Reform pondered for high school graduation

A public meeting will be held in Castlegar on Monday, Oct 1 to discuss the future of highschool graduation.

This will be on the final exam.

What the Ministry of Education requires for those who are set to graduate from high school is changing, but people have a chance this Monday night in a public meeting to determine what that will be.

Called a Community Conversation about the Future of Graduation Requirements, the Monday night meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Monashee Room of the Castlegar Community Complex for all of School District 20, including Greater Trail.

One of the key components of the current educational system is the graduation program (grades 1-12) and its requirements, said Bill Ford, SD20 (Kootenay Columbia) director of instruction.

“There have been big conversations about what an educated citizen needs to look like in the 21st Century,” he said. “(And this) will help inform what that will finally look like at the end of the day.”

Facilitated by Andy Leathwood, School District 8 (Kootenay Lake) director of instruction, the night will start with a presentation, followed by table talk on five questions the ministry has framed.

There will also be response forms to be filled out at the meeting, which will be collected and sent to the Ministry of Education.

Ford said the move to change graduation was connected to all change the ministry is currently in the midst of, including curriculum and support for innovation However, he could not say exactly what was coming down the road for graduation.

“There’s lots of speculation: maybe no more exams but an exit chest that looks more like a portfolio of who the person is as a learner, and demonstrates what they know,” he said. “There has been some speculation about that.”

The Ministry of Education is seeking input from around the province to develop recommendations for new graduation requirements. This session is one of many being held across the province this fall.

The facilitated group discussions will be focused on getting feedback to five key questions:

• What do you think are the core or essential things all students should know, understand, and be able to do by the time leave secondary school?

• Beyond the core, how could pathways for choice or exploration be provided?

• Research is underway with a focus on the following five cross-curricular competencies: communication; critical thinking; creative thinking and innovation; personal responsibility and well being; and social responsibility. How do you think students could demonstrate these competencies?

• How could student learning be communicated to: students; parents; and post secondary institutions or employers.

• How would you design an awards program to recognize student success in a personalized learning environment?

For more information, log onto the following link to access ministry information: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/graduation/.

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