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ABLE Program

What is ABLE?

ABLE is an Alternative Behaviour Learning Environment provided by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.

The ABLE Program is available as an alternative placement for students requiring social/emotional supports short-term (5 to 20 days maximum). The ABLE program is also offered to ensure that suspended students have the opportunity to continue their education. The ABLE program connects with students ages 12-18.

Our goal is to provide these students with the necessary tools to help them become successful students both academically and socially. Our focus is on building positive mental health and resiliency with a strengths-based approach. We strive to achieve our goals by providing academic support and assisting students in the development of caring relationships, meaningful engagement, establishing expectations and healthy relationships.

The program is offered at three CDSBEO secondary school locations: St. Luke CHS (Smiths Falls), St. Matthew CSS (Cornwall), and St. Thomas Aquinas CHS (Russell).

What is the ABLE environment?

  • A small classroom setting
  • Academic support
  • Social/emotional support

Who will I meet at ABLE?

  • Students from other CDSBEO schools
  • Community partners
  • CDSBEO Itinerant ABLE Worker

How can ABLE help me?

ABLE is designed for students to effectively utilize their time out of school to gain social and emotional skills while maintaining their academic pace.

ABLE Program Objectives

  • ­Provides learning opportunities in a small educational setting.
  • ­Intensive supports for youth in further developing positive mental health and resiliency strengths.
  • ­Specific skill building in the areas of communication skills, problem solving, anger management, anxiety management and stress management.
  • ­Helps to restore relationships between student, peers and home school, therefore creating a more positive and successful transition experience back to their home school.

The Referral Process

A referral occurs when a student requires extra mental health supports and supportive interventions in a smaller setting or when a student is suspended for six days or more.

The process begins when the Principal discusses the student’s suitability for the ABLE program with their Regional Student and Community Liaison Consultant (SCLC), and then with the Superintendent of Education of Safe Schools.

Upon the Superintendent’s approval, the Principal and the Student and Community Liaison Coordinator (SCLCo) will coordinate transportation and schedule an intake meeting with the ABLE staff. The Principal will inform the student, parent(s)/guardian(s) of the intake meeting. The ABLE staff will work with the student and school team to develop an ABLE Transition Plan (ATP). The ATP is collectively developed to outline both academic and non-academic goals while attending ABLE. The student will then begin ABLE as soon as transportation has been arranged.

Transitioning Back to School

While at ABLE, review and discharge meetings are held with the ABLE team, the student, family members, SCLCo, SCLC, and the school team to review the progress made while attending ABLE. Agreements are made regarding extending the student’s stay at ABLE or developing a school re-entry plan that will put into place supportive measures to facilitate a positive re-entry to the student’s home school.

St. Luke CHS | St. Matthew CSS | St. Thomas Aquinas CHS