Whytecliff is accredited both by the Ministry of Education and CARF (Commission on Accrediation of Rehabilitational Facilties. Both accrediting bodies send teams to conduct on-site evaluative reviews. Below is a sample of some of their comments.
BC Ministry of Education – External Evaluation Committee Comments:
The External Evaluation Committee commends Whytecliff Agile Learning Centre for:
- Modeling unity of purpose allowing education to take place in a caring respectful environment.
- Student programming which addresses the students’ unique challenges and strengths.
- The collaborative, supportive atmosphere with administration, teaching and support staff working together to create a true learning community.
- Strong connections between teaching practices and course overviews.
Summary Curriculum Delivery Statements:
The School staff has cultivated an atmosphere of warm, mutual respect between themselves and students, and model an environment accepting of all types of learners. A strong focus on developing community through a relational approach has led to an environment that is safe, loving, and compassionate.
It is clear to the EEC that the School “lives its vision” and that this provides a strong foundation for all teaching and learning. This is also reflected in the relationships in the school, not only between the staff and students, but amongst the staff themselves. The collaborative, supportive atmosphere is very evident, with administration, teaching and support staff working together to create a true learning community.
The EEC observed strong connections between teaching practices and course overviews. The teachers appear to have internalized learning outcomes and understand what their students need to know.
The EEC commends Whytecliff Agile Learning Centre and Focus Foundation BC on:
- Their evident commitment to meeting the needs of those who are unable to operate in a regular classroom setting due to a combination of behavioral and learning difficulties
- A welcoming and caring environment which has helped nurture a sense of community amongst the students and staff
- The skill level and adaptability of the teachers and youth workers
- The school’s commitment to professional development and the support of staff
The EEC commends the school for the following:
- Creating a warm, safe and caring learning environment for a very vulnerable group of youths.
- Collaborating with institutions such as Simon Fraser University in the implementation of the latest research and pedagogy.
- Creating a physical environment for youths at risk based upon the best research available which ensures both their physical and emotional comfort and safety
- Designing individual programs for students that will best ensure the possibility for graduation, matching student skills and interests to programs and courses.
There is an awareness of and commitment to the school’s vision statement which pervaded all aspects of the school’s programs and operations. The EEC was impressed by the impact of the vision statement as a working document. In virtually every meeting or discussion with staff reference was made to the vision for the school. It was evident that Whytecliff is providing a “safe, respectful and nurturing community”, giving individuals “opportunities to build their resources and develop new skills”, encouraging “self reflective behaviour” and inspiring “hope”.
CARF ACCREDITATION REVIEW COMMENTS:
-The learning environment clearly enhances the quality of life, restores hope, and assists with building resilient individuals.
-The organization provides a healthy, safe, creative, and purposeful environment for students and staff members.
-Staff members embrace the culture of Appreciative Inquiry and allow the students to explore at an individual pace without judgment.
-The team approach from personnel helps empower each student progress toward well-being.
-Direct service providers and administrative staff members demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm, skills,and dedication that benefits the organization and the students served.
-The organization has built an extensive and positive relationship within the communities it serves.
-The students served appear to adjust to the program, discover their strengths, and build furtures as a direct result of the therapeutic educational setting and educational program.
-The organizations facilties are designed and decorated to enhance the sense of safety and optimize the learning experience of children.
-The organization has strengths in the effectiveness of the program in meeting the diverse needs of children served, and has helped students graduate who might otherwise have not had the opportunity to do so.
-The program has been able to provide unique recreational opportunities for persons served that has helped them positively connect to the community.
-The multiple locations of the program serve a large geographical area, brining needs services to persons who would not otherwise be served.
The strength-based based model of service delivery consistently conveys the organization’s vision into the daily lives of the persons served.
Focus Foundation is commended for the manner in which it has implemented its program vision. This vision lives within every staff member, is understood by the youth served, and directs staff members’ decision making.
All Focus Foundation employees are firmly committed to a vision that stresses working from a strength-based position, and this commitment was evident in all the service plans. Although this is always encouraged at CARF-accredited organizations, few are able to be so single minded in their focus on positives rather than the problems of each service recipient. This vision, clearly documented in the organization’s mission statement, creates an environment that every person could identify as positive, supportive and affirming.