Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) trustees unanimously approved a request from current principal Ian Tisdale to rebrand the Ponoka Outreach School as the BRICK Learning Centre. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

WCPS approves new name for Ponoka Outreach School

Trustees accept suggestion to rename Ponoka Outreach, awaiting Alberta Education approval

A process that began nearly two years ago will soon conclude with the renaming of a Ponoka school.

At its meeting April 12, Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) trustees unanimously approved a request from current principal Ian Tisdale to rebrand the Ponoka Outreach School as the BRICK Learning Centre.

Tisdale, who was offered the principal post in 2016 gave a presentation during the meeting with trustees voting in favour of the idea later that afternoon.

He began by telling trustees that, from the day he got the offer, he started formulating the idea of a new name for the school.

“On May 27, I wrote in my notebook — float the idea of a rebranding in the future as there is a negative connotation to outreach schools and specifically with the acronym POS,” Tisdale pointed out.

He added there was not negative intent with the original name, however POS nowadays has a completely different meaning especially in this social media age.

“Five or 10 years ago, POS meant nothing, but moving forward in this digital age it has become very negative,” said Tisdale.

“That is the first foundational piece in this for me. On top of this, when one looks at the perception of students that typically attend an outreach school are those who need a different level of help. So perhaps, they are already a bit maligned and now you have the internal context of students going, ‘I’m this kind of student going to this kind of school.’”

In addition, Tisdale noted that even talking to others in the educational field, he found the negative perceptions of an ‘outreach’ school is pervasive.

“However, the reality is so much different. We met the various needs of our students every day and seen some amazing transitions among students,” he said.

Two other reasons for a new name were the different direction of the school culture and operation along with the move to a new facility early in 2016.

“(This building) is a different reality from the previous building and the new name will help further align with the new direction and focus on academics and program options for students,” Tisdale explained.

Since September 2016, staff and students at the outreach have been consulted multiple times along with parents, which included gathering suggestions and coming to a consensus about the new name.

That name needed to be positive, sensitive to the area First Nations, uncomplicated and represent Ponoka.

“The Brick School has a long history in Ponoka, the learning centre name more reflects what we do and helps take away the negative stigma that is attached to an outreach school,” he said.

He added the name also has some great metaphors and works into the school’s mantra — Building, Relationship, Independence, Community, Knowledge.

Trustees liked the historical significance of the suggestion and were surprised to learn of the POS negative meaning.

With the board approval, a school renaming application has been sent to Alberta Education for its approval. Once that is received, WCPS will move forward with an official ceremony likely this fall.

Just Posted

Ponoka’s on the CP Holiday Train stop coming in December

The train starts up Nov. 27 featuring performers Terri Clark, Sierra Noble and Kelly Prescott

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

Red Deer RCMP ask for assistance to ID suspect in indecent acts

The suspect exposed himself to a woman and made sexual comments to her

WCPS uses cannabis legislation to fully review drug, alcohol and tobacco policies

Cannabis is not permitted in schools; WCPS focused on providing education and support

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Migrants, police mass in town on Guatemala-Mexico border

Many of the more than 2,000 Hondurans in a migrant caravan trying to wend its way to the United States left spontaneously with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they could quickly throw into backpacks.

Trump: ‘Severe’ consequences if Saudis murdered Khashoggi

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Wednesday said it had obtained audio recordings of the alleged killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Feds dead set against ‘ridiculous’ quotas to replace steel, aluminum tariffs

Donald Trump imposed the so-called Section 232 tariffs — 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum — back in June on national security grounds.

Campus brawl leads to charge against B.C. football player

Takudzwa Timothy Brandon Gandire, a 21-year-old defensive back from Vancouver, is charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Stadium vendor seen in pizza spitting video pleads guilty

The 21-year-old’s sentencing is Nov. 15. His lawyer has said he understood what he did was wrong and was remorseful.

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

Jeromie and Jennifer Clark were found guilty of criminal negligence causing death

Fed report to show $19-billion deficit in 2017-18

The deficit is slightly smaller than Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s prediction of $19.4 billion in last winter’s budget

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Most Read