Aries Program

Inter-Agency Alternative Programs
Student Group:
Alternative Education

Aries is a program where Aboriginal youth aged 13 - 16 are provided a safe, non-threatening environment in which to learn, grow and enjoy life, regardless of behavioural problems, legal situations, family, or personal backgrounds.  

Address:#1 – 1607 East Hastings, Vancouver, B.C.  V5L 1S7
Telephone: 604-255-1326
Fax:  604-255-0743
Administering School:Vancouver Alternative Secondary School

Program Description:

Aries is a program where Aboriginal youth aged 13 - 16 are provided a safe, non-threatening environment in which to learn, grow and enjoy life, regardless of behavioural problems, legal situations, family, or personal backgrounds.  Aries provides a flexible learning environment which includes self-paced components in order to meet the student’s unique learning needs.  Grade 8 - 10 core academic subjects are offered. Electives include: life skills, cultural enrichment, video projects, Health and Career Education 8 and 9, Planning 10, Physical Education, arts/crafts, educational outings and cooking.

Student Profile:

Aboriginal youth ages 13 - 16 years old in the care of MCFD and/or Aboriginal delegated agency and youth that have ongoing MCFD and /or Aboriginal delegated agency involvement.  These youth present social, emotional, behavioural and/or cognitive difficulties, and have been unsuccessful in a regular secondary school or other alternative program.  They also require a team approach which includes but is not limited to school staff, Social Worker, Probation Officer, parent/caregiver, mental health worker and/or one-to-one worker to help them to be successful.  Students referred to this program meet the Ministry of Education criteria for designation in the “H” category.

Academic Goal:

Student progress is managed through the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process which involves the student, the parent/caregiver and program staff. Aries students can complete grades 8, 9 and 10.  Adaptations and modifications are made where necessary to meet the needs of the students.  In addition to providing educational programming, the program staff is dedicated to working individually with students to focus on their social, emotional and mental health needs.  Transition Plans will be developed to provide transition to a senior alternative program, secondary school, vocational program or employment.

Referral Process:

Referrals from MCFD or Aboriginal delegated agency Social Worker or Probation Officer are emailed to the MCFD Youth Services Community Liaison.  Referrals are accepted on an on-going basis and reviewed by a MCFD/VSB screening committee to determine eligibility, placement and priority.

Program Capacity and Staffing:

Aries enrolls 20 students and has 1 VSB Teacher, 2 Youth Workers, 1 Program Coordinator and 1 Cook employed by Urban Native Youth Association.