Lake Cowichan Secondary School principal, Peter Jory, will be saying goodbye to students, teachers, and the community come the end of June.
Jory has taken a job with School District 48, Sea to Sky, covering Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton.
Jory, who has been with LCSS for four years now, will be going into assessing and advising the technological direction of District 48. His official title will be Director of Instruction Technology and Innovation.
“The thinking behind it is, it’s about getting everyone ready for the New Ed. Plan.” Here, Jory is referring to BC’s Education Plan, put forth by the Ministry of Education in 2011. Among other things, this plan states that the province, school boards, administrators, teachers, and parents need to “make better use of technology in education so young people will be equipped to use it effectively and ethically.”
“There will be a lot of instructional work, a lot of development work, and I’m going to be overseeing the technology piece there from the instructional side. My role will be to try to integrate the technology into practice.”
Jory says this means that he will be looking at the hardware and software that exists within the district and advising the district as to where it needs to go in terms of technology into the future. Currently the district is looking into grant funding in order to make this shift into upgrading district technology.
This shift, Jory says, will happen over the next five years, and “is very much in it’s formative stages.” He says education needs to become more personalized. “For years and years, school looked pretty much the same. Kids at desks, teachers talking, kids scratching down notes. Here’s the curriculum: one, then two, then three in lock step order. And what is changing is the idea that we’re going to have core curriculum, then we’re going to have curriculum where kids are going to have options, where they’re going to be able to pick things that they’re passionate about and spend time on those things and doing some deep learning.”
Jory is excited about this change, saying that it’s great to be part of the education system while this change is taking place.
However, he will miss the teachers and students at LCSS. Jeff Rowan, the vice principal, and Jory both began at LCSS at the same time, and Jory says the first thing they noticed was the friendliness of the school and the community. “There’s a great sense of community. We talked to kids from day one, and they talked to us, and the staff was friendly and fun, and the parents have been really fun and supportive and quite positive. Those human connections are the things that you appreciate.”
Jory says that during his time at LCSS, the thing that he is most proud of is the achievement of the students. “When I came, I looked at our achievement profile, and it really wasn’t where it needed to be, our kids weren’t doing as well as they should. What I wanted was for our kids to have the same opportunity here in this small rural town that they do in a larger community.”
This year, as part of Jory’s Plan 100, an initiative that tries to ensure a high graduation rate, LCSS scored 6.5 on the 2010-2011 Fraser Institute’s B.C. and Yukon secondary school rankings. This continued an upward trend over the last five years. “That was our goal. I wanted kids to graduate. I wanted them to achieve in their core courses, that everybody needs. I wanted them to be able to pass their exams.”
Jory says that this became the school’s goal. “We’ve learned that doing things with intention can make a real difference.”
Jory did not want to single out any individual at the school, but says that the building is full of great individuals and that people there know who has real positive energy.
He would like to thank the community for their support and says that he has been treated well during his time with LCSS. “I feel like people have been very fair, right off the bat they were quite fair with me.” He says there were of course questions because he was an outsider coming into the community, “but I think people were very reasonable around what it was that I was trying to do and I think that once they saw that it was starting to work I think they really appreciated me having the energy to try to make a change.”