J.C.Charyk School presents school of excellence theme

Written by Terri Huxley

Principal Corry Raugust and Vice-Principal Kelly Lewis presented J.C.Charyk School’s school of excellence theme to Prairie Land School Division trustees Tue. June 22.

The pair presented the J.C. Charyk Hanna School Innovation Academy as the latest in curriculum individualization.

After taking the time to research their options the pair felt their vision could be built and showcased in a multitude of ways which students are already starting to share their own thoughts on as well.

Innovation is defined as being anything new that creates value.

“We wanted to involve the whole school. Unless rural areas act we will become stagnant and innovation fits in perfectly,” said Lewis.

He highlighted that students often are not involved in planning for the community where this could create vitality and incentive to return home once completed post-secondary.

A school-wide survey was circulated and many ideas came up including value-added agriculture, entrepreneurship and business opportunities and recreation.

In terms of innovation and listening to the results of the survey, faculty came up with areas such as value-added ag, communications, emerging culinary trends, automation and technology, physical education, arts, entrepreneurship and ecotourism that will help build critical thinking and problem-solving.

The pair shared the estimated amount of investment would come to around $400,000 – mostly for the use of accurate equipment and relevant items to some of these areas of educational expansion.

In regards to student enthusiasm, a couple of students shared they wanted to bring in some chickens and coops so the school could produce their own eggs for concession and the culinary labs. 

The coops would be eventually equipped with automated watering and feeding systems for weekends when most are away, as part of the key to innovation.

“The whole process is very encouraging,” said Lewis. “We are excited and the students are hearing things and are excited.”

A full business plan and budget which will be shared with trustees to review before any decisions are made.

School rebuilds

As per usual, Deputy Superintendent Steven Nielsen shared how the Delia and Morrin School builds were coming along.

Delia School had some sidewalks poured with concrete last week and furniture is being coordinated to ensure everything is in place by the time the school opens.

Gym floors will be going installed in July.

It is estimated to open as early as October, five months ahead of schedule.

It’s so exciting! It’s moving so quickly,” said Nielsen.

For Morrin, there hasn’t been a lot of movement from the division’s perspective but the 60 per cent mark for drafted plans will soon be released.

The division is waiting to put out any tender at this point as well because of the skyrocketing prices of building materials in recent months.

Graduate survey 

Out of 960 graduates across Prairie Land, 140 have been completed so far.

Questions like ‘Are you planning on living/returning to rural Alberta?’, ‘What can we do better from an educational standpoint?’ and ‘what do communities need in order for you to come back?’ were asked to find trends in what Grade 12 students plan to do once out of high school.

Administration has been pleased with the number of surveys returned so far when looking closer at the numbers from each school and that no previous word was sent out about it.

A presentation on the compiled findings will be presented by the end of the summer.

“It’s good information to have at your fingertips,” said Superintendent Cam McKeage.

Lost athletics video

Grade 12 students across the division shared their heartbreaking stories associated with a year of sports lost to the pandemic through a 16-minute video that trustees viewed at the latest meeting.

The idea was born from trustees but then given to the students to lead and produce it to show their struggles which will then be shared across the province to fellow school jurisdictions and sport governing entities.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.