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Minister of Education presides over opening of Tisdale's Student Support Centre

FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, November 28, 2002

It was
back on October 22 when the RM of Tisdale, Tisdale Credit Union and the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan (District 7) signed an agreement with the Tisdale School Division to develop the Student Support Centre in the downtown location beside Markwart's Jewelry and Hi-Fashion.

Today the official grand opening of the Student Support Centre took place and to commemorate the importance of the event Saskatchewan's minister of "Learning" Jim Melenchuk was on hand to lend his support and encouragement to the


Director of Education for the Tisdale School Division Tim Tarala gave a brief history of the project and highlighted the involvement of the partners in this endeavour to provide an alternative to students who do not want to end their education but find it difficult fitting into the convention structure of regular high school.

Mr. Tarala then invited each of those organisations involved in the project to address the gathering.

Mr. Mann, Reeve of the RM of Tisdale expressed his pride in being able to be a part of such a positive

educational venture and expressed the firm belief that this is the kind of thing that could definitely have long lasting benefits to the community.

The Manager of the Credit Union recalled how the idea of community business participation in innovative educational projects was discussed and introduced to the Tisdale Chamber of Commerce and how Tisdale Credit Union saw this is a part that they could play both filling a need but also provided added service to the community.

A representative of the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan voiced her pleasure for the organisation to engage in a supportive role as the growing needs of Metis people are indistinguishable from the needs of the rest of the community Education is the key to success.

Three students who are currently enrolled in the programme spoke of their individual goals and how this project could mean everything to them and they wanted to share their appreciation for the foresight of the partners and the School Division to provide a service which they realise that for them is a step toward becoming part of the community and offering them a chance for a positive future.

Mr. Melenchuk explained that his department has turned its focus toward widening the base of Saskatchewan educational programming and that Saskatchewan only a short while ago had a student drop out rate of 14% was now leading the country with a drop out rate of 6% and projects like this one are sure to tackle even that high rate.

Mr. Melenchuk offered his congratulations to Tisdale School Division for having achieved the recognition of the
Premier's Award for Innovation and how impressed he was with the School Division's video Classroom Community Connections which illustrates the forward looking programming of the Division.

As the ceremony concluded Mr. Tarala pointed out that he had just read in the Toronto Globe and Mail about the wide base of Canadian education and how we are now ranked 4th in the world with a clear indication that Saskatchewan must be near the top

in this regard in the country. (As he mentioned this the Minister of Learning raised his index finger to indicate that acknowledged that Saskatchewan ranks number one in the country) Mr. Tarala went on to say that the Tisdale School Division and its hard working and creative staff are placing them at the head of Saskatchewan school systems as projects like this are moving forward to be inclusive involving every person in the dynamic experience of education.

Tisdale Middle Secondary School principal (Larry Bidel above) was on hand as was the teacher who is the present teacher in charge of the Centre. She explained that some of the students involved in work experience programmes will be involved and assisting the Division's maintenance staff to get the Centre ready for occupancy. She spoke enthusiastically about the participation of the Metis Nation in the project and explained the importance of having access to the Pathfinder programme and agreed to give us a tour of the material and programme when the move to the new site has taken place.

As for when they will be able to move it there is some uncertainty. Most of the renovations will be straightforward and a contractor will have to be involved to upgrade the electrical system as the building much be brought up to the wiring code standards consistent with public education buildings.

The programme of the
Student Support Centre involves the entire school division with students from throughout having the opportunity to participate. There is a waiting list and limited space with only one teacher and a half now involved but the progress being made by students involved is outstanding as students are moving through the programme, some returning to regular high school programming while others move on to apprenticeships and enter the work force.

There is no question that this project offers young people who for all sorts of individual reasons have been unable to work through convention high school and the intense focus on skill development, mastery of content (this programme is a very academic oriented alternative programme) and the benefit of achievement that allows success to build upon success has and will continue to provide for more and more young people who might otherwise found themselves at a dead end even before their adult life has begun.

Timothy W. Shire

(Several of the images in the presentations above were provided by Val Hvidston of Tisdale School Division)


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This page is a story posted on Ensign and/or Saskatchewan News, both of which are daily web sites offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. These publications are the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
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