Sask. Rivers applying for Premier’s Innovation in Education award

The Sask Rivers Education Centre/ Daily Herald File Photo

After winning the Premier’s Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education

in 2019 for the Saskatchewan Rivers Students for Change (SRSC) initiative, the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division begun the process to submit for the next award for their early learning and cultural affirming practices.

Superintendent Garette Tebay said the board looked at possible innovations to nominate at an earlier meeting.

“The innovation they’ve chosen is our early learning program and through the lens of the culturally affirming practices we have within our early learning programs,” Tebay said.

Administration, led by Tebay, has begun to review the submission for application.

The goal of the discussion was to identify trustees to serve on the committee. Trustees Jaimie Smith-Windsor, Cher Bloom and Arne Lindberg put their names forward to serve. Work will be done over the summer with the submission to be completed by Sept. 30, 2023.

Tebay said the division has done a lot of work on cultural affirmation, and they’re eager to highlight it.

“We have the kids make Bannock and are a part of cultural traditions within their schools, and there’s a lot of outdoor learning and outdoor space and connection to land,” Tebay said.

After choosing which activity to focus on, the committee will then create a document that outlines the program and how the board is involved.

“It outlines the board’s commitment to the sustainability of the programming and then outlines the community support for the work that’s being done,” Tebay explained.

They also have a mechanism to monitor how strong the program is for the application.

“The criteria that we’re looking at is the board participation in and the creation and running of the programs, the innovative nature of the initiative and the sustainability.”

They also look at how client supports and partnerships are involved, but the bottom line is how the program improves student achievement.

Tebay said early intervention is a strong method for ensuring academic achievement as students move through school, and the stronger the early intervention is, the better the connection with students.

“We’re going to be looking at things like our academic data that we collect for from our kindergarten students and our grade one and two students to see the effects of our early learning program, and then other types of data, the more school culture type chatter, like office referrals and things like that, to see if that has improved as over time as we’ve implemented this programing,” Tebay explained.

The Premier’s Board of Education Award was developed in 1999. The Premier has given the support of his office to this recognition of the important role boards of education play in the development and improvement of publicly funded education in Saskatchewan.

The Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Award recognizes educational innovations and improvements focused on student achievement that have been advanced or directed by boards of education.

The prize is to be used to support or extend the innovation or project. Xerox Canada provides one $5,000 prize to the Saskatchewan recipient of the award. The prize is administered by the SSBA and awarded at the annual Fall General Assembly. The prize is to be used to support or extend the innovation or project.