Kids are headed back to Rossland Summit School (RSS) on Tuesday and this year they can expect things to be a little different, with a new principal and a new curriculum.
Patrick Kinghorn is the new principal at RSS, and he’s excited for the new school year, and the new curriculum for grades kindergarden to grade 9. He’s joining vice-principal Bud Gregory and the rest of the RSS staff to implement the curriculum, which is still optional this year.
The new curriculum, which will be implemented province-wide next fall, still emphasizes literacy and numeracy—or reading, writing, and arithmetic—but also introduces the “core competencies” of communication, thinking, and personal and social competency.
It also focuses on the idea of flexible learning environments, leaving room for teachers and students to decided how lessons should be taught.
That’s something Kinghorn and Gregory are very excited about.
“The focus is more voice and choice,” said Gregory. “Kids will have more voice and choice in their education.”
“There are fewer learning outcomes,” said Kinghorne, “which means it also gives teaching professionals the opportunity for more voice and choice in how they deliver curriculum…. It’s less prescriptive, so that’s an exciting thing too.”
Because RSS used to be a high school, a lot of its infrastructure is set up for high school programs.
“We have an amazing facility here: we have a wood shop, we have an art facility, we have a big foods room, and a music room,” said Gregory.
Most elementary-school-aged students don’t have access to a foods or music room, but student at RSS do, making it an interesting testing ground for the new curriculum.
Something else that’s new this year is a grade 2 to 5 classroom. Parents were invited to sign their children up for the program last year.
But most importantly, teachers aren’t starting the year on strike.
“We’re really excited to start the year on time,” said Kinghorne. “Get kids in the classes and start the learning.”