Westmount Charter School
|Westmount Charter School|
|728 - 32 Street N.W. (Elementary), 2215 Uxbridge Drive N.W. (Mid-High/Highschool)
|School type||Publicly funded Charter|
|School board||Westmount Charter Board|
|Principal||Hal Curties (Elementary)
Dr. Janneke Frank (Mid/Highschool)
Westmount Charter School is a charter school based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; which educates gifted students from kindergarten to grade 12. It was founded in 1996 as ABC (Action for Bright Children) Charter Public School, a school for gifted children. The school started with 116 students, from grades one to three, and is now hosting a gifted student body of over 1,000 in grades Kindergarten through 12. The name was officially changed from ABC Charter Public School to Westmount Charter School in 2002, though the school remains publicly funded. Westmount's first grade 12 graduation occurred in June 2006.
Teams and Clubs
- Rugby - 15 & 7s (Senior Mens, Women's and Junior Boys Clubs)
- Cross-country running
- Track and field
- Debate/Speech (Westmount Debate Club)
- Model United Nations Club
- Westmount Charter Film Society
- Yearbook Club
- Interact Club
- The Westmount Charter Esports Society
- Chess Club
- HIP (Health In Perspective)
- Puzzle Club
- Jazz Band (Junior & Senior)
- First Aid Club
- Science Club
- Math Club
- Game Design Club
- Unmanned aerial vehicle Club
- French language club
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Westmount has a history in debate medaling in the many tournaments, including regionals, and provincials. Westmount also has very successful senior and junior debate teams, currently reigning champions of the North American Qualifiers, the Ellen Webber trophy, the Micheal Dorvis cup, the Billington Cup, the Western Redman debate Open, and the Henry Wise Wood annual Worlds Style Tournament all at the regional level, and the University of British Columbia Open, and the North American Debate Championships at the National and International level.
Westmount Charter School started out in 1996 with a small building in Bridgeland as their home. They have since progressed through a building in the old CFB Currie, and for ten years shared the Viscount Bennett Centre with Chinook Learning Services. In September 2011, Westmount moved to two buildings: Parkdale Elementary, which houses Kindergarten to grade 4, and Sir William Van Horne High School in University Heights, which houses grades 5 to 12. These buildings are leased from the Calgary Board of Education, the public school board in the area.
In July 2013, during summer holidays the retractable roof located over the school's atrium was partially dislodged during a thunderstorm. After months of renovation, it has been transformed into the new Learning Commons, which is now open.
Westmount's band program encompasses many styles and levels. Within concert band there are Beginner or Grade 5 level. The Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels all vary in grade level. It also offers numerous other music programs, those being String Orchestra, Choir, and three levels of Jazz Band. Unlike most other schools in the province, Westmount starts its Beginner band in Grade 5.
The mandate of Westmount Charter School is to provide educational programming for gifted students, and it defines giftedness thus: "Students are gifted when they perform, or show potential for performing, remarkably high levels of accomplishment in learning rate, depth of knowledge, and reasoning and problem-solving abilities when compared to others of their age, experience, and environment." The school is a member of the Action for Bright Children (Calgary) Society.
2008 Indecent Exposure and Sexual Assault Incidents
On October 29, 2008 at the Viscount Bennett Centre, an unknown adult male entered the mid-high area of the school and exposed himself to 2 students at roughly 3:30 PM, after classes had ended. No physical contact was made, and the two students immediately went to the school office. The school immediately went into lockdown, and the police were contacted. The police searched the school, and at around 5:20 PM the lockdown was slowly lifted.
On October 30, just a day after the first act of indecent exposure, a man entered the school who has been described as Middle Eastern with spiky black hair and approximately 6 feet tall (185 CM). At around 10:15 AM he reportedly inappropriately touched an eighth-grade male student in the school cafeteria. The school was again put into lockdown, and the police were contacted. Over a dozen police vehicles and one of Calgary Police Service's HAWC helicopters arrived at the scene, but the suspect was nowhere to be found. The lockdown was lifted at 2:00 PM.
- The founding Principal, Jo-Anne Koch, served from 1996-2002. She died due to cancer. The school library was then dedicated to her memory until the redevelopment of the learning commons in 2014-2016.
- Magy Butterfield was acting Principal during the 2001-2002 school year.
- Dr. Elaine McDougall was Principal from 2002-2005.
- Martha Faulkner was Principal from 2005-2011, retiring in June 2011.
- Dr. Shelley Robinson was Principal in the 2011-2012 school year.
- Commenced from the 2012 school year and on, each campus has its own Principal. Hal Curties is Principal of the Elementary Campus, while Dr. Janneke Frank is the Principal of the Mid-High Campus.
- Joe Frank
Previous Superintendents include:
- Gerald Porter
- Mervyn Kurtz
- Summerstock Conservatory - Drama Organization formerly based out of Westmount
- Welcome page information - http://www.westmountcharter.com
- "Westmount Music Association". Westmount Charter School Society. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "About Westmount". Westmount Charter School. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "Schools in Calgary". Action for Bright Children (Calgary) Society. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "Report of stranger touching student prompts Calgary school lockdown". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
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