If you just heard a loud groan, mixed with a bit of excitement and hint of trepidation, it was the collective sigh of hundreds of Revelstoke youth as they prepare to go back to school.
The four Revelstoke schools open their doors to students on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and the big news for students, teachers and parents is the implementation of the new curriculum, which will be fully implemented from kindergarten to grade nine this year, and will begin to be rolled out from grade 10–12.
“It will be the biggest project we’re undertaking this year,” said Mike Hooker, the superintendent of the Revelstoke School District.
The new curriculum promotes learning how to think ahead of simple memorization of facts. It changes the way courses are taught and how students will learn and be graded.
One of the big challenges will be rolling it out from grades 10–12, where the new curriculum will impact graduation and entry to post-secondary schools.
“There’s a philosophical shift or discussion of what should students in grades 10-12 be demonstrating in their learning in order to be prepared for work that we don’t know what it looks like yet,” said Hooker. “The big curriculum change is to take out some of the requirements to plow through learning outcomes and specific bits of knowledge and allow for inquiry and deeper learning.”
Beyond that, there’s also been a wholesale change in staffing this year, with new principals at each elementary school. We asked the principals at each school and at the district office for an update on what else is new in Revelstoke schools this year.
Arrow Heights Elementary
By Rita Tedesco, Principal
Rita Tedesco returns to the Revelstoke School District from Vernon, where she’s spent the last decade as a teacher and vice-principal. Like all elementary schools, AHE is looking forward to the new curriculum and the exciting possibilities it presents for its kids. The summer months were busy at AHE, with much of the interior of the school being painted. It looks great! A new HVAC system is also in the process of being installed. We are excited to welcome the AHE community back to school for another great year of learning and fun.
Begbie View Elementary
By Todd Hicks, Principal
Todd Hicks is the new principal, moving over to BVE from Arrow Heights Elementary. Teachers continue to work on implementing the new curriculum, which emphasizes personalized learning. We are continuing to build on successful programs for student health and well being including the breakfast program and self regulation strategies. One division has been added to the school from last year.
Columbia Park Elementary
By Andy Pfeiffer, principal
The New Principal at CPE this year is Andy Pfeiffer, the long-time vice-principal of Revelstoke Secondary School. Summer-time was spent sprucing up the interior of classrooms with a fresh coat of paint and a brand new computer lab for students. CPE teachers continue to implement revised B.C. curriculum which places more emphasis on personalized learning along with continued focus on core subjects as well as integrating aboriginal perspectives across all subject areas.
Revelstoke Secondary School
By Gren Kenyon, Principal
Jodi Wallach is the new vice-principal, assuming the mantle from Andy Pfeiffer, who moved on to Columbia Park Elementary. The school will implement a revised grade 8/9 curriculum and prepare for a revised grade 10-12 graduation program that will be implemented in the near future. The school will welcome 20 new international students, including a Rotary exchange student, as well as the Revelstoke Grizzlies’ hockey players to our school.
By Ariel McDowell, district principal for aboriginal education
Do you know how to say “Hello” in the language of this area? In this day and age many of us travel to other countries, and out of respect we try to learn some basic phrases to use in the places we visit. Well, did you know that the first language of this area (Nsylxin) is alive and well?
Our school district was very proud to ratify our second Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement in May of 2016. The goals are designed to enhance the school experiences and successes of Aboriginal learners, and also to help non-Aboriginal students, parents and school staff understand and appreciate First Peoples’ history, local context, and contemporary contributions to Canada. So, let’s all start by learning hello – “Way’!” (sounds like ‘why’). Limlimpt (thank you!).
District Technology Programs
By Michael Haworth, district vice-principal for technology
— 29 teachers and administrators are now involved in the third year of the district mobile technology innovation project and are exploring uses of mobile technology to express their learning in personalized ways.
— K-12 students throughout the district are continuing to look at the new coding and computational thinking curriculum.
— There’s a new computer lab and new laptops for CPE students to support revised curriculum exploration.
— We updated the district network and software applications throughout the school district.