Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 18, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
--------Friday, August IB, 1972 LETHBRIDGE HERALD _ 15 Dorothy Gooder School may be renovated What could be one of Ihe most extensive programs for trainable rclanlcd children in North Am- erica could be fully under way in Ixilhbridge this fall if the provin- cial government provides about The money would bs used by the I.elhbridge public school district for some minor renovations and grounds landscaping at Dorothy Gooder School, which the district has operated now for two years. (Before that time it was operated by the IjCthbridge Association for the Mentally Retarded, which still provides residential and other sup- port for the JJr. IJob flail, director of .school for the district, said the department of education's life extension program, designed to provide minor improvements for .schools to make them last longer, has been of Ihe proposed renovations. ICen McKic, Alberta supervisor of special education, will visit Lcth- bridge at Ilia end of August to in- spect the school and discuss the renovations with Dr. Gall and Don Attwell, public school district ing supervisor, who designed the renovations and landscaping. lip to three children per population arc classed as Irainablc mentally retarded meaning that in I.elhbridgc with about stu- dents, there are close to 30 such students. They arc discovered on the ba- sis of extensive and individually ad- ministered ability tests, and (one measure only) have KJs ranging between 35 and 55. Those with IQ.s above 55 are classed as cducable mentally re- tarded, and attend regular city .schools. Hut Dorothy Gooder is designed to accommodate students from throughout southern Alberta, and will have about 05 students this fall. It still has room for more. Parents must pay only for their child's accommodation in the city school districts all pay for the education tuition expenses as re- quired by the Alberta School Act, which directs that education must be provided for ICVERY school age child, no mallei' what problems might exist. The I.Glhliridgc Association for the Mentally Retarded operates two residences in the city for chil- dren attending the school, and has a list of homes in the cily also willing to take in the children. Pro- vincial grants cover much tit the room and board expenses. "I know of no child in southern Alberta who could be going to Dor- othy Gooder but has been turned away or is not here because of any financial or other Dr Gail said. The school concentrates on pro- viding a tailored education pro- gram for each child, in small groups of no more than eight, and often on an individual basis. whole curriculum will be a -based program this Dr. Gall said. "It is de- signed to teach students functional skills they can use in their en- do things which will help them to be independent." And the programs and school renovations are designed for every .student, regardless of mental or physical handicaps. K v o n those confined to wheelchairs will be able to lake part in all academic, trail- ing, athletic and social activities. Dorothy Gooder School .becoming best in North Amaricci. "The senior students will also be- come more involved in Ihe running of the Dr. Gall said. "The is a vast number of things they can do to help and they know far better limn many people what kinds of things they need done." Ho said K VICKY mentally retard- ed child can learn. What must be done is lo find out how to TEACH each one and teaching methods are wide and varied. The building renovations are im- portant to many facets of Ihe pro- gram. At present the classroom areas arc relatively small, inflex- ible cubicles. Construction will change this to much larger rooms and many moveablc partitions so that rooms of a wide variety of sixes becomes possible. The existing schoolground is a combination of lawn and weed patches. New landscaping will pro- vide lawns, a sandbox, paved areas for basketball and play with wheel- ed toys, a nature area, other sports areas evci-ything imaginable. Kven the low fences will be used in education: they arc painted for various perceptual skills games de- signed to leach co-ordination of hand and eye movements and phys- ical and mental co-ordinnation in general. The facility is probably (he best- used school in the city during the summer, Dr. Gall said, and since the landscaping will bo most useful during the summer, "we intend to see that kids here during the sum- mer have access to their we'll depend mostly on volunteers, but we'll have people Dr. Gall said. 'Hie renovations will effectively double the instructional area avail- able in Dorothy Gooder, since the outside grounds will become teach- ing areas. there arc more changes in store too: "We feel these kids are an im- porlunl part of the school system, and should not be Dr. Gall said. "We hope to involve the facilities available throughout the c o m m unity including other schools-" Already, he said, a number ot high school students have contr.cl- cd himself and Dorothy Gooder of- ficials to ask what they can do (o help. Public schools art program unique The old school art class jvjst isn't what it used lo be: today they really leach ART all types of art. In coordinator Neal .Johnson's Lelhbridge public school dislrict art program, all elementary school sludcnl.'; are exposed to the esthet- ics of arl, to crlicism of art and lo producing and criticizing their own art. And in junior and senior high school grades, the same aspects of art my be studied as an option, in increasing depth. Drawing, painting, sculpture, printtnaking, fabrics, arl history, even ceramics all are part of Ihe schools' art program. Through it all, the student will learn how to apply knowledge of art and lo become critically aware of what constitutes art, why .some paintings, sculpture or archi- lure arc considered lo be masterpieces and why some work classified as art cannot be consid- ered as art. And what Ihe student learns in art class will cxlcnd into parts o[ his life not having us much to do with the usual forms of art. students of today will be- come tomorrow's Mr. .lobnson said. "If such a person has become aware of esthetics through art, decisions made by this individual can include the cs- Ihclic. "A building docs not need to be four walls and a roof; it can be designed to be cslhctically pleasing as well as functional. A park need not be destroyed for the sake of a parking lot, and architecture can he designed that is a part ot the natural environment." And even though skills of hand- ling the various artistic media arc laughl in a somewhat structured fashion, the student is encouraged lo interpret the subject matter in his own individual manner: he is allowed to be an individual. Moreover, "The involvement in art will provide the individual with an avenue of expression when he leaves Mr. Johnson said. "Anyone living in a osciely which is moving towards increased lei- sure lime will require such a sub- ject as art where Ihey can Iliemselvcs in an area of their choice." While the ideal situation for art has not yet been attained in most city schools, many large steps for- ward have been made. Art studies arc available for Grades 1 through 12, in every school. Although the program adheres lo the provincial curriculum, it has been adapted to local conditions. And while the program !s open to both the artistic dabbler and Ihe highly-artistic student, sufficient facilities exist to keep everyone challenged. Most schools provide two (o three hours per week of available art in- struction and the student in high school may lake either a 75-luuir per year, Ihrec-credit course or a 125-hour per year, five-credit course. "Many of llic students use their background of art in other areas, such as drama and literature, and some students work on their own when they're not in Mr. Johnson said. "All of the students arc encour- aged lo become involved in some aspect of art. This involvement was quite evident in the junior-sen- ior high school art exhibition and the school art exhibit at Whoop-Up Days tliis summer." In llic elementary school, art is generally laught in a classroom, although some schools have rooms which have been designated for art. While these rooms sometimes have improper lighting and facilities, at- tempts are being made lo rcnovalo them. "Equipment, however, has been provided to carry on a fairly good art Mr. Johnson said. In junior and senior high schools, the situation is even better, with classrooms cither designed or ren- ovated for art.