Ponoka’s Bright Futures Play Academy doing well in new space

The preschool now operates out of the old ‘Pink School’

(Photos submitted)

Ponoka’s Bright Futures Play Academy’s new home in the old ‘Pink School’ is working out very well for staff and students after the first few weeks of classes.

“It works out quite nicely,” said Kacey Oehlerking, Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) learning services coordinator.

The preschool moved into its new space over the summer, beginning in late June.

Enrolment at Ponoka Elementary School has remained strong over the last couple of years and with its population growth, more space was needed, says Oehlerking.

“Space was at a premium.”

She says the Play Academy finding new space was the “logical choice,” as it’s a program run within the school, but it has a compressed calendar and slightly different schedule than the rest of the school, and there’s lot of people coming and going throughout the day with the morning and afternoon classes.

The pre-k program now has its own entrance and a larger space than it had before. Now there is an additional kindergarten classroom in the room the Play Academy formerly used.

“We’re really pleased with how it’s working out.”

The preschool’s move is unrelated to COVID-19, says Oehlerking, adding the move was likely inevitable, pandemic or no.

The Pink School is currently used by the town’s transportation department in the south section, the Ponoka Air Cadets in the middle, and now the Play Academy on the north end, where the town administration used to be housed before the Civic Centre was completed.

When they looked at the space in the Pink School, they saw the potential, says Oehlerking.

The space was ‘move-in’ ready, with no renovations needed. All they needed to do was move over their furniture, equipment, toys and other decor, and add a fridge and dishwasher in the kitchen and set up a staff room.

The space already had a bonus kitchen, its own washrooms, and break out office spaces that are now being used when a separate space is needed for service providers to work with the children, such as speech pathologists.

The preschool’s COVID-19 re-entry plan is the same as the rest of the school division, with some considerations for young learners.

There is an emphasis on washing hands and sneezing and coughing etiquette, with hand sanitizing stations set up, as well as increased cleaning and disinfecting.

There are separate toys for each cohort of students and they are cleaned after being used.

“We are trying to ensure that things are just that much cleaner.”

The preschool follows the same guidelines when it comes to students with symptoms as the rest of the school division.

Although classes are a bit smaller this fall, with some families making different choices due to the ongoing pandemic, enrollment for Play Academy remains strong, especially in Ponoka, says Oehlerking.

However, as numbers of cases in Ponoka remain low, there has been a late uptick in enrollments, she says.

There is some limited space available for those interested. To register, contact the WCPS division office or check their website, brightfuturesplayacademy.ca, for more information.

PonokaWolf Creek Public Schools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Just Posted

2020 Ponoka business awards
Ponoka chamber 2020 Business Award winners

The Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce 2020 Business Awards were held… Continue reading

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owner found

Father and son found miniature horse while out for a walk at JJ Collett

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ponoka FCSS’ Empty Bowls sells out

For the first time ever, Ponoka Family and Community Support Services’ (FCSS’s)… Continue reading

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were ‘late and confused’ on COVID response

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Most Read