Doing What’s Best for Kids

Composite High School's Recognition Celebration

Posted on: General News

(Fort McMurray, AB - May 28th, 2024) On May 23rd, Composite High School hosted a heartwarming “Recognition Celebration for Partnering Local Agencies and Participating Students.” This inaugural celebration was designed to honour the local agencies and students who have significantly contributed to the success of the English Language Acquisition (EAL) Program. The event brought together Composite EAL students, staff, school district officials, trustees, personnel from various agencies, and the agencies themselves, all of whom have dedicated their time and resources to support the students at Composite High School.

One of the primary honorees of the evening was the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo (MCA), recognized for their exceptional work with the English Language Learning Assistance (ELLA) Program. The MCA has been a vital partner of Composite High School since at least 2007, providing one-on-one, partner, and small group instruction to assist English Learners. This year, the MCA secured three full days a week with two tutors each, significantly enhancing the EAL Program at Composite.

The MCA’s contributions extend beyond tutoring. They offer trained interpreters for language services, ensuring that newcomer families with limited English proficiency can effectively communicate their needs and concerns during school meetings. This service has enhanced home-to-school communication and engagement, making MCA’s support essential to the school community.

The YMCA was also honoured for its invaluable Settlement Worker In Schools (SWIS) Program, which works with other YMCA initiatives such as the Refugee Assistance Program (RAP). The YMCA has been a trusted partner for over a decade, providing comprehensive support to EAL students and their families. The SWIS Social Worker meets with families at the school and the YMCA offices, assisting with various tasks, including online school registration, applying for government benefits, and securing Canadian citizenship.

This year, the SWIS worker also introduced a lunchtime English Communication Club, further supporting Composite’s English Language Acquisition learning. The YMCA’s contributions are not limited to newcomers; their support is available to all students and families at Composite, collaborating closely with the school’s Student Services personnel to provide holistic assistance.

Crystal Perry, an EAL teacher at Composite High School, expressed her gratitude and admiration for the local agencies.

“This is the first of its kind to be held at Composite. When I met with each of the local agencies, I shared my idea of a Recognition Event, and they each exclaimed that they would love to have the students recognized for their participation in their respective programs and for the years of service they’ve done at Composite.”

Mrs. Perry emphasized recognizing the individuals entering the school buildings, fostering relationships, and supporting students and their families.

“Each of the local agency workers also spend time doing the same programs at other schools; however, they each have told me that being at Composite High School is special for them, as they feel at home and it feels like they are a member of the Composite Family and the EAL Department! This truly warms my heart, as the circle of support is extended to assist our students and their families.”

The Recognition Celebration on May 23rd was a testament to the collaborative spirit between Composite High School and its partner agencies. The event highlighted the collective efforts of the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo (MCA) and the YMCA, whose unwavering support has significantly impacted the lives of EAL students and their families. Their contributions have enhanced the educational experience and fostered a sense of community and belonging within Composite High School.

As the school continues to build on these partnerships, the future looks bright for its students, who benefit immensely from these remarkable organizations and their dedication and hard work. The event was memorable, celebrating the success stories and acknowledging these agencies’ vital role in shaping the educational landscape at Composite High School.

For additional information, contact:

Momin Syed                                                           
Communications Coordinator
Fort McMurray Public School Division