Westmont School is operated by the Western Communities Montessori Society (WCMS) a non-profit society registered under the B.C. Societies Act.
The board is the keeper of the Mission and Guiding Principles of the WCMS. It sets policy, establishes the budget (including tuition fees), and employs the school principal. The Board has several committees to help it do its job. These include: Finance, Site, New Building, Leadership, Marketing, Teaching and Academic Excellence.
Westmont’s Principal is responsible for the operation of the school. The Principal hires and supervises the staff, leads the development of curriculum, and handles the day-to-day administration and financial management of the school. The Principal is accountable to the board of directors.
Children in Montessori classrooms, by the very nature of the environment, learn to respect one another and build a sense of community.
Vision 2020: Our Strategic Plan
Our vision is of a school that provides world class Montessori education now and for generations to come.
A Strong History
West-Mont Montessori School has links to the first Montessori school in the Victoria area, The Montessori School, founded by Mrs. Marian Thomas in 1954 on Selwyn Road in Langford. When the building was destroyed by fire in 1958, the school relocated to Duke Road in Metchosin – just a few minutes away from our current location.
Over the following years West-Mont relocated several times, finally renting a space in a Marwood Avenue property adjacent to the Luxton Fair Grounds. In 1998 West-Mont moved to the current property – a lovely eight-acre site on Metchosin Road. Since then it has flourished into a unique and innovative independent school serving students from Early Primary through Grade 8.
West-Mont School is currently operated by the Western Communities Montessori Society (WCMS) which was established in 1984. The WCMS is a registered charity and non-profit society under the Society Act of BC, and is comprised of parents, grandparents and other members of the community who share West-Mont’s vision. In 2008 West-Mont was recognized for “More than 40 years of Outstanding Child Care” by the Ministry of Family and Children.
A Vibrant Present
West-Mont is well known for its exceptional Montessori Programs from Preschool to Grade 8. The family oriented learning environment takes an individual approach to learning where students are challenged to be the best they can be from early primary through to their middle years. The 2014/15 school year saw two significant milestones in the evolution of our school. The first was the introduction of the re-envisioned Middle School Program. In line with core Montessori principles this program brings together grades 7 and 8 in a learning environment that is specifically tailored to the developmental and academic needs of the 13 and 14 year olds. The close coordination between parents, teachers and students in the program has been a notable success and we are eager to expand this program in the years ahead. With the introduction of the new Middle School program in 2014, West-Mont realized the long held dream to have the entire school offering a full Montessori based education. We are enormously gratified that students who start with us in the Early Primary classes will be able to experience the benefits of a Montessori education all the way through to grade 8. The impacts of these shifts on the school have been profound – felt across curriculum, the physical spaces, professional development and the student experience. As we move ahead we are committed to building on the strong foundations laid over the last five years.
An Exciting Path Ahead
West-Mont School is at a point of a step change in our evolution. Over the next 5 years, West-Mont can expect to continue the process of settling into its pedagogy and building on current initiatives. Based on the retention of current families and interest from new families looking to enroll, the school’s population that currently sits at 180 could plausibly rise to 240 by the year 2020. We welcome the associated cycle of reflection, learning and change. In order to provide focus for this upcoming change, this strategic plan was developed over a 4-month period in the spring of 2015, under the direction of the Principal, using a multi-faceted consultative approach across our entire stakeholder group. What follows is the distilled essence of many hours of thought and discussion. The Goals and Objectives outlined below will set the path for the next five years of growth.
Mission & Guiding Principles
To build a learning community founded upon respect and harmony, that graduates students who embrace life and learning with personal, communal, and global integrity.
The West-Mont community follows these guiding principles:
- Children Come First
- Values are Important
- Our Learning Environment Has No Walls
- We Work as a Team
We will provide a world class Montessori education that engages and supports our students, teachers, parents and families.
- Ensure that every family has the opportunity to engage with and learn about the Montessori education philosophy and its application in different programs
- Work towards Montessori accreditation standards
- Build towards a Montessori approach in all aspects of the organization
- Conduct a feasibility study for the implementation of a Montessori High School Program
- Partner with Vancouver Island Montessori Association and other Montessori schools to strengthen the Montessori community
- Investigate ways to sustainably support off-site educational opportunities
- Strengthen our role as a Montessori Training Centre
We will provide a purposely designed educational environment that meets the pedagogical and developmental needs of our Montessori programs.
- Develop a comprehensive plan to meet the short and long term educational environment needs of the organization
- Accurately project the short and long term needs of the school
- Provide solutions to meeting those needs
- Maintain a sustainable financial model that supports these solutions
- Develop a stakeholder engagement plan around solutions
- Lay out a pathway for the execution of the desired solution(s)
- Execute on selected solution(s) for the needs of the organization
We will strive to be an organization that is transparent, accountable, innovative and dedicated to excellence in all we do.
- Developing a succession planning strategy with a focus on knowledge transfer and
- Define and communicate the organizational structures and relationships
- Ensure WCMS constitution, bylaws and policy manual are up to date
- Ensure parents have opportunities to engage at all levels of the organization
- Developing fundraising and community engagement with the goal of creating a “culture of giving”
- Ensure the planning and budgeting processes at West-Mont Montessori school follow best practices
- Continue technology integration into organizational operations
- Foster positive internal and external stakeholder relationships
Meet the Westmont Board of Directors
David is Principal Consultant at Connected Thought. As a digital strategist, he is responsible for creating digital and social strategies that enable clients to create and maintain engaging user experiences. He has delivered digital marketing strategies in non-profit, consumer and business-to-business markets, developing programs across a range of categories including IT, sport, entertainment, non-profit, politics, food & beverage, retail, health care & mining. He is also experienced in event management, communications, business development and fundraising. David is an active participant in the community, currently chairing a program committee for Volleyball Canada, and is currently president of the board of the Western Communities Montessori Society. David and his family have been part of the Westmont community since 2009 when they enrolled son, Keiran, into Preschool.
Mike graduated from the University of Victoria with a BSc. Biology in Plant Physiology and a minor in Marine Biology. He worked at Forestry Canada as a research technician, as a gardener at Butchart Gardens and in the horticulture industry as a Certified Arborist before obtaining his teaching degree in 2002. Mike completed his MEd from UVic in First Nations and Aboriginal Education in 2007. Mike has worked for School District 62 (Sooke) for fourteen years, six as Vice Principal, and is currently assigned to Royal Bay Secondary School.
He is very active in his community and shares his interests of food production, mountain biking, hiking and paddle boarding with his wife and two sons.
Mike is passionate about education and excited to be a board member for West-Mont Montessori School. He endevours to share his experiences in education and strives to contribute to the amazing learning environment at Westmont. Mike’s older son has been enrolled at West-Mont since 2015 and his younger son will be attending in September 2016.
Andries runs a IT sales and services business called Boardwalk Communications with offices in Victoria, Vancouver and Regina. Prior to founding Boardwalk in 2002, Andries trained as an Electronic Engineer and worked as a consultant in the IT industry for many years. Andries and his wife are the proud parents of two girls who have both been attending Westmont Montessori School since preschool, starting in 2009. Andries and his wife are also involved in volunteer efforts in their local communities at school, sport, local government and church. The Loubsers immigrated to Canada from Cape Town, South Africa in 1996.
Andries has served on the board of directors for the Western Communities Montessori Society since 2011 and as the Board Treasurer since 2013.
Gary came to Victoria with his wife and two children in 2012 to pursue an engineering career in Canada after spending 27 years serving in the Royal Navy in the UK and is currently registered as a Professional Engineer in BC. The Beels family have two boys, Samuel and Elliot at Westmont in Grades 5 and 8 along with a Canadian born boy, Theo, who is 3. Gary has enjoyed a varied working career with the Navy all over the world and has both a Masters and Bachelors of Science along with experience of teaching in the adult education sector, in particular teaching coaching, mentoring and facilitation skills. Gary is passionate about all things submarines, which is the reason for his family’s move to Canada. With three active boys he enjoys the boundless outdoor opportunities that are provided by living in Metchosin especially kayaking, paddle boarding and cycling. Gary brings experience in safety and risk management along with a practical engineering acumen should the need arise.
Matt has owned and operated an environmental consulting business since 2004 where he has been involved in developing innovative strategies to manage the environmental impacts related to the construction of heavy civil (roads/bridges) infrastructure and industrial infrastructure (pipelines/transmission lines).
Matt Johnson’s family has been a part of Westmont since 2013 when Myles and Chloe were enrolled and he has been on the board since 2014. Matt is excited to be involved with the West-Mont board of directors and believes that Westmont is an exceptional learning environment for students, teachers and parents alike.
Matthew operates his own consulting company working as a land agent for major infrastructure projects in BC. During this work he negotiates with land owners to acquire the land required for the project. He has completed a Diploma of Urban Land Economics from UBC and holds both the Canadian Residential Appraiser designation from the Appraisal Institute of Canada and the RI(BC) designation from the Real Estate Institute of BC. The Walsh family joined Westmont in 2015 with their two oldest daughters attending the Early Primary program.