By Anna Smith
The “little school with a big heart” has big plans to enrich the lives of their students, as discussed at the January 9 Prairie Rose Public Schools board meeting.
“Before starting I just genuinely want to thank Prairie Rose in general, just for allowing me to have this job,” said principal Lyle Kennedy. Kennedy is relatively new to the position, and expressed an eagerness to continue with what makes the hamlet’s school both strong and unique.
Currently, the school is looking to honour the successes of past leaders, while still striving to improve, primarily in the areas of literacy, communication with parents, and being a part of the Schuler community for both the staff and the students.
“When we look at our literacy, all Prairie Rose students demonstrate growth in their ability to use literacy strategies,” said Kennedy. He added that they’re eagerly learning new tools as staff, too, including programs like UFLI.
Kennedy shared an anecdote about working together to learn the program, adding that Schuler School has a strong sense of wonder and curiosity which has made it easy to introduce new tools or programming to students.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re at Eagle Butte, or out in the middle of nowhere. You have to tell them the possibilities, the Prairie Rose possibilities, of what is out there; I think what I love about Schuler is we can think outside the box,” said Kennedy.
“Students wanted more opportunities. I think sometimes kids have lots of opportunities and they’re always kind of ‘grass is always greener’ thinking,” said Kennedy. “But I think the key is showing why those opportunities are so unique and how they can attach themselves down the road.”
This year the school is enjoying an active school council, as well, and has been hosting a weekly leadership assembly, to keep the kids working together on their goals. Working on communication with parents, something Kennedy noted many teachers now do over text, has been a goal.
Kennedy feels blessed to be in a school where the teachers have actively turned down opportunities to have someone else run their classroom or other programming for a time, preferring to be in class with their kids, or helping with the myriad sports and activities that the students enjoy.