Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) is making plans to switch to a completely digital educational environment by ditching the heavy and expensive textbooks in favor of online material readily available in pdf formats.
Principal Ian Rawlinson made a presentation at the regular PSC Parent Council meeting on Wednesday, April 16, focusing on the fees that the school charges for various courses, which are part of the curriculum.
Speaking on the heavy weight of the text books in the calculation of the course fees, Rawlinson said he had done a small research to find that at least 70 per cent of the students of the campus had their personal digital devices, either a notebook computer, an iPad or another kind of digital device they could use to get online.
The principal added that the school would probably sell some of the Chromebooks currently in use at the campus to those who don’t own any digital equipment at discounted prices and also would create a pool of Chromebooks for daily use by students who may have their own devices break down or those who may have forgotten to bring them to school. He added that the school would provide a range of options for the payment of Chromebooks and offer services in the form of technical support to ensure that the devices would remain in use.
The plan is in line with the efforts currently underway to modernize the learning environment as part of the Inspiring Education concept currently promoted by the provincial government.
In the course of his presentation, Rawlinson also demonstrated to the parent council members how project-based learning was changing the way the students acquired and used knowledge in implementing their projects.
Principal Rawlinson also gave some brief information on the results of a survey among the junior high school students, Grade 7 and 8 students to be exact, on how they perceive their school and their level of satisfaction of with the education they are receiving. The survey showed, according to Rawlinson, that 92 per cent of the students felt safe at their school, 91 per cent felt they were cared for, 96 per cent were happy with the choices of programs and courses offered to them and 92 per cent were happy with their teachers.
Community Leadership program
The PSC Parent Council meeting also heard information on the involvement of students in the community leadership program that was earlier suggested to be incorporated into the curriculum.
Twenty nine students are reported to have signed up for the program and they will be following the online course in their regular class times.
Four students from among the group will be selected for participation in a leadership program in Kelowna, BC later this year, principal Rawlinson announced.
Among other issues discussed was the possibility of introducing CPR training as part the Phys. Ed classes for grades 9s and 10s alongside the acquisition of an automated external defibrillator for the campus. Both topics will be further discussed.