What’s happening in our schools?
As with all school divisions in the province, Chinook’s Edge is mandated by Alberta Education to include First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) teachings in its curriculum, and to ensure FNMI students are supported in a manner that reflects their unique culture. We wanted to make our FNMI teachings as rich as possible for our students, and are working to share and incorporate as many ideas from our classrooms as possible. To achieve our goals, we formed an FNMI Steering Committee to guide a greater understanding and more connections in our classrooms.
Some of our school communities have amazing activities and programming underway to honour our FNMI students and celebrate FNMI teachings with all students.
Alberta Provincial Professional Development Consortium
École Deer Meadow School in Olds and École Steffie Woima School in Sylvan Lake have volunteered to be pilot schools. This involves teacher and staff participating in professional development activities, and exploring opportunities to infuse FNMI teachings in traditional curriculum, reflection on the priorities of our FNMI students and understanding how to make learning as relevant as possible for them, and a focus on how to share FNMI teachings with all students.
Career planning – The Learning Services team will continue to focus on the work underway in high schools around career planning, in order to develop a pathway in each school for FNMI students. Student data will be tracked more closely with a focus on clear strengths and challenges, which will assist in one-to-one conversations with career counselors. We are being purposeful in bringing an FNMI perspective to our career work with high school students, in increasing our observations and tracking of FNMI student success in learning, working to determine each of their strengths and the areas they may need more support as they work toward success. We are mindful of the research that shows there is significant cultural implications for our FNMI students as they transition from Grade 4 to Grade 5, and again in the transition from Grade 8 to Grade 9. By being culturally sensitive and providing an informed and respectful approach, we are working with each student to specifically outline goals together.
As learning professionals and leaders, Chinook’s Edge is studying best practices across the division and bringing those approaches to our FNMI priorities. Jane Atkins is working through INDSPIRE and working in a mentoring program with a First Nations Mentor/Educator to better serve our FNMI students. An FNMI professional development session is being provided at an upcoming CASS (Council of Alberta School Superintendents) conference that trustees are welcome to attend. Chinook’s Edge is a pilot division for the development of these FNMI priorities, through the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortium.