youth they serve. This concept received a renewed emphasis, however, at the "Role of Schools" Symposium sponsored by the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association and held January 29th and 30th, 1992. At the Symposium a vision for the future emerged - a vision that centred on an integrated model of delivering services to children and youth. Those attending the Symposium said that schools and other agencies that serve youth must find new ways to work together. Some of these new ways might occur within existing organizational structures. Others might require shifting or elimination of organizational boundaries and reexamination of organizational responsibilities. All would necessitate redefinition of roles and responsibilities and the reallocation of resources. An integrated model of service delivery has the potential for improving the quality of service because the system would be dealing with the whole child rather than with individual aspects of the child.
During 1992, a number of formal and informal meetings involving trustees, directors of education and Saskatchewan Education officials took place that further developed the concept of integration of services.
The Forum on Integrated School-Based Services grew out of these initiatives.
Participants at the Forum discussed the reasons for advocating integrated services and developed a vision to guide our actions. Children are at the centre of this vision. Children would be ready to learn emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually. There would be a smile on every child's face. Other important aspects of the vision included:
· Respect for the individual would be central to all activities.
· Integrated services would be the norm.
· Services would be based on the needs of Saskatchewan communities and would reflect community priorities.
· The cultural traditions of all of Saskatchewan's people would be reflected.
· The school would be at the centre of the community and a facility for lifelong learning.
· The school would be an equal partner in planning.
Greater collaboration between agencies and integration of services is supported by both government and community. Early in 1993, the Government of Saskatchewan is expected to set in motion a new "Action Plan for Children". The plan will be designed to assist agencies to work more closely together for the benefit of children and families and to use available funds more effectively. This shift from many separate autonomous agencies to integration of services is perceived by many to represent a change in emphasis - away from merely reacting to problems, toward a focus on prevention and promotion.
Moving toward integration of services represents a major and significant change. Integration means shifting from segregated programs and budgets toward holistic, community-based action. The development and well-being of children is the most important consideration not institutional mandates, organizational boundaries or other bureaucratic concerns.
Because schools are for children, they are an essential element in the integration of services. The school, or a similar facility, is seen as the centre of a community where a range of programs, services and resources can be provided for children and their families.
This vision for change dominated discussions at the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services. Although concerns were expressed about the magnitude of change involved and the effect of this change on families, the need for change was emphasized repeatedly. It was noted that, as is the case with any social change, time and a strong commitment would be needed to overcome barriers and obstacles. Participants stated that communities should begin now to work toward integration of services. They should develop policies that will move them along the road to achieving that goal.
For school boards, the challenge is building a community where learning can flourish. Integration of services might mean greater responsibilities for school boards or collaboration with new agencies. Improved coordination of all programs is required now, and legislation and policies must be established that will enable communities to solve their own problems. This change will require new roles and responsibilities and the reallocation of resources.
"The times, they are a changing." Economic restraint and increasing social problems will continue to challenge existing structures and to invite creative alternatives. One of these creative alternatives is integrated school-based services.
This document provides a summary of the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services. Each section of the document is followed by a brief review of the relevant literature. The literature review was distributed to all participants prior to the Forum so that they would be talking from a similar frame of reference. The appendices include the forum program, a list of participants, a preliminary inventory of integrated school-based services presently operating in Saskatchewan and a list of references.
Table of Contents
Ken Krawetz, President Saskatchewan School Trustees Association
The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association was pleased to sponsor the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services and to welcome trustees and others with a concern for children to the Forum.
The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association sponsored the "Role of Schools" symposium in January 1992 and has been involved in discussions regarding new roles for schools in the provision of integrated services for children.
The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association is organized to promote a climate in Saskatchewan supportive of excellence in education for all children. There are many changes in our society and our communities - from the Berlin wall to walls between social institutions, communities are making improvements by taking down barriers. As you have heard many times before, schools do not have the time, financial or human resources, nor the mandate to respond to all of children's needs.
We have all seen children in need. Imagine that a child is drowning in a pool of water and many institutions are reaching out with a life line to help - but neither education, health, justice or social services alone can reach the child. In the past, we did not think about linking our resources or we refused to, and we helplessly watched the child drown. As communities, we are now being challenged to link our resources - to help an increasing number of children in need, in a climate of declining resources.
This Forum is another step in the process of providing directions for the Association and school boards in this area. The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association extends a bouquet to school boards for their ongoing efforts in making interventions for children. It is important that we recognize the good work that has been done. School trustees are unique in their position of being locally elected community leaders who can speak with one voice through the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association.
I believe that this Forum has helped us work together to better meet the needs of all children.
Craig Melvin, Executive Director Saskatchewan School Trustees Association
In recent years, educators throughout North America have become increasingly concerned about children for whom growing up is a risky business. A recent American study took a closer look at these students. The Phi Delta Kappan Study of Students at risk¹ collected data on more than 21,000 students across the U.S. The researchers found five factors that tended to put children at risk - family socio-economic situation, family instability, family tragedy, personal pain and academic failure. They also found that a child who was at risk for one factor was likely to be at risk on other factors also. In the author's words:
Children who hurt, hurt all over. Children who fail, fail in everything they do. Risk is pervasive. If a student is at risk in one area, that student is very likely to be at risk in every other area.
The challenge that faces all of us who are concerned about children is to find new ways of working together so that we might relieve some of the pain felt by children who are at risk.
The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association sponsored the "Role of Schools" forum in January 1992 to advise the Association and provide direction to the Association on the changing role of schools regarding:
· school programs,
· community use of school facilities,
· staff employed in schools, and
· meeting the needs of children.
Since the Role of Schools symposium, there have been several other initiatives in this area:
· The SSTA, STF, LEADS and other education partners have joined with government departments including education, health, social services, and justice to support community projects for integrated school-based services,
· These same government departments are working on a Saskatchewan Action Plan for Children that is outlined in the next section of this document.
¹ Frymier, Jack (1992). Children who hurt, children who fail. Phi Delta Kappan, 74(3), 257-262.
· The Federal Government has launched "Brighter Futures: A Canadian Action Plan for Children".
The Forum on Integrated School-Based Services was intended to build upon the work being done regarding integrated school-based services for children and their families. Our objectives are:
1. To provide a networking opportunity for school boards exploring new structures for the provision of services for children.
2. To articulate a school board perspective on a policy framework and action plan for Integrated School-Based Services for Children.
This society's social and economic debt are connected. Our challenge is to find the resources to invest in our children and our communities -to ensure opportunities for children and to strive for equal educational benefit. This investment is worth the effort. American experts have estimated that one dollar spent on child promotion and prevention is worth more than six dollars in interventions or solving social problems.
Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Children
Dave Hedlund, Saskatchewan Social Services
In early May 1992, a number of issues affecting children collided. Almost daily, there were reports in the media about child poverty, high young offender rates, and child abuse and neglect. There was a great deal of publicity about alleged child sexual abuse in Martensville. Most of these problems fall under the mandate of Saskatchewan Social Services. We knew, however, that only a coordinated effort by a number of agencies could effectively address the root causes of these problems and eventually prevent their occurrence. Thus, we invited eight other government departments to work with us to develop a provincial response to the needs of children.
The result is a draft document scheduled to be released for consultation and discussion in early 1993. This document describes a process that can be used by the people of Saskatchewan to work together to develop specific plans that will strengthen, maintain and promote the well-being of our children, both now and in the future.
Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Children describes a vision of the desired state of Saskatchewan's children. It also includes:
· Beliefs - statements of common values about children that will guide our actions.
· Principles - statements about how we will take action for the benefit of children.
· Goals - statements about those objectives that we wish to achieve for children.
Government departments hope to begin early in 1993 to begin developing a comprehensive action plan that will improve life for all of Saskatchewan's children. I invite all of those who attended the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services and educators across the province to join with the Government of Saskatchewan in this very important endeavour.
From the Literature . . .
Why Integrated School-Based Services?
In a 1989 research project (McLeod & McLeod, 1989), Saskatchewan educators expressed concern about the multifaceted nature of many of the problems being experienced by students - problems that are social in nature as well as educational. Problems may include family violence, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and criminal activity.
Many of these children can be said to be at risk. Various authors offer different definitions of "at risk". Some who speak from a purely educational perspective confine their definition to the child's school performance, for example, "a student defined as 'at risk' is one who, because of either social or academic problems, may not graduate from high school in the traditional manner" (Moskowitz, 1989). Other writers give much broader definitions of "at risk" - "... children are at risk if they are likely to fail - either in school or in life" (Frymier & Gansneder, 1989).
Many of the problems experienced by children at risk require the services of health and social service agencies as well as educational institutions. During the research project conducted by McLeod & McLeod in 1989, educators said that schools must be careful not to assume too many responsibilities that fall outside the training and expertise of the teachers that staff them. Rather, the answer is for agencies that serve children to work more closely together. "We can no longer afford to follow parallel courses with no direct communication existing. Perhaps a team approach with social workers, educators and public health nurses working together in a community would meet some of the needs." (McLeod & McLeod, 1989, p. A-1 ).
A similar opinion was expressed at the "Role of Schools" Symposium held January 29 and 30, 1992 (The "Role of Schools" Symposium, 1992). Symposium participants identified the need for integrated delivery of services to children and youth. They also identified the need for stronger links between school and community. These two themes are closely related. In the literature, integration of services and community involvement are often discussed together as two sides of the same coin.
The need for prevention rather than just intervention has also been recognized. One American expert notes:
Every dollar spent on preschool programs eventually saves six dollars in remedial education, welfare and losses to crime.
U.S. Committee for Economic Development
Schools have always had some responsibility for addressing all of children's needs. For example, a generation ago, public health nurses often administered hearing and vision tests and gave inoculations at school. Today, the emphasis on dealing with all of children's needs is greater than ever before. The shifting economic and social environment has given rise to new problems and the current era of openness makes it possible to face problems that previously went unacknowledged.
The trend toward greater integration and more community involvement signals a basic and profound change in the way that schools are structured and represents an alteration in the balance of power within schools. Education becomes a shared responsibility - shared with parents, businesses and other agencies and providers of service - rather than the sole responsibility of the school system (Kagan, 1989).
In this literature review, additional information about integrated services and community involvement is provided on pages 14 and 15. However, throughout the rest of the review, no attempt has been made to separate the two themes, as projects that feature one of these types of involvement also tend to feature the other. Moreover, it often becomes difficult to distinguish between them. For example, a Friendship Centre is a service agency, but it is also a community institution and, in some cases, can represent parents.
Table of Contents
Forum participants identified four factors that are necessary for successful integrated programs - a sense of purpose, communication, a focus on the client and commitment. These four factors are discussed in more detail below.
Identification of the problem, a clear vision of the goal to be achieved and strong leadership together create the sense of purpose that is essential for successful integrated projects. Identifying the problem and creating a clear vision of the goal allow individuals and agencies to focus their efforts, to stay on track and to assess their progress. Strong leadership keeps everyone's eyes on the long-term goal, ensures that efforts are coordinated and cuts through or finds ways around barriers.
Integrated programs are most successful when everyone involved talks to each other. Agencies talk to the people they serve. Agencies ask their clients what their needs are and what actions are needed most urgently. Agencies ask their clients to assess the success of programs and to suggest new directions. Agencies and their representatives talk to each other as well. They set objectives and make plans together. Although they might have separate spheres of responsibility, they communicate about progress, problems and administrative details. All agencies involved participate in identifying success and failures and in setting directions for the future.
Focus on the Client
Successful integrated programs focus on the needs of children and their families. Organizational mandates, administrative regulations and bureaucracies' need to perpetuate themselves all take second place.
A focus on the client can take many forms. It can mean asking clients what their needs are instead of making assumptions about those needs. It can mean designing services to meet the needs of a particular individual or group rather than slotting the client(s) into existing services. It can mean ensuring that client groups have representation (or even the majority voice) on management boards. A focus on the client always means starting with the client rather than with the organizations that are providing service.
There are many signs of commitment in successful integrated projects. There is long-term commitment of resources both human and financial. Although these resources may be modest, the individuals and agencies involved know that they will be there until the job is done. This knowledge frees staff to get on with the job at hand and eliminate the need to constantly worry about resources and to complete applications for funding.
Senior managers have made a commitment to the program. This commitment often takes three forms. One is long-term commitment of resources, the second is public acknowledgement of the significance of the project and the third is a willingness to work with senior managers of other agencies to establish a framework for the project.
If an integrated project is to be successful, there must also be a commitment to change. All of those involved must be willing to try new ways of working together. They must be willing to redefine their roles, the service they offer and the ways in which they offer those services.
From the Literature . . .
Principles of Integrated Programming
1. Respond to what people want for their children. If a program is to be successful it must respond to the needs and values of a community as stated by community members. This calls for a bottom up approach, since successful implementation depends upon community wisdom as well as professional expertise and knowledge. This is sometimes difficult for professional service providers, because economically disadvantaged communities often identify immediate and short-term goals and needs which may not be compatible with middle-class values (Better Beginnings: Better Futures, 1989; Iscoe, 1974).
2. See the child in the context of the family and the family in the context of its social network and community environment (sometimes called the ecological perspective) (Better Beginnings: Better Futures, 1989; Pollard, 1990b). Family relationships, social networks and values differ in rural and urban communities as well as among populations with different ethnic and cultural heritages. Successful programs respect and work within the structures and networks of families and communities. They also build on informal systems such as the 10:00 a.m. coffee group at the local restaurant and the kids who hang around the confectionary on Friday nights as well as formal systems such as defined organizational structures (Better Beginnings: Better Futures, 1989).
3. Identify and capitalize on the strengths of children, families and communities (Better Beginnings: Better Futures, 1989; Johnson & Friedman, 1987). All too often, professional service providers take a deficit view of children, families and communities. They see all of the problems but none of the strengths. In fact, all individuals and families, regardless of financial or emotional constraints, have some strengths that can be shared with others and can provide a foundation for the development of new strengths (Better Beginnings: Better Futures, 1989; Johnson & Friedman, 1987).
4.Give program staff the time, training and skills to build sustained, trusting relationships with children, families and communities (Schorr, 1989). Many children, families and communities have had previous unsuccessful or unhappy experience with service providers. Only time and some positive experiences will convince them that this program is different.
5.Provide prevention as well as intervention for high-risk children and youth. Unfortunately under the present system, services often don't kick in until children are in critical condition and are damaged almost beyond repair. A better way is to create a system that focuses on prevention and accommodates children who are diverse in terms of their economic and cultural backgrounds, and ways of learning. Such a system would be able to monitor the progress and development of all children, providing special assistance when needed (Gutherie & Gutherie, 1991). It would also create a positive climate in a school and in a community so that problems are less likely to develop in the first place.
6.Ensure that the needs of the child are given priority over institutional and other concerns (Gutherie & Gutherie, 1991). The child's progress and well-being should be the primary concern not institutional mandates, organizational boundaries and similar bureaucratic concerns. Putting the child's needs first may also mean improving our understanding of those needs. We may need to develop improved ways of tracking the progress of individual children and of sharing the resulting data with other agencies.
7.Involve all stakeholders in decision making (Pollard, 1990a). Successful programs empower those who participate in them both as service givers and as clients. There are dozens of ways to involve stakeholders ranging from representation on the management board to community meetings to asking for clients' opinions when choosing a program for their situation.
8.Offer a comprehensive range of services (Gutherie & Gutherie, 1991; Pollard, 1990a). The most successful programs offer a wide spectrum of essential services and/or offer several different approaches to dealing with a problem or situation.
9. Be flexible in the planning and delivery of services. At present, the services children receive are often predetermined by organizational procedures and regulations. Screening, referral, and the type and length of treatment are all prescribed from the beginning. Successful programs allow service providers to step outside the boundaries of their job descriptions and of their organizational mandates to create new services or to offer existing services in new ways (Gutherie & Gutherie, 1992).
Table of Contents
A vision for the future emerged from the discussions at the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services. Children are at the centre of this vision. Children would be ready to learn emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually. They would have the opportunity to be children - to learn, to play, to grow in an environment of safety and security. There would be a smile on every child's face.
To achieve this vision and to provide supports for children and families that also contribute to community development, social institutions and structures will have to adapt to the realities of the 1990's. New roles and responsibilities, and reallocation of resources will be necessary. Forum participants considered the following elements to be an important part of all initiatives to improve services to children.
· There would be a deep respect for the individual. Children would be treated in ways that encourage the growth of self-respect and confidence. The emphasis would be on identification and development of the strengths of each individual. Children would be encouraged to feel pride in their personal uniqueness and cultural identity.
· Offering services in an integrated manner would become the standard way of doing things rather than a "project". This approach would be so accepted and so much the norm that it would appear invisible and seamless. Changes to legislation and policies would be undertaken as needed to achieve this goal.
· Services would be based on the unique needs of this province and of communities within regions of the province. Within general guidelines, communities would develop organizational and administrative structures, and program objectives appropriate to their own situation.
· The community would be at the heart of all services offered. Programs and services would be designed to reflect community priorities. Designing projects so that local people serve as resource people and have full or shared control over decision-making would be a way of strengthening and empowering communities and of creating a strong local vision.
Because a community can be either a geographic area or a group of people with a shared concern or identity, the definition of community would be flexible.
· Those individuals and groups who offer services to children and families would hear the many different voices of the people of this province. The cultural traditions of Aboriginal peoples would be reflected in all interactions with these individuals and agencies. Structures would be developed to give Aboriginal people a share in decision making.
· The school would be the centre of the community and a facility for life-long learning. Although the details would vary from one community to another, schools might be the place where a variety of services are offered to children. Schools might also be places where education is provided for people from birth to death. Bringing pre-school classes, head start-type classes and adult continuing education classes together under one roof would rationalize scarce resources, provide a strong role-model for children and emphasize to the entire community that ongoing learning is crucial in today's technological society.
· The school would be an equal partner in planning for services to children. It would cooperate with other agencies that also have responsibilities for children. Although many services might be offered through the school, some might be offered through other mechanisms as well. Educators would participate in making decisions about the best way to offer each particular service.
From the Literature . . .
Advantages of Integrated School-Based Service Delivery
Some advocates of school-based integrated services support this approach because it represents a basic restructuring - education becomes a shared responsibility rather than the exclusive responsibility of the school. Although this restructuring is seen as positive by many people, to some it is viewed as a serious disadvantage of integrated school-based services. Existing familiar structures are replaced with new and untried ones. This can be positive or negative depending upon an individual's perception.
Advocates of integrated school-based services give several practical reasons why integration will benefit children and their families.
1. There is a strong relationship "between the elements of a child's basic well-being - nutrition, clothing, shelter, health and care - and school achievements" (Pollard, 1990c, p. 1). Effective instruction is almost impossible when children's basic needs are left unattended (Fruchter, 1987; Lewis, 1991; Robinson & Mastny, 1989).
2. The school reaches all children. "It is the one place where every child is, every day" (Shedlin, 1990, p. 13). The school is the only organization mandated to require and enforce the daily attendance of all children (Fruchter, 1987; Pollard, 1990c; Integrated School-Based Services for Children and Families, 1992).
3. Schools are usually geographically accessible and familiar to community residents. Even if they have no children at school, residents sometimes come to the school for community meetings or to vote during elections (Pollard, 1990a).
4. Schools are the primary, and often the only, community institutions seen as positive and neutral. They have had contact over the years with residents of different ages, economic status, ethnic backgrounds and religious denominations (Pollard, 1990a).
5. Schools have the best system of access and outreach to students and their families (Pollard, 1990a).
6. In light of increasing fiscal restrictions and mounting pressures to meet the varied needs of children, integration seems an obvious step (Robinson & Mastny, 1989).
Advantages and Nature of Community Involvement
The most important teachers that children will ever have are their families. Schools' best efforts at educating and socializing children in no way equal the extensive social and psychological input that children receive from their families (Ramos & Santos, 1991). Moreover, research has repeatedly shown that family involvement is important to success in school. Successful students tend to receive strong support from adults in the home as well as teachers at school (Chrispeels, 1991; Solomon, 1991). For these reasons, community/family involvement in schools is critical.
In the traditional view of the school, the role of parents and other community members was limited to that of passive observers, teachers of their own children or school volunteers (Dobson & Dobson, 1981; Ramos & Santos, 1991). In more contemporary views of the school, families and community members play a role in decision-making. The range of options for community involvement in decision-making include:
· an advisory function to decision-makers
· a participatory role in design, implementation and evaluation of programs and activities
· community ownership and control (Better Beginnings: Better Futures, 1989).
Table of Contents
The theme of change permeated all the discussions about delivering integrated school-based services. All participants recognized that moving toward integration of services represents a major and significant change. It represents taking a completely new and largely unfamiliar pattern rather than taking minor detours in a known and comfortable route. There are no quick fixes for complex problems. Developing processes that ensure success require time and effort.
Participants recognized that there are two approaches to integration. The first approach involves development of protocols that describe the responsibilities of various agencies and how agencies will work together, but leave all organizational mandates and boundaries intact. The second approach involves removing organizational boundaries and changing mandates so that old structures disappear and new ones are created. It is this second approach to integration that received most of the attention of the Forum. Most participants recognized that social and economic conditions require the creation of a completely new paradigm. Within this new paradigm, there would be new roles and responsibilities for individuals and organizations, and reallocation of resources.
Some participants were fearful about this change, recognizing that it contains many unknowns and that there are bound to be difficulties and problems along the way. Many of these individuals suggested that change should take place slowly and that we should adapt existing structures as much as possible.
Other participants were enthusiastic about change and advocated the creation of new organizational structures that would make it easier to provide services to children. For example, it was suggested that the boundaries between some agencies be eliminated. Those individuals, too, acknowledged that massive change involves many unknowns and that all complexities cannot be anticipated beforehand.
As participants at the Forum analyzed the merits of adapting old structures and creating new structures, there was considerable discussion about how people's view of the world has changed. We're shifting away from a segmented perspective in which each agency and program fits into its own little compartment toward a holistic view in which each component is linked to every other one. In the words of one participant, "We're catching up to the Aboriginal people."
Issues relating to the delivery of integrated school-based services fall into three categories: governance, finance and administration. Each of these categories is discussed in more detail in the following section.
Table of Contents
Governance of integrated school-based services was the focus of considerable discussion at the Forum. Participants talked about:
· different approaches to change and the fact that the educational system is fundamentally different from other systems that serve children because it can raise taxes locally.
· the need for client/community ownership if a project is to succeed.
· the fact that the mandates of various agencies are sometimes established by law or custom.
· the need for common geographic boundaries for health, social services and educational regions.
Table of Contents
Presently, dozens of different organizations are delivering services to children. Few parents, teachers, principals or guidance counsellors are familiar with the full range of programs and services available. As a result, children may not be getting the service most appropriate to their needs; students, parents, teachers and others spend a great deal of time and experience a great deal of frustration negotiating their way among programs. The administrative expenses involved are considerable, because several bureaucracies must be maintained.
Forum participants made a number of suggestions about strategies for remedying this situation, but there was no consensus about the most appropriate course of action.
The suggestions reflected participants' differing approaches to change. While there was general consensus on the need to establish structures that more effectively meet the needs of children, there was little agreement on how these structures could be created. Some advocated making adjustments within existing organizational structures. Others advocated replacing existing structures with entirely new ones that better suit the needs of today.
Suggestions for integrating the services of the many different organizations that offer service to children include:
· Greater communication between agencies. Agencies could, on both formal and informal levels, spend more time explaining programs and discussing the needs of particular individuals or client groups.
· Use a "case manager" approach. The agencies that deliver services to children in a particular geographic area might jointly hire one or more case managers who act as "service brokers" to assist children and families to get the services they need. The case managers would be located in schools and paid by participating agencies.
· Massively reorganize the structure of the provincial government. Those components of the departments of education, health, social services and justice that deal with children from birth to the age of 18 might be combined to form a structure for "Child and Youth Advocacy".
· Eliminate those components of the departments of education, health, social services and justice that deal with children. Instead each geographic region could establish a board of Children's Services that identifies the needs in that area, sets up programs and hires staff. The resulting services and structures may or may not resemble those presently in place. For example, schools may be replaced by Children's Service Centres staffed by teachers, public health nurses, social workers and recreation workers.
Participants at the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services noted that the educational system is fundamentally different from the health, social services and justice systems. Participants said that all of these systems that serve children should not be spoken of in the same breath, as if they are the same. Only the educational system has locally elected school boards that have the authority to establish policies within certain parameters, to engage staff and most importantly, to raise money through taxes. The social service and justice systems have none of these powers at the local level - staff all work through a provincially coordinated network. Hospital Boards - one component of the health care system - can set policy and hire and fire but cannot raise money locally.
This very important difference came up repeatedly in discussions about integration of services. Would full or partial elimination of organizational boundaries mean that school boards give up some of their power or assume wider responsibilities? Would it mean that local Boards of Children's Services be established with the right to tax? This concept raises many questions.
Table of Contents
All participants at the Forum agreed that outreach/prevention/inter- vention projects are most successful if the individuals, families and communities to whom the project is directed have a sense of ownership. A project that is planned, implemented and delivered by service agencies without consulting the local community will have, at best, limited success. Projects that are initiated at the grass-roots level and/or those that involve local people at every step of planning, implementation and evaluation tend to be more successful.
It was recognized that there is no single "best" way of getting client/community ownership. It depends very much on the project and on the people and organizations involved. For example, if a project is initiated by the community, service providers should be careful to maintain an advisory/service role and not to take control. When a project has a management board, client/community representatives should be on the board. Various methods to get community input can be used ranging from surveys and community meetings to simply asking clients, in a one-to-one situation, what they need.
The key is not the specific mechanism used but rather recognition that client/community ownership is essential and that it may sometimes be necessary to share and/or relinquish power in order to make this happen.
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Participants noted that the legislated mandates of government departments, school boards and other agencies sometimes define their responsibilities rather narrowly. For example, the legislation outlines what school boards must do and what they may do. It makes no mention at all of a whole range of services that might possibly fall under the mandate of school boards. One result is that these agencies sometimes undertake projects that, strictly speaking, they are not empowered to do under the legislation. Another result is that some agencies follow the letter of the law closely and thus are unable to cooperate as fully as they might. The majority of Forum participants indicated that it may be time for a review of the legislation, affecting the educational, social service, health and justice systems. Legislation should be enabling rather than restrictive.
The official and unofficial policies of various agencies and departments were also mentioned. Although such policies don't have the power of law, many have become entrenched through long usage and have come to take on a life of their own. For example, agencies may each have different, well defined accounting practices that prevent funds from being paid out in a timely manner as specified in interagency agreements. It may be that the time has come for agencies involved in integrated projects to review their policies with a view not to maintaining existing systems but to establishing new flexible systems that permit action to be taken quickly.
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Forum participants noted that the geographic boundaries for education, health, social service and education regions are all different.
Presently a teacher, principal or director of education may have to work with two or three different regions of other government departments, depending upon where students live. The result is many meetings and great duplication of effort. As well, when staff turnover occurs a considerable amount of time must be spent establishing working relationships with new staff.
There was general agreement that coterminous boundaries for health, social services and education would be the ideal, but there was no consensus on how this ideal might be realized or on which boundaries should become the common boundaries. This is a territorial problem, but much more importantly, it affects the jobs and livelihood of people in rural communities. Adjustment of boundaries would inevitably mean elimination of some jobs, creation of new ones and moving of some jobs from one area to another. In rural communities, there usually aren't enough jobs to go around and the transition to new structures would create a great deal of anxiety and hardship for some families.
It was noted, however, that the process of adjusting boundaries may already have begun. Although no specific aciton was taken as a result of the Scarfe-Langlois report, this report initiated the idea of consolidation and encouraged boards of education to begin thinking in those terms. Meanwhile, new health regions are currently being established under the new wellness plan. It is possible that the boundaries of these regions will apply in the future to social services and education as well.
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The Role of Schools Symposium (January, 1992) was initiated by the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association to more clearly determine the responsibilities of education and school boards. The Association is seeking to identify the responsibilities of school boards and the provincial government for financing and management of integrated services for children. Any restructuring with a redefinition of the provincial-local relationship will require financial reforms and definition of new roles at both the provincial and local levels.
The topic of finance arose again at the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services. Participants observed that the various agencies that presently deliver services to children each have their own budgets. In some cases, funds within each budget are designated for specific services or purposes. There is sometimes confusion about which agency pays for what service. This situation sometimes results in delays in providing service as agencies try to determine who should pay for a particular service. In some cases, needed services may be unavailable because no agency has funds designated for them.
As was the case with other aspects of the discussion about implementing integrated school-based services, participants' opinions about funding ranged from refining existing funding mechanisms to setting up entirely new structures. Whatever their orientation, however, participants emphasized the need for flexible funding. When money is locked into specific categories, it becomes more difficult to establish new or innovative services. The commitment to children must be our primary concern.
Participants noted that possibly each organization that serves children has its own budget and its own parameters for spending that budget. In the words of one observer:
Funding for communities has traditionally come down a number of different pipelines. There is funding for health, funding for recreation, funding for social services, funding for economic development, and funding for education. Divisions within communities are maintained when individuals must work within guidelines that are established for them. In the world we are moving into we have to take the labels off the money. There can be only one funding pipeline. Funding for education or social services has as much to do with economic development as other programs. The challenge is how to empower and enable communities to create wealth without creating fear.
Square One Management Inc.
CBC Morning Edition
November 2, 1992
Suggestions for dealing with the many funding "pipelines" that presently exist included:
·Agencies involved in integrated projects could identify, during the planning stages, all possible services that might be required and specify who will pay for what. British Columbia provides an example of this approach. In 1987, the Government made a public commitment to develop protocols between the Ministries of Education, Social Services and Housing, Health; and the Solicitor General, consistent with the mandates of each Ministry. The purpose of the protocols was to describe processes for providing services to children of school age. They are part of a Government commitment to ensure that Government agencies at the local and regional level work co-operatively to deliver support services to children.
· Agencies involved in integrated projects each could commit a certain amount of noncategorical funding (general funds not designated for any specific service) to the project. This may require changes in the policies of some government departments or changes in legislation.
· New administrative structures could be established. Within each community or local administrative area, a board responsible for children's services could be given a noncategorical provincial grant and be required to provide the services required by children in that community.
Participants at the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services emphasized the need for flexible funding. When money is locked into specific categories, it becomes more difficult to establish new or innovative services. While noncategorical funding within a community development context was seen as a desirable goal, participants at the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services were cautious. They stressed:
· the need for local decision-making within provincial guidelines.
· the need for an ongoing commitment to funding and that noncategorical funding should not be equated with reductions or cutbacks in funding.
Forum participants also emphasized that the funds allocated to integrated school-based services should be provided and used within a community development context. The programs they make possible should strengthen communities as well as support families and children. For example, the funds might be managed in ways that create employment opportunities for local people and involve local people in all stages of the project. For some rural and northern communities, availability of services is the key issue. The realities of Saskatchewan's geography cannot be ignored. Integration of services has the potential to achieve efficiencies that will allow for greater access to needed services.
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There was consensus among participants at the Forum on Integrated School-Based Services that integrated projects need effective administration if they are to be successful. Participants made several points about administration.
· Educators and others who serve children may need to play new roles and learn new skills. For example, individuals who are used to making decisions independently may need to learn to consult with others or to make decisions cooperatively. A principal or director of education may spend a good deal of his/her time negotiating agreements with other agencies, monitoring the progress of interagency projects and evaluating the outcomes of such projects. Teachers may be expected to confer regularly with other service providers regarding the needs of particular children. In some cases, teachers may find themselves implementing or reinforcing treatment plans for particular children that have been designed by other agencies. Questions may arise about which individual or agency has the authority to make decisions about programs or interventions for particular children.
Participants at the Forum agreed that there is no single "right" way for educators and others to learn the skills they need. In many cases, people already have these skills and are looking for any opportunity to use them. In some cases, people will learn them together on the job, in other cases, they will learn them through inservice or formal academic training. The important thing is not how skills are acquired, but rather that the people involved in this new venture support and encourage each other, so that existing skills can be refined or new ones developed.
· Participants in integrated projects are all responsible to different supervisors and different organizations. This creates difficulties in a number of ways. Members of integrated teams may have limited decision-making authority. They may need to check with their supervisors (who in turn must check with their executive directors or deputy ministers) before committing their organization or themselves to a certain course of action. The results can be very slow and cumbersome decision-making. There may be questions about authorities - which individuals and/or organizations have the authority to make decisions about which matters.
Those attending the Forum felt that time spent during the planning stages of an integrated project would prevent difficulties later on. It is easier to define authorities and responsibilities right at the beginning than it is to sort this out once a project is underway. Extra time spent during the planning stages also improves communication between the partners.
· Creation of new organizational structures would eliminate some of the problems associated with definition of authorities and responsibilities. Elimination of redefinition of the boundaries between organizations, the creation of new roles and responsibilities and the reallocation of resources might mean that all services to children function within a single structure, instead of within several as is presently the case. New structures should not be imposed upon communities. Rather, they should evolve through a process of community development. It is important that the perspectives of the communities being served be reflected in all new structures developed.
· In most integrated projects there is a need for routine administration. How this will be accomplished is also something that should be discussed during the planning stages. Because projects differ so much in terms of objectives, activities and scope and resources each project's administrative plan will be unique.
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From the Literature . . .
Integrated school-based programs tend to be of two types: those aimed at a specific situation or problem, such as pregnant girls or substance abusing youth and those that are preventative in nature. Sometimes, programs combine these two purposes. For example, a substance abuse program may be designed to both help addicted youth and to discourage young people from becoming involved with alcohol and drugs. Comprehensive preventative programs may include a problem-specific component. For example, community schools are oriented primarily toward preventative and community development but may also offer narrow-focus, problem-specific programs. The first four models described below (external referral, rapid response, circulating staff and case management) are usually aimed at specific problems, but may include preventative components. The joint project and school as a service centre models can be either or both and the community schools model, as noted above, is usually oriented toward prevention and community development.
Integrated projects evolve in relation to local needs and reflect local resources and priorities. "The resulting organizational structures are as varied as the people in the communities, schools, agencies and organizations they represent or serve. No one way is the correct way to deliver services and no single, simple model can be grafted onto a school or community" (Pollard, 1990a, p. 4). Some of the most common models for delivering integrated school-based programs are described below. These are very general descriptions only. There are dozens of variations within each one.
The models discussed are illustrated in the diagram below:
The External Referral Model
School staff make referrals to external agencies that provide services to children and youth (Pollard, 1990a). For example, a child who regularly falls asleep in school might be referred to Saskatchewan Social Services or to the local public health nurse.
The Mobile Rapid Response Model
School staff and personnel from other agencies work together to respond to specific crises such as intervention following a traumatic event. This is not usually an ongoing delivery approach, but rather one that establishes procedures so that teams of service providers can be mobilized quickly (Pollard, 1990a). If a traumatic event such as a death or an accident were to occur, the mobile rapid response plan would be implemented and each agency would carry out the responsibilities assigned to it in the plan.
Circulating or Itinerant Staff
Nurses, social workers, counsellors and similar staff circulate among participating schools spending a few hours or a few days in each (Pollard, 1990a). For example, an audiologist on the sataff of a health services agency might regularly visit the schools in a certain area and administer hearing tests to those children who are inattentive in class or show other signs of hearing difficulties.
Case managers are individuals who work as service brokers to assist children and families to get the help they need. They usually have two responsibilities:
1. Helping families get services by assisting them to select the type of service needed, to choose a specific program and to gain access to the program.
2. Coordinating the provision of services across agencies with special emphasis on the school, social services, the health care system and juvenile justice.
An agreement between cooperating agencies usually determines where the case manager's salary comes from and how facilities and resources needed by the case manager are to be provided.
In descriptions of projects, case management and wrap around programs are sometimes discussed together. A wrap around program is one that permits case managers to wrap services around the needs of children and families rather than require that families fit into existing services (Brown, 1987; Gutherie & Gutherie, 1991; Individualizing Services, 1987; Pollard, 1990a).
The case management/wrap around approach is often referred to as the Ventura Model, because the staff of Ventura County, California have written extensively about their experience with it.
The school and one or more community agencies agree to cooperate on a specific project. The project is usually directed to a specific target group and has specific objectives. The roles and responsibilities of each partner are usually clearly defined. For example, the educational system, social service agencies, the police department and the justice system all come into contact with young offenders. The agencies might cooperate to provide specific services to this group of young people.
The School as a Service Centre
Professionals from a health or social service agency have an office or facilities in the school. School-based health clinics are one of the most traditional interpretations of this model. The organizational boundaries between the school and the cooperating agencies remain intact and there may or may not be joint planning between the school and the cooperating agencies (Pollard, 1990a and 1990c; Robinson & Mastny, 1989).
The idea of the community school is an old one, but it has recently changed its meaning in an important way. In the past, community schools typically made their facilities available to a variety of community programs (preschool day care), continuing education classes, etc.). Today, most community schools want to do more than share facilities and offer programs. They want to become functional communities - communities where the lives of children (and adults) in the school are closely related to life outside the school, the church and community. The beliefs and values of the school derive from or are reinforced by the school (Allison, 1990). Thus there may be a high level of community control and community members may be active participants in community life (and vice-versa). The contemporary concept of the community school is illustrated in the diagram on page 30.
Community schools usually have three components (Dobson & Dobson, 1981).
1. A community advisory council composed of parents and community members. This committee may have varying degrees of responsibility ranging from advisory only (Howell, 1991) to interviewing potential staff members and having the final word on all matters relating to the program (Dobson & Dobson, 1981).
2. A school-based involvement program. The nature of this involvement program depends upon local needs but may include a coordinator/ombudsman, home visitation, tutoring, counselling, child study groups, parents' room, etc.
3. A community-based involvement support system. This also varies with the community and may involve agencies such as churches, court related services, health and social services agencies and community programs such as Big Brothers or senior citizens' groups.
Saskatchewan's Community Schools program is a good example of the community schools model for delivery of integrated school-based services. Saskatchewan's community schools concept "is based on a general philosophical commitment to linking the community to the school in order to improve the education process and to strengthen the community" (Community Schools Program, 1980).
In Saskatchewan, community schools are designated, urban schools that receive a special grant from Saskatchewan Education to:
· enhance the regular school program for all children,
· promote the well-being of the whole child by encouraging community and parental involvement in the school program including Community School Councils,
· place a priority on the unique needs of Aboriginal students, and
· foster community development (Saskatchewan Community Schools Program, n.d.).
A school would be considered for the community schools program if the community from which it drew its children met two or more of the following criteria:
· unemployment rate 25% above city average
· proportion of single parent families 25% above city average
· proportion of those whose first language is not English 25% above city average
· proportion of those with less than grade 11 education 25% above city average
· proportion of social assistance recipients 25% above city average.
In addition, at least 15 percent of the student enrolment must be of Aboriginal ancestry.
Saskatchewan's Community Schools program has all three of the components described by Dobson & Dobson as being characteristic of this method of delivery. Each school has a Community School Council, made up of school staff and community agencies as well as parents. These Councils are an integral part of school planning.
The school-based involvement program includes a community school coordinator, Native teaching associates, a retention program and additional programs for children and youth such as after school, evening and weekend recreational and cultural programs.
The community-based involvement support program includes coordination of social services, community use of school facilities and community involvement in regular school and classroom programs (Community Schools Program, 1980).
During 1991-92, 18 community schools were operated by the public and separate school boards in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert. Approximately 5,000 students were enrolled in these schools, and slightly more than 50% of these students were of Aboriginal ancestry. Saskatchewan's Community Schools program has been at similar levels for several years. It has not expanded during the past few years, largely due to financial constraints (B. Eidsness, Saskatchewan Education, personal communication, October 22, 1992).
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What can parents, educators, community groups, boards of education and service providers do to bring integrated services one step closer to reality? Here are some ideas:
· Share this report with the teachers in your school, the members of your Home and School Group, your colleagues in agencies that serve children, the members of your board of education. Photocopy and distribute extra copies of this report to facilitate your discussions.
· Identify areas where you are already cooperating with other agencies that serve children. Give yourself a pat on the back for all the effort you've put into building relationships with other agencies.
· Identify where your board of education is in terms of integrated school-based services. The model on the next page describes typical stages in the adoption of an innovation. What stage are you at?
· Set up meetings with other agencies that serve children. Learn about what each other is doing. Identify areas where you might cooperate, either formally or informally. Discuss the barriers that prevent you from working together more fully. How many are real barriers?
· Learn about integrated projects being done in other parts of the province. Appendix C of this document provides descriptions of sample integrated projects.
· Study the legislation that governs your agency. Are there legal barriers that prevent you from cooperating more fully with other agencies? If there are, let the provincial government know about these legal barriers.
· Participate in other initiatives relating to integration of services, for example, The Saskatchewan Action Plan for Children and the establishment of health districts currently underway.
Stages of Concern in the Adoption of an Innovation
6 Refocusing Members of the school board have ideas about new structures and progress that would work even better.
5 Collaboration How can we relate the integrated school-based services provided by this school board to the services provided by other boards?
4 Consequence How are integrated school-based services affecting students? Can we refine or adapt our services so that they have more input?
3 Management School board members and support staff seem to spend a great deal of time managing the shift to integrated projects and making decisions about them.
2 Personal How will integrated school-based services affect this school board?
1 Informational School board would like to know more about integrated school-based services.
0 Awareness School board is not concerned about integrated school-based services.
Concerns-based Adoption Model from S. Iford et al. (1987). Taking Charge of Change. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
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Integrated School-Based Services
To better meet the needs of children, various community groups and agencies are forming partnerships to integrate services. The following pages outline a process that might be used to achieve interagency collaboration.
Who Initiates a Collaboration?
Any person or group of people who are interested in creative approaches to helping children and youth can initiate an interagency collaboration (Robinson & Mastny, 1989). This is illustrated by the descriptions in the inventory of integrated programs that in Appendix C of this document. Several of the projects described were initiated by the school board but leadership came from other sources as well. The Children's Services Integration Project in Saskatoon arose out of consensus by an interagency group. The Prince Albert Integrated Services Project was initiated by a community group, Concerned Parents of West Flat.
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Many authors who have written on the topic of integrated delivery of services have provided outlines of processes that might be used to achieve interagency collaboration (Bain & Herman, 1989; Gutherie & Gutherie, 1991; Robinson & Mastny, 1989; Schools and the Community, 1991). The processes outlined in the literature tend to vary in detail but not in overall approach. The model that follows, adapted from one developed by Alberta Education (Schools and the Community, 1991) is quite typical. Although the process is illustrated as a series of steps, it is not linear. Over time, collaborating agencies will move back and forth through all of the planning components. Good interagency collaboration can require years of planning and fine-tuning. The steps in interagency collaboration are illustrated in the diagram on the next page.
KNOW YOUR ORGANIZATION
Knowing your own agency or school system is the first step toward interagency collaboration, yet it is often overlooked. A good place to start is to examine one or more of your agency's programs that deal with a specific population. A program is made up of activities, services, resources, people and management, all of which evolve over time. Agency staff and others often become committed to existing programs and arrangements and may not be prepared to look at alternative service delivery arrangements. Organizations may have also accumulated obligations and commitments that constrain their behaviour. Over the years they have made promises to other service agencies, to particular groups of clients, students, parents and financial backers. The expectations of others may make it difficult for agencies todeviate from current operating procedures. Spend some time looking at your organization from an evaluative frame of reference, focusing on potential internal obstacles. It is much easier to identify and critique external barriers than it is to assess one's own system (Schools and the Community, 1991).
When identifying needs, it is important to look at the situation from the perspective of clients and client groups as well as from an organizational perspective. What are the particular needs and characteristics of a group of people? Is this a new problem or a chronic situation? Are the numbers of people affected increasing or decreasing? How do we know it's a problem? How is it affecting the people involved? (Schools and the Community, 1991)
A thorough needs assessment reaches out beyond the interagency planning team to involve students, parents, teachers and community members. This might be done through surveys, community meetings or informal contacts (Robinson & Mastny, 1989).
Identifying resources involves recognizing other agencies in the community that might participate in the project (Gutherie & Gutherie, 1991). It also involves asking questions about existing services such as:
What services are already in place?
Are we using these services to their fullest potential?
Are there gaps in the resources available?
Answering these questions requires knowledge of the population to be served, the existing service delivery system (availability, accessibility, effectiveness, efficiency and accountability) as well as internal management issues. Some key issues that affect service delivery include productivity, interpersonal relationships, authority and accountability (Schools and the Community, 1991).
The issue of leadership is highly significant throughout the planning process. Support, endorsement and involvement is required from key decision makers, practitioners and the interagency planning group.
Initial contacts generally work best if they are between agency administrators. Sometimes, however, administrators are more comfortable in suggesting a meeting together with a small number of their staff who are closer to the identified needs and service delivery realities.
At these initial meetings it is important to share two kinds of information. The first is that which pertains to the nature and operation of the agency itself and second, that which is useful in the delivery of services.
By the end of these initial meetings, some common service delivery goals will no doubt have emerged. Understanding of the other agency's mandate, resources and limitations will be heightened, and shared needs and possibilities for collaboration identified. The final task to is to establish a mechanism for ongoing communication and planning this may be achieved through in-house reports circulated between agencies, regular meetings between key staff, or newsletters to keep agency staff current. Interagency task forces can also be formed to provide an established mechanism for the pursuit of co-ordination or to undertake a specific task, such as a joint community needs assessment. These task forces generally report back to the larger interagency steering group at regular intervals (Schools in the Community, 1991).
FORMULATE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Goals are broad statements of intent and purpose that both energize and legitimate a process. Objectives are derived from goals. They spell out what is intended in specific, time-oriented, measurable terms. Usually, the needs assessment helps collaborating agencies define both their goals and their objectives (Schools in the Community, 1991).
DEVELOP AN ACTION PLAN
Components of the action plan might include:
Ų Define the services that will be offered to achieve the goals and objectives - some of these services may already be in place; some may need to be enhanced or upgraded; others may have to be created from scratch (Gutherie and Gutherie, 1991). As well as defining the services, it will be necessary to identify or develop a structure that will be used for their delivery. Will these services be delivered by itinerant staff, for example, or through a community school model?
Ų Define the roles for each cooperating agency - What staff and money will each agency contribute? How will the project be managed? Often the responsibilities of the cooperating agencies are specified in a formal written agreement. While such an agreement may not be legally binding, it is a symbol of the goodwill and intended cooperation between the agencies involved (Schools in the Community, 1991).
Chart the Action Steps - What specific steps will be taken to implement the services? Often flow charts and timelines are useful at this stage (Gutherie and Gutherie, 1991).
Like needs assessment, evaluation is a continuous process that requires the involvement of all agencies. Evaluation should be discussed and planned during the action planning phase of a project. It shouldn't be an add-on at the end.
Evaluation should look at outcomes - how well a project is achieving its stated goals and objectives, but it should also look at the nature of the interagency collaboration itself. There may be administrative or organizational characteristics that are enhancing or hindering service delivery. Most interagency collaboration efforts, by their very nature, do not yield immediate results. If the focus is simply on outcomes rather than process, you will not be able to isolate specific developmental milestones or assess the interactional nature of the overall planning process (Schools in the Community, 1991).
Gutherie and Gutherie (1991) suggest another step in additional to the seven above outlined by Alberta Education - get started. The main rule for getting started is to start small. You are dealing with entrenched habits and practices, so begin with clearly manageable, well-defined tasks and expand from there. For example, it may be appropriate to think in terms of pilot projects rather than massive change efforts.
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SSTA Forum on Integrated School-Based Services for Children
Monday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 10, 1992
The SSTA Forum on Integrated School-Based Services for Children is organized:
· To provide a networking opportunity for school boards exploring new structures for the provision of services for children.
· To articulate a school board perspective on a policy framework and action plan for Integrated School-Based Services for Children.
Agenda: Monday, November 9
7:00 p.m. Registration
7:30 Welcome: Ken Krawetz, SSTA President
Forum Overview: Craig Melvin, SSTA Executive Director
7:45 Overview of New Community-Based Programs for Children
8:30 Discussion: Saskatchewan Success Stories (small group)
9:20 Reporting: "What makes integrated programs successful?"
Agenda: Tuesday, November 10
8:45 Welcome and Overview: Craig Melvin, SSTA Executive Director
9:00 Discussion: Issues and Options (small group)
11:20 Reporting: Issues and Options (plenary)
1:00 Presentation: Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Children
1:20 Discussion: Future Directions (small group)
2:00 Reporting: Vision and Barriers (plenary)
2:30 Discussion: Developing the Action Plan
3:00 Reporting: Goals and Strategies (plenary)
3:20 Summary and Closing Remarks
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Darlene Aitken Rosetown S.D.
Margaret Alger Meadow Lake S.D.
Leslie Anderson SSTA
Barry Bashutski SSTA
George Baxter Regina S.D.
Maryanna Burton Nipawin S.D.
Deb Carey Meadow Lake S.D.
Marina Chernipeski Yorkton S.D.
Lois Donellely Swift Current S.D.
Grant Fissum Moose Jaw S.D.
Dorothy Fortier SSTA
Mike Fulton Indian Head S.D.
Rosanne Glass Sask. Education
Ardele Gorman Swift Current S.D.
Ben Grebinski Regina R.C.S.S.D.
Peter Griffith Prince Albert S.D.
Merv Grosse N. Battleford S.D.
Ron Grunding St. Paul's R.C.S.S.D.
Harry Harder Sask. Valley S.D.
David Hedlund Social Services
Tom Hengen Saskatoon (East) S.D.
Mary Hicks Regina S.D.
Jim Hopson Buffalo Plains S.D.
Elaine Hnatyshyn Saskatoon S.D.
Jim Jinks Indian Head S.D.
Ray Johnson Wilkie S.D.
Lou Karpinski Sask. Health
Al Klassen SSTA
John Krahn Sask. Valley S.D.
Ken Krawetz SSTA
Judy Kuling P.A. R.C.S.S.D.
Bob Lockwood Meadow Lake S.D.
Ron Luciuk Saskatoon S.D.
Doris Lund P.A. Comp H.S.
Larry McIntosh Davidson S.D.
Craig Melvin SSTA
George Meyer P.A. R.C.S.S.D.
Lynn Peterson P.A. Rural S.D.
David Pezderic Saskatoon W S.D.
Bob Reid Saskatoon S.D.
Keith Rogers Community Services
Chris Sarich St. Paul's R.C.S.S.D.
Meg Shatilla P.A. Rural S.D.
Morris Sorokan Prince Albert S.D.
Tom Sutherland Timberline S.D.
Felix Thomas Tiger Lily S.D.
David Thompson Parkland S.D.
Loraine Thompson Regina
Brian Welford N. Battleford S.D.
Tim Yee STF
Betty Zakresky N.B. R.C.S.S.D.
Joe Zolkavich Sask. Valley S.D.
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Preliminary Inventory of Integrated School-Based Programs in Saskatchewan
This inventory of integrated school-based programs provides a few representative examples of programs presently operting in Saskatchewan.
Indian Head School Division #19 - Education Equity Program 40
Meadow Lake School Division #66 - Trauma Response Plan 41
North Battleford School Division #103 - School Board/Social Service Protocol 42
Prince Albert School Division #3 - Prince Albert Integrated School-Based Delivery of Services Project 43
Regina Public School Division #4 - Interagency Collaborative Planning for An Integrated Program for Young Offenders 44
Regina Public School Division #4 - Scott Collegiate 45
Regina Public School Division #4 - Special Tutorial Program at Balfour Collegiate 46
Rosetown School Division #43 - School Division/McNeill Clinic Cooperative Project 47
Saskatoon Catholic Schools - Infant Care Center - Bishop Murray High School 48
Saskatoon Catholic Schools - Social Learning Program 49
Saskatoon (East) School Division #41 - Re-Entry Program 50
Saskatoon Interagency Planning Committee - Children's Services Integration Program 51
Saskatoon School Division #13 - Centre Program 52
Saskatoon School Division #13 - Children's Interagency Classroom 53
Saskatoon School Division #13/Saskatoon Indian and Metis
Friendship Centre - SIMFC Home and School Liaison Program 54
Yorkton Public School Division #93 - Smith Street School 55
Indian Head School Division #19 Contact: Mike Fulton
Director of Education
Indian Head School Division
P.O. Box 639
Indian Head, Saskatchewan
Program Title: Education Equity Program
Identified Needs: A large percentage of the students in Indian Head School
Division are of Aboriginal ancestry. The Education Equity
Program is directed to the entire community including these
students and their families. Its purpose is to make school
an inviting place for these students, to promote their
academic achievement and to encourage them to stay in
Program Overview: An interagency committee with representatives from the
school board, government agencies and Aboriginal
organizations provides direction. Program activities are
designed to involve Aboriginal parents in the life of the
school, hire Aboriginal teachers, increase other teachers'
cross-cultural awareness and ensure Aboriginal curriculum
content. There is also a stay in school component to the
program which employs 2.5 people.
Issues: Some people have questioned why job ads specify that people
of Aboriginal ancestry are encouraged to apply and suggest
that this reflects a type of reverse discrimination.
Leadership: The original idea of an education equity committee
originated with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
The Indian Head School Board picked up on the idea and
developed the plan.
Resources: Originally, the Education Equity Program was funded with
money from the Education Development Fund. Now, it is
funded by the School Board.
Management: The Director of Education is responsible for administering
and managing the plan.
Evaluation: The Director of Education prepares yearly reports for the
Human Rights Commission and the plan is updated as needed.
The evaluation is subjective in nature, but some statistics
on drop-outs, etc. have been collected.
Meadow Lake School Division #66 Contact: Bob Lockwood
Superintendent of Instruction
Meadow Lake School Division
Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan
Program Title: Trauma Response Plan
Identified Needs: A fatal accident occurred during morning school bus pickup
several years ago, but there was no systematic way of
helping students, teachers, parents and community cope.
The trauma response plan grew out of that incident.
Program Overview: School board, mental health, medical, R.C.M.P. staff and
the clergy cooperated in developing the plan. Each agency
will have a role to play in the event of a traumatic
incident, as well as the need to deal with situations where
self destructive act(s) had occurred.
Issues: No problems were encountered while developing the plan.
Fortunately, there has never been a need to implement the
plan so it is not known whether there are problems in its
Leadership: The plan was initiated by the School Division office, which
called participating agencies together and wrote drafts of
the plan according to the committee's specifications.
Resources: Each participating agency will supply staff as specified in
Management: Overall management would be provided by the Director of
Education or designate. The Principal at the school
affected would be responsible for starting the process and
coordinating the local effort. The crisis response team
would provide immediate and long term support and
Evaluation: The plan has never been tested in either a real-life or a
simulated situation. The plan is reviewed and updated
early in the fall term annually.
North Battleford School Contact: Merv Grosse
Division #103 Director of Education
North Battleford School
161, 1791 - 110 Street
North Battleford, SK
Program Title: School Board/Social Service Protocol
Target Group: Teachers, administrators and other school division
employees and social services employees.
Identified Needs: Employees of the school division and of social services
frequently need to meet the needs of children with specific
behavioral, emotional or educational problems. Clearly
defined expectations will make this process easier.
Program Overview: Representatives of the school division and social services
have developed a protocol that defines common goals,
identifies information that each party can expect from the
other and outlines the obligations that each agency has to
Issues: All new staff will need to be oriented to the protocol to
ensure that it is followed on an ongoing basis.
Leadership: Initiated by the school division.
Resources: No funding required. Development and implementation
accomplished within workloads of existing staff.
Management: Director of Education and Social Services Director are
responsible for orienting new staff to protocol.
Front-line staff and administrators are responsible for
observing its terms.
Evaluation: Implementation of protocol is just beginning. No
evaluation has been done yet.
Prince Albert School Contact: Gil Streeton
Division #3 Supervisor of Special Services
Prince Albert S.D. #3
545 - 11th Street East
Prince Albert, SK S6V 1B1
Program Title: Prince Albert Integrated School-Based
Delivery of Services Project
Target Group: West Flat area of Prince Albert
Identified Needs: The West Flat area has a large number of poor families.
Recently there has been concern over issues such as
substance abuse, crime and child neglect.
Program Overview: A community group, Concerned Parents of West Flat,
initiated a series of meetings where it was decided to
conduct two surveys (adult and student) of the area, to
explore the concept of a youth centre and to increase
recreation opportunities for youth. Surveys will indicate
areas of greatest need. An interagency community response
group will decide upon activities to be undertaken.
Activities might include individual family, community and
cultural programming as well as community development.
Organizations participating in the project include schools,
parents, mental health, public health and social service
agencies, police, SADAC, friendship centres, etc.
Issues: Presently, leadership is coming from the parents of West
Flat. If parents' enthusiasm decreases, project will lack
Leadership: Leadership came from the Concerned Parents of West Flat who
organized with the assistance of the community schools.
Resources: Project will be accomplished by reassigning existing staff
and by using existing facilities. Community will identify
a need and cooperating agencies will determine how existing
staff and facilities might be used to meet it.
Management: Management group made up of community members and
cooperating agencies presently being formed.
Evaluation: Presently, surveys are being done. When activities are
underway, the person heading a particular initiative will
be expected to collect evaluative data.
Regina Public School Division #4 Contact: Mrs. Jane Newton
Supervisor, Special Services
Regina Board of Education
1600 Fourth Avenue
Program Title: Interagency Collaborative Planning for
An Integrated Program for Young Offenders
Target Group: Young offenders. Increasing numbers of young offenders are
attending Regina Public Schools. Many are not residents of
Regina, but are moved to Regina for group home placements
after becoming the responsibility of Social Services.
Identified Needs: Emotional/behaviourial difficulties, learning disabilities,
low achievement, non-attendance with resulting skill
deficiencies, difficulties related to short-term
Program Overview: Integrated teams made up of representatives from the Regina
Public School system, Saskatchewan Justice, Health and
Social Services will provide support to young offenders in
an alternate school setting. A teacher and teaching
assistant will provide daily continuity. Instructional
modules will focus on life skills and personal development
as well as on academic subjects.
Issues: Transient nature of clients necessitates flexible
Leadership: Initiated by Regina Public School Division.
Resources: Allocation of personnel by cooperating
agencies/departments. Joint operating budget funded by all
Management: Interagency collaboration occurs at three levels -
planning, implementation and monitoring.
Evaluation: Presently at planning stage. When implemented, an
interagency monitoring team will define the monitoring
process and develop a system for sharing of monitoring
Regina Public Contact:
School Division #4 Mavis Olesen Mr. Russ Marchuk
Assistant Superintendent Principal
Regina Board of Education Scott Collegiate
1600 - 4th Avenue 3350 - 7th Avenue
Regina, SK S4R 8C8 Regina, SK S4T 0P6
Telephone: 791-8219 Telephone: 791-8415
Program Title: Scott Collegiate
Identified Needs: Many students in the area around Scott Collegiate were
dropping out. There was a need for a program that would
encourage students to stay in school and complete their
education. The majority of students in the school are of
Aboriginal backgrounds. A significant percentage are of
Asian background; 5-10% are caucasian.
Program Overview: Scott provides a regular grade 8 to 12 high school program.
In addition it also provides Academic Support and Support
Services. Academic Support includes the Re-entry Centre
for students who have been out of school, the Learning
Resource Centre where students who have been away from
school can continue their studies in modular form and the
Transitional Learning Centre for students whose behaviour
is not appropriate for other school programs. Support
Services include a Community Advisory Council, a Resource
Officer, a Cultural Counsellor, a Drug and Alcohol
Counsellor and an Infant Care Centre.
Issues: To provide a program that successfully encourages students
to complete their education.
Leadership: The program at Scott Collegiate was planned and implemented
by the Regina Board of Education in co-operation with the
Resources: Academic programs are funded by the Regina Board of
Education. During the 1991-92 year, Canada Employment and
Immigration provided funds for the Re-Entry Program. The
Regina City Police provide the Resource Officer. Funds for
the Community Advisory Council, Cultural Counsellor, Drug
and Alcohol Counsellor, and the Infant Care Centre
Parent/Nutrition Trainer, come from the federal START
program (a Stay in School Initiative). The Infant Care
Centre also receives funding from the Regina Board of
Education and Saskatchewan Social Services. SaskTel is a
partner for Scott Collegiate and provides funds, volunteer
support and summer jobs for students.
Management: Regina Board of Education (Scott Collegiate - R. Marchuk,
Evaluation: Program is presently in the development stage.
Regina Public School Division #4 Contact: Mr. John Neiles
1245 College Avenue
Program Title: Special Tutorial Program at Balfour Collegiate
Target Group: Young pregnant women.
Identified Needs: There is a need for a program that will help young pregnant
women stay in school and make appropriate decisions about
Program Overview: The program offers individualized or small group tutoring
in an atmosphere of warmth and understanding. Involvement
of other agencies includes a Regina Public Health nurse on
site four half days per week providing instruction on child
care and parenting. A social worker from Child and Youth
Services holds weekly counselling sessions to discuss
pregnancy and parenting issues. As well, a teen parent
social worker is available three days per week to discuss
personal concerns. Food for Learning provides food and the
students prepare breakfast or lunch as needed. The program
typically serves between 70 and 110 young women per
semester. The McKenzie Infant Care Centre provides day
care for up to 24 infants of young mothers from the Special
Issues: Provide opportunity for young pregnant women to continue
Leadership: Leadership for this program comes from the Regina Public
Resources: Present tuition fees of $529.26 per month are paid by the
school division that students come from (not all are from
the Regina Public System). The McKenzie Infant Care Centre
is funded by grants from Social Services and the Department
of Health and by nominal fees paid by parents.
Management: Regina Board of Education (Balfour Collegiate - Principal).
Evaluation: The program has been operating since 1972.
Rosetown School Division #43 Contact: Connie Engbretson
Rosetown School Division
Program Title: School Division/MacNeill Clinic Cooperative Project
Target Group: Elementary and high school students of joint concern to
both clinic and school personnel reflecting a variety of
emotional and behavioral concerns.
Program Overview: Services to children representing the interests of both the
Rosetown School Division and MacNeill Clinic are being
delivered for two days within the Rosetown School Division.
Each jurisdiction picks up the cost of one-day service.
The clinician's role will be to see children and families
as well as to provide consultation to school personnel.
Issues: Because of the two jurisdictions involved, it is important
for good good communication is important to ensure that
lines of authority are clear.
Leadership: This particular program was initiated through collaborative
discussions between MacNeill Clinic and Rosetown School
Division administrative staff.
Resources: As previously stated, the Rosetown School Division and
MacNeill Clinic are each responsible for one day of
Management: Informal management structure. Major decisions are made by
school division and clinic administrators. If project
continues, management structure may be formalized.
Evaluation: This is a pilot project, thus, its future status is
uncertain. No formal evaluation has been done. However,
feedback from teachers and parents is very positive.
Service is presently limited to three of the ten schools in
Rosetown School Division. The other seven schools have
requested that the service be expanded to include them.
Saskatoon Catholic Schools Contact: Chris Sarich
Saskatoon Catholic Schools
420 - 22nd Street East
Program Title: Infant Care Center - Bishop Murray High
School Tutorial Program
Target Group: School age mothers.
Program Overview: Three agencies (Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Catholic Family
Services and Saskatchewan Social Services) are cooperating
to deliver this program.
The program is designed to:
· provide the opportunity for school age mothers to return
or stay in school
· provide quality child care
· provide opportunities for school age mothers to learn
good parenting skills
Resources: Catholic School Board - Facility, Integration of School
Program with Infant Care Program
Catholic Family Services - Program management and staff
Social Services - Teen Care Worker (partial funding)
Management: Catholic Family Services
Saskatoon Catholic Schools Contact: Chris Sarich
Saskatoon Catholic Schools
420 - 22nd Street East
Program Title: Social Learning Program
Target Group: Elementary Social/Emotional/Behaviorally Disabled Students
Program Overview: Four school divisions are cooperating to deliver this
program: Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Saskatoon East,
Saskatoon West and Saskatchewan Valley. The program has
a) Special Learning Classroom - provides academic, social
and behavioral programming for students, and parenting
skills training to families
b) Field Service - provides preventative and supportive
programming to students in their neighbourhood schools
Resources: Saskatchewan Education - Partial funding
Cooperating School Divisions - Partial
Social Services - Part-time Social Worker
Mental Health - Consultation Services
Management Committee - Director of Education
Working Committee - Superintendent of Education
Saskatoon (East) School Division #41 Contact: Tom Hengen
Saskatoon (East) School Division #41
620 Heritage Lane
Program Title: Re-Entry Program
Target Group: Group Foster Home Youth
Program Overview: School performance has been identified as below acceptable
standards. This includes several aspects of student
behaviour, namely, social skills, personal self-management,
and learning skills. In-home services are provided
initially and during transition to the school. In-school
services are continuous throughout the transition.
Issues: The mandate of schools must be seen in the context of
community service. Permission to live this mandate needs
Leadership: Pupil services professionals and helping agents from the
foster home guardian to the school bureaucrats.
Resources: School Division (program assistance) budget; Department of
Social Services (contract worker); Department of Education
Management: Team of teachers, (parent) guardians, guidance counsellors,
Evaluation: By objectives: stated in terms of reference. Social
skills development measured across classroom - to home - to
Saskatoon Interagency Contact: Dennis Chubb
Planning Committee Saskatchewan Social Services
122 - 3rd Avenue North
Program Title: Children's Services Integration Program
Target Group: Multi-problem families with a child (children) aged 6-12
experiencing major adjustment difficulties and presenting
needs that require the attention of multiple agencies and
who currently need or is at risk of needing out-of-home
placement for the child.
Program Overview: Cooperating agencies include the five Saskatoon school
divisions, the provincial departments of Health, Education
and Social Services, the Royal University Hospital and the
Saskatoon Tribal Council. The role of children's service
coordinator will be created to access, mobilize and
coordinate comprehensive, consistent and effective services
for the target population through a shared care plan. The
program will be based on "wrap-around" or non-categorical
Issues: Require clear authority to facilitate timely expenditure of
funds. The financial responsibilities of the cooperating
agencies need to be defined so that needed services can be
purchased quickly and bills paid promptly.
Leadership: Leadership arose out of consensus among members of the
interagency group. Model used for proposed project was
provided by Social Services and was based on Ventura model.
Resources: Project will be staffed by five full-time positions
provided by cooperating agencies. An additional $100,000
flexible funding will be contributed by sponsoring
Management: Managed by a local executive management committee, project
director responsible for daily operation.
Evaluation: Presently at planning stage. Plans for evaluation include
integrating evaluation with service delivery by tracking
charts and service outcomes.
Saskatoon School Division #13 Contact: Linda Tunney
Coordinator Pupil Services
Saskatoon Board of Education
405 - 3rd Avenue South
Program Title: Centre Program
Target Group: Youth between the ages of 12-19 who are experiencing
emotional and/or social difficulties. Program participants
must want to acquire skills that will enable them to
reintegrate into an educational and/or vocational setting.
Program Overview: Program is a joint project of the Department of Education
and the Youth Services Program of the Department of
Psychiatry within the Royal University Hospital. It
operates from 9:30 to 3:30 four days a week. Program
focuses on life skills, social skills, leisure education
and academics. Students can take academic classes at
other high schools (individually arranged throughout the
week or on Wednesdays).
Issues: It is difficult to meet the needs of very severely
emotionally disturbed students in a group setting. More
students are referred to the program than can be accepted.
Sometimes difficult to find an appropriate placement for
students after they complete the program. Group dynamics
affect center programming.
Resources: Program is held at Youth Services. Teacher is funded by
the Department of Education and paid by Board of Education.
The two psychiatrists associated with the program are
employees of the University of Saskatchewan. Nurses,
nutritionists, recreation therapists and child care workers
involved with the project part-time are also paid by the
Management: Youth Services staff.
Evaluation: Successful reintegration into a school setting is part of
the evaluative process.
Saskatoon School Division #13 Contact: Linda Tunney
Coordinator Pupil Services
Saskatoon Board of Education
405 - 3rd Avenue South
Program Title: Children's Interagency Classroom
Target Group: Accepts three children at a time (aged 7-11) who are
emotionally disturbed and have very severe problems.
Children accepted often are a danger to other students.
Program Overview: Three agencies, Department of Health, Saskatoon Public
School Board, Saskatoon Mental Health (MacNeill Clinic) and
Department of Social Services are involved. In the
mornings students work on academics with a Radius tutor
(Note: Radius is a private tutoring agency that sells its
services on a fee-for-service basis) who is funded by the
Board of Education. In the afternoon, two contract workers
provided by the Department of Social Services deliver a
recreational program to students. A psychologist from
MacNeill Clinic meets regularly with the families of the
Resources: Program is held at Wilson School, a school board facility.
The three cooperating agencies provide staff as indicated
Management: A Steering Committee, which meets once a month, represents
the three agencies and monitors the program.
Evaluation: Ongoing conferencing. Successful integration back in a
regular classroom is one form of evaluation.
Saskatoon School Division #13/ Contact: Linda Tunney
Saskatoon Indian and Metis Coordinator Pupil Services
Friendship Centre Saskatoon Board of Education
405 - 3rd Avenue South
Program Title: SIMFC Home and School Liaison Program
Target Group: Primarily students of Aboriginal ancestry and their
Identified Needs: The program is intended to promote academic success for
Aboriginal students. It is also intended to assist and
support families and school personnel, in an effort to
increase communication and understanding.
Program Overview: The Home and School Liaison Program provides advocacy to
and for students of Aboriginal ancestry. It offers
services to the student, the home, the school and the
Issues: Not enough time to assist all of the students who might
benefit from the program. Heavy workload for all
associated with the program.
Leadership: Original proposal came from Friendship Centre in 1985.
Project was funded by CEIC for one year. Project then
approached several agencies for long-term funding. School
Board's Curriculum and Instruction Review Committee
responded and prepared proposal for consideration by Board
Resources: Funding is provided by the Saskatoon Board of Education.
Implementation and operation are the responsibility of the
Friendship Centre. The program employs three staff people.
Management: The program receives direction and guidance from a
six-person steering committee. Three members of the
committee are from the School Division and three are from
the Friendship Centre.
Evaluation: Program has been operating since 1985. No formal
evaluation has been done, but detailed statistics are kept
on number of cases and the nature of the problems dealt
Yorkton Public School Contact: Gord Gendur
Division #93 Yorkton Public School Division
33 Darlington Street W.
Yorkton, SK S3N 0Z4
Program Title: Smith Street School
Target Group: Students in grades six to nine who are experiencing
difficulty in a regular school setting.
Program Overview: This alternate store-front school is designed to equip
students with the skills they need to successfully re-enter
the regular school system. School is highly structured and
there is a strong emphasis on academics. Program also
includes life skills, social skills, etc. Has both formal
and informal community involvement. Business people,
clergy, etc. are involved informally as mentors. Ten
community agencies are involved formally as instructors for
topics such as anger management, cultural traditions, etc.
Issues: Interagency networking is essential to the success of the
school but sometimes can be problematic as all human
service agencies are stretched to the limit right now.
Leadership: Program was conceptualized and implemented by school
Resources: Funding for facility and teaching staff is supplied by the
School Board. Community organizations fund their staff
members involved in the program.
Management: School has an off-site principal. All staff members have
same level of authority. Board guidance counsellor spends
first half hour of each day at the school for student
discipline meetings, school discipline meetings and
discussion about the day-to-day issues associated with
running an alternate school. Participating community
agencies are not formally involved in decision-making.
Evaluation: Program has been operating for three years. There have
been several types of evaluation. Students write the same
exams as students in regular program and perform well. A
study by a graduate student showed credible behaviour
change as a result of the program. Half of the students
who completed the Smith Street program are still enrolled
in regular school programs.
Table of Contents
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