Mission: Maniwaki Woodland School is committed to fostering a safe and conducive learning envirnoment where all members of the school community work collaboratively to help all students reach their full potential.
School and its Community
Maniwaki Woodland School is located in the northern Outaouais region approximately 135 km north of Gatineau, Quebec. The school serves a population made up largely of Francophones, Anglophones and Algonquin First Nations.
Historically logging and farming were the main industries for the region. In recent years a decline in those areas has led to a shift towards the importance of tourism. The region is a hunter and fisherman’s paradise with a vast number of undiscovered forest and lakes and a plethora of outfitters to guide visitors on a trip of a lifetime. The town is also host to many cultural festivals that are rich in Indigenous and French history including the Kitigan Zibi Pow Wow, Le Festival Ete and Pakwaun. Maniwaki is bordered by two surrounding first nations communities, Kitigan Zibi & Barriere Lake which account for approximately 20% of the area’s population. Many of the Indigenous people speak English as a first language and Algonquin as their second. In 2016, 31% of the population over the age of 15 had no certificate, diploma or degree. This is significantly higher than the 18% provincial stat. In the past there were work opportunities in the forestry industries that provided unskilled employment opportunities. These opportunities have since minimized and most jobs in the area require specialized training or a high school diploma; leading to an approximate unemployment rate for the region of 15%, much higher than the provincial unemployment rate of 7.2% in 2016.
Maniwaki Woodland School is a rural K4 – 11 school with a student population of 215 students (125 elementary & 90 secondary). The student population is largely made up of Indigenous learners from the surrounding reserves accounting for 65% and 85% of the elementary and secondary population. Approximately 80% of our students are transported to school by bus each day, with some students being bussed upwards of 1.5 hours each way. The population is quite transient between English and French schooling and between our school and Kitigan Zibi School, with students often coming and leaving at various times in the school year. This creates challenges for students to adjust to their new environment and the curriculum which differs from the provincial program of study. However, over the past four years our student population has steadily increased from 173 students in 2015 to 215 students in 2018. The influx comes from an increase in the number of students attending our school from Barriere Lake living in boarding situations with family members or guardians. Also there are more children of former students in the area becoming school age.
Maniwaki Woodland School is the lead school in Indigenous Pedagogy. All teachers are trained and are continuing to find ways to use an Indigenous pedagogy approach inside the classroom and make the content culturally relevant. Many teachers and technicians participate in a variety of professional development opportunities including; First Nations Metis Inuit meetings, PDIG’s and the Outstanding Teacher Program. All of the professional development opportunities enhance the quality of teaching and learning inside the classroom. At the elementary level we offer Algonquin language courses lead by an Algonquin language instructor from Barriere Lake. Maniwaki Woodland elementary campus has 8 homeroom classes from K4 to grade 6. The school is organized in the following way:
|# of students
At the secondary level, we have one grouping for each grade level. Some grade levels are combined for some subject areas including English, French, physical education, art, ethics and religious culture and history. At the secondary level we offer a wide variety of option courses to meet the needs of our learners including chemistry, native studies, POP and entrepreneurship. We also offer online learning through LEARN for specific courses students need that we do not offer in house.
All classrooms at Maniwaki Woodland School have been recently updated to meet the needs of 21st century learners. They are equipped with Smart boards, laptops and both campuses have a mobile smart cart with 23 tablets in each.
Maniwaki Woodland School is split between two buildings separated by the Desert River that runs through Maniwaki. The elementary school was built in 1964 and has undergone many renovations over the past 10 years to modernize the building. The school was fortunate to win the Love of Reading Grant by Indigo in 2012 which allowed us to furnish a beautiful library with up to date titles being added every year. Our secondary students are housed in a large regional French high school. Within the high school, our sector occupies one hallway (11 classrooms and a staff room) and the gym, Migwan Lodge (Feather Lodge) and cafeteria are shared common areas. Students also have access to a number of outdoor fields, swimming pool and a newly added synthetic soccer/football field.
Maniwaki Woodland School has 17 teachers on staff. We also employ 3 attendants who directly support students with special needs. The school benefits from a First Nations grant that allows us to better support our indigenous learners. Through the grant we are able to hire 4 special education technicians who provide 10 – 25 hrs/wk of support each in core subject areas. We are also pleased to have an elder in residence to help staff deliver culturally relevant curriculum and support our students on a day to day basis. Most staff currently reside in Maniwaki or surrounding areas but some do travel from distances of over an hour each way.
For many years Maniwaki Woodland School has seen significant turnover in staffing and often 3 new teachers are hired each year. All the teachers on staff with the exception of one have received their teaching certification outside the province of Quebec. In order to ensure the quality of teaching and learning in all Western Quebec schools, all new teachers benefit from being part of the New Teacher Program (TIP). All new teachers to the Western Quebec School Board, regardless of experience are assigned a coach to support them through their first two years working with the board.
Staffing Through Grants: How did the school used the funding?
|Use of Grant
|Bouge en Cube Grant
|Hired a recreation technician to promote an hour of day physical activity
|Hired 4 special education technicians provide academic support inside the classroom in core subject areas
|Hired special education technician & teachers Provided academic support to students in upper elementary in language arts and math
|Support 2-6 Grant
|Hired resource teacher provide academic to support to students on IEP’s
|Accroche Toi Grant
|Grant Hired technician & elder provide support to students who are risk of dropping out and mental health support inside room 272
|Guided Studies Grant
|Hired Teacher to provide pulled academic support in all French classes
|Hired Algonquin language teacher to teach 2 days per week and an elementary teacher for tutoring after school
|Bon Pied Grant
|Hired professional to provide academic language support in kindergarten and grade 1
Families and Communities
Maniwaki Woodland School is in a socio-economic disadvantaged area and has an average ranking of 8 between the two buildings on a scale of 10, with 10 being the most disadvantaged. The ranking is based on education level of the mother and the families income. A large number of our students families are those living on the local reservations of Barrier Lake and Kitigan Zibi. Also, many of our secondary students live in boarding situations with family members or guardians who rent apartments and homes in Maniwaki during the school months. Often in these boarding situations there are 3 or more students living together with one family member or guardian. Parental involvement can be challenging, in particular at the high school level as many students’ parents are living quite a distance from the school or have had negative school experiences and in some cases they, or family members are survivors of the residential school system. Maniwaki Woodland School has worked towards creating a welcoming environment which demonstrates the value we place on First Nations culture. In the past two years we have seen an increase in parental involvement at the elementary level and have expanded our governing board allocations to allow for more parental involvement.
Analysis of Situation
- Access to English services locally (health & social services)
- Language barriers (English, French and Algonquin)
- Distance from city centre/school board
- Math results across grade levels
- French results across grade levels
- Travel times to and from school
- Past Trauma
- Living away from home
- Transitions from elementary to high school, daycare to kindergarten & from other schools/school boards
- Relationships with other schools (bullying)
- Staffing (retaining and acquiring new)
- Access to professional staff (resource, counselors and academic advisors)
- Parental involvement and communication
- Shared building at secondary level (lack of identity & school pride)
- Access to qualified supply teachers
To help solve some of the regional challenges we have formed a strong partnership with the Maniwaki Native Friendship Centre. The Centre offers many programs and services in English including but not limited to health, social and academic. We work hand in hand with the Friendship Centre to help our students and their families get the support they need.
In order to further support our learners and teachers in the areas of Math and French our elementary teachers participate in the NANS networks where teachers work collaboratively to share best practices and strategies to help move our learners along. We employ 4 special education technicians to support specifically in these areas inside the classroom or through pulled support. Furthermore, through the Guided Studies Grant, we have employed a part time teacher to work with students at the secondary level specifically in French.
To help students get the best possible start to everyday, both campuses have breakfast clubs where students can eat prior to every school day. These clubs are run through the Breakfast Clubs of Canada and are run solely by volunteers. We also employee an elder from Rapid Lake who supports students at the high school level who is there every Monday and Tuesday. We also a social worker who works with the school one day a week who meets with students who are at risk or who just need some additional emotional support. Another asset to our staff is drug and alcohol counselor who provides support to students with substance abuse problems and helps educate youth about making positive choices through the Buffalo Riders program at both the elementary and secondary school.
In order to secure quality staff members for the coming years, the board has gone on recruiting trips to find quality candidates early in the school year based on our upcoming needs. Recruitment trips are targeted at particular universities where the climate of the area is similar to Maniwaki, small rural communities. Through our partnership with the Maniwaki Native Friendship Centre we have been able to access more professional support in English on a consistent basis. The board has also put measures in place to bring more professionals into the school on a more frequent basis to help support our learners. An example of this would the hiring of a readaptation officer to help students at the elementary level who need additional behavioral support. Also the hiring of transition agents to support students moving from daycare to school.
In order to open the lines of communication with parents we created a school Facebook page to keep parents in the know of what is happening in the school. The board has also hired a liaison officer to continue to build positive relationships between the school community and Kitigan Zibi and Barriere Lake.
Number of Students Who Received Diploma:
|2017 – 2018
|2016 – 2017
|2015 – 2016
Number of Students Who Received Certification (Pre-Work)
|2017 – 2018
|2016 – 2017
|2015 – 2016
Number of Students Who Received Certification (Semi-Skilled)
|2017 – 2018
|2016 – 2017
|2015 – 2016
High School – Ministry Exam Results