Thomas Haney Secondary op../../ened in September, 1992 and is a member of the Canadian Coalition for Self Directed Learning. The Canadian Coalition for Self Directed Learning is a consortium of schools across Canada which operate on a model similar to Thomas Haney.
The school design and the instructional model anticipates the needs of future stud../../ents and the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed by future citiz../../ens. A set of principles was id../../entified and used to shape the personalized instructional model and the design of the building. The principles that shaped the redesign of curriculum delivery were that:
The school is organized around a very successful Teacher Advisor System where one teacher takes responsibility for approximately 25 stud../../ents. The Advisor becomes the prime advocate and contact for these stud../../ents and forms a triangle involving the home, the stud../../ent and the Classroom Teacher and Teacher Advisor. Each part of the triangle has a key part to play in the success at school. If any of the parts fail to be an active participant the chance of success is greatly reduced.
The school is organized so that grade eight stud../../ents follow a "conv../../entional" timetable in structured classes but at the same time are introduced to the concept of learning guides and self - directed learning. Wh../../en stud../../ents ../../enter grade nine, each day they create their own timetable daily in conjunction with their teacher advisor. Each course is typically made up of 20 learning guides and stud../../ents are required to design and plan their year, their week and their days working at a reasonable pace to complete in the year. The flexibility allowed to focus more time on curricular areas where the stud../../ent may be struggling allows all stud../../ents a greater chance of success. There are also those stud../../ents who are able to move through a course more quickly than others and the flexibility of the schedule allows for that as well. We believe strongly that this approach to learning reflects a realistic approach to how people work and function in post secondary settings.
Not all stud../../ents arrive at Thomas Haney self motivated but stud../../ents who try will learn to be self motivated and to work in a variety of ../../environm../../ents. Stud../../ents in Grades 9 - 12 g../../enerally work individually or in group settings and also receive some direct instruction in their scheduled classes. Stud../../ents work in the Great Halls on English, Social Studies, Languages and Math; the large Sci../../ence lab for all Sci../../ence courses and a variety of specialized areas for other courses. Each stud../../ent has a partial timetable where approximately 1/3 of their time (more for grade 12's taking governm../../ent exam courses) scheduled with 2/3 of their time wide op../../en for self direction. The advantage to the timetable is that it allows stud../../ents to connect with teachers plus it also maintains flexibility in planning their daily schedules. Stud../../ents g../../enerally choose to work on 4 or 5 courses in a day but, if circumstances warrant, they may choose to work on a single activity until it is concluded.
Since the day the school op../../ened, we have hosted hundreds of educators from around the world who have met with staff and stud../../ents and have gone back to their own regions with a very favorable impression of the stud../../ents, staff and programs at Thomas Haney. We at Thomas Haney Secondary School strongly believe we are preparing co-operative, collaborative citiz../../ens for the tw../../enty-first c../../entury. Our many graduates over the years have done us proud and are recognized by both employers and post secondary institutions as being extremely well prepared for their post secondary life.