Clearwater Secondary School principal Darren Coates (r) speaks to about 30 parents and students during a meeting held Feb. 8 to discuss the option of moving Grade 7 to the high school. Also listening is (centre) School District 73 superintendent Alison Sidow. Photo by Rhonda Kershaw

Clearwater Secondary School principal Darren Coates (r) speaks to about 30 parents and students during a meeting held Feb. 8 to discuss the option of moving Grade 7 to the high school. Also listening is (centre) School District 73 superintendent Alison Sidow. Photo by Rhonda Kershaw

SD73 gathers input on Grade 7 move

A final decision on whether to move Grade 7 classes to CSS will be made April 23

A final decision on whether to move Grade 7 classes in Clearwater, Barriere and Chase to the secondary schools in their respective communities will be made during a school board meeting to be held April 23.

In the meantime, School District 73 is moving ahead on a two-phase consultation plan to get feedback from the three communities.

Durng phase one, which is underway now, district staff, school principals and trustee representatives are providing educational information to parents and staff about the concept of the grade 7-12 model for rural secondary schools.

A meeting on the topic was held at Clearwater Secondary School on Feb. 8 and was led by CSS principal Darren Coates.

READ MORE: Meeting discusses extending grade levels at Vavenby School (Feb. 15, 2018)

At a recent school board meeting, Coates plus principals Dave McDonald from Chase Secondary and Paul Hambling from Barriere provided a proposal and review of what the grades 7-12 model could look like.

The principals provided highlights of the concept, which include enhanced student collaboration, access to specialty teachers, project based learning and increased student engagement with cross-grade collaboration opportunities.

The three visited Desert Sands Community School in Ashcroft, where there is a middle school within a secondary school configuration.

Examples of multi-grade schools in School District 73 include Logan Lake Secondary (grades 5-12), Kamloops School of the Arts (grades K-12), and Brocklehurst Middle School (grades 7-9).

Timetabling for rural secondary schools considering a grade 7-12 configuration would included core subjects on a linear timetable and electives offered on a semester system.

An online portal is being opened for a defined period of time, with paper copies available upon request, so that parents, staff and community members can seek further answers and provide feedback to the proposal.

A memo will be prepared for the March 12 school board meeting summarizing the results of this initial consultation effort.

Should the board decide there is sufficient interest from the public in continuing with the proposal, phase two would provide responses to questions, collate major themes from feedback and include in a second consultation meeting, along with questions from the floor.



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Darren Coates is principal of Clearwater Secondary School.

Darren Coates is principal of Clearwater Secondary School.