The Thomas Merton Centre for Continuing Education offers four alternative programs for secondary school students under the age of 18 who are struggling with their academic and non-academic needs at their home school. These programs include: Change, Transformations, Crossroads and New Hope.
These programs share the academic/non-academic responsibility of the student with the home school. Program teachers deliver curriculum for the students’ academic needs using various strategies, such as Differentiated Instruction, Universal Design, small group collaboration, and one to one direct instruction. Credit deficits and maintaining grade appropriate course loads are supported by our program teachers.
The non-academic component is led by our school-based Social Worker and Child & Youth Counsellor. Their role includes addressing the non-academic social and emotional needs that are affecting a student’s academic performance and daily self-management skills.
For all programs a re-entry plan is developed in conjunction with the home school to assist in the transition back to school or a new school.
Both our academic and non- academic initiatives derive themes from our Focus on Faith themes. These include but are not limited to:
The focus of the Change program is for Grades 9-10 students who are demonstrating difficulty in their home secondaryschool, despite supports provided by Teachers, Student Services, the Student Success Teacher, Child & Youth Counsellor and/or Social Worker. Applicants are often experiencing a degree of mental distress that is impacting their ability to chieve academic success. Students are provided with an alternative approach at the Thomas Merton Centre for Continuing Education.
Students must be willing to participate in academic programming to earn credits towards their OSSD
Students must also be willing to engage in non-academic programming related to mental health and well-being
Parents and students must agree to enroll in this alternative program
Transportation is provided
Assuming students make progress in the alt ed program, our intent is for students to return to their home schools within a semester or two.
The Transformation program is an extension of the Change program, offered to Grades 11 and 12 students. In order for a student to enroll, he/she will:
be willing to participate in academic programming to earn credits towards their OSSD
engage in non-academic programming related to mental health
demonstrate an expressed desire to attend
Provide their own transportation (however, transportation accommodation will be considered in some cases.
Individuals who have been approved by the Supervised Alternative Learning Committee will also be considered.
The intent of the program is to help students with academic and non-academic supports to the point where they feel comfortable returning to their home school within a semester or two.
Students may return to their home school for graduation, or they may graduate from the Thomas Merton Centre for Continuing Education.
This voluntary program is geared towards students who have been expelled. The focus of this program is on academic and non-academic components. In many cases students, will return to their home school with a detailed re-entry plan, after the expulsion has been served. This will involve conferences with administrators, Student Services, Social Workers, and/or Child & Youth Counsellors to develop a re-entry plan.
Students must provide their own transportation
This voluntary program supports students who have been suspended as follows:
6 – 10 days; academic based with some discussion of non-academic issues
11 – 20 days; academic and non-academic concerns are addressed
The goal of the New Hope program is to support the classroom teacher with academic instruction as the student returns to the home school, after the suspension has been completed. Classroom teachers play a vital role in the process, as they remain involved with providing and evaluating work.
Students must provide their own transportation
Admission to Program
referral from home secondary school Principal and/or Vice-Principal
the alternative education team will review and assess application for fit and readiness
student/parent program commitment
admission intake meeting
development of student success plan (academic and non-academic)
special education resource teacher
child and youth counselor
supervising vice principal
Thomas Merton Centre for Continuing Education
255 Morden Road, Oakville, ON L6K 2S2
905-849-7555, extension 243
Bishop P.F. Reding Catholic Secondary School
Offering the Change and Transformations Programs
1120 Main St. East, Milton ON, L9T 6H7