Oak Bay High students will experience the new curriculum and Grade 12 students will do a capstone project as the Ministry of Education rolls out its final implementation of the curriculum. (SD61 Photo)

Busy summer has Oak Bay High on track for big year

Principal talks capstones, curriculum and back-to-school

The grass field at Oak Bay High has been resurfaced and should be ready for the spring rugby season.

It was one of the last items to be completed at the new school, as the initial installers failed to use the right materials and irrigation when they surfaced the field in 2015. School District 61 even took the company who installed it to court this year for compensation.

“The field needs about six months to set in and we hope it will be ready for rugby season,” said principal Randi Falls.

It’s only one of many changes for the upcoming school year. Falls has been busy overseeing a checklist of to-do items this summer that could fill a text book. That includes the ongoing fundraising to resurface the Jack Wallace Memorial Track, which is past its 25-year lifespan, as well as upgrading the track’s inner field for use (donations can be made through oakbaynewtrack@gmail.com).

The Oak Bay High grass athletic field has been re-installed and should be ready for spring.
(Travis Paterson/News Staff)

READ MORE: School district pursues legal compensation for Oak Bay High field

The biggest changes are actually inside the school as B.C.’s new curriculum for Grades 10 to 12 are now finalized and ready for implementation.

It means the end of provincial exams (hooray, hooray) which have been phasing out over the past few years for Grade 12 students.

In their place are literacy and numeracy assessments for Grades 10 and 12, as well as a capstone project for the students’ graduating year.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay High raises $90,100 for Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock campaign

Falls explains the capstone as a culminating multi-disciplinary project, presentation or performance that students work on for the end of the Grade 12 school year.

“Our teachers will be guiding students, starting in Grade 10 and 11 toward the final capstone in their graduating year,” Falls said. “We plan on a school-wide celebration of capstone projects in April 2020.”

The capstone allows students the opportunity to consolidate and showcase the learning from their school and life experience into a meaningful and relevant product, Falls explained. Students innovate with cross-curricular knowledge and critical thinking skills in an area of interest that is applicable to a real world concept.

“The Ministry of Education recognized that having standardized exams at the end of learning limited the flexibility in the learning environment and limited students being able to explore their personal passions,” Falls said.

Oak Bay High is somewhat unique for continuing to use the year-long class schedule and will continue to do so but with a change in the schedule.

The school has moved from the rotating linear schedule to an A/B schedule with four classes per day and a ‘focus’ block available on Monday-Thursday.

New to Oak Bay are Phil Ohl as the former Claremont teacher joins Melanie Pass as vice principals. Former VP Philip Pitre moves to Mount Douglas secondary.

New students in Grade 9 will enjoy a smooth entry as the first two weeks of September will focus on their integration.

Students will be grouped into “colours” and we will have colour “challenges” throughout the month of September and then the school year, Falls said. Each Grade 9 student will be paired with an older student for support and mentorship with the Oak Bay ambassador program.

Other supports include prioritizing health and wellness through presentations to students and community.

Supports and information are for mental health, physical health, drug and alcohol information and support, consent and other issues identified by students as needing a profile for the school community, Falls explained.

Oak Bay High are also planning a Career Expo. The goal is to bring community members into the school to present “to the future.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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