By Samantha Johnson
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Janet Kraft, vice principal of Parkside School in Redcliff, updated the Prairie Rose Public Schools board recently on where the junior high is at to start the year.
The school has 157 students, 10 teachers and four educational assistants (one full time and three part time).
Kraft explained the school is using the Visible Learning Books by John Hattie and feedback from staff has been positive.
The school is also working to improve communication with parents, and each parent received an email at the beginning of the year from the teacher of their child.
Parkside did not score particularly well in the last assurance survey done with parents, and Kraft says she now meets with teachers once a week and during this meeting there will be time to send a parent email. The school is aiming to send two emails a week throughout this school year.
Trustee Patty Rooks congratulated Kraft on this initiative at the end of the presentation. She liked that the school was aiming to keep parents connected and mentioned that schools are often quick to phone a parent over a negative aspect while neglecting to always communicate the positives.
Parkside offers more than 30 electives, which Kraft pointed out is more than any other middle school in the area. Students can take six electives each school year.
The school focuses on fine arts, hosting a fine arts night at the end of each year that features a theatrical production.
“We have some incredible artistic students at Parkside School,” said Kraft.
Art is built into the schedule and art extension is part of the electives, and they will be trying a virtual art course this year. The school currently does its trades program at Medicine Hat College, and Kraft brought a lamp made by a student made during this course. Parkside is also continuing with an overall wellness goal, holding school wellness at the end of the day every Friday.
“We are trying to keep our wellness classes this year to fun activities, things that they can work on together. We are doing pep rallies for football and volleyball,” explained Kraft.