Gateway Alternative Education
The Gateway Alternative Education program was first established in 1989-90, and was formally known as Bridges. The program is designed for students who have a history of poor attendance and problems in school. Its aim is to accommodate students in the transition years (grade 9-11) by providing an alternative to the regular school environment. This alternative is designed to encourage students to attend school on a regular basis, acquire credits, and return with confidence to mainstream education. Since many of the students have experienced difficulty in mainstream programs and have found the regular school settings formidable, Gateway is offered off-campus. This education program is staffed by 3 full-time teachers who work with students on a variety of compulsory and elective courses.
Gateway offers accommodated programming which serves a maximum of approximately forty students. If the students demonstrate success while in the program, they are encouraged to be fully integrated back into their home school.
Incentives for regular attendance and course completion are part of the Gateway program. A Foods program, which is funded through the TBCDSB and The Red Cross of Thunder Bay, provides lunch time meals. Workplace preparation is an integral part of the program and co-op placements are considered for those students who are interested and who have attended regularly.
Referrals into the Gateway program are made by the home school. There is usually a waiting list from the secondary schools.
Regular phone calls are made to parents/guardians to inform them of the progress made, or to inquire about a student's absence.