THE WESTERN SCHOOL DIVISION
Western School Division is located in Morden, Manitoba, Canada, a prosperous community in South-Central Manitoba adjacent to the United States border. Western School Division operates a system of four schools and an adult education centre, that serve the Town of Morden and a rural area of approximately 400 square kilometres. Our student population is composed of over 1600 students, both urban and rural. Morden is the home of many dramatic and fine arts groups, as well as strong sports programs which are reflected in the courses offered by the division.
"Developing people who are rooted in caring and committed to learning."
Perhaps the best way to describe our education system is to answer the question:
"Why would you have your children attend schools in Western School Division?"
Let us provide you with some good reasons.
A. A committed and caring teaching and non-teaching staff
We believe the personnel is the best. Not only are we recognized as provincial leaders in curriculum development and implementation, but we also have a very strong staff development program which gives our people an advantage. Education is a "people" enterprise and we are committed to staff development.
B. Outstanding academic programs
Students graduating from our system have exceeded the provincial grade point average in their first year at the University of Manitoba in each of the last eight years. We are very confident of the quality of our academic programs.
At the Collegiate level, our programs include complete Science and English programs, Art, Mathematics and Calculus, Computer Science and Technology, Social Studies and History, a complete Business Education program, Home Economics, Industrial Arts, Band and Choral. Of special note are our Cooperative Education program and Advanced Placement courses in Calculus, Art, and English. A new vocational industrial welding program will start in Feb. 2004. An exciting new partnership with Red River College has enabled the Collegiate to offer a Health Care Aide certificate program starting in October, 2003.
Basic French is compulsory for students from Grade Four to Grade Seven. A vibrant French Immersion program is in place at Maple Leaf Elementary School and Ecole Morden Middle School.
C. Excellent Special Education Programs
Our instructional programs, while focusing on academic preparation, acknowledge the reality of meeting the needs of all students. We believe in a mainstreaming approach that places students in the most enabling learning environment available. Those with disabilities are provided with extra assistance and modified programming. Special classrooms are used only to provide specific programs and contact with all students is maintained.
A well-established Pre-Employment Education Program permits students at the collegiate Level to combine periods of in-school instruction with on-the-job experience to earn school credits and prepare them for direct entry into the work force. Our welding program will also lead to a Manitoba Apprenticeship Level I.
D. English as a Second Language Programs
Western School Division has had a long history of offering programs to students whose first language is not English. Special funding is available from the provincial government and Western School Division adds funds as is necessary. Small group instruction in English and special tutoring of Grades VII to Senior 4 students is the most usual way of
delivering such programs.
Morden Collegiate continues to host many foreign students. We have had students from Mexico, Japan, Brazil and Korea studying at the Collegiate and Ecole Morden Middle School.
E. Extensive Student Services and Related Programs
A wide range of support services and programs are provided to students. These include Personal Safety training, Family Life Education, Conflict Resolution training, Peer Support training and an extensive Drug and Alcohol Awareness program. Divisional personnel provide guidance, counselling, resource, reading, special education, speech therapy, and psychological services. A home-school liaison worker helps to maintain positive communications.
F. Physical Education and Extra-curricular Activities
Our formal physical education program is compulsory for all students and stresses personal development, athletic skills and recreational activities. Students from Grades IV through Senior 4 are offered a variety of sports and cultural extra-curricular activities to provide an opportunity to develop special skills and interests.
G. Excellent School and Community Facilities
Well maintained and modern schools offer computerized libraries, excellent science laboratories and gymnasiums, and a wide range of resources for effective teaching and learning. Schools are well equipped for the technological age with up-to-date software and hardware. Resource based learning is very evident in our schools.
An excellent relationship exists between Western School Division and the Town of Morden. The parties have a joint use agreement for sharing each others' facilities. Thus our schools have access to skating rinks, halls, tennis courts and ball and soccer fields.
While our system is small in comparison to others, we use this to our advantage as we are more flexible in meeting our students' needs, and we can respond quickly to situations that arise. Western, because of its compact nature, is effective in its operation and is well positioned to equip its schools. We are proud of our record of progressive program development and we are acknowledged by neighboring divisions and Manitoba Education and Training as being in the forefront of educational excellence. We intend to remain so!