School board answers questions on personalized learning

Rossland Secondary School’s new personalized learning direction came into question at a recent school board mmeting

A misunderstanding seemed to arise during Monday’s school board meeting, when Rossland Secondary School’s new personalized learning direction came into question by teachers in the audience.

The concern was that the structure of personalized learning, part of which puts professionals in classroom settings, would take away from teachers’ teaching time and that there wasn’t any information going out to other parts of SD20 that this was happening at RSS.

Concerns arose from an emerging issue from the Neighbourhood of Learning committee referring to moving from a traditional timetable schedule to one that provides core courses in the morning and creative-based education in the afternoon.

“It’s an emerging issue and the board made a commitment in principle,” board chair Gordon Smith said. “I think what we’re doing is encouraging all the schools to explore options for funding as we go down this personalized learning journey.”

Superintendent Greg Luterbach said he attended a professional development day in late August talking about personalized learning with the entire teaching staff and support staff.

“This is on top of the conversation on Rossland Secondary’s staff,” he said.

“This has gone beyond that. The schools themselves met on a professional development day on Sept. 21 to discuss the context of this and moving forward, so this is not coming from left field to the staff at Rossland Secondary School.”

Principal Terry McDonnell wasn’t sure why there was confusion.

‘It’s nothing new. They (the teachers) were there,” McDonnell said.

“They were totally involved and they’re totally in favour.”

Bill Ford, director of instruction, agreed it wasn’t new.

“This conversation at RSS has been going on for a long time,” Ford said. “It started last year and it was actually driven by teaching staff.”