Carlton Open House serves as chance to get feeling for the school

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Carlton student Ella Kirkland was icing a cake in one of the commercial kitchens at Carlton Comprehensive High School during the Open House on Thursday evening and decided to share with a visitor.

Future students and their families had a chance to have a look inside Carlton Comprehensive High School on Thursday evening.

Carlton hosted an Open House to welcome future students and their families into the school. Carlton Principal Jeff Court said that it was about inviting people in to see the spaces.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to come in and check out our school and see the programming and see the opportunity, the courses and really just feel our school in terms of the community environment that we have created here,” Court said.

He added that it was also a better chance to look at the culture of the school as well as course options. Thursday’s event featured staff members talking about their teaching spaces, and current students performing demonstrations, such as cooking for Skills Canada.

Court said it’s a good opportunity to show off the positive atmosphere in Carlton, along with the opportunities students have.

When guests arrived, they were greeted by Court and administration as they do every morning at the school. Staff handed out maps and let people explore on their own terms.

“Folks are going to have an opportunity to come in and work their way around the building,” Court said. “What we really want to continue to publicize is that we individualize an education and that we encourage people to take part in an individual or small group tour so that they can ask the questions that they deserve to (have) answered and so that they can feel the space with the intention of their own child in mind,” Court said.

The school is also setting up private tours for individuals and small groups. Court said there are advantages to both styles of tour.

“I love both and really the whole point of what we are trying to accomplish here is to meet the needs of our community. That’s really what schools are, a reflection of the community, so if we force everybody into the one space we might miss out on those that have some questions that might see themselves as future Carlton students.”

Carlton is the largest high school in Saskatchewan in terms of square footage and can be intimidating until students become comfortable.

“The building is massive, it is, but with that large building comes a ton of options for kids in terms of course options,” Court explained. “Really, the whole point of them coming in is we want them to see and feel both what the feeling of the environment is and what they see themselves as a student here. But secondly, once they get inside and get a sense of what it is, it actually becomes a building that you can navigate around fairly quickly as a student.”

School maps handed out on Thursday broke the floor plan down into four colour-coded areas. Court said about 85 per cent of classes take place in the blue area of the school, while everything else happens in the red, yellow, and gold areas.

Court said it’s those other three coloured-coded areas that make the building feel so large.

“They see that the reason why it feels so big is we have got a really big library, a really big cafeteria, a really big pool area, really big gymnasium and all of those shops down that back end,” he explained. “That pretty much wraps the whole building around and that’s why it feels big.”

Court remains a firm advocate for the power of Carlton as an institution.

“I am a believer in our school and think that it’s an awesome opportunity for students when they are looking at transitioning into high school,” he said.