BELIEF STATEMENTS AND OUR ACTIONS
Westmount’s students are encouraged to demonstrate responsibility and develop leadership skills by being involved in all facets of life at Westmount.
It is recognized that students arrive at our school at various stages of academic, social and ethical development. The curriculum, therefore, is designed to recognize this individuality and encourage the growth of all students.
Since Westmount has a diverse community, a high degree of acceptance is expected and encouraged by staff, students and administration. The school encourages activities that foster a sense of social, environmental and cultural awareness.
Pace: We believe that students learn at different rates and, therefore, complete work at different rates.
For the purpose of pacing work, full courses are divided into 20 units. A unit of work represents, on the average, 5 hours of in-class work (four 75-minute classes) and an appropriate amount of homework.
Students progress through the Learning Guides at their own pace. All students are expected to make continuous progress in each course that they are taking.
Students complete the evaluations as stipulated in the Learning Guide. Evaluations can take place at different times, as negotiated between the teacher and the student.
A course is complete when all 20 units are finished and the final evaluation has taken place. At this time, the “course completion” process is carried out and the student begins a new course.
Style and Direction: We believe that students have different learning styles. Learning Guides are the documents which guide the delivery of curriculum at Westmount.
Learning Guides enable students to work at their own pace and, facilitate negotiations between students and teacher regarding assignments and timelines. Learning Guides include individual, small group and large group learning opportunities.
Technology and community resources are incorporated into the curriculum. Westmount is a networked school with broad wireless access to the internet. Students are encouraged to use this technology as a learning strategy and staff continue to integrate technology into our curriculum. Students are also expected to use First Class to access programme information.
There is an emphasis on literacy skills in Grade 9 and 10 Learning Guides.
Students have the opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached Provincial Standards by re-writing tests in their courses.
Responsibility: We encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and behaviour.
Students are expected to manage their time and make continuous progress in each course. Signing Out of class is another unique feature of the Westmount Program. It is integral to our belief that students be given a degree of control and are held responsible for their own learning.
Signing out allows students in Grades 10 to 12 to leave their timetabled class and to work in another area of the school. Students in Grade 9 begin with more structure as they gradually progress into the program. Students may negotiate signing out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday if they meet specific expectations.
Under Review: Students who prove to be in need of greater supervision and monitoring may be put Under Review by Administration. Strategies will be put into place to assist these students in taking ownership of and responsibility for their academic progress. After a period of assessment, students who demonstrate a continuing inability to achieve within the self-directed/self-paced program will be advised to transfer to their home school for a more structured program.
Accountability: We track, record and report on student Progress on a continuous basis.
Regular dialogue with students, both at school and at home, supports student progress and student ownership of the pace and quality of their work. Monthly progress reports are a primary means of communication regarding student progress, attendance and other concerns.
Phone calls, emails, and Concern Letters are all possible means of communication with the parents of Westmount students. It is an expectation that this communication take place to express concerns about a student’s progress.
All students are assigned to a multi-grade Westmount Advisor Group and will share the same Advisor over the course of their high school career. The role of the Advisor is to monitor progress, to provide support as an advocate and to provide information concerning the program. Attendance is mandatory.