ALMADINA LANGUAGE CHARTER ACADEMY
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM INFORMATION
Alberta 2030 strategy to transform higher education
RATIONALE FOR THE ADDITION OF A HIGH SCHOOL COMPONENT
Almadina Language Charter Academy (ALCA) has successfully operated since 1996 as a Charter School approved by the Minister of Education with a unique emphasis on English language acquisition for children and students in Kindergarten to Grade 9.
The uniqueness in this school comes through the programs we offer that focus on English language learning acquisition for students whose second or third language at home is English. Therefore, we serve not only newcomers to Canada, but also Canadian born individuals who have a need to increase their English language proficiency levels.
In March 2013, ALCA forwarded to Alberta Education a 15 Year Renewal Document to increase the Charter from five years to 15. In that document it was indicated that ALCA would like to expand the school program and the Charter to include Grade 10, 11 and 12. Parent surveys and interviews regarding the introduction of Grade 10, 11 and 12 showed at the time that 92% of parents were in favour of a high school program. Parents were concerned that Almadina did not offer a high school. The staff at that time were in support of developing a high school program; however, ALCA was renewing its data and that request was not made at that time. However, they did indicate that they may choose to submit a request to add a high school component to the Charter at a later date.
Over the years, parents have been requesting that ALCA add a high school component to the school. For various reasons, both legal and practical, this has not happened. However, given the change of government in 2019, the Alberta, government has relaxed its policies on Charter Schools. As such, a request for an amendment to the Charter to add high school seems prudent and necessary.
The addition of the high school program will then allow students to complete their program in a safe, caring and respectful learning environment. It will also allow students to continue taking advantage of a well–developed English language learning program that specifically meets their needs.
Also, by adding a high school program, the students are very familiar with expectations of the program as well as of their teachers. Sometimes moving from a school that you have been attending since Kindergarten may be somewhat intimidating and not allow students to be as successful.
THE ADDITION OF GRADES 10 TO 12, ONE YEAR AT TIME
New school buildings are usually not built for Charter Schools by the province. Therefore, it is imperative for Charter Schools to know what their facilities requests may be with respect to growing student populations.
Since, ALCA hopes to amend its Charter to encompass a high school program then it is imperative to ensure that adequate space is available to allow students to take the necessary high school courses.
At present, ALCA would be able to provide programming to Grade 10 students with some reorganization of both facilities. There are no surplus high schools in Calgary that would allow ALCA to offer high school programming.
By starting with Grade 10 then adding one grade each year over the next two years will allow ALCA to find space for the high school program.
For the 2021/2022 school year, ALCA will reorganize both facilities in order to accommodate the addition of Grade 10.
This will then allow ALCA to work with Alberta Education to find a facility to meet the needs of the complete high school program from 2022/2023 onward.
PROGRAMMING REQUIREMENTS (IN ADDITION TO WHAT IS REQUIRED BY ALBERTA EDUCATION TO ACHIEVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA OR CERTIFICATE)
ALCA is required to meet Alberta Education’s requirements for students to achieve a high school diploma or certificate and as such must offer all of the approved courses that students require.
However, it is also the desire of the current Board of Directors to ensure that students have an opportunity to use current technology in their studies. This play a major role in the learning opportunities provided to ALCA students.
21ST CENTURY LEARNING
For students to be successful in the 21st Century they need to learn skills or refine their skills so that they can live and work in a digital and globalized society. As such, students need to have the following skills: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Cultural Awareness, Digital Literacy, Autonomy
As well as ensuring that students in the 21st Century have developed or enhanced the skills indicated above they need to ensure that they: participate in experiential learning; continue to explore careers, including securing the opportunity to participate in career guidance and planning; focus on personal development; facilitate choice, opportunities and exploration for learners; and examine learning relationships between secondary learning and opportunities and post–secondary learning and opportunities as well as business and industry learning and opportunities.