the newsletter - Prairie Land Regional Division No. 25
ISSUE 1 SPRING 2014
Small schools preparing
students for big futures
Prairie Land Regional Division #25, Box 670, 101 Palliser Trail, Hanna, AB T0J 1P0 Phone: (403) 854-4481 FAX: (403) 854-2803
Chairperson of the Board
On behalf of the Board, I wish to thank all of our parents, community members, students and staff for working
together to create wonderful learning environments in all
of our schools throughout Prairie Land.
When I look at all the great things happening in our
schools, I am proud to be part of our learning community.
Our Board is pleased with the progress we have made on
implementing the directions that Alberta Education has
identified for Alberta Schools. We have moved towards a
model of learning that reflects today’s needs.
The focus in our classrooms is on co-construction of
knowledge and on applying learning to solving problems
that exist in the real world and in the subject disciplines.
Our schools are all focused on engaging students in
their learning so that school is meaningful and relevant for
them. PLRD will continue to focus on deep learning and
on mastering the necessary foundational skills that allow
our students to succeed in a world that requires ethical, entrepreneurial, engaged
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAIRPERSON’S MESSAGE ..................................PAGE 1
ALTARIO SCHOOL ....................................................PAGE 2
BERRY CREEK COMMUNITY SCHOOL .................PAGE 3
CONSORT SCHOOL ..................................................PAGE 4
DELIA SCHOOL ........................................................PAGE 6
HANNA PRIMARY SCHOOL ..................................PAGE 7
J.C. CHARYK SCHOOL .............................................PAGE 8
MORRIN SCHOOL ...................................................PAGE 9
Policy FrameVETERAN SCHOOL ................................................PAGE 10
YOUNGSTOWN SCHOOL .......................................PAGE 11
This frameCOLONY SCHOOLS ................................................PAGE 12
technology inFUTURE OF PLRD ..................................................PAGE 13
SUPERINTENDENTS MESSAGE ...........................PAGE 14
PLRD TECHNOLOGY ...............................................PAGE 13
“student –centered, personalized learning for all students”.
The PLRD Board has provided funding and policy directions for all of our schools so that every student has “access
to appropriate devices, reliable infrastructure, high-speed
networks, and digital learning environments”.
PLRD’s classrooms must reflect the world that students
live in at home and when they graduate and take up postsecondary studies or join the work force.
If you visit your school, please be sure to inquire about
the way in which technology is being used and how it is
supporting teaching and learning in your children’s classrooms.
I think you will see that our schools are well supplied
with modernized technologies so that all students can access a variety of sources of information at any time and any
place, and that they can connect with experts and learners
from anywhere in the world to support their learning.
It is exciting that PLRD is currently implementing a program review where parents and students are being asked to
take part in a division-wide consultation on the breadth of
programming that is desired by our communities.
In order to provide our students with a wide variety of
academic and trades-based programming that prepares
them for post-secondary studies and for work alike, PLRD
is aligning all of our school time-tables and schedules so
that students will be able to access programs from various
locations in order to meet their learning needs and career
We are investing in appropriate technologies to allow for
virtual access to dual credit and academic programs, and
that will allow our students to receive a greater variety of
Career and Technology programs from their local schools
or from other teachers within PLRD and beyond.
Together we can build strong school learning environments for every child. I look forward to continuing to support this very important direction that PLRD has adopted
and will continue to pursue.
Phone (403) 552 3828
Fax (403) 552 3882
ltario School is a small school in numbers
but big in heart, mind, and soul. The relationships formed between students, and
between staff and students, forever leave lasting impressions shaping everyone’s futures and ambitions.
Success is not a goal at Altario School– it is an expectation. Success comes in many forms; from school
academics and extra-curricular events, to personal and
team victories. Success rarely comes alone.
We would like to thank the support
of parents and community members
for all of their efforts to assist in
the academic, athletic, and social
development of the students.
Our Grade 1/2/3 class has had
many fun-tastic opportunities
this year. The ski trip was a
favorite of many, as was trying
to catch leprechauns and painting
faces on pumpkins. Our Grade
1/2/3 class delighted in teaching our
trustees about metacognition on their
tour through our school. Our Grade 4/5/6
class can always been seen building something. The
math unit cubes were very interesting, but so were the
flashlights, parachutes, paper airplanes.
The 4/5/6 class is very talented at drumming, and
when you get the chance to listen to them perform it is
a great treat!
Our 7/8 class is also very talented. They participated in the Battle of the Bands. Both groups received
honors, and one group received the prestigious “Rising
Star” award. The highlight for many students this year
was the field trip to Banff to see hieroglyphs.
The Grade 9 class are chefs in the making. They are
responsible for the pleasant smells wafting through the
school corridors that remind us of Grandma’s kitchen.
They are also talented in a number of athletic and
fine art pursuits: from badminton, hockey and baseball; to dance, music and art. You can be sure to find
an Altario Grade 9 in the top community rankings.
The high school students are exploring their interests
and refining their passions. For some students their
interests are in maintaining or expanding the
family business. For others, the needs to explore post-secondary academic pursuits
outside the community are appealing.
For many balancing work, play and
academics is easily accomplished on
any day. Altario School is proud to
have played a part in the development of these bright and motivated
The community and the school
have partnered to provide the National Archery in Schools Program for
students in Grades 5-12.
Teachers, parents, school staff, and a student
leader were trained as coaches so that the program
could be provided both in and outside of school time.
Equipment was purchased through donations from the
KAC Ag Society and the Lion’s Club.
We are excited about implementing this inclusive
program. Not only are our students excited, but so are
many community members. A list for a second round
of coaches’ training in the fall of 2014 has already been
started. We are on target for another great year in
Altario School’s history books.
BARRY DAVIS - Ward 3, Subdivision 2 (Altario/Consort) - [email protected]
Phone: (403) 566-3743
FAX: (403) 566-3736
erry Creek Community School is a place of
learning and creativity. Challenging our students to create through problem solving and
collaboration can be seen in many of our classes.
Our students’ projects from their options and CTS
classes exhibit individual skill and a love of learning.
Creativity is demonstrated in many projects. Although
we are a small school, the ability to incorporate rigorous meaningful learning in our classes can be seen in
many of the engaging learning opportunities.
“Creating Responsible Citizens,” which
is modeled by
our community members
who are involved
in many aspects
of our school.
have built benches as part of volunteer work to be
placed in at the skating rink throughout the winter
months for everyone to enjoy.
By setting a climate of high expectations and meaningful opportunities for students, they become engaged and responsible for their learning. Students feel
involved in our school as they are a part of making
decisions and are engaged in meaningful tasks.
Our junior high industrial arts class focuses on wood
working projects which are both assigned by the teacher while having opportunities to make projects which
the students plan. Students have built benches for the
skating rink, wooden toys with their own plans, and
furniture as well. Skill development evolves as projects
become more complex.
In foods class, students work to create healthy dishes
and are able to work collaboratively in groups. At
times, there are Iron Chef challenges. Students must
work collectively to create a dish from provided ingredients and compete with another group over taste and
presentation. Student engagement is not an issue as
they work to create the best tasting food.
Currently, students in junior high are creating their
project which is
combined with videography and movie
will take a role in
and skill building
Photography is a
high school course
which has made an
impact on our school as well. One student continues
to work with our preschool students as well as taking
the picture for this article. The fine points of photography are outlined by the CTS class taught by one of our
Big opportunities, high expectations, and engaging learning activities allow Berry Creek Community
School to be a high achieving school. We are preparing
our students with a variety of experiences for a future
of collaboration, creativity and diligence in the workplace.
HOLLI SMITH- Ward 1 (Berry Creek) - [email protected]
ur school community continues to have a variety of spirit days. September began with the
Terry Fox Walk and lunch activities sponsored
by our student councils. Halloween costumes, a haunted house as well as collecting change for UNICEF
were highlights in October. Supporting the local food
drive by collecting food then making a human chain
down main street to transport food items was a “cool”
activity in December. February had students participating in a Winter Olympics with school council
supplying hot chocolate. We had monthly assemblies
that highlighted sports, accomplishments, students of
the month, and honour roll recognition. Elementary
classes paired with older students to create “buddy” activities that engage students of different ages and build
school community. Here are snippets of the various
ECS - Put on a Christmas Pageant “The Gingerbread
Kids,” celebrated “Beach Day” in January, danced
“What Does the Fox Say” in the elementary assembly,
mailed Easter letters at the post office and toured the
police station, bank, and Sortland Museum. A Kindergarten Graduation ceremony is planned for June.
Gr. 1- Enjoyed a science “Building” theme by bringing recyclable items that provided an opportunity to
demonstrate our concern for our world. Investigated
the “Past” by compiling a book featuring artifacts that
our families have “loaned” to us. Writing stories on
the iPad has been very enjoyable, especially since we
get to illustrate our work. We have busy days in our
Gr. 2- Daily reading activities, readers theatre and
practiced implementation of comprehension strategies
has allowed the students the opportunity to grow both
their skill set and confidence in their reading abilities.
Students have developed both their fiction and nonfiction skills creating a variety of written pieces to show
5215 50 Street
Bag Service 1002
Phone: (403) 577-3654
FAX: (403) 577-2112
Email: [email protected]
Gr. 3- Classroom activities included building popsicle stick bridges to support 1 kg mass, performing
three fractured fairy tale readers’ theatre scripts to
Kindergarten, Grade 1 and 2, and parents/family, and
decorating pysanky eggs
Gr. 4 - Our “Weeds to Street Soapbox Derby Challenge” where Grade Fours are going to plan, organize,
and carry out a soapbox derby in conjunction with the
local car club’s car show in June is revving up. We’ve
made the cars; now students need to communicate
with car club members about date and time, location,
derby guidelines, and prizes. We will focus on persuasive writing and collaboration beyond the classroom.
Gr. 5 - Our class built electric cars in science to see
which cars can traverse an obstacle course. Students
visit the residents in the extended care in the hospital
regularly. We shared cookies as well as our stories
from ELA. Our next visit will be interviewing the
residents in hopes of writing a true story about their
Unfortunately we were unable to catch any leprechauns with our unique traps, but we made a valiant
effort! Also Halley McDonald visits regularly with
her infant daughter working on a “Roots of Empathy”
Gr. 6 - We are completing ‘Flight’ in science and
have been experimenting with parachutes, helio-straw
copters and rockets. Class council reps have also been
working to plan an Easter Treasure hunt for their ECS
buddies. They hope to plan a spring movie night for
Grade 4-6 students, and students have learned there is
a lot of planning required before an event can actually
In Elementary P.E., fitness, fair play, cooperation,
and having fun are key pillars to the program. Students
enhance their knowledge and skills in a variety of
activities from volleyball, social dance, wrestling, Inuit
games, to pickleball and track and field.
Students in math 30-1 and 20-2 have been working
to develop theorems and proofs themselves. Math 10-3
and 20-3 have been working to build projects that represent where the math they are learning is represented
in the world by exploring occupations that use different aspects of math. Students are becoming critical
thinkers in regard to the methods of problem solving.
In social 7 we are going to make pemmican and have
tried bead work as hands on learning about Metis culture and traditions. Students were very engaged in the
bead work activity.
Sr. Social students have been working hard to improve their reading and analytical skills by practicing
multiple choice tests. To counteract the somewhat
tedious nature of this sort of work, we have also been
focusing on projects that allow the students to stretch
their creativity and research skills.
chem. 30 and
sc.14 and 24
great progress in
their lab skills.
redox titrations and building voltaic cells in chemistry
to using yeast to simulate cellular respiration in science
24 the students have worked safely, used equipment
properly and have had a positive experience doing
The ELA 7 students have been working diligently on
their writing with weekly journal writing and, more
recently, ‘Questions of the Day’ have enhanced the
quality of their written work.
ELA 8 and 9 are finding themselves more engaged
in activities that involve the use of technology and
activities that revolve around a group dynamic. Using
Google Drive more with assignments allows us to cut
back on the amount of photocopying.
Foods class have finished a creative baking unit
where each of the girls got to create a fantasy cake.
They did an amazing job and were very creative.
The special education program would not be what it
is without the wonderful people we have at our school.
In P.E. 20/30 did 10 pin bowling and wall climbing in
Red Deer. Curling was popular from grade 7-12 -- we
sure appreciate our local facility!
Wellness 7 is studying healthy eating, making a connection between food and health disorders, and how
food plays a role in health. Applying their knowledge,
the students blended a variety of healthy delicious
smoothies for their classmates to test.
Elementary Wellness participated in a first aid and
safety awareness program, known as “We Can Help.”
Character education is the focus this year. The
Grade 6 class organized and operated the “Citizenship Carnival” for the ECS, Grade 1, 2, and 3 students
modeling how their act of citizenship can enhance the
spirits of others!
iGEM continues this year with students preparing
a project they will take to MIT (Boston) at the end of
hit several high
notes (pun intended). We started
with a concert
Yellow Black Bird
(YBB), and elementary students sang at the Consort Lodge, Remembrance Day Ceremony, and Coronation Music Festival
where they received a gold rating. The Grade 6 concert band had two Christmas Concert performances
and the whole elementary school put on two fantastic
sold out shows with their “Wizard Of Oz.” Battle Of
The Bands VI in February was very successful! YBB is
wrapped up their year by going on an exchange program to Ottawa. They will host 33 Ontario counterparts as they come and share their music in Consort
during our school’s Grad week. We would like to thank
the many people in the community who support music
in our schools including the financial contributions
of the Consort Oilmen, The Lion’s Club, JayBrooke
Holdings, SEVEC, and the Consort Parents Group. We
appreciate the ongoing commitment of Consort School
administration, parents, and the Prairie Land Board to
keep arts programs alive and well in our rural schools.
It has been a fun filled, busy year!
BARRY DAVIS - Ward 3, Subdivision 2 (Altario/Consort) - [email protected]
Phone (403) 364-3777
Fax (403) 364-3805
Email: [email protected]
elia School’s cross country team has grown from nonexistent to
having four members. We sent a member to Provincials and had
a top 25 finish. We also had three of four team members post personal bests.
• There’s plenty of excitement in our class’s writing and in our google docs
expertise. Students have written some amazing stories and set up their own
files on drive. We edit together on Smartboard. We all feel pretty techy!!!!!! • Alberta Education’s Flexible Pathways Research Project - The Grade 5
and 6 class was privileged at the beginning of the school year to receive one
iPad per student. This is a two year project that looks at how technology can
motivate learning, and provide success to all students. We use the iPads in
all of our classes, and are finding them to be a wonderful learning tool. We
use them to: write collaborative stories, create iMovies and movie trailers,
solve tricky math problems, play math games, and learn how the parts of
an airplane work together to allow planes to fly in the air. In other words,
we love them! Our Grade 7 and 8 math classes are also taking part in this
• In a rural school with no second language program, providing a group
of students the opportunity to explore and learn the basics of 14 different
world languages is a huge highlight. Getting them excited and interested
in different parts of the world through language, and showing them the
tools they can use to explore it further, is something to celebrate. • Shop is strictly a project-based course where students learn through
inquiry learning. Students are encouraged to use their creativity, and
mistakes are seen as a learning opportunity. Students are not assessed
through standardization; rather the focus is on formative assessment and
helping individuals grow.
• Mini unit on animals of the different Canadian Communities of
Nunavut, New Brunswick, and the Prairies. To complement our learning of Owls we invited a local scientist to visit us. Mr. Tim Schowalter
brought a collection of owl pellets for us to examine. We found many
feathers, frog bones, baby duck bills, and beaks of other birds. Awesome,
Chairperson of the Board - Ward 4, Subdivision 2 (Delia) - [email protected]
Hanna Primary School
618 1st Street East
Phone (403) 854-3694
Fax (403) 854-2649
Email: [email protected]
hroughout the school year, our teachers meet on
a six-eight week cycle to review student needs
and to develop small group programming based
on these needs. The small groups are designed to
improve literacy skills through a more intense focus on
specific skills. Each group uses a variety of approaches
(i.e. choral speech, repeat reading, word games, readers’ theatre, etc.) to allow students to increase their understanding using a method that works best for them.
We incorporate our awareness of each child’s individual learning styles into planning, programming
and practicing with the literacy groups.
We are pleased to say that we have
seen a marked improvement in
reading fluency, comprehension
and confidence connected to
student participation in the
literacy groups. A number of
our groups were able to share
their choral speech projects
with the whole school during
our talent show.
Since September, the grade
three students have been learning
about what life is like in other countries. The students have become aware
that the quality of life in Canada is much
different from those in other countries. Our students
realize that many children around the world don’t
have a home, enough food to eat, clean water to drink,
access to health care, and even essential safety and
security. The goal of this project is to help the students
think beyond themselves and learn they can make
a difference in helping the life of a child in another
country. The students are working with Treana Peake
(a former Hanna student) of the Obakki Foundation to
raise money to build a fresh water well in the Sudan.
The building mental health (REACH) program was
very active this year. Our REACH wellness worker
and FRW (family resource worker), have created and
offered programming around mindfulness, anxiety
reduction, and increasing mental wellness strategies
- through Art, Yoga, board games, arm-knitting, and
Pokemon club. Using these programs they are providing opportunities for students to receive support and
gain instruction in self-help strategies in a child
friendly atmosphere. The skills that students
are able to learn and develop help each
child to be more successful in their
school career and home environment.
Through the efforts of our amazing students, we were able to host
a school-wide talent show which
included dance, piano, tae kwon
do, gymnastics and singing. The
event was hosted on April 4th with
30 performances and offered our
students an opportunity to celebrate
the accomplishments of their peers.
Great work everyone!
Our Grade 2/3 choir was able to perform
at the local Hanna and District Music Festival. They
performed two songs and received silver for each of
their songs at the festival. Thank you to Mrs. Dietrich
for directing the choir and to Mrs. Michelle Viste for
accompanying them on the piano.
JADA HILL - Ward 2, Subdivision 1 (Hanna) - [email protected]
J.C. Charyk School
801 4th Street West
Phone (403) 854-3642
Fax (403) 854-4759
Email [email protected]
just recently enrolled at the J C Charyk Hanna
School for my last year in Grade 12 and I quickly
realized that this school was a place I wanted to
be. I was met by a very warm and helpful administrative staff that prepared an individualized program for
me, and I was impressed with the academic and social
opportunities I could choose from that included traditional, dual credit, off-campus, videoconferencing, and
Distance Learning courses, to name just a few. The
school resonates with a climate of Respect – respect for
self and others,
which gave me
a deep comfort
that here was a
safe and caring
I was proud to
participate in the
Shirt day, where
all students and
staff wore pink
shirts to support the anti-bullying program of the
school. Through the Flexibility Program and Advisories, all students are kept informed by attending weekly
assemblies, and are given daily opportunities for competency and enrichment to encourage technology use
and learner-centered attitudes. Through the Industrial
Arts program, students are engaging in new courses to
understand current developments in Environmental
Science and Robotics. Staff are educating themselves
for the future Curriculum Redesign that supports the
provincial Inspiring Education initiative, while students are realizing that they need to take a greater role
in their personal academic and career development
path. Grade 12 students are finalizing their academic
program and anxiously preparing for their graduation
ceremonies that are fast approaching in May.
In addition to academics, there appears to be a variety of co-curricular and extracurricular activities for
which I could volunteer for. The basketball program
is winding down after a successful season – the senior
boy’s basketball team won the Zone Championships,
while the girl’s teams just missed out going to Provincials. Our Mixed Curling team earned themselves a
Medal held in
Leduc, and many of
our students are experiencing success
in various school
rodeo, all of which
our school supports however they can.
The most recent discussions about the school are involving the upcoming modernization and amalgamation of all students of Hanna. Discussions about structural design, program development, and community
impact are being voiced and collated for submission to
Alberta Education with the goal of building one of the
best schools in the Province of Alberta. That’s why J C
Charyk Hanna School is the place I want to be.”
J C Charyk Hanna School
through the eyes of a newcomer
ANGIE WARWICK - Ward 2, Subdivision 1 (Hanna) - [email protected]
Phone (403) 772-3838
Fax (403) 772-3868
Email [email protected]
e have a lot to be proud of.
As a small school, we are actually more
like a family.
And when a family works together, we can do some
pretty amazing things. In our safe and caring environment, where our relationships are built on mutual
respect and high expectations for all, our students can
and do succeed.
We strive for excellence in our academic classrooms,
where students are engaged through project work, 21st
century skills, technological tools such as iPads, laptops, and smartphones, and are accountable for their
work and actions.
We also have a very successful off-campus program
in which students can
earn high school credits
through work experience and our Registered
Dual credit courses are also
available through our partnerships with Lakeland and
Red Deer Colleges.
Saying “thanks” for a great day of gardening!
￼ Our CTS lab students continue
to produce creative, useful and
aesthetic products through
their shop classes in woodworking, welding, and
Our on-site fruit, vegetable, and flower garden,
tended by students and staff,
supplies our foods classes with
many of the products they need to
then provide others with tasty
The garden, combined
with our fitness lab and
art club, also helps to
emphasize to students the
well-rounded, healthy lifestyle that will benefit them for
years to come.
Our athletic year has been stellar:
Girls Curling—Zone Champions * JV Girls Basketball—Zone Champions *
• 2013-14 Zone champions
• Jr. Girls Volleyball—Zone
• Junior Boys Volleyball
We sure appreciate all of
Community and global
School of life” excursions include
working with The Salvation
Army, The Mustard Seed, SADD,
FCC Food Drive, STARS Initiation, Buddies Against Bullying
Teas and Dinners), Project
REACH, trips to Rosebud
Theatre and The Glenbow
Museum, among many others.
LYLE CAWIEZEL - Ward 4, Subdivision 1 (Morrin) - [email protected]
201 Lucknow Street
Phone (403) 575-3915
Fax (403) 575-3870
n November 2012 Mr. Dave Pennington, a WWII
Veteran, spoke to the Veteran School students, staff
and community members at our Remembrance
Day Service. He inspired the students through his
stories and memories and made honoring our Veterans
and their sacrifice come alive. His medals had been
destroyed, and the Jr. High students were determined
to replace them. On March 28, 2012, in front of a
full gym of community members and students with
military and political dignitaries, WWII medals were
returned to a very surprised, proud Private First Class
Dave Pennington. With the airing of the CBC National coverage, the ripple effect spread.
After hearing the CBC reports, Dr. Paul Kavanagh,
founder of Operation Veteran, called the school to
express his appreciation for honoring a Veteran and
invited the students to Ottawa to participate in the Remembrance Day Ceremonies on November 11, 2013,
and educational activities related to Remembrance
Day. Fundraising began in earnest in May 2013. Local
businesses, clubs and community members were incredibly generous with their donations and the hiring
of student labor.
In the fall of 2013, as a school, we continued to
expand our knowledge of World War II as grades 3-9
read the book, The Little Coat by Sue and Bob Elliot.
The book tells the story of an Alberta soldier who was
stationed in Holland and the young girl he met there.
It gave insight into not only the lives of the Canadian
soldiers, but also the suffering of the Dutch citizens
under Nazi occupation. At our 2013 Remembrance
Day Service, we were privileged to have Master Corporal Paul Franklin speak to us. His incredible attitude
and engaging manner helped the students learn about
modern day combat and dangers, as well as personal
MARSHA TKACH :
perseverance and the control we can have over our
own destinies by using positive thinking to overcome
Nov. 8, 2013, 15 students and 11 adults boarded an
Air Canada flight to Ottawa. The educational and
emotional impact of this trip was incredible for students and adults.
The National Remembrance Day Memorial Ceremony and the War Museum were the highlights of the
trip. We met with 300 students in Operation Veteran
and listened as wounded soldiers spoke about their
experiences and inspired us to face challenges and difficulties with determination and perseverance. Attending the National Remembrance Day Ceremony was
incredibly meaningful as we witnessed our Canadian
Veterans honored for their service and sacrifice. Later
that evening, we placed our poppies on the Tomb of
the Unknown Soldier and wiped our tears.
In March, Dr. Paul Kavanagh travelled from Laval,
Quebec to Veteran to bring a plaque of Recognition of
Support of Operation Veteran, to speak to our students
and to meet the community who supported a group
of Jr. High students. Dr. Kavanagh challenged the
students to live to their full potential, striving to reach
their dreams and passions while appreciating the past.
We as a school have been privileged to experience
these special encounters that few others have had the
opportunity to witness. The joy of Private First Class
Dave Pennington as he received his medals, the inspiring stories of Master Corporal Paul Franklin, Dr. Paul
Kavanagh and other Veterans and for the Jr. Highs; the
trip of a lifetime to Ottawa. Our students have been
positively impacted by these life-changing moments.
Vice-Chairperson of the Board - Ward 3, Subdivision 1 (Veteran) - [email protected]
Phone: (403) 779-3822
FAX: (403) 779-3868
eing in a small school has many advantages,
including the collaborative and engaging learning environment that we have with motivated
student leaders. We have amazing senior high school
and junior high school role models at our school that
work with the elementary school students in many
Robyn Guenthner worked with
the Kindergarten to Grade 6 students
this year. She helped students with
fractions and algebra, and the Grade
1-3 students enjoyed reading several
times a week with her. Robyn often
worked one on one with students,
helping them with their reading
skills. She developed an excellent
rapport with students.
Mrs. Bailey’s Grade 7-8 english
class participated in Teen Read in the Library once a
week. Students each wrote a story, keeping in mind
that successful authors consider: their audience, the
storyline, settings, and plot. The students were also
responsible for choosing the style of the book, and the
illustrations. They took on the complete role of the author including an “author visit” for the Kindergarten to
Grade 4 students. The response from the teachers and
students was fantastic! It was an extremely engaging
activity for both the authors and the audience.
Cheyenne Branden held a planned story time for
the Kindergarten once a week. She planned stories,
rhymes, games and crafts. The Kindergarten students
were able to interact with staff, and other students
throughtout the school and they loved what she planed
We were fortunate enough to have two very helpful,
positive and enthusiastic leadership students assist the
Grades 1-3 P.E. class this year. Dawson Thuroo and
Austin Andrew were able to communicate their instruction, provide positive and constructive feedback,
and model activities daily. They planned fun, engaging
activities such as relay races, basketball skills, badminton, volleyball, big ball games, and
We also have great community leaders who share their knowledge. The
Youngstown Village Council held an
actual meeting in Mr. MacKay’s class to
help students learn about local government. Students were able to ask questions and even put forth suggestions to
the Mayor and Councilors.
Within classes, students are also
working together on great projects. In
Mrs. Gregson’s Grade 1-3 class, students work together
on Buddy Reading, with Grade 3’s helping the Grade
1’s. Ms. Sprentz’s students created a lesson to teach
each other about fractions and their meaning. The
activity created a deeper understanding of all the concepts learned for all students. In Mr. MacKay’s Grade
4-6 class, students researched and worked together
to design newspaper articles, rewrote an ending for a
story and acted it out together, and planned designs
for model cars. They supported each other when they
raced these cars, and cheered each other on.
Great things are happening at Youngstown School
with excellent staff, students, and community members. We are truly “Inspiring Education Today and
DEAN HANSEN - Ward 2, Subdivision 2 (Youngstown/Hanna Rural) - [email protected]
Phone: (403) 854-3642 ext. 6152
ur colony schools continue on our journey to
excellence in all areas of school. Our emphasis
continues to be on strong literacy and numeracy skills.
Last year our colony students achieved record scores
on the Provincial Achievement Tests, matching and in
some cases exceeding the provincial results.
Strong teaching, phenomenal community support
from the colonies, and support from the administration and the board of trustees have all combined to provide the education that our
students need in order to become
proud, productive members of
Increased parental involvement in school life has been
one of our chief goals this
year. To this end, “ Coffee
with Kirby” was a great
success. Parents were invited to the school for a coffee
break and a chat with the
During the first session, we
talked about report cards and
parent teacher interviews so that
parents would be better prepared
and more comfortable with these conversations with the teachers.
In the second session, we talked about early literacy
and how parents could help prepare their pre-schoolers for coming to English schools.
Parents left with a bag of literacy goodies for each
pre-schooler and ideas and suggestions about using
Parents have asked to do this more often next year,
and we are all looking forward to it. We will be concentrating on building early literacy skills.
Mrs. Webster , a teacher at Handhills Colony School
and Mrs. Kirby, the principal, attended the Alberta
Symposium on Rural Education in March and shared
with the delegates the practices and resources that we
have used to improve achievement in our schools.
Subsequently, we had a visit from the colony principal and teachers from Buffalo Trail School District to
learn more about our schools.
We are in the process of planning professional development and sharing opportunities with them.
In order to engage and inspire our students we are looking more and more to
activities and challenges that address their areas of strength.
In our case this is growing
things. Therefore, in partnership with local John Deere
dealerships, we have launched
the “Great Pumpkin Race”.
Each school has been
provided with Giant Atlantic
Pumpkin seeds and has been
challenged to grow a pumpkin
matching the Alberta record of
Students will keep a journal as
their pumpkin grows over the summer
and we will have a weighing in the fall.
There will probably some great math activities
to go with it but we haven’t told the students this yet.
There is much excitement about this challenge and we
are all looking forward to the results.
Sewing aprons for our Christmas sale. We raised
over $700.00 and used it to buy farm equipment and
livestock through the Save the Children organization.
A history of achievement
The future looks bright for PLRD! Alberta Education in their
Accountability Pillar Report shows that PLRD is doing well in almost all of the 16 categories by which school divisions are measured.
Red, just like in most sports, is not a colour that divisions want to
see on their “report cards,” and PLRD only scored the dreaded colour
on one area, their program of studies.
Yellow, the second level on the colour scale, shows an acceptable
achievement standard. PLRD scored yellow in two areas: At the standard of excellence on PAT exams, and at the Acceptable standard on
Diploma Exams. Both were on par with the Alberta average. The result
scored on Diploma Exams was almost a 5 per cent increase over the
division’s results in 2012.
Green represents a good result according to Alberta Education’s assessment standard. PLRD accomplished this standard in four areas.
The division’s drop-out rate, which increased slightly in 2013 by 2 per
cent, remained lower than the average results across Alberta. The provincial achievement test results at the acceptable standard improved
by 2% over last year and were 5 per cent above Alberta’s results. Better
yet, the division’s Diploma Excellence marks were rated as good, with
a 5 per cent increase over the 2012 results. Student participation on
Diploma Examinations was 10 per cent above Alberta’s Average.
The most dominant colour on PLRDs report was blue, the best
colour a division can hope for, equivalent to an A on a report card.
PLRD achieved this in 9/16 categories. In safe and caring schools
the division scored higher than the Alberta average, as did their
quality of education, high school completion rate, Rutherford
Scholarship eligibility rate, work preparation, citizenship, parental involvement and school involvement.
“PLRD is a high achieving school division. Our students
enjoy a 90.9 per cent school completion rate compared to a
provincial completion rate of 74.9 per cent,” ” said Superintendent Dr. Wes Neumeier “By working collaboratively with families our well skilled teachers and support staff provide a high
quality educational program for our communities,” he added,
thanking everyone for their hard work to improve the results
in a short period of time.
Principals in the division attribute this achievement in part
to small class sizes, which allow teachers more one on one
time, as well as being on the cutting edge of technological integration, including our video conferencing and on-line learning
portions of the curriculum. While the future is bright that isn’t
to say that PLRD is resting on its laurels. “We’re not totally happy with where we’re at,” noted Altario/Consort Trustee Barry
Davis. “We have challenges and we’re trying to improve.” Part of
that improvement effort is providing teachers with more professional development time.
“We’ve got great teachers… it’s just a case of putting the tools in
their hands to make them better,” Davis noted.
Dr. Wes Neumeier
PLRD #25 is developing a Technology Plan
The 2013-2014 school year has been a year of great opthat
will provide leadership and strategic
portunity and challenge for our schools.
direction for our schools and classrooms
At the beginning of this year, our schools were challenged
throughout the jurisdiction. This frameto become one of the highest achieving schools in the diviwork will guide the division and our schools
sion and in the province.
in developing direction and policies to help
This newsletter highlighted some of the events and happenachieve the vision of Inspiring Education
ings in the schools throughout our division that illustrate this
through the innovative and effective use of
journey towards excellence.
technology in all of our schools. It provides
When we look at the seven correlates of effective schools, we
actions for bringing Inspiring Education
come to appreciate the importance of a strong school climate
to life through the innovative use of techand culture that is safe, caring, focused, and nurturing.
nology in learning, teaching, leadership
It is our vision that every school in Prairie Land will provide
and administration. The Technology Plan
each child with a welcoming sense of belonging and with the
is intended to ensure coherence and alignprograms and opportunities that enrich that child’s life and
ment across our classrooms and is ground
meet his/her learning goals and needs.
in best practice, the Ministerial Order on
I believe that with our focus on curriculum implementation
Student Learning (#001-2013), the Inforand teaching excellence, strong rapport with students and the
mation and Communication Technology
community, student engagement, and formative assessment,
and the Learning and TechPLRD is positioning our schools to become the best that
they can be for every child.
The variety of course offerings and proThis year remains a pivotal year in education throughout
made available to our students
the province and in PLRD.
has always been a concern for the school
With budgets that are now stabilized through a provincommunities
of PLRD #25; and because of
cial funding formula where enrolment is really the only
done towards the creation
driving force that affects staffing, after years of declining
of a common timetable. With that in mind, the
enrolment PLRD is finally seeing the rainbow at the
goals will be achieved for the sake of
end of a great downpour.
our students at the high school level;
Our projected enrolments for some of our small
• A common timetable that can be accessed by
schools are beginning to climb, and as they do, the
student from any school.
level of program opportunities should be enhanced
• The development of more streamed courses
across the division. PLRD is a great place for children
inside and outside of the core curriculum.
to learn and play, and we continue to focus on their
• Introduce the strategy of podded schools
overall wellbeing as engaged, ethical, and entreprewhere
subject area teachers can work together in
team teaching atmosphere by the
We want to ensure that our students are prepared
use of video-conference technologies, increased
for a variety of futures, and we ask that schools and
opportunities for peer-mentoring, best practices,
communities continue to work together to identify
teacher and student support.
the programming opportunities that are most rele•At both the junior and senior high levels,
vant for their students.
#25 will incorporate flex scheduling in all
PLRD is prioritizing our spending so that program
schools that will be used for work periods, comduplication is minimized and variety of program
plementary courses, tutoring time, district iniofferings is maximized so that every child can access a
tiatives, PLC time and additional class time for
quality education that meets his/her life goals.
Thank you for your cooperation and ongoing support
• PLRD #25 will be offering Science 20/30 to
as we work together to become the best that we can be.
the common timetable for students not needDr. Wes Neumeier
ing Chemistry, Physics or Biology.