“Leadership in the OCDSB is the demonstration of personal initiative to achieve a positive outcome.”
SCHS staff are committed to providing students with opportunities to develop their leadership skills throughout the year through various groups and events including the following:
• Students’ Council develops leaders with practical experiences and events that enhance the life of our school. Our mission is to build a positive school climate through the development of local and global awareness.
• The SCHS Leadership Camp consists of activities that promote team building, personal growth and fun. All students who attend have the opportunity to develop self‐awareness, organizational, leadership and decision making skill.
• The Link Crew consists of a dynamic group of grade 11 and 12 students who assist our grade 9s with the transition to high school. Link Leaders plan and run activities throughout the school year.
• Many of our clubs are student-driven. The Green Team and the H.O.P.E. club run various initiatives throughout the year to help improve our local community and our world.
Mr. Colin Anderson, principal of South Carleton High School, had a vision to turn a common Library space into a Learning Commons. The objective of this new Commons was to provide students with an open space inspiring them to learn. He saw this conversion as an opportunity to create a vibrant learning environment without barriers and restrictions resulting in the Learning Commons becoming a model for other schools to consider within the school district.
Mr. Anderson was inclusive and collaborative with his approach for gathering ideas and feedback, including input from Parent Council, teachers, students, and trustee members. This enabled a holistic collaboration representing every group’s ideas, thoughts, and input. This approach allowed the members to feel part of the conversion and promoted the idea right from the onset. As a result, the Learning Commons truly became everyone’s success.
The Library was transformed by changing not only its look and feel, but by removing barriers and restrictions that would have prevented students from using the space. Some of the changes that Mr. Anderson made were the following:
•Changing the doors from 2 doors exiting and one door entering to both doors open at all times and removing the entry gates symbolizing the Learning Commons is always inviting the students in to be used;
•Moving the circulation desk to the centre of the library and students creating the front of the desk using old books; allowing a more efficient traffic flow;
•Creating a Learning Commons “Oasis” with a tiled floor, bistro tables and chairs, and a TV with the school news on a continuous loop; students are now able to use this space to gather, eat, drink and chat similar to the Starbucks Coffee Chat environment that has become the norm for gathering;
•Creating a lounge area with comfortable, modern, moveable furniture, so students can relax before, in between, or after classes;
•Replacing old computers with new Chrome books (30 for use in the Learning Commons plus 15 for day use and 15 for overnight use);
•Converting surrounding storage and office spaces into study and collaboration rooms. These rooms have tables and comfortable seating including TVs in 2 rooms that can be connected to Chromebooks, a smart projector in one room, and one room dedicated as a maker space with ergonomic tables and materials for hands on projects;
•Adding slat wall across the back wall to showcase students’ artwork or promote new books;
•Creating a space that can be used for learning sessions on a variety of student focused topics delivered by community specialist and experts; and
•Implementing a new, moveable, low height bookshelf that maintains the openness and visual image of the space.
With Mr. Anderson’s fantastic and consistent leadership, the vision of converting the Library into a Learning Commons became a reality and is being used today by every student. It has also become a location to share knowledge, collaborate on ideas, get excited about activities like reading and have a quiet space for contemplation if that is the student’s need. As a parent and South Carleton High School Council Chair, I see the benefits and opportunities this new environment can create for students to learn in new and unique ways. Seven letters were written on behalf of Mr. Colin Anderson and these are the names:
Brett Reynolds - Superintendent.
Glenn Ellis - Educator - Lisgar C.I. Secondary Technology Subject Council Chair, Ottawa Carleton District School Board.
Patsy Agard - Co-Chair Bytown Principals Council Eastern Ontario.
Matt Gagnier - Vice Principal Lisgar Collegiate (former educator at West Carleton where Colin Anderson was principal).
Christine Reynolds - Vice Principal of South Carleton High School
Shelina Alibhai - South Carleton High School Council Chair.
Victoria Chamberlain - South Carleton High School Student.
Mr. Colin Anderson has been named the 2017 recipient of the Ontario Library Association's Administrator of the Year Award, for his part in the incredible transformation of South Carleton's Library into a vibrant Learning Commons. - Shelina Alibhai, School Council Chair.
Photos from a gathering celebrating Mr. Anderson's award:
From L to R: G. Ellis, S. Alibhai, C. Anderson, C. Reynolds, B. Reynolds
Photos of the Learning Commons:
Senior biology students have the opportunity to attend a marine field trip to the Huntsman Marine Centre in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick each fall. This is just one of many educational field trips organized for our students.
Mathematics, science and language teachers have linked with our feeder school teachers to focus on student achievement curriculum alignment, assessment and evaluation and student transition to high school.
Our inspiring staff participate actively in on‐going professional development that supports student learning. Balanced literacy, assessment and evaluation, analyzing student achievement data, and the integration of character education into the curriculum and school life are just some of the examples of regular professional development for our teachers.
School Council continues to support and encourage activities at South Carleton while providing the principal with meaningful and valued input. Parents are kept up‐to‐date through monthly meetings where ongoing communication is transparent and our Learning Community works collaboratively to ensure that the learning environment is positive, safe and enjoyable, which enhances school improvement and student learning. The meetings are open and all are invited to attend.
In partnership with various house builders, students enrolled in our House Building have the opportunity to develop skills in the construction trade such as framing, wiring, insulation, drywall and flooring while building a home in an established development. Students enrolled in this Focus Program earn credits toward the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Many members within the community have provided opportunities for our students to work on various individual projects around the neighbourhood. We appreciate the trust you hold in our youth and their teachers.
South Carleton students regularly enter the Royal Canadian Legion's annual Remembrance Day contests. Many of our students have done very well, often advancing beyond the local level.