Celebrating our Kids!

At the previous two Woodhaven Middle School Council meetings, the sometimes controversial topic of awards has come to the forefront. While there are many opinions and views in this area (check out Alfie Kohn or my friend George Couros), this blog post is not intended to discuss the merits or pitfalls of awards, but rather to serve as an explanation of Awards at Woodhaven Middle School for the 2016-17 school year.

With the changes within Spruce Grove and Parkland School Division that occurred between the previous school year and this one, the result has been over half of the 630 students at Woodhaven this year are new to our school! That’s a lot of people who need to know what’s happening 🙂

During the 2015-16 school year significant time and energy was put into the Awards program at Woodhaven Middle School. Staff had multiple conversations about what should be celebrated, how and why. Students were brought together to give their thoughts, and parents were connected to the conversations through School Council meetings. While there will always be room for improvement and change, I have outlined below the awards that will be distributed to our students this June.

Academic Excellence

Students who receive this award have demonstrated a deep understanding of learning across the four academic core subject areas (Math, Science, Social Studies and English Language Arts). They are engaged and dedicated learners who have achieved Exemplary as a cumulative mark in at least 17 of the 21 process skills in these subject areas.

Learn How To Learn

Students receiving the Learn How To Learn award have exceeded the high expectations that their teachers have for them. These students have become engaged in the learning process and have demonstrated extraordinary growth in realizing their full potential for learning in all core subject areas.

Leader of the Pack

Students receiving the Leader of the Pack award have achieved academic success and demonstrated outstanding citizenship.  These students have not only met the criteria for either the Academic Excellence award or the Learning How To Learn award but have also been positive role models within our Woodhaven community.  These students have demonstrated a willingness to share their leadership qualities in both formal and informal ways, to give of their time through volunteering and to show respect for the property and environment of our school.  They have represented Woodhaven, and themselves, with great pride.

Athletic Do Right Award

The Athletic Do Right Awards are presented to students who have represented Woodhaven as an ambassador in inter-school athletics.  These students in grades 7-9 have played on a minimum of 3 school teams and in grades 5 and 6 have played on a minimum of 2 school teams.  These school teams include cross-country, volleyball, basketball, badminton, track (at the County level) soccer and/or competed in the annual golf tournament.

Pam Plourde Award

The Pam Plourde Award recognizes students who serve our school through outstanding citizenship at all times. These students support staff, parents and fellow students throughout the year, in a variety of ways and expect nothing in return. Students receiving the Pam Plourde award are extraordinary, selfless representatives of the Woodhaven learning community.   They consistently go above and beyond the high expectations of students at Woodhaven Middle School to give to others and exemplify the expectation to always “Do Right”!

While the list above outlines the formal awards being given out at the end of the school year, it is also important to note that at Woodhaven Middle School we believe that ongoing student recognition is so important to middle school kids. Programs like our Pack Pride weekly citizenship celebration, as well as Athlete of the Month and our Fine Arts Awards are just a few of the other ways in which we celebrate the achievements of our students in an ongoing way.

If you have any questions about awards and student recognition at Woodhaven Middle School, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s homeroom teacher or give me a call.

Until next time…

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

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About Shaye Patras

I am a husband and father of two fantastic girls. I currently work as the Principal of Woodhaven Middle School in Parkland School Division in Alberta, Canada. I am excited to be continuing my administrative career in this learning community!
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