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Horizon School Board Aug. 28 meeting briefs

Posted on September 7, 2023 by Vauxhall Advance

By Heather Cameron
Vauxhall Advance
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The following are selected briefs from the Horizon School Division Board Meeting that took place on Aug. 28.

Locally Developed Course – Bible Studies

The Board discussed a Bible Studies course approval, which, according to Supt. Wilco Tymensen, was a renewal of Taber Christian School’s Christian programming. The Religious Studies course, Tymensen said, was also a renewal. It is a course offered via the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Seminary program and offered to W.R. Myers High School.

Students taking the course, the board determined, will reflect and share how teachings of the Bible apply to their lives, and they will also interpret and select scriptures from the Bible using the King James version and also the New International Version of the Bible. The themes included in the course, they said, are purpose, prayer, acceptance and thankfulness. 

Alberta Education, Tymensen said, allows school divisions to create locally developed courses to meet the local context of their community. They require all locally developed courses to be approved by the Board. If they are a Grade 10-12 course, Tymensen said, then students earn high school credits which contribute to them earning a high school diploma. High school locally developed courses also require Alberta Education approval. Typically, Tymensen said, locally developed courses are approved for a three year period, at which time they are reviewed and would require re-approval. Both courses were re-approvals. The Bible Studies course approval was a renewal of Taber Christian School’s bible program which is an integral part of their Christian programming.

Zone 6 Report – Marie Logan

Marie Logan from Zone 6 reported that she had an opportunity to hear a presentation from the Calgary Public Board of Education on Minecraft. Logan stated that Microsoft mapped the whole City of Calgary and then had a contest for schoolchildren that was open to all the schoolchildren of Calgary about making great environments for public places. Ultimately, Logan says, the City of Calgary picked out three places within the city that included a park and a C-Train Station, and one of the winners from that contest was invited to speak with the Microsoft team. Microsoft, Logan says, was totally impressed at what these kids were coming up with. The City of Calgary, she said, also kept all the submissions and they’ve actually done the park and are going to work on the other things. Logan said that New York and London have now asked for Microsoft to map their cities and do the same thing. And Palliser School Division, Logan says, has since asked that their schools, specifically the Calgary schools, be included in the process.

Milk River School Modernization Report

Bruce Francis reported to the board that Ward Brothers are currently doing a great job with the Milk River School Modernization Project and he also presented photos to the board to show the progress that the construction company is making with the work. Ward Brothers, Francis said, is on schedule with the modernization project. Francis also mentioned that he discussed other projects with the construction company including making an agreement with the Village of Lomond regarding the grounds maintenance of that school.

According to Dr. Tymensen, Milk River Elementary School was approved for modernization in the spring of 2021 with construction commencing in the summer of 2022. During the planning process, Tymensen says, the community came together and began a significant fundraising effort to enhance the school gymnasium and ultimately raised more than half a million dollars to enlarge the school gymnasium. The Board, Tymensen says, engaged the community in a renaming process and the Board has formally approved the new name for the school, which is Milk River Ridge School. The school, Tymensen says, is scheduled to be complete for December 2024 and once completed, it will be a K-Grade 12 school. During construction, Tymensen says, all K-12 students are at Erle Rivers High School and once all the students have transitioned to the new building the old high school building is slated to be demolished. 

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