School district links programs in one spot

The school district is linking distance education with a new trades training centre, housed in the former Thornhill Junior Secondary School.

Coast Mountains School District distance education and trades centre administrator Geoff McKay and employees Biztha Rancy and Lynda Lang pose with hairdressing shampoo chairs.

The Coast Mountains School District is linking distance education with a new trades training centre, both housed in the former Thornhill Junior Secondary School building.

“It’s a perfect partnership between the distance education and the trades,” says Geoff McKay, who is both principal of the school-district-run North Coast Distance Education School and the technical skills administrator for the district’s new trades training centre.

“We may have adult students or even school-aged students who are taking [a trades program] who are missing one or two courses to graduate. We can provide that onsite, which is why it’s so powerful,” he said.

The trades training centre set up shop in the former junior secondary school earlier this year followed by the distance education school which had been housed for years in the century-old school building beside the school district’s main office on Kenney St.

The distance education school traditionally enrols 1,000 to 1,200 students from across B.C.

With distance learning based online, students can graduate without ever stepping into a school, but McKay says he is excited for the new space and having a classroom available for students if needed.

“Sometimes a person gets stuck for whatever reason, or just needs a little motivation or a little clarification. It’s nice to be able to come and see a teacher and get that. So we are set up for that now in the new school,” he said.

The district’s new trades training centre is offering two ACE-IT programs that started early-September – welding and hair dressing in conjunction with Northwest Community College. The welding program is 28 weeks and runs at the college.

The hairdresssing program is at the new trades centre and provides students with certification through the Industry Training Authority. “It’s our only program that after 10 months, the individuals who graduate are ready to practice,” said McKay.

McKay says the classroom has an area for desks, which is openly connected to the work stations and shampoo chairs, with special lighting so hair colour looks the same in the facility as outside.

There is also the capability to stage video conferencing sessions in the future. The trades centre and distance education occupy over half of the space in the school building.

The school district will continue renting the gym to local groups and is leasing space to the UA Piping Industry College of BC which runs its own trade programs.

Over the next three years, the school district will continue to fill up the building.

 

Just Posted

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

First Terrace Speedway race day of the year

The annual Mother’s Day Season Opening Races brought in crowds

Concerns over democracy as Senate committee votes to nix oil tanker ban

Critics of the Senate’s recommendation to kill Bill C-48 say it goes against popular will

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read