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Local Education

Flying Bob Turns School into a Circus


From Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

Kindergarten to Grade 5 students from St. Martin de Porres School spent the week of March 18-22 immersed in learning the special talents of circus performers.  “Flying Bob,” a local circus performer and his assistant Aton spent the week teaching students an assortment of activities related to circus performances.

Students learned how to juggle, walk a tight line, walk on stilts, diablo, peacock feather balances, spinning plates, etc. Flying Bob and Anton helped encourage students develop a growth mindset through taking chances and performing in front of each other. Students understand that the circus is a process and a place where they can always learn new skills.

“As a Catholic Fine Arts School we are passionate about providing a variety of unique fine arts experiences for our students. The circus residency has allowed our students to reflect humanness and sacramentality as they have journeyed through this new learning experience and have been given the opportunity to share their newfound God-given gifts and talents. What has been most poignant throughout the residency has been that students and staff have actively supported and celebrated the arts with each other throughout this whole week,” said Kristie McCullough, Assistant Principal at St. Martin de Porres School.

The culminating performance today was thrilling for parents and special guests to watch. Each grade performed at separate times throughout the day on March 22.


St. Martin de Porres School serves over 250 Kindergarten to Grade 5 students in Red Deer with a fine-arts focus. As a learning institution, the St. Martin de Porres School is committed to serving students with a complete offering of learning opportunities delivered within the context of Catholic teachings.


Sheldon Kennedy joins Education Minister Adriana LaGrange at Eastview Middle School to announce Respect In School program



Minister LaGrange, Sheldon Kennedy, trustees, student leaders and staff from Eastview Middle School

From the Province of Alberta

Supporting safe and respectful learning

School leaders and staff will now have access to more resources for the prevention of bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools.

Government is providing a grant of $300,000 per year over four years to support the Respect in School program, which educates school system employees on their responsibilities to ensure students are safe from abusive situations.

“All students deserve a positive and caring learning environment. With this grant, we are following through on our commitment to support safe schools that protect students against discrimination and bullying. I encourage all school leaders and staff to complete the Respect in School training for the benefit of our children.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

The Respect in School online training, offered in English and French, will educate teachers and other school staff, bus drivers, parent volunteers and student leaders about how they can prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination in their schools.

“We are proud to stand alongside Alberta Education who, through their leadership, is making the safety and well-being of our kids their top priority. Respect in School will give school leaders the confidence to step up and step in when situations arise and help create safe and respectful learning environments for all students.”

Sheldon Kennedy, co-founder, Respect Group Inc.

Through its online training programs, Respect Group Inc. has certified more than 1.2 million people across Canada to recognize and prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination.

“As a district we recognized increasing concerns for mental health and wellness. As we developed our Valuing Mental Health initiative, one of the key elements for prevention and promotion was the district-wide implementation of Respect in School. Each of our staff members goes through the training to recognize and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination. By educating our school staff on the prevention of these issues, we build a culture of respect across our school community.”

Nicole Buchanan, chair, Red Deer Public Schools

Albertans dealing with bullying or other issues that may be affecting their mental health can access supports 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including the Mental Health Helpline (toll-free at 1-877-303-2642), the Bullying Helpline (toll-free at 1-888-456-2323), Bullying Helpline Chat, and Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868).

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How Red Deer College is adapting to 2019 provincial budget



From RDC Communications

Red Deer College plans for new budget realities

Five weeks after the release of the 2019 Alberta Budget, Red Deer College shared its multi-year planning scenario that will help to address the shortfall, assist with university transition and ensure future sustainability.

“In the time since the budget was released, we’ve gathered additional information from the Ministry, and this has allowed us to have productive conversations that will help us to address this year’s reduction, while also looking ahead to future years,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, President. “The College has already discovered efficiencies, which will help to minimize the impact of the budget challenges.”

RDC has undertaken planning on two levels: creating a budget plan to realize savings for this fiscal year (July 2019 to June 2020), and also developing a three-year fiscal sustainability plan, which will begin in the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

The 2019/2020 budget plan addresses RDC’s 2.4 per cent ($1.2 million) reduction to the Campus Alberta Grant for this fiscal year. The College is looking at several key areas for cost savings.

“RDC will account for its budget reduction by reducing costs that do not impact services and programming to students. When it comes to staffing, we’re being strategic with reviewing vacancies, and we’ve implemented a three-month delay for hiring new staff for vacant budgeted positions. But, we do not plan to make workforce reduction our primary solution in our 2019-20 budget,” says Dr. Nunoda.

The College has undertaken efficiency and process reviews through the Lean Six Sigma model for the past several months, and implementation of these projects will result in business improvements and cost savings. Additionally, all non-contractual operating costs will be reviewed to determine which expenditures can be delayed, eliminated or reduced.

Looking ahead, RDC has created a three-year scenario plan, which is based on projected Campus Alberta Grant reductions between three to five per cent each year for the next three fiscal years. Strategies to address these reductions include:

  • increasing domestic student enrolment in RDC’s current and future programs, such as proposed bachelor degrees in Arts, Education, Science (majoring in Biological Sciences) and Business Administration
  • international student enrolment growth; an international office is being created to support students
  • increasing tuition for domestic and international students, with the recent elimination of the tuition freeze by the Government of Alberta
  • increased revenue in ancillary services activities, employer partnerships and business and industry partnerships. This includes areas such as growth in conference and event hosting, applied research and development projects where RDC has proven success collaborating with businesses and entrepreneurs in our region, and corporate training.
  • Reducing operating costs by continuing with Lean Six Sigma projects, allowing the College to be more efficient and to be positioned for university growth with minimal growth in administrative burden“The College is a strong, well-managed institution, and although we will undoubtedly have some challenges, we are well positioned to navigate a tough provincial budget,” says Dr. Nunoda. “I look forward to leading our institution through this time of transformative change to ensure our fiscal sustainability to best serve our learners and communities now and in future years.”
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