The Off the Grid program is only in its first year of operation, but the unique learning opportunity for Grade 9 students at Tommy Douglas Collegiate has already made a big impression.
The Celebrating Excellence portion of the Dec. 12 Board of Education meeting saw students and staff share the experience of being part of the program's initial class.
Teacher Mike Prebble and students Ethan Done and Hasan Kazmi told trustees the program teaches leadership, responsibility and taking action about something you're passionate about. Students in the program are working toward the goal of making Tommy Douglas a more energy efficient building and have implemented a number of eco-conscious project in the school.
Off the Grid is a half-day, full-year learning experience for students who are interested in learning about, and exploring innovations in, topics such as climate change, sustainable living and social justice.
Other highlights of the meeting included:
- Results of a recent student perceptions survey indicate that 64 per cent of the Grade 7-12 students who completed the survey feel confident in their academic skills and highly challenged in their learning. That compares to a national average of 52 per cent. The survey is a measure of student engagement and provides a wide variety of indicators — including interest and motivation, formative assessment, and intellectual engagement. The results play an important role in informing school-level decision making and teacher instruction.
- The board heard about the work being done by school-based teams to support elementary school students. Teams include school staff along with specialized professionals such as speech language pathologists, counsellors and psychologists. They meet monthly to discuss particular student needs and collaborate to determine interventions. The ultimate goal is to improve student learning so students can reach their potential.
Reports and information presented at board meetings can be found at www.saskatoonpublicschools.ca. The next meeting of the Board of Education is Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.