The RCMP had their blue lights flashing on Highway 2 in McLennan on September 1 to ensure that drivers were mindful that Ecole Providence students were beginning the first day of the new school year.
Within the school, the usually frenetic activity of getting the returning students organized and settled while easing the new students into their surroundings.
Following breakfast, reality quickly set in, with the primary focus changing to academics and the work of staying on course, improving and expanding programs that have proven successful with the students.
“We plan to continue with our present strategy of improving the children’s literacy skills,” says Ecole Providence Principal, Krista Veitch. “Every year we see an increase in growth and achievement with our scores so we will stay on track and continue to develop our work in this area.”
Providence’s new First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) program led by Sharlene Lambert will include a wide spectrum of cultural activities including hand games, beading, crafts, storytelling and puppet theatre.
Veitch says the school is also working on expanding existing, extracurricular programs, such as the mentorship program, Soccer with Fr. Jean and visits to Manoir du Lac where residents give the kids knitting instruction. Another Manoir resident with an interest in art also offers the kids drawing lessons.
“However, our main objective continues to be that every student is at or above grade level when it comes to literacy and comprehension, that they have a solid understanding of the fundamental principles of math and that they are capable of reading with unwavering confidence,” says Veitch.
Providence has also welcomed a new, part time Grades 5/6 teacher. Originally from New Brunswick, Alicia Milner took her first teaching position in Manning where she taught for three years, until school ended in June. Milner got married in July and lives on the family farm close to High Prairie.
Looking forward to getting started in her new position at Providence Milner said: “I hope to help the kids be successful in whatever ways work for them. I want to help them improve academically, socially and emotionally throughout the year.”