By Bryce Desrochers
Here at Canterbury High School we have a room that is called the Physical Support Program, otherwise known as the PSP. This room is where students with special needs get help from the Educational Assistants at school. For the students of PSP, the winter months bring an added complexity to our day including pushing our way through snow, slipping on ice, or simply being stuck.
Most of these problems happen to me; my rear-wheel drive chair loses traction easier on ice. Some of my peers are in power chairs, others are in manual chairs and need a push, and one just walks with a limp. These three different mobility types the the challenges brought about by winter are what I will be talking about in this issue of the Wallflower.
Special thanks to my interviewees, Head Custodian Phillip Battison, and three PSP students: Malcolm McLarty, Abdulaziz Mohamed and Olivia McDermid.
First I had a chat with the head custodian here at Canterbury. Mr. Battison identified some tools he uses to clear up the path for students. He uses a tractor to plow the snow away, then uses a mix of ice melter and salt, and lastly an ice chipper. The only thing is, he has to do this in 0 degrees.
Next up was Malcolm McLarty, a Grade 12 student here at CHS. Malcolm drives a power wheelchair. In our interview I asked him questions about the conditions of the sidewalk during the winter. He said that they should use more ice melter and salt for better traction with the tires.
Next interviewee was Olivia McDermid. She is a new student to this school and she is in Grade 9. Also, she is in a manual chair and needs a push to get around. She said “the care staff could get rid of the ice by using salt or sand to make it easier for the person on foot to push me.” Also she says: “both the City and the school are to fix the problem.”
My last interviewee was Abdulaziz Mohamed, he is a grade 10 student. He says that “it mostly depends on the weather, from time to time. For the sidewalk, put salt on it and mainly focus on the ice for it to be less slippery. Safety is key to have when it comes to dealing with ice outside.”
These are the winter worries here at Canterbury. As for me, I feel that the custodial staff do a great job at clearing the ice and snow making it easier for us to walk, be pushed and drive safely between transportation and the school building.