Contributor: SD78 (Fraser-Cascade)
Adopt-A-School (Boston Bar)
As stated in a recent article in the Vancouver Sun (November 16, 2015): Boston Bar Elementary Secondary School may be the smallest school seeking help from this year’s Adopt-A-School campaign, but the 60-pupil elementary-secondary school has the biggest ambition. The $12,000 grant funding from Adopt-A-School has been used to refurbish the greenhouse and grow vegetables for a sustainable food source for families in the community. The outpouring of support for the project has been amazing with volunteers coming from as far away as Vancouver and Chilliwack. The greenhouse program is an integral part of the curriculum for students in K to 12 at Boston Bar Elementary Secondary School. Beginning in January 2016, students will benefit from receiving instruction twice a week from UFV Agriculture students through connected classrooms. The focus will be on planning for the planting of future crops.
ACE and TREC Alternate Schools
Fraser-Cascade Alternate Schools are seeking programs which actively engage students, while providing process-driven authentic learning opportunities. Students at the Agassiz Centre for Education (ACE), have created, produced and marketed their own BBQ sauce which is so good that ACE’s own burgers were recently voted the best in the town of Agassiz. Students are involved in the entire process, and learn valuable real-life skills such as Food Safe, marketing and budgeting. All the proceeds are returned to the school to support student events. Recently the students were able to use funds earned to visit Victoria with a special stop to see their school administrator graduate with her Master of Arts Degree from Royal Roads University. Students report that these real-life experiences have had an impact on how they view their own futures. They now believe that attending post-secondary school or starting their own business are achievable future goals.
Two Rivers Education Centre (TREC), located in Hope, is also focussed on real and authentic tasks to drive engagement. At TREC, many students participate in an Indigenous Craft and Trades program, where students learn the foundational skills of carpentry through culturally relevant opportunities.
Hope Secondary and Agassiz Elementary Secondary
Secondary programs in Fraser-Cascade have developed spaces that invite students to learn and interact. The libraries at both Hope Secondary and Agassiz Elementary Secondary have become “learning commons spaces” where like-minded students can meet and share similar interests. Whether it is a group of “Gamers” meeting in the library at HSS to share tips and design new games, or some students working on a group project in the “coffee house” environment in the library at AESS, both spaces have flexible furniture and space to accommodate different learning opportunities as they arise. Combining flexible spaces with encouraging and passionate teachers interested in working with students has resulted in the development of unique student-designed projects. An example of this is Hope Secondary’s Time Lapse Film Project that turned a whole office into a camera with a student constructed pinhole shutter. By exposing different film media and using a variety of development techniques, students were able to produce an art mural which comments on perspective and time flow. Meanwhile, in their robotics classes, AESS students have learned about the precision programming to have robots complete a variety of functions, from a simulated grocery trip to moving around obstacles on a map. Having mastered the robotics skills, the students are now engaged in the task of building a 3D printer, which involves much the same programming as a Robot, but at a more complex level.