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Eagle Butte High School continuing to innovate in education

Posted on April 18, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

By Anna Smith
Southern Alberta Newspapers

At the Prairie Rose Public Schools regular board meeting on April 9, presenters from Eagle Butte High School came to present on current and future plans to continue staying at the forefront of quality and innovative education.

The presentation opened with a video put together to showcase many of the unique programs on offer at the school, from the Dave Rozdeba South Alberta Flight Academy to the newer Fire Academy.

“The problem, a little bit with making such a great video, is we also have a lot of new things now that are going on at Eagle Butte,” said principal Rocheal Howes. “The question becomes, how do we make sure that we keep updating those videos because we are forever growing and changing as we figure out how to best meet the needs of our students.”

Some of these new things include an equestrian course, which will allow for students to work on their horsemanship in partnership with Coyote Creek Riding Arena, slated to begin in the fall.

The division also plans to, in the second semester of the next school year, introduce a high performance baseball course, said vice principal Lyall Foran.

“With this School of Mavericks Baseball, we just thought that there needs to be something for them to transition into,” said Foran. “There’s no point in having something at the middle school level if they can’t achieve something greater at the high school level. So with my background, creating the Hat High Academy for baseball, it was just a simple transition to create a class where students can come in and move from our school of baseball into this.”

Other areas of interest included STEM courses, such as drone technology and robotics, as well as introducing students to some aspects of engineering and coding. A financial management course is also on the table for the near future, for the direct applications of mathematics to everyday life.

“There’s a lot more innovation going on,” said Howes. “We’ve definitely been inspired by all of the academies and all of the thinking outside the box programming that we have math teachers coming up with new ideas. We’re definitely trying to figure out what kids want what kids need and trying to come up with programming that will meet those needs.”

It was also noted there has been significant positive progress in reducing absences and getting students back into class, which has been a problem in many schools since the pandemic.

When comparing the fall of 2022 compared to the fall of 2023, the number of missed classes across all students who had at least eight absences in one class was reduced from 12,291 to 6,344. This progress was attributed to being able to work with parents and students, as well as all staff creating an environment students want to be there, said Howes.

Eagle Butte has a projected enrolment of 550 students for the next academic year.

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