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S.A.S.S.I.  - Student Access to Specialized Supports for Inclusion

SASSI is a department within Archbishop O’Leary High School where students with identified exceptional learning needs/special education needs receive supports, services and accommodations that are deemed most beneficial for the student. We do this in the effort to support the unique needs of learners so they may demonstrate what they know, regardless of diagnosis.

In the effort to support all students with their learning needs, Archbishop O’Leary also offers Knowledge & Employability (K&E) courses for students working toward a Certificate of High School Achievement. For students working toward a Certificate of High School Completion, WIN (Whatever is Needed) programming is made available. Both K&E and WIN are offered as programming of choice. 


In SASSI, programming begins with the attempt to understand the learning profile of students who have identified exceptional learning needs and then select the supports, accommodations and/or services that will make the greatest impact on their ability to be academically successful and/or emotionally regulated.

Programming for students is directed by their academic or behavioural goals. Parents are invited to be active partners in the process of selecting and attaining these goals. This is typically done in the effort to achieve a High School Diploma, if possible, within the recommended three-year period. Programming is often diverse and unique to the student receiving it, especially for those whose needs exceed the norm. Some programming has to be specifically tailored to match the unique needs of the student. 

WIN (Whatever Is Needed)

Students working toward a Certificate of High School Completion receive individualized learning opportunities and experiences. Programming centers on functional life skills and preparation for individual goals, including work-study or work experience, when possible. 

The WIN classroom is the home base where students enrich literacy and numeracy skills. Students also audit courses by participating part time in typical learning environments, where their strengths and abilities are highlighted and enriched. 

K&E (Knowledge & Employability)

Students choosing senior high K&E courses typically want to enhance their academic and occupational competencies and transition into employment, into continuing education and/or into training opportunities.   

Students may combine K&E courses with other senior high courses or transition between the two throughout grades 10-12.   

Students taking K&E courses are on a pathway toward a Certificate of High School Achievement. However, some students may ‘bridge’ toward a High School Diploma, depending on their profile as learners and their work ethic. 

Supports and Services

All supports and accommodations are derived from a diagnosis and the learning profile of the student. They are typically tailored to the student’s specific needs. Examples can include, 

  1. Accommodations for assessments. These parallel those provide through Alberta Education and can include isolated spaces and extra time for writing tests. Please note these are only available for students with diagnoses. They are not available for typical learners. 
  2. Access to technological devices -computers and/or programs–to those whose profiles benefit from their use. 
  3. One-to-one assistance with emotional regulation, when possible.
  4. Education Assistants working in collaboration with the classroom teacher toward achieving targeted goals for students with exceptional learning needs. 
  5. Adapted courses for students with severe learning or emotional needs. 
  6. Sensory sensitive learning environments, such as the SASSI office.
  7. Access to SASSI lab and office for quiet work, assistance with dysregulation and nourishment. 

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