Schools superintendent strikes committee to help implement new secondary school model

A new community committee is starting this week to work out details on the new secondary school model for Williams Lake.

School District 27 Superintendent Mark Thiessen is facilitating a new District Implementation Committee starting this week to help with implementing the new one school two campus secondary school in Williams Lake.

“This committee will include administrators, teachers, support staff, and parents,” Thiessen says. “The committee will be working together on some foundational elements for the new secondary school in Williams Lake.”

He says initial discussions will include:

• What the Grade 7 program will look like (elementary, middle school, or secondary school model?).

• Grades 8-9 program (middle school or secondary school model).

• Graduation program.

• Timetable options.

School trustees recently confirmed plans to make Williams Lake and Columneetza secondary schools into one grades 7 to 12 secondary school operated on two campuses. Columneetza would become the predominantly grades 7 to 9 campus and WLSS would become the predominantly grades 10 to 12 campus.

He says the district is currently advertising for a principal to oversee the two campuses and the plan is to have two vice-principals working at each campus.

At this point, he says it has not been decided if all of the vice-principals will be full-time administrators or if they will also have a teaching load.

“While it’s true that we will have more administrators in the secondary schools than we have presently, we will also have 230 more students than we have now as the Grade 7 students become part of the high school system,” Thiessen says.

At various times in the past when enrolment numbers warranted it, he says both Columneetza and WLSS have each had one principal and two-vice-principals.

“As enrolment has declined at the two schools, administration time has also declined. With 230 more students and a major transition happening next year, it’s reasonable to look at a total staff of five administrators overseeing 1,500 students located at two campuses.”

At this point, Thiessen says the district is not looking to hire an external consultant  to help with the transition as proposed previously.

“The idea was not just that this consultant would be helping with course planning but would be helping with the entire transition planning” Thiessen says. “We have chosen instead to hire the principal for the new (secondary) school and have the principal begin their assignment at the beginning of April.  The new principal and district staff will then be working together to facilitate the transition process.”

He says it is also possible that some extra administration time will be needed at other schools in the district during the transition phase.

Overall, however, he says administrative costs will be going down in the district with the closure and reconfiguration of schools in the district.

In Williams Lake the transition will also include the closure of Glendale and Kwaleen elementary schools at the end of this school year.

Students from those schools have been reassigned to Cataline, Nesika and Chilcotin Road elementary schools, but school of choice provisions will also play a part in the transition.

Thiessen says the district is also working with teachers and support staff to come up with a plan for the transition, which in addition to accommodating the transition from a seven to 12 one school on two campuses, needs to address the closure of Kwaleen and Glendale elementary schools in Williams Lake. Nesika, Cataline and Chilcotin Road elementary schools are expected to take the majority of students in the schools that are closing, but school of choice provisions will also play a role in the transition.

“The district is presently in Section 54 negotiations with both teachers and support staff,” Thiessen says. “Because this is an unusual year with many employees being displaced, it’s possible that we are able to come to agreements with our unions that would see different processes in place for this year only.  As we are in the middle of these negotiations, I can’t yet comment further on what the processes might look like.”





Just Posted

Bella Coola Valley. (Scott Carrier photo)
Nuxalk Nation closes recreation, sports fisheries at Bella Coola due to COVID-19 concerns

Nobody is supposed to be travelling, said marine use manager Peter Siwallace

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

A Cariboo Regional District director and School District 27 trustee, Angie Delainey is also a fourth generation business owner in downtown Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Angie Delainey appointed Cariboo Regional District representative on regional board

Delainey and Steve Forseth represent the CRD at the North Central Local Government Association

Pauline Schmutz, 75, receives her COVID-19 vaccine from public health nurse Donna McKenzie on Tuesday, April 13 at the community clinic at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Additional COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled for Horsefly, Big Lake

Anyone 18 and over who has not received a vaccine yet is encouraged to register

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Industrial park slated for Watch Lake Road

Building company Omnitek to start building new plant on 32-acre site

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Most Read