Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 19, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Need Flexible, Enthusiastic Staff Itmidny, March 19, 1970 THE IUH3R1DOE HERAtD THE BETTER HALF By Bob Barnes Nongraded Schools Less Authoritarian By BEVERLF.Y BKAHIC MONTREAL (CP> The piincipal of one of Montreal's new ungraded public elemen- tary schools says his greatest professional satisfaction came when ho asked a mother why she wanted to send her child across the city to his school. did she know about the school? "1 don't know anything about it, except I've heard it's a happy the replied. But the enthusiasm for the new schools isn't as un- bounded as her reply might suggest. Schools which have switched to the less authori- tarian ungraded approach are sometimes criticized by skep- tics demanding to know why the system which got them through school and into a job "isn't good enough lor my kid." Uppermost in their minds is whether the school, in all like- lihood something of an anom- aly among the elcincnlary schools feeding into the local high school, is going to pre- pare their child for work at the second ary level. Tn highly transient parents also about what will happen if the family moves, and the child suddenly finds himself in a new school where, contrary to what he was used to in his ungraded school, he is assigned a desk at the back of the tliird row, an hour of homev.'ork and told to memorize the sis-times table along with the rest of the class. CHANGE COMING Except in the fortunate school districts where the high school is already beginning to adapt its program to allow for entrants from a local uh- graded elementary school, principals can only try to be reassuring about the inevita- bility of change. In this vein, Rosedale school has prepared a parent infor- mation booklet which tells parents it is "likely that, within a relatively short space of lime, most elementary schools in Quebec will have started fo change over to non-grading; many schools across Canada are doing like- vrise." In the. meantime, the book- let says, "we nave more com- plete records of the progress of each child than we have ever had." "II a child should leave, all these records will be sent to the new school." Rosedale Principal Eric Newsome saw although the local high school is rot yet completely in tune with the Roscdale approach, he is en- couraged by the fact that he has been asked to explain the Rosedale program to teachers and administration at two other city high schools. His optimism and that of other principals, teachers and school boards already actively committed to non-grading is backed up by official govern- ment education policy which since 1965 has advocated a gradual changeover to a sys- tem which allows each child to progress through school at his own rale. ASKS PARENT BACKING To elate, however, there are only Quebec elementary school pupils officially rec- orded as studying under such conditions, out of a total ele- mentary enrolment of just under The figure amounts to approximately seven per cent of the total en- rolment. Of second ary school students in the province, are recorded as follow- ing programs allowing promo- tion by subject rather than by grade. The Quebec education de- partment envisages the full collaboration of parents in the proposed academic reorgani- says a government docu- ment, "which is predomi- nantly their concern for it is their children who will benefit from the advantages olfcred, or who will suffer, to the de- gree that (the reorganization is) well or badly adminis- tered." Quoting the 19W report of a Quebec royal commission on education, Ihe department's 19CC document censures the traditional school system for acting the ostrich with par- ents. 1'AKKNTS WELCOME have hitherto hat the impression that the schoo did not go out of its way to relcome them. From time to ime it invited them to meet- ngs of an informative nature; jut it never went so far as to associate parents with its plans, or to enlist the help of those would have been available from time to time to participate in staff discussions or take part in certain school activities. "Yet this is what should happen. Interested parents must be asked to help, for this is the best way to reach those who are indifferent." Seeing the reasonableness of the point, the new ungraded schools have welcomed parent participation in their daily routine. Grcendale school Is particu- larly well organized in this sped. One mom, known to the rest as "volunteer on a moment's notice can muster a squadron of former cheerleaders to escort 180 po- tentially unruly youngsters on a tour of the local supermar- ket, nine nimble-fingered ex- typists to type tests or six budding librarians to run the audio-visual centre. CARE NEEDED Even Principal Percy Lane, a man full of enthusiasm and confidence, marvels at the or- ganization which always produces the required number of volunteers unfailingly as- sembled lor a briefing exactly 15 minutes ahead of time. Mr. Lane, who contrives to give the impression that his job consists in employing the right people, delegating au- thority judiciously and then beir.' available to enchant a constant train of visitors to his domain, was released from a previous principalship in March, 1907. He then spent severs! monllis visiting non-graded schools in North America and meeting to dis- cuss planning with a hand- pickcd new staff before Grcendale opened in the fall of 1967 as the province's first experiment in non-grading. In concert with principals of the schools which have since followed Greendale's lead, he emphasizes the importance of starting out with a staff which has sufficient flexibility and enthusiasm to carry the school through the hard-work- ing and controversial first years. "The new methods-non- grading, open areas and team be a p p 1 i e d carefully and with the full co- operationof parents and teachers; they can't be im- posed successfully from says Don Ross, prin- cipal at Lakeside Heights school, which has to this end created an educational work- shop composed of five elected parents and five teachers. SO.YIE DR01' OUT schools cliangiiig over to non-grading have tried to ensure staff co-operation by mforming teachers ar.d par- ents of the proposed changes during the preceding year and inviting their participation in the planning. In some cases, teachers are advised they will not be auto- matically re-hired, as is the custom, for the coining fall, but must re-apply if they arc interested in the new ap- proaches. A large number do re-apply, though, of course, there are also those who pull out, con- vinced the new methods will plunge the school system ir.to a dark abyss o! chaos and an- archy. Those who slay work hard and talk: much o! a more "child-centred" school system where it is recognized that one child's rate o! learning is as different from the next's as the size of their shoes or the color of their hair. Most feel a need to go slowly, and readily admit that to da'te children taking stand- ardized school board tests or entering traditional high schools after one or two years in an ungraded school show up less well academically than children who have been learning to pass exams for six years. "But how do you measure joy and c r e a t i v it one asked. "My customers have so much fun eating my I'm thir.king of adding an amusement taxt'! CASH BINGO This Thursday Evening, March STARTS P.M. SHARP PARISH HAH CORNER 13lh STREET B and 7lh AVENUE NORTH 12 1st 7-NUMBER JACKPOT 16 6lh 7-NUMBER JACKPOT 12 12 7-NUMBER JACKPOT-lucky Draw S3 JACKPOT-60 Nos. or Blackout Jackpot A150 FREE CARDS, fr.ll GAMES AND 2 DOOR PRIZES Fersorti under 16 years not allowed Sponsored by Ladies' Aid of 51. Peler and SI. Paul's Chunk Lady Sheriff? PUEDLO, Sheriff Kobcrt Itavat resigned recently, a flurry of applications was filed for the position he va- cated. Among the 12 who ap- plied was Mary Lou Urcnda, employed in a local store, mar- ried and the mother of a son. She explained: "A woman's opinion is needed on decisions concerning the welfare of Pueblo County." FEMALE HOOKIES ST. G E 0 It G E 'S, Grenada (AP) In the passing out- for 21 new police constables saluting Prime Minister Eric dairy were eight female rookie cops for this southeastern Cariblwan isle. JUST ARRIVED NEW HEALTH SHOES PAIR BENEFIT SHOES ITO. 615 4th Avc. S. Phone 327-7300 Open. Thurs. Frl. Till 9 p.m. 3 MODESS napkins for your security. 1 marvellous shoulder bag offer for your spring wardrobe. byAnne Gilbert MODESS napkins come in three different shapes: tapered, deep-tapered and regular. Learn which one will protect you best. But first, read how you can buy a beautiful "wet-look" shoulder bag at a wonderfully low price. Big ncwsia spring fashion accessories: shoulder lag. Youcan buy this-beauty for a fraction of vhat you'd normally pay. Sec details below. mm MODESS napkin gms Hie smooth, neat jil that's essential in slim-tailan SPRING FEVEE isin the air at Johnson Johnson and we'd like to share a bit of it with you. Through Nu Mode, one of Canada's fine handbag firms, we're able to offer n truly amazing price on a beautiful item. It's a roomy, zippered shoulder pouch styled in "wet-look" crinkle patent and strapped at the new shorter length. It's 12" high x 12" wide and availnble in light, neutral bone. How much? 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These are ideal for carrying fresh napkins and disposing of used ones. Maybe now you know enough to clioofe the KODKSS napkin that's best for you. Perhaps you want to try each before you decide. You'll know when you've found the best fit, because your napkin wijl be much easier to forget. And with spring and summer on (he way. that's especially nice to look for- ward to. Anne Gilbert is Director Eu.vcnd'cn at Johnson Johnson. It's her job to know all about napkins, and In pass this knowledge on to you. If .vow errr lime questions about MOBESS napkins or feminine hygiene, write to her. red pan Use this handy coupon Johnson .TotinMn Ltd., P.O. 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