Frequently Asked Questions
North Point Students
There is no single perfect type of student for North Point School.
We welcome all boys who are curious, enthusiastic, and would benefit from an active learning environment. We recognize that each student comes with their own unique gifts and interests and that a diverse school community benefits everyone. We look for boys with a combination of skills, talents, interests and learning styles. We consider all of these elements when making our admissions decisions. Because we provide personalized learning experiences, we are an ideal educational environment for a wide range of personality types and learner profiles.
When a child joins North Point, we create a Learner Profile for him. The Learner Profile details interests, passions, strengths, opportunities and learning strategies that work best. It also reflects where the student currently is on the continuum of learner objectives set out by Alberta Education and North Point and is continually updated over time. Based on the Learner Profile, Alberta Education standards and North Point learning objectives, our educators (in collaboration with family and students) create a Personal Learning Plan. The Personal Learning Plan is reviewed quarterly and is a guide for weekly student activites. Once goals are mastered, new goals are set.
An independent learner can follow instructions, research questions, solve problems, participate in discussions, and strive for mastery. Perhaps most importantly, an independent learner can figure out a solution to a roadblock without asking an adult for help.
A student’s ability to set and track goals in order to evaluate progress is essential to success in a student-driven, personalized learning program. Students need a lot of practice setting specific, measurable goals that are challenging but realistic. At North Point, students set weekly and daily goals, track progress, and meet regularly with teachers and peers for responsibility and accountability checkpoint sessions. In addition, students will develop an agreement with their teachers and peers to set boundaries for acceptable behaviour and rules for engagement in the classroom. North Point believes that learning to set goals and challenging yourself are critical skills for the real world.
We believe that children learn best when working with children younger and older than themselves. Grouping children of various ages together for some activities gives each child exposure to peers who are similar and different. Children learn from one another as they stretch to attain higher levels of understanding and as they serve as experts to those less far along. Each student has a personalized education plan and we have a low classroom student to teacher ratio thus we can effectively serve children at multiple grade levels in the same classroom environment.
Unfortunately, we are not equipped to serve children with serious learning disabilities or extreme behaviour problems.
A typical school day includes Socratic discussions, independent core skills work (math, reading, writing), real-world experiences and projects, athletics, art, drama, French, Spanish and community leadership.
North Point does not have a formal homework policy and it varies from child to child. This depends on age, skill level and how successful each child is in managing time to complete work in class. At the Elementary level, we believe that the school day is designed for focussed learning. We recognize the value of family time, extracurricular activities, and good old fashioned play time. When elementary students bring home school work, it is usually to complete a project or to dive deeper into topics driven by passion and interest. At the Junior school level, homework will be introduced to prepare students for the academic demands of High School.
We currently offer one bus route serving Cochrane and parts of NW Calgary.
This will be addressed as demand dictates
North Point has a casual, comfortable uniform.
Our school is committed to technology and provides Chromebooks that will remain at the school. Our hope is that students would have access to a computer at home if they wish to access their school work from home.
North Point Program
North Point tracks progress through student portfolios, goal monitoring, online dashboards and standardized testing (combined with any Alberta Education mandated provincial assessments). Frequent quantitative and qualitative feedback is key to improving student outcomes over time. On a regular basis students, teachers and family members meet to review and improve the learning plan based on collective observations and evaluations of student work. For quantitative measurement, we integrate real-time, intelligent adaptive learning applications in the classroom. This way, students are motivated to improve within the context of the learning experience. Through the Alberta Education provincial achievement tests and student learner assessments; and our North Point standardized testing, parents and teachers will be able to benchmark a child’s grade level for each subject.
In the traditional educational model, a certain amount of class time is devoted to a particular topic or concept; when that time is over, the entire class moves on, despite widely varying degrees of mastery over the material. In contrast, with mastery learning, students proceed at varying rates toward the same level of mastery. The curriculum is not structured in terms of time, but in terms of target levels of comprehension and achievement. North Point uses a mastery learning approach to core subjects such as math, reading and writing.
In the Socratic Method, a teacher serves as a guide, setting up scenarios and asking questions to stimulate critical thinking and independent learning. North Point uses the Socratic Method rather than lectures because through discussions and actively making arguments to support their beliefs, students gain a better understanding of a topic than by passively taking notes during a lecture.
North Point’s learning objectives are clearly aligned with the Alberta Education Program of Studies.
At North Point, we encourage students to adopt a “growth mindset” rather than a “fixed mindset”. Those with a fixed mindset believe intelligence is an inborn trait. You’re either a “genius” or you’re not. In contrast, those with a growth mindset believe they can develop their intelligence over time. This can lead to profoundly different behaviours. For instance, boys who believe intelligence is fixed often value looking smart above all else, avoid taking risks, and fear failure. Boys with a growth mindset view challenging work as an opportunity to grow and view failure as an opportunity to learn. At North Point, we define “genius” as intelligent and resourceful behaviours in pursuit of personal goals. Every child can be ingenious in overcoming obstacles and solving problems to pursue his own path. For more on growth mindset, see Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck’s book Mindset:The New Psychology of Success.
Students learn French and Spanish.
North Point offer a full and a half-day option for kindergarten. Half-day users can choose between morning and afternoon.
Our program includes music, games that focus age-appropriate skill development, building structures to develop fine motor skills, lots of physical activity, and fostering the development of social skills. Most studies show that boys are not ready for language development until the age of 6. Kindergarten at North Point is about developing a love of learning through experience. By touching, moving, listening, and observing, children will start to direct their own learning. The same philosophy of educating through hands on exploration in the older grades will be utilized in our kindergarten.
While acknowledging the importance of mindful reflection and spirituality, and recognizing the historical significance of Christianity in our society, we do not promote any religion. North Point does however acknowledge and recognize traditional Canadian Values.
Based on enrolment and our students interests, we offer extra–curricular athletic teams in several sports, such as basketball, volleyball, track and field, badminton, soccer etc… It all depends on what our students want! In 2016-17 so far we fielded a Junior High volleyball team and a basketball team.