Change is on the horizon for Salmon Arm Secondary – and input is wanted.
Sullivan campus principal Rob MacAulay and Jackson campus principal Reid Findlay explained at a meeting Nov. 5 which focused on how to structure the two-campus school, that while SAS may boast many positive traits, one thing isn’t working. Its scheduling system.
At most schools, they said, students pick courses and they’re entered into a computer system which plugs courses into a timetable. At SAS, the system doesn’t accommodate the two campuses, so counsellors spend months entering students into courses with a schedule built by hand, limiting flexibility.
“The scheduling system is broken,” they said.
The principals explained that a process began in January and will conclude in December about how best to structure the school for student success. During the first 10 months, teachers and the school planning committee have discussed the issue, and now parent and student input is being sought.
“We want the community to think about and talk about our options,” Findlay said.
Three options were presented Tuesday night: 1) a ‘non-travelling’ model, where students from grades nine to 12 are at each campus and students are attached to a campus for the entire year; 2) a junior/senior model, where almost all Grade 9 and 10 students are at Jackson and almost all Grade 11 and 12 students are at Sullivan; 3) a ‘double block’ model, where students in grades nine to 12 are at each campus and students have one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon.
They explained the options have been looked at through different ‘lenses,’ to see how they would affect aspects of learning and the school culture.
“We’re not here to try to sell you one model, all have strengths and weaknesses,” Findlay said.