Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) may be buzzing with Mighty Peace Teachers' Convention activity today, but one week ago, PWSD Trustees received a firsthand look at a different kind of activity – a day in the life of a PWA student – during their tour of the school on March 2, 2017.
The tour began in the Foods 20 class where students prepared a made-to-order beef stir-fry lunch in front of Trustees (pictured), under the supervision of teacher Colleen Erker.
Following lunch, Trustees split into two groups, each led by two PWA students (pictured, Group 2). Tour guides Kaitlyn Braun and Lieghton Kent, and Terisa Roeder and Logan Lindstrom provided their groups with a comprehensive look at the exciting learning options offered by their school.
After checking out the school's well-equipped fitness room, Trustees found themselves dodging an energetic volleyball game (pictured) as they exited through the gymnasium.
A quick pass through the school's black box theatre led Trustees through the open-concept cafeteria where students enjoyed lunch with friends, while others worked quietly on projects using Chromebooks. The nearby CONNECT room acts as a hub where students can access individualized programming. New CONNECT courses offered this semester include Paleontology 35 and American Sign Language 35. Several students have taken advantage of the dual credit courses offered at GPRC through a partnership with CONNECT, while others are completing driving theory and instruction with AMA.
The tour also provided a glimpse into the structure of a conversational French class, as well as art, shop, the General Learning Support Program (GLSP), psychology and biology. The group chatted with cosmetology apprentices Sierra Arlint, Grade 11 (pictured standing) and Jade Shaw, Grade 12 (pictured seated) who, upon high school graduation, will have also acquired the necessary hours, education and experience to qualify for certification and immediate employment in their field, thanks to PWA's Dual Credit Program.
Locally-approved courses in American Sign Language (ASL), led by PWA teacher Chelsea Kiddine (pictured), have exploded in popularity at PWA, resulting in a community of signers beyond the classroom. Students have taken the initiative to publish signing videos on YouTube, and sign language communication is happening in the cafeteria and around the school. ASL 15 and 25 courses have been offered, and due to popular demand, PWA added ASL 35 through CONNECT this year, completing the three-year ASL requirements.
Trustees were also treated to a mini concert, put on by PWA's 55-member concert band. The band is the school's largest team, led by Darcy Nielsen, and includes students from Grades 9 through 12 who represent the entire student body – from academics, to rugby and football players. The band is preparing for the annual PWSD Spring Concert at GPRC on March 14, and their upcoming trip to a music festival in New Orleans during Spring Break.
After touring the school, Trustees met with Ms. Brenda Kuntsi's English 10-1 class for a question-and-answer session and engagement activity on School Board governance (pictured), and gathered feedback on what is working well at the school. Groups worked together to come up with three words to describe what makes their school special. The words were entered into a 'Wordle' – a digital application used to create a visual word cloud (pictured) in which words that appear most frequently are given greater prominence – that can be printed as a poster for the school.
For more photos from the tour, visit PWSD's Facebook page.