Jr High Program

Online Bridging Program

Next Step Online Junior High Program is blending cutting-edge technology with robust educational practices to offer a comprehensive and engaging learning experience for students in grades 8-9. Our online program is designed to meet the diverse needs of students, providing them with a flexible, interactive, and supportive learning environment.

Program Highlights:

  1. Flexible Learning: Our program offers asynchronous and synchronous classes, allowing students to learn at their own pace while still having opportunities for live interaction with teachers and peers.
  2. Comprehensive Curriculum: We cover all core subjects including Mathematics, Science, English Language Arts, and Social Studies.
  3. Experienced Educators: Our teachers are dedicated to online education, using innovative strategies to engage students and foster a love for learning.
  4. Interactive Learning Tools: We utilize a range of digital tools and resources, including interactive lessons, multimedia content, and virtual labs, to enhance the learning experience.
  5. Personalized Support: Each student receives personalized attention through regular check-ins, one-on-one meetings, and academic counseling to ensure they are on track and thriving.

At Next Step High School, our online junior high program is grounded in the following educational principles:

  1. Student-Centered Learning: We believe in tailoring education to meet the unique needs, interests, and learning styles of each student. By providing a variety of instructional methods and personalized learning plans, we empower students to take ownership of their education.
  2. Holistic Development: Education is more than academic achievement. We strive to support the intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development of our students. Our program includes opportunities for creative expression and social interaction to ensure well-rounded growth.
  3. Engagement Through Technology: We leverage technology to make learning dynamic and interactive. From virtual reality experiences to collaborative online tools, we integrate technology to create engaging and meaningful learning experiences.
  4. Community and Collaboration: We emphasize the importance of community and collaboration. Our online platform facilitates communication and teamwork, helping students build strong relationships with their peers and teachers.
  5. Inclusivity and Accessibility: We are committed to providing an inclusive and accessible education for all students. Our program is designed to accommodate diverse learning needs and backgrounds, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to succeed.
  6. Parental Involvement: We recognize the critical role parents play in their child's education. We maintain open lines of communication and provide resources and support to help parents stay engaged and informed about their child's progress.

By choosing the Next Step Online Junior High Program, we are providing students with a high-quality, flexible, and engaging education that prepares them for success in high school and beyond. Interested Families should contact nextstep@eips.ca, call 780-992-0101

In-Person Bridging Program

The focus of the Next Step Junior High Program is to provide students in grades 8 and 9 with a modified, flexible and personalized school schedule. Class sizes are small; include school supports; and are provided in a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe environment. The program supports students in the four core subjects: language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Additionally, students will progress through modified health and wellness materials. The program endeavours to support a student’s potential return to their home school and transition successfully to a senior high school setting. 

Our Next Step vision is to create a community of learners who embody the virtues of acceptance, flexibility, individualization, respect, and responsibility.


Students receives teacher-led instruction, learning and educational support in the four core subjects: language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Health and wellness programming will be woven throughout their time at Next Step. Regular daily attendance is required. This program is not for students who have met or may meet the criteria for entrance into other EIPS Division programs (Focus, GOALS, Impact, LINKS, SEAS, etc.). Cohort are organized by grade groupings, when possible, at the following times: 

Grade 8 Morning Cohort – 8:45 to 11:25 a.m. 

  • math and language arts are taught daily 
  • social studies and science are taught on alternate days 

Grade 9 Afternoon Cohort – 12:30 to 3:10 p.m. 

  • math and language arts are taught daily 
  • social studies and science are taught on alternate days 

NOTE: Core subject delivery may vary given the grade grouping, class size and teacher preference. Students will have scheduled break times during morning or afternoon class. 

Non-instruction times: 
During non-instruction times, attendance is not required at the school. However, students are expected to pursue organized enrichment, personal interests or outside club activities at this time. 

Course material: 
In-person learning is expected and where possible course materials are posted on Brightspace for Students. Project-based cross-curricular learning activities will be utilized as part of the learning process.

Student profile:  
The Next Step Junior High Program supports students who: 

  • have difficulty participating in regular full day school routines, difficulty participating in the general school and classroom environment because of social concerns, mental health issues or attendance challenges;  
  • are participating in extracurricular or high-performance sport activities where regular attendance may be challenging; 
  • are experiencing challenges with social or peer relationships; 
  • are capable of achieving at, or near, grade level; 
  • are achieving beyond grade level; 
  • require a modified school timetable—focused on the four core subject areas—to address mental health, social interaction and the transition to a regular classroom, when appropriate; 
  • are supported by a parent or caregiver who can provide alternative supervision and transportation and activities outlined in the student’s individual program plan during the non-instructional portion of the school day. 


Students eligible for the Next Step Junior High Program must: 

  • be a current EIPS-based student or reside within the Division’s attendance boundary; 
  • do not have significant learning diagnosis;
  • meet the criteria listed in the “student profile” above; and 
  • be referred and recommended by administration at their current school. 

This program is not for students who have met or may meet the criteria for entrance into other EIPS Division programs (Focus, GOALS, Impact, LINKS, SEAS, etc.)

Registration Process

How to apply to register for the Next Step Junior High Program:

  1. Families wanting to explore the program must express interest to administration at their current school—outlining rationale.
  2. Administration will refer the student to the Next Step Junior High—outlining rationale.
  3. After receiving the referral, Next Step administration will reach out to the family, offer details about the program and expectations.
  4. The family then meets with Next Step administration to outline the following:
    • description of expectations, entrance criteria and limitations;
    • description of how the program operates, hours and transportation needs;
    • identify expectations for attendance, behaviour, and participation;
    • description of expectations from family around supervision to ensure success;
    • information about underlying issues relating to the need for alternative programming;
    • information about the student’s strengths and challenges.
  5. Next Step administration, the counsellor, and the Specialized Supports Staff will review the information and determine student’s eligibility for the program.
  6. Next Step Administration then communicates the decision to the family—accepted or not accepted.
  7. If accepted, a start date is finalized, and a family intake meeting is scheduled with the teacher.


Parent, guardian or caregiver:
Because of Next Step Junior High Program's unique nature, parental support is necessary to ensure its success. Parents, guardians or caregivers must commit to providing supervision during the non- instructional hours, which includes structuring optional activities outside of class. In addition, families must arrange for transportation to and from school to access their designated cohort.

Study and review:
All expectations around class materials, required learning activities and assessment practices are the same as traditional school. On an ongoing basis, students need to dedicate time outside of class to complete homework, review, read and study.


Regular daily attendance and punctuality are strongly encouraged. It is also expected that appointments are booked outside of cohort instructional time. If a student is absent, the family must let the school know by calling 780-464-1899 or via email to nextstep@eips.ca. Students are responsible for missed learning materials as a result of absences.

Should regular attendance be a challenge, speak to the administration directly. The school will develop a success plan to help with attendance and connect the student to supports outside of the school.


Positive behaviour is expected from all students attending Next Step Junior High. To ensure a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and respectful environment co-operation is needed between students, teacher and staff in the classroom and school site. As such, students are expected to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct. Student behaviours should never negatively impact the learning or wellbeing of others.


Transportation to and from the school site is the responsibility of the parent, guardian, or caregiver. Families and student may be able to access EIPS Student Transportation in the morning drop off or afternoon pick up. To learn more contact Student Transportation at 780-417-8151.

EIPS Student Transportation


The success of the Next Step Junior High Program depends on the ongoing communication between the teacher and family. As such, it is imperative both the student and the family have access to PowerSchool—and they check it regularly. In addition to PowerSchool, other communication methods including email, phone calls and updated Brightspace. The first line of communication is with the classroom teacher.


We will work closely with the family to determine an appropriate level of support and activities required based on individual needs and circumstances. All students enrolled in the Next Step Junior High Program receive a half-day of academic instructional learning. They are required, by legislation, to spend the balance of the day on other non-instructional pursuits. It’s the family’s responsibility to help arrange, support, and monitor the non-instructional time.

Next Step Outreach

Next Step Junior High encourages all students and families enrolled in the program to familiarize themselves with alternative education opportunities at the school—by reviewing documents and information available at www.eipsnextstep.ca

If you have any further questions or concerns about the program or alternative programming, contact the school directly at 780-464- 1899 or via email at nextstep@eips.ca