Innovative partnership begins at Skyline Offsite Alternate School

The world of education is changing and students at Skyline Offsite Alternate School in Williams Lake will benefit.

  • Oct. 21, 2015 12:00 p.m.

The world of education is changing and students at Skyline Offsite Alternate School in Williams Lake will benefit from innovative concepts being put into practice by teachers and administrators.

The program will guide students through culturally relevant project-based learning, encourage First Nations elder and community involvement, and make cultural activities a significant and integrated part of work and curriculum in high school with a goal of creating culturally empowered graduates ready for post-secondary or community leadership experiences.

The project at Skyline Offsite Alternate School is one of the first 17 projects that will receive support under K-12 Innovation Partnership projects.

“We are aiming to keep more students connected to school,” School District 27 superintendent and CEO Mark Thiessen said. “Skyline Alternate School is doing this by developing a program that will holistically weave First Nations culture and traditions into existing provincially recognized courses to nurture a sense of belonging in at-risk students. The program will guide students through culturally relevant project-based learning, encourage First Nations elder and community involvement, and make cultural activities a significant and an integrated part of the daily curriculum.”

The K-12 Innovation Partnership gives public and independent schools the opportunity — and support — to explore new programs and practices to help students and teachers succeed. The selected projects complement the new K-12 curriculum being phased in over the next three years and focus on:

• enhanced hands-on, project-based learning

• supports for vulnerable and/or at-risk students

• Aboriginal learning

• science and technology

• reporting and assessment practices.

The 17 projects from throughout the province were selected by the Innovation Partnership Working Group (IPWG), a collaboration of education partners including the BC Teachers’ Federation, BC Schools Superintendents Association, BC Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association, the Federation of Independent School Associations of BC and the Ministry of Education.

Each project will receive $8,000 in financial support for teacher release time, research, and project expenses, plus there will be opportunities for project teams to collaborate with colleagues and explore how these innovative concepts could be adopted by other school districts.

A second intake for the Innovation Partnership will be announced later this fall, and schools are encouraged to continue to submit proposals for consideration.

Williams Lake Tribune