When the board made their decision a couple of weeks ago regarding which school would be better suited to house a middle school and which a senior, I wasn’t taken off guard.
And I certainly was not surprised by the vocal outcries of opinions from parents, students and teachers.
However, even before the board released its initiatives supporting their decision to the public, I had done my own investigative research.
My thoughts were of the countless young pedestrian students (grades 7-9) that live in the neighbourhoods surrounding Columneetza.
I thought of its location to these neighbourhoods and how it created a sense of belonging to the masses.
As a parent, and a resident of these surrounding neighbourhoods, I thought how convenient it would be to have the surrounding neighbourhood kids’ walk to school, rather than taking a scheduled bus to Williams Lake Secondary.
In fact, most of the parents I have spoken to in my neighbourhood are in full support of the board’s decision.
As a teacher I thought of the countless vulnerable students, particularly the young ones, (grades 8 and 9), and how keeping these kids away from the distractions and temptations of the downtown proximity is critical.
Then I thought of the government’s new “personalized” learner’s initiative, and how kids in grades 7 to 9 be best engaged is by having them exposed to as many options as possible.
What better way to create a foundation of engagement than by having these young minds exposed to the state of the art facilities in the Columneetza shop,
The plan is to have students “hooked” by the variety of options and facilities offered by Columneetza.
It is my belief if a student is hooked (engaged) at a young age, whether it be fine arts, music, sports or particularly in the trades (as many young minds in Williams Lake realize), by the time they are in their senior years, having to travel to another facility to fulfill their requirements is a non-issue.
Any way you look at the recent decision one thing is clear, change is imminent. Changing of culture, belonging, leadership, team and student learning is certain. But, change for some, including myself, is not always easy.
It can be fearful, and full of uncertainties, and in some cases misconceptions prevail.
Teacher at Columneetza