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Under the Northern Lights - May 15, 2019

Focus on Student Success Presentation - École Plamondon School

École Plamondon Principal Karen Grygus, Librarian Rebecca Hilligas, and several students highlighted the many benefits the school has experienced as they have converted their library into a learning commons.

One major change was to remove the large desk that dominated the room and make it into a more student-focused space with flexible seating options and the ability to create different seating configurations depending on how the space was being used.

Students are now able to participate in makerspace activities, where they are encouraged to be creative and work collaboratively to solve challenges.

The school celebrates literacy week with a different theme every year such as sharks, Harry Potter, and this year's Candyland. Students participate in events like scavenger hunts, author visits, and interactive games.

Hilligas said the learning commons has become the heart of the school, where all the students come to interact with each other, read and have fun.

Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk noted that the success of the learning commons and the fact the students want to be in the library all of the time was mentioned when the Board held a Community Engagement Session in Plamondon earlier this year.


Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards

Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk congratulated Drayden Laviolette from Kikino School on receiving an Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Award. The awards "recognize First Nations, Métis and Inuit stduents who model strength and commitment in the pursuit of their personal education paths and embrace their own gifts, strengths, and potential while celebrating the ways of their people."

Two other NLPS students - Conner Handel and Zander Lavallee, both from Aurora Middle School in Lac La Biche, received Honourable Mentions this year. 

All three students and their families will be invited to meet with the Board and celebrate their accomplishments at a later date.


School Councils Conference and AGM

Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk thanked the five NLPS parents who attended the recent School Councils Conference and AGM, noting they were highly engaged and made great connections with the other school councils at the conference as well as the Alberta School Councils Association. 

Trustee Michael Topylki said it was nice to hear attendees from other school divisions discussing initiatives underway in Northern Lights as a result of the information NLPS parents were sharing in the sessions at the conference. 

Hrynyk said the NLPS parents were talking about the ways the Board consults with them, and provides opportunities for feedback.


Lac La Biche Sports Fields Update

Trustee Debra Lozinski shared information with the Board on the progress being made on the sports fields in Lac La Biche. She said Phase 1 is the soccer field and the plan is to have that available for use in October.

Trustee Maurice Richard said he appreciated the effort made by Lac La Biche County to consider the issues that NLPS raised in prior meetings and make changes that would make things more efficient for the high school and community to use the fields.


Year End Report - Locally Developed Courses, Registered Apprenticeship Program, Career and Technology Studies, and Dual Credit Courses

Bill Driedger, Associate Superintendent - System Improvement, highlighted several items from the LDC/RAP/CTS/Dual Credit year end report.

NLPS has received a dual credit grant in partnership with Portage College to offer Indigenous language programming to NLPS staff and students. The programming and resources will be developed, with the courses expected to be offered to staff and students in the 2020-2021 school year. This will include dual credit courses in Dene and Cree. Dual credit courses allow high school students to earn high school credits and university/college credits for the same course.

Approximately 600 students took part in programming at the division's Mobile Trades Lab. The lab travels to three schools in the division each year offering students hands-on experience with welding and computerized laser cutting.

The division will be hosting its second annual Trades Carnival at the Trades Exposure Centre on Thursday, May 30. Around 400 students from NLPS and schools from other jurisdictions in the area are expected to attend. This year's event will feature several new community partners who will showcase their businesses and trades to students, as well as post-secondary training opportunities.

Driedger noted that there has been a decrease in participation in the on site service rig training program for students, due in part to the current state of the economy and job market. He said administration will be meeting soon to discuss ways to improve the sustainability of the facility. 

Trustees also noted that participation numbers have declined for RAP and work experience. Driedger noted that decline is largely due to the credit cap put in place by the provincial government which deterred schools from offering those opportunities for students. 











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