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Local Education

St. Francis students build 21st century gingerbread houses


In the spirit of the Christmas season, Grade 9 Design Thinking students for the past few weeks have been working on creating unconventional gingerbread houses that are not only unique but use basic electricity concepts and coding technology for sound.

“Design thinking allows me to express my creativity and it also allowed me to work with other people to put our creativity together and make something innovative and new. Creating a prototype and gathering feedback allowed us to broaden our knowledge and showcase the best possible design,” said Victoria Fleming, student at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School.

Students started the project by constructing what they had envisioned using cardboard. After their ideas were solidified, students made gingerbread and used it to create their houses. Using Chromebooks, students coded sounds to play that correspond to the theme of their house. Then students integrated electrical conductors in their houses so that when someone touches the tinfoil squares, the sounds will play.

“This has been a wonderful project. It’s great to see how students’ ideas can flourish. Design studies is a middle school option class that focuses on inspiring student creativity through composition and technology,” said Amber Lansing, teacher at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School.

“The Design Thinking structure that Mrs. Lansing implements in her class challenges students to look at problems differently and use prototyping to create solutions while integrating increasingly important skills, such as coding and collaboration,” said Director of Inclusive Learning, Rob Melenchuk at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.


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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Notre Dame design studies students offering this incredible raffle prize!




From Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

Are you interested in supporting École Secondaire Notre Dame High School and winning a tiny home? Get your tickets today! There are only 1520 tickets available.

The school will be raffling off their tiny home (40’ x 8.5 x 8’) on June 10, 2020. Tickets are $20 each or three for $50. You can purchase your ticket by visiting the school’s front office.

You must be 18 years or older to purchase a ticket. The winner is responsible for all foundational, utility hook-ups and legal documentation needs for the destination site prior to August 31, 2020.

This tiny home is designed and constructed by students at École Secondaire Notre Dame High School. The Design Studies, Building Opportunities and Landscape Design classes have been working together for the past two years to design and construct this home.

Working with professionals in the industry, the Design Studies students have been drafting layouts and building models of the tiny (sea-can) house, while learning the requirements of residential construction.

The Building Opportunities students will start on construction in the second semester and continue to receive hands-on training working on the construction of the sea-can house, alongside a ticketed tradesman.

The Landscape Design students are working with professionals in the areas of architecture, skills and project management to create a living roof for the sea-can house.

“The sea-can conversion brings an innovative project-based learning opportunity. It facilitates cross-curricular and inquiry-based learning by encouraging students in the pursuit of design and trade skills,” said Janna Vandermeer, teacher at École Secondaire Notre Dame High School.

The money raised from the raffle will be put towards a future tiny home project and $200 will go to this year’s grad service project.

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december, 2019

thu12dec5:30 pm7:30 pmH.E.A.R.T.S (Helping Empty Arms Recover through Sharing)H.E.A.R.T.S (Helping Empty Arms Recover through Sharing)5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

thu19dec5:30 pm7:00 amMonthly Mindfulness Drop-In5:30 pm - 7:00 am

tue31decwed01janNew Year's Eve Dueling PianosNew Year\'s Eve at Boulevard7:00 pm - (january 1) 2:00 am