Changes planned for high school

If you have an opinion on how best to structure grades and classes at Salmon Arm Secondary, there’s still a little time left to express it

Rob MacAulay, Sullivan Campus Principal

Rob MacAulay, Sullivan Campus Principal

If you have an opinion on how best to structure grades and classes at Salmon Arm Secondary, there’s still a little time left to express it.

Because the scheduling system for the two-campus school is not working, a process is underway to determine how best to restructure the school.

If you go to the Salmon Arm Secondary website at www.sass.sd83.bc.ca, you’ll see a video called ‘SAS Planning’ that describes the process. Then, to learn more about the direction of SAS and to express your views, go to http://bit.ly/SASPlanning.

Input will be received on the website until the end of the month.

Sullivan campus principal Rob Mac-Aulay and Jackson campus principal Reid Findlay explained at a meeting on Nov. 5 that while SAS may boast many positive traits, the scheduling system is not one of them.

They said that at most schools, students pick courses and they’re entered into a computer system which plugs courses into a timetable. At SAS, counsellors spend months entering students into courses with a schedule built by hand.

That means blocks can’t be moved to reschedule so, if there are conflicts, students can end up with courses they didn’t select.

“The scheduling system is broken,” Mac-Aulay said.

At the meeting three options were presented: 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 and 3) a ‘double block’ model.

Due to lack of support for the non-travelling model, just two options are now being considered.

The junior/senior model sees almost all grades nine and 10 students at Jackson and grades 11 and 12 at Sullivan.

Double block incorporates one class in the morning and one in the afternoon, with classes meeting every second day. Students in grades nine to 12 would be at each campus.

The number of students per grade at each campus and the amount of travelling could be configured as desired.

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 discussed the issue and, since then, parent and student input is being sought.

As well as the online input, school district staff have been meeting with students this month including class reps at the Jackson campus, the Student Leadership Class at Sullivan and other representatives, including the Aboriginal Education co-ordinators.

 

Salmon Arm Observer

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