Peter Barron, Clearview Public Schools superintendent, (left) shakes hands with Jayson Lovell, Wolf Creek Public Schools superintendent, as they formalize the school district partnership. (Contributed photo)

Central Alberta school divisions to support rural students through agreement

Wolf Creek to bring Enhanced Learning Model courses to Clearview schools

An agreement between Wolf Creek Public Schools and Clearview Public Schools will give rural high school students access to more learning opportunities next year.

The two divisions signed a deal to bring Wolf Creek’s Enhanced Learning Model (ELM) to Clearview schools at a meeting Wednesday.

Wolf Creek teachers developed a number of online courses for the ELM two summers ago.

“We wanted to find a way to provide more access to courses and to support our teachers in small rural schools,” said Jayson Lovell, Wolf Creek superintendent.

ELM courses, which use multiple technologies to enhance and support learning for Grade 10-12 students, have expanded into non-rural Wolf Creek schools in Lacombe and Ponoka.

Lovell said there have been significant increases in high school completion results since ELM courses were implemented.

These online courses will be brought to Clearview in September, but which courses and schools are still being determined.

“When two school divisions share the resources and strengths they have, opportunities can be provided where students ultimately benefit,” said Lovell.

Lovell said this could just be the first of many future projects between the two divisions.

“Once you start developing these kinds of formal partnerships, it starts opening up opportunities in other areas. We’re really excited about that,” he said.

Peter Barron, Clearview superintendent, said the two divisions have a history of working together. This new agreement is the natural next step, he added.

“Small rural schools face unique challenges, and Wolf Creek’s model offers significant potential advantages to address our needs.

“We want to be able to provide high quality courses to our kids, but …. when only eight or nine kids want a certain course it becomes expensive to offer those. This is one way to address that,” said Barron.

Barron said the ELM is going to help more than just students.

“This provides some additional resources for staff to help support them in their instruction,” he said. “Unlike Red Deer … we would have the science teacher teaching chemistry, biology and physics. Typically they’d be really good at one of those, pretty good at a second, but may not be too experienced with the third.”

Korey Von Kuster will begin working as learning services co-ordinator between the divisions in August to implement the ELM in Clearview schools.

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Clearview Public Schools (CPS) and Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) signed an agreement Wednesday; (left to right) CPS deputy superintendent Brenda MacDonald, CPS superintendent Peter Barron, CPS board chair Ken Checkel, WCPS superintendent Jayson Lovell, WCPS assistant superintendent Mark McWhinnie, WCPS director of learning Sean Lougheed, CPS-WCPS co-ordinator of learning Korey Von Kuster and WCPS board chair Lorrie Jess. providing flexible curriculum delivery using the Enhanced Learning Model supported by diploma preparation supports.

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