Growth in Indigenous languages and Global Sports Academy according to Sask Rivers reports

Indigenous language programming and the Global Sports Academy at Carlton Comprehensive both have shown significant growth in the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division, according to an update provided at the board’s Feb. 12 meeting.

Director of education Neil Finch substituted for superintendent Jennifer Hingley on the Indigenous language report and superintendent Jeff Court, former principal of Carlton, provided the Global Sports Academy report to the board.

Global Sports has grown to include 70 student athletes in three programs, High School Hockey, Grade 7 and 8 Hockey and High School Multi-Sport. Last year the same program had 49 enrolled according to the report.

Finch said that the program continues to grow at a substantial rate.

"Global Sports has been a very successful program for our students and families,” he said.

These programs offer sport specific training, sports therapy and nutrition education along with flexible learning opportunities. In his report Court attributes the growth of the program to its high quality.

The program has a mix of male and female students. The Grade 7 and 8 program brings in students from Red Wing, Ecole Vickers, Ecole Arthur Pechey and Osborne Schools.

Finch added that the education side is very important along with the athletic side of Global Sports.

"There are some sports specific things that the students are working on, but there's also leadership pieces that they do during their classroom time and that has been a has been a benefit for students as well,” Finch said.

The Grade 9 to 12 program has a blended learning environment where students can work at their own pace and choose what they want to work on.

SUBHEADLINE: First Nations and Metis language classes continue to grow

Michif Language programs at Queen Mary Public School and St. Louis Public School are thriving with connections to community Elders and Land-Based Learning.

A Michif French locally developed course has also been created by Michif Early Learning Program Coordinator Angela Rancourt along with St. Louis Elders and community.

The Cree Language Program at John Diefenbaker Public School is also growing and a Grade 4-8 Cree Language Support Teacher will be added to the school in the coming school year to support students' ongoing language development.

“We are in year four already of the language program at JD (John Diefenbaker) and it has grown to where we thought it might, but it's been a great program as well,” Finch said. “I think word of mouth has helped with what's going on in there and students are joining us as a result.”

Finch said the program has evolved from year to year, but the basics remain the same.

"In the end, JD will be a pre-K to Grade 8 offering Cree language and culture in some way and it's more intensive in the early years. It will continue to be offered all the way up through to Grade 8,” he said.

"There will be an itinerant teacher that helps support Grade 4 to 8.”

michael.oleksyn@paherald.sk.ca

Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald