The central goals of education are intellectual, social, and career development. We at A. R. MacNeill Secondary School believe that this development is more a journey than a destination. MacNeill has been founded on the guiding principles of effective practice, flexibility, and choice. We are a composite of small schools with a challenging academic core, and we believe that positive relationships among students, teachers, and family are fundamental to student success. As part of a community of learners, we believe in extending learning outside the walls of the school building. Students learn to set goals and formulate plans for healthy intellectual, physical, emotional and social development.
Small size - Separate academies within one building ensures that, while the school population grows, each academy will remain small.
Positive climate - Every student is known, appreciated, and included; staff and students participate in the school’s decision-making process.
Dynamic teaching – Teachers explore and employ a growing repertoire of instructional and learning strategies with their colleagues and students
Depth - Students engage in challenging inquiry with their teachers. Students are actively engaged in their own learning.
Community experience - Students are involved in their community.
Flexible scheduling - The structure of the school day provides for flexible and variable learning times.
Technology - Technology is a tool that supports students as thinkers, researchers, writers, and presenters.
Assessment - Teachers help students to set goals and to monitor, guide and assess their own thinking in mastering learning outcomes.
Professional development - Teachers as learners explore opportunities to enrich the MacNeill community.
Balance – We recognize the need for balance in the lives of our students and staff.
Important Features of A.R. MacNeill Secondary:
The school day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 2:59 pm. This extended day facilitates early dismissal at 2:00 p.m. every Wednesday. Early dismissal allows time for staff to plan and for students to pursue other activities.
Individual supervised reading periods are scheduled into each school day. Educational research indicates that regular reading improves student performance and raises skill levels in many areas.
Students have access to wireless computer technology to enhance learning in their classrooms. This creates a natural relationship between the curriculum and technology.
Where possible and appropriate, curriculum is integrated through theme-based studies, special projects, scheduling flexibility, and regular teacher collaboration and co-planning.
Students have the opportunity to develop and sustain meaningful relationships with staff and peers through our advisory program. The advisory class meets for 25 minutes, four times a week, and 35 minutes on Wednesday.
This program allows each student to be part of a small group with an ongoing connection to an individual teacher. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday the time is used for USSR. On Wednesday the main focus of the Advisory program is to assist students in the awareness and development of the MacNeill POWER focus, and their social responsibility.
In addition, the staff supports students in the area of academic goal setting and planning. During the year, the Advisory teacher helps the students select their work to be part of their portfolio presentations in June.