School mission statements and vision statements are enriched by involving learners, staff, parents/guardians, and the greater community. To understand what we stand for and what we collectively value is critical work that schools do. It is also important that a new school has a starting point. In collaboration with learning partners locally, provincially, and internationally, backed in current educational research governing how adolescents learn best, we have worked on a starting point that has guided the design of our school structures. Our future visioning work will include staff, parents/guardians, community, and the learners themselves to support the vision evolving and changing over time (as it must), so our collective beliefs live and breathe at Canyon Falls. As a starting point for this work:
Canyon Falls Middle School: A Beginning...
At our school, we are committed to thoroughly preparing every young person for success. We want them to be ready for the world of today. We also want them to be ready for the world of tomorrow. We know that they are living in a time of rapid innovation and new possibilities. That is why we will focus on teaching practices that are based in current educational research governing how adolescents learn best.
At our school, we will all be learning in community. Each young person will learn deeply. Each learner will be empowered at the centre of their learning in the following three categories:
- Mastery – Each learner will develop a deep understanding around foundational skills (writing, reading, mathematics) and curriculum outcomes.
- Identity – Each learner will reflect frequently and learn to see themselves as strong learners for a lifetime.
- Creativity – Each learner will learn how to transfer their understandings and skills in novel ways that are intellectually engaging. Learning opportunities will be designed to promote learner voice, choice and interests.
Our role as educators will be to act as co-designers of rich learning experiences, working alongside learners, where their passions and agency are developed and nurtured. The curricular design will shift to greater integration of disciplines so that learners can demonstrate BC's curricular competencies. As well, the physical environment will be designed to serve a more learner-centered, flexible, multi-disciplinary, multi-graded learning design. We will work hard and together to ensure each learner has the essential understandings, competencies and dispositions to thrive.
We will be informed by research that says what is best for middle-school-aged, adolescent learners:
- A flexible schedule responsive to learner needs.
- Learners and teachers teamed in learning communities in order to foster deeper peer relationships and social-emotional well-being.
- Deeper relationships with teams of teachers resulting in more responsive learning experiences, better parent communication, and greater learner success.
- An advisory program encouraging connections across the entire school community. Each learner will have adult advocates.
- An embedded, middle school exploratory program allowing learners to explore different course areas (Art, Drama, Foods, Music, Technology, French) each year with passionate specialist teachers. This will prepare them to make informed elective choices in secondary school.
- An Enrichment program offering multiple, school-based electives throughout the year encouraging learners to choose areas of intense interest or curiosity.
At Canyon Falls Middle School, together as a whole school community, we will create the most innovative and dynamic middle school community possible for our young people. Our story will be one of promoting and celebrating transformation throughout our school. We will be known for ensuring deeply engaging, powerful, and meaningful learning for each learner. Our learners and their well-being will be at the center of all that we do.