Another school year may have just came to a close, but Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) will see some new programs open their doors this fall in Dunmore right in head office’s backyard.
A new before and after school care program will be available for the younger students, while Rural Futures outreach school and an entrepreneurial program will be offered to the four high schools and will be located in one of PRSD’s maintenance shops, which the school division created space for with moving staff back into the main building and to other schools.
The before and after school care program will start at the beginning of September with those parents who can drop off their children on their way through Dunmore where a bus can pick them up and take them to Irvine School.
“We have parents right now that drive out from Dunmore that park right here by our building and wait for the bus to arrive because they really want their children in Irvine School,” said PRSD superintendent Roger Clarke.
“Dunmore students that are a part of Prairie Rose also go to Irvine School. At the end of the day, the reverse happens, the younger children are dropped off, if that’s what moms and dads want, at the after school program. They can stay here until a certain time of the day.”
The program will focus on kindergarten to Grade 2s, he added.
“We also wanted to ensure that we’re having them have the experience of being a part of Prairie Rose.”
Clarke said Beyond the Walls in Medicine Hat had been “quite productive” because it allowed for students to fix classes in their timetable , retake a failed a class or can’t function in a traditional school setting.
However, PRSD is hoping for Rural Futures to have a different environment for grounds so their is more building space outside and inside and move to a modular-based program.
Clarke said an example is of a program option at the new outreach school could be a student wanted to electrical or robotics for three days and they will come in and learn over a three day period on that subject.
“We function it through this entity,” he said.
“We have high school students who are highly academic. By the time they get into Grade 11 and Grade 12. They’re so full with Englishs and Maths and Chemistries. Their ability to actually have experiences in some of our CTS areas is limited because they have to get all these courses in because they’re going to be moving off to university. Yet many of those kids also wants some of these exposures that they can’t fit in their time table.”
“We know it’s going to be a slow and a building process to makes something really unique and ingenious for kids.”The other half of the building will be the entrepreneurial program will entail for students to build a business plan to a time where products are being sold to a customer.
Students interested will start in the business planning stages in the first semester in the fall.
“What we sell to customers is what students will create,” said Clarke.
Whether it’s a woodworking project, a medal working fabrication project or plasma cutting to make signs, it will be up to the students to determine the project, he added.
Medicine Hat College will be helping with the business plan.
The student before and after school program can be signed up through the Medicine Hat YMCA, Rural Futures through respective schools and the entrepreneurial program can be regretted through school business module programs.