Parents have many school and program choices and making the right choice for our kids and for our families can be daunting. We want them to be happy, to have friends, to thrive, to become more independent, and to develop the knowledge, skills, and habits to be successful when they move on to the next stage of their lives. It can be a lot.
Traditional school experiences with standardized schedules will likely remain the dominant school model for some time. This will work well for many students and their families—but not all students. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how each child has unique needs, strengths, and interests and it’s no surprise to parents that what works for one child can be quite different than what motivates and works for another child.
Blended+ is our new program that might be the right fit for students and families looking for something different. Here are some common themes that have emerged while speaking with parents about the Blended+.
How will my child benefit from taking part in this new program?
If your child is learning at grade level and would benefit from a more flexible, personalized school experience with high levels of support and community engagement, Blended+ may be a great fit. The program provides increased choice and voice with a focus on transferable skills to help students become self-directed learners in-person, off-campus, and in the community. The weekly learning format empowers students to make meaningful decisions about their learning including—at times—where, when, and with whom they work on tasks. Learning is designed to meet curriculum outcomes while also developing Alberta Education competencies such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.
Where does Blended+ fit at Calgary Academy?
The Blended+ program is accepting students from the extended Calgary area as well as students in the Academy and Collegiate programs at CA. Like our other programs, it’s rooted in a commitment to place the individual needs of each student at the heart of everything we do. Class sizes are small, and experienced teachers provide high levels of support. Blended+ is a flexible, university preparatory school experience that combines the best parts of online, on campus, and off-site experiential learning.
How is Blended+ different from online learning due to COVID-19?
The two experiences are like comparing apples to oranges…or maybe apples to pizza. They don’t equate. Mandated virtual learning as a public health measure resulted in schools that were never designed as online programs asking how they can best replicate in-class learning and meet students’ needs online. Learning took place in a context of isolation from friends and peers as well as other public health restrictions.
At Blended+, we ask a different question. How can we integrate the best parts of online, on campus, and off-site experiential learning to provide a flexible, personalized, and dynamic learning experience? Learning is social in the Blended+ program and students have the flexibility to learn primarily on campus while also choosing times to work from home or wherever they may be
What are the underlying values and beliefs of the Blended+ program?
Blended+ focusses on the development of transferable skills and habits of mind for students to develop agency, self-directed learning skills, and Alberta Education competencies. It values aligning learning with students’ lives outside of school, with how technology is reshaping our human experience, and with future–ready skills.
Blended+ exemplifies the belief statements of Calgary Academy including:
- We believe in creating pathways as unique and varied as our learners.
- We believe we are all learners first, continually redefining what is possible.
- We believe social emotional well–being empowers learners to thrive.
- We believe in engaging richly with our families and our community.
- We believe foundational literacies are critical to deeper learning.
Still on the fence about whether Blended+ is right for your child and your family? We are setting up times to talk (for however long you need!) about the program, so get in touch with us today.