Learning Service Department

Welcome to McMath's Learning Services Department!


About Learning Support at McMath

Our Learning Services team works collaboratively with families, classroom teachers and other support staff to ensure that all students with learning differences have a positive and successful school experience.  Our support is very individualized to best match the strengths and learning needs of each student; here are some ways that student support can look: 

Some students will enroll in a block of Learning Support, generally in place of French class.  In this block they will work in a small group with Learning Services staff to help them understand course material and complete course assignments, while also learning to develop organization and study strategies, and continuing to develop their academic skills.  Students enrolled in LS may, if needed, receive adaptations to their coursework - adaptations are essentially strategies that help students to succeed and may include such things as:

  • allowing extra time for assignments and tests
  • having tests read aloud and answers scribe
  • reducing the amount of written work required, while still meeting learning outcomes
  • use of technology such as word processors, calculators and educational software
  • specific adaptations to tests and assignments to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge most effectively

Adaptations do not change the learning outcomes of courses, and students receiving adaptations will receive the Dogwood Certificate upon successful completion of grade 12.

Some students on adapted programs need to work through materials at their own pace, or are not fully comfortable in a classroom environment; drop-in support and some personalized courses are available in the LS room for students working towards a Dogwood who may be more successful in a small group setting.

Some students may require more individualized support, or more support built into their programs.  For example:

  • some students may receive modifications to their programs;  this means that students will work towards their own individualized learning goals in their classes, with assignments and tests created specifically for them. 
  • some students on modified programs will spend several blocks in the LS room to support their learning in small group classes, while others will primarily attend academic and elective classes.  
  • students who receive modifications to their courses from grades 10-12 will receive a School  Completion Certificate upon successful completion of grade 12.   


The Learning Centre

The Learning Centre offers academic support on a drop-in basis to students, particularly in the junior grades.  Students, with their classroom teacher's permission, are welcome to come to the Learning Centre during their classes for support with their assignments, and may also access academic support in a quiet and encouraging environment after school school every day until 4pm.  The Learning Centre is staffed with a team of learning resource teachers and peer tutors and is open to all students on a regular or occasional basis.


The Learning Strategies Program

Students who require on-going academic support in order to successfully meet the learning outcomes of their courses, or students who are working on an IEP, may be enrolled in a Learning Strategies class.  The Learning Strategies class, generally taken in place of French 8, offers students direct support in academics, organization and study skills.  Students are typically referred to the Learning Strategies program by their elementary school, although referrals can be made by teachers, parents or students themselves throughout their years at McMath.  Placement in an LS block is determined by the School Based Team in consultation with parents; unless referred by their elementary schools, students are generally encouraged to utilize the support of the Learning Centre before considering enrolment in an LS block.  Learning Strategies classes are taught by learning resource teachers and assisted by peer tutors.  Course accommodations are implemented for students by their LS teachers in collaboration with classroom teachers.


The Evergreen Program

The Evergreen Program is offered to students who require personalized learning to meet their academic and personal goals.  Students supported in the Evergreen Program will receive modifications to the provincial curriculum, and may be enrolled in both grade level classes and smaller, more individualized classes with specific instruction in functional academics, life skills and work experience.  Personalized programs are developed by the learning resource teacher in collaboration with parents, and may vary depending on the needs and goals of each student and his/her family.  Students in the Evergreen Program work with teachers, educational assistants and peer tutors, and the focus is on developing a rich, dynamic community of learners who are fully engaged in the life of the school community; each student is encouraged to enjoy school, while working towards their individual goals and personal aspirations.

In senior grades, many students on modified programs will begin to put a greater emphasis on work experience and developing skills for the adult world.  This will help them prepare for the transition to post-secondary programs and future community life and employment.

All of our students are unique and special; some may require extremely individualized programs throughout their high school years.  Planning for these students is done in collaboration with parents, educational assistants and other support professionals to ensure the best possible school experience for our students.


Questions?  We can help.  Here is the contact information for our LS teachers:

For the 2017-2018 school year:

Ms. Diane Newton - dnewton@sd38.bc.ca

Ms. Heather Dawson - hdawson@sd38.bc.ca

Ms. Denise Mahan - dmahan@sd38.bc.ca

Ms. Jennifer Moore - jemoore@sd38.bc.ca

Mr. Orin Gavsie - ogavsie@sd38.bc.ca

Ms. Angela Cowin (French Immersion) - acowin@sd38.bc.ca