The elementary Transitions Program (grades 1-6) at Woodlands School is designed for students who have significant internalizing mental health issues, whiWoodlands Elementraych severely impact their ability to attend school and/or benefit from a regular classroom placement.

The Transitions Program is a collaborative partnership between the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), Alberta Health Services (AHS), and Woods Homes. Staff philosophy is informed by the Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) treatment framework (Blaustein & Kinniburgh, 2010, Kinniburgh & Blaustein 2005) as adopted by The Calgary Board of Education’s Trauma Sensitive Schools Initiative (TSSI), 2010.

The Transitions Program provides school-based mental health supports to students who are in need of supportive ‘bridging’ back to the school setting. An individualized ‘back to school plan’ is developed with the assistance of a team of professionals including a Mental Health Therapist (AHS), Teacher and Behaviour Support Worker (CBE), and a Family Support Counsellor from Woods Homes.

Students in the program learn school readiness skills, literacy and numeracy skills, as well as being provided with intensive mental health support. These skills provide the students with the tools they need to successfully ‘bridge’ to the next appropriate placement. The program is focused on ensuring student success in school as well as teaching skills needed for life.

The elementary Transitions Program has far reaching positive implications for the community students/teachers at Woodlands School. The Woodlands community benefits from infusion of mental health curriculum, consultation, resources, health clubs, professional development opportunities, and whole school mental health initiatives.

EducationMatters has provided granting to Woodlands School to help attain their goal and provide the Transition Program to the students throughout our community.