At the monthly Prince Rupert School District school board meeting held earlier this week, Charles Hays Secondary School Vice-Principal Mike Russell and grade nine students from the Modern Education class made a presentation to the board on the successes of the pilot-course.
The Modern Education course consists of project-based learning that addresses the grade 9 curriculum for humanities, art and science. Based partially in the community and partially in the school, the program focuses on a common theme of urban decay, urban renewal. There have been many guest contributors for the course, who have been guest speakers, created games for the students to participate in, and been mentors, etc.
“[The course has been supported] really well by the community. In fact, the community has been really excited to take part. We haven’t really had anyone say they weren’t interested in participating in this,” said CHSS Principal Sandy Jones earlier last week, during the final Annual Budget Consultation meeting, where the course was brought up.
“We’re attempting to have students work in the community more, working with mentors from basically every aspect of the community in an attempt to get students to take ownership and want to have some say in the direction their education is taking,” explained Russell at the same meeting.
Grade nine students Paul Cavin, Eva Rutherford and Morgan Weir attended the monthly board meeting, and had enthusiastic comments about the course. Paul Cavin said that the course made him excited to go to school in the morning, with classmate Eva Rutherford echoing similar thoughts.
“I was the first child of my mother’s to come home and say school is fun,” she shared.
Student Morgan Weir said the course helped her learn a lot of important lessons, such as job interviewing skills and how to introduce oneself to an employer.
With all the positive reviews coming from students, parents and staff, it is the hopes of the administration staff at CHSS to expand the course next school year, offering the course to two grade nine classes, as well a grade ten class.
The pilot-course was one of the 27-projects suggested for next school years budget.
In terms of cost, the course would require $60,000 to grow next school Year. $35,000 of that number would be to provide a laptop for each student taking the course, a price that would cover the two newly added classes. The remaining funds would be for collaborative time for teachers, and would support the incidentals, travel, etc.