The Ten Tenets:
Consistant, structured approach that maximizes class time.
Strong focus on academic achievement
Teacher directed instruction
Regular skills assessment
Emphasis on solid literacy skills
Regular homework policy
Clearly defined code of behaviour
Parents as partners
A consistant structured approach. Among other indicators this will include: Desks in rows, students move from class to class quietly, in an orderly fashion, students stand to answer questions in formal settings.
A strong focus on academic achievement:
Academic focus for all subject areas. School goals are striving for excellence in Literacy and Numercay. Healthy competition encouraged, year end awards for outstanding students.
Teacher directed instruction:
Teachers demonstrates excellence in planning and instruction. They stay abreast of current teaching practices, provincial learning outcomes and differentiated learning. Strong classroom management skills are evident. While some co-operative group work may be done, the focus is on the individual learner.
Regular skills assessment:
A variety of assessment practices will be used to evaluate the individual learner. Criterion based assignments are the norm. Assessments will align with provincial learning outcomes. Assignments, quizzes and tests are to be promptly marked and returned. Assessments and results will be made available for parental review; parents will be provided with easy access to their child’s progress record.
Emphasis on solid literacy skills:
Early instruction focuses on best practices. Phonics is a useful approach in teaching students to decode words; decoding itself is an important building block to reading. Best practice also means that sight words, context clues, and the like are all part of “reading for meaning” or comprehension. Phonics skills give way to instruction in how words are put together, the etymology of larger, more complex words, and stronger spelling skills. As students progress, levelled books, guided reading and literacy circles are implemented.
Regular homework policy:
All students are expected to complete homework on a daily basis. Homework is more than unfinished classroom work. Homework assignments are entered into the student planner and “signed off” by parents each evening.
Homework is an important part of every student’s academic program and has many purposes: it provides extra learning time to reinforce skills learned at school and also provides the opportunity to develop independent work skills, study habits, and self-discipline. Homework helps each child reach his or her individual potential. In general, students who regularly complete homework develop sound work habits which increase their engagement and likelihood of success in school. Students who do not complete homework impede their own progress and hinder the pace of lessons and the progress of other students. As students grow older, it is increasingly important to develop good homework habits as a solid foundation for future success. The most critical period for developing good attitudes, skills and habits towards homework is in the primary years. It is essential for parents to be involved and demonstrate a sincere interest in their child’s work and progress. To reinforce this, it is important for children to recognize that their family also places value on learning and is interested in their school work. By developing a regular routine for home study or homework, the value is realized by the child. A key to homework success is a defined schedule agreed upon by the parents and child. Homework should be completed during a time of quiet without the distraction of televisions or music and minimizing potential distractions. Foster the learning environment in your home and give your child their best chance for success in education.
Type of work
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Kindergarten - Grade 1
Every school day
10 – 15 minutes
Practice of skills taught in class
Home reading, response journal, math review, math games
Homework is not expected to be independent
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Grade 2 – 3
Every school day
20 - 30 minutes
Practice or reinforcement of skills
Reading, spelling, writing stories, math games, response journal
Read with child, ask questions and discuss the assignment
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Grade 4 – 5
Every school day, weekends if behind
40 - 50 minutes
Extended learning, completion of work
Spelling, independent reading, writing, math, projects
Provide quiet area to work, communicate in the planner
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Every school day, weekends if behind
1 hour and
20 minutes of reading
Extended learning, study for tests
All subjects areas, independent reading
Read and sign planner every day, provide assistance when needed
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Behaviour is closely monitored, teachers work “in community” to guide all students, not just their own class. Every student has the RIGHT to learn, to hear and be heard, to be respected and supported, to be safe, to privacy and to his/her own personal space.
A clearly defined code of behaviour:
Maintain high levels of behaviour through positive reinforcement, view mistakes as opportunities for learning, discipline should: show students what they have done wrong, show students how they are accountable for their actions, show students that there are consequences, show students that they can create solutions, keep students’ dignity intact.
The standard of uniform dress gives the school a positive and distinctive identity which reflects the values of the school and contributes to the Academy’s academic environment. Just as dress codes address professional standards in the workplace, Hillside’s Traditional Academy’s dress code promotes the purpose of academics. When making decisions about items and personal accessories, parents are asked to ensure that the items, such as jewelry and hairstyles complement the general appearance of the uniform and do not act as a distraction.
Parents as partners:
Parents as partners uphold the values and foundations of the Traditional Academy. They encourage excellence in academics, high standards of respectful behaviour, regular attendance and pride in student uniforms. Parents assist in many aspects of the school life: Parent Advisory Council (PAC), , District liaisons (DPAC), reading with students, coaching sports teams, bulletin boards and displays, arranging for special guest speakers (or are guests themselves), fundraising, book fairs, backdrops and props for theatrical productions, hot lunches, traffic and parking, etc. Parents will be provided with suggestions as to how they may be supportive of their child’s learning both with homework and classroom assignments.
An important part of the Hillside Traditional Academy family is you, the parent. Research findings conclude that there is a direct correlation between parent participation and a child’s success. Whether it is reading to your children at home, monitoring homework, volunteering at school, attending PAC meetings, or participating in an after school club or sports activity, we value and encourage your participation. Parents are an integral component to any traditional school model and to that end, at Hillside Traditional Academy we will make every effort to keep you informed and involved.
How parents can support
Learning is not confined to the classroom. Parents are vital partners in the educational process and school community. Some ways in which parents can help are:
- Asking your child to describe the best part of his or her day
- Asking your child what evening activity (homework) they have each day
- Supporting and encouraging homework and reading
- Taking an interest in what the student has learned each day
- Listening to your child read each and every day
- Keeping in touch with the classroom teacher and ensuring daily review of your child’s agenda to stay informed
- Reinforce the rights and responsibilities of children at home
A consistent pattern of regular attendance and prompt arrival at school is vital for student success. Students who arrive late disrupt the classroom and the student misses important instructional time and information. Students who are late must report to the school office. We believe that as “partners”, parents can assist greatly in ensuring their child arrives to school on time and attending regularly. Given that every instructional day is an important day for learning, we respectfully request that families only take vacations during regularly scheduled school holidays.
Traditional does not mean old.
We need to prepare children for the future, computers and technology have been integrated into the classroom. We have document cameras and projectors in each classroom. We have class sets of mini laptops and ipads and two smart boards.