Big changes coming to Sooke schools

A change in principals, more portables, and new graduate program all in store for school year

The beginning of school is fast approaching and there are changes in store for Sooke students.

Beside seeing smaller class sizes, students can expect a change in principals in many schools including Edward Milne, John Muir, Port Renfrew and Sooke elementary.

Edward Milne Community School principal Patrick Swinburnson will retire at Christmas. Laura Fulton is his replacement. Gord Johnson is acting as principal at John Muir and Port Renfrew, and the new vice-principal is Shannon Miller.

Tess Vally, who was principal of John Muir and Port Renfrew, will now be the principal at Sooke elementary.

Two portables have also been added to Sooke schools, one at Sooke Elementary and the other at Ecole Poirier.

Aside from physical changes, there will also be a change in graduate programs over the next three years for students which will allow them more flexibility and choice, as well as more opportunities to get credit for work experience.

“This past school year, teachers have had the opportunity to try out new draft curricula in grades 10 to 12 and offer their feedback. Teachers will continue to have the opportunity to try out the new curriculum this coming school year,” said the B.C. Ministry of Education in a statement. “Many students in Grade 10 and 12 will be experiencing elements of the new curriculum this school year.”

Ministry officials said the new program will vary greatly depending on teachers, schools and school districts, but they will be finalizing the curriculum for grades 10-12 by the 2018-2019 school year.

Sooke School District superintendent Jim Cambridge said big changes are often hard for people to grasp, but are necessary for how fast the world is changing.

“School systems are sometimes slow to move when the change in nature of work is so apparent, especially with how far technology has come. Kids need the skills to be able to adapt and expand,” he said.

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