What a busy and exciting time. Over the past couple of months the School District has been involved in conversations about expanding opportunities for students through examining the purpose and flexibility of our programs and facilities. The first conversation involved a re-visioning of our alternate program, with the driving question being, "Is it meeting the needs of the students?" This conversation was begun with staff, carried on with alternate students and re-visited with staff again. It has been a fascinating process, with all partners in the conversation pointing out that the program needs to be more flexible to permit students more choice. Not surprisingly, the students were particularly quick to present these suggestions. But how do we facilitate this choice? Once you start to peel at this, the layers run deep, and hence the next conversation.
Closely tied to the flexibility and choice of the alternate students is the structure of our high school timetable. Both of our high schools have different tumbling timetables which do not connect easily with the alternate program, other community services (such as NWCC), work experience, or other employment opportunities. To shed light on the timetable issue, Assistant Superintendent Mike McDiarmid invited the high schools and other partner groups to examine the possibilities that might arise from considering aligning the school timetable across the District and across other partner providers. Again, the potential service to students from this conversation is stunning. Stunning, but really not that new. We are hearing of and seeing similar initiatives happening across the province and in other jurisdictions, but now, as students truly become aware of the choices before them, we are getting far more deliberate about enhancing personalized learning.