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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 8, 2001 - Issue 44


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Grade 12 Course Debuts at Kugaaruk School


 by Denise Rideout Nunatsiaq News-August 24, 2001

IQALUIT — Six high school students in Kugaaruk are studying poetry and reading adventure novels in the school’s first-ever Grade 12 English literature class.

The course, English 33, made its debut at Kugaardjuq School when classes reconvened this week.

"We have a few people who are just starting to take some Grade 12 courses," Brian Johnson, the principal, said proudly.

Up until now Kugaardjuq School has only offered courses up to Grade 11. The reason is simple: there just weren’t enough kids in the community reaching Grade 12 to justify offering the courses. Students wanting to graduate had to move to Cambridge Bay or Gjoa Haven for their final year of high school.

Johnson said the new course is a big event for the small school.

"This is the big year for the kids in Grade 12 because English 33 is a mandatory course they need to have to graduate with a Grade 12 diploma," Johnson said.

"I would love to put somebody out of here this spring with a Grade 12 diploma."

But none of the six students are geared to graduate this year because they still have to get credits in Grade 12 science and math courses.

Johnson said taking English 33 will put the students one course closer to their graduation day.

In January they’ll write the Alberta departmental exam in literature and, if they pass, they’ll get credit for the Grade 12 course.

Genny Foley is excited about that prospect.

The English literature teacher will spend the next five months discussing poetry, novels, plays, short stories and non-fiction with her six students. The goal is to teach students how to write essays.

"I have a lot of work ahead to get these kids writing. But I’m really looking forward to teaching it," Foley said on the first day of classes.

George Illaszeweicz, superintendent for schools in the Kitikmeot region, said Kugaardjuq will probably become a full-blown Grade 12 school next year.

"We need enough of a core of students that are taking Grade 12 to basically be able to offer the full complement of courses," he said.

For Foley, she’s looking forward to the time when students can begin and end their schooling at Kugaardjuq.

"We’re not as fast as other schools, but we’re growing and we’re getting there," she said.


Kugaardjuq School
Welcome to Kugaardjuq School's very first Website. Thank you for taking an interest in our school and our Arctic home, Kugaaruk. We designed this Website to help teach people about our students and school, to discover the history of Pelly Bay, and so that others could find out a little bit about life in the Canadian North.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

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