Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) was selected by the Wolf Creek School Board (WCSB) for their annual “Municipal Networking Night” on Thursday, April 3, when town and county councillors from a wide area gathered in Ponoka to see how a facility for the 21st century education looks like.
WCSB Superintendent Larry Jacobs said municipal leaders from all communities “touched by” the school board area were invited with town and county councillors coming from Alix, Clive, Lacombe, Rimbey and Eckville, among others.
Jacobs said the annual event was aimed at generating a common understanding between the school board and the municipal leaders as they work together to tackle many challenges.
Barb Walker, a trustee with the WCSB, said “Education is in the headlines now and we wanted to share information with municipal leaders and help them understand the new approach to education.”
PSC was named as the venue for this year’s event because the newly renovated school was deemed “exemplary” in terms of giving an understanding to the municipal leaders on the new trends of education in the province and how the design of a school can contribute to the change of mentality in the new era of education.
In the course of the evening, Principal Ian Rawlinson gave the visiting councillors a tour of the school, explaining that the old-fashioned classroom lecturing was no longer regarded as the fundamental practice in educating youth, although the school had still classrooms for that purpose because there was room for lectures as well in the new curriculum under development.
Rawlinson said the renovation of the school had allowed the school administration to create several multi-purpose areas where more than one class could be taught simultaneously.
Following the tour of the school, seven students from the Ponoka Elementary School made presentations to municipal leaders with Chromebooks, small laptop computers they use at school as they study various subjects and informed the participants on the applications they used to gather information.
Gavin Allen-Prefontaine, Hailey Clark, Janaya Rawji, Cheyenne Avery, Jamey Bracey , Tori Blanchard and Kateryna Anderson introduced the software they use in their classes.
Following the presentations, there was a discussion session involving the municipal leaders and WSCB officials on the current issues of development curriculum based on the Inspiring Education concept of the Government of Alberta.