News And Notes
Madrona School hit the ground running on September 3. Labour Day weekend was devoted to the tasks of moving our belongings from the old location to the new, setting up our new space and finalizing plans for the start of school.
Tuesday we welcomed families old and new. From 8:30 until 9:00 a.m. we had a mini-mini Open House during which we proudly showed our new facilities to parents and children.
Then it was down to the business of school – and it was all systems go.
The students have now been thoroughly organized. Thanks to Ms Allaby’s father, each student has a beautiful pine locker.
All of the students have received their tablet computers. The primary students are using iPads, while the juniors who need more content-creation based tablets have received Microsoft Surface Pros. During the week they received training in how to use them efficiently. All students have a Mathematics account with ixl.com, a typing account with typingace.com, and of course an email account under our madronaschool.com domain.
Madrona is rolling out some changes this year. Each student is doing a Personal Interest Project and work has already begun on them. We have students building a city, others doing computer programming (with an emphasis on games of course), a student learning textile arts, one building a radio…the list goes on and on.
While we retain a curriculum which is fully based on Ministry standards, our programs have a few points of heavy emphasis this year. They are:
- Intensive development of written language skills.
- An increased focus on gaining substantial and significant technology skills.
- A Science program that emphasizes a hands-on, discovery based approach. Chemistry is the first unit and the students will be doing many experiments.
We are pleased that our first week has gone so well. The students have been exceptionally busy academically – it is obvious to us already that their learning can only be enhanced by our spacious new locale.
A few spaces remain open. If you are interested, please email Eric O'Donnell, Director of Madrona at
or phone him at 778-991-5545.
Madrona at a glance
- We are a school of bright and gifted learners.
- We accept Grades 1 to 7 students.
- We instruct at ability level, not grade level.
- We supply all students with Microsoft Surface Tablets and keyboards as learning aids.
- Our teacher-to-pupil ratio is based on a near-tutoring model in core subject areas.
- We feature built-in enrichment modules.
- We are inclusive, stimulating, supportive.
"Our family has always sought a learning environment that supports our childrens' EQ since they already have built in intelligence. We personally see all of our childrens' learning as emotionally hinged both in interest and resistance. We can't say enough about Madrona meeting the expectation of emotional support and intellectual development. The teachers give 100% and then some. Eric is second to none in caring and setting the bar high for himself and for everyone, including parents, the teachers and of course the students. He has over 3 decades of teaching with both accelerated and challenged learners. So for those parts of my children that need encouragement, and those parts that just want to keep on soaring, Madrona is able to fulfill the needs. No child is left behind lacking attention and support in all areas of curricula and learning.
The teaching staff works intimately with each child and their family and respects all of the many different learners that arrive to Madrona. Some learners have been trampled emotionally or intellectually bored within public schools, others have been learning at home and their child wants to learn daily with children their own age and others see the perfect environment to continually keep their child highly challenged and thriving. If I had to describe Madrona school as to the model it represents, I would have to say that it is a "social tutoring house". Which means to us that our children are being both supported and challenged with their individual and social needs. My children achieve all of the learning outcomes that are put before them as well as encouraged to reach far beyond their comfort zone to taking risks especially ones where my kids might feel fear of failure. Experiencing failure is very important to being a lifelong learner. Madrona gives tools, both emotionally and intellectually, to deal with learning stresses and "failures". My children are walking away with greater confidence and therefore the doors of possibility continue to stay open instead of defaulting to shrinking when "mistakes" are made. Our son is going into grade 10 this year and since graduating from Madrona has been on the honor roll each year.
All the Madrona kids are special, they are not special needs children, even though each child has their own challenges, but the teachers intimately know each child and therefore we have a concert of teachers that continually work together to supporting and challenging the kids. One last thing, an important aspect to feeling comfortable with other adults teaching and influencing our children’s daily lives is we were looking for surrogate others that we could trust with our precious kids and there has not been a day since we've been at Madrona that this hasn't been the case. All of the staff have emotional depth and sensitivity, they are bright, relentless and hardworking and most of all seamlessly give the kids their best and this is reflected in the kids doing the same."
Joyce -- June 2013