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Alternative Program Schools

February 8, 2021

Off Campus Programs

Off-campus programs provide opportunities for students to continue their learning, an innovative alternative for students who may not be able to regularly attend and achieve success in the mainstream classroom setting. The first of WSD’s current off-campus programs began in 1981, when the St. Ignatius Association started the WiWabigooni Alternative Program for students who were having attendance difficulties and not having their needs met in a mainstream program. WSD assumed full responsibility of the program in 1984 and it is now run as an off-campus program to École Victoria-Albert for Grades 2 to 6 students.

Today, WSD runs 13 off campus programs:

Joining WiWabigooni in serving First Nations and Métis students is the Niji Mahkwa’s Songide’ewin program for Grades 8 to 11 students.

The Songide’ewin Alternative Program serves Grades 9 - 12 Aboriginal students who have attendance difficulties and whose educational needs are not able to be met in a regular program. The program provides individualized programming and instruction for students based on their educational/social need and abilities.

There is cultural and linguistic opportunities made available for students. The Cultural Team and Songide’ewin make arrangements for teachings, ceremonies and experiences.

Winnipeg School Division has assumed funding responsibilities for Songide’ewin and there are funding partnerships with community organizations for special components of the program such as bus tickets and nutrition.

Hugh John Macdonald’s Eagle’s Circle program for Grades 7 to 9 students is located at Rossbrook House, 658 Ross Avenue, and serves a maximum of 25 Aboriginal students who are academically able, but who have lower skills due to non-attendance.

The program offers individual programming in reading, writing and small classes in geography, science, Native studies, crafts and health.

Gordon Bell’s Fresh Start program provides a low enrolment setting for students who may be on income assistance and experiencing other social issues.

The Resources for Adolescent Parents (RAP) program, an off-campus for Gordon Bell and New Directions, offers classes for pregnant or parenting young women.

R.B. Russell’s Ndinawe program offers education to Grade 9 to 10 students who may have had gaps in their learning and would benefit from a smaller environment in an off campus setting.

Gordon Bell’s Rising Sun program is for Grade 9 to 12 students who are academically able, independent workers but have difficulty in a larger school setting.

Gordon Bell also has a Senior High off-campus program for Grades 9 to 12 students (mainly 16 to 19 years of age) who are not functioning well in a larger environment and have tried Grade 9 in a mainstream setting.

The Central Senior Years Off-Campus is for students from Tec Voc, Daniel McIntyre and Elmwood seeking Grade 9 to 10 credits but having difficulty attaining success at their high schools. Elmwood also has an additional off-campus for students with attendance issues who are seeking Grade 9 to 10 credits.

The Central District’s Middle Years Off-Campus program, administered through Cecil Rhodes School, works with academically capable Grade 7 to 9 students who may have issues such as: a family in crisis; limited social skills; sporadic attendance; unable to cope in regular school setting; gaps in academic skills; risk of gang involvement.

The South District Off-Campus program serves Grant Park, Kelvin and Churchill schools for students with issues such as non-attendance, anxiety, alcoholism and family issues.

The North District Off-Campus program, administered through Isaac Newton School, offers Grades 7 to 9 instruction for students who are not attending school or are disengaged from school.

Elementary Alternative Education

The Alternative Education program features multi-aged groupings, student-centered, activity-based thematic learning and a high level of parental involvement. Alternative programs are available to elementary students in Grades 1 to 6 in WSD. The Alternative Education Program is open to all students who are eligible for regular education in WSD. Children who are accepted into this program should show evidence of self-motivation; be socially/emotionally well-adjusted and demonstrate an ability to work independently in an activity-based, multi-level class.

Each classroom has a grade span of two or three years. The subjects studied are in accordance with Manitoba Education curriculum guidelines. Parental involvement is an integral part of the program.

The following schools offer the program: Laura Secord, Wolseley and Earl Grey. Other schools in WSD may have structured similar programs to serve their population.

Flexible Learning 

The Flexible Learning program is the junior high level extension of the Elementary Alternative Education program and is available at Churchill, Elmwood, Gordon Bell, and Grant Park.


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