Bengough School and the Amazing Reading Race
The afternoon of May 15th at Bengough School was one of food, games and at the heart of it all, reading.
The Bengough SCC was put to the challenge of supporting the school Learning Improvement Plan and helping to improve the reading abilities of the students. Back in February, the SCC had the idea for a reading challenge, and a trial run in March was an overwhelming success, with students reading over 10,000 minutes in one month. From there, the SCC decided to see if 100,000 minutes could be achieved in a full school year. The students were more than up to the challenge and reached the goal in only 8 months!
The May 15th event was part of the reward for achieving the reading goal, and included a community wide Amazing Race. Along with lunch, an ice cream sundae bar and 3 iPad mini grand prizes, the day involved celebrating the 100% participation from students, teachers and community. The SCC cannot express how proud they are of the students of Bengough School!
Treaty Training at Prairie South
Congratulations to Sharon Danylchuk , Marilyn Pavier, Jana Polupski, Laurie Hellings, Jenn Chan, Natalie Chevier and Casey Lintner who completed the Day One and Day two of Treaty Training facilitated by Susan Beaudin and Elder Mike Pinay on May 11 & May 12. Prairie South is fortunate to have such a passionate group of individuals who are dedicated to treaty education!
Self declaration push - information night at Riverview Collegiate on May 20
Article courtesty of Nathan Lewicki, the Moose Jaw Times Herald
Less than five per cent of the Prairie South School Division's student population has self declared as aboriginal.
In order to "better meet and understand the needs of the student as a whole," said PSSD First Nations and Metis consultant Vivian Gauvin, each family in the division received a small pamphlet about aboriginal self‑declaration last fall.
The voluntary and confidential program applies to students of First Nation, Metis and Inuit ancestry. In PSSD, there is also no need to present official documentation.
Despite the brochure, Gauvin told the Times‑Herald on Tuesday that it's going to take time for people to understand why self‑declaration is beneficial. That is one of the reasons why PSSD will be hosting an information night detailing the spinoff benefits associated with self‑declaration.
Riverview Collegiate will host the session on May 20 at 7 p.m. From a division perspective, being aware of self‑declared individuals is expected to impact programming and services found in schools.
"We just need the conversation about self‑declaring itself to start," said Gauvin. "I think after the information night people might start talking and maybe that hesitation will go away. "This is just going to be a reminder of what's happening in our division, but it's still a choice." It is a choice that does, however, have benefits, noted Saskatchewan Polytechnic Aboriginal Education counsellor Isabelle Hanson.
"They get designated seating in programs," she said. "If they declare, they can get one of those seats at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. "The other benefit is they have the ability to apply for scholarships open just to aboriginal students."
Gauvin also believes that students who self‑declare can become more successful, completing high school and moving onto post‑secondary studies.
Prairie South Grade 8 students take part in boat challenge
Article courtesy of Nathan Lewicki at the Moose Jaw Times Herald
Brady Starke ditched his cardboard paddles just seconds after the starting whistle blew in the fourth heat of Wednesday's cardboard boat race.
"The cardboard paddles were getting soaked, so I just used my hands and I made it to the end," said the Grade 8 student from Lafleche Central School.
Stearke and the other three members of his team – Shaun Bouvier, Tessa Clermont and Samantha Fehler – stuck with the prototype they had designed prior to Day 1 of the Prairie South School Division Boat Challenge.
The Lafleche quartet was also the first team to get their boat from one end of the Kinsmen Sportsplex's lane pool to the other. Several other teams also completed the 50-meter distance before their boats descended into the pool.
A total of 19 teams – 76 Grade 8 students from across PSS210 – turned out to the event, which Skills Canada Saskatchewan helped organize.
Before entering the pool, however, the teams had two hours to build their boats.
One of the teams from Cornerstone Christian School had aspirations of building a lemon-shaped cardboard boat because, as Stephen Brown remarked, "as it is shaped like lemon – that morphed into a hexagon-like lemon."
Aside from some "minor miscalculations" involving turning the boat's design from an oval to a hexagon, Brown admitted his team's design didn't stray far from their initial design.
He also enjoyed the atmosphere of 19 teams designing a variety of differing cardboard boat designs.
"I think it was pretty interesting and pretty inspiring to have everyone else working around us with these pretty cool ideas," said Brown. "There was a shark, a lemon a warship and one that looks like a castle."
He also noted that the two-day event is a direct application to curriculum.
"Other than science it really ties into building and teamwork, such as learning together."
Tana Rowe, PSSD Practical and Applied Arts co-ordinator, said the ability of students to think on their feet during the design process of the boats was just one element of PAA.
"The design and construction element and the skills they learn are essential for PAA," she said.
Another 20 teams of Grade 8 students will be back at the Sportsplex on Thursday for the second day of cardboard boat designing and racing.
Check out the video on the Times Herald website!
Building a Career in Construction
Article courtesy of Iryn Tushabe at the Moose Jaw Times Herald.
Daxton Moffat is a footballer. But the Grade 12 Peacock Collegiate student is also contemplating a career in the trades.
"I really like the whole trades scenarios because you don't have to go to school for that long," said Moffat at the Think Opportunity, Think Construction Snapshot event held in Moose Jaw Tuesday.
He figures there will always be a need for housing as communities expand, he said.
So when the opportunity came up to learn about a career in the construction industry, Moffat jumped at it.
"There are like 15 journeymen in this building right now and they are all people who have been doing it for years – its exciting to be able to learn from them," he explained, gesturing at a room full of about 35 students and industry professionals.
The event had interactive hand-on sessions exposing students to bricklaying, framing, plumbing, flooring, dry walling, cabinet installation among others.
And there was a session about research and safety practices.
Industry professionals spoke to the students about their career paths and how they ended up in the construction industry.
"This gives them an opportunity to decide if this is a sector that they want to go down," said Barbara Compton, superintendent of school operations with the Prairie South School Division.
"It also gives them a chance to experience what careers are potentially available for them."
Doug Folk with the Saskatchewan Construction Association (SCA) said there are a few ways that students can transition into a job in the construction industry.
They can get started by taking part in a pre-employment program, or summer employment, such as is offered by SCA and Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Folk said.
Or they can find themselves a job with an employer in the construction trades and do their apprenticeship in a particular trade, he added.
Folk said a number of institutions have started offering the pre-employment program to give students a background with skills and safety orientation and certification they need to be employable.
"So then they have qualifications to get them started," he said.
For one student, Levi McNaughton, the bricklaying session really stood out.
"That sort of job wasn't even on my radar until I got to build a wall myself," said the Cornerstone Christian School student.
"And now it's definitely something I would consider doing."