Fulton to host social justice academy

Students in Grade 7 to 9 will now have another option for their education, thanks to the Vernon Community School’s Social Justice Academy

Students in Grade 7 to 9 will now have another option for their education, thanks to the Vernon Community School’s Social Justice Academy.

At a recent district board meeting, trustees approved the academy on a one-year trial basis, with the school set to open in September 2014.

Fulton principal Ken Gatzke and teachers Kim Ondrik and Murray Sasges had recently made a presentation to the board at an in-camera meeting, but were present at the public meeting to answer questions and to ask for board approval.

The academy will be in place at Fulton with a minimum of 56 students and a maximum of 60, with no cost to the district. The program will use innovative ways of teaching students, while still following the B.C. curriculum.

Calling itself a place of mindful teaching and learning rooted in social justice, the academy will engage students in community projects, such as helping out at the Salvation Army Food Bank, or seniors’ centres.

“Our superintendent is encouraging us to innovate and our schools do a great job, but there are families looking at a different way of learning,” said Gatzke. “I’m willing to principal this at Fulton, as we have space for this at the school.”

Ondrik said the original plan was for the academy to be open to students beginning in Grade 6.

“But we are hoping to change it to Grade 7 to 9,” she said. “There were concerns around math, but we are hoping to work with VLearn and we’ll provide students with opportunities to use numeracy, as we want the kids to come out of our academy with really strong skills.”

The vision, she said, is to bring to the academy around 55 students from all over the district.

“And in doing innovative things we want to make sure we are respectful of other school’s work — we are very excited about this, but have been careful not to say too much until we get the go-ahead.”

District superintendent Joe Rogers will undertake an analysis of the academy for board review by January 2015.

“There are some concerns about kids leaving their home schools to go to Fulton, and there are concerns around mathematics, especially with algebra, but they will be partnering with VLearn for math, so it should be fine,” he said. “The big part is the class size, they need a big recruiting job to make sure there are enough students.”

Parents and students are invited to an information night Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at Vernon secondary school.

 

Just Posted

Vernon author shorlisted in B.C. historical writing competition

The BC Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded together with $2,500 to the author whose book makes the most significant contribution to the historical literature of British Columbia.

Lumby fire destroys five vehicles

Auto wrecker blaze believed to be accidental

New restaurant on The Rise in Vernon

Multi-million dollar project plans for a 30,000 square foot multi-amenity building with the restaurant and bar

A campaign encourages families to put down their phones and talk this Mother’s Day

OpenTable’s #DiningMode gets Okanagan restaurants on board with a no phone policy while dining

Vernon council will hold town-hall on downtown issues

Notice of motion on meeting put forward by councillor wins near unanimous approval

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

Most Read