Chief Matthews School looks forward to busy year

  • Sep. 24, 2007 7:00 p.m.

By Charlotte Tarver-School is now in full swing at Chief Matthews School in Old Massett, with the 58 students out on a cranberry-picking adventure last week and practicing for performances of the new all-school choir. The children are learning songs in both Haida and English. There are nine teaching staff at the school this year, including two Haida language teachers in the nursery to grade 4 school, which is run by the village council. “One of our chief goals is to get the children speaking Haida,” said principal Leslie Bellis. “The big news is that we successfully completed the school assessment process in June… We passed with flying colours,” Ms Bellis said. “Out of this process came two goals to focus on… to design and implement a new school curriculum from nursery to grade 4 and to implement a new science program.” The staff are almost finished with the nursery curriculum and by next spring plan to finish the kindergarten curriculum. “It will take four years maximum to finish all grades… but we hope to speed up the process,” she said. Once finished, the school plans to share the new curriculum with School District 50. The new science program will blend Haida traditional knowledge with regular science curriculum. “The whole school will do the same theme but at different grade levels,” she said. “We are getting our themes outlined to have better outcomes and are figuring out our goals.” Other news – students will have two swimming sessions this year and the cross-country running track around the school is almost finished. The track is necessary as the gym is closing soon for repairs. Also, volunteers are needed by the school to help repair Haida button blankets, said Ms Bellis.

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