George McDougall High School (9-12)
Principal: Ed Polhill
Grade Configuration: French Immersion and English 9-12
Attendance Area Map: George McDougall High
2011-2014 — School Education Plan (Year Two)
Quotes from Parent Advocates
“In a dialogue with School Council (15 May, 2012) the following was expressed:
“The school does a good job of celebrating and recognizing achievement, whether high marks, improvement or extra-curricular.”
“The world perspective created by opportunities such as Students 4 Change help make our learners realize their humanity and make a difference. In addition, George McDougall students accept and value difference.”
“We recognize the expertise and strength of the teaching staff at George McDougall; they are true specialists."'
How do we define success for George McDougall students?
As we look to define “success” for our students, we draw on some of our measures from RVS' Three Year Plan and from our own school motto of “Success Through Effort”. We look to describe our students’ success in their acquisition of 21st Century competencies (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, innovation, financial literacy, self-directed). We know our students are successful as they strive to acquire, develop, and master these skills. Civic engagement is also a cornerstone characteristic we value as an indicator of success. When students master these skills, they will be successful in any of their future academic and employment. We see a direct correlation between academic success and the acquisition of these 21st Century Skills.
What makes our school good and how do we know?
We have many indicators that show us that we are a “good” school. In the most recent Accountability Pillar Survey (APORI), as reported by Alberta Education, we have nine indicators that measure our school’s performance as high to very high. Over the past three years, significant gains have been made in reducing dropout rates and increasing achievement on provincial assessments. Our APORI data also indicate that the Programs of Study, Education Quality, and Continuous Improvement measures at George McDougall are good. Our dedicated professional staff focus on instructional practices that promote academic excellence and encourages our students to pursue their learning beyond a high school diploma. This makes us a good school. We have also been successful at implementing a number of learning opportunities that meet the diverse needs of our students. By expanding our AP English courses to Grade 11 in 2012-13, and with increased Knowledge and Employability courses, we can ensure that a range of students can have their individual learning needs met. As we look to next year, we will be focusing on increasing engagement and designing inclusive learning environments for all students. We are confident that providing exceptional instruction through best practice and effective intervention makes us a “good school”.
Another key indicator that we are a good school is our success in providing a safe and caring environment. These results are confirmed in both our APORI results, as above, and from student’s feedback in the “Tell them From Me” survey. A variety of people share, on a qualitative basis, that our staff and students are considerate, committed, and compassionate. The student population has a diverse representation; yet, learners experience being accepted by each other, as well as staff. We provide effective supports through counseling, mediation, and Stepping Stones’ programming. A large contribution to the sense of consideration of others is the involvement of our students, staff and parents in community initiatives such as Students 4 Change and our annual “Ride of the Mustangs” (48 hour bike-a-thon for cancer research). The results of these are significant, impressive, and single us out in the community of Airdrie, as well as globally. Our school community values civic involvement and good citizenship; not only by the words we use, but by purposeful action. Proven by both quantitative and qualitative data, our school does a good job through offering our learners:
• Diverse programming
• Robust instruction & learning opportunities, curricular & extra-curricular
• Confidence in high school completion
• An accepting, inclusive & caring learning environment
• Growth in civic stewardship & global citizenship
We are a good school and we are always striving to improve; this School Education Plan is the result of collaboration with staff, parents, students, administration, and RVS. Those relationships make us a better school.