When a school provides personalized and learning opportunities across a large region – as SelfDesign® Learning Community does – providing support for learners and their families is essential to ensuring their learning journeys are successful.

SelfDesign builds that support right into the heart of its learner-centred program. Every SelfDesign learner and family works with a B.C. certified educator who helps the family shape and guide the personalized learning experience. That consistent, regular contact means the educator is well placed to identify, advise and arrange for additional support, based on the family’s own specific circumstances and needs.

Providing back-up and finding supports is the goal of SelfDesign’s entire Family Services team. This group of able, committed and caring counsellors and team members exists to offer integrated, holistic support for learners and their families as they engage in their educational programs.

“Family Services provides really clear, solid places and resources for learners, families and educators to turn to when they need support “ around anything that impacts the way learners experience their educational program.”  says Family Services Team Lead Clarissa Tufts. “We’ve got counselling support, Guidance supports, and tonnes of online resources.  We also have theme-based discussions and upcoming workshops that are in the works. ”

For example, when a learner or family is struggling to stay engaged with their learning program, the Contact Assistance Team – referred to as CAT – works with educators to find appropriate learner supports.

“It could be there are extenuating circumstances going on in a family and the learner can’t participate as usual, or something might just interfere with the learner’s ability to focus or commit to the program,” Clarissa says. “Whatever the reason, we’re here to help them get back on track and to put supports in place for them. CAT is here to support everyone involved in that learning team.”

When a learner or family needs clinical support, Family Services’ registered clinical counsellor, Franya Jedwab, is available for counselling services. She consults with families and learners to assess next steps, make referrals to specialists within the family’s community and follow up as appropriate. She also consults with educators and support providers when a team approach would benefit a learner and family.

Learners and families in grades 9-12 also have access to the SelfDesign Guidance Centre as they plan their final years with SelfDesign and map out their transition to life after grade 12. The Guidance Team provides advice regarding grade 10-12 theme and course selection, facilitates provincial graduation requirements and Life Credit options, and helps learners apply to colleges or universities or seek out scholarships and other funding.

In addition to these supports, Family Services provides a broad range of online resources – called the Brochure Rack – in SelfDesign’s online Family Resource Centre. Learners and families can use the resources to help in their lives and in how they experience their education.

“We’re a group of people who want to support the SelfDesign community,” Clarissa says, “and we have systems, tools, processes in place to help us provide that support as best we can and as consistently as we can, regardless of what families and learners bring to us.”

Visit our SelfDesign Learning Community page to learn more about the support and resources we offer to learners and their families to help them succeed along their learning journey.