From learning on the land, skateboarding and Magic the Gathering; new courses at RSS

Teachers bring forward ideas based on student interest

The Revelstoke Secondary School is going to soon offer high school students a class in skateboarding. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)

The Revelstoke Secondary School is going to soon offer high school students a class in skateboarding. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)

Revelstoke Secondary School might have a class for everyone. So far this year, the local school board has approved three new courses for high school students.

The new Learning on the Land class aims to provide students with opportunities to expand their experiences with traditional and Indigenous knowledge.

Students go out onto the land with backcountry trips and be taught by elders and knowledge keepers in the Columbia Valley.

Staff said the class was developed because students said they wanted more education on the outdoors.

“Sometimes students don’t realize the power they have,” said Lisa Moore, staff.

READ MORE: Think outside the classroom: Revelstoke schools go outside to learn

Although Revelstoke is an outside recreationalist’s paradise, Moore said students can face barriers trying to access the land, such as costs, athletic ability and transportation.

“We want to make the environment around Revelstoke more accessible to students,” said Moore.

Another course to be offered next year is skateboarding.

“I raised my eyebrows about this course at first,” said Superintendent Mike Hooker at the Feb. 24 school board meeting.

Regardless, teacher Jeff Colvin overwhelmed him with information on why the class would be important. The course is based on another in Lethbridge and explores creativity, problem solving and persistence through skateboarding.

The class will look at the history, culture and progression of the sport, as well as maintenance of the board, tricks and even develop a business plan for new skateboarding companies.

Teacher Kai Boggild plans to expand his Strategic Analysis Through Games course to Grades 11 and 12. The class focuses on applied probability, strategic thinking, analysis and entrepreneurship through table-top games, such as Magic the Gathering.

“Games are just an avenue to explore things deeper,” said Boggild.

He said strategic games help with on-the-spot decision making, emphasize the importance of planning ahead and improving communication by requiring students to justify why certain strategies in board games are appropriate.

As a math teacher, Boggild said it’s not always about finding the right answer, but communicating the logic on why something might be right, which can be explored effectively through games.

Boggild said students were already interested in playing board games, so he decided to harness that interest and turn it into learning opportunities.

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