School News

Stay up to date on school news here.

Vice Principal of Oyen Public and South Central High School Announcement
<p>Prairie Rose Public Schools would like to congratulate Deanne Smigelski who has accepted the position as vice principal of Oyen Public School (OPS) and South Central High School (SCHS). The vice principal role is a new position in Oyen where the focus will be on providing leadership support to the principal across two school communities under the newly created joint leadership model.</p><p>Deanne is a longtime teacher with Prairie Rose Public Schools having worked exclusively in the Oyen community for the past 15 years. During that time she has primarily focused on teaching elementary students in grades JK-5, while supporting both teachers and students in all grades through her role as the Inclusive Learning Teacher. In addition to a Bachelor of Education, Smigelski also has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Lethbridge.</p><blockquote><p>“I am very excited to welcome Deanne to the Oyen leadership team,” says Oyen Public School principal Jason Duchscherer. “Her background in developing high yielding instructional strategies with a focus on literacy, coupled with her knowledge and passion for the Oyen community make her an excellent fit for the role. I look forward to working with her as we continue to build amazing opportunities for all Oyen students.”</p></blockquote><blockquote><p>“I am grateful for this opportunity and excited to start a new path,” says Deanne Smigelski. “The future of OPS and SCHS as a unified school community is one I am looking forward to being part of and supporting. I am hopeful for what's to come for our small-town schools.”</p></blockquote><p>Deanne Smigelski will officially assume the role of vice principal of OPS and SCHS on August 24, 2022. The transition to the new combined leadership model comes following the retirement of current SCHS principal Jean Kimber at the end of the current school year. Jason Duchscherer was recently announced as the new principal of both schools, starting next fall.</p>
Board Meeting Highlights May 10, 2022
<p><strong>Irvine Agriculture Discovery Centre</strong></p><p>Prior to the May 10th public board meeting, the media, trustees and Cypress County officials were invited for a tour of the new Irvine School Agricultural Discovery Centre. As part of the tour, officials were asked to participate in some of the chores students are responsible for at the Agriculture Centre including cleaning the goat pen, feeding the baby calves, collecting eggs from the chicken coop and working in the garden. The initiative is a joint school project between Prairie Rose Public Schools and program founder Nichole Neubauer of Neubauer Farms. Photos of the tour are available on the Prairie Rose Public School Facebook page: <a href=""></a></p><p><strong>Ralston/Redcliff Proposed Attendance Area Changes</strong></p><p>The Prairie Rose Public Schools Board of Trustees approved the application for proposed changes to the Ralston/Redcliff attendance boundary. It was noted that the request affects the designated school attendance area for only a couple of families (who are already meeting a bus to Redcliff) and will have minimal to no impact on Ralston School, as the majority of land in the proposed area is leased and cannot be purchased. Attendance area requests come forward to the Board for review and consideration once each year, as per the Board Monitoring Schedule.</p><p><strong>The PRPS Board approved the following administrative items:</strong></p><ul><li>The 2022-2023 Board Monitoring Schedule</li><li>Changes to the Board/Teacher Advisory Committee policy to clarify the maximum number of trustees that may sit on the board</li></ul><p><strong>The PRPS Board approved the following school field trips:</strong></p><ul><li>South Central High School Grade 9 Field Trip to the Inter-Varsity Pioneer Camp in Rocky Mountain House from May 4-6.</li><li>South Central High School Biology 20/30 Field Trip to Edmonton to participate in RiverWatch from May 11-12.</li><li>Irvine School Grade 9 Field Trip to Cypress Hills (Saskatchewan) to Treeosix Adventures on June 17th.</li></ul><p>Additional details regarding the board items listed above can be found in the May 10th PRPS Board Meeting Agenda package: <a href=""></a></p>
Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services Announcement
<p><i>Boyd Craven announced as new Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services for Prairie Rose Public Schools</i></p><p>Prairie Rose Public Schools would like to congratulate Boyd Craven who has been chosen as the successful candidate for the role of Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services.</p><p>Currently working as the Eagle Butte High School principal, Boyd Craven is a long-time employee of Prairie Rose with an extensive teaching and leadership background. Throughout his 18-year teaching career with Prairie Rose Public Schools, Boyd has worked in school administration for the past 15 years, first as vice-principal of Ralston School, then vice-principal and principal at Parkside Junior High School and most recently as principal at Eagle Butte High School. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts and Education, he also holds a Master of Education with a focus on Educational Leadership.</p><blockquote><p>“I am excited to welcome Boyd to the Prairie Rose leadership team,” says Superintendent Reagan Weeks. “Boyd has a strong background in building positive school cultures that support a teamwork approach to learning. As Prairie Rose continues to create exceptional opportunities for students, his leadership and collaborative approach will be instrumental in executing our division education plan.”</p></blockquote><blockquote><p>“During my years as a school leader, I have witnessed deeper learning and academic excellence occur when students are given the opportunity to engage in learning they love and have a passion for,” says Boyd Craven. “In my new role as Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services, I look forward to being part of a leadership team that is continuously striving to find new ways for students of all ages to be innovators and find success through access to these opportunities.”</p></blockquote><p>Boyd Craven will make the transition from Eagle Butte to the Assistant Superintendent position at the end of the current school year. The Eagle Butte High School principal position will be posted in the very near future.</p>
Principal Announcement - OPS and SCHS
<p>Prairie Rose Public Schools would like to congratulate Jason Duchscherer who will assume the role as principal of both Oyen Public School (OPS) and South Central High School (SCHS) in Oyen, starting fall 2022. The announcement comes following the retirement of Jean Kimber at the end of the current school year as principal of South Central High School.</p><blockquote><p>“Combining the leadership roles allows the two schools in Oyen to continue forward on the path towards a future of one amazing K-12 school,” says Duchscherer. “Both OPS and SCHS have already made steps to connect and build programming that enables a smooth transition for students as they move from elementary to junior high and onto high school, so this further supports that work.”</p></blockquote><p>The move towards a unified school community is something both OPS and SCHS have been working towards for the past few years. Following a community consultation in 2019, the Board of Trustees added a new K-12 school in Oyen to the Prairie Rose Public Schools Capital Plan. Last spring, both schools collaborated on their school rebranding projects and established a single vision statement of developing confident, engaged and caring citizens. Both schools have also focused on building opportunities where students are learning alongside each other through programming such as the South Alberta Hockey Academy and the Badlands Junior Badgers program.</p><blockquote><p>“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Jean Kimber who has contributed tremendously to the education of countless students and wish her well in her next adventures. Jason Duchscherer takes on this newly structured role with a breadth of experience and a passion for rural education,” says Superintendent Weeks. “We have other schools in the division that operate under a similar model and it has worked very successfully in building a community of one school, despite being in different buildings. To further support the transition to one administrative position, a vice principal role will be added in Oyen to ensure leadership resources are maintained.”</p></blockquote><p>Duchscherer will officially assume the role of principal of both OPS and SCHS at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. The vice principal role will be posted later this spring.</p>
Roots and Wings
<p>Families living in the Redcliff area may have started hearing about a new program called Roots and Wings. The program aims to provide flexibility and ease of access to Redcliff students and their families for basic needs such as clothing, baby formula, and non-perishable food.&nbsp;</p><p>Eagle Butte teacher Scott Raible came up with the idea for the program when he was tasked with finding an initiative for his Masters degree that helps fill an identified gap for students. As a teacher he says he often sees that families can be hesitant to access the many supports already available in communities due to accessibility issues. The Roots and Wings program is aimed to remove those barriers to ensure that no Prairie Rose family in Redcliff goes without.</p><blockquote><p>“The process is quite simple,” says Raible. “Our school staff keep an eye out for those who may require assistance and information is provided directly to families via our Family School Liaison Workers. Families can also reach out to the schools directly and initiate support. All the family has to do is make an appointment and come “shopping”; selecting the clothing and food items that they need. There is absolutely no cost and no forms to fill out. If they need something we don’t have, we will find a way to get it.”</p></blockquote><p>Raible says the new program is growing and word of mouth is getting out in the community with many people providing donations. This support is greatly appreciated and is vital to ensuring continued success of the program. Currently those who wish to donate non-perishable food, can do so at the Redcliff Library and at the Redcliff Youth Center.</p><blockquote><p>“The entire purpose of Roots and Wings is to ensure that every student and their family in Redcliff has access to what they need to be successful. The program is organic in that we know each school has different needs. The staff at IF Cox, Margaret Wooding and Parkside have been essential in ensuring that we can be prepared when a family reaches out to us for assistance.”</p></blockquote><p>The program is currently only available to students who attend IF Cox, Margaret Wooding, Parkside Junior High, and Prairie Mennonite Alternative School and operates out of the old Redcliff Mennonite Alternative School. Families can call their local Redcliff school to get details on accessing the Roots and Wings program.</p><p><strong>Program sponsors:</strong> Prairie Rose Public Schools, Redcliff Library, Redcliff Youth Centre, The Salvation Army, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Mustard Seed, Little Munchkins.</p><p><strong>Program contact:</strong> Scott Raible,</p><figure class="table"><table><tbody><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="/images/860873c1-d07f-401e-b9c3-4999dbfb0568" alt=""></figure></td><td><figure class="image"><img src="/images/030ab9da-99af-4a10-a384-490ca5aa3159" alt=""></figure></td></tr></tbody></table></figure>
South Alberta High School Principal Announcement
<p>Prairie Rose Public Schools would like to congratulate Darren MacMillan on being selected as the principal of South Alberta High School.</p><p>MacMillan has been a teacher with PRPS for 25 years having previously worked at Schuler School, Irvine School and Eagle Butte High School. Most recently he has been instrumental in developing academy programming for both the South Alberta Hockey and South Alberta Flight academy programs and holds the General Manager role for the U18 Male and Female CSSHL Prep hockey teams. In addition to a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts, MacMillan also has a Master of Education with a focus in coaching studies.</p><p>South Alberta High School will offer a wide range of programming and learning opportunities with a focus on academy development and growth, non-primary distance education for high school students, collaboration with non-profit groups and establishing business partnerships. MacMillan will oversee the South Alberta Hockey Academy, the Dave Rozdeba South Alberta Flight Academy, Badlands Baseball Academy, Player X, E-Sports, House of Leaders, rodeo and equine programs, summer educational opportunities and international student recruitment.</p><p>“I am excited to continue working alongside my colleagues in Prairie Rose Public Schools to develop unique learning opportunities and provide high quality education,” says MacMillan. “South Alberta High School will increase accessible options for high school students as we continue to develop partnerships with community members. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to starting the work.”&nbsp;</p><p>“Prairie Rose Public Schools has been working hard the past few years to build unique programming opportunities that focus on a wide range of student interests and maintain long-term enrollment stability across the division,” says Deputy Superintendent Mark Heinricks. “Darren’s role will be to provide guidance and leadership to support these efforts.”</p><p>At the April 2022 Board Meeting, the PRPS Board of Trustees officially approved the name South Alberta High School which was previously called Rural Futures. MacMillan will assume the role of principal of South Alberta High School on July 1, 2022.</p>
PRPS Kiwanis Science Fair Winners
<p>Congratulations to the following Prairie Rose Public Schools students who came out on top at the annual Kiwanis Southeast Alberta Regional Science Fair held earlier this month. The event is an opportunity for students in grades 4-12 to showcase their scientific investigative skills and present the findings in front of peers and a panel of judges.&nbsp;</p><p>A special shout out to Victoria Rooks (Senator Gershaw School) and Britten Kurtzweg (Foremost School) who have been chosen to compete at the 2022 Canada Wide Science Fair. Good luck and we are excited to have you represent Prairie Rose Public Schools.</p><p><strong>Elementary School Winners</strong></p><p><i>Bronze</i></p><ol><li>Elise Poku, Ralston School (Grade 6) – Will bacteria increase or decrease depending on temperature?</li><li>Isaac Holmes and Elias Pemberton, Ralston School (Grade 6) – Mini Drill</li></ol><p><i>Honourable Mentions</i></p><ol><li>Yasmine Kamara and Joyous Raskoti, Ralston School (Grade 6) – EV3 Mindstorms Space Challenge</li><li>Lucy Cowley and Hollie Hemingway, Ralston School (Grade 6) – How to extract iron from corn flakes</li><li>Kyla Green and Jamie-leigh Beatty, Ralston School (Grade 6) – Growing Bacteria</li></ol><p><strong>Junior Winners</strong></p><p><i>Bronze</i></p><ol><li>Froese, Parker &amp; Froese, Taten – Ralston School (Grade 7): “What Humidity Ivy (My Snake) Best Sheds At”</li><li>Spaan , Ava – Ralston School (Grade 8): “Lava Lamps – “How Can I Make a Homemade One?”</li><li>Sumner, Poppy – Ralston School (Grade 8): “What Are We Wasting?”</li></ol><p><i>Silver</i></p><ol><li>Rodrigue, Patrick – Ralston School (Grade 7): “How Do Different Drinks Affect Your Teeth”</li><li>Owusu-Ansah, Kofi &amp; Reilly, Kayden – Ralston School (Grade 8): “How It Works”</li></ol><p><i>Gold</i></p><ol><li>Pemberton, Marlie &amp; Sherpa, Rinzen – Ralston School (Grade 7) – “Marlie and Rinzen Colour Change Flower”</li><li>Pflughaupt , Aden – Ralston School (Grade 8) – “Does the Colour of Food Affect Its Taste?”</li></ol><p><strong>Intermediate Winners</strong></p><p><i>Silver</i></p><ol><li>Wall, Joseph – Ralston School (Grade 9) – “Chemical change”</li><li>Davies, Riley &amp; Green, Kian – Ralston School (Grade 9) – “Are Sports Drinks Actually Better Than Water?”</li></ol><p><i>Gold</i></p><ol><li>Kurtzweg, Britten – Foremost School (Grade 9) – “Pondering Pendulums”</li><li>Rooks, Victoria – Senator Gershaw School (Grade 9) – “Killing It!”</li></ol><p><strong>Senior Winners</strong></p><p><i>Gold</i></p><ol><li>Rooks, Ayden – Senator Gershaw School (Grade 11) – “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”</li></ol>
Updated 2022-2023 School Calendar
<p>At the April 12, 2022, public board meeting, the Prairie Rose Public Schools Board of Trustees revisited the previously approved 2022-2023 school year calendar. The calendar was brought back to the board to review following feedback from parents and staff citing concerns that the Prairie Rose calendar was not in alignment with neighbouring school division calendars. Specifically, concerns were raised regarding the difference around the Christmas break, as there would be challenges for both parents and staff to find childcare services and that the current calendar only included two full weekends within the break instead of three.</p><p>The following changes to the calendar were approved by the board by a vote of four (Haraga, Cursons, Hogg, Vanderspruit) to three (Bedwell, Dennis, Rooks) at the April 12th public meeting:</p><ul><li>The Christmas break has been shifted to December 24th – January 8th. Students will still have an early dismissal day on December 23rd and will return on January 9th.</li><li>The SI day scheduled on November 14th has been moved to November 9th.</li></ul><p>The revised calendar has been posted to the public documents section of the Prairie Rose website and is available for online viewing.</p><p>The approved calendar can be found here: <a href=""></a><br>&nbsp;</p>