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The Woodlands School (Mississauga)

The Woodlands School in Mississauga, Ontario, is a public high school in the Peel District School Board.

The school has a diverse student population that hails from a variety of countries, and represents a harmonious mix of cultures, religions, and languages. Given this diversity the school has a solid English as a Second Language (ESL) program to assist new immigrants, and a Peer Assisted Learning (PALS) program. Many of the volunteers of PALS are former ESL students who have mastered English.

The school has the Regional Enhanced Learning Centre for the secondary gifted program. Students from the Applewood Acres satellite program have access to The Woodlands School. The strong student performance, by individuals and teams, consistently places The Woodlands among the top academic schools in the Peel District School Board and Ontario. Recently, the School ranked 27th nationally in 2008 Euclid Contest (2nd in the Mississauga region.), and 37th nationally in the 2008 Fermat Contest. (3rd in the region). In addition, the school has high Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test passing rate with 91%.

History

The Woodlands Senior Public School started in the year 1970 with 400 students in grades 7 and 8. While the first phase of its present building was under construction, The Woodlands operated in the Springfield Public School building. In September, 1970, the school's students and staff moved to the new building, and The Woodlands became a combined elementary and secondary school with its first ninth-grade students. Today, The Woodlands has approximately 1,400 students.

While the Woodlands was designed to be an open-concept school, this original vision has not been proven to be very successful. Consequently, the school, after several years, was re-organized along traditional lines, resulting in few of the classrooms having windows, making them very hot in the summer.

Academics

High school (secondary) students

Students from grades 9 through to 12 are enrolled in a semester system and have individual timetables dependent on their course selections. The school year for secondary students comprises two semesters. The first semester is from September to mid-January while the second semester is from February to mid-June; both semesters are followed by examinations. Each semester is divided into two terms for the purposes of mid-term reporting and the delivery of half-credit programs. At the beginning of each semester, all students receive, in written form, the method used to calculate the term portion of the mark in their subjects. Progress reports for students are issued after the first month of each semester, and mid-term reports are issued at the end of the first term of each semester.

Elementary students

Students in grades 7 through 8 are enrolled in a full-year schedule of three terms per year, with the subjects taught rotated on a four-day cycle. Report cards for each term are sent home with each student in December, March and June, and elementary classes continue throughout the secondary exam periods.

Extracurricular activities

The arts

The Woodlands Senior Concert Band has achieved a triple gold standing and competed at the 500 level and at MusicFest throughout the past decade. Additionally, the band has been invited to play at several music festivals, such as the Harrogate International Festival. The band has toured various states and countries including Florida, England, and Germany (in conjunction with the school's language department), participating in musical activities in those countries.

The Woodlands School also has a Drama program that organizes a major production every year. The Drama department also fields very strong competitors in the Sears Festival, and for the past four years a Woodlands School play has moved on to the Regional level of the competition at Hart House Theatre in Toronto. The school also organizes "Theatre Shorts", a series of one-act plays. The drama department works in conjunction with the music department to present a musical on a bi-yearly basis.

Sports

The school's sports teams include: football, soccer, cricket, badminton, basketball, baseball, volleyball, girl's lacrosse, cross country, track and field, tennis, and archery teams.

The school's junior (grades 9 and 10) and senior (grades 11 and 12) cricket teams have consistently been top performers over the past 7 years. They have won more ROPSSAA championships than all the schools in the Peel Region combined. This makes the school a rarity amongst schools focussed on academice, because these often enjoy only limited sporting success.

Other competitions

The Woodlands takes part in competitions such as DECA, CNML, various University of Waterloo math and engineering contests, and various international language competitions, including the Ontario High School German Contest, where it often places well: In 2007, The Woodlands won the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in both Categories 2 and 3 at the regional level, and at the provincial level the school was 2nd-placed in category 3 and 1st-placed in category 2.

Architecture

The original design of the school complex involved that of an "Open Concept", resulting in the hallways in of the school placed around clusters of classrooms, rather than between rows of classrooms, as is the norm amongst school. This contributed to the lack of exterior windows in classroom; one of the only rooms to feature windows that face outside is the dark room, which is used to develop film and is darkened when in use.

Additionally, the fact that few classrooms have windows which are not incorporated into classroom doors and that barbed wire fencing surrounds a government building located directly beside the parking lot of the school, gives it a somewhat jail-like appearance.

Neighbourhood

The Woodlands School is located within walking distance of several excellent and unique restaurants. These include Henry's Fish and Chips, Mom's and Dad's, Twice the Deal Pizza, 241 Pizza, John Anderson's, and Sammy's. Additionally, Westdale Mall, is a short distance from the school and houses several of the restaurants mentioned above. The school's neighbourhood is also home to middle-class houses and co-operative apartment buildings.

External links

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