Tran­si­tion plans de­signed to help stu­dents ad­just to new school set­ting

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS - Ge­orge Bowditch

Atran­si­tion plan is well un­der­way to en­sure stu­dents from Morse School have an eas­ier ad­just­ment to their new school set­ting fol­low­ing the pro­vin­cial gover­ment’s re­jec­tion of the com­mu­nity’s School of Op­por­tu­nity re­quest.

Lee Cum­mins, Su­per­in­ten­dent of Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion for the Chi­nook School Divi­sion, up­dated the school board of the tran­si­tion plans which kicked in shortly af­ter the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion back on May 15.

“I think it was an hour and 10 min­utes be­fore we had some ad­di­tional coun­sel­lors in Morse. We didn’t know the an­nounce­ment was com­ing that day so we would be­lieve that an hour and ten min­utes is a pretty quick re­sponse,” Cum­mings said at the Chi­nook School Divi­sion board meet­ing on Mon­day.

Cum­mins says that they are very aware of emo­tional stress that the Morse School clo­sure would cause and they are keep­ing in close con­tact to en­sure that all stu­dents get the coun­selling they want.

“Cer­tainly it is an emo­tional time and we have upped the amount of coun­selling ser­vices at Morse School on a weekly ba­sis. From time to time I talk with the coun­sel­lors and the youth work­ers about whether or not things are go­ing well in Morse, and they know that at any point in time they can iden­tify with me that we are hav­ing more kids that want to see us than what we have time to see.”

To make the tran­si­tion eas­ier, Cum­mins ex­plained that they are work­ing right in the class­rooms to en­sure that the stu­dents get what they need without hav­ing to search for it.

“They are work­ing right in the class­room be­cause some­times it is not a mat­ter of an in­di­vid­ual want­ing to come to them so they are work­ing through some of the tran­si­tion book­lets with the class­room teacher.”

The tran­si­tion book­lets help both the stu­dents pre­pare and the teach­ers at the school where the stu­dent will be go­ing to pre­pare, which is very im­por­tant ac­cord­ing to Cum­mins.

“The tran­si­tion book­lets are a chance for them to write down what they like about school and what they feel is chal­leng­ing about school and what their favourite sub­ject is and so it is try­ing to do ex­actly that; tran­si­tion them to the next spot.”

“The no­tion would be that those tran­si­tion book­lets would go to the next school with them. There is also a tran­si­tion book­lets that the par­ents and the kids would work through to­gether for each one of the kids. It tends to be that the high school kids aren’t too keen about that, but the ele­men­tary and some­times the mid­dle years stu­dents would.”

The staff at the new school, would now have a chance to pre­pare for the ar­rival of the stu­dents.

“The tran­si­tion to the next school that those book­lets would give them an idea of what kinds of things th­ese stu­dents are in­ter­ested in so it helps them get a lit­tle bit of a head start of on who is com­ing to their class­room.”

The tran­si­tion book­lets will give the Morse stu­dents a chance to ask all the ques­tions they want about the new school and any­thing else they may want.

“A school clo­sure is a very emo­tional time in small com­mu­ni­ties and it is also an op­por­tu­nity for the kids to work through in the class­room and with their par­ents if they work through the book­let if they have cho­sen to. To ask all those ques­tions.”

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