WCPS superintendent Jayson Lovell, left, and assistant superintendent Mark McWhinnie speak to students during a visit to one of the schools that will be part of the exchange agreement. Image: WCPS

Student and cultural exchange signed by WCPS with region in China

Liwan students slated to be in Canada first this summer, WCPS students head over next spring

In what can be described as a milestone for Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS), the central Alberta school division earlier this month signed its first ever exchange agreement with a school district in China.

WCPS superintendent Jayson Lovell — along with assistant superintendent Mark McWhinnie and learning services director Sean Lougheed — travelled to Guangzhou in the province of Guangdong, China last month to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that establishes a cooperative exchange between WCPS and the Liwan Bureau of Education.

Being called ‘One Belt, One Road Education Initiative’, the agreement was signed March 19. It builds a pathway for educational and cultural exchanges that began back when WCPS was approached last December.

“It was amazing experience for us, very exciting in terms of a brand new initiative and opportunity for our students and staff and I think for our communities as well,” Lovell said.

“We live in a very global world, where our student understanding is not simply confined to their communities, province or county. So, as a district, we feel an obligation to help expand those opportunities.”

Exchanges will last a couple of weeks, with the first group of Chinese students — between 20 or 30 — set to arrive in July. A second group from China will visit in late September with the first group from WCPS heading over next March.

Three sister schools in Liwan have been paired with Lacombe Composite and Blackfalds Iron Ridge Junior initially, with further WCPS schools to be added as the opportunities arise.

WCPS was the only non-B.C. school division in the contingent that went to China to sign agreements, while also touring 11 schools in the region.

The motivation and interest shown by the Guangzhou schools and school districts to be engaged in these exchanges is one of the exciting things for WCPS, according to Lovell.

“They really want their students to seek different experiences and opportunities outside of China and Canada is a very credible, desirable location,” he stated.

“They see Canada as a country of opportunity, one that is open and that embraces diversity. They also know a lot about Canada and that is one thing that really surprised us.”

Another interesting note Lovell stated was a few of the differences between how the schools operate — with normal class sizes between 40 and 50 students, who all live at the schools, while there is more teacher-directed instruction rather than collaboration that is done in Canada.

“They are also very focused on the future and what this opportunity may do for the students and, ultimately, for their country.”

 

WCPS superintendent Jayson Lovell, right, signs a copy of the MOU alongside a representative of the Liwan Bureau of Education during the formal signing ceremony on March 19 during the WCPS visit to China. Image: WCPS

Just Posted

Ponoka sets reserve prices on tax arrear properties

An auction date has been set for Oct. 31 with two properties up for auction

Ponoka approves full organics compost program

Planners begin the process of requesting competitive bids to update the waste management program

Bashaw council declines penalty forgiveness request from Bashaw Motel owners

The motel was destroyed in the 2016 fire; owners owe $46,000 in fire services, taxes and penalties

Ponoka could receive $15,000 in work safety refunds

The last time Ponoka’s safety manual was updated was in 2009

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

UPDATED: Gord Bamford Foundation Charity Gala brings the stars to Central Alberta

The Gala raises money for various children’s charities throughout Canada

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Canada’s team chasing elusive gold medal at women’s baseball World Cup

Canada, ranked No. 2 behind Japan, opens play Wednesday against No. 10 Hong Kong

WATCH: Paradise Shore’s lawyer granted adjournment of SDAB hearing

Appellant asks for stop work order of RV development

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Feds agree to look at easing jury secrecy as part of review

At issue is a law that forbids jurors from talking about closed-door deliberations

Most Read