Our School

Photo Churchill Alternative

We acknowledge that our learning is taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. We thank the Algonquin Nation for hosting us and recognize their enduring presence on this land.

Our School

In September 1984, Churchill opened as a Primary Alternative School, with 129 students. The school now operates as a JK-6 program, with approximately 200 students. In 1990- 91, the original 1910 structure and additions were razed and replaced by the current building, with only the east entrance being retained as a reminder of the past. Serving the northwest central area of the City of Ottawa, Churchill provides the alternative program to a broad cross-section of students. Churchill Alternative School has the reputation of being an excellent school with a unique philosophy that serves its community well.

The Churchill Mission Statement embodies the goals of partnerships, responsibility, individual success, mutual respect, fostering a love of the arts, modeling lifelong learning and developing a sense of community.

Our school code

Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other, Take Care of This Place

Our alternative program is built on seven core tenets: Non-competition, Cooperation and Intrinsic Motivation; Child-centered – directed learning; Multi-aged groupings; Innovative and differentiated learning environments; Extensive family involvement; Organic learning and assessment; Community and global outreach.

Our Students

Churchill’s enrolment is just shy of 200 students with 2 JK/SK classes,4 primary classes and 3 junior classes. Upon completion of grade 6, our students usually attend Summit Alternative for grade 7/8.

Our Staff

Churchill has 14 teaching staff, 3 educational assistants, 4 early childhood educators, a chief custodian, two night custodians, a librarian, 1 office assistant, 1 office administrator and 1 principal. We regularly have university, college and high school students placed with us for practicums or co-ops.

Churchill’s staff is a dedicated team who takes pride in its involvement with our students, their families and our community, as partners. The staff embraces the alternative philosophy and promotes the alternative tenets in all of their practices both in and out of the classroom. Staff liaises with the Westboro Community Association, the Westboro Seniors group, the Dovercourt Recreation Centre, local businesses, the Legion, the Ottawa-Carleton Primary Teachers’ Association, Associate Teacher partnerships with faculties of education and with various sports organizations. These are just a few of our community connections.

Our Community

Our parents are an essential part of our school. We work as a triad (parents, students and staff). They are involved in everything from field trips, electives days, co-teaching, running activities, fundraising, etc.

Located in the heart of Westboro, Churchill is the home school for the students of the Alternative program who live north of Carling Avenue, south of the Ottawa River, west of the tracks at Preston Street and east of Sherbourne Avenue. There is access to several city-facilitated community centres and we use the Delude Arena and Dovercourt Recreation Centre for skating, use of their field, swim to survive programs, etc.

In addition to our school day program we have an Extended Day Program with over 70 students attending. Many students also go to programs after school at Festival Hall and Dovercourt.

Mission Statement

Each child will find success, self-confidence, and independence in learning. A positive atmosphere conducive to learning, mutual respect and social responsibility will exist throughout the school. Creativity and a love of the arts will be fostered. Parents will be partners in the education of their children. Staff will engage in professional development activities creating an atmosphere of lifelong growth. Evaluation will be used by children and teachers for program planning. A sense of community will exist.

Facilities and Resources

Churchill has a modern gym with a stage and kitchen facilities, an inviting library with a well-stocked section for parents, several small rooms for use as tutorial/testing areas and, although currently being used as classrooms, there is a double-sized activity room with a folding divider.

The smaller outdoor space has necessitated the creative development of the play area with structures to meet all needs, sand areas and basketball hoops. We also have a ‘back to nature area’ where classes can go for many different activities and ‘schlockey boards’ that are used regularly in the winter.

Programs and Services

Academic Programs

English/Core French Alternative Program

Churchill Staff follow the Ontario Curriculum in many unique and diverse ways. The philosophy of team teaching and offering multiple opportunities for students to engage in cross curricular and multi-age groupings and activities. The inclusion model for learning is supported throughout the school and is reinforced in our combined grade activities and purposeful groupings. We recognize and respect that all children have different learning styles and work at their own pace. We encourage our students to explore new ways to discover and learn through field trips, monthly sharings, extracurricular activities, guest presenters, and our regular daily activities.

Classroom Organization

Our classes feature multi-age groupings, small, cooperative group instruction and activity based learning opportunities. Parent volunteers, group snack, outdoor classrooms and peer tutoring also characterize our classroom settings. The students in the junior grades in each classroom develop excellent leadership skills and become mentors to the younger students in the school. Students are encouraged to set academic and social goals and to share their learning through regular conferencing with their teachers, and then again with their parents during student-led conferences.

Special Education and ESL Programs

Churchill’s special education team includes a learning support teacher, learning resource teachers, educational assistants and classroom teachers, all of whom work collaboratively to provide support for our students. The team provides accommodations, modifications and remediation both within the classroom and in small group settings called ‘booster groups’.

Clubs and Activities

Churchill’s extra-curricular activities include sports such as cross-country running, volleyball, basketball, bordenabll, traack and field, etc. Students at the primary and junior levels are encouraged to participate. Our DPA program allows our students to participate in physical activity on a daily basis by participating in our whole school run each morning.

We also have two wonderful choirs – one at the primary level and one at the junior level, otherwise known as “The School of Rock”. We also have library, drama, chess, drumming, knitting, Earthcare, Lego and craft clubs happening at lunchtime throughout the year.

Some noon-time activities are offered daily and are supervised by parent and teacher volunteers. Intramural sports are offered at times during the year and supervised by teachers. Our Arts curriculum is enriched by enhanced music, drama and fine arts activities. The outdoor classroom, developed by parents and students, will continue to extend seasonal "Back to Nature" learning opportunities. This past year our students participated in the first ‘Alternative Sports Day’ hosted by the staff and students at Summit Alternative School.

Safe Schools Initiatives

Churchill Alternative School has high expectations for students, staff and parents, since the triad of responsibility for education is one of the cornerstones of the Alternative philosophy. Students and adults from the school community have taken an active role in the decision making process in the classroom and in the school. The Student Code of Behaviour, which promotes a safe and healthy learning environment, was written and updated with the cooperation of our triad, consisting of parents, staff and students. Our teachers make a significant effort to support CPR, First Aid, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and Crisis Response training. Character Education is integrated into all areas of the curriculum and is supported by staff, students, and parents. It is embedded in the climate and culture of our school every day throughout the year.

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