OPTIONS For Schooling at Home with Westwind Alternate School
OPTIONS FOR SCHOOLING AT HOME WITH
WESTWIND ALTERNATE SCHOOL
Cardston Campus / Raymond Campus
Option 1: HOME EDUCATION
As the parent you are in charge of this program and have pretty much all the freedom and all the responsibility of providing your child with an education. (Grades 1 - 12)
Here is how it works:
- You design the program for the year for your student and submit the plan to our teacher-facilitator for approval at the beginning of the school year. (He or she will make sure it meets the criteria in the Home Education Regulation) Note: The program you design will follow either the Alberta government curriculum used in regular schools or a basic checklist of things that need to be covered in a Home Ed program (Currently being revised).
- There is much flexibility with respect to various styles and philosophies of learning.
- You find and purchase, borrow, share, etc., the resources that you will need for your student’s program. We can reimburse you for some of these expenses up to $850.00 per student for the school year. See the Alberta Education 'Standards for Home Education Reimbursement' document.
- Your child works on their program coursework throughout the school year. You will most likely want to keep logs and portfolios of student work.
- The teacher-facilitator will conduct a ‘check up’ visit with you 2 times during the school year (usually January-February and May-June) in order to evaluate the progress that is being made on your plan. Note: These visits can be in your home, at one of our school campus locations (Cardston, Magrath, Raymond), or by Zoom.
- WAS school resources are not generally available to Home Education students.
- There are a variety of websites and organizations that support Home Educators and there are local “Mom’s Groups’ or ‘Home Ed Co-ops’ in our local communities. Another great resource is the Home Education Handbook.
Option 2: PERSONALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (PEP)
This is a Teacher Directed Home-based (distance) Learning opportunity for students from grades 1 - 9. It is very collaborative as the teacher works very closely with the parent(s) to ensure that the student is receiving a full Alberta education.
Here is how it works:
- Again, this is Teacher Directed but a very collaborative, often whole family involved, adventure.
- The courses follow the Alberta Programs of Study
- Students are required to write the Provincial Achievement Tests in grades 6 & 9.
- Students are able to use a variety of curricular materials from numerous suppliers and sites. There is much flexibility with respect to various styles and philosophies of learning.
- We generally host a number of mini-classes of instruction, one day a week, that students can choose to attend. Often these cover some curriculum outcomes and sometimes they are more ‘enrichment’ opportunities. (These are different depending if you are in the Cardston area or in the Raymond area)
- Often teachers will host an in person or online tutorial time for individual students or small groups… usually once per week per student if wanted/needed.
- Teachers are generally available at campus or by email on regular schools days to help parents and students.
- Teachers assess submitted student work and provide grades in PowerSchool
- Teachers have access to classroom resource budgets. This budget is used to obtain curricular resources tailored to individual student needs and interests. It also ensures students in our PEP - Print-based distance learning programs have access to an equivalent breadth of resources that traditional schools, focussed on individual student needs, might have.
- Please note that, as at December 16, 2020, PEP program funding is under review vis a vis changes in guidance and wording in Alberta Education's 'Funding Manual For School Authorities' most recent editions.
- NOTE: Within the PEP program there is a ‘Standardized’ option. This option is more akin to ‘school at home’ which means that specific standardized resources are provided in a format that includes print-based resources. This option provides the kind of day by day progression of assignments and activities that parents and students are used to in a regular classroom and will closely follow the Common Year Plan that the WWSD Schools are using this year. The plan will also be that students have opportunities to access their teacher on a fairly regular basis via Zoom conferencing or other like method. There are also opportunities to be involved in field trips and other activities as well. Note: This option is highly recommended for students who will likely be returning to their regular school during the school year.
Option 3: HIGH SCHOOL OUTREACH
The Outreach Program is a very flexible grades 10 - 12 option with a variety of instructional delivery models and a number of different scheduling and attendance opportunities. Outreach provides the ability for students to be enrolled full-time at WAS or to be enrolled full time at their regular high school and simply take one course or a few courses at the Alternate School. We have Outreach locations at Cardston, Magrath, Raymond and Stirling.
Here is how it works:
- We have classrooms and teachers at each of our locations.
- Students come in, or Zoom in, for an intake meeting.
- Usually we will have students registering for full-time take a couple of diagnostic exams to see if they are ready for grade level coursework and where to start them. Courses are aligned with the Alberta Programs of Study and can often be taken either in print form or online.
- We will meet with the student and parent to discuss attendance options (how much at school vs how much at home) and select the courses to start with, the expectations and the progression through high school.
- Students work towards one of the Alberta High School Diploma options.
- While at the campus students usually work at their own pace in a classroom with a few others doing the same and who each may be working on different courses.
- The teacher is available to work with each student individually.
- The teacher may also have scheduled appointment times (in person or on Zoom) during the day with specific students or small groups of students.
- We generally try to keep the same basic bell time schedule as the corresponding high school.
- We are increasingly using Google Classroom for students and especially for students who are doing most or all of their work at home.
- There is no funding reimbursement for parents or students in this program.
- Those enrolled with their regular high school simply ask their Academic counsellor or an administrator about taking a course(s) at WAS... or phone or drop in at a WAS campus and visit with one of our staff members and we’ll get you going. Usually you can do your work at home, at your school or at a WAS campus if you have a spare block during the school day.
Should you be looking for other options for schooling at this time -- in response to Covid 19 issues or for any other reason -- Westwind School Division has a place for YOU… and perhaps it is with Westwind Alternate School.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text or call at (403) 653-1547 ext. 64502 or (403) 894-7505 (business hours only, please)
Mike DeVuyst - Principal