We are changing with the city we serve,

We are changing with the city we serve,

The face of Regina is changing, growing. In the two short years that I have lived in Regina, I have seen much change throughout this great city. A new office tower downtown; new hotels built and others being completely redesigned; and entire new neighbourhoods, such as the Greens on Gardiner and Harbour Landing, growing out of our rich prairie soil.

In our established neighbourhoods too, we are seeing grocery stores and houses and office buildings being renovated, restored and rebuilt. It is a very exciting time to live in Regina. Clearly others from outside the city think so too, as we are seeing unprecedented growth in our city. Closer to home, there are changes too. At Regina Public Schools, since September 2011, we have seen more than 1,100 new Canadians enter our school division.

Regina Public Schools continues to change with the city it serves. We are focussed on instruction and successful outcomes for all students. We are planning for the future, both with how we teach and where we teach. That’s why we have an ongoing plan to renovate or rebuild our schools so that they can complement the professional and caring teaching that goes on inside the school buildings.

Regina Public Schools has 41 elementary schools and nine high schools. We have a maintenance and facilities update plan for every one of these schools. Even though some schools may not see major changes in the immediate future, every single one of our schools sees the same high level of attention when it comes to maintenance and health and safety. More importantly many of the educational practices that are now routine in our new buildings were first pioneered in our existing schools. These include elements of Structural Innovation:

  • Flexible teaching arrangements and instructional grouping
  • Teacher collaboration
  • Interdisciplinary, project-based, and inquiry-based teaching and learning
  • Inclusive practices; safe and secure personal learning communities
  • A stimulus- and technology-rich environment;  and
  • Integrated environmental design and curriculum.

Our professional staff strives to enhance student outcomes everyday by using these innovations in every one of our schools. Read more about Structural Innovation here.

Ministry of Education Support

Regina Public Schools is very appreciative of the support from the Ministry of Education, as we continue to push forward to contribute to the changing landscape of our city. In 2012, we had the pleasure of opening two rebuilt new schools, Douglas Park School and Arcola Community School. At the same time, we completed major renovations on a number of other schools including Marion McVeety School and Campbell Collegiate. Seven Stones Community School is currently under construction and, when finished by the 2014-15 school year, will serve the Wascana and former Herchmer school communities.

But that is just the beginning! We are working with partners at the Ministry, the City, Regina Public Library, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, as well as others, to create the North Central Shared Facility that will include Scott Collegiate. We hope that this facility, along with Seven Stones Community School and the Regina Revitalization Initiative’s plans for the community, will bring unprecedented growth and rejuvenation into North Central Regina. This is not only good for the city, but good for our students and families, many of whom live in North Central. It is my belief that students learn better when they see that the adults around them care enough about their education to create new, bright and environmentally sound learning environments.

We are also working with our partners at Regina Catholic Schools. Together, we are looking at the feasibility of a new joint high school to better serve students and families in the Southeast of Regina. This project, albeit only a preliminary feasibility study, demonstrates further how we are listening to the needs of parents and the community.

Regina Public Schools serves all of Regina, from the tip of Maple Ridge to the outermost crescent of The Creeks and everything in between.  Our Board and management team spend a lot of time and considerable taxpayers’ dollars trying to balance the needs of all our communities, and the requirements of the Ministry of Education.

Building for the Future of Public Education

At the end of February, the Regina Board of Education adopted three motions that open the door to rebuilding three of our existing schools: Glen Elm Community School (that will also serve the former Haultain school community); Imperial Community School (that will also serve the McDermid school community); and Connaught Community School. Read the announcement here.

These three new builds also join Argyle School (also serving the former Athabasca school community) on the list of Stage 1 Facility Submissions sent to the Ministry of Education. What is this list? It is a list that the Ministry maintains that includes requests from all 28 school divisions in the province of Saskatchewan. Every school division in every corner of the province has hopes and plans to renovate or rebuild aging schools. There is only limited funding. The Ministry has the discretion to determine which school from which school division gets the green light to proceed to later stages of design and building. Read more about redesigning Regina Public Schools here. Read about the progress of our major projects here.

If, and not necessarily when, Regina Public Schools gets the go ahead to proceed to the next stage for Argyle, Imperial, Glen Elm, and Connaught, we will begin to consult with the communities. What do they want in a new school? What do they want it to look like on the inside? What kind of structure should it have on the outside?   We went through this process for Douglas Park, and Arcola and Seven Stones. The school communities and our educational staff told us and the architects what they wanted. School designs followed from this input to meet the needs of the communities the schools serve.

Pending approval from the Ministry, we will once again seek out and listen to our school communities. The new schools are to serve those communities for many years into the future, maybe even for a hundred years! They must respect our educational history, but must also meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s potential.  I believe that in working together and listening carefully, we can achieve great things in education and see our students learn, strive and grow much like the City of Regina is doing all around us.

The City of Regina has talked about Infinite Horizons. We believe at Regina Public Schools that the promising future begins with students and their infinite potential. This changing, rebuilding and, specifically, this focus on learning, will help realize this potential!

Julie MacRae

Director of Education