School principal Jennifer Adamson and soon-to-be grade three student Jayden Cooley-Taron show off their matching Ucluelet Elementary School tees.

School starts up in Tofino and Ucluelet

"Families will be very much involved with the learning process," Tofino's school principal Drew Ryan told the Westerly News.

NORA O’MALLEY

nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

 

Even after nine full years at the helm, Ucluelet Elementary School principal Jennifer Adamson’s enthusiasm for her job hasn’t faded.

In preparation for the upcoming scholastic year, the passionate educator has commissioned several home improvements to her little person campus. The bathrooms have been retiled, there’s a brand new water-fountain, the antiquated security system has been replaced, and the StrongStart program has moved to the other end of the hall to classroom 136.

“Parents can zip around to the undercover area and leave their strollers there,” Adamson said. “The new space is also closer to the washrooms and the gym.”

In terms of course curriculum, she told the Westerly that more students will have access to French next year, a partnership with Ucluelet Aquarium has been renewed for oceanography, and students can expect more “place based” learning in their Nuu-chah-nulth studies.

“The kids will be out on the land with our Nuu-chah-nulth education worker and elders when we can get them. They’ll have whatever is seasonally appropriate. In the spring and fall it’s going to be berry picking and looking at the salmon run and learning the Nuu-chah-nulth words and the culture for that place,” she said.

“Every class will have one field trip per month is my vision. That will take the place of weekly in class language lessons. I think it will be more meaningful and more engaging; they’ll actually have salmon in their hands. I think it will sink in deeper as they’ll be using all their senses.”

Adamson said that parents can also expect to receive regular updates about their young scholars via text, email or by following their instructors blog.

Wickaninnish Community School principal Drew Ryan reinforced the refreshed teacher-parent reporting program, stating that “snapshots of learning” will be generated on a weekly, monthly or even daily basis, depending on the comfort zone of the teacher.

“It’s going to be as instant as possible,” he said. “It’s a nice way to connect quickly and in a meaningful way. Families will be very much involved with the learning process.”

Students at WCS can also look forward to making good use out of two new roving laptop carts stacked with 30 laptops a piece.

As the long summer days wane and the school calendar returns, both Adamson and Ryan encouraged parents to get their children back into a healthy sleeping routine. 

“Sleep is the most important thing. Start with those sleep routines early and get into the reading before bedtime if they haven’t been doing that. That’s one of our routines. Kids should always be reading half an hour before bed or in the evening,” said Adamson.

The principal said going to sleep before 9 p.m. or at 9 p.m. is best.