Thursday, 15 November 2012 08:13

Prairie Rose students qualify for RAP scholarships

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Eight Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) students will receive $1,000 Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) scholarships from the Alberta government.


Brad Volkman, assistant superintendent, shared the list of winners with board trustees at the Nov. 13 regular meeting.
He said there are 500 scholarships available in Alberta, and the government often doesn’t hand them all out. Eligible students have to have been a registered apprentice and completed 250 hours of work during their high-school careers, earned their high-school diplomas and are planning to continue on with their trades of choice.
“We continue to promote it,” added Volkman about the program. “We know (provincial officials) still talk about a shortage of these kinds of workers (trades workers) in Alberta.”
Those students from the 2011-12 school year eligible for the scholarships include:
• Justin Lutz, heavy equipment technician, Eagle Butte High School;
• Steven Heeg, welder, South Central High School;
• Jared Carroll, welder, South Central High School;
• Zach Hunt, automotive service technician, South Central High School;
• Braydn Ross, autobody technician, South Central High School;
• Niek Lamberts, automotive service technician, Senator Gershaw High School;
• Cody Krooshoop, agricultural equipment technician, Senator Gershaw High School;
• Travis Tewsley, welder, Foremost High School.
Electoral boundaries review
After a review and discussion with parents and school officials, the board agreed the electoral boundaries for Prairie Rose will remain the same heading into the next election.
A review of the electoral boundaries was slated for this year and officials agreed the response from most of those involved in the discussion was to leave the representation as it is.
“I’m not advocating to change anything, but (a review) reminds us it’s representation by population and it is a democratic process,” said Trustee Arnold Frank. “To continue sustaining these positions (trustee seats), I think it’s important to review this.”
Superintendent Doug Nicholls agreed there didn’t seem to be a reason to make any adjustments.
“There’s certainly not an appetite in the room for a big change ... (and it was) clear from the meeting, the representation model we’re currently using was satisfying their needs,” said Nicholls.
High-Aptitude Learners Symposium
Prairie Rose will host a special High-Aptitude Learners Symposium Nov. 22 at the division office in Dunmore with between 30 to 35 individuals in attendance.
“We’re committed to taking a look at this part of our education delivery,” said Nicholls. “We want to discuss what the delivery model looks like for high-aptitude learners.”
A high-aptitude learner is one who has the potential to achieve at a high level and perhaps even at a higher level than he or she currently is.
“What can we do as a division to support that learning model? What’s working and in some cases what’s not working for them?” asked Nicholls.
Those are just some of the areas that will be discussed during the day-long symposium.
Also in discussion for Prairie Rose is how to partner with Prairie Land and Livingstone Range school divisions in order to promote the idea of ‘anywhere, anytime, anyplace learning,’ specifically through the use of video conferencing.
“Our teams are going to get together and start looking at what might be possible,” said Nicholls.
Officials from all three divisions hope they can expand on a proposal to Alberta Education to offer more courses using video conference technology and there may be some possible funding for a pilot project.
New teacher induction program
Volkman shared some of the positive comments he has received from individuals involved with their third year of the teacher induction program.
Prairie Rose has had a program for new teachers for the past nine years, in order to offer them support in their positions and learn how best to do their jobs working within PRSD.
Comments from the teachers involved for their third-year straight were positive. Many were glad to have a mentor to go to to ask questions of and share ideas. They felt supported and like they had resources available to them. They also liked the fact it is a three-year program and not just a few days during the summer months as at other school divisions in the province.
“It does cost us some dollars, but this is the payoff,” said Volkman. He added the program helps keep Prairie Rose’s attrition rates lower than that of the province.
“Our hope is that there will be some provincial support for teacher induction,” he added.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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