Leadership Recognition

“Leadership in the OCDSB is the demonstration of personal initiative to achieve a positive outcome.”


Students in the Alternate Programs are excellent leaders. They learn valuable skills in their Lifeskills classes which are then used in their activities at our schools. The sites run a Leadership Day each fall for student leaders. Norman Johnston has an Outdoor Education Program that also provides an incredible opportunity for students.

The unique nature of the Alternate Program allows for a multitude of leadership opportunities for our student population. The fact that these programs exist with student populations numbering between 210 to 395 students allows for staff to involve students in many school initiatives from advertising school events to working on school barbeques and web sites. Students play a lead role in school-wide initiatives such as the We Schools in Action programs, the Day of Pink, food drives, and other community-focused fund raising events. In a more formal setting, our students participate in city-wide events such as the Rainbow Forum, the Love and Danger workshops, and other OCDSB student focused initiatives. The Alternates are well represented in EcoSchools. Our students are talented and creative and often demonstrate their talents in music performances, coffee houses, and in the incredible art displays that decorate the walls at each site. Our staff encourage students in their activities and , acknowledge their success in many ways. The sites have display boards that list the students who have graduated or are close to doing so. Student success is consistently acknowledged and supported. It is what the Alternate Programs are all about !


Staff leadership initiatives are an integral part of the program. Staff participates in the many workshops offered throughout the district. They seek out learning activities available in the community as well as spending many summers keeping their qualifications current. The staff at the Alternate Programs work actively to develop better learning experiences for their students. Teachers have participated in district workshops on Numeracy, Literacy, Differentiated Learning, and Assessment and Evaluation. Student Success initiatives are a crucial focus for our teachers. Staff are trained in the areas of mental health supports, collaborative problem solving, and substance abuse issues.

Our support staff also bring many skills and professional qualifications to their work. Our office and custodial staff, along with our social workers and psychologists are valued members of our school team. We have a whole school approach to student learning.


Families are an important resource for the Alternate Program. They are our number one advocates! They are always willing to support activities at the sites and often participate in workshops and other activities. We constantly acknowledge their support and concern for our program. We value our many community volunteers who work with our students and devote their time and effort to building positive connections. We acknowledge and appreciate the many people who support our students.


Community partnerships are an integral part of the Alternate Program. The sites have active collaborations with many community agencies, particularly Rideauwood, Community Resource Centres and Youth Net, among others. The Housebuilding Focus Programs is an exciting, hands-on initiative that has our students working within our community in an authentic learning experience. Employers value our students as we value the opportunities our employers give to our students. The community efforts on behalf of our students are acknowledged in many different ways, including Community Appreciation Awards, plaques and certificates and in the gratitude both staff and students express for their efforts. The Alternate Programs exist within their communities in a positive way that makes a real difference for our students.

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