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Westwind Alternate School offers a variety of programming and delivery options for High School, Outreach based, courses.
TEACHER LED delivery option
A traditional classroom format is compressed into regular multi-hour workshops. Teachers work with small groups of students to master core skills. Because the majority of work is completed during class, regular attendance is essential. Homework, while rare, is sometimes assigned to practice essential skills and to independently explore a few non-core topics. Course selection is limited. Program capacity is minimal.
Students who need structure to succeed
Students with reading comprehension challenges
Students with regular attendance patterns
Courses at the -3 level
Core courses (with multiple registrants)
BLENDED delivery option
Students come in for one or more periods of regular teacher led instruction. This is combined with a number of independently completed units &/or topics. Homework is regular and its timely completion is essential. Depending on the course and teacher instructional periods may:
only focus on a few core concepts
provide a “big picture” overview to a unit
focus on lab skills and/or project-like applications
Academically average students with average to above average work discipline or students with poor work discipline but who are academically very quick
Students who need some teacher direction but who are overwhelmed by too much teacher control or too much student independence
Difficult academic subjects and diploma courses
HERE & THERE delivery option
Students attend classes at a traditional high school but come over to the Alternate school at set times for additional help. Tests can be completed at the traditional high school or at the Alternate school. This enables students to keep working on a unit even though their “class” may have moved on before they themselves were ready.
Students who need the structure of a regular class
Students who need large amounts of teacher instructions
Students who may need extra time to complete some units
Students for whom flexible attendance options are counter-productive
PRIOR LEARNING WORKSHOP option
Some students come in already knowing a lot of a course’s content. Teachers in this delivery option quickly assess student knowledge, filling in gaps with custom workshops, independent distance learning resources, or take home assignments. Students have significant voice in selecting an optimal balance between the level of competency they want to achieve and the time it takes to get there.
Students with broad knowledge who pick up content quickly and who may prioritize pace above grades
Students who have taken and failed a course due to incomplete assignments rather than lack of ability
Students with lots of experience in certain course areas (often CTS courses)
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE program
A professional artist is available to mentor students on their own personal art projects. Students explore different artistic mediums while getting a chance to observe what the day-to-day life of a professional artist or graphic designer actually entails. Formal curricular instruction is not provided. Studio time compliments mentally taxing periods of formal academic study. It is a safe, energizing place for students to develop practical, community based life skills.
Students interested in art and music
Full time outreach students who travel on a bus and are tired after half a day of academic studies
Students who need a safe, grounding place to be
Students complete General Education Diploma (GED) books on their own. Teachers provide tutor support. Students may chose to complete teacher led workshops in order to get Alberta course credit. GED tests can only be written once students turn 18.
Students who are bright, but won’t jump through years of hoops
Attendance is a recurring issue
Students who are willing to wait until they are 18+ to get their GED
SENIOR AIP program
(applied independent program)
This is a transition program designed for students coming from a home school or distance learning background. Core subjects are taught in a teacher led style, complimented by stand-a-lone supports. Students complete option courses in a Flex or Student Designed project mode. Many traditional high school students find the structure and core skill focus a nice transition into Outreach programming.
Students who need a transition into the independent style of most Outreach programming
Students who need the motivation of a group setting
Students who are between or uncertain about academic streams
JUNIOR AIP program
(applied independent program)
This program is designed for grade 9 students who are challenged by traditional schools’ classroom dynamics. This is a flexible teacher led program that incorporates pieces of our Student Designed Project program and our Teacher Led program. Students are guided through core subjects in a small class setting which provides lots of customized teacher support. Focus is on practical “big picture” skills. Students spend the other part of their day on their own projects or under the mentorship of our Artist in Residence.
Students who need stable mentor-based relationships
Students who are between K&E and regular academic programming
Students with severe social anxiety
Students with Asperger’s affects who are frustrated by traditional programming
STRUCTURED SCHEDULE program
While similar to flex delivery, students are only permitted to attend school at specific times. In some cases attendance frequency is similar to Flex programming. In other cases all work is done at home. Students study all concepts on their own, making appointments for extra help. While most questions are answered during scheduled time periods, student can email or phone at anytime for additional help.
Students with average reading comprehension levels and are independent
Students with short attention spans and difficulty working in school environments
Students who struggle with the structural requirements of other WAS programs
STUDENT DESIGNED PROJECT program
Students work with a mentor-teacher to create their own curriculum and project. Projects typically involve deep, specialized work and often rely on peer-coaching. Teachers help guide reflection and probe learning. Special project students typically do not work toward a high school diploma. Scheduling and attendance are highly individualized and are typically flexible.
Students who are not engaged in traditional classrooms or externally defined curriculum
Students who are not immediately concerned with working toward a high school diploma
Students who may fall on an autistic spectrum or who prefer to be deeply engaged in a single topic
Students who need some time and space before re-connecting with traditional educational programming
LIFE SKILLS program
This is a non-academic program designed to provide a safe environment for a very limited number of students. Work typically involves free reading and non-rigorous student selected open-ended projects. Some co-ordination with counselling services also occurs. This program may involve occasional life skills seminars or workshops.
Students who are not working toward a high school diploma
Students who would like to remain connected to a school atmosphere, but for whom academic rigour or structure may produce counter-productive consequences.