Strong Enough to Bend
A message from SGCHS Assistant Principal Chris Shaw:
Imagine you are fifteen again. You are sitting in a math class and struggling. It’s not that you aren’t capable of being successful; rather it is the pace of the course that is leaving you feeling helpless. A little more time and a little more one-on-one help from the teacher would do wonders.
Now imagine it is 82 minutes later. You are across the hall in your English Class. You love English (remember, we are using our imagination here), you’re doing great in the course, your assignments are outstanding and the exams come easy to you. Heck, if you could, you would probably ace the final and you’re only halfway through the course.
So here you are, stuck: too much time in English, not enough time in Math. Imagine further, if you could just take a little time from English and use it to get help in Math? If only your schedule was a little more flexible.
Welcome to High School Redesign! It started with administrators and teachers from 16 high schools meeting in Olds, Alberta six years ago. That was then. The High School Flexibility Enhancement Pilot Project is a pilot no more: now it has grown to over 160 high schools throughout the province including both Spruce Grove and Memorial Composite High Schools and is now referred to as High School Redesign (HSR).
For most schools HSR involves flexible scheduling: time given back to students, often in the form of a flex block, which enables him or her more autonomy, and subsequently more responsibility, for his or her learning. While the where and when varies between schools, what is constant is that it is up to the student to decide where he or she needs to be to get the help or enrichment he or she needs. Not only are teachers available for help in their respective classrooms, also available are spaces for students to work on their own or with others.
While flexibility is often the starting place for schools, what has emerged is that it is also a gateway to a deeper exploration of other foundational principles of HSR including Mastery Learning, Personalization, and greater Home and Community Involvement. For a better picture of what flexible learning environments look like, visit the Alberta Education website.
For more information contact:
Spruce Grove Composite High School