Focus on the Student: How Westmont School Navigates Covid-19

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As with the rest of the world, Westmont Montessori School has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the uncertainty, the staff, parents, and students showed remarkable resilience during the months of online learning. Almost six months later, the school has had time to reflect on the learnings, develop clear protocols, and further enhance the campus’s outdoor facilities and online programs to welcome students full-time in September. 

“Learning is easy, if you feel safe.” -Danny, Westmont Montessori Teacher and former student 

Nestled in the quaint community of Metchosin, Westmont`s sprawling, 10-acre campus is rich with opportunities for students to access fresh air and safely physically distance inside with large classroom spaces and students.  Students of all ages benefit from nature-based learning through outdoor classroom shelters, large learning garden, and a sports field. With direct access to the seashore park, ​Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park​, hiking and beach trips are regular weekly activities. 

To prepare for the 2020/21 year, Westmont has reviewed feedback from parents, the BCCDC and provincial regulations, as well as other educational institutions. After careful consideration, acknowledging the campus’s large physical classroom spaces, small student population, and abundant outdoor space, Westmont is confident to be able to welcome students, full-time, in September. 

“We chose Westmont because we wanted to provide a diverse learning experience for our daughter. During the pandemic, Westmont and its teachers were able to continue to harness these learning experiences, inspiring my daughter to continue to learn during a time that was not easy for her to understand. ” -Katie Sewell, Westmont parent 

To help foster a diverse education, the ​Montessori method​ requires the active personal pursuit of many different experiences: physical, social, emotional, and cognitive. Students are encouraged to learn by doing, which makes Westmont School an ideal environment for both academic and practical experience pursuits. The balance of choice and structure inspires and empowers students to develop self-responsibility. 

During the school’s transition to remote learning, Westmont students were able to apply the fundamentals of the Montessori method at home. Building on the success of the remote learning pilot, Westmont has expanded its remote learning capabilities for the 2020/21 year through the development of a Montessori material lending library, virtual learning platform, and teachers dedicated specifically to supporting remote learners.  The goal is to have all students engaged with their learning, peers, and teachers when they cannot be in the classroom. 

Westmont does not waver in its guiding principle to deliver a safe, physical and emotional, learning environment for its students. Being an independent school, Westmont is able to deliver the Ministry of Education guidelines and curriculum in their own unique way. Starting with the Early Years (pre-school) program and continuing through High School, Westmont believes in honoring each student’s individuality, and providing creative outlets for students to lead themselves through their educational journey. 

Westmont is currently accepting applications to all programs and invites you to take a virtual tour or inquire for more information at our website, westmontschool.ca​/fall2020.