New programs on track for Cowichan school district

Portable donation by district in final stages

The Cowichan Valley school district has been working towards donating a portable classroom to the Cowichan Green Community.

What was needed was to create an agreement for sale, put in place a timeline for the move and review ground remediation under and around the unit before completion of the sale.

Secretary Treasurer Bob Harper gave an update at the Nov. 5 board meeting.

"My understanding is that the Green Community is doing their final permit application with the municipality to be able to move that. It is ongoing," he said.

Students get hands-on with Try a Trade program

Assistant Superintendent Sheryl Koers reported on an initiative, Try a Trade, which is coming to fruition.

It’s going to happen at Cowichan Secondary where two teachers are setting it up, she explained.

"They are extremely excited.

They are using the first term with their Introduction to Trades students to build the different stations and then in second term each of our Grade 7 classes will come to Cow High either for two full mornings or two full afternoons and they will go to the stations.

"They will have an opportunity to do some actual framing, to do some real drywalling, to do a bit of mudding, a bit of painting, install a sink, do some plumbing and also do some electrical work," she said.

And with iPads integrated into the program they will be able to create short films about their projects.

"The two teachers at Cow High are extremely excited about it and we are too, to be able to offer that to our Grade 7s," Koers said.

Trail development program on its way The second semester of the school year will see an exciting new program for a group of First Nations students.

"We’ve been trying for several years to put together with Larry McIntosh a program called the Sansum Narrows Story Trails, using some of our aboriginal students to develop trails through the Sansum Narrows area, which is a very sacred aboriginal area," Schools Superintendent Joe Rhodes said.

"It looks like it’s coming to fruition in the second semester. We’ll have up to 15 students who will be working on trade skills while they work on trail development and an increased understanding of the stories of Sansum Narrows. That’s kind of a neat exciting idea."

Kelsey student named to provincial committee

The province has formed a student advisory committee around the Erase Bullying strategies and a Frances Kelsey’s Wynn Rederberg, a Grade 10 student who’s on the district student advisory council, has been selected to be a representative, according to Schools Superintendent Joe Rhodes.

"We will have provincial student representation on that committee. She’s actually left today for the first meeting and will be reporting to DSAC next week," he said at the Nov. 5 board meeting.

Partnership brings in law/criminology class

There are a couple of curriculum initiatives beginning to surface as the Cowichan Valley school district works with Vancouver Island University.

"In conjunction with VIU and two of our social studies teachers, we’re going to do a joint VIU law/criminology class in the second semester so they will work together in terms of providing curriculum that will provide the students with dual credit," Schools Superintendent Joe Rhodes said.

District begins work on sexual identity policy

Now that the school district is back to full function following the late start up, it’s time to address a modern issue, according to Schools Superintendent Joe Rhodes.

"Now that we have everyone available, we are trying to establish a time to bring the partner groups together to begin to work on the procedures for the sexual orientation/sexual identity policy.

"We haven’t fixed a date yet but we certainly have had people enquiring so we’ve decided to move forward on that."

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