The ASCEND Classroom

ASCEND Leadership is a support to diverse student leadership programs throughout the SWLSB provided by Spiritual Care and Guidance and Community Animators.

Student Leadership creates a climate for a broad set of goals and different dimensions of learning to overlap, interconnect, and become mutually reinforcing using 21st Century skills throughout a student's educational experience. 

You can change the world! We can show you how....



How do the next generation of leaders gain the skills to lead?

Transforming academic tools into skills for life.

Academic understanding, exploration, and success.

Mental, emotional, and physical health, well-being, and interpersonal skills are a foundation for a balanced life and effective leadership.

Personal agency, well-being, balance, relationships, and growth.

Student Leadership provides the platform for student growth over a broad range of academic, social and physical dimensions of learning that are critical to students’ overall success from grade 4 to graduation.

Establishing successful habits and essential life skills within the next generation of leaders.

What We Do

We give students the ability to excel in school and the tools to navigate adulthood independently by developing the core skills to succeed in life. Skills like grit, determination, realistic goal setting, calculated risk taking, and time management.

Student leaders set out on a new trajectory that transforms the way that they think, act and engage by fostering deep personal growth and taking responsibility for the world around them using 21st Century knowledge and applied skill-sets.

Leadership programs are varied and unique at each SWLSB school. Ascend Leadership provides a link to enhance the progression of learning for each program by supporting the teacher and staff member.

ASL is an opportunity for young people to grow as leaders progressively from elementary to junior high, to senior school, and return as alumni mentors. 

ASL supports training to lead teams that plan, prepare, and execute initiatives that are evaluated.

ASL supports an environment that fosters critical thinking skills, active communication, nurture creativity, and meaningful collaboration. 

Students set objectives and evaluate outcomes as they construct life-long habits that nurture success academically, socially, and personally. Each leader is actively involved in measuring their success as they grow.

ASL provides support to establish a foundation connecting classroom knowledge with real world experiences that make learning, make sense. 

Meaningful student leadership is transformative for young people as we move students from the role of spectator, to a participant, and into a stakeholder.  

In the face of an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, education can make the difference as to whether people embrace the challenges they are confronted with or whether they are defeated by them. And in an era characterised by a new explosion of scientific knowledge and a growing array of complex societal problems, it is appropriate that curricula should continue to evolve, perhaps in radical ways. 

OECD Learning Framework 2030: Education 2030: A Shared Vision, page 3; OECD 2018

The Opportunity & Challenge

Student leadership is challenging as we require that young people take calculated risks, work on authentic relationships, explore beyond their comfort zones, and develop a core value system that is true to themselves and honest with each other.

There are three fundamentals to the educational process that ASL focuses on: 

Impart Knowledge: Apply the knowledge and tools learned in the classroom to real world experiences.

Inspire Passion: Do the things that interest you, that you care about and apply your efforts to serve a need. This is the path to purpose as your capacity for influence and abilities grow.

Effective transfer of responsibility from adult to emerging adult: Students become stakeholders who share varying degrees of responsibility for outcomes on teams as a key component for the transformation of learning. 

Why does student leadership matter to the next generation of students and leaders? 

The evidence is clear that student efficacy, levers for success, and expression of competencies must meet the increasing demands of the postsecondary world and complex work environments. Measures of success are rapidly moving beyond literature and math to a more broad understanding of the dimensions of learning and agency of the student as they are able to express with fluidity the 4Cs of the 21st Century educational model in practical, daily life.*

We also know that students feel the most healthy emotionally and engaged when their school environment is relevant to their life goals.

Student leadership provides the tools and foundation for an evaluated and progressive learning process that is transformational as it enhances the student and teacher exchange throughout their elementary and secondary educational experience.

*reference material

Evelyn (grade 11) with her mentor, Ms. Suzanne Gagliese, Vice President, Microsoft

ASL is working to enhance the tools that align students, teaching, lessons, experiences and evaluations to support progressive modern day success.

"Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it." - Henry Mintzberg 

ASL Classroom Dynamic

The ASL classroom is in schools run by enthusiastic and caring staff. We work to support their dynamic space that promotes essential learning and innovation skills. Each SWLSB school has a unique leadership program. ASL provides a link to support growth and development.

Our goal is to offer opportunities that position students to be prepared to be successful in a complex life and work environment through the 21st century classroom by facilitating creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration (like the Harkness Method) skills through experiential learning. 

In the a student leadership 'classroom'; students learn about leadership competencies in theory and in practical application. Emerging leaders begin to practice successful daily habits of CEOs, COOs, CFOs and authentic leaders as they begin to lead teams.

What is the ASL classroom?

The ASL classroom is a school where staff and students strive to take initiative to make a difference and enable others to do the same. ASL works to support school climate, student success, and community engagement and growth.

Student leaders begin to hone their skills early in their leadership journeys. 

ASL is a support to student leadership development. In elementary schools ASL supports and provides addition opportunities for students to go deeper in leadership through their green club, leadership teams, student council, playground leaders, etc.

In junior and senior school it is a support to leadership classes, teams, as well as ECA groups.  The student leadership is a process that encourages students to engage, learn, try, risk, work through challenges and failure in order to ultimately establish habits for life-long success. 

Measures of success are determined by the capacity with which students can express competencies that they are learning in the classroom and the efforts and resiliency that they give to the process. ASL takes into consideration the whole person as they grow.

Evaluation tools like the Harkness method conversation rubric, and the SMARTE process help to demonstrate participation, understanding, capabilities, and growth. We support schools in developing a acknowledgement and reward method for their students. We facilitate a board wide event every June to showcase and encourage the next generation of leaders. Model The Way Honours.


In elementary and high school ASLeaders use their training sessions to draft and prepare SMARTE plans that help them to learn and pracitice busniess strategies. 

Students set goals that are achievable and evaluated as they focus on the who, what, where, when, how of any project, opportunity or idea. 

It is through the student's work with diverse teams that SMARTEs are enacted, adapted, and worked on in order to reach their goals.







It is through supported and sustained efforts of taking calculated risks, planning, preparation, team building, evaluation, identifying and working through obstacles and failures that creates the conditions to celebrate success that can be repeated. 

A variety of teachers, staff, business and community leaders invest in ASLeaders on their journey as mentors, coaches and guides.

The entrepreneurship projects, community events and initiatives, sport teams and events, participation in the arts, and school activities that students create and execute are the evidence of the preparation, hard work, time, and effort that has been invested. 

Throughout each students' leadership journey they are gaining both knowledge and applied skill-sets that are imperative for authentic leaders serving their teams:

10% of a leader's work is see in the initiatives, events and activities. They are the evidence of the work that has been completed.


90% of a leader's work is dedicated to caring for people, planning, preparing, and evaluating.



ASLeaders work on teams that are focused locally, nationally, and internationally to gain experience and to build a better world. 

It is the ASLeader's responsibility to build teams, enable the team to function, captain projects, define and set objectives, and to enable individuals as they reach toward success for an intended and evaluated outcome.

ASL teams have worked on everything from school projects to collaborating on initiatives with national and international partners.

Local: charitable initiatives (Pink In The City, CITY TV Montreal, Breakfast Television, video), school events, awareness campaigns, and school board activities.

ASLeaders on the national and international stage: