June 17, 2021
Originally Published: June 16, 2021
Aldergrove, BC – Students and staff in the Aldergrove region will soon explore new opportunities. A series of changes aimed at enhancing educational opportunities are coming to Aldergrove Community Secondary School and Betty Gilbert Middle School beginning September 2021. These changes are aimed at three main goals: Celebrating Community, Excellence in Education, and Inspiring Healthy Living.
“We are so excited to see these enhancements in place. We believe these changes will have an immediate positive impact on student learning but will also be long lasting for younger students in the growing community,” says Gord Stewart, Superintendent of Schools.
“These changes will assist us in meeting our mission to inspire all learners to reach their full potential and create a positive legacy for the future. Our goal is for students, staff, and families to feel a sense of belonging, identity, and pride at every stage of the learning journey,” adds Stewart.
The physical changes at the Aldergrove Campus include a state-of-the-art outdoor athletic centre known as Fit Core linking the two schools, a new learning studio dedicated to exploration classes at Betty Gilbert Middle School, and aesthetic upgrades to the interior and exterior of both sites. The small gymnasium at Aldergrove Community Secondary School will have fresh, vibrant murals painted featuring the mascots of both schools.
The changes will bring the two school communities closer than before. The creation of mentorship opportunities for ACSS students will help develop them as leaders in and outside of the school community. These relationships will also help BGMS students thrive and foster a successful transition to secondary school. The staff collaboration between the schools and focus on building a culture of care on campus will help everyone feel more connected.
Excellence in Education
As part of the changes, grade 6 and 7 students will have new explorations courses available on site, taught by Betty Gilbert staff they are familiar with. Before, these students would walk over to ACSS for their electives. New courses include Digital Photography, Robotics and Guitar. Grade 8 students will continue explorations at ACSS, helping ease the transition to secondary school.
“We want Betty Gilbert students to have the same learning opportunities as their middle school peers across the District,” says Jonathan Harris, Principal of Betty Gilbert Middle School.
“One of our goals is for all students to have enhanced educational opportunities while also facilitating independence and growth in our older students,” he adds.
Inspiring Healthy Living
Aldergrove Community Secondary School will become the hub for physical health education classes and athletics for both schools. Teachers will become wellness coaches for students, working alongside them to achieve a better body, mind and spirit.
“One of our goals is to create enhanced health and wellness learning opportunities for all students. The use of the Fit Core outdoor athletic centre will help promote fitness, health and well-being, but also launch new passions for sports and extra-curricular activities for individual students and teams, which is exciting!” outlines Mike Palichuk, Principal of Aldergrove Community Secondary.
“Building upon Aldergrove’s strong history of athletic excellence, we strive to continue inspiring future athletes,” comments Palichuk.
The enhancement opportunities come a year and a half after the District’s Middle School Consultation in 2019. During the consultation, the Langley School Board heard from the community loud and clear that improvements were needed at both schools. In response, the District and school staff have been working on a strategy that will meet the educational, physical, and social emotional needs of students.
“The Enhancement Opportunities at Aldergrove Campus helps address the goal that students at both schools have the same educational experiences as their peers across the District, but also provides them with unique and innovative opportunities,” says Gord Stewart, Superintendent of Schools.
“Having at one time served as principal in Aldergrove, I know it’s a strong, diverse and proud region. Our hope is to celebrate community with these changes,” says Stewart.
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