Recent History – 2004-2006
Rolla Traditional School’s new principal is looking forward to getting the program off the ground.
“I think the hardest part is going to be starting the program,” saidAlain Blais, the new principal of the school. “Once it is in place, parents will see that it is a good program and that it does work.”
Currently, the elementary school’s enrollment is hovering around 50 students, necessitating three full time teachers. Blais is confident that by the time the doors open in September the school will have more students and need an additional teacher.
Blais, who currently is a French Immersion teacher at Central MiddleSchool, said he is suited for the position because he grew up in a private Catholic school environment in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec and has taught in a private school in Fort St. John.
“It really fits my discipline style and fits my education philosophy,” he said.
The school will adhere to the School District 59 curriculum but as a traditional school will have greater emphasis on leadership and discipline.
“We don’t just want them to be good citizens,” said Blais. “We want them to be leaders in the school.”
To this end the school has hired Lana Bayoff who is the leadership teacher at Central Middle School.
“She has a different perspective of what she wants the kids to do in school,” he said. “She (emphasizes) how they can help the school with her leadership program.”
Blais also expects that the mandatory uniforms will not be the only thing setting Rolla’s students apart from those at other schools in the district.
“We want them to more than meet the provincial expectations,” he said.
Since the Rolla school will be the first traditional school in the district, both Blais and the school’s parents advisory committee have been working diligently to craft the new institution.
“We don’t have anything in this district to model it after,” he said. “We had to look around at all different schools.”
According to Blais, the program will be modeled on a few different schools in the Lower Mainland where traditional schools have been popular for years. Blais said that designing a new school philosophy from scratch has been a challenge, but that since the PAC has done so much work already on the concept it has made it that much easier.
“We have kind of helped each other coming up with everything,” he said. “It is a good experience. They are very supportive and a very good bunch of parents.”