FAQ for Incoming Grade 8 Students
1. When is the first day of school?
The first day of regular classes for the 2016-2017 School Year is August 30th, 2016. However, we are once again offering a grade 8 orientation day on August 29th. The day will begin at PCSS at 11:30 am with a BBQ. We will give students a few ice-breaker activities to participate in to get to know each other. We will have a brief assembly in the gym and students will then go to their homeroom classes to create their weekly timetable and be assigned their lockers. The day will finish at 1:30 pm. This is a very important first day and we encourage all grade 8’s to attend. Students in grades 9-12 will begin on the 30th of August. Please note there is no school bus service on this day and students will need to be dropped off and picked up.
2. What classes do I take in Grade 8?
All students in grade 8 take the same classes unless they have chosen to be in the band program or are receiving a Learning Assistance block in their schedule. The classes are; Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Physical Education, Language (French or Athapaskan) and the Exploratory Classes which include; Metalwork, Textiles, Health and Career Education (HACE) , First Nation Art and Culture, Drama, Keyboarding, Foods, Art . Students who are in Band will have 4 of the above electives, HACE plus 3 others of their choice. All other grade 8’s will have all 8 Exploratory classes.
3. How long are the classes in the school day?
Classes last for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, 80 minutes to be exact.
4. How many classes in one day?
Every day you will have 4 periods, two before lunch and two after lunch.
5. What kind of school supplies should I buy?
Please note that there are NO SCHOOL FEES this year and essential school supplies will be provided by the school.
6. How long do I take courses for?
Students in grade 8 will have a mix of course lengths. Math, Science, English and Social Studies are semestered (September to January and January to June). PE and their language class are linear which means they last for the full length of the school year (September to June) and occur on a day 1 - day 2 basis. The Exploratory classes are the length of 1 term and there are four terms in a school year. Each term lasts approximately 2 months. So grade 8’s will take 2 Exploratory classes each term multiplied by 4 terms for a total of 8 Exploratory classes in a school year.
7. What sports and clubs are available at PCSS?
Grade 8’s play in their own sports division against grade 8’s from other high schools. The major sports in the school year are volleyball and basketball while the other minor sports include badminton, cross country running, Track and Field and possibly golf. This year we have had a guitar club, Running Club and the Biking Club (both road and mountain), beading and Native Dance. As well, one of our longest operating clubs, Social Justice meets every Thursday at lunch to plan activities to promote local and global citizenship.
8. Do students get “cut” from sports teams at PCSS?
We have a no cut policy for grade 8 students at PCSS. All students are invited and encouraged to play all sports regardless of ability or previous experience. The only way a student will be removed from a grade 8 team is for non excused attendance from practice, inability to co-operate with a coach or for academic reasons. The cost to play volleyball or basketball is usually about $60.00 and uniforms are provided. No student is refused on a sports teams for the inability to pay the fee, simply have a conversation with the coach or your school counselor.
9. What if I forget my lunch or I am hungry throughout the day?
The cafeteria is open at morning break and for the first 30 minutes of the lunch hour. Items such as home baked muffins and cookies are available as snacks for a reasonable price. If you forgot to eat breakfast, the office will provide a breakfast card for the cafeteria or a granola bar if the cafeteria is closed. You can come in at lunch for a lunch card which will give you a bowl of soup and a fresh baked roll in the cafeteria. All of this is provided at no cost to students or their families. As well, the counselors and principals always have a supply of granola bars and crackers for rumbling stomachs.
10. What do I do if I am falling behind in my schoolwork or need extra help?
Most teachers will identify to the students early on in the school year when they are available for extra help. This usually occurs during lunch time or before school starts in the morning. Students who have not been identified as needing a Learning Assistance block to help understand concepts are invited to after school tutoring from Tuesday to Thursday after school until 5pm. As well, Skookum Jim’s offers a free tutoring program after school for First Nation students.
11. How do I know what school bus to take to get to PCSS?
12. What if I have a question that is not answered here?
13. What if I change my mind over the summer and decide I want to try taking band?
You can phone the school (867) 667-8044 and make an appointment to see Mrs. Seymour to change your timetable. She will be in the school for these appointments on August 24, 25 and 28.