By Jonathan Brady, principal
Barriere Secondary School
Barriere Secondary is the smallest grade 8-12 school in District #73. Often I hear students exposure to opportunities at small rural school are limited. For the past two week I have watched our small school of 177 students, 12 staff members and nine support staff. In just two weeks this is what I have observed:
1. Development and implementation of an academic intervention program that is highly effective. This program intervenes with students who require more time or support.
2. A breakfast program that serves all students and is funded by the community. Staff volunteer to come in early Tuesdays and Thursdays to prepare breakfast for our students.
3. Forty students attending a career fair at TRU.
4. Five students being accepted to the Heavy Metal Rocks Program.
5. Our senior basketball teams placing second and third in the West Zone League and the boys going again to the Okanagan Championships in Kelowna.
6. Our junior boys basketball team placing fourth in the West Zone League.
7. One student participating and winning a gold medal at the Regional Skills Canada Competition at TRU.
8. Adjudication and collaborative assessment of the grade 8 and 9 literacy examination.
9. TRU academic advisor attended Barriere Secondary School and met with grade 12 students all day. Her response…”The most polite and respectful students she has had the pleasure of working with this year”.
10. Olympic gold medalist Katie Weatherson addressed our student body on goal setting (funded by the PAC).
11. Ministry for Children and Family Development, Indian Friendship Center and the Simpcw First Nation Social workers providing ‘in-school’ support two days a week for both aboriginal and non aboriginal students.
12. Cross country ski lessons provided by community members with our grade 8 physical educations classes.
13. Economics of school for all grade 8-10 students.
14. Tom Laroche self defense classes as apart of our physical education program (funded by PAC).
15. Continuation of staff collaborative time.
16. Science World presentation to all grade 8 and 9 students.
17. Students attending a TRU Student Leadership Conference workshop for young women.
18. Girls groups made up of grade 8’s and 9’s dealing with girls issues.
19. Community members supporting our students through tutoring services (free!).
20. Basketball intramurals for staff and students.
21. Our SWAT program (Senior students mentoring / partnering with our Junior students) continuing during our E Block days.
All of this while staff continues to teach core courses and elective courses.
I am proud of the staff, student and community for ensuring our school remains a vibrant, rich and diversified educational experience. Often it is easy to criticize the current public educational system. It is easy to look for all that Barriere Secondary School does not offer.
However, for the past two weeks it is hard not to see all the great things taking place at this small rural school.