Wheat­land Cross­ing School set to open this fall

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The new Wheat­land Cross­ing School, slated to open this fall, is look­ing at bet­ter ways to de­liver pro­grams to stu­dents.

Con­struc­tion has pro­gressed on the school over the year, cre­at­ing a school for the East Wheat­land area, near com­mu­ni­ties in­clud­ing Hus­sar, Stan­dard, Gle­ichen, Rock­y­ford and Rose­bud.

“It still looks like we will be ready for stu­dents in Septem- ber,” said Golden Hills School Divi­sion su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Be­van Dav­erne.

He is ex­cited about the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a new school.

“We rec­og­nize that par­ents and stu­dents want a very good aca­demic ed­u­ca­tion, they want a well rounded ed­u­ca­tion and they also want op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­plore pas­sions,” said Dav­erne.

He says while par­ents and stu­dents want rig­or­ous aca­demics at the school, they are also look­ing at the pro­grams that fit the com­mu­nity.

“We have a unique op­por­tu­nity with this school be­cause it is in a ru­ral set­ting,” he said.

“One of the fo­cuses is agri­cul­ture and agri­cul­tural pro­gram­ming. Part­ner­ships in the agri­cul­tural world, and then we are look­ing at ways to bring some of that pro­gram­ming right on the site. We have had some in­ter­ests from dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions for sup­port of a green­house pro­gram and oth­ers as well.”

The school has part­ner­ships with Rose­bud School of the Arts, which will have a pos­i­tive im­pact in the school and has a space for a black box theatre in the school.

“We are look­ing at all kinds of pro­grams and are hear­ing back from par­ents that we think are all im­por­tant things that are part of a 20th cen­tury ed­u­ca­tion. We want to pre­pare kids for the aca­demic world, the 21st cen­tury world and po­ten­tial ca­reers in agri­cul­ture, for which there is a wide range of them that in­cludes run­ning a farm, but goes far be­yond that too,” said Dav­erne.

Bricks and mor­tar do mat­ter.

“Many of our build­ings are older and over time our pro­gram­ming has changed, and the build­ing doesn't al­ways sup­port what we are do­ing to­day. Hav­ing a build­ing that has been cus­tom de­signed and tai­lored to what we need to­day in this com­mu­nity is very ex­cit­ing,” said Dav­erne. “To see this come to fruition, be ready for open­ing, and to have the op­por­tu­nity for this Wheat­land Cross­ing School, that brings all of these com­mu­ni­ties to­gether and of­fers pro­gram­ming we haven't been able to of­fer pre­vi­ously… is very pos­i­tive.”

“It ap­pears that fam­i­lies are look­ing for­ward to the new fa­cil­ity.

“Since the de­ci­sion was made to con­sol­i­date the school, our en­roll­ment in those four schools in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the new school, has gone up 15 per cent. We have seen our school pop­u­la­tions grow­ing in East Wheat­land and that is in stark con­trast to the pre­vi­ous decade where there was lots of de­cline.”

Golden Hills School Divi­sion is host­ing pub­lic meet­ings May 24 and 25.

“Part of it is to up­date and in­form our stu­dents and par­ents and many other stake­hold­ers on the tran­si­tions and time­lines. We’ll talk a lit­tle about pro­gram­ming, con­struc­tion, time­lines, mov­ing and other tran­si­tion plans, and bussing trans­porta­tion.

photo cour­tesy of Golden Hills School Divi­sion

Wheat­land Cross­ing School is ex­pected to open to stu­dents this Septem­ber and will be of­fer­ing a wide va­ri­ety of pro­gram­ming that fits the com­mu­nity.

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