An awful lot of work has been done this year on trying to set a direction for accelerated learning within our school board. So many different ideas and so many different ways this can be done – and so many different costs to do so.
The common ground that I see is this: We all agree that the term “special needs” applies not only to those having difficulty learning, but to those who are finding their education too easy as well.
So what do we do about it?
Most, if not all of our schools have “accelerated learning” programs in them. I know RHS has its “academic plus” program. The problem is that even these courses are not really enough. And simply from a competitive standpoint, we don’t have anything to compete with the Royal West and Vincent Massey type of school. But, are we even allowed to develop something of the same sort? There seems to be a big question mark there.
I think that we need to build a new school. I think it needs to be in the north shore, for central access to the bulk of our clientele. And I think that it could be hugely successful, and it could be a model for more schools to be built.
At the same time, I think we really need to re-evaluate what our current offerings are, and what the criteria is for getting into these programs. I think we also need to talk to MELS about additional accreditation for these programs, as well as proper exams for them.
I am sure that there’s a lot of work to do still.