Fraser-Cascade School District 78’s school board lauded the vice-principal of careers and transitions Karl Koslowsky for developing trades programs within the school district.
Koslowsky updated the board, presenting as a delegation at the Jan. 10 school board meeting, highlighting various programs. Thereafter, board chair Linda Kerr, trustee John Koopman, trustee Ron Johnstone and superintendent Karen Nelson thanked him for his work.
“You’re passionate about this, and you’re really working hard. You’re dedicated. I can see that you’re just really enjoying every moment of this,” said Nelson.
Nelson said that Koslowsky’s leadership brought a nascent trades program, two years ago, to its current status.
The school district currently has deals with industry partners such as the University of the Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and BCIT. They recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Interior Heavy Equipment Operator School to deliver the Heavy Metal Rocks Try-A-Trade program this March.
“Thank you to everybody who’s worked on this for turning over every rock to see what’s under there for students,” said Johnstone.
Koslowsky noted that programs have seen more demand for these programs than there are spaces. In Hope Secondary School alone, he has already handed out over 35 applications each for the Heavy Metal Rocks program, a welding program and the Northern Opportunities Tour. These programs have 20, 10 and 10 spaces respectively.
“We’re going to have to unfortunately to say no to a number of people and take a look where we can fit them in,” said Koslowsky.
In a post-board meeting interview, Koslowsky highlighted that the catalyst for SD78 developing its trades came in two people — the Ministry of Education’s careers and transitions superintendent Larry Espe and SD78’s careers consultant Greg Howard.
Kosolowsky said Espe came in to get a feel of the interest level in SD78, and received a positive response. Hence, he introduced Howard to assess and mentor the development the of trades programs within the district.
In spring 2015, their first trade program was TRU’s welding program.
Koslowsky said the two biggest achievements in 2016 were developing a district-wide program rather than having one-offs and school-based programs and signing a memorandum of understanding with Interior Heavy Equipment Operator School.
Koslowsky said the school district will have conversations this year with UFV to expand their offerings in trades where they do not have agreements in, and add non-trades programs. Examples of non-trades program include early childhood education, clerical and administrative work.