(Black Press Media)

(Black Press Media)

Fraser-Cascade trustees aim to rename Evergreen Certificate

The program name has negative connotations and doesn’t celebrate student success, trustees said

Students working towards an Evergreen Certificate may find themselves graduating under a new program name, if a motion put forward by the Fraser-Cascade school board goes through.

The motion, which the board will bring to the B.C. School Trustees Association AGM in April, asks that the Evergreen Certificate be renamed the Pathway Diploma, in an attempt to reduce negative connotations around the program.

“In the past, the Evergreen certificate did have some negative connotations, and rightfully so in many ways,” Trustee Ron Johnstone said at Tuesday’s meeting (Feb. 5). “What was happening is it was the path of least resistance, and quite often used with our First Nations students — this was many years ago — in order to put them on an easy path.

“We want to put students on the appropriate path, for them to succeed.”

Johnstone said that the Evergreen Certificate is sometimes the right path for students with special needs, as it allows them to be successful in a school setting.

“To have them walk across the stage as less-than, is really offensive,” he said.

The motion also asks that the association approach the ministry of education to “acknowledge the value of students’ success in graduating” by including them in the six-year completion rate statistics.

RELATED: High school completion rates up in Agassiz and Hope

The Evergreen Certificate is a school completion program for students with an individual education plan. Currently, around 24 students are working towards an Evergreen Certificate in the Fraser-Cascade school district.

These students do not graduate with a Dogwood Diploma as, according to the ministry website, “the Evergreen represents the completion of personal learning goals but does not represent graduation.”

The Fraser-Cascade school board said this was not a good enough reason to subtract students graduating with an Evergreen Certificate from the six-year completion rates.

“Not only do they not get acknowledged for the work they’ve done to get to that point — and the teachers and their other supporters — those numbers … would be subtracted from the total,” board chair Linda Kerr said.

“Which I think is a real degredation for the work they’ve put in, their teachers put in and their parents put in.”

The board voted unanimously to bring the motion to the school trustees AGM in April. At that point, it will be voted on by school trustees from across the province.

Trustee John Koopman feels strongly the motion will be supported by other B.C. trustees.

“I’m confident that by the time we take this to the AGM, it’s going to rectify the wrongs we’ve alluded to,” he said Tuesday.

“Every student should be able to walk across the stage with dignity come graduation,” he added. “They’ve worked hard, we should recognize that. I’m confident this will be a vehicle to change what’s there.”



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP detatchments across the UFVRD are participating in Stuff the Cruiser this year. Last year, Agassiz’s detachment gathered more than 1,000 pounds of food and $1,500 to benefit the local food bank, which surpassed that year’s expectations. (File Photo)
Agassiz ‘Stuff The Cruiser’ event canceled this year

The annual tradition of giving and love continues with the Agassiz RCMP… Continue reading

Highway 5 southbound lanes are closed near Exit 286. Pictured are southbound lanes at 7:06 p.m. (DriveBC)
Coquihalla Highway southbound lanes closed due to vehicle incident

Southbound lanes closed between Exit 286: Merritt and the start of Hwy 5

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
New outbreak at Chilliwack care home, while Agassiz care home outbreak over

‘Critically important’ for residents to get tested immediately if symptoms develop, says Fraser Health

The Abbotsford Pilots and all other junior teams in B.C. have been paused from competition after new restrictions put in place to battle the spread of COVID-19.
Chilliwack Jets, PJHL grounded after new restrictions

Games in the junior B league won’t played until after Dec. 7 at the earliest

Kelli Paddon, on screen in centre, is sworn in as the Chilliwack-Kent MLA by Premier John Horgan on Nov. 24, 2020. (Screenshot)
Coulter and Paddon sworn in as newly minted MLAs for Chilliwack, Chilliwack-Kent

NDP Premier John Horgan swears in 57 new MLAs, a majority of which are women

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

There are 32 active outbreaks in seniors' homes in the Fraser Health region.
MAP: See the locations of 32 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Fraser Health seniors’ homes

There are 32 active outbreaks in assisted-living, long-term care homes and seniors’ rental buildings

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Most Read