It was good to have been at St. Peter’s All Grade School in McCallum on Friday, September 14. It was great to see the students engaged in their lessons, getting exercise in the gym and to especially see the senior students totally engrossed in their work during their online CDLI classes.
It was good too to see the enthusiasm of the teachers in helping the students learn the various curriculum objectives.
There are certain disadvantages for students attending small school like St. Peter’s in that they can’t participate in team sports and get opportunities to travel to provincial high school sports events. Their opportunities for other extracurricular activities are certainly limited with only 10 students from Kindergarten to Level 111.
The socialization aspect of education is limited too as there is no opportunity at all for an event like a high school dance.
While sports and other extracurricular events add to school life and make schools more interesting places to learn, the main objective of any school is to provide a good academic program for its students. Schools have to provide students with a good chance to graduate from high school, to provide them with an opportunity to go on to the post-secondary institution of their choice to pursue the careers they have chosen.
And in that main goal of schools, St. Peter’s All Grade does as good a job as any school in the province, thanks in large part to the Internet.
The Internet has changed our world dramatically and that change is evident in many schools in the province through the Department of Education’s Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI).
The CDLI program offers students in small schools the opportunity to avail of high school course like advanced math, chemistry and physics that they need to meet graduation requirements.
The program basically means that a small school like St. Peter’s with just 10 students and two and three quarter teaching units can offer as good an academic program as any school in the province. It means too that the four senior high students at the school can stay at home and complete their high school careers instead of having to attend high school at some other community, which they would probably have to do, if not for the CDLI program.
And don’t get the idea that the CDLI program is only used in small schools as the program offers 38 high school courses in 103 provincial schools.
The CDLI courses have helped the students of St. Peter’s down through the years.
Christina Fudge, through a writing course, was one of the winners in the 2012 Provincial Arts and Letters Competition. Ms. Fudge is a Level 111 student at St. Peter’s this school year.
Samantha Nash had the required science courses needed to enter MUN’s Faculty of Engineering when she graduated from
St. Peter’s. The CDLI program also helped her win a $25,000 scholarship from MUN for her chosen field of study. Ms. Nash will graduate from the university’s Engineering Program in 2013.
Of course, Ms. Fudge and Ms. Nash, and many other students at St. Peter’s, are successful not just because of the CDLP Program as they have the determination and work ethic to do well.
The CDLI program means that academic opportunities in our high school are now on a level playing field for everyone.
So, don’t think that students in a small school can’t and don’t do well academically or that they can’t compete with students in the larger centers because they can and they do.