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STUDENT SERVICES HANDBOOK

www.westislandcollege.ab.ca

7410 Blackfoot Trail SE Calgary, AB

Tel: 403.255.5300


Message from the Head of Student Services It is the mission of West Island College’s Student Services to foster physical, emotional and academic well-being through learning and personal educational planning. The academic and personal supports offered at WIC continue the College’s tradition of learning beyond traditional curricular lines, establishing the support networks and skills necessary to help students reach their full potential. Services offered by the College’s Student Services include: teacher referrals, on-site counselling, access to external services, Personal Learning Plans, and post-secondary advising, as well as an ever-growing Teacher Advisor Program to ensure all students and families have a point of contact within the College. Our team endeavours to provide a holistic and integrated approach in response to the needs of our students while keeping with the College’s mission — to develop healthy habits of the heart and mind for a life of purpose and service — foremost in our minds. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to access any of our supports, please contact studentservices@westislandcollege.ab.ca or call 403.255.5300 and ask to be directed to Student Services. As Head of Student Services, Mrs. Allen co-ordinates all aspects in the Student Services realm, which includes personal, academic and post-secondary counselling, as well as WIC’s Teacher Advisor Program and the implementation of electronic portfolios. The Student Services team also work with students who, for a variety of reasons, require an individualized educational program.

Mrs. Claire Allen Head of Student Services claireallen@mywic.ca phone: 403.255.5300 fax: 403.252.1434

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Counselling at West Island College Academic Counselling Student Services works with students to help them adopt a perspective that places a high priority on understanding their educational goals and how to successfully attain them, including but not limited to: •

Course advising

High School program planning

Diploma requirements

Support of success in courses

Creation and monitoring of a Personal Learning Plan

• Mentoring

Personal Counselling Student Services works with students to provide personal support and encouragement during their time at the College. Junior and Senior High students may experience a wide range of concerns such as anxiety, depression, stress management, eating disorders, relationship problems, family conflict, abuse, grief and loss, or fears and phobias. We sincerely care about our students’ well being and encourage those who need personal support to seek out one of the members of our Student Services team.

How to access WIC Student Services Student Services can be accessed in the following ways: •

In person at the Administration Offices

By email at studentservices@mywic.ca

By phone at 403.255.5300 (ask to be directed to Student Services)

Parents are also encouraged to call if they require an appointment.

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Student Services at West Island College Serving students from Grades 7 to 12, the College is divided into two schools: the Junior School (Grades 7, 8 and 9) and the Senior School (Grades 10, 11 and 12). In order to ensure that the progress of each student is followed efficiently and effectively throughout a student’s entire time at the College, the responsibility for this task is shared. As previously indicated, the Head of Student Services co-ordinates all aspects of Student Services as well as WIC’s Teacher Advisor Program. The Head of Senior School and the Head of Junior School are responsible for monitoring the academic and social progress of students in their respective grade groups. This allows for consistent and continual monitoring of the child’s progress from Grades 7 through 12. Services offered to West Island College students include but are not limited to:

Student Success Centre Located in the Library, the Student Success Centre (SSC) provides students with the opportunity to improve their academic performance. Students can access the services of the Learning Strategist as well as writing support programs to help improve writing through workshops and/or individual consultations. The SSC can be accessed by contacting a member of the Student Services team or by emailing studentservices@mywic.ca

Learning Strategist WIC’s Learning Strategist works with students to provide consultation on course work, specific learning strategies, test support as well as time management, organization and executive functioning skills. As well, in the Junior School, the Student Services team may work directly on learning strategies with teachers and students in the classroom. The Learning Strategist can be accessed by contacting a member of the Student Services team or by emailing studentservices@mywic.ca.

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Exam Accommodations To assist in meeting the College’s high expectations, we are mindful of our responsibility to provide support for all students based on their individual educational circumstances. Specific accommodations are provided to qualified students to ensure fairness and to remove inequitable obstacles to performance. These accommodations are granted to the best of our ability when they are specifically recommended in a formal psychoeducational assessment report or a medical letter provided by a physician.

Peer Tutoring Peer tutoring is a program whereby students help other students succeed; it provides a way for WIC students to work with one another to reach their academic goals. WIC’s Peer Tutors are students from Grades 9 through 12 who are available to help in a wide variety of subject areas. We strive to create a supportive environment, and Peer Tutoring is one way we provide that for our students. Our peer tutors help students: •

Plan and assist in completing assignments to meet deadlines

Improve their study and organizational skills

Gain confidence about their overall academic performance

Accessing Peer Tutoring Any student interested in receiving extra help to improve their academics, or to learn a new skill such as organization, should email studentservices@mywic.ca or speak to a member of the College’s Student Services team. Tutoring takes place in the Library on Friday mornings or in a location that is pre-arranged between a student and his or her tutor. Students may also meet their peer tutors any day before school, at lunch or after school when pre-arranged.

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Peer Support Peer Support is students helping students. Students involved in Peer Support help other WIC students and make a difference at the College. The group is actively involved in the College and greater Calgary community and carries out relationship-building activities within the school. The group’s goals include cultivating a school community that is respectful and accepting of all people, and focusing on positive change and awareness in their communities.

Math Central Math Central provides students with the opportunity to drop in during the lunch hour to ask questions related to math or work on assignments with a math teacher. Students are also able to participate in the weekly math challenge questions that are available through Math Central. Available Monday to Thursday during the lunch hour in Room 14.

Test Centre We believe that any time a student misses class he/she misses out on important learning opportunities. The Test Centre affords students the opportunity to complete any missed assessments without the need to miss more class time. The Centre is fully supervised by a faculty member and runs every Monday to Thursday from 3:30 – 5 p.m., and Fridays from 7:30 – 9 a.m. Arrangements to write missed assessments in the Test Centre are made directly with the classroom teacher.

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Teacher Advisor (TA) Program The Teacher Advisor Program promotes meaningful relationships between faculty and students while meeting the developmental and educational needs of students. The program creates a continued sense of community, supports the social, emotional and academic learning of our students, individualizes each student’s educational experience, and promotes educational and personal success. The program strives to ensure that: • Every WIC student has an adult in the building who knows and cares about him/her and to whom he/she can turn in times of difficulty. •

Every WIC student has educational, career and personal goals toward which they are working and can see their courses as useful in reaching these goals.

Every WIC parent personally knows an adult in the school who the parent can call and who knows their child and how he/she is doing, academically and personally.

Every WIC faculty member has the opportunity to develop close connections and mentoring relationships with a small group of students throughout their Junior/Senior High school years.

Each teacher advocate works with a group of approximately 10-12 students. Students remain with the same TA throughout their career at West Island College; this enables one particular teacher to give support, build a trusting relationship with a student, and create stronger ties with families. It is our hope that this system provides ongoing support for all of our students.

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myBlueprint The myBlueprint Education Planner (www.myBlueprint.ca) allows students to create an engaging and interactive Education Plan as well as an e-portfolio of their accomplishments. All WIC students are able to access learning style and interest inventories as well as goal setting opportunities. In addition to this, students can build customized high school course plans, instantly identify the post-secondary options that are available to them and explore valuable information about apprenticeships, college and university programs and workplace opportunities across Canada.

Post-Secondary Advising WIC’s Directors of Post-Secondary Advising are available to provide support and help ease the anxiety students may feel when planning for their future education. The Directors of Post-Secondary Advising are available to: • Help students understand post-secondary entrance requirements, review student plans, and provide resources to help in decision-making • Write reference letters, answer questions about application and scholarship processes, and meet with post-secondary representatives Senior High students will have the opportunity to become familiar with the post-secondary process each year.

Mr. Malcom Rennie malcolmrennie@mywic.ca Mr. Steve Smith stevesmith@mywic.ca

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Other Resources •

Key university representatives visit WIC each year and the opportunity to speak with these individuals should be embraced.

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Our parent community is an additional network of professionals to engage with for advice or job shadowing.

Where can I get more information? The latest university brochures and program information are maintained in the University Advising Office located in the Library. University visit and scholarship information is posted on the Senior Class notice board in the Hall of Nations.

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Junior School

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This is the High School foundation year. It is in Grade 9 that students establish many of the patterns and habits that will see them through their educational careers. Students experience a change in the Grade 9 timetable and continue to build through on their confidence, courage, and resiliency through a challenging academic program to ensure they have a strong academic base. There is a focus on their ability to be their own unique and authentic selves. For these reasons, we call it the Foundation Year.

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Joining the WIC community, our junior “Wolves� seek challenge, acceptance, friendship and guidance as they find a path that suits who they are. The 100+ young charges find a special opportunity in Grade 7 as they begin Junior High. For everyone, this is a brand new beginning: the start of their journey at West Island College.

8 Students become leaders and role models to the Grade 7s. Pushing boundaries and taking on new adventures, students have learned a lot from the challenges that the first year in Junior High presented. Friendships strengthen as they begin their entrance into the world of teenage independence and individuality. We focus on building confidence and resiliency.

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12 The graduation year is the culmination of the High School journey; however, the WIC journey does not end here as these students become our newest group of WIC alumni. Graduates are ready in all regards for their post-secondary experiences – connecting their passion to purpose.

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Introduction to High School and the black blazer marks an increase in independence and rigour, and opens doors to higher level experiential opportunities. An increased focus on responsible decision making, post-secondary research and leadership is expected in this grade. Students will also complete their Second Language courses.

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This is the accelerated academic year with introduction to diploma exams and Advanced Placement courses; this is also referred to as the year of specialization and post-secondary and scholarship research. Community service and the acquisition of experiences in the Institute Program is a highlight of this year.

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