The Holy Trinity Catholic School Division Board of Education has received the 2022 Premier’s Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education.
The award is in recognition of the division's Post-Graduation Community Transition: Holy Trinity Catholic School Division, Moose Jaw Kinsmen Inclusion Centre Partnership.
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) co-ordinates the Premier’s Award, which was presented on behalf of Premier Scott Moe during the SSBA’s Annual General Assembly on Monday.
“The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to recognize Holy Trinity Catholic School Division Board of Education, as the recipient of the Premier’s Award for their dedication to innovation, inclusion and student success,” said Premier Scott Moe. “The Post-Graduation Community Transition partnership, is a testament of the great things that can be achieved when sectors come together with the goal of providing the best possible outcomes for Saskatchewan’s young people.”
In its application for the award, Holy Trinity said the program provides meaningful transitional opportunities after formal graduation at 18, improves the provision of services and supports students in independence, social well-being, career training and work experience and life skills.
"It's really a feather in the cap," said Holy Trinity's Director of Education and CEO Ward Strueby. "I think the most impactful thing is the enhanced programming that we've done for some of our students. Inclusion is one of our guiding principles in our division and we want to make sure that we have impactful learning and experiences for all of our students."
Strueby explained how the partnership works.
"We have some students that learn within the classroom with their grade-appropriate peers at Vanier Collegiate. After their four years of high school, they walk across the stage with their peers and then they continue on with us until age 22. Our goal is we want to set up really high-quality learning opportunities. We want to enhance future employment skills and we want to make sure that we have a good solid transition from education to the community at the age of 22."
He talked more about the partnership with the Kinsmen Inclusion Centre.
"At the Kinsmen Inclusion Program, they have day programming where students get a chance to have some choice in the type of programming they would like to do. They do lots of service work out in the community and they gain lots of employment skills, which is phenomenal. They actually have a full-service cafe at the Kinsmen Cafe on South Hill and if people haven't had a chance to visit that and go for a coffee or a bite to eat, I highly encourage it. We also opened up a community garden here at our division office that we call the Kinsmen Community Gardens where students get a chance to work in an inclusive garden where we have above-ground flower beds. It's paved so that wheelchairs are accessible and we have a gazebo where we can have lots of celebrations. In the future, kids will be growing different vegetables and they'll be able to take that produce over to the cafe. You go right from a seed, right to the plate. Just some great life skills. It's helping with those smooth transitions and it has a place for all students."
The award comes with a $3,000 prize, which is sponsored by Xerox Canada. The award recipient is recommended by a panel of education sector partners.