To contact Student Services, please direct your inquiries to a specific counsellor. Counsellor emails are listed below:
Visiting your high school counsellor can be helpful in many ways. Your counsellor may be able to help you in the following areas:
To help students adopt a perspective that places a high priority on understanding their educational goals and how to successfully attain these.
- Course advising
- Program planning
- Post-secondary information
- Support of success in courses
To provide confidential counselling to students who are experiencing personal concerns such as:
- Stress management
- Self-esteem issues
- Alcohol or other drug use
- Anxiety and panic
- Life events and transitions
- Grief and loss
- Body image
- Relationship conflict
- Disordered eating
- Anger management
- Abuse issues
- Identity issues
- Suicidal thoughts
To assist students and parents by providing developmentally appropriate programs, information and counselling with regards to understanding and planning for further education and/or school-to-work transition.
- Personal goal setting
- Occupational information
- Post-secondary information
- Virtual resources
Information, Referrals & Consulting
To provide accurate, up-to-date information to students and parents as requested.
- Information about alternative course delivery, post-secondary programs, student finance,
- Information and referrals to agencies such as Alberta Child and Family Services, Access Mental Health
- Information about health issues and appropriate referrals
- Communication with students, parents, teachers, administration and agencies.
High School is filled with times of transition such as Grade 10’s transitioning to a new school and Grade 12’s transitioning to life after high school. Here is some information that will help you navigate through some of these transitional times.
Transitions from Junior High to Grade 10
There are several important differences between Junior and Senior High School. Knowing these differences can enable Grade 10 students to plan for success.
The Semester System
Students are registered in four classes each semester. In Grade 10, students will usually have two core (academic) courses and two complementary (option) classes each semester. At first this might seem easier than Junior High, where students do all eight classes for the full year. The fact is that classes move very quickly. One missed day is equivalent to two or three missed days in Junior High. It is important that students settle into classes quickly and not fall behind in homework or review. It can be very difficult to catch up.
Independence and Responsibility
Students are expected to be more independent in High School. Each student has a different timetable and a different set of teachers. Each of these teachers has his or her own expectations regarding behaviour, homework, and achievement. Students are expected to take responsibility for knowing what these expectations are and for following through. High school teachers are helpful and want their students to be successful, but they do expect that students will ask for help and be involved in their own learning.
High schools are larger and include students from several different Junior High schools. There are many new people to meet. This can be both exciting and frightening. Students may feel lonely or left out, or may react by becoming withdrawn or overly outgoing. It is important to keep things in balance and to make new connections as well as keeping old friendships. This is a good time to try new activities but it is also important to remember that the main reason for being here is to get a good education.
There is an increase in the amount of homework and in the demands on students to be organized to complete and hand in assignments without constant teacher supervision. Teachers in core and complementary courses have high expectations related to the quality of work submitted. Teachers also expect students to be more responsible and mature. The amount of homework students normally do depends on a variety of factors such as the course load, knowledge level, student goals and course levels. One hour as a minimum, 5 to 6 days per week, to a maximum of about 3 hours a day is expected.
Transition from Grade 10 to Grade 11
Progressing to Grade 11 involves another transition for students. The last two years of High School are the concentrated time when students are preparing for post-secondary education and for careers, and teachers expect behaviour that reflects this. Students are responsible for choosing courses that match their skills as well as post-secondary goals, i.e. choosing one, two, or all three sciences: chemistry, biology, and physics. Students’ roles are evolving with further self-exploration, self-definition and increased autonomy.
Transition from Grade 11 to Grade 12
The transition into Grade 12 brings students face-to-face with “what am I going to do after High School?” Achieving their potential in academics is critical. Engagement, participation, attendance, and studying should all be at their maximum. During this year, students should apply for post-secondary admission and scholarships in a timely fashion. Guidance counsellors help with these tasks in a variety of ways: Grade 12 classroom information presentations in October, Canadian Post-secondary Fair in November, scholarship meetings, and individual appointments (which are encouraged throughout the year). This is an exciting year but can also be stressful. Parent support and understanding are especially important.
Success in High School
The formula for success in high school is relatively easy. Students who receive the best grades follow these guidelines:
- Attendance: They attend school daily (unless ill or on a field trip) and arrive in class on time.
- Homework and Assignments: They do all of their homework. When they do not understand something, they ask for help. They make sure that they hand in all assignments.
- Study Time: They schedule time to review their material regularly - reading over notes, reviewing the textbook, and understanding the concepts.
- Involvement: They get involved in at least one activity at school. This might be a team or club or some activity that is connected with a class, i.e. science Olympics or a dance production.
- Tutorials: Plan on taking advantage of scheduled tutorials.
- Get rid of confusion: Confusion is a natural part of new situations and of learning. Try to deal with it as quickly as possible by accessing one of the many resources at Western.
- Affirmation: They celebrate their successes.
||Recommended Levels for Core Courses
- Good to excellent academic past performance
- Strong reading & writing skills
- Responds well to high standards
- Maintains a regular homework schedule
- Capable of working independently
- Strong problem solvers
- Good organizational skills
- Can interpret and analyze more complex material
- May pursue post-secondary studies at a university or college and some technical institute programs.
- English 10-1
- Social 10-1
- Math 10 C
- Science 10
In addition to the above, pre-IB students should display:
- Creative thinking
- Intellectual curiosity
- Interest in IB
- Participation in class discussions
- > 80% course marks
- Interest in reaching potential
- Quality assignments handed in on time
- Good time management skills
- Support from parents
- ELA 10-1 WCP-IB
- Social 10 WCP-IB
- Math 10 WCP-IB
- Science 10 WCP-IB
- FLA 10 WCP-IB
- French 10 WCP-IB
- Spanish 10 WCP-IB
- Good academic performance
- Needs to strengthen skill in reading, writing, math and/or organization
- Experiential Learner
- Maintains a regular homework schedule
- Has good organization skills
- More comfortable with concrete concepts and examples
- Need a structured introduction to new concepts
- Prefers to complete work in class
- Prefers step-by- step structure and directions
- May pursue post-secondary programs at the college or technical institute level
- English 10-2
- Social 10-2
- Math 10 C
- May have experienced difficulty in subject area in prior grades
- Prefers a basic curriculum directed towards real life experiences
- Prefers concrete concepts over abstract concepts
- Needs to strengthen basic math skills
- May need to strengthen reading comprehension, vocabulary and speed
- Need good organizational skills
- Maintain a regular homework schedule
- May need extra structure and direction in the classroom
Promises about future behaviour are not considered when making recommendations. The best predictor of success in academic courses in high school is current performance. Students who want to move to a higher level of a course need to demonstrate in Grade 9 that they have the work ethic and motivation to achieve the recommended grade.
Complementary (Option) Courses
More information is available on our Complementary Courses page.
The Alberta High School Diploma
More information is available on our Academic Guidelines page.
Planning for Post-Secondary Education
There are scores of post-secondary institutions to which students can apply when they complete high school. Each of these institutions has unique admission standards. Please visit our After High School page for more information.