Riverside Learning – Amy Kipfer, Michelle Kuepfer and John Kuepfer
Our Board has worked for many years to offer flexible and respectful options to serve rural families representing a diverse population – Low German Mennonites, homeschool families, conservative Mennonites from various backgrounds, private Christian schools, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness.
Elementary aged students are served well with 4 exceptional schools:
- Mornington Central Public School (Kindergarten to Grade 8)
- Elma Public School
- Milverton Public School
- Central Perth Public School
But, as many of these students historically end their schooling at the age of 14, Avon Maitland needed an attractive Secondary-level option for families to send their kids to – a specialized school-within-a-school in Listowel called CASE:
- It was established in 2006
- It engages families who were not participating in public education
- It is currently capped at 69 students (3 teachers)
- It is separate from Listowel District Secondary School (LDSS) mainstream
- It has structured classes (Tues./Wed.)
- It offers three days of co-operative education placements
CASE has seen a real surge in their Low German Mennonite student population since its inception. Building a greater awareness of benefits of Secondary School diploma (OSSD), the graduation rate is high and some students even opt to go further into post-secondary programs (apprenticeships, college, university, business, etc).
“We have had several hundred graduates and they are spreading the word of Secondary education within their communities,” states John Kuepfer, teacher (AMDSB – CASE). “We have some terrific role models out there.”
Still, in addition to this successful model, Avon Maitland needed to find another way to serve the 2000+ students who remain homeschooled or attend private/parochial schools in Perth and Huron.
Enter Riverside Learning.
Riverside Learning is a brand new outreach whereby Avon Maitland goes out to rural families.
“Our aim is to create a bridge between the public school system and those rural families who do not attend school,” states Amy Kipfer, AMDSB’s Equity Lead. “We offer respectful course material from teachers who understand each family’s values and faith-based concerns while providing them the benefits of public education to help build the skills that families will need.”
“I really enjoy being able to relay to families that public education is not a scary thing and that a Secondary diploma (OSSD) is not out of reach,” states Michelle Kuepfer, teacher (AMDSB -Riverside).
Riverside staff are experienced and caring teachers who have worked for many years to provide alternatives to mainstream education for local families, particularly those from homeschool and private school backgrounds. They are very proud of the accomplishments of past students and feel privileged to serve the communities that they have a personal connection to.
From the Riverside Learning flyer:
- For ages 14-21
- For individuals or small groups
- Excellent resource for homeschool or private/parochial school families – add Riverside to your existing program<
- Learn at home or another location in the community (eg. library) with teacher support as necessary
- Take just one course, or work towards an Ontario diploma or certificate
- Respectful course material from teachers who understand your family’s values and your faith-based concerns
- Computer not required. (iPad computer provided for your course work, but only if desired.)
- >Your free, convenient, and local independent study option!
- Math and Science
- Small Engines/Tech
- Co-operative Education (Earn credits for your work experience)
- Safety Certifications/Training (First Aid, Working at Heights, Chainsaw Safety, Food Safety)
We homeschool using a Christian curriculum, but we appreciate taking Riverside Math and English.
I’m taking a course through Riverside while still attending my private/parochial school.
I’m learning about small engines and chainsaw safety to help us on the farm.
For more information, please visit the Riverside Learning website.
Several Avon Maitland students from Lucknow’s Danceology represented eastern Canada last month at the World Dance Championships in Germany.
Ranging from 10 to 17 years of age, the nine dancers are from Clinton, Walkerton, Goderich, Brussels, Walton, Lucknow and Ripley. The Avon Maitland students involved hail from GDCI and F.E. Madill (please see the picture for names of competitors. Photo courtesy Darryl Coote)
We are very pleased to report that they came home with a gold medal, a silver medal, a bronze medal, a 5th and 8th place finish. Congratulations!
Recognition of Indigenous Peoples
This week, November 6 to November 12, is Treaties Recognition Week in Ontario. In light of this and recommendations in the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued in 2015 (www.trc.ca), a motion was brought forward by Trustee Doug Pratley.
The MIRR (Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation) has confirmed that a number of indigenous nations inhabited the geography now known as Huron and Perth Counties. By the late 1600’s the Ojibway were living in our area and Treaties 27 and 45 were signed by the Chippewas whose traditional land we now refer to as Huron and Perth Counties. The term Chippewa is an English term for Ojibway and the Ojibway were and are a part of the Anishnaabe Peoples.
The Avon Maitland District School Board moved that each full board meeting will begin with the statement: “We acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the Anishnaabe Peoples. We wish to recognize the long history of First Nations and Metis Peoples in Ontario and show our respect to them today. We recognize their stewardship of the land; may we all live with respect on this land and live in peace and friendship.”
Approval of the Consolidated Financial Statements for the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year
The Board approved the recommendation from the Audit Committee to accept the draft Consolidated Financial Statements for the period September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016, as presented by the Financial Services Management Team and the External Auditors at the November 8, 2016 Audit Committee meeting. The Consolidated Financial Statements present the financial position of the Board at August 31, 2016. Select this link for the Report to the Board, including the draft Financial Statements for 2015-2016.
Future Board Meetings
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – 5:00 p.m. Audit Committee, 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
- Tuesday, November 22, 2016 – 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole – Open Session, 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
- Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole, Open Session, 8:00 p.m. Inaugural/Regular Board
Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- Audit Committee: Tuesday, November 8, 2015 – 5:00 p.m.
- SAL: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 – 9:00 a.m.
- SEAC: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – 4:00 p.m.