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School district looks to set up annual meeting with Education minister to discuss "challenges"

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
December 9th, 2010

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

The school district is looking to set up an annual meeting with the Province’s Education minister as a way to get their voice heard on the challenges they face, says the superintendent of schools.

Jeff Jones said an annual meeting would give School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) an opportunity to ensure the Education minister not only knew what the challenges were, but their context as well.

He felt there were some “really good” stories evolving about the way SD8 was working with children and youth, and the minister needed to know about them.

“We recognize there has been significant political change at that level and we need to make sure they understand … it’s around facilities,” he said, and to get a better sense of the political landscape that is Education in BC.

As well, SD8 would use the opportunity to push forward the application for a rebuild at Trafalgar Junior High School.

What the school district is doing now to understand how the needs of today’s students are different than what has been attended to revolves around a change in attitude towards education, said Jones.

“We recognize that schools and school systems are largely designed around an industrial model, and yet we are working with children and youth that are 21st Century citizens,” he said. “They are people who, quite literally, think and act and interact quite differently than, say, the adults of today did.”

The school district is trying to set out structures in the district so they become responsive to the next generation of learners, said Jones.

Using Crawford Bay School as a model, it is a small school (kindergarten to Grade 12), but students are self designing much of their program in consultation with the teachers and faculty of school, and that includes a component where they are working with experts and people from the community to help them as learners.

“We are striving to ensure we understand how children think, how their brains are working, what the physiology of learning is, and how we need to organize our space and our people differently to attend to what we know about our next generation of learners,” said Jones.

Trafalgar is still awaiting approval for funding, he confirmed, on a Kindergarten to Grade 8 space to be built beside the existing school.



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