I. Enhanced Learning Resources

A. Resource Sharing Arrangements

1. Shared Textbook Sets

Textbook sets can be shared among one or more schools if the related courses are scheduled in alternating terms or semesters. This option is therefore feasible only for courses that are not offered each semester. Schools might use this strategy to decrease current textbook costs or to improve the quality or quantity of textbooks without increasing costs.

Expected Outcomes  

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

2. Shared Theme Box Resources

Portable collections of thematically-related learning resources can be stored in a central location (i.e., division office) for shared use. Theme boxes are generally compiled by teachers or division curriculum consultants to support specific curricular themes for particular grades (i.e., map skills for grades 6-7).

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

3. Centralized Resource-sharing Programs

Divisions can extend resource access by pooling resources within a centralized circulation system. Pooled resources might include those contributed for circulation by individual schools and those, such as textbooks and large ticket items, purchased by division or collective school funds.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

4. Library Partnerships

Schools can negotiate partnership agreements with regional and/or community libraries to share collections, facilities, and services. The integrated collection may be housed within school facilities, or the school may contribute to a collection housed elsewhere in the community.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 
B. Computer and Online Resources
1. Internet Resources

Internet sites contain innumerable resource materials suitable for student or teacher reference, and a growing number of sites are designed specifically for educational purposes. Internet search tools enable location of resources related to specific topics. Internet access also allows communication and collaboration with other teachers and students across the globe.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

2. CD ROM Resources

Educational materials available on CD ROM, include encyclopedias, specialized reference materials, and instructional programs. CD multimedia materials incorporate sound, graphic, and video segments as well as text. CDís can be run on single computer equipped with a CD drive or on a CD tower for electronic distribution to several computers via a local area (LAN) or wide area network (WAN).

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

3. Linking Schools Electronically

Digital electronic networks can link schools within or beyond divisions to facilitate transmission of administrative data for central processing, shared access to computer resources and Internet service, and distance education delivery. Many urban school divisions have linked schools and a central office via wide area networks (WAN). Unless schools are within local dialing distance, however, long distance charges for a wire connection are costly. An alternative technology for electronic networking across a dispersed geographic area is wireless, microwave transmission. Digital transmissions are relayed by microwave signals between towers that must be within direct line of sight. Intervening land elevations and tower height determines tower spacing, but intervals of 18-20 miles are common. While band width restricts the capacity to transmit video effectively via telephone wires, microwave signals have much greater and more versatile transmission capacity.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

 II. Extend Programs and Course Offerings

A. Distributed Teaching

1. Itinerant Teaching Assignments

Teachers with specialized expertise (i.e., music, industrial arts, special education) can be assigned to two or more schools on an alternating basis. Depending on distance, scheduling, and teacher flexibility, the teacher may rotate by the partial day, full day, week, or semester block.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

2. Provincial Distance Education Courses

The SaskEd Correspondence School offers over 60 courses for grades 9-12. Type A service includes full instructional services; Type B includes materials only. Materials are also available as teacher reference guides. The Correspondence School brokers elementary and additional secondary courses through the Open School, Open Learning Agency, B. C. Correspondence School delivery modes include print as well as a variety of enhanced technology services. The Saskatchewan Communication Network (SCN) facilitates satellite delivery of one-way video supplemented by two-way telephone and fax communication.

 

Implementation Considerations

Expected Outcomes  

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

3. Local Distance Delivery

Several Saskatchewan school divisions are currently experimenting with inter-school distance deliver. A full-service high school might transmit courses to outlying schools, or schools could exchange distance delivery to share the subject expertise of their respective teachers. Local distance delivery preserves a sense of community, retains the personal flavour of interactions and relationships, and enables timely and flexible responsiveness to local needs and initiatives.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

 
B. Transporting Students to Other Schools
1. Multi-campus Configurations

The multi-campus model generally features a centralized facility that serves as an auxiliary learning centre to supplement and support the basic services of outlying schools. The centralized facility, equipped with specialized facilities and resources, would offer courses and learning activities that cannot be feasibly offered within outlying schools. Students from outlying schools would commute to the learning center on an intermittent, rotational basis. Together, the learning center and outlying schools would constitute a unified, multi-campus system with coordinated scheduling and optimal deployment of teachers, students, and resources within the division.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

2. Inter-school Student Exchange

Two or more small schools within reasonable busing distance can configure a mini multi-campus among themselves. Each school would specialize in particular courses or programs, and students would travel periodically to the other school(s) to access alternate services, courses, or facilities.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

3. Short-term Residency Courses

Rural students might be transported to urban centres to attend short-term residency courses in specialized subjects. It may be possible to concentrate local courses over a shorter period to allow a block of time during the regular term for residency courses. Alternately, the school year might be altered so that residency courses can be scheduled during the normal summer break when student residences are vacant and concentrated summer courses are offered in urban centres.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

References and Contacts for Further Information  

C. Integrating Community Sites and Expertise

1. Community-based Curriculum Projects

Community-based curriculum projects are interdisciplinary, authentic learning activities that enrich the community and strengthen studentsí sense of community membership. Examples include conducting needs assessments for community services, compiling oral histories, publishing a community newsletter, or analyzing environmental or economic patterns.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

References and Contacts for Further Information  

2. Probationary Certification of Local Instructors

Community members with specialized and valuable expertise (i.e., accounting, industrial arts, etc.) may be granted probationary teacher certification if a certified teacher with suitable expertise cannot be found to fill the position. This situation may arise, for instance, when a specialized teaching assignment is for only a fraction of full-time. Assessing suitability and applying for probationary certification are the school boardís responsibilities.

 

Implementation Considerations:

 

Expected Outcomes:

 

References and Contacts for Further Information:

 

3. Community-Based Vocational Programs

Schools that lack facilities, equipment, or expertise to support vocational programs can explore a wealth of alternatives beyond the school. For example, private or public facilities in the community might be leased as sites for home economics or industrial arts classes. Local employers can be recruited to provide suitable sites for work experience or school-to-work transition programs. As well, local tradespersons may, under certain circumstances, be certified to provide in-school instruction.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

4. Applied Technologies Program

The Applied Technologies Program is designed to offer students more relevant and meaningful preparation for work or further post-secondary education than in-school vocational programs can offer. The program offers training, accreditation, and work experience in a variety of fields including trades, technologies, and business occupations. Local employers provide sites and instructors certified by the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST). SIAST provides training curriculum and resources, monitors on-site training, and assesses student performance. The school division coordinates and negotiates arrangements, integrates training with the school curriculum, and monitors work experience. Students can earn secondary work experience credit, apprenticeship credit hours, and prior credit toward SIAST post-secondary programs. In addition, they can develop a portfolio of their work, gain meaningful work experience, and obtain employer references to enhance their employability or eligibility for post-secondary programs.

 

Implementation Considerations

Expected Outcomes  

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

 

5. Community-based Arts and Recreation Programs

If school facilities, expertise, or budget are insufficient to support recreational, physical education or arts programs, these might be developed through school and community cooperation. Jointly developed programs supported by pooled facilities, expertise, and resources might be designed to serve the needs of both students and the general community.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

6. Alternative High School Programs

Alternative high school programs for at-risk students can be developed in conjunction with agency and institution partners whose clients would also benefit from access to an alternative program. Potential partners might include local employers, First Nations Bands, Social Services Agencies, and Regional Colleges.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

III. Enhance Special Needs and Counseling Services

A. Shared Services and Contractual Arrangements

1. Transport Students to Auxiliary Services

Access to special needs or counselling services may be enhanced by transporting students to specialized services on a daily or periodic basis. Vans, contracted or division-owned, might be used if numbers or transport needs preclude busing. Public or charitable organizations may provide or subsidize transportation for students with mobility or sensory impairments. Alternatively, travel allowances may be provided for parents who agree to transport their own children.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

2. Contracted Services

Where special needs or counselling expertise is not currently represented among school or division staff, these services may contracted from a private or public agency.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

3. Regional Itinerant Services

Full-time specialist positions can be shared among divisions. A specialist might provide office services in one or more locations and circulate among schools as needed.

 

Implementation Considerations

Expected Outcomes  

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

 
B. Teacher Support and Professional Development

1. Peer Coaching Programs

 

Peer coaching is a highly effective approach to enhancing teacher expertise and confidence for accommodating special learning needs. Refer to the following entry elsewhere in this guide for further information:

V. E. 1. Page 45 Peer coaching programs

 

2. Sponsor Selective Professional Development

A selected teacher with particular aptitude, interest, and need for developing special education expertise can be sponsored for intensive professional development. That teacher would then become a professional development resource for other teachers. Refer to the following entry elsewhere in this guide for further information:

V. E. 2. Page 46 Sponsor selective professional development

 

 

3. Internet Resources and Discussion Groups

The Internet offers a rich source of resources and contacts to support self-directed professional development in the area of special needs education. Refer to the following entry elsewhere in this guide for further information:

V. E. 3. Page 47 Internet resources and discussion groups

 

 
C. Provide Alternative Programs

1. Community-based Vocational Programs

School-to-work transition programs can be implemented in small schools given sufficient community support. Refer to the following entry elsewhere in this guide for further information:

II. C. 3. Page 16 Community-based vocational programs

 

2. Alternative Programs for at-risk Students

Alternative high-school programs for at-risk students can be offered in partnership with other agencies and institutions in the community or region. On a more individualized basis, individual students may respond positively to a combination of school attendance and supported home-based study. Refer to the following entries elsewhere in this guide for further information:

II. C. 6. Page 19 Alternative high school programs
VI. B. 2. Page 52 Supported home-based study

 

3. Individualized Education Programs

The learning needs of exceptional students often diverge from those of the class majority. Their requirements for a moderated or an accelerated pace and adapted or enriched curriculum can be accommodated with individualized education programs (IEP). IEPs also represent a viable alternative to accommodating the diverse needs of students in multi-graded classes. With IEPs, the learning pace and curriculum content transcend grade levels but are generally reconciled with standard requirements at periodic intervals (i.e., at the end of every three-grade division).

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 
D. Enhance Career Services

1. Integrating Career Awareness Across the Curriculum

A concerted effort can be made to integrate career awareness into existing subjects. A social studies project can include an analysis or comparison of occupational patterns. A history lesson might touch on the implications of historical events on employment trends. A science segment can incorporate a brief overview of emerging occupations in the field of study. A health lesson can focus on developing decision-making strategies, identifying personal values, or enhancing self-awareness. A language arts assignment could involve interviewing an occupational role model. Classroom guests can be asked to briefly describe their own career development. Field trips might include attention to occupations represented in the field site. The overall objectives are to increase studentsí occupational knowledge, to develop their self-awareness, and to broaden their career horizons.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

 

2. Itinerant, Shared, or Contracted Career Services

Career guidance services may be provided by contract from private agencies, through regional itinerant services, or through shared services with other community agencies and education institutions. See the following entries elsewhere in this guide for related information on each of these alternatives:

III. A. 2. Page 21 Contracted services
III. A. 3. Page 21 Regional itinerant services
VIII. C. 3. Page 62 Community-school services integration

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

3. Support Self-directed Career Exploration

A number of resources are now available to facilitate self-directed career exploration. Computer-assisted career guidance programs, accessible by disk or Internet, provide comprehensive support for self-directed self-assessment, occupational exploration, and trial decision making. Electronic access to comprehensive data-bases of occupational and educational information is a particular strength of computerized career exploration. A growing number of Internet sites provide online computer assistance on a free or fee-for-access basis. As well, many post-secondary education institutions maintain online sites with extensive information to guide educational planning.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 
IV. Reduce Student Transportation Time

A. Student Transportation and Bus Routing Alternatives

1. Parent-provided Transportation

Students tolerate and sometimes enjoy busing within reason. Bus trips beyond one hour each way, however, significantly intrude on the quality of life for students and their families. Students suffer from stress, discomfort, and prolonged confinement. Their discretionary time, recreational and social activities, and family contact are diminished significantly. When school divisions cannot offer expedient bus service, one alterantive is to provide subsidies for parents who choose to transport their own children in order to reduce excessive busing time.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

2. Cross-division Re-routing

If it would significantly reduce busing time, students who live near division boundaries could be rerouted to a school in the adjacent division. The scope of inter-division cooperation could range from special case exceptions to full-scale redistribution of all students who would significantly benefit in terms of reduced busing time.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

References and Contacts for Further Information  

3. Alternative Route Configurations

An optimal compromise between busing time and costs might be achieved by implementing one or more of the following bus routing alternatives, depending largely on student and school dispersal patterns:

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

4. Staggered School Day

Deploying more buses to shorten routes is a costly solution to reduce busing time. Staggered busing is a means to achieve the same end without expanding the bus fleet. Existing bus routes could be rearranged into several shorter, more direct routes. Students on half the routes are collected and delivered; then the same buses collect students on the remaining routes. The sequence is reversed for home delivery. A staggered school day accommodates split arrival and departure times. The intervals of half-attendance (ideally about 30-50 minutes) are dedicated to independent reading or study time: first period for early arrivals and last period for late departures.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

Expected Outcomes

 

References and Contacts for Further Information

 

B. Reduce School Attendance Days

1. Supported Home-based Study

Given recent advances in communication technology, it is increasing plausible to have students attend school without leaving home on at least some school days. Bus travel is eliminated on days when students work from home. Refer to the following entries elsewhere in this guide for further information:

VI.B.2. Page 52 Supported home-based study
VI.B.3. Page 53 Virtual schools

 

2. Four-day School Week

The school schedule can be arranged so attendance hours are distributed over fewer days. A reduction in school attendance days reduces overall student busing time. Refer to the following entry elsewhere in this guide for further information:

VII.B.2. Page 55 Four-day week