In the Starting Points program, Wood’s Homes works in collaboration with the Calgary Catholic School District to provide a specialized program designed specifically to address issues of externalizing behaviour within the context of a mainstream school for students grades 1-6. It embraces a relationship-focused approach to support students whose patterns of behavior have interfered with their ability, and the abilities of others, to learn in a conventional setting. Students are offered opportunities, strategies, and supports to enhance their self-regulation, emotional expression, and pro-social behaviours aimed at improving their functioning within the school setting and removing identified barriers to learning. The Starting Points program is considered transitional in nature, working to improve student and familial functioning so that the student may return to his or her home school, or a less intensive environment.
There are seven Starting Points classrooms in mainstream schools throughout the city (see map below). Each of these classrooms is staffed and supported by a Calgary Catholic School District Teacher and Education Assistant, as well as one Wood’s Homes School Support Counsellor, whose primary role is to identify social, emotional, and behavioural areas of strength and growth for each student in order to provide individualized and group therapeutic and behavioural interventions targeted at enhancing self-regulation, emotional expression, and pro-social behaviours. Clinical and Family supports are available through the Wood’s Homes continuum of care and programs like the Community Resource Team.