The ASL Classroom

ASL is 21st Century learning that connects classroom knowledge with real world experiences for students in grades 5 to graduation.

ASL provides a link and tools to support teachers and staff members as they invest in the leadership competency for the next generation of leaders at their campus.

ASLeaders set out on a new trajectory that transforms the way that they think, act and engage with the world around them.

How do Advanced Student Leaders gain the skills to lead?

What We Do

Leadership programs are varied and unique at each SWLSB school campus. Advanced Student 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.

ASLeaders receive training to lead teams that plan, prepare, and execute initiatives.

The ASL environment fosters critical thinking, creativity and collaboration.

Students set objectives and evaluate outcomes as they construct life-long habits that nurture success academically, socially, and personally.

ASL provides a foundation to 'do the amazing' while connecting classroom knowledge with real world experiences that make learning, make sense.

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

ASLeadership 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 (mind): Apply the tools learned in the classroom to real world experiences.

Inspire Passion (soul): Do the things that interest you, that you care about and apply it to serve a need. This is the path to purpose.

Effective transfer of responsibility from adult to emerging adult (body): Students become stakeholders who share varying degrees of responsibility for outcomes that are a part of a progression of learning. Moving from spectator, to a participant, and into a stakeholder.

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

FORBES ARTICLE – July 11, 2018

How To Hire The Right People To Help Your Organization Succeed:

Evelyn (grade 11) with Suzanne Gagliese

Vice President, Microsoft

ASLeaders progress from spectator, to participant, and into a stakeholder.

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

ASL Classroom Dynamic

The ASL classroom is a dynamic space that promotes essential learning and innovation skills. Each SWLSB school and campus 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 (Harkness Method) skills through experiential learning.

In the ASL 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?

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 ASL classroom 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.

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.

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.







ASLeaders begin to hone their skills early in their leadership journeys.

It is through supported and repeated efforts of taking risk, planning, preparing, team building, working through obstacles and failures in order to celebrate success.

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 the skills that are imperative for authentic people and leaders serving their teams by developing:

  • healthy life-long habits
  • mental toughness and resiliency
  • effective listening and communication skills
  • situational awareness
  • emotional intelligence
  • core values in life and business
  • beliefs system
  • integration of technology as outreach, engagement, and inclusion
  • confidence in a healthy self-esteem and world view
  • positive character traits and that are practiced as essential and necessary qualities of authentic leaders

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

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

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

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:

  • Sharing best practices about bully prevention with Japan through the Japanese national news network NHK (video).
  • Creating Tedx Youth Laval events.
  • ASLeaders collaborated with schools around the world to create a climate change document for the United Nations that was presented to the Canadian Senate in November 2012 and at the UN Climate Change Summit in Qatar, December 2012.
  • More examples and stories of incredible student led initiatives are available 'In The NEWS' section.

ASLeaders have the opportunity to participate in trips, adventures, service, and experiences that stretch their minds, push their bodies, and feed their souls.

Some of the trips that ASLeaders can experience are:

  • leadership development camps
  • local trips to connect with leaders
  • DISNEY Institute - Leadership courses in parks with Disney leaders
  • COSTA RICA journey to study biodiversity, environmental stewardship, and to participate in humanitarian service with our Bri Bri partners at Akberie school. Pura Vida!

All of our camping and adventurous journey experiences are meant to push the boundaries on personal leadership development, expand the understanding of teamwork, challenge minds on discovery, and to go outside of our comfort zones.

Our trips support the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award program.


ASLeaders interact with the following lessons at least three different times, in a variety of leadership learning environments throughout their leadership progression from grade 5 to graduation:

1) in theory

2) in planning and preparation

3) in practice

  • TEAM BUILDING - build trust, lead, work with diversity, be accountable, evaluate effort and outcomes, rebuild, grow relationships, foster effective followership.
  • COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY - seek people and information. Learn to listen effectively. Practice speaking clearly, passionately, and boldly. Be aware that body language speaks volumes. Write effectively. Use digital technology for outreach, engagement, and inclusion. Develop an understanding that actions drown out your words.
  • FOLLOWERSHIP - great leaders know how to follow and enable other leaders.
  • VOLUNTEERISM & MODEL THE WAY – Providing an example to follow - you are your own brand.
  • PLANNING & PREPARATION - 90% of the work.
  • EVALUATE - learn, record, and transmit in order to provide the keys for growth and future success.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY - seek responsibility and accept responsibility, be authentic.
  • PROBLEM SOLVING - rise to each challenge and prepare to adapt and overcome.
  • TIME MANAGEMENT - clearly defined priorities bring balance, balance, balance.
  • MEETINGS - effective meetings for effective outcomes.
  • SERVANT LEADERSHIP - enable success in others, "enable others to exceed beyond their limitations and by doing so you will exceed beyond your own".
  • AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP - earn the right to be heard and the trust to take meaningful action.
  • COORDINATION and COLLABORATION - section, team, group.
  • COLLECT and ANALYSE INFORMATION to THINK CRITICALLY - what do you need to know and how will you gain that information in order to improve - be willing to allow data and others to help you improve.
  • THE ART of DELEGATION and INCLUSION - enable the team through a balance of engaged strength and weaknesses. Celebrate each other's success.
  • CONFIDENCE BUILDING – turning a weakness into a strength; try, risk, and practice, practice, practice.
  • REWARD and RECOGNITION - celebrate and acknowledge.
  • CRUNCH + MANAGE THE NUMBERS - budgets, people, resources, allotment, data entry and analysis.
  • MENTAL TOUGHNESS and RESILIENCY - adapt and overcome, never quit.
  • BALANCE - practice time management, set boundaries, set priorities, fulfill responsibilities, rest and renew.
  • HEALTH and FITNESS - exercise and eat to enhance your body, mind, and soul.
  • FULFILLMENT - interests grow into passions that can become purpose.
  • CALCULATE RISK and COST BENEFIT - try, assess, and evaluate what could be gained or lost, work on the 'value added'.
  • SITUATIONAL AWARENESS - tune in to what is happening around you and include and adapt to meet rising and immediate needs (agility).
  • EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE - developing the maturity to know when to speak, listen and act appropriately.
  • TAKING INITIATIVE and RESPONSIBILITY - leaders move first with purpose because they are invested in their people and their people's outcomes.
  • ATTITUDE DETERMINES OUTCOMES - you are contagious.
  • UNDERSTANDING FAILURE - failure is fuel for future success.
  • DISCIPLINE - Self-Regulation and Self-Management - discipline opens up space and opportunity for growth and action, "an orderly desk is an orderly mind".
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP - use your tool kit to design, create, and establish a new business opportunity.
  • INGENUITY - think broadly and be creative.
  • CONFLICT RESOLUTION - the art of relationship navigation; individuals, teams and rebuilding.
  • PERSEVERANCE - working through adversity with sustained effort by identifying and overcoming roadblocks.
  • REST and RENEW- scheduling your 'me time' and breaks in order to remember and renew your 'why'.


Connect the Classroom


ASLeaders use skills and competencies learned in the classroom to SMARTE plan, enhance their communication skills by engaging in our bilingual community, incorporate technology, and enhance their understanding of course material through meaningful experiences.

Make learning, make sense.

Enhance Leadership Skills


ASLeaders are busy! Students work on teams that are aligned with their interests as they are learning how to plan, prepare, execute and evaluate.

ASLeaders manage their time, resources, talents, weaknesses, develop situational awareness, emotional intelligence, identify and overcoming challenges, analyze, evaluate, and adjust to enable others and generate success.

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

Take Action


Authentic leaders serve their people. ASLeaders use their talents, intrests, and tools to make a positive difference in their world.

ASLeaders apply their knowledge, and leadership skills toward achieving positive and meaningful outcomes for things that they are passionate about. ASLeaders are active and engaged in our world.

10% of a leader's work is dedicated to the action being produced. Initiatives, events and activities are the evidence of the work that has been completed

An Example of ASL In Motion

Hosting the CRC Robotics Competition in Quebec... twice.

The Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board hosted the Quebec provincial CRC Robotics Competition twice at the senior school in Laval in the span of five years, both times in February.

For three days, the senior school campus transformed one gym into an interactive kiosks nerve centre. The other became concert style seating around a boxing ring for the robots to preform their competition tasks.

3000 new people would be moving on and off site, school field trip visits would occur, a regular school day will transpire, VIPs, judges, and different stations need to be facilitated. Food, water, and bathrooms would need to be available. Guests would need to be able to quickly access different departments and the competition will need to follow its strict schedule.

During the second hosting experience we were able to have ASL alumni mentor the current team to enhance the progression of learning and to share their best practices.

Many of our lessons were being applied throughout this process.

ASLeaders learning leadership lessons in practical application:

November - January

  • Dissect the proposal and plan
  • Trouble shoot the rooms, hallways, allocations, and identify resources needed
  • Map the responsibilities and walk through in order to assess
  • Draft a SMARTE and identify departments needed and set the timeline
  • Evaluate SMARTE
  • Identify department heads and draft department SMARTEs
  • Distribute and delegate tasks
  • Identify solutions to needs and foster collaboration and creative thinking
  • Contingency plan
  • Review equipment, resources, space, and budget needed
  • Evaluate and rehearse the 'car door to car door' experience

January 6 - January 20

  • Recruit 100 volunteers and begin to align resources
  • Evaluate
  • Contingency rehearse
  • Train & rehearse

January 20 - 2 days prior to competition

  • Set the schedule
  • Test and rehearse the digital and internal communications systems
  • Disseminate information - communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Review and final critic of SMARTEs, rehearse and confirm to adjust and overcome

2 days final prep & competition (3 days, 14+ hours per day)

  • Manage 3 shift changes per day
  • Deliver a bilingual event with access for all
  • Adapt to rising needs and solve problems on the fly
  • Facilitate the guest's needs and productivity
  • Facility the host's needs
  • Adjust the plan and people as needed
  • Fulfill distribution of resources, food, and hardware as necessary
  • Detail management - garbage, breaks, attitudes, (mission, team, self)
  • Make safe - people, parking, equipment, movements
  • Coordinate access and delivery of food and drinks
  • Record, video, and photograph
  • Close the day, evaluate, and transfer responsibilities and information
  • Prepare in advance for shift changes and find replacements

Post Competition

  • Evaluate, review, and record
  • Celebrate & recognize

CTV Montreal news story of the CRC Competition during our first hosting experience.

"The leader is the one who,

out of the cutter, brings simplicity...

out of discord, harmony...

and out of difficulty, opportunity."

Albert Einstein