b'The Evolution of AcademicsMeeting each students individual learning needs has always been at the heart of Greenwoodbut how we do that has evolved significantly over the past 19 years.We asked four long-standing Greenwood staff members how academics havechanged during their time at the school.Interviewed for this article:kBill Farbstein, Coordinator, Innovation LabkElanna Robson, Director, AcademicskHeather Thomas, Vice-Principal, Deputy Head of SchoolkJanelle Watson, Director, Grade 7 & 8How has Greenwoods academic approach shifted during your time at the school? What drove those shifts?Heather: When the Student Success Centre (SSC) was founded, it was quite revolutionaryBill Farbsteinin that it was a space where students with learning differences could get support. Today, Greenwoods Adviser program for all students is now modelled on ideas that originated in the SSC. Identifying individual strengths and areas for growth, and then supporting students as they develop within those areas, is a key focus for Advisers, and that all started with the SSC.Bill: Theres a greater focus on gauging students interests and using that to design course material and drive learning. This helps students dive deeper into the strands of a subject that they love, but still allows teachers to assess the same skills for every student. In Technology courses, for example, students can make a project that interests them using woodworking, 3D printing and design, but I can still mark each project using the same criteria.Elanna: Weve moved from a focus on differentiation to more refined and targeted personalization. This came out of a desire for more responsive teaching and a focus on developing our students into more proficient self-directed learners.Janelle: While Greenwoods emphasis on Outdoor Education hasnt changed, our approach to planning camp days has become more streamlined. The programming has evolved to engage with nature and all of the learning opportunities camp offers instead of running traditional classes during that time. Elanna RobsonWhat is a curricular achievement or project of which youre particularly proud?Janelle: Successfully implementing the 20-Time Project in Grade 11 Learning Strategies was a highlight for me. Each student chose a project to work on bi-weekly for the year, and some students noted it as the most memorable part of their year. From knife making, to drone building, to learning Portuguese, each student found value in the time spent.Heather: When we shifted to personalized learning, we also introduced courses that were offered using a blended learning approach, which combines technology-rich resources and in-person learning. The idea was to use technology to provide a personalized experience (e.g. by allowing students to work through a unit at their own pace). While we no longer offer blended courses, we have kept the best of what we learned from them and we have layered a strong technology component into all of our courses.Bill: I loved being part of the design and building of the Innovation Lab. I worked with Heather Thomas, Jonathan Tepper and Michael Schmidt to design the room and select the equipment; I also wrote the Grade 11 Technology course. I remember my Grade 7 Technology teacher and everything I learned from him so well, and the fact that I helped to build a technology spaceHeather Thomas and that I can now help students realize their potential in that spaceis enormous for meprofessionally.Elanna: The Business Department started the Greenwood Case Competition in 2012, and it has grown and evolved significantly since then. Solving a real-world business problem is not only authentic, but it simulates the type of case analysis students will be expected to do in postsecondary or in their careers. Students now receive significant training for case competitions throughout Senior Business courses, and they also receive feedback on their analysis and mentoring during competitions from a business professional.Where do you see academics at Greenwood going in the years to come?Elanna: We are going to continue to develop our assessment and evaluation practices with a focus on authentic tasks and something weve termed fluidity of assessment and evaluation. These practices will allow our students to engage more with the actual work of the discipline and demonstrate their ongoing learning and development of skills throughout a unit/course (not just at the end with a traditional test).Janelle Watson10 evergreen Nov. 2021'