West View School is a high impact program for the most complex youth in our high school education system; young offenders housed in a maximum security facility (The Calgary Young Offenders’ Centre – CYOC). CYOC operates under the administration of the Correctional Services Division (Alberta Justice) and can accommodate approximately 155 youth ranging in age from 12 to 18.
West View allows academic continuity to be maintained for junior high and high school students while in custody. Our goal is to engage these students with a view to keeping them in school and to provide them with the resources necessary to support their success after their release from CYOC. It is possible for students to complete Alberta graduation requirements for a high school diploma with a wide range of academic and career technology studies courses being offered.
Residents come from various locations in the province and have been remanded or sentenced to secure custody by order of the Provincial Youth Court. This school operates on a year-round calendar. For security reasons, students at West View School do not have access to the internet. In order for students to be successful after release from the CYOC, we know that knowledge and technological ability are essential. The Maker Movement incorporates tools and technology as essential elements for solving complex problems.
Generous support from the TELUS Calgary Community Board will allow students will have access to the school Maker space to develop their technological skills and expand their critical thinking capabilities. There are currently no other areas within West View School where students have any access to computer technology. Maker education allows students to work either independently or collaboratively to develop solutions to a variety of problems using available technology, including complex design programs and 3D printers. Maker projects encourage students to adopt a different mindset to problem solving, and in fact, inspires students to develop the question then form the solution to a problem. Cross curricular high school credits are achieved through the project work completed by the students, thereby contributing to successful completion of the student’s high school diploma.
Credits can be earned in multiple disciplines such as science, math, arts, English, at the same time depending on the specific project, which can be custom designed to the interest and academic needs of the student. The Maker station at Westview School will also impact more than the students who are able to access the program. It becomes an incentive for all students who are able to attend the program only if their behavior warrants it.