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Red Deer Public Schools name new Superintendent

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Superintendent Red Deer Public Schools

From Red Deer Public Schools

Board names its next Superintendent of Schools

The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Chad Erickson as Superintendent of Schools effective August 5, 2020. Mr. Erickson will take over from Stu Henry who is retiring after a 33 years career in education and having served the division as Superintendent for the last five years. Prior to that, Mr. Henry served Red Deer Public as Deputy Superintendent and as principal at Eastview Middle School.

Currently Associate Superintendent – Student Services, Mr.
Erickson has been a teacher and administrator for 23 years.
Erickson joined Red Deer Public Schools in 2005 as Vice
Principal at Oriole Park School and then became Principal of
the Alternative School Centre in 2009 prior to joining the
Division’s Senior Admin team five years ago. Mr. Erickson received his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta as well as a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Portland.

“Mr. Erickson is an exceptional and respected leader who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role of Superintendent”, said Board Chair, Nicole Buchanan. “The Board conducted an extensive search and considered options in selecting the next Superintendent. The Board felt that Mr. Erickson will provide strong valued leadership to Red Deer Public Schools while bringing continuity and stability to the district.”

“When embarking on the Superintendent search, the Board of Trustees, through consultations with our stakeholders, identified the key attributes it was seeking in its next leader,” said Chair Buchanan. “We have confidence our new superintendent will:

  •   build strong collaborative relationships and partnerships throughout the district, in our community, and with government
  •   provide strong, trustworthy, and visionary leadership in potentially challenging years ahead
  •   ensure a continued focus on student and staff wellness / resilience
  •   ensure our district focus on equity and inclusion continues to thrive
  •   ensure quality educational practice throughout the district to support our pillars of

    numeracy & literacy, equity, and student success and completion

“It’s an honour to serve in this role and I appreciate the confidence the Board has demonstrated in me,” said Erickson. “I welcome the opportunity to continue the great work our division has undertaken to best meet the needs of our students. We have an outstanding and committed staff with tremendous support from parents and the community to provide great learning opportunities for students”, said Erickson. “The opportunity to work with teachers, support staff and community partners to best meet the needs of all learners is exciting. Red Deer Public’s reputation to respond to the unique needs of students is outstanding. We have great opportunities to ensure students succeed and reach their full potential.

“Chad is an outstanding leader who is committed to meeting the needs of each student. He is a known champion for excellence in instruction, inclusion as well as mental health and wellness that ensures student needs are met and they achieve their full potential,” said current Superintendent Stu Henry.

“Stu Henry has provided incredible leadership to Red Deer Public Schools and is highly respected as Superintendent across the district and beyond. He has positioned the District well, as a strong and passionate champion for public education and our priorities on Literacy and Numeracy, Equity, Student success and Completion”, said Chair Buchanan.

Henry and his wife Trudy, who recently retired as a principal in Chinook’s Edge School Division, plan to stay in Red Deer and be active in the community.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Education

Schools shouldn’t sacrifice student performance to vague notions of ‘equity’

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From the Fraser Institute

By Derek J. Allison

According to a new study published by the Fraser Institute, if Canada wants to remain competitive with emerging economies around the world, we must increase our math, science and reading scores—and not simply pursue high levels of “equity and inclusion” as the primary goal for our schools.

Indeed, highly equitable and inclusive schools—with declining PISA scores, as is currently the case in Canada—do a disservice to students and society at large.

Why? Because higher test scores translate into greater “knowledge capital”—that is, the full body of knowledge available to an economy—and boost economic growth (and, incidentally, the tax revenues that fund our schools).

Indeed, the goal should be equitable access to a quality education. And the most realistic and meaningful way to measure student progress is through PISA tests, which every three years assess the performance of 15-year-olds worldwide in core subjects of math, science and reading rather than the limited curriculum objectives used in provincial testing, which can only show progress or decline within individual school systems. In today’s world, where competition is truly global, we must know how our students and schools perform compared to their peers in other countries, especially the “Asian Tigers” of Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Tiawan whose rapidly growing economies have been driven by rising PISA scores.

Obviously, countries with higher test scores can teach other countries how to improve—although there are limits and some traps here. Attempting to cut and paste Singapore’s or Korea’s much more meritocratic systems of highly competitive student assessment and selection would be impractical and impolitic in Canada. Even so, policymakers should consider reinstating more meaningful meritocratic norms in Canadian schools to encourage and recognize academic achievement. Nothing succeeds like success, except recognized and rewarded success.

Closer to home, other provinces could benefit from considering why Quebec is such a stellar performer in math and why Alberta has the highest overall PISA test score average of all provinces.

But fair warning, recent attempts at school improvement in Canada show that top-down one-size-fits-all changes—including extending compulsory attendance, reducing average class size and tinkering with course content—have had little positive effect on student performance, although they may please teacher unions. If policymakers want to achieve more equitable success for more students, they should introduce more flexibility, school autonomy and choice into our top-heavy centrally regulated school systems. In this respect it may be no accident that the three highest performing, mid-spending provincial K-12 education systems (Alberta, Quebec and Ontario) offer relatively high levels of school choice, although of quite different kinds.

Equity and inclusion are noble goals, but they shouldn’t interfere with student progress. There’s too much at stake, for students and the country.

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Alberta

Expansion planned for Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing at Red Deer Polytechnic

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Investing in innovation at Red Deer Polytechnic

Alberta’s government is expanding student capacity and creating a modern learning environment at Red Deer Polytechnic that will help graduates succeed in the economy of tomorrow.

To support emerging opportunities for students, Alberta’s government will invest $12.9 million to expand the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing Technology Access Centre (CIM-TAC) at Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP). CIM-TAC is an applied research and innovation centre that gives companies access to state-of-the-art prototyping and manufacturing equipment, along with a multi-disciplinary team with the expertise to turn brilliant ideas into market-ready products.

As Alberta’s economy grows and diversifies, job creators will increasingly seek employees with the skills required to work in advanced manufacturing.

Construction will begin in early 2025 and will increase the centre’s applied research, education and training capacity. The expanded CIM-TAC will grow to provide work-integrated learning opportunities for an estimated 450 post-secondary students and training through workshops and events to an additional 2,000 students annually by 2030. Additionally, more than 500 junior and senior high school students will take part in dual credit programs at the CIM-TAC.

“Investing in this expansion of CIM-TAC will give students at RDP access to cutting-edge technology and skills to succeed in the economy of tomorrow. The strategic investments we’re making in Budget 2024 are part of a forward-looking path to support the goals of our post-secondary institutions, grow Alberta’s economy and create jobs.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education

“The expansion will allow Alberta-based manufacturers across multiple sectors to have greater ability to develop, test and scale their ideas. Students will be engaged at the forefront of made-in-Alberta technologies and manufacturing solutions.This investment will help meet high demand from entrepreneurs and industry for applied research and will take the facility beyond its current capabilities to become an advanced technology training and hands-on learning centre.”

Nate Horner, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

“This expansion project will build on the CIM-TAC’s 15 years of success and leverage the centre’s industry partnerships and manufacturing expertise to provide even more capacity for applied research, as well as education, training and work-integrated learning opportunities for students. We thank the Government of Alberta for this investment that will benefit not only RDP students and researchers, but also the entire central Alberta region and its critical industries like health care, agriculture, energy and construction.”

Stuart Cullum, president, Red Deer Polytechnic

“Manufacturing and advanced manufacturing are driving job-creation, economic growth and made-in-Alberta solutions that improve the lives of people around the world and right here at home. The funding to expand RDP’s CIM-TAC is an investment that will allow Alberta companies greater access to the tools, technology and next generation of skilled talent that will allow our industry to solve real-world challenges, develop better products and ultimately increase productivity.”

Darryl Short, CEO, Karma Machining and Manufacturing, and president, Karma Medical Products  

Quick facts

  • The expansion of CIM-TAC at RDP will support a variety of sectors through advanced manufacturing capabilities, including energy innovation, transportation, aviation and agriculture. The centre will also support RDP’s future expansion into more medical device manufacturing and health-care innovations to support both patients and providers.
  • RDP’s expansion of the CIM-TAC will grow the facility’s footprint from 15,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.
  • The CIM-TAC currently houses $7.6 million of advanced manufacturing equipment.
  • In 2022, RDP attracted more than $2 million in applied research investment. RDP also completed 64 projects for 57 companies and participated in more than 1,300 engagements with industry partners.
  • Since the CIM-TAC’s inception in 2009, RDP has supported more than 300 industry partners (including repeat clients).
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