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A new wave of learning at Schuler School

Posted on March 20, 2018 by 40 Mile Commentator
Photo by Justin Seward Schuler School students Darcy Newby, (l-r), Zach Herman, Sam Schick, Blair Herrmann and principal Jason Duchscherer talk about the new learning tools being implemented at the new school during Prairie Rose School Division's school board meeting on March 13.

Schuler School principal Jason Duchscherer brought four of his students down with him to the Prairie Rose School Division board meeting on March 13 to speak about the learning, instruction and data at the new school that are being implemented for student enhancement.
Over the last two years, the school has been working on classroom libraries, literacy with the University of Lethbridge PD project, PRSD learning coaches and the outdoor classroom/landscape project.
“We’re now long into this adventure of purchasing classroom libraries in all the classrooms,” said Duchscherer.
“Recently one of our instruction coaches tweeted out that Schuler School has the best classroom libraries, which we are very proud of.”
Classroom libraries allow students to stay in the classroom, which has resulted in the lowering of books taken out from the library and the new school having a smaller library, according Duchscherer’s report.
Students were asked if they read more, less or about the same since classroom libraries were introduced.
-More :78 per cent
-Less: 0 per cent
-Same:22 per cent
One question each was asked to students and staff about PRSD instructional coaches. Staff received the question ‘what instructional have you changed, or thinking about altering due to PRSD learning coaches?’ Their responses were math centres and creating a balanced literacy program. The report also mentioned that Chromebooks are a positive and Google allows for many options, however logging in is a difficult process for younger students.
Techtools such as Flipgrid.com, Kahoot, Socrative.com have been used.
Visual reality (VR) goggles were popular among the students as well.
The Grade 7 class was accepted through Google Education to do their own VR Videos.
“We just found out last week that we were accepted,” said Duchscherer .
“We will be taking the Grade 7 social class from Jenner and the Grade 7 class from Schuler, and going and creating some of our own videos around our Grade 7 Canadian History. So we’re not sure if we’re going to go to Fort Walsh, Fort MacLeod, maybe Fort Whoop-up.”
The new school saw a “reasonably large surplus,” according to Duchscherer and once students and staff moved over to the new facility, a focus was to do a project around construction.
Schuler School and Robin Bright, professor of education at the University of Lethbridge, had discussions and came up with a plan to have Lethbridge School District retired teachers Carol Young and Rhona Harkness come to the school to work with the teachers.
“They worked with the teachers on four different occasions for two days around increasing our writing skills,” he said.
Staff thought they changed with more writing that had creative and fictional elements, while creating life long through literacy and the Schuler Storm “I read wall.”
The Collaborative Response Model was the newest learning strategy that came to fruition where staff meet for 80 minutes on Mondays to talk about students instructionally and how teachers can improve students learning.
The building of the new school also allowed for no computer lab and switching to chrome books, a 3D printer, new furniture, Smart TVs, a small library with a true learning commons space and the new school logo, “Storm.”
Program changes used to be split by divisions, having Grades 1-3 in a room, Grade 4-6 and Grades 7-9 in their separate rooms. Starting this year, the divisions have been changed to Grade 1-2, 3-5, 6 to 8 and Grade 9s VC all core subjects.
An outdoor classroom is being worked on through the ideas of Mrs. Gogolinski and Mrs. Wells. An Artist in Residency grant is in the works of being applied for the outdoor classroom initiative for next year.
A CTF trailer will be in place by September for the students to build picnic tables and planters for the outdoor classroom.

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