Practicum teacher Michelle McNaughton goes through a lesson with Grade 6 students at Haa-huupayak Elementary School on Tuesday. Most of the class will be staying at the school to attend the new Grade 7 class next year.

Haa-huu-payak expands to Grade 7

There's space issues to work out but Haa-huu-payak Elementary School in Alberni is set to offer Grade 7 starting this September.

Haa-huu-payak Elementary School is set to offer Grade 7 starting this September.

The school’s board of directors voted in April to reconfigure the school from the Kindergarten to Grade 6 to K–7.

“We’ve already sent notification out to parents and we’ve advertised in local media that we’ll be offering Grade 7,” Haa-huu-payak principal Gio Mussato said.

The move is being done in advance of School District 70’s expected move to reconfigure schools to a K-7 and 8-12 format.

“It made sense to go to Grade 7 because if we didn’t then our students would have to transition twice in two years,” Mussato said.

The move isn’t new. The school used to have a K-7 format but switched to a K-6 after SD70 closed several schools and reconfigured to a K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 format, Mussato said.

Haa-huu-payak’s enrolment is estimated to go from 102 currently to approximately 120 with the new move, Mussato said.

“Our current crop of Grade 6’s have already indicated that they’re staying and we’ve had interest from other students,” he said. “We’ll be moving a teacher up and hiring another as well.”

School officials are wrestling with the issue of space to accommodate the new Grade 7 class. The school is already maxed out in size and space.

Converting the school’s computer lab is one possibility. “There’s a sliding partition but it’s not thick and doesn’t dampen the noise on the other side,” he said.

Officials will be discussing the space issue with the Tseshaht First Nation administration, Mussato said.

The reconfiguration is a small step towards the ultimate goal of having a full K-12 aboriginal school, he said. Such a school would have to be comparable to mainstream schools in the district which is no small feat.

“Nothing is impossible but this will require time, planning, resources, capital costs and a gradual implementation,” Mussato said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

 

Just Posted

No ‘imminent’ health risks at McLean Mill, says medical health officer

Remediation costs for historic site raises concerns

Port Alberni resident assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Butterflies released in Port Alberni in memory of loved ones

Alberni Valley Hospice Society hosts fourth annual ‘Butterfly Effect’

Overpass, barrier, more parking considered for Cathedral Grove

Provincial government proceeding ‘with caution’

Ladybird ends undefeated season with Spring League championship

Port Alberni spring basketball league ended after three weeks of playoffs

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident well eating you could be penalized

Delta cat severely injured in animal trap was likely stuck for days, owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read