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MET School gets a home of its own

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This article was published 13/11/2015 (2636 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A local school that focuses on personalized education now has its very own facility.

On Nov. 9, MET School held a grand opening for its new independent facility, located at 640 Jefferson Ave. The Seven Oaks School Division school, which opened in 2009, was previously housed inside Garden City Collegiate.

Construction on the eight-classroom, 8,600-square-foot school started in October 2014 and was completed in June. The cost of the project was $1.8 million.

Photo by Jared Story MET School Grade 10 students Mack Parisien (left) and David Krueger (right) work with advisor David Zynoberg on a design project.

MET School students have been attending classes at the new facility since the start of the school year.

MET School acting principal Nancy Janelle said the school had outgrown its space at Garden City. The school currently has about 100 students and seven advisors. She said the school will cap out in the 2016-17 school year at 120 students and eight advisors.

At MET School, students stay with the same advisor and classmates for all four years of high school.

“I think the biggest thing for us is having a space we can call our own,” Janelle said. “We’re able to really form our own identity and our own culture now. Before, we were a needle in a haystack, 100 kids in a school of 1,400. In our short time at this new building we’ve really created a sense of identity that we didn’t have in the past.”

In addition to eight classrooms, the new MET School features a “Great Room”, a multi-purpose area which facilitates the school’s breakfast program, social justice club, gay-straight alliance, healthy mind support group and currently, a hydroponic garden project featuring basil, lettuce, sunflowers and peas.

However, it’s what happens outside of its walls that really sets MET School apart.

Based on the Big Picture Learning (BPL) concept, MET School is one of over 100 BPL schools worldwide that focus on student-based and interest-based learning. Every Tuesday and Thursday, MET School students do internships in the community.

For the past month, MET School Grade 10 student Alon Denisiuk has interned at
Tripwire Media Group, a downtown video and animation company. Utilizing his experience at Tripwire, he’s currently working on a MET School recruitment video.

Photo by Jared Story (From left) MET School acting principal Nancy Janelle and Grade 10 students Sasha Zigic, Bailey Graydon, Shae-Lynn Papiz and Alon Denisiuk in the school’s “Great Room,” a multi-purpose area.

“It’s been added as a school-based project. I like how your passions can be taken in as a school project and you can get credit for it,” Denisiuk said.

MET School Grade 10 student Shae-Lynn Papiz is currently interning at
Rainbow Stage. Papiz is working on a massive three-year school project, a production of The Addams Family musical, and says her experience at Rainbow Stage has been very beneficial.

“At Rainbow Stage I’ve been breaking down scripts for shows, getting ready for next season and just seeing how the behind-the-scene kind piddly work brings a huge production together,” Papiz said.

In addition to having their own space, MET School students have access to Garden City Collegiate classes like advanced sciences and mathematics, as well as Garden City’s sports, drama and music programs.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” Janelle said. “They have this really neat way of doing high school, being out in community two days a week, but if they really want that traditional bio class or they really want to play volleyball, they can do that too.”

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