Attendance top priority
New principal at Qitiqliq high

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Arviat (Feb 02/00) - Improving attendance and punctuality is the biggest challenge facing staff at Qitiqliq high in Arviat, says the school's new principal.

Rob Davies took over as principal after his predecessor, Rod Forsey, returned home to Newfoundland.

Davies is in his fourth year with the 240-student school, having taught grades 10-12 before assuming his new position.

"Our school spirit is not too bad. We had a carnival just before Christmas which helped improve it a bit," says Davies.

"Although, I would like to see increased student involvement and input into school activities in general."

Qitiqliq high boasts good participation in its extracurricular clubs and activities.

About 50 students take part in the school's Sunday evening hockey club.

"That's been running very well. Two teams play every week, creating a fun little school rivalry."

Another program that draws students is the computer club. And Qitiqliq's soccer and wrestling clubs have also been quite popular.

"We also offered a homework club for students to come in and do their work, which was moderately successful.

"It's more popular around exam time. A few teachers offer their classrooms in the evening for the club and the arrangement works well."

Starting to feel comfortable in his tenure as Qitiqliq principal, Davies says the community helped make his transition easier, especially his staff and students.

"The District Education Authority was very co-operative in helping me settle in and everyone really did their part to make my first couple of months enjoyable."

Davies wants to encourage parents to keep sending their kids to school and help ensure they arrive on time.

He says he can't stress enough the importance of students attending class regularly and respecting their school, teachers and classmates by showing up on time.

"It's extremely important for parents to be involved with their kids' school work.

"Whether it be positive reinforcement, providing a quiet place to study or helping with homework -- any input the parent can have is going to help."