Education Executive - Summer 2012 - (Page 136)
PEACE RIVER SCHOOL DIVISION
Small Towns, Big Goals
Peace River School Division copes with declining enrollment and scarce resources by getting the community involved and using technology.
aul Bennett knows there are a lot of challenges that come with educating children in a small, isolated community, but the rewards are substantial. Before taking his current position as superintendent of Peace River School Division in northwestern Alberta in 2009 (he was the division’s deputy superintendent beginning in 2007), Bennett taught K-12 at a small school in the region, and then became principal at a school in Newfoundland with only 50 students. He says his experiences working in such small, tight-knit communities gave him an understanding and appreciation of the issues families face as well as the commit-
ment they have. “Parents [here] tend to be fairly involved in their children’s education,” he says. Serving a relatively small community with 21 schools, Peace River School Division has its share of challenges – not the least of which is a declining enrollment. The total population within the division’s boundaries is less than 25,000, Bennett says, with approximately 3,300 students. The community is mainly agricultural, with a growing First Nations population. With the allure of other regions drawing people away from the Peace River area, the division is experiencing a decline in overall population and resources. However, the community rises to the challenge with a high level of parental involvement, and the division’s leadership does everything it can to maintain the highest possible standards of academic achievement, Bennett says.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Executive - Summer 2012
Education Executive - Summer 2012
Can't Live Without It
Broadening the Student Experience
Upgrading Facilities on Tight Budgets
Haylor, Freyer & Coon ◆ N.Y.
Anne Arundel Community College ◆ MD
Humber College ◆ Ont.
Grove City College ◆ PA
Broome Community College ◆ N.Y.
Coastal Carolina University ◆ S.C.
Cuyahoga Community College ◆ Ohio
Ottawa University ◆ Kan.
Brazosport College ◆ Texas
Idaho State University ◆ Idaho
Hillsborough Community College ◆ Fla.
Post University ◆ Conn.
Union College ◆ N.Y.
University of New Mexico ◆ N.M.
Naperville School District 203 ◆ Ill.
Santa Barbara Unified School District ◆ Calif.
Acadia Parish School Board ◆ LA
Mounds View Public Schools ◆ Minn.
Central Community School District ◆ LA
Chelmsford Public Schools ◆ Mass.
Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District ◆ Mass.
86elmira City Schools ◆ N.Y.
Glendora Usd ◆ Calif.
Harnett County Schools ◆ N.C.
Holmes County School District ◆ Miss.
Jefferson Parish Public School System ◆ LA
Harlandale Independent School District ◆ Texas
Kyrene School District ◆ Ariz.
Fort Huachuca Accommodation Schools #00 ◆ Ariz.
Kenosha Unified School District ◆ Wis.
Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District ◆ Texas
Maryland School for the Deaf ◆ MD
Mclean County District Unit No. 5 ◆ Ill.
Williamson County Schools ◆ Tenn.
Mesa Public Schools ◆ Ariz.
Palmdale School District ◆ Calif.
Plain Local School District ◆ Ohio
St. Martin Parish Schools ◆ LA
Oak Harbor School District ◆ Wash.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools ◆ MD
Vancouver Island University ◆ B.C.
Brandon School Division ◆ MB
Dalhousie University ◆ N.S.
Peace River School Division ◆ AB
University of Sudbury ◆ Ont.
Sandy Spring Friends School
The Pomfret School ◆ Conn.
Riverside Military Academy ◆ GA
The Thacher School ◆ Calif.
Education Executive - Summer 2012