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Vernon school program proves popular

AIAO information session draws large crowd
A packed room of interested parents and students attend an information session on the Awaken Inquiry and Adventure Okanagan program at Fulton Monday, Jan. 29. (Jonathan Jones photo)

A large crowd of people turned out to show their interest and support for a Vernon school program in jeopardy of being cut.

The Awaken Inquiry and Adventure Okanagan (AIAO) program offered at Fulton Secondary was the topic at the school’s information session Monday, Jan. 29.

Current students and graduates of the program shared their experiences along with teachers to a full house.

“It was a packed room with standing room only,” said Jonathan Jones, whose daughter attends the program. “We had to bring in an extra 20 chairs on top of what was already setup and there were still lots of families standing. Must have been at least 80 parents.”

So many in fact, organizers ran out of application forms for the program.

The interest is a relief for those trying to save the program after parents were told this would be the last year.

READ MORE: Final year for Vernon alternative program at Fulton

Many rallied and met with the Vernon School District, which agreed to extend the program another year.

“This year should have been a celebration of the programs 10-year anniversary, its accomplishments and successes,” said Jones.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 22 (available at, but organizers would like to have them by Feb. 15 to ensure they are in the hands of the district in time.

“A number of parents have also launched a notice of appeal,” said Jones. “Focusing on the lack of engagement with parents, students and the community in the enrolment concerns and lack of promotion and education of District Programs of Choice. Our goal is to ensure the we have partnership with the district to ensure years of stability for the current students and teachers as well as future students in this program.”

A petition has also garnered close to 1,000 signatures as well.

READ MORE: Vernon alternative program hope still alive, more students needed

Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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