7 / 8 PROGRAMMING IN A 7-12 SCHOOL SETTING
The Algoma District School Board 7/8 Intermediate program has continued to thrive and now has multiple Grade 7 and 8 classrooms in each of four 7-12 schools including CASS, Korah, Superior Heights and White Pines.
Vice Principals from each of the schools shared highlights from ADSB’s Intermediate program at the March 10, 2015 Board Meeting. Trustees heard about the academic, extra-curricular, leadership, reach ahead credits and transition opportunities and benefits of the program.
This year all 7/8 programs participated in a project with ABLE in which ProScopes were used by students to enhance their experience in the science classroom. (ProScopes are digital, handheld microscopes). The Trustees also heard about how the programs were taking advantage of other specialized classrooms in their schools for delivering subjects such as art, music, foods and technology.
Leadership opportunities are plentiful in an Intermediate program. Grade 7/8 students sit on various clubs and committees to represent intermediate student interests, from fundraising committees to school spirit days and environmental initiatives. Grade 7/8 students have access to many sports including volleyball, basketball, floor hockey and other main stream sports. But Vice Principals also indicated that
the students were enjoying other options such as fitness training, outdoor excursions, curling anad canoeing, depending on the school.
Vice Principals shared that the reach ahead opportunities are gaining momentum and they are seeing more and more students taking advantage of this opportunity. Depending on timetable availability and in consultation with parents, Grade 8 students are able to reach ahead and take Grade 9 classes. Obtaining a Grade 9 credit prior to entering high school can prove very advantageous. Students become familiar with Grade 9 “work load”, they come to know where classrooms are situated, what high school teachers’ expectations are and opens opportunities for broader course selection in their senior years.
Overall students in the 7/8 Intermediate programs speak about how the program prepares them for high school making for a more gradual and seamless transition into secondary school.
Feedback from parents has been very positive about the Intermediate program. Parents hear more about the school day from their children. They’re pleased with the access to specialized classrooms and share that they notice an increased level of self-confidence. One mother shared her overall impressions of the intermediate program based on her daughter’s participation. “She was always a good student. Now she’s more engaged. She’s always talking about what they’re doing with their hands in science. She loved the science fair. She loves the variety with the rotary and she’s learned to manage her time.”
Copyright 2015 Algoma District School Board