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

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

(Photos submitted)

(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

 

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

Just Posted

(File photo)
Town of Ponoka makes changes to monthly tax payment plan

Ponoka town council has approved changes to the town’s monthly tax payment… Continue reading

Katherine Swampy
Maskwacis chiefs are opposed to RAPID Response

Alberta Treaty 6 First Nations say they were not properly consulted

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among other encouraged ventilation measures

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta government said in August that it would enter into the agreement to help diversify its energy sector

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

Most Read