William Aberhart High School

Complex Needs Educational Experience

William Aberhart Highschool

William Aberhart High School

William Aberhart High School's Complex Needs Educational Experience program is for students in Grades 10-12 with diverse learning and adaptive behaviour needs. The program is designed to provide personalized support and foster an inclusive learning environment for students enrolled in the ACCESS class, ALP (Adapted Learning Program), and the Paced Learning Program (PLP). 

In the ACCESS class, we support students with moderate to severe learning and adaptive behaviour needs. For students in the ALP, we offer specialized support for moderate learning and adaptive behaviour needs. In the PLP, we cater to students with mild to moderate learning and adaptive behaviour needs.

Calgary Board of Education is one school system educating more than 130,000 students in over 250 schools. More than 15,000 employees work together to provide learning as unique as every student.



All Bachelor of Education students


Support students with diverse learning and adaptive behaviour needs in Grades 10-12


Flexible days during school hours.

1.5 hours to 5 hours a week.


William Aberhart Highschool

Complex Needs Educational Experience Logistics

What's Involved

Based on their comfort level and experience, Pre-Service teachers will

  • work closely with our dedicated team
  • assist in delivering a personalized and functional curriculum to meet the unique needs of students in the ACCESS class, ALP (Adapted Learning Program), and the Paced Learning Program (PLP).
  • actively engage with students, providing individualized support in areas such as functional academics, social communication, independence, daily living, safety, citizenship, leisure, vocational, and volunteering skills.

The participants' role will extend beyond academic support as they contribute to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment. Through peer mentorship initiatives, they will help foster meaningful inclusion in the school community, tailoring activities to suit the interests and abilities of the students. By implementing learner supports and accommodations, such as assistive technology, augmentative communication systems, work systems, and sensory activities, participants will enhance the overall learning experience for students.


  • Participants must have a current Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening. Students who do not already have a police check should begin this process online at their local police station as soon as possible, as police checks often take 4-6 weeks to process.
  • Patience, empathy, and understanding for working with students that have diverse needs.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Apply a variety of teaching strategies to meet the needs of individual learners in different educational settings.
  • Design and implement a variety of activities that meet students’ interests and learning needs.
  • Examine a variety of approaches to teaching and learning in non-traditional educational settings.

  • Examine how educators apply teaching concepts in their daily work.

  • Examine how programming fosters inclusion and personal growth.

  • Examine how programs and educators create communities that are conducive to teaching and learning.

  • Gain experience working with youth in a classroom setting

  • Gain experience working with youth in a small group setting

  • Gain experience working with youth in an individual setting

Werklund Dates and Times

FALL 2023 (Application is now closed.)

  • Werklund Fall 2023 Wrap-Up Session: Friday, December 8, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Zoom)
  • Fall 2023 Placements End: mid-December


  • Winter 2024 application will open on November 20, 2024.
  • Werklund Winter 2024 Orientation: Monday, December 11, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Zoom) 
  • Winter 2024 Placements Start: early January (program dependent)
  • Werklund Winter 2024 Check-In Session: Monday, January 29 at
    • 9:30 am - 10:30 am (in-person) or
    • 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm (Zoom)
  • Werklund Winter 2024 Wrap-Up Session: Tuesday, March 12, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Zoom)
  • Winter 2024 Placements End: mid-March (program dependent)

Complex Needs Educational Experience Dates

  • Placements begin: early January 2024
  • Placements end: mid-March 2024
  • Training Session: Once the placement is confirmed, there will be a 1.5-2-hour orientation prior to working with students
  • The program operates during normal school hours between 8:45 am and 3 pm Monday-Thursday, with Fridays ending at 1 pm

The overall time commitment is flexible at 15 hours-60 hours in total, depending on the Pre-Service teachers' interest and availability. However, the program requires consistency once volunteers' schedules are set.


Making Connections

  • Throughout the semester, pre-service teachers will curate their volunteering experiences using a creative medium (e.g., photos, art, storyboarding, videos, etc.) that best reflects their experiences in the program. Your creative reflections will form part of a public showcase of Werklund student experiences later in the year.
  • Pre-service teachers will participate in 2 group meetings: one at the mid-point and another at the end of their placement (1 hour each). These group meetings provide pre-service teachers with opportunities to reflect on the community placement experience and to guide improvements for the program.

Service-Learning group

Winter 2024 applications are now closed.

Interested in applying for a future semester?

  1. Log on to Elevate and go to My Werklund Experiences > Courses/Programs
  2. Find the Service-Learning program and click Apply
  3. Complete the Service-Learning Application

Download an application guide here.

Apply on Elevate!