Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Springing Into Action

There are a whole lot of great activities happening across our district this spring. This week, I'll try to catch up on some events that have already taken place and keep up with others that are about to!  

I recently had the privilege of being invited to Taylor Schools Meet The Author event.  Students in every class had written or contributed to books of their very own making. The annual event has been a labour of love for teacher Donna Lee Cooper. Her efforts have inspired the students and community to hold a gala like event to celebrate the arrival of the books, complete with formal attire, much fanfare and celebrity readings. My favorite book was the combination effort from Mrs. Frankham's kindergarten class, celebrating penguins and the letter P.

Last week,  CM Finch's Mrs. Gilbert hosted the annual elementary district public speaking contest at the North Peace Cultural Centre. Public speaking is often ranked as one of the most feared activities by many adults but you would never know it from watching elementary contestants from schools all across the district take the stage. Students from Baldonnel Elementary swept the individual medal podium with Clearview and Ambrose taking silver and bronze in the team competition.

This week is also filled with big events. The AVID class from NPSS is on its annual tour of post secondary institutions. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. With its goal of closing the achievement gap and fully preparing students for post secondary opportunities, AVID aligns nicely with the district's goal of improving life opportunities for graduates. 

On Wednesday, Bert Bowes celebrates its 50th anniversary. The school officially opened on November 27th, 1964. The public are invited to a celebration from 7:00 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, May 27th at the school. Come out to visit the school, connect with alumni and former staff, and re-live some old memories. 

On Thursday the Doig River Reserve in partnership with the district Aboriginal Education Centre and Upper Pine School will host Doig Day. Grade 4 students from across the the district will have the opportunity to visit the Doig and see and partake in a variety of cultural based activities and celebrate the diversity First Nations students and their families bring to our district. 

Finally, this is the week for Project Heavy Duty. District Principal Richard Koop in partnership with local industries oversee a week long opportunity for selected secondary students to gain hands on experience with heavy duty machinery.

 Its clear that spring is a busy time here in Peace River North. In the weeks ahead students will be preparing for even more end of year activities including final exams, district track meet and graduations and grade to grade transitions. If you get the chance, get out and take in some of these activities either as a spectator or volunteer. You'll get to see our students at their best, enjoying their learning, celebrating their successes and demonstrating how learning matters.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Energy Week - Showing off Our Sector

This week's blog features information provided by District Principal Brian Campbell and his wonderful team within the Career's Education Program. May 3rd to 8th is Peace Energy Week featuring opportunities for both local students and students from other districts in experience our area's energy sector first hand.

The Peace has an abundance of ongoing energy projects both completed and proposed. These range from wind, solar, oil and gas, hydroelectric and geothermal sources. As our local industry is primarily resource based, the educational system is working to provide students with local learning opportunities that allow them to live, study, and stay in the North. Northern Lights College delivers training in many technical trades, such as Power Engineering, as well as arts and science programs, such as Licensed Practical Nursing. The many college programs available at Northern Lights College support our local community needs. The programs are also available to Grade 12 students as dual credit programs, which expose and prepare our students to local career opportunities.

Through the Northern Opportunities partnership there is a positive working relationship between the three school districts (59, 60 and 81) as well as Northern Lights College, local industry and Aboriginal groups. This makes it possible for a collaboration to exist in order to bring energy to the forefront and connect students to local industry. Industry needs skilled workers and the education
system has programs to support this need. The school district Career departments strives to introduce students to the career opportunities through hands on learning, work experience, apprenticeship, college training and university transfer courses.

Our province benefits from the abundant resources of the area. However, there is limited exposure for students considering employment in the trades. Students from all over the province would benefit from visiting and learning about educational and career opportunities available to them in the North. By inviting students up to the Peace, they can take back their experiences to other students around the province and really highlight what we have here.