Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 19, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Opportunity classes now in Grades 1 to 12 August 19. 197! THE LETHBEIDGE HERALD Lethbridge public school stu- dents now have a full range of opportunity classes to attend to help them with academic hurdles. Tliis faU the district will lor the first lime have a high school level opportunity program, situated at the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute and taught by Mrs. Evelyn John- son, who has been opportunity tea- cher for several years at Hamilton Junior High School. Opportunity classes are also of- co-operate closely with the school district's school services depart- ment, and with the Alberta Gui- dance Clinic, the students' family doctors, parents, reading consult- ant, speech pathologist and other specialists. In some of the programs, the students are assigned to classes with oilier children, hut receive special attention. A work-experience program will be provided for the opportunity students in junior high school this fall, to further assist them. Teacher orientation New teachers in Lethbridge schools will have the opportunity to "learn the local ropes" through a co operative venture between school district officials and the Al- berta Teachers' Association. The first or second Saturday of the fall semester will likely be set aside for the voluntary sessions. fered at George McKillop and Westminster elementary schools, and at Hamilton. The classes operate with a limit- ed enrolment, allowing teachers to concentrate on helping each stu- dent overcome his or her parti- cular difficulties. The Opportunity Class teachers ATHLETICS IS POPULAR All Lethbridge schools ore well equipped for most sporting and other athletic activities. Wide school grounds, mod- ern gymnasium facilities and high standard track and field areas make it possible for city students to learn about sporis for their own leisure activities or for competition. Many special services offered by city schools Bob Gall is director of school services for the Lethbridge public school district, and it is his depart- ment's job to provide all of the non instructional or special in- struction opportunities in the schools. lie develops programs for slow, fast and emotionally-handicapped students; provides counselling ser- vices which deal with a student's personal or scholastic problems; provides future-oriented counsel- ling, to help a student select stu- dies for jobs or university. Mr. Gall supervises the activi- ties of school counsellors, a "home- bound" teacher who visit students briefly unable to attend classes, a speech pathologist, school psycho- logist and other specialists. The homclxiund teacher, Mrs, "Mary Oordt, has for years provided a service to homcbound and hospital-confined students. The service is primarily tutorial, with the teacher picking up reg- ular lessons from the school and taking thorn to the student. However, Mrs. Oordt also spends a considerable time will) students and parents hi a counselling man- ner. There has been a considerable growth in the use of this service with the number of students served doubling in the second year of op- eration. The speech pathologisl's ser- vices were provided through the Lethbridge health unit on a half- time basis. The pathologist inves- tigates speech and hearing diffi- culties. The service provided consists of diagnostic evaluation of suspected speech and hearing problems. Speech therapy and medical re- ferral are also provided necessary. As the service has become in- creasingly well used, the speech pathologist has been employed on a full-tune basis for the coming year. The school psychologist, Peter Palmer, worked primarily with in- dividual students, groups of. stu- dents and as a consultant to school counsellors. lie arranged special medical and psychiatric assistance in the few cases where it was needed and otherwise co-operated with agen- cies involved to provide the most effective-possible help for troubled students. He attempted to stimulate teach- ers' interest in employing the classroom meeting technique as a means of promoting truly person- centred classrooms. Two Grade 4 classes embarked on a regular series of such meet- ings, with considerable amounts of literature describing the technique prepared and a department of ed- ucation videotape made of the meeting sessions. Because of the strong demands on the psychologist's services, a second psychologist will be em- ployed (iiis fall. Bill Oleksy, a teacher at Flcot- wood-Bawden Elementary school, was named part-time elementary school counsellor last fall as part of a two-year experiment to ex- amine the feasibility of institu- ting extensive elementary school counselling services. His role this year included clnse liaison with the school psycholo- gist and other members of the school services department: the city guidance clinic; the Leth- bridge Family Service; parents, teachers and school administra- tors. This year the Dorothy Gooder School for Retarded Children also became the public school district's responsibility, with Mr. Gall and his department involved in the school's admissions and coun- selling activities. School services personnel also as- sessed applicants for the district's early entrance program which al- lows children five years old to be- gin Grade 1 almost a year sooner than usual, and is currently work- ing on a for changing the early entrance program's regula- tions. Counselling and guidance pro- grams were extended in all junior and senior high schools, with a number of special projects under- taken. At Gilbert Paterson Junior High School, programs requested by stu- dents have been initiated. The Gilbert Paterson Task Force was organized in an effort to pro- vide opportunities for students in the school to earn extra spending money. Another counsellor at the school R "summer volunteer program" with 55 girls available lo work as volunteers in nursing homes, offices, the summer camp for jrl.-.'nird chijdreji ami spots. A special project undertaken this yi'ar saw the development of the GilK'rt Paterson work-experi- ence program, involving 16 Grade 9 studcnl.s working in various busi- ness establishments for half a day per v.eek. At Wilson Junior High School, special projects included explain- ing the counselling program to parents at a home and school meeting; visitations to a variety of special counselling programs" in other schools and sociaf develop- ment agencies; liaison with the federal department of Indian af- fairs with regard to Indian stu- dents; and orientaiion of Grade 9 students for transfer this fall to Winston Churchill High School. Hamilton Junior High School spent most of its time in individual counselling, concentrating on de- velopmental, emotional and learn- ing problems. Tlie school's counselling service suffered somewhat from the ill- ness and eventual departure of its key counsellor, who has now been replaced. .Winston Churchill High School and The Lethbridge Collegiate In- stitute both offered full-sized coun- selling services dealing with prob- lems of students, drugs, vocational and academic planning and a variety of other programs.