Vernon Community School teachers Murray Sasges and Kim Ondrik welcome students and parents to an information evening Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at Vernon secondary school to learn more about VCC and other specialized programs offered by the Vernon School District.

Vernon Community School teachers Murray Sasges and Kim Ondrik welcome students and parents to an information evening Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at Vernon secondary school to learn more about VCC and other specialized programs offered by the Vernon School District.

District offers options to students

The Vernon School District hosts an information evening Jan. 14 for parents and their kids to explore the academies and specialized programs

For students who are looking for something a little different in their education, the Vernon School District offers a wide variety of alternative programs.

Tonight, parents and students, including home-schooled and independent school students, are invited to Vernon secondary school to learn more about the specialized learning opportunities in the district.

One of the presentations will be from teachers Murray Sasges and Kim Ondruik with the Vernon Community School, based out of Fulton secondary.

VCS is an inquiry based learning environment that helps kids pursue their talents and passions as well as encourage them to learn through project-based community projects.

The multi-aged school is geared to students in Grades 7 to 9 and is personalized and inclusive of all learners’ styles, personalities, interests, strengths and needs.

“There is nothing more satisfying than seeing my 13-year- old son leap out of bed at 6:30 a.m., excited to get to school,” said Jayme McKillop, whose son Cyrus attends the school.  “He is taking more pride in his work and finding out so much about himself and the way he learns best.

“He is engaged and shows more compassion and kindness, due to the opportunities that the Vernon Community School is providing for him.”

Offered at no extra charge, the program is in its first year of offering students an alternative to the traditional classroom, while still following the B.C. curriculum. It began in September with 57 students, including Dannon MacKay.

“I love that when you want to learn about something you can always find a mentor to come in and teach you about it,” she said. “I like that it is project-based so we do inquiries on things that interest us.”

The information evening is tonight at 7 p.m. in the Vernon secondary school gym. The evening will begin with an introduction by superintendent Joe Rogers followed by breakout sessions with short presentations by each group. Parents and students will be able to get more information at those sessions or by picking up a brochure from the program presenter. Each session will run twice and room locations will be posted.

In addition to VCC, the following programs will be highlighted: vLearn for kindergarten to Grade 12; Earthquest Academy for Grades 11 and 12; Baseball Academy for Grades 8 to 12; RCMP Youth Academy for Grades 11 and 12; Forestry, Grades 11 and 12; High Performers Programs, Grades 8 to 12; Montessori, Grades 1 to 6; Snowsports Academy, Grades 8 to 12; Hockey Academy, Grades 8 to 12; Students without Borders Academy, Grades 11 to 12; Soccer Academy, Grades 8 to 12; Late French Immersion Grades 6 and 7; Apprenticeship Programs, Grades 10 to 12.

Applications for specialized programs begins Thursday at 9 a.m., and specifics for the application process will be provided at the information evening.