RVS Online Schools Have Permanent Names, Wider Reach
Rocky View Schools (RVS) has taken the next step in developing their schools’ identity online, expanding their reach and building on their cultures.
Recently, the Board of Trustees approved the permanent names of both schools. She has also put in place measures to accommodate students across division boundaries.
The elementary/middle school was named Discovery Trails Online School and the high school is now Summit Trails Online High School.
“These new school names reflect the unique nature of our online educational environments and evoke a sense of exploration and achievement as students progress through the grades,” said the president of the counsel Fiona Gilbert in a press release. “The board thanks the many students, families and staff who shared their ideas and helped generate these new school names.”
Bob Rodgers is the principal of the online elementary/middle school which has grown to serve approximately 440 students in grades 1-9.
“What I’m happiest about is the relationships the students have created with teachers and each other, and the community we’ve started to build.”
He says being able to make that connection without being physically present in the classroom was the biggest question they had at the start of the school year.
What they discovered is that the relationship is as strong, if not stronger, because of the individual attention teachers can provide to their students, he says. Plus, with Zoom, there are fewer distractions than in the classroom.
“It removes some of the barriers that are present in a physical school, a bit the opposite of what we might have intuitively expected. It’s actually easier to build relationships and build community with our children. “
He says social interaction is important to a child’s education, whether it’s physical or online school. Currently, the Discovery Trails online school has about six school clubs, including a film club, theater, gay-straight alliance, and leadership group.
He says that in the next school year they will offer even more and rely more on their leadership group.
“The first year was healthy, very strong, and we have a great group of people. We want even more next year.”
The Terry Fox School Run was their first opportunity to host an in-person event. They have set up meeting venues in Cochrane, Airdrie and Chestermere and had a virtual version, which will continue to be offered as an alternative to all in-person events.
They will hold their first field trip in May and plan to offer several over the next school year.
“This year was our first step. Next year we will swim even stronger and live out all the dreams we had this year.”
As fewer students are affected by COVID, he predicts the student population will change.
He is confident that they have created online schools that will appeal to students outside of the division.
“We are targeting the whole province. We have a fantastic program and it’s very affordable.
He believes that the permanent names of the two schools testify to their purpose in a significant way.
“At school, you want to know where they’re coming from. We also want them to see where they’re going, and the trails are what do that, and walking those trails is a journey of discovery. So they’re finding out where they’re going. are going, have been, where they come from and where they are going.
“If I may be a little poetic, as they look into the distance they see the peaks they are heading towards and that is Summit Trails Online High School.
“Metaphorically, it fits our names in a wonderful synastry of connecting our two schools to each other.”
Registrations are now open for the 22-23 school year. More information can be found on the RVS website.