What is SchoolsPlus?

SchoolsPlus is a collaborative interagency approach supporting the whole child and their family with the school as the center of service delivery.

SchoolsPlus has sites at all Regional Centres for Education and in CSAP

Services provided at each SchoolsPlus site

The services provided at each SchoolsPlus site will respect and address the unique needs of the community.

Each site has a regional advisory committee with representation from various government departments such as Justice, Community Services, Education, and Health and Wellness. The advisory committees help identify gaps in services or resources and help come up with solutions.

How does SchoolsPlus improve delivery of programs and services for students and families?

SchoolsPlus provides

  • a comprehensive, collaborative, integrated delivery of services
  • sharing of information and resources between agencies
  • timely and effective services
  • accountability and use of evidence-based best practices
  • service beyond the school day
  • capacity building
  • family-friendly schools
SchoolsPlus promotes use of school facilities by students, families, and the community through
  • Social work, health, justice, recreation, and mental health services offered at the school site, 
  • Early Years centres, family resource centres, and youth health centres located within schools.

SchoolsPlus has sites at all Regional Centres for Education and in CSAP

  • Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education
  • Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education
  • Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education
  • Conseil scolaire acadien provincial
  • Halifax Regional Centre for Education
  • South Shore Regional Centre for Education
  • Strait Regional Centre for Education
  • Tri-County Regional Centre for Education

How does SchoolsPlus work?

SchoolsPlus sites are supported by a facilitator and a community outreach worker.

They act as liaisons between the school and community and advocate, coordinate, and expand services for students and families. They help families navigate the system and get the services they need. 

School mental health clinicians are located in some of the participating SchoolsPlus schools to provide support and treatment to students experiencing mental health issues.

Each of the Regional Centre for Education, and CSAP, have established a SchoolsPlus Advisory Committee with representation from government departments (Health and Wellness, Education, Community Services, and Justice), and non-government and community organizations. The purpose of the committee is to identify opportunities to enhance and expand the array of services and programs for children, youth, and their families.

Who is served by SchoolsPlus?

SchoolsPlus serves all children, youth, and families, and especially those who need additional supports and services.

How do families access SchoolsPlus?

  • A referral for SchoolsPlus comes primarily from the principal and school Program Planning Team.
  • Service providers, students, and families may also contact the SchoolsPlus Facilitator to make a referral.

What happens next?

The SchoolsPlus Facilitator is then invited to school Program Planning Team meetings as required. The degree of the response will depend upon the level of need identified at the time of referral. Sometimes this will mean a simple sharing of contact information to connect families with the services they need.

At other times, the facilitator may organize a meeting with a number of service providers to create an action plan with a family. We call this action plan a comprehensive service plan.

Students may need a comprehensive service plan when 

  • they need to be connected to multiple services 
  • there are barriers that prevent access to services
  • a variety of services are being provided, but they still need further services for success.

What are we working towards with SchoolsPlus?

Expanding SchoolsPlus is part of Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for Education. We are working towards increased family and youth engagement and actively planning for success.

Working with partners, SchoolsPlus offers and promotes an array of programs and services at school sites, which may include:

  • outreach, mentoring programs
  • homework clubs, employment support
  • health services (mental health clinician, youth health coordinator, pediatrician)
  • community policing
  • breakfast programs, nutritional classes, community gardens
  • early years centres
  • youth groups (e.g., art, culture, GSA)
  • parenting support (e.g., classes, social groups)
  • recreational programming (after school, March break, summer)

How is SchoolsPlus privacy compliant?

We believe we can provide better, more coordinated services to children, youth and their families if the different service providers can talk and share information about a child. When we talk about sharing information, important and valid concerns are raised with respect to protection of privacy.