John Chisholm focuses on the Circle of Courage philosophy where students pursue goals centered around Independence, Mastery, Generosity and Belonging. These areas help meet the basic needs of the individual and fill in some of the gaps that may exist in their lives. Learning to be successful academically only happens after these four interconnected areas of a student's life are present. For the 2010-11 school year the staff will be focusing on helping the students develop a sense of belonging, where they feel accepted and respected while learning how to build healthy relationships among their peers.
During the 2008-09 school year there was a greater focus on the needs of the local elementary schools within the city. Within the regular classroom setting, teachers found that certain students were having difficulty being successful for many reasons. As a result JC developed an Outreach Program where several staff members were assigned students-at-risk within local elementary schools. Allowing these students a chance to learn within a setting with a smaller teacher-student ratio provides an environment where the distractions and frustrations experienced by these students would not be as prevalent.
Also, through the cooperation of Riverview Collegiate many students are transported there to participate in afternoon sessions in woodworking, art, healthy living and other specialized classes. These classes, which comprise grade 7 and 8 students from William Grayson and Empire schools, are part of the South Hill Revitalization Program. Other special activities involve canoeing, camping and other out-door pursuits.
Don Hand, vice-principal, would be very willing to answer any questions you may have about our school, its philosophy and programs.