By Greg Price
There has already been plenty of school spirit to be seen at Vauxhall High School in its first week of the 2017/2018 school year.
“We’ve started the year off with a bang and it’s been a great start,” said Todd Ojala, principal at Vauxhall High School, highlighting the first week of school always being dedicated as Spirit Week.
Tuesday saw Mathletes versus Athletes.
“It was a dress-up day where you sort of came as a jock or a nerd. The kids had lots of fun with that, and (Wednesday) was our Multiplicity Day with kids dressing up as many people looking the same as possible,” said Ojala.
Wednesday also saw both the high school and elementary school students in Vauxhall cheering on the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball Jets welcome-back exhibition game at Jets Stadium.
The first week of school at Vauxhall High School features a guest speaker and this year featured HOJA, an acappella group which was originally formed in 1998 out of Saskatoon.
“They did an amazing job and gave a great speech about perseverance and not giving up. They encouraged kids to go after their goals and getting involved,” said Ojala.
“They all talked about how they loved the career choice they have taken and being involved in singing which is their love and they do it every day. Some are part of musical theatre and they talked about how they got involved at an early age from elementary, to middle school to high school and how it helped shape them in allowing them to do something they love every day.”
Other school-building activities for Spirit Week included advisory groups participating in the Escape Room phenomena which is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.
“You have to work together to escape the room and I think the kids had a lot of fun,” said Ojala.
“Team building exercises like that help build our school culture and climate.”
The ever popular Blue Cup flag football game between Grade 12 students and teachers/members of the public goes today on school grounds at 2:30 p.m.
Past Spirit Week activities, the high school is down one teacher due to declining enrollment, but it is all the same returning teachers to aid in continuity.
“It’s nice to have all returning staff who knows all the routines,” said Ojala.
Ojala stressed there is a three-pronged focus the school is taking this year along with all the core curriculum.
The first is transitioning in assessment in Grade 7/8.
“We are moving away from PowerSchool to Student Achieve. That is outcomes-based assessment,” said Ojala.
“Staff will be getting up to date and comfortable with outcome-based reporting for Grade 7 and 8 using Student Achieve.”
The school will also be utilizing the SAMR (Substitution Augmentation Modification and Re-Definition) Model to delve deeper into integration of technology and a deeper understanding of its use for student learning.
“It is a significant functional change with new tasks that were previously inconceivable,” said Ojala, adding another focus will be on literacy.”
“We need to go deeper than we previously have.”
Important dates coming up for Vauxhall High School are its Terry Fox Run on Sept. 28 at 11:15 a.m.
The Academic Awards Night goes Oct. 12. The school’s fundraiser goes Nov. 25.
The high school is always on the look out to honour its own.
“We’d like to remind former students or people in the community about our Wall of Fame and you nominate someone. The only requirement is that they graduated from Vauxhall High School and have done something that goes above and beyond, extraordinary in their life path and they should be recognized,” said Ojala.