A Westmontian’s High School Experience.

A Westmontian’s High School Experience.

A Westmontian’s High School Experience.

Stories from High School

We interviewed one of our high school students about her experience at Westmont Montessori.

Tell us about your Montessori journey.

My name is Hannah Smith and I am a grade twelve student who has been at Westmont since pre-school. Engaging in experiential learning from a young age offered to me a deep understanding of both academics and life skills from a young age. I am passionately interested in music, writing, and psychology, all three of which my Montessori education has fostered.

What is your biggest interest? How did it develop?

I have always loved writing stories. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t working on one, and my language arts skills were always above my grade-level. Westmont always allowed me to work ahead when I needed to, and I don’t think I would have developed my same passion or skill-level if I had not been able to learn at my own pace.

What are some other unique things about your school?

Westmont is unique in many ways. Notably, my class is quite small and the community is close-knit. I am supported by the people around me, and reciprocate support for them — it is rare to find that consistency in adolescent relationships. We also do a lot of project-based learning, which not only makes the things I learn interesting, but applicable and relevant.

What do you do on the weekend? 

You can usually find me planning a story, writing a story, or editing one; there’s definitely a reason I called writing my biggest interest! I also have worked a part-time job at a flower shop through most of high school. I enjoy art, most often practicing floristry, drawing, and make-up.

What is next for you? 

After graduation, I will work towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at UVic. I have wanted to be a psychologist ever since I was young. I am also excited for my transition into young adulthood and everything that comes with it.

Would you like to share anything else? 

I don’t have much more to say, only that I am excited for the future of Westmont’s high school program and the opportunities it will offer to its students.

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Hannah

A Westmont Montessori High School student

Want to learn more about our High School program?

High School: A Project-Based Multi-Disciplinary Academy

High School: A Project-Based Multi-Disciplinary Academy

High School: A Project-Based Multi-Disciplinary Academy

The world changed. Education did not.

Teacher. Desk. Study. Test. Forget. Repeat.

Graduate.

Why is school still like this?

Conventional public and private schools were designed in the 1800s to prepare youth for industrial factory jobs. The world has changed. Fundamentally, schools have not.

Considering all these fundamental changes and challenges in the world around us, let’s talk about some of the major problems faced by students and their families in high school today.

1. Low interest in learning.

More and more often, students do not want to attend school and lose interest in learning. Learning difficulties, behavioral or emotional issues of students, boredom or not feeling challenged by the schoolwork, improper school or academic support – these are just some of the reasons that lots of families face these days.

What does Westmont Montessori high school academy do differently? Providing room for creativity within the structure is one of the answers. Working together in small groups on a variety of projects that spark imagination and engage children’s intellect while teaching them how to become responsible adults.

2. Improper teacher-to-students ratio.

Another problem in education today is that schools have too many students per teacher and overcrowded classrooms. The improper teacher-to-student ratio results in poor performance amongst students. Students simply do not get the attention they need.

What does Westmont Montessori high school academy do differently? Working in a smaller classroom develops a sense of community during the year. Teenagers who believe in community care about those who are in it. These students are then on a path towards being good members of the community as adults.

3. Outdated Curriculum.

Another great problem of modern education is an outdated curriculum. Although many schools have transformed the educational system, many features of the curriculum remained unchanged.

What does Westmont Montessori high school academy do differently?  The main focus is to provide a different real-world experience, allowing students to engage in numerous multi-disciplinary projects through which they will uncover curricular content and address core competencies. This way the school creates a safe environment for the children to learn how to succeed and how to fail. Like in real life, it is important to learn how to recover from your own mistakes. By creating a safe environment for your child, school can prepare them to overcome possible difficulties in their future, both in terms of their personal and professional life.

4. What’s next?

Finally, one of the biggest problems of modern high schools is the fact that graduates are often not ready for what follows. Be it post-secondary education or a career right out of high school. More and more universities, colleges and employers around the globe are not satisfied with the performance of recent graduates. That means the system is not preparing these students well for the challenges that will follow.

What does Westmont Montessori high school academy do differently? Practical education is one of the answers! Here at Westmont, the team of professional educators and innovators have been designing and fine tuning its ground-breaking high school program. This program has been created to better prepare students for a rapidly changing professional environment for both the present and the future. It is intended to disrupt the more common educational model that creates a disconnect between the real world and the classroom.

The Westmont Approach

Westmont Montessori high school academy intends to provide real world experiences with exceptional academics and personal growth opportunities. This approach follows the fundamental Montessori principle of developing the whole individual. The program is demanding on students, challenging them in all realms, but at the same time is immensely rewarding.

It provides an experience to address all aforementioned problems. Westmont Montessori high school academy sets students up to adapt to a world that is rapidly changing, with new professions and vocations, some of which are unimaginable to us at the present time.

Westmont provides a safe and dynamic space for students. This environment fosters the individual’s motivation to learn and to grow, with an emphasis on self-development. The school’s cutting-edge program creates an experience that makes learning relevant, reflective of the world we live in, and the future we see ahead.

If you are ready to see how we can lead your child to success

The Greater Victoria Teenhood Summit – A Virtual Event for Parents

The Greater Victoria Teenhood Summit – A Virtual Event for Parents

The Greater Victoria Teenhood Summit – A Virtual Event for Parents

An interactive event designed to help us re-examine our role as parents

Parenting is never easy, but a particularly challenging time in the life of a family is when kids reach adolescence. Not only do our kids begin to go through significant growth and changes in their development, but our relationship with them, our place in their lives and the level of influence we have significantly changes as well. It can be a rocky and turbulent time, as teens and parents learn to navigate their relationship together like never before.

Topics this event will cover:

  • effectively parenting teens and creating harmonies relationships;
  • understanding the power of parenting from a steady, present place;
  • ways we can be less triggered by our teens;
  • social media use and its impact;
  • online safety;
  • teen mental health and adolescent development; 
  • mental health red flags and how to get help;
  • tools and support systems for good mental health. 

Why attend:

  • you’re interested in understanding your role as parent of a teen;
  • you’re concerned about technology and social media use and safety;
  • you wonder what you can do to help your teen feel more resilient;
  • you’d like to create more peace and less conflict in your day-to-day family life. 

How it works:

  • As a participant, you simply purchase a ticket and then tune in during on our session date using the Zoom link provided to you. 
  • You’ll sit back and learn from insightful experts.
  • You’ll receive a recording a few days after the event so you can review each session again. 

You’ll leave this event feeling excited and inspired to embark on a new chapter in your family’s journey. 

Date and time

Sat, February 26, 2022
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM PST

All participant will receive a recording after the event

Discussion topics

  • A new model for parenting teens
  • Social media and technology
  • Adolescent mental health

Schedule

  • 9:00 Dr. Carrie Contey / A new model for paretning teens
  • 10:30 Marc Ladouceur / Social media and teens
  • 11:30 Megan Ames / Adolesent mental health

Location

Online event
Recording will be provided after the event

Ticket price

$20

Refund policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.
Eventbrite’s fee is nonrefundable.

More Details

The Greater Victoria Teenhood Summit – A Virtual Event for Parents is an interactive event designed to help us re-examine our role as parents as well as explore some important topics (technology and mental health) in the lives of our teens. We’ve invited extraordinary parenting experts who will give you insights, tools and tactics to parent your teen with peace and confidence.

If you’re feeling lost, hopeless or a little out of your depth, you’re not alone. Parents of teens almost universally share the same worries and concerns: will I be able to help my child to transition safely and happily into adulthood? Can we create and adapt to a new healthy and loving relationship? Can we get through the next few years together without our home feeling like a constant battleground?

The answer is YES!

Join us for this half-day virtual event designed to inspire a new perspective on parenting and reinvigorate our commitment to raising resilient teens and building peaceful families.

About Westmont High School

Westmont was founded 67 years ago by an independent community of parents and teachers passionate about creating an environment that inspired students to learn through experiences and respected the individual and their own interests, developmental needs and speeds, following the principles of Maria Montessori.

Westmont High School is intended to disrupt the current educational model that has students segregated from the real world in a classroom environment that treats content areas as siloed from each other and what happens out in communities around the world. For many students, they see little connection between what happens in their classrooms and daily life. Many programs that seek to provide that real world experience are seen as vocational schools or non-academic streams. Westmont High School intends to provide real world experiences with exceptional academics and personal growth opportunities, adhering to that most fundamental Montessori principle of developing the whole individual. The program will be demanding of students, challenging them in all realms, but at the same time immensely rewarding to be a part of. It will provide an experience like no other school. Westmont High School sets students up for a world that is rapidly changing, with new professions and vocations that we cannot even imagine.

Guest Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Carrie Contey

Dr. Carrie County

A New Model for Parenting Teens

Carrie Contey, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized coach, author, speaker and educator. Her work offers a new perspective on human development, parenting and family life. She guides, supports and inspires her clients to live with wide-open and courageous hearts so they can approach family life with skill and spaciousness. Carrie received her doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis on prenatal and perinatal psychology and is masterful at synthesizing and articulating the science, psychology and spirituality of humanhood. She is the creator of several “personal growth through parenting” programs. She is also the co-founder of the Slow Family Living movement and the co-author of CALMS: A Guide To Soothing Your Baby. Carrie has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, NPR, CBS radio and in many publications including Time, Parenting and The Boston Globe.

Social Media and Teens: Navigating An Ever-Changing Terrain

Understanding the connected world of teens can be challenging for parents because adults don’t communicate online in the same way and are not necessarily using the same social media. Even more challenging is the reality that there’s always something new coming around the corner. This session will help parents better understand how their kids are using social networking and will provide them with tips and tools they can use to help them minimize negative experiences and maximize the positive opportunities that social media has to offer.

As a Media Education Specialist at MediaSmarts, Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy, Marc Alexandre Ladouceur creates resources for educators, parents and community groups and conducts outreach activities with schools, school boards, education ministries, faculties of education and community organizations across Canada. He holds a Masters Degree in Theology, as well as Bachelors in Education and Theology. Marc Alexandre has previously worked as a teacher in the Ontario and Alberta school systems, as a facilitator in Ontario schools and as an editor and translator. He believes in the well-being of all persons experiencing the rapid growth of technology through comprehensive digital literacy and intersubjective education.

Marc Alexandre Ladouceur

Megan Ames

Ph.D., R.Psych.

Dr. Carrie County

Adolescent Mental Health: Raising Resilient Teens

The inner and outer worlds of an adolescent can feel extraordinarily turbulent. For those of us who love and care for teens, we know we can feel powerless when it comes to helping them navigate the ups and downs of adolescent life. This session is designed to tackle such issues as anxiety, depression and loneliness, and provide parents with thoughtful guidance for helping their teen traverse emotional, social and psychological weather in healthy and connective ways.

Dr. Megan Ames is a registered psychologist and an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on how health behaviours (e.g., physical activity) are related to mental health outcomes during adolescence and young adulthood. She also holds research interests in supporting autistic postsecondary students. She provides client-centred psychological services to children, adolescents, and their families in private practice.

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