North Point Students
Is there a typical North Point student?
The simple answer is NO.
We welcome boys and girls 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 students 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.
How do you develop a personalized program?
When a child joins North Point, we create an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) or Individualized Development Plan (IDP) based on their learner profile. The individual plans detail 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 the detailed IPP or IDP. The IPP or IDP is reviewed quarterly and is a guide for weekly student activities. Once goals are mastered, new goals are set.
What is an independent learner?
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.
Are students at North Point be grouped by grade level?
We typically offer single grade classrooms from Grade 6 and up and will often run combined classes from Grades K-5. We believe that children can benefit 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.
Does North Point serve students with special needs?
Yes, we do. North Point accepts students with mild/moderate learning disabilities as well as students with gifted and talented diagnosis. We do not have the resources to support severe behavioural disabilities.
What does a typical day at North Point look like?
A typical school day includes math, science, social studies and language arts classes interwoven with independent core skills work (math, reading, writing), physical education, real-world experiences and projects, STEM Lab, Financial Education, Socratic discussions and more.
Is there homework?
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 focused 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. At the High School level, regular homework usually becomes a part of the daily routine.
Does North Point offer bussing?
North Point operates two daily am/pm commuting bus routes. Route 1 originates in the deep NW and comes straight down the Crowchild Corridor with a few stops on the way. The route is basically the opposite in the afternoon.
Route 2 is the SE/SW route which covers a large section of both the deep SE and western areas of the SW. This route is the exact opposite in the afternoon. Please contact Dave Jackson at 403-744-5214 for more detailed information.
We run a morning and afternoon shuttle to and from our Currie Campus so that students from both campuses can take either of our bus routes.
Is there a school uniform?
North Point has a casual, comfortable dress code emphasizing the fact we are all a part of a bigger team at North Point.
Do I need to supply a computer?
Our school is committed to technology and provides Chromebooks that will remain at the school for all students in Grades K-9. Our hope is that students have access to a computer at home if they wish to access their school work from home.
In Grades 10-12 we require each student to bring their own device – usually a laptop is suggested at the high school level however a Chromebook is acceptable as well.
North Point Program
How does North Point monitor student progress?
North Point tracks progress through student presentations and 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. Throughout the year 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 curriculum based measures, parents and teachers will be able to benchmark a child’s grade level for each subject.
What is Mastery Learning
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 in core subjects such as math, reading and writing.
What is the Socratic Method and why does North Point use it?
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 incorporates the Socratic Method rather than strictly giving lectures because through discussions and actively making arguments to support their beliefs, students gain a better understanding of a topic.
Do students learn other languages?
Our Grade K-5 students learn French once a week and our Grade 6-12 students are free to explore languages through an online portal called Duolingo in their free time.
What role do standards play at North Point?
North Point’s learning objectives are clearly aligned with the Alberta Education Program of Studies. Our students participate in Provincial Achievement Exams in Grades 6 & 9 and Diploma Examinations for 30 level courses. We understand that benchmarking is an important aspect of assessing students and developing their IPP or IDP.
What is your philosophy regarding intelligence?
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 have it or you don’t. In contrast, those with a growth mindset believe they can develop their intelligence over time. This can lead to profoundly different behaviours. For instance, students who believe intelligence is fixed often value looking smart above all else, avoid taking risks, and fear failure. Students with a growth mindset view challenging work as an opportunity to grow and view failure as an opportunity to learn. At North Point, we encourage Resilient and Resourceful behaviours in pursuit of personal goals. Every child can be ingenious in overcoming obstacles and solving problems to pursue their own path.
Do you offer full-day Kindergarten?
North Point offers a full and a half-day option for kindergarten. Half-day users can choose between morning and afternoon. Although we typically have most of our Kindergarten students attend full days, we can be flexible. We often blend our Kindergarten students with our grade 1’s and 2’s in a combined classroom. Each year we review our admissions and enrolment numbers before making a classroom set-up decision.
What does the Kindergarten program entail?
Our program includes is a play-based approach using a variety of activities that focus on age-appropriate skill development, building structures to develop fine motor skills, lots of physical activity, and fostering the development of social skills. Some 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 is utilized in our kindergarten program.
Does North Point offer Sport Teams?
North Point offers a full complement of extra-curricular team programming through the Calgary Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA). We field teams for golf, volleyball, basketball, curling, badminton, track and field and offer specialized physical education academies in hockey, basketball and soccer both after school and as part of our optional course offerings.