To increase the graduation rate of First Nations students, and create active, responsible students in the First Nations community, the Howe Sound School District and the Squamish Nation are opening a First Nations Enrichment School, effective Sept. 4.
The enrichment team consists of a half-time teacher for academic subjects and a half-time cultural and life skills co-ordinator, according to the Howe Sound School Board.
The primary goal of the school is to meet the intellectual needs of its students by developing belonging, mastery, generosity and independence. The idea to is to help students establish and review realistic and achievable goals.
The school is for students in Grades 9 through 12 and First Nation adults 19 and over who wish to work towards their Dogwood Certificate, reside in the District of Squamish, and do not wish to attend, or are having difficulties attending public schools.
The maximum enrolment is 15 students, with referrals from Don Ross Secondary School and Howe Sound Secondary School. The First Nations Enrichment School Review and Referral Committee will review all referrals.
Students will receive four interim and four term reports per year, and there will be regular parent or guardian and teacher interviews. The focus of these meetings will be to discuss student progress and, if necessary, make revisions to the student?s individual education program.
Recreation and cultural experiences are also part of the program.
One of the main goals of the school is to integrate the students back into the public school system.