Aspen Heights Elementary wins innovation award

Canadian Education Association recognizes Aspen Heights Elementary School’s MicroSociety project.

  • Apr. 5, 2017 8:00 a.m.

Red Deer’s Aspen Heights Elementary School is on an innovative roll.

The K-5 school recently won the Canadian Education Association Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning for the school’s MicroSociety program. It comes with a $7,000 prize.

As well, Aspen Heights has been named a finalist in the education category for the 26th Annual Emerald Awards, which will be presented on June 6.

Aspen Heights’ MicroSociety is billed as a “thriving, modern-day, mini-country” that is embedded in the school’s daily program.

A world within the school has been created and is managed by students with help from teachers and community mentors. Their MicroSociety comes complete with elected government, entrepreneurial hub, non-profit organizations, consumer marketplace, courts, police, post-secondary institutions and community gathering places.

In its submission, the school challenges people to “imagine a place where children experience math by having jobs, paying taxes and running businesses that sell everything from smoothies to clothing to dream catchers. A place where students study logic and law by taking their peers to court and fining them in the school’s currency (Stingers).”

That vision clearly impressed the judges from the education association, which will present Aspen Heights its award at a ceremony at the school on April 27 at 1 p.m.

“MicroSociety stood out because it’s such a different, interesting and relevant way to set up a school to prepare students for the outside world,” said Ron Canuel, chief executive officer of the education association.

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