How Removing Barriers Leads to Transformational Change
WM. E. Hay Composite High School, Stettler, Alberta Canada
WE. Hay is a high school that is seeking ways to make learning more accessible and teaching more effective. The leaders of this high school presented some great information at NASSP and I wanted to share some of the ideas and strategies that were shared.
- Removing time from the equation was important. Can we
standardize the amount of time it takes to learn?
- Does time equal learning or is this based on the industrialized
- The school utilizes some flex during which students can make a
more active role in their learning.
- The school's mixed grade level advisory stays the same over the
4 years of High School.
- When considering changing something at the school, the question
that is always asked is, "Are changes meaningful and
- Principal quote, "High Schools are not broken, just becoming
- Are we really making connections with our students?
- The high school has longer blocks of time based on requests by
the students and these are not math and science normally.
- Teachers feel more validated when administrators give them the
freedom to share ideas.
- The school has a project week when students have longer blocks
of time in each class.
- The school is focused on building relationships and
- The school develops an IEP for all students. (This is equal to
our 4 year plan).
- The school pairs student with older students based on
- The school believes that teachers do not teach in isolation,
the staff collaboration is essential.
* Love this idea! Advisory collaboration- a teacher pairs with
another teacher and they take turns going to
- The school has their academy students prepare a portfolio to
present to community members in their field of interest.
- They novice teachers are on a 2 day cycle with a veteran
teacher. They stay a day behind so that when a new concept is
being introduced, the veteran teacher can provide suggestions
to the novice teacher for the following day.
- The school has a student support program similar to our ER.
- This school has English and PE classes that are a combo class
with either a fine art of math
Ex. Drama/English, PE/Math, etc...
More notes to come from other outstanding speakers and presenters!!