Smallboy students return to studies

It was back to school — a new old school — Monday for students from the Smallboy Camp.

It was back to school — a new old school — Monday for students from the Smallboy Camp.

Approximately 25 students from the camp northwest of Nordegg on the Forestry Trunk Road started their school year in Nordegg at the Smallboy Outreach School, which is being operated on a pilot basis by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools in 2013-14.

Two teachers and two educational assistants will be working with the students in the town’s public works building, where kindergarten to Grade 7 will be in a traditional classroom setting and students in higher grades will receive instruction through the division’s St. Gabriel Cyber School with classroom support.

The division ran a similar pilot project two years ago.

“A group of students (from the Smallboy Camp) approached us two years ago to meet their educational needs. Unfortunately, Alberta Education couldn’t sustain the funding for that project,” said division superintendent Paul Mason.

“Late last year, a proposal was submitted to reignite this initiative and in early August Alberta Education informed us that they would be able to provide funding for this initiative. It’s a collaborative effort between the students and parents from the Smallboy Camp, Alberta Education and ourselves.”

Edmonton Catholic School District has run the Mountain Cree Camp School near Robb, northwest of Nordegg, since 2009.

Students from the camp have also attended the Ta-Otha Community School on the Big Horn First Nation and school in Rocky Mountain House over the last few years.

The Smallboy Camp was formed in 1968 by a longtime chief of the Ermineskin band who, along with a group of about 140 supports, set up camp on the Kootenay Plains west of Nordegg to get away from the temptations of alcohol and drugs, and the influences of white society.

A few years later, the camp was moved to its present site near Robb.

Mason said the students will spend about 90 minutes on the bus each way to and from the school. He said Alberta Education will evaluate the pilot project. He expects they will make a decision in the spring on whether to continue funding.

In other division news from the first fall board meeting:

• A consultant will be hired to work with a team to formulate a design for what the division hopes will be a new high school project announced in the fall.

A new high school in Red Deer is the division’s No. 1 capital project and, earlier this year, it even announced a name for a future facility — St. Joseph High School — despite the province not having yet committed to building any such school.

Mason expects the province will announce a new set of school construction projects in the fall, with a new Catholic high school on the list. The division is just trying to show some foresight, said Mason, and “looking to develop areas where students can collaborate together.”

“We thought it’d be prudent to form this committee to get the thoughts of local stakeholders, parents, teachers, students and administrators so that we could have contributions at the table when it comes to the design of this facility,” he said.

Under the province’s new P-3 method for school construction, school build projects are bundled together to be done by a single contractor, with a degree of uniformity to the schools achieved through standardized designs. But Mason said he believes there will be more possibility for input into the design of a new high school for the city.

• Mason said preliminary estimates for the 2013-14 school year show division enrolment up by about five per cent over the year prior, with a number of schools dealing with space issues due to high enrolment.

A new elementary school in Clearview Ridge is set to open in the division next year with room for as many as 500 students.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Marcus Golczyk, with Taco Monster, hands food to a customer during Food Truck Drive and Dash in the Westerner Park parking lot in Red Deer Friday afternoon. The drive-thru event will run every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through June. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff
Food Truck Fridays, Food Truck Drive and Dash return in Red Deer

Red Deerians are able to take in a drive-thru food truck experience… Continue reading

Don and Gloria Moore, of Red Deer, are set to celebrate their 70th anniversary later this month. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer couple to celebrate 70th anniversary

Red Deer couple Don and Gloria Moore are set to celebrate their… Continue reading

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
UPDATE: Central Alberta cafe owner arrested after anti-restriction protest

The owner of a central Alberta cafe, which was the site of… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre's expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital ICU admissions stable, but rising, says surgeon

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s intensive care unit is in better… Continue reading

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada's vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel's approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

JASPER, Alta. — A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing… Continue reading

The smouldering remains of houses in Slave Lake, Alta., are seen in a May 16, 2011, file photo. The wildfire that is devastating large swaths of the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray comes just five years after another blaze destroyed 400 buildings and left 2,000 people homeless in Slave Lake, Alberta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Jackson
Ten years later: Five things to know about the Slave Lake wildfire

A wildfire burned about one-third of Slave Lake in northern Alberta in… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid races to 100 points this NHL season

Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid sprinted to a 100-point NHL season and… Continue reading

A Foodora courier is pictured as they pick up an order for delivery from a restaurant in Toronto, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Two-year EI review needed to buy time for needed tech upgrades, Qualtrough says

OTTAWA — Canada’s employment minister says a budgetary pledge for funding to… Continue reading

A person wears a face mask as they walk through McGill University during light snowfall in Montreal, Sunday, December 20, 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Some universities say no to proof of vaccination requirement

A COVID-19 vaccine likely won’t be a requirement to return to the… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, participate in a virtual discussion with seniors from Residence Memphremagog in Magog, Que., from Ottawa on Monday, May 3, 2021. Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats are on the move in advance of a potential election this year, recruiting candidates, training volunteers and grappling with how to kiss babies and press the flesh in a virtual, pandemic-restricted world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Grappling with how to press the virtual flesh, parties gear up for election showdown

OTTAWA — The three main national parties are firing up their election… Continue reading

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, is setting off a social media reaction with his calls to stop non essential shopping, such as "buying sandals at Costco", with this photo of his worn sandals, which he published to social media on Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Dr. Robert Strang, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Nova Scotia’s top doctor sparks meme with caution on non-essential shopping

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s top doctor has launched a social media meme… Continue reading

Most Read