Coordinator of inclusive education Suzy Potts proposes the Discovery School pilot project to Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools’ board of trustees on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Discovery School pilot project proposed to Red Deer Catholic

A proposed pilot project for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools aims to give pre-kindergarten students a more natural learning experience.

Suzy Potts, co-ordinator of inclusive education, presented the Discovery School pilot project to Red Deer Catholic Schools’ board of trustees at Tuesday’s meeting.

The pilot project would run for eight weeks in 2018. It would bring students from every Red Deer Catholic pre-kindergarten classroom in Red Deer to Riverbend Golf and Recreation Area for a week of Discovery School classes.

Over the past three years, inclusive education has begun leading teachers and children in the “direction of a natural and holistic learning experience that incorporates natural and calming tools, environments and experiences,” said Potts.

Discovery School would continue that direction by giving students the chance to learn in the natural environment at Riverbend, which has a banquet facility with many windows, a large forest area, an outdoor trail and, soon, a natural playground.

Early Learning Inclusion would pay $4,000 to book the space for eight weeks, which has already been worked into the budget — so there would be no additional costs for the parents, said Potts.

“Riverbend is extremely excited to have us on board,” she said.

One of the holdbacks Potts has heard so far is that some parents want their children to be learning throughout their time in pre-kindergarten. Their ABCs aren’t the only thing they’ll need to learn in the early stages of school, Potts said.

“Play is important to these little people so they learn how to socialize, problem solve and critically think so they can get along with each other,” she said.

Before children would attend Discovery School, there would be a parent information session held the day before it begins.

Dave Khatib, associate superintendent of inclusive learning, said there are hopes to expand Discovery School to kindergartens next year and to other parts of the division in the future.

“We want to make sure it’s not just in the urban area, we want to make sure we’re moving into our rural communities, but we get this together right off the bat … we’re extremely excited about this possibility,” he said.

There was plenty of positive reaction from the board following the presentation.

“There are lots of supporters here, so hopefully we’ll see them back in the spring for a bit of an update,” said Guy Pelletier, board chairperson.

sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Just Posted

Relatives of murdered family critical of killers’ sentences

Open letter to sentencing judge criticizes ruling allowing killers to apply for parole in 25 years

City rolling out Green Carts

Green Carts used for organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste

New teaching standards applauded

New code of standards affecting teachers, principals and superintendents to kick in Sept. 1, 2019

UPDATED: Agriculture minister speaks to cattle producers

2018 Alberta Beef Industry Conference underway in Red Deer

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Twenty years later, figure skating’s most famous backflip remains amazing (and illegal)

Figure skating involves spins, jumps, twizzles and a whole host of other… Continue reading

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Standing in line at the emergency room, makeshift bandage around my finger,… Continue reading

Seychelles swaps debt for groundbreaking marine protection

CURIEUSE ISLAND, Seychelles — With deep blue waters, white sand beaches and… Continue reading

Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising… Continue reading

Red Deer blood clinic in need of 600 donors

Aunt encourages Central Albertans to donate blood after losing nephew

Court considers banning diesel cars in German cities

BERLIN — A German court began considering Thursday whether authorities should ban… Continue reading

US women beat Canada in Olympic hockey; Gisin tops Shiffrin

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — A tense shootout, a dazzling deke and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month