Alternative program announcement

Posted on 06/03/2020
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Recently, Medicine Hat Public School Division began working with Medicine Hat College and Prairie Rose School Division to imagine how they might work together to support learning in our region. We imagined that we could build a shared approach to supporting high school and college students in flexible and highly effective learning environments.  It was out of this desire to do more, and to do better, for our region that brought us together.

The reduction in outreach program funding and dramatic changes to how school systems are funded as a result of the 2020-2021 provincial education budget made our partnership even more critical to build. Creative and strategic thinking was required to reimagine the way we deliver affordable and effective outreach programming that meets unique needs of students.

We have restructured outreach programming, implementing the following changes:

  • The Young Moms program will continue to operate in partnership with the YMCA, with the philosophy that all students benefit from positive and supportive relationships in their learning environment.
  • The PAS program, a tri-division partnership with Alberta Health Services, will continue to operate at the Medicine Hat Regional hospital. The PAS programs offers junior high and high school students professional mental health and academic assistance in a supportive small group environment.


  • Central High will close its doors on June 26 and in its place we are proud to announce a collaborative partnership between Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD), Medicine Hat Public School Division (MHPSD) and Medicine Hat College (MHC) to deliver face-to-face and alternative learning. Starting this fall, high school outreach programs will be delivered at Medicine Hat College, bringing two, local outreach schools – Beyond Walls and Central High – together under one roof. Our new partnership school, Coulee Collegiate, provides efficiencies for all education partners while offering flexible, alternative and classroom learning options for outreach students and adult learners. Coulee Collegiate will offer students an inclusive learning environment, a connection to post-secondary and will meet the needs of a wide group of learners now and into the future. We are proud of the programming that was provided through Central High School and look forward to seeing students thrive through Coulee Collegiate.
  • McMan, Saamis and the Y school will be closed on June 26 to make room for a new alternative program that will operate out of the same building. This alternative program will provide intervention and programming to youth who require the support to be successful and develop positive skills necessary for the future. We look forward to sharing more about this program in the future.
  • Outreach Principal Bryce Donauer will be moving to Alexandra Middle School to take on the role of vice-principal. We are proud to welcome Gregory Ferris as the Vice Principal of Alternative Programming. This is a newly developed leadership position, specifically designed to support alternative programming and intervention for diverse learners and at risk youth within our system.
  • The Behaviour, emotional support team will move into the Stay in School building over the summer and will deliver behaviour support programming from that location.

What we have learned through the revisioning process is that we have an opportunity to enhance the way we deliver alternative programming to students. Alternative programming will focus on intervention, academics, social emotional skills, personalization of learning, mental health supports for students with diverse and complex needs to be successful in inclusive school learning environments.

We understand that these program changes have had an impact on our valued staff and students and greatly appreciate the patience and confidence that has been displayed throughout this process. Medicine Hat Public School Division is committed to serving students through alternative programming. We are confident in this vision and the people who will make it come to life.  We look forward to seeing them take shape in fall 2020.

For more information about alternative programming in the 2020-2021 school year please contact your school principal.



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