Despite remote learning challenges, at-risk youth in new program at The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa show improved school performance
December 13, 2021 – A new learning support model developed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO) shows promising results in improving school performance for some of Ottawa’s most at-risk youth.
CASO developed the Pod Model for Learning Support Program to assist all students between the ages of 14-18 in the care of CASO succeed in their remote studies during the pandemic.
Preliminary results from the program show high school credit completion rates increased by 12 per cent among students considered to be most in need of support.
While some students have returned to in-classroom learning, CASO continues to operate the program, providing culturally responsive wrap-around learning support to more than 150 youth in care.
Each student receives support from a teacher on contract with CASO, a youth worker or a teacher candidate from the University of Ottawa, to obtain the necessary resources to succeed in school.
The teachers and CASO youth workers collaborate to ensure youth are registered in school and create personal academic achievement plans in partnership with each student’s school. They also ensure youth have the required technology, supplies and supports for their course load.
“These results are very encouraging, given what we know about the negative effects of remote learning on student engagement,” said Kelly Raymond, Executive Director, The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa. “One could assume that youth in the care of CASO, who have increased risk factors, would have been even more vulnerable to the negative effects of remote learning – the Pod Model shows that with the right supports, students can thrive under adversity.”
The success of the program has led the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) to support CASO’s expansion of this learning model beyond the Ottawa region to Family and Children’s Services of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville.
CASO partnered with the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and worked collaboratively with the four school boards in Ottawa to implement the Pod Model for Learning Support Program.
- CASO created and implemented the Pod Model for Learning Support Program upon school closures during the pandemic.
- Results from the program show high school credit completion rates increased by 12 per cent among students considered to be most in need of support.
- The program continues to operate for all youth between ages 14-18 in CASO’s care.
Visit our 2020-2021 Annual report for more information on CASO programs developed during the pandemic to help youth overcome learning challenges.
About The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa
The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO) is a non-profit community organization that works to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and youth.
CASO works closely with community partners, service providers, and children, youth and their families to strengthen the capacity of families and communities to meet the physical, emotional and social needs of those in CASO’s care.
CASO: Helping children and youth thrive to build resilient families and communities.
Corinne Ton That
Head of Communications and Marketing
The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa