Kalamalka Secondary instructor Ian Busfield (left) and Grade 10 student Anna Rinn log in to ChatterHigh — a program utilized in the Canadian Council for Career Development’s recent career month competition. Kalamalka Secondary was crowned Most Informed School in Canada in the AAA division. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

Secondary school ranks first in national competition

A local high school’s work in post-secondary preparedness has garnered national recognition

A local high school’s work in post-secondary preparedness has garnered national recognition.

Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary was crowned Most Informed School in Canada in the AAA division, comprised of schools with populations of 500 to 999 students, in the Canadian Council for Career Development’s recent career month competition.

Hosted by ChatterHigh — a web-based learning tool designed to inform students about post-secondary opportunities — 115 of Kalamalka Secondary’s 506 students participated in the Canada’s Most Informed School Competition.

“I think it definitely contributed to the knowledge I have about the opportunities out there,” said Anna Rinn, a Grade 10 student who was involved with the program.

Students who participated took the 10 question quiz once per day, earning points for their school for each question answered and learning about both University and trades programs across Canada in the process.

“It was very balanced. All the schools that supplied questions are looking to make their institution more available to students,” said Ian Busfield, a Kalamalka Secondary teacher specializing in social studies and career education. “I like to think of it as a horse with blinders on — you take the blinders off and they can see what’s around them.”

The program also puts career opportunities in front of students earlier, giving them more time to plan for their future.

“A lot of the time, students don’t know how to access this information and this gives them the chance,” Busfield said. “It allows them to pre-plan up to two years earlier.”

Rinn agreed.

“It went well,” she said of the experience. “It was letting you see a whole bunch of opportunities.”

Vernon Secondary School also participated in the competition, ranking sixth in their division.

“Although it’s a competition per say, we (also) do this several times throughout the year. It was a perfect fit. We place a pretty high importance on having the kids prepared for post-Kal life,” Busfield said. “It’s about knowing that knowledge is power and for students to become empowered with that knowledge.”


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