Falcons

Several years ago, Alberta Education has embarked on an exciting project with 16 high schools throughout the province- St. Francis of Assisi being one of those 16.  The purpose of the project is to provide participating schools with the opportunity to organize their schools with the removal of the current 25 hours of face-to-face instruction per course credit restriction. Ultimately this project would help change high school delivery and organization that support Albert students’ learning, improve completion rates, and enhance student achievement. It is now known as High School Redesign and there are many schools across Alberta taking part.

The pervious structure of high school education was about standardization- courses, streaming, timetables, dividing things up equally.  It is an industrial business model- our goal is to personalize education. We want students to connect with the outcomes of the Program of Studies and use high school as a pathway to the rest of their lives. This project will allow us to respect the students’ efforts, time, and talents. We want to avoid treating students the same- students are not homogenous- we want to respect that. This project will allow us the opportunity to organize our school structures in a way that respects the needs of our students. We are taking what we are already doing, and know works well for students, and doing more of it. Being accepted in this project validates what is right, unique and special about our school. What we are doing is based on research and best practices.  Our project has a solid foundation.  We have developed a program to suit our students’ needs.

The accumulated knowledge and experience in the research validates what are already doing right and provides us with support on how to take the next step. We will be able to build a program to suit our students’ needs.

We are planning now for the future and being proactive.  Our goal is to be leaders in delivering high- quality programming that prepares students for the realities of the real world instead of being forced to play catch up.

This will benefit our students and give them an advantage.

 

What the Flex advantage looks like in our school:

·  Team– teaching

Our staff work in teams to plan, instruct and assess students.

·  Flexible student groupings

Students are often grouped based upon their individual needs.  This means that they are not always grouped according to grade, course or stream.

·  Integrated co– curricular courses

Courses are generally divided in to Humanities , Math/Science or complementary courses.  Teams of teachers work to integrate outcomes from individual courses together so provide for deeper understanding, more concrete experiences to apply knowledge and skills and to provide opportunities for the earning of additional credits.

·  Opportunities to take extra time to pass courses instead of failing them

If students do not complete a course, often they have the option of completing what is outstanding instead of failing and then having to retake an entire course.

·  Enrichment, remediation and individual programming and support.

Through the use of project– based learning activities and “flex” time teachers are able to provide students with extended learning opportunities.

 

For details from Alberta Educatin relating to High School Flex, please visit:

http://www.ideas.education.alberta.ca/hsc/current-projects/flexibility-enhancement-pilot/