By Justin Seward
A select few Prairie Rose Public Schools will be able to enjoy some exciting new programming opportunities beginning this spring and into the fall.
“Prairie Rose believes that in addition to high academic standards, we want our students to experience wonder, awe and self-actualization at school,” said Reagan Weeks, PRPS’ assistant superintendent.
“So, a big part of our efforts includes creating programming that we know will excite students.”
It was thanks in large part to the Prairie Rose Possibilities project being created this year that made new programs possible.
“The intent of this project was to solicit ideas from staff members from across the region for things they believe would best suit their context,” said Weeks.
“So, teachers, support staff and others in school buildings came together and they submitted ideas that they felt would positively impact the learning environment for children.
PRPS received close to 20 applications and as result seven schools have been granted a new program and three more schools were added to the list last week.
“We’re really excited about those possibilities and they will be given some seed money to start these projects and we look forward to seeing what will come to fruition at each of these sites,” said Weeks.
Redcliff’s Parkside School will be the host an Arts Institute class starting in the fall and will be taught by Kameko Ballantyne.
Weeks said, “It will include a virtual platform—so students from across the region will be able to join in collaboration to create a high-quality artistic studio.”
“It gives artists opportunities to create and work with mediums that perhaps artist might not be able to engage in, (and) in different regions will all be provided for these students.”
Jenner School is revamping an out building at the school to house different CTF (Career and Technology Foundations) courses.
“Students will have a chance to engage with community members to learn different skills, whether that’d be taking a tractor apart and putting it back together, welding skills (and) all sorts of different hands-on equipment that Jenner is really excited to engage their students in and really connect to their agriculture roots,” she said.
Seven Persons School will be incorporating a Fine Arts Institute starting in the fall for students in Grades 4-6.
There will be a dance, dramatic arts and music components.
The Ralston School project has not been formally announced yet, but will include an opportunity for staff to build outdoor explorations for their students and will partner with different experts at CFB Suffield to help facilitate some of that work.
Foremost School will be launching a Rodeo Club in May.
“They have a number of rodeo champions who will be connected to this work,” said Weeks.
“They’ve also connected with Linda Kraft, who has established a rodeo club at Irvine School, and they’re very excited about this possibility.”
Foremost will also be implementing a community garden class before the end of the year.
“They’ve had a community member donate a couple plots of land,” she said.
“And again, Foremost has many farming experts and through those connections, they will be growing specifically a salsa garden to start. Then they will be doing all of the work to process the salsa and then it’ll be a part of an entrepreneurial adventure C where it will be sold. So right from in the ground to your table type of project.”
Drone Games will launch May 15 at Eagle Butte High School.
Weeks compared Drone Games to something like the X Games where participants are in a series of challenges and there is a total score at the end.
“The students will build seven different challenges (and) they’ll fly microdrones,” she said.
The Games will be opened to Dave Rozdeba South Alberta Flight Academy students and the public.
Oyen Public School and Irvine School will be rolling out agriculture programs starting in the fall.
“Most of the schools consulted with the different community resources that they had available to come up with something that they thought would be most beneficial,” said Weeks.
“Because our schools are often located in tiny towns, they’re an integral part of the community and they’re not separated from the different institutions, businesses and organizations that already existed.”