The Ridge Meadows School District has received an award for innovation in education, for a new summer school designed to give at-risk student a new outlook for September.
The award acknowledged a team of eight teachers, led by Tom Levesque, who reinvented the district’s summer school program to help it better connect with high-risk learners.
The teachers put together a program designed to build resiliency in students over the course of just 20 summer days.
Some 149 students in Grades 8 and 9 took part in the unique course. They came from one of the six high schools in the district, and had not completed one or more of their core academic courses.
The program was called Summer Learning Gets REAL – for resilient, engaged, active learning.
Each day the kids met with a teacher, were advised and planned their day, based on their own interests and skills. Among their choices were sports like basketball, art classes, cooking, woodworking and survival field trips.
The students who took it built relationships with community members, promoted citizenship, sparked individual learning and promoted problem solving and critical thinking.
The Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning is offered to recognize and publicize innovative work that is sustainable, and has the potential of being taken up by others. The award was established after a contribution by its namesake, and is offered by the Canadian Education Association.