School adjusts for playoffs

BILL LAYE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 5:20 PM ET

 The Flames first dash for the Cup in years means creative exam scheduling in at least one Calgary high school.

 "When the Flames are playing, the students just have to watch it," said Peter Willott, a teacher at Bishop McNally high school, 5700 Falconridge Blvd. N.E.

  "They do come in somewhat tired the next day and many of the teachers have planned their tests so they'll occur the day before the Flames game rather than expecting the students to pull all-nighters after the Flames have gone into overtime."

 That won't be a problem today, though -- the Flames are facing the Sharks at the 'Dome this afternoon at 2 p.m., hoping to bite back after their Game 3 loss.

 And teachers are quick to use the action at the rink to bring their lesson plans to life.

 "There are ways of tying in momentum with the velocity of the puck (and) students respond to that sort of thing," said Willott, who's been teaching math and science for more than 30 years.

 "You take advantage of that sort of thing when it comes."

 But, contrary to popular belief, there don't appear to be too many students playing hooky during the closing weeks of the hockey season, he said.

 That's because many of them have got their own playoffs to worry about, noted Larry Liffiton, an English teacher at Dr. E.P. Scarlett high school, 220 Canterbury Dr. S.W.

 "So we're pretty focused at the moment on getting the work done ... my Grade 12s are more focused on grad right now," said Liffiton, who takes on his role with the Alberta Teachers' Association as the Calgary public teachers local president on July 1.

 "They're certainly excited and you get the Flames jerseys, but once the classes start they get down to work."

 But, compared to 1989, when the Flames went all the way, the level of excitement is definitely higher -- probably because this crop of students likely doesn't remember that magic season, said Willott.

 "In '89, Calgary had been a competitive team for quite a few years and this time they've been out of the playoffs so long that it's brand new to them," he said.

 He added the whole school of 1,200 students and more than 70 staff, with few exceptions, wore red on Thursday.

 "The talk in the hallway is predominantly about what's going on in the playoffs and there are many references to sharks."


Videos

Photos