Friday, 15 March 2013 14:54

Educational issues in rural Alberta on the table at recent symposium

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The Rural Futures 2nd Annual Rural Education Symposium was a chance for rural educators to share their ideas and best practices and talk about what rural education may look like in the future.


Six partners came together to help host the symposium which took place in Canmore, March 3-5 with more than 200 people in attendance.
Prairie Rose School Division officials discussed the event at the March 12 regular board meeting.
“I think overall it went well,” said Superintendent Doug Nicholls. “There was a wide range of session options to consider and a good turnout from across the province. Alberta Education was also very supportive of the event.”
There were 15 MLAs present, representing numerous government departments, and 14 PRSD representatives including teachers, administrators, trustees and division staff.
Keynote speakers included Jay Slemp, about the Special Areas Return2Rural program, Dr. Frits Pannekoek from Athabasca University and Education Minister Jeff Johnson who spoke about Inspiring Education and what schools may look like in the future.
“I think it was very important the minister (of education) did attend,” said Nicholls. “It sent a clear message to those in attendance that I think there is a priority in education looking at specific rural education issues.”
Trustee Arnold Frank said Slemp’s presentation was “excellent,” especially how Special Areas has tried to use technology to grow and sustain that growth in the rural areas.
Trustees Bob Wickens and Graeme Dennis also both found the symposium to be beneficial, especially to network with other rural school divisions in the province.
“We all have the same issues and we are all just working around them trying to do our best for students,” pointed out Dennis.
For more information about the Rural Education Symposium or to view videos of some of the presentations visit the website at: www.albertarural education.ca.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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