Outlook, March 2014 - Outreach Education Council

A publication of
the Outreach Education Council
of the Alberta Teachers’ Association
March 2014
President’s Message
I have been busy replying to e-mails and phone
calls, and answering questions about the
Outreach Education Council (OEC) and our
annual conference. If you have any questions,
comments or concerns, please e-mail me at
[email protected] and I’ll do my best to
help you out.
The executive is working to increase the OEC’s
presence among all the outreach schools and
outreach teachers of this fine province. We are
developing a presentation that can be brought
into teachers’ conventions and local area PD
days to promote our council and its members.
Our annual conference will be held October 2–4,
2014, at the Marriott at River Cree Resort, in
Enoch. The theme is “Reaching Out.” If you have
any great ideas, programs, research or tips to
share with the outreach community, please
contact me or my fellow speaker chair, Marianne
Masters ([email protected]). We have
been booking many exciting speakers, so keep
an eye on our website (http://oec.teachers.ab.ca)
and spread the word. The OEC annual
Outlook, March 2014
conference is the best networking opportunity
any outreach teacher could have, and I say that
as an attendee for the past four years.
We have a lot of new faces on our executive
this year, and we are working hard to learn our
jobs and effectively represent our members. In
the near future, we will explore using various
digital means to spread the good work of our
Elliott Bessey
What’s Inside
† Our New Alberta Education
Advocating for a Place in the New
Education Act
Regional Reports
Conference 2014 Update
Good News from Around the Province
Our New Alberta
Please join us in
welcoming Adelee Penner
as the OEC’s new Alberta
Education representative.
Adelee has recently taken
on an education manager
position in the South
Services Branch of Alberta
Education. Prior to that,
she was a teacher at
Chestermere High School, near Calgary.
As a teacher, she engaged students, staff,
parents and other stakeholders in the process
of transforming the school into a 21st-century
learning environment, according to the
principles of Inspiring Education. Her
leadership responsibilities included mentoring
other teachers as they transformed their
Adelee was also instrumental in transforming
the food culture at the school. She brought in
the Professional Cook Trade Program, which
allows students to study to become Red Seal
chefs. Through this program and the daily food
choices offered by her students, the school’s
teachers and students developed discerning
palates, and eating became an experience
rather than an activity.
Effective IMMEDIATELY, your
annual no-cost specialist council
membership will no longer expire
in August. Instead, it will continue
year after year until you change
it. To register or change your
council membership, log in at
www.teachers.ab.ca with your ATA
website username and password.
Specialist councils are your source
for conferences, networking,
publications, resources,
workshops, online communities
and professional development.
Outlook, March 2014
Advocating for a
Place in the New
Education Act
What You Need to Know
The Act Does Not Acknowledge
Outreach Schools
Alberta’s new Education Act refers to charter
schools, separate schools, private schools,
alternative schools and public schools. There is
no direct reference to outreach schools. This
may be a problem for outreach schools, as they
are not officially recognized by the act.
Power Rests with Local Boards
The Education Act clearly states that the
minister of education is to take a hands-off
approach and that education will be
implemented locally. This means that the
requirements for outreach schools, which are
outlined in the funding manual, may no longer
be enforced at the provincial level. For
example, an outreach school could be located
wherever the local board deems it appropriate.
If boards phase out outreach schools as we
know them, will the funding manual continue
to recognize outreach schools with special
The Education Act is clear that boards are
accountable for ensuring that all students
Outlook, March 2014
have their educational needs met. The
outreach model is student centred, as it
considers the myriad of student needs when
providing students with an education.
Outreach is an excellent example of the
education envisioned in the new act. Ironically,
however, the act does not even mention
outreach schools.
Advocate, Advocate,
Since all educational decisions will be made
locally, at the board level, board members need
to fully understand the students we serve at
outreach schools and why they will not be
served within the conventional educational
setting. They also need to know that these
students are having their needs successfully
met through outreach education.
Members of your community must also be kept
informed. Get the word out about the excellent
work being done with outreach students.
Your advocacy on your students’ behalf will be
successful when all board members can
articulate why they support outreach schools and
when community members understand what an
outreach school is and the students it serves.
The new Education Act will become law in
September 2015. Now is the time to lay the
groundwork with your board and your
Regional Reports
Unfortunately, I had very few responses to the
e-mail I sent in early January to all outreach
schools in the Calgary region. In that e-mail, I
mentioned my concern regarding outreach
schools and Alberta’s new Education Act. I also
encouraged our colleagues to join the OEC, and
asked the following questions for reflection:
• Were your Semester 1 numbers up or down
from a year ago?
• “I like how I can work at my own speed. I
don’t have to go too fast.”
• “I like that I’m getting along with more
people than I thought I would—it’s cool.”
• “I like how I can confide in my teachers
about anything, and they don’t judge me.”
• “I like how everyone treats everyone with
• “I love the staff. They make us feel safe and
• “I’ve never felt so connected to a teacher
• “They actually give a damn.”
• Are diploma exams being written by your
students? In which subjects?
• “How open it is. There’s always an adult to
talk to when you need it.”
• What are your projected numbers for
graduation and scholarship recipients?
• “I really love the staff. They make me feel
good about myself. They help me and my
family out.”
• Do you have any exciting plans or outings
for Semester 2?
• Any ideas to share regarding projects and
assignments (particularly inquiry based)?
We in Calgary have been reviewing the
responses to the Tell Them From Me student
survey. I’m sure responses were similar across
the province. It goes without saying that
outreach students are honest. We had 238
students complete the survey, a statistically
significant response rate for our population
In general, the students reported that they like
coming to school and they like that they have
their own space apart from the mainstream
high school. They also appreciate the support
they receive, the friendly environment, the fact
that staff and peers actually listen to them and
do not judge them, the one-on-one interaction,
and the ability to work at their own pace.
Here are a few of their responses:
• “I like that they provide help when you
want it.”
• “I like how the teachers are supportive, and
we can work according to our own
schedules and needs.”
• “I like it because it’s independent. We have
one on one time with our teachers. It’s
easier to pay attention. No one nags us.
We’re responsible for our own self which is
a good life skill!”
• “Efficient, flexible, convenient.”
• “It has really helped me out to talk when
I’m in a position where I don’t know which
road to go down.”
• “I’ve done this survey five times. No more
Pat Cyca
Since our last meeting, I have spent time
updating contact information, because a few
messages have come back as undeliverable
when I’ve sent out e-mails. In my search to
update information, I was able to chat with a
principal from Red Deer about the wonderful
programs and opportunities they have had
success with. My requests for Outlook articles
did result in one submission.
Kym Wasylik-Nicoll
Outlook, March 2014
We have our first student completing
the five child care staff (CCS) courses to
receive certification in early childhood
development. This is in partnership with
the Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program
and their licensed daycare. During the fall,
we were fortunate enough to have a longterm substitute who started a fantastic art
program, which was well received.
Northern outreach schools have been busy!
Here at Frank Spragins High School, in Fort
McMurray, we have partnered with the Wood
Buffalo YMCA to offer our students part-time
child care. This allows our off-campus students
to come into school while their children are
being cared for. We now offer an evening
program on Wednesdays (from 4:30 to 7:30) so
that our students who work or have other
daytime commitments can come in and get
help with their schoolwork, and pick up or drop
off modules. With 260 students and 12 staff, we
are expanding exponentially. We are hoping to
graduate 40 students this year.
April and Bobby, from the Grande Prairie John
Howard Society’s Tabono Centre, also have
exciting news to share. As April states,
Our program is currently full, with 10
youths who are working on their academics
via PAVE (Peace Academy of Virtual
Education). There are 15 in total who are
registered in our program, some of whom
are coming to us for the life-skills portion
of the program only. We are looking ahead
in our planning and will be taking part
in a chicken hatching project again this
year, we will study WHMIS (Workplace
Hazardous Materials Information System)
and food safety, and we will take part in
the highway cleanup and go on a farm field
trip again!
The Bridge Network, in Grande Prairie, is also
having a great year. Dan Rawlyk tells me,
Our high school classroom has been
averaging well over 20 students a day.
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Gary Munro, of Holy Family Cyber High in
Peace River, reports that
Cyber High is doing well in the area of
offering support for students taking online
courses, and in providing flexibility for
students as they work through their courses.
We are continuing with a couple of student
support activities this year that have
been beneficial and successful in the past.
Teachers seem to be adjusting well to the
switch in school leadership. Professional
development is continuing, but the focus is
more on teacher-directed activities for now—
although that could change in the second
semester, as the school year progresses.
Richard Coburn, principal of the Fort
Vermilion School Division’s Learning Stores,
has informed me that they are “excited to be
piloting a new online program for both fulltime and dual students of the Learning Stores.
This program, called Solaro, will target
students taking academic high school math,
sciences and English, and will be delivered
digitally so that students can take advantage
of the latest advances in technology in the field
of education and the new modalities of student
learning in the 21st century. The pilot will be
launched January 30.”
Sarah Hiscock
Conference 2014 Update
The OEC’s annual conference will be held October 2–4, 2014, at the Marriott at River Cree Resort,
in Enoch. Our theme this year is “Reaching Out.” With all the changes being made to the delivery
of outreach education, we felt that this theme was appropriate. Be ready for a conference that
centres around advocacy—for our students, ourselves and our profession.
If you have any ideas for sessions or speakers, please contact either of our speaker chairs: Elliott
Bessey ([email protected]) or Marianne Masters ([email protected]). If you know of
someone who would like to be an exhibitor, please forward the information to Linda Hanson
([email protected]).
We are once again holding a contest to find an outreach student to design the graphic for our
conference program booklet. This graphic will also be used on our website (http://oec.teachers.ab.ca).
The winner will receive an iPad Mini. The contest closes April 15, 2014. For details, see
Conference 2014 Student Art Contest.
If you have any suggestions for the conference, please contact me at [email protected] or
Antonette Wilson, Conference Director
Conference 2014 Student Art Contest
Attention students!
The Outreach Education Council once again invites you to participate in our contest to design
the cover graphic for the program for our annual conference, to be held October 2–4, 2014.
The conference theme is “Reaching Out.”
Your poster should be 8½ × 9 inches and in colour. Be sure to include the conference theme and
dates. The rest is up to your imagination!
The OEC executive will vote on the submissions and choose a winner. All artwork will be
proudly displayed at the conference.
The grand prize is an iPad Mini.
The deadline for submitting posters is April 15, 2014. Please send your completed poster to
OEC vice-president Roxanne Fudge:
Roxanne Fudge
Frank Spragins High School
190 Tamarack Way
Fort McMurray, AB T9K 1A1
[email protected]
Outlook, March 2014
Good News
from Around the
Buffalo Trail Outreach
Student Selected by the
Legislature Page Program
from the
School, has been
selected to work
as a page in the
Assembly of
Students who
apply to be pages must have strong and
consistent academic grades and be strong
communicators with good interpersonal skills.
They are also expected to be involved in sports,
music, the community or volunteer work.
Tianna met these requirements, with her high
grades, her involvement in taekwondo and in
playing and coaching soccer, and her talent in
playing the piano and violin.
Legislature page is a paid part-time position.
Tianna was in a position to pursue this
important work because her enrolment in the
Vermilion Outreach School allows her to travel
to Edmonton to fulfill her work duties while
maintaining high grades in her full course
load. The flexibility of outreach education
allows her to maintain her busy schedule.
Outlook, March 2014
Pages provide necessary services to both
members and officers of the legislative
assembly, including distributing documents,
conveying messages and taking part in
ceremonial events. They learn first-hand how
the legislative assembly works as they
participate in its dynamic, fast-paced
environment. Tianna also attends
developmental seminars with interesting guest
speakers and will be participating in the
annual speech competition.
Buffalo Trail Public Schools is proud of Tianna
and her accomplishments. Her selection as a
legislature page and the experience she is
gaining will help her reach her postsecondary
and career goals. Well done, Tianna!
Operation Elderly
Last December, two North Star Outreach
School students initiated a school and
community drive to make sure that the
residents of the seniors’ lodges in Tofield and
Holden each had something to open on
Christmas morning.
Rebecca Heeney and Shayleigh York headed up
the campaign to benefit this oft-forgotten
group in our community. They approached
local businesses, put a notice in the Tofield
Today group on Facebook, and hit up friends
and family. On Christmas Eve, the two girls,
along with other students and our two staff
members, filled 84 gift bags to overflowing. The
response from students, staff and the
community was overwhelming, and we still
have donations coming in for next Christmas.
This campaign initiated by two students
exemplifies the true spirit of Christmas—
giving from your heart to those who might not
otherwise have a reason to smile during the
holiday season.
Outlook, March 2014
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Consent for Collection, Use and Disclosure of
Student Work
Name of person:
(Please print)
I am the person named above and I am the parent or guardian of
___________________________________________________ (“the Student”)
(please print student’s name)
I hereby consent to the collection, use and disclosure of the Student’s work by the
____________________________ Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (“the
Council”) for the purpose of including and displaying same on the Council’s website and for
use in Council print materials, including but not limited to: the Council newsletter,
monographs, posters, program booklets, promotional flyers, registration pages, conference
notices, news releases and conference proceedings.
I so consent fully understanding that the work will be attributed in any publication or online
posting to the Student by name, grade and school.
My signature below indicates that I consent to the above-described collection, use and
disclosure of the Student’s work for the purposes stated above.
I understand that the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s privacy officer is available to answer
any questions I may have regarding the collection, use and disclosure of the work in
question. The privacy officer can be reached at 780-447-9429. I also understand that I may
withdraw or vary this consent at any time upon written notice to the privacy officer.
Signed: ________________________Today’s date: ______________________
Outlook, March 2014
Outreach Education Council 2013/14
Elliott Bessey
Bus 780-645-5015
[email protected]
Website Manager
Courtney Rebke
Bus 780-980-0955
[email protected]
Alberta Education Representative
Adelee Penner
Bus 403-297-5013
[email protected]
Past President
Kim Webb
Bus 780-471-7987
[email protected]
Conference 2014 Director
Calgary Representative
Pat Cyca
Bus 403-268-3265
[email protected]
Roxanne Fudge
Bus 780-714-3434
[email protected]
Communications Director
Courtney Rebke
Bus 780-980-0955
[email protected]
Carol Van Slyke
Bus 780-624-5534
[email protected]
PEC Liaison
Kevin Kempt
Bus 403-289-2551
[email protected]
Roxanne Eyben
Bus 780-969-8801
[email protected]
ATA Staff Advisor
Ihor Kruk
Bus 780-447-9483
[email protected]
Antonette Wilson
Bus 780-479-3258
[email protected]
Central Representative
Kym Wasylik-Nicoll
Bus 780-853-2111
[email protected]
Edmonton Representative
Northern Representative
Sarah Hiscock
Bus 780-714-3434
[email protected]
Southern Representative
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Outlook, March 2014