West Coast Alternate Program

Inter-Agency Alternative Programs
Student Group:
Alternative Education

The West Coast Alternate provides services to youth, 13-19 years of age who have a diagnosis within the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and an IQ over 70, who are experiencing difficulty in the regular classroom/school environment. 

Address:2455 Fraser St, Vancouver, B.C.  V5T 0E6
Telephone: 604-709-5648
Fax: 604-709-5721
Administering School:Vancouver Alternative Secondary School

Program Description:

The West Coast Alternate provides services to youth, 13-19 years of age who have a diagnosis within the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and an IQ over 70, who are experiencing difficulty in the regular classroom/school environment.  Although students living with F.A.S.D./Complex Neuro-behavioural Disorder present with a variety of strengths and needs, there are distinct strategies and practices that appear to be effective in providing an optimal learning environment.  The program is a partnership with the Vancouver Board of Education, M.C.F.D., Pacific Community Resources and Vancouver Coastal Health.  The program focuses on academic and social/behavioural aspects as well as providing community and pre-employment opportunities.

Student Profile:

West Coast Alternate is designed for students who have fetal alcohol exposure related disorders which negatively impact on their ability to function academically, socially, and emotionally and require intervention beyond the school’s resources.  Students referred to this program must meet the Ministry of Education criteria for designation in the “D” category (Chronic Health).

Academic Goal:

Students can complete courses at the grade 8 to 10 level in the core academic areas.  The West Coast Alternate classroom uses work placements as the focal point for curriculum development. Student progress is managed through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  Adaptations and Modifications are made where necessary to meet the needs of the students.  A primary goal of the program is to assist each student in attaining a more adaptive level of functioning which will enable them to transition to other community programs and/or employment.

Referral Process:

Referrals to the West Coast Alternative Program must be submitted to the District Principal, Alternative Programs at the VSB Education Centre with supporting documentation. The student must have a F.A.S.D./Complex Neuro-behavioural Disorder or related diagnosis or may be on the wait list for assessment.  The West Coast Screening Committee will review all referrals.  Intake is continuous as space becomes available. All successful applicants will be placed on a wait list. 

Program Capacity and Staffing:

West Coast Alternative enrolls 22 students and has 2 Teachers and 1 School and Student Support Worker.

Pacific Community Resources staff consists of 1 Program Coordinator, 1 part-time cook and 1 Pre-Employment Transition Worker.