Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains in the far southwestern corner of Southern Alberta, Westwind School Division works with passion to foster engaging and student-centred learning environments that will inspire each student to strive for personal excellence and allow all learners to thrive.
Westwind serves a diverse and largely rural population of just under 4,400 students in 13 community schools located in the towns of Cardston, Magrath, and Raymond and the villages/hamlets of Stirling, Glenwood, Hill Spring, Mountain View, Del Bonita, Spring Coulee and Welling as well as 19 colony schools.
Westwind School Division believes in principles for a quality learning system that is accessible, learner-centered, collaborative, accountable, responsive, innovative, fair and equitable.
Westwind School Division came into existence on September 1, 1994 as a result of the regionalization of the former Cardston School Division, Stirling School District and the northwest portion of the County of Warner School Division.
Westwind School Division stretches 66 kilometers north from the Canada/US Border and 109 kilometers from East to West; bounded on the West by the Waterton Lakes National Park and the Waterton River and on the East by a line running parallel with the Cardston County Eastern Boundary.
Westwind School Division will be a collaborative community of engaged learners that inspires all students to realize their full and complete potential.
The mission of Westwind School Division is to foster engaging and student-centred learning environments that will inspire each student to strive for personal excellence and allow all learners to thrive.
Our values guide our behaviour, structure our operations and shape our Division strategies. For every decision we make, we will hold ourselves accountable to these values, and ask:
- Is this what’s best for our students?
- Will this help us build trust and improve relationships?
- How will this decision further education, inform practice and enhance learning?
Westwind School Division values students by:
- Ensuring students are always our top priority. We are committed to making decisions in the best interest of our students and seeing every learner as unique and worthwhile while supporting them in their learning journey
- Supporting inclusive, safe and caring learning communities that respect diversity and foster a sense of empathy and belonging
- Establishing and communicating high expectations for students when it comes to academics, attendance, achievement, behavior, citizenship and extracurriculars
Westwind School Division values education and learning by:
- Providing high quality learning opportunities for all
- Engaging our students and staff to pursue their passions and empower all to realize their potential and achieve personal excellence
- Supporting teacher and staff development to best meet the needs of a diverse and vibrant student population, preparing them for an ever-changing modern society
- Promoting wellness and balance and supporting the mental and emotional health of all staff and students
- Providing students with access to a rich variety of learning opportunities and ways they can demonstrate their learning
Westwind School division values trust and relationships by:
- Recognizing that learning is a collaborative effort that requires the engagement of students, staff, parents/guardians, and communities
- Striving to ensure all stakeholders feel connected, valued, respected and have a voice
- Recognizing that we are accountable to students, parents/guardians and all stakeholders
- Earning and maintaining the confidence of the communities we serve through transparency and integrity in our decision making processes
- Understanding that the parent-division partnership is essential in a student’s development and fostering a relationship of reciprocal trust
Ideal Learning Environment
In early 2018, Westwind School Division created a new mission and vision. The vision is that Westwind School Division will be a collaborative community of engaged learners that inspires all students to realize their full and complete potential. The mission of Westwind School Division is to foster engaging and student-centred learning environments that will inspire each student to strive for personal excellence and allow learners to thrive. As we work to bring these statements to realization, we wanted to define an ideal student-centred learning environment.
Research shows the importance of trust, healthy dialogue, commitment to a common goal, holding each other accountable and attention to results are in order for a team to work effectively together. For several years, Westwind School Division has engaged in professional development that has improved our ability to help students increased their achievement. These professional development initiatives have occurred in many different areas. The ideal learning environment is meant to answer the question, "What are we working towards?" It provides our division with a common goal that we are all working towards for our students.
The Ideal Learning Environment will be used to guide our decision-making practices. As we strive to always answer "yes" to, "Is this in the best interest of students?", this model helps us to know what is included within that answer. In the classroom, as we look to improve our practice, this model can serve as a reminder of all the areas that we need to consider when designing learning.