By Greg Price
Horizon School Division board of trustees passed three locally developed courses at its Aug. 24 meeting.
The first was German and Low-German Speaking Mennonite Cultural Studies, with each of the courses approved through Aug. 31, 2018.
“We previously offered this course through our schools, but we decided to build it out with a little more detail and give guidance to schools in what content should be offered,” said Amber Darroch, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction at the board of trustees meeting.
“It is a renewal. Central, Hays, Vauxhall Elementary, Grassy Lake and Enchant use this.”
The second approved course was Religion 15, 25, 35.
“This was primarily Vauxhall High School and it is replacing a course called Christian Spirituality that has been offered traditionally in communities that offer seminary.
“This religious studies course is more provincially and more widely accepted. Other divisions have given us approval to use it and Alberta Education has approved us to use it.
“Alberta Education withdrew its approval for us to continue to use Christian Spirituality,” said Darroch.
The third locally developed course that was approved was Reading 15, 25.
“We’re doing this reading course. Are we assuming they don’t know how to read yet?” inquired board trustee Terry Michaelis during the discussion period prior to course approval. “What’s with the course?”
Darroch assured Michaelis the reading course targets people who are not reading at grade level, and building up their skills so they are more successful in all their other regular courses.
“It could include Second Language students or any student that is not achieving their potential.
“It’s part of our district-wide shift to intervening and building student skill so they are leaving their education system with the highest level of literacy possible.
“It has a growing (result) in our high schools.
“Structuring it this way, it gives students credits and structure in receiving this intervention, rather than having to do it outside their regular school program.”