Transition plans designed to help students adjust to new school setting
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.”