What's happening at Foothills

A Message from the Board of Governors

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 3:27 p.m.
Filed under: Foothills News

The Board of Governors of the Foothills Academy Society would like to take a moment, during this month of Learning Disabilities and ADHD Awareness, to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of the staff at Foothills Academy – both in the School and in Estelle Siebens Community Services, and to thank them for all they do, not just during these unprecedented times, but at all times. Not only does this incredible group ensure that students receive a first-rate education and the supports they need to succeed, but they continue to innovate and think outside the box.

Despite the restrictions we all are living with, the School and Community Services have not only continued to successfully adapt and deliver core programming, but they have also pushed forward a number of key initiatives, including:

  • Evolution of best practices in literacy and numeracy supports, programs and interventions.
  • Facility upgrades, such as the new Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) Lab, additional intervention spaces, as well as planning for the development of an outdoor classroom.
  • An on-site therapy dog working with students daily.
  • A wide range of wrap-around programs and services delivered both online and in-person, including remedial interventions in literacy; recreation opportunities for social connection; psychological services; and community education through the Estelle Siebens Community Services.
  • Collaboration with the University of Calgary on the development and delivery of the graduate certificate program on “Learning Disabilities in the Classroom”, as well as several ongoing research partnerships aimed at identifying new evidence-based practices.
  • Leading the Calgary region Learning Disabilities & ADHD Network which is a collaborative initiative with a wide range of stakeholders in the community, and has recently launched a new resource website: www.ldadhdnetwork.ca
  • Ongoing representation and leadership on advocacy boards related to Learning Disabilities and ADHD at the provincial and national levels.

 All of these innovations, the remarkably effective COVID-19 measures and the ongoing success of the students and Community Services programs could not have been achieved without the leadership and support of the Foothills Academy administrators. In particular, the Board would like to draw attention to the efforts of our Co-Executive Directors, Dr. Karen MacMillan and Mr. Simon Williams.

Karen and Simon have been, and continue to be, the driving forces behind the success of Foothills Academy Society. They work tirelessly to ensure that teachers and other professionals have the resources, knowledge, expertise and support to deliver the best programming possible in support of kids with learning disabilities and associated disorders, such as ADHD. Since the onset of the pandemic they have balanced, with professionalism, dignity and an outstanding commitment to high educational standards, any number of unexpected situations including fluctuating government expectations and the needs of the student population in a virtual learning environment. 

The Board of Governors is immensely proud of the efforts of the Co-Executive Directors, and all of the staff members at Foothills Academy. We would like to thank all of them for their ongoing commitment to ensure the success of kids in the School and Community Services. 

Signed, The Foothills Academy Society Board of Governors