Secondary Teen Education Program (S.T.E.P.)

The Secondary Teen Engagement Program (STEP) is a closely tracked, integrated program that combines career and life education with individualized instruction for compulsory courses in a small class setting. Teachers endeavor to build a caring and inclusive learning community centered on wellness, equity, respect, and collaboration. Career exploration and work opportunities are integrated into the academic program to create a diverse and engaging learning experience. Community outings and volunteer experiences facilitate self-development and skill development by connecting students to important resources and through participation in asset building activities.

Program Goal

  • provide a meaningful educational experience that inspires a visions for the future
  • build capacity to make positive decisions, and develop necessary skills to achieve success
  • earn a high school diploma and transition successfully into the workplace, apprenticeship program or community college.

Program Capacity and Staffing

STEP is staffed at an approximate 20:1 student-teacher ratio. Teachers work separately with groups of students within their subject areas. Students are further supported by a school Social Worker.

Student Profile

STEP is designed for students who are at least in their third year of high school and:

  • require a smaller, more supportive and structured academic setting
  • struggle with transitions inherent in a regular high school
  • need their attendance and punctuality monitored more closely
  • need to develop better school habits

Admission Process

  • Students interested in the STEP program must be currently attending a secondary school within the Halton District School Board and must be referred to the program through their home school.
  • Referrals submitted by the second Monday in June will be considered for a September placement the following school year.
  • While space remains available, intake is continuous from September to November for for semester one and February to April for semester two.

This program is delivered at each of our four day school locations in the communities of Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills. There is a combined maximum of 40 students at each STEP location. Two teachers work separately with groups of students within their subject areas. Students are further supported by a school social worker.

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