For some, the new year truly begins in September, with the return to school. And it’s that time of year again.
Students, teachers and staff get the academic autumn underway Tuesday, Sept. 6, across B.C. and in School Districts 5 and 6.
Enrolment is expected to be up province-wide for the second year running. Early forecasts show a B.C.-wide student population of about 529,000 students, an increase of 2,900 from last year.
School District 5 Superintendent Lynn Hauptman says the official numbers aren’t in yet, for School District 5, and they won’t likely be known until next week, once events are well underway.
But Hauptman said she is optimistic an increase in student numbers in School District 5 will be the case this year, just as it was last year. She said last year’s “unexpected bump” was a pleasant surprise. The government is closely auditing student numbers around the province, she said, and an increase in population means increase in funding to districts.
2016-17 also marks the first full year of the revised curriculum, in place up to Grade 9, with a test year for changes in the senior grades. This year marks the new “draft year” of the revised curriculum, Hauptman said, following last year’s “optional” year.
Education Minister Mike Bernier has said the new emphasis on collaboration and communication skills does not mean a watering down of the basic skills, and is designed to improve students’ ability to work at modern jobs.
Hauptman says the re-designed curriculum “gives teachers and students the option to go deeper into concepts, and areas of passion, rather than just skimming the surface of the information.”
In School District 5, all elementary schools will be in session from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Also running from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. are Sparwood Secondary, Fernie Secondary and Jaffray Elementary Junior Secondary.
In Cranbrook, Mount Baker Secondary School and the two middle schools are as follows:
Mount Baker Secondary School
Grade 10 – 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Grade 11 & 12 – 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Kootenay Educational Services runs 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Parkland Middle School
Grade 7 – 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Grade 8 & 9 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Laurie Middle School
Grade 7 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Grade 8 & 9 – 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.