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UGDSB approves plan to expand Alternative Education in the board

For Immediate Release
December 13, 2023

GUELPH, Ontario – At the December 12, 2023, Board Meeting of the Upper Grand District School Board, trustees approved a report on Reimagining Alternative Education. 

An initial report was approved by the Board of Trustees in April that included direction to gather input from students, staff, parents/guardians, and the College Heights Secondary School community as well as other secondary schools across UGDSB. The final report, which was received at the December 5, 2023, Policy and Priorities Committee Meeting included details of the consultation, as well as a proposed timeline and next steps.  

The Board of Trustees approved the recommendations laid out in the report, which includes establishing an Alternative Education High School at CHSS along with three Alternative Education Learning Centres located in the City of Guelph, Dufferin County and Wellington Country. A wide range of programs and services will be offered at each site and will be focused on students in grades 11, 12 and 12+, Continuing and Adult Education. This will result in expanded opportunities across UGDSB, including at CHSS.

The transition will be phased-in over a few years. Starting September 2024 students entering grade 9 will attend their local secondary school. There will be no change to special education classes at CHSS such as LRC10 at this time. Students currently enrolled at CHSS will be able to complete their studies through to Grade 12.

“The expansion of program offerings, both at CHSS and at the hubs including in Dufferin and Wellington Counties will provide more opportunities for learners across the region,” said UGDSB Chair of the Board, Ralf Mesenbrink. “I am excited to see the availability of additional experiential learning extended across the region and outside the traditional school day and school year.”

“We know this will be a change for the CHSS community, but we are excited to see the expansion of the school’s program offerings, expanding alternative education in the board, and leaning into learning that is flexible and personalized,” said UGDSB Director of Education, Peter Sovran. “This plan builds on CHSS’ commitment in putting students at the centre of everything they do.”

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