At Michael Strembitsky School, we deliver the mandated Alberta Program of Studies for Kindergarten to Grade Nine. Students work in a fully inclusive environment, utilizing the latest resources and technologies. In addition to focusing on developing foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes in literacy and numeracy, our teachers seek ways to make connections between the different subject areas.
Since opening in September 2012, Michael Strembitsky School has developed a vision focused on authentic learning for a 21st century world. In an effort to reconceptualize teaching and learning, the Faculty at Michael Strembitsky School focuses on competency development as outlined in Inspiring Education and the Ministerial Order for Student Learning.
Our students’ learning is enhanced and enriched when they have opportunities to reinforce and apply their learning while working on cross-disciplinary assignments, real-world problems or interesting projects. Our projects are an integral part of the learning process. Projects focus on student interests and abilities within the context of the mandated curriculum, utilize new technologies, and include the direct teaching of foundational knowledge and skills that students then apply within the context of real world learning and projects. By learning through projects that provide meaningful and motivational opportunities to apply their learning, students come to understand their question of “why do I have to learn this?” Projects often start with open-ended question(s) that facilitate abstract understanding, inquiry, exploration, problem solving, design challenges, and/or completion of a curricular task. We continually seek opportunities to engage parents and the local community as key partners in the learning process.
We see project-based learning as one strategy to develop the 3 E’s – students who are engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit. Other instructional strategies that are used at MSS to support and enhance student learning include (please note that this is not a comprehensive list): direct teaching, cross-grade/class learning, Levelled Literacy Intervention, problem-solving and simulations, integration of technologies, formative feedback, reflection that supports metacognitive awareness, guest presentations and mentor support, etc. As professionals, our teachers look at a variety of resources and utilize a range of teaching strategies to meet the needs of our diverse students.
Developing competencies for successful learning and living
At MSS, we also focus on competencies which students need to develop over time and through a set of related curricular outcomes. A competency is an interrelated set of attitudes, skills and knowledge that is drawn upon and applied to a particular context for successful learning and living. Through the projects we develop, we hope our students will develop these important life skills and knowledge. Some of the competencies we focus on include:
*Please note that this diagram is from the Alberta Regional Consortia. Please visit:http://erlc.ca/resources/resources/cross_curricular_competencies_overview/documents/competencies-poster_11x17.pdf
Embedding these competencies in instruction enables us to develop engaging and relevant learning experiences that meet the needs of all students.
Supporting resources and links:
- View the online resource titled, "My Child's Learning: A Parent Resource, Your Doorway into Your Child's Learning" at: http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/mychildslearning/ . This resource will provide you with a better understanding of Alberta’s curriculum and how you can help your child. Here, you’ll discover what your child is learning, how they’re assessed and what resources are available to help them be successful from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Comprehensive Health at Michael Strembitsky School includes a multi-disciplinary approach that promotes and facilitates holistic practices that foster life-long habits and develop competencies that support and are related to citizenship, health, lifelong learning, personal management and well-being. Support is centered on helping all students meet their growth and developmental needs through a strength based approach in educational, personal and social areas. Focus is on key areas that attribute to students’ understanding of the importance of personal wellness, with commitment to lifestyle choices based on healthy attitudes and actions. Our goal is to get students to take ownership of, and responsibility for, their emotional, physical, and social well-being. Personal management – including making healthy lifestyle choices – is a critical competency interwoven through instructional and operational planning at our school. Staff and students at Michael Strembitsky School incorporate health into all aspects of school and learning by tapping into the knowledge, skills and energy of the school, home and community.