May 26, 2015 - 11:38 AM
KAMLOOPS – The Beattie School of the Arts will officially become a K-12 school in the fall of 2016 following approval from the school board trustees for the $480,000 cost to amalgamate the two campuses.
The proposal to have a K-12 school of the arts all on one campus, originally suggested in 2002, will come to fruition in the fall of 2016 in time for the new school year. Currently the school is split between two campus — the elementary level on McGill Road and the secondary level on Ninth Avenue.
The report to the School District 73 Board of Education this week included input from staff, students and parents of Beattie School. Asst. Supt. Alison Sidow says the main challenge of the project is dividing the building between primary and secondary students. In collaboration with others, including Beattie School principal Barb Hamblett, she presented the board a list of changes that will need to be completed before the amalgamation can occur.
The inner outside courtyard will be designated for the youngest students, where the parent’s committee will lead a fundraising campaign for age appropriate play equipment. Murals from the McGill campus will be moved to this courtyard. A portion of the back field will be sectioned off for older primary and intermediate students and the school board will purchase play equipment similar to that currently at the McGill Road campus.
It is envisioned primary students will be on the main floor, closest to staff offices, and their classrooms be outfitted with cubbies. One washroom facility on the main floor will be designated as elementary only and be equipped with small fixtures.
The logistics of moving so many more students into the school means many classrooms, labs and specialty rooms must be re-configured. For example, administrative offices will be moved to the front of the building, the wood-shop room will become a dance studio and the textiles lab will be converted into an elementary classroom.
Structuring school days between the youngest and oldest students is challenging with parent groups of differing opinions. While it was agreed everyone’s day would begin at the same time, lunch hours and breaks or recesses will be staggered. High school classes have to fit with South Kamloops Secondary’s schedule to facilitate shared courses. It was decided that a public address system would be purchased to allow for announcements and bells in select classrooms to accommodate the differing schedules.
Also new to Beattie School, a hot lunch program will be provided by a district-approved vendor. Afterschool daycare was also desired during the workshops, but due to limited space this was not recommended for the board.
Unique to Beattie School are mentorship opportunities between the youngest and the oldest students. This was recommended through peer helpers and teacher assistants, but also through sports programs.
The name of the school is expected to change, to reflect the new Kindergarten to Grade 12 environment. Parents and staff are encouraged to organize a grand opening celebration once the move is complete.
The board met in a closed meeting Monday and discussion on the matter of Beattie School was limited during the open meeting later in the evening. Trustee Meghan Wade applauded the work of Sidow and others, highlighting her favorite actions in the report.
With the move out of the McGill Avenue campus, trustee Joan Cowden asked if Stuart Wood School teachers and staff would move in immediately. Sidow effectively answered yes, not indicating any renovations to Beattie School’s McGill Road campus before the new school arrives. She said teachers would have two days to pack up their classrooms before the move commenced.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015