The Learning Forum will become the heart of the school as it integrates learning support, library resources and technology services to provide our digital learners a real space for academic collaboration and inquiry.
Dr. Susan Elliott, Executive Director, Learning Forum @ TFS and Campaign Supporter
From our founding, TFS was committed to accepting talented students regardless of parents' financial means. The scholarship program is a chance to honour our earliest roots and to live, once again, the principles of accessibility.
Susan Markle, Executive Director of Admissions and Campaign Supporter
The Learning Forum @ TFS will complement the school's multi-faceted curriculum, while providing a personalized, enriched learning experience, so that all students can thrive. We believe in the TFS approach to education and are excited to be a part of such a transformational undertaking.
GREG HAVER AND JULIANA SPROTT, CURRENT PARENTS AND CAMPAIGN SUPPORTERS
We are pleased to support Entrance Scholarships at TFS, as gaining students from diverse backgrounds can only make our school better. We are convinced that an inclusive strategy to attract students from all walks of life will serve the future of TFS well.
PHIL AND SHERRY EVERSHED, Parents of an Alumna and Campaign Supporters
We are pleased to support program enrichment and have chosen to focus our gift on environmental inquiry and sustainability projects. We encourage all families to join us in supporting Soaring Beyond to help ensure that all students continue to receive the very best educational experience.
CHRISTIAN AND FLORENCE EXSHAW, CURRENT PARENTS AND CAMPAIGN SUPPORTERS
June 4, 2014
When student leadership approached administration earlier this spring to ask for a quiet area in which to study, Learning Forum @ TFS Executive Director, Dr. Susan Elliott, was thrilled. “That moment when students begin to ask the key questions, to identify what they need to succeed, their education takes a transformative leap forward. This is a skill that will serve them for life,” she says. “That’s the Learning Forum philosophy in action. It’s an exciting development.”
As a school with high academic standards, TFS has always recognized the importance of learning supports in and beyond the classroom. Ensuring that each student reaches his or her full potential informs the Learning Forum concept. Two years ago, TFS joined the growing ranks of academic institutions around the world implementing learning support centres, and in those two years, the Learning Forum @ TFS has already laid a solid foundation of support for both students and teachers. The goal of Dr. Elliott and her team is to give students — and teachers — the tools they need to succeed.
This team consists of resource teachers, learning strategists, guidance counsellors and psycho-educational consultants, all of whom work together with TFS teachers to bring the best brain research into the classroom. And the research demonstrates that our brains are all wired differently and each one of us learns accordingly. Understanding a student’s readiness, interests and learning profile, therefore, can positively impact how he or she will learn. Through personalized learning strategies, the Learning Forum supports every student’s individual capacity to succeed.
Now it is time to take the Learning Forum @ TFS to the next level. The three strategic priorities identified for Soaring Beyond: The Campaign for TFS include the establishment of Learning Forums in each TFS branch, thus providing greater individualized learning support for all of our students. By enhancing and expanding the support and services currently available to our students, we will ensure that they have greater opportunities to thrive as healthy, well-balanced learners.
Learning Forums are actually physical spaces — multimodal learning “hubs” says Dr. Elliott — that will allow TFS to enhance the educational process for the whole child, promoting academic, social and emotional well-being. Designed for a 21st century education, this new model seamlessly blends library, learning support and technical resources in one place. Each hub will incorporate a traditional library, reference desk and reading room with digital studios, technology support and quiet, closed-off spaces for one on one instruction or meetings. These multifunctional spaces will facilitate study, research and collaboration.
Dr. Elliott envisions the Learning Forums as open and inclusive spaces, optimal learning environments that can accommodate different study modes — independent study, one-on-one, small groups, large groups or the use of multimedia. Ultimately, these hubs will create an inclusive and positive environment for learning and open the door to new program innovations.
To establish a permanent home for the Learning Forum in each branch, however, TFS must raise $4 million through Soaring Beyond: The Campaign for TFS. Yet creating Learning Forum hubs in TFS branches is not just a matter of designing and renovating new spaces for learning. Rather, it is about transforming how our children learn.
“The most exciting benefit of the Learning Forum,” says Dr. Elliott, “is that it removes the barriers to learning, and students actually learn how to seek out and ask for the help they need. They learn that independence is interdependence.”
That is indeed a good lesson for life.