Palliser board approves in principle new faith-based school

 page image
Posted on:

The Board of Trustees of Palliser Regional Schools unanimously accepted in principle a proposal for a new faith-based program in southwest Calgary, pending a contract review and inspection of the building.

Today’s motion comes a week after a special board meeting attended by representatives of Horizon Academy Institute, at which they shared their mission and vision for a school offering both Islamic and Arabic studies, as well as an emphasis on leadership.

Since 2006, the Academy has offered classes on weekends. It was more recently approved by Alberta Education to offer a for-credit high school course on Arabic language and culture.

Its proposal to Palliser Regional Schools will create a kindergarten through Grade 6 school in space it intends to lease, suitable for about 300 students.

The proposal would see the school begin operations as a faith-based alternative program within Palliser starting in August 2017.

Acting Superintendent Dr. Garry Andrews said the new program fits well within Palliser’s framework and the division’s support for diversity within the public school system. The school’s mission and vision with its emphasis on academic performance and leadership are also aligned with Palliser priorities. As an alternative program within Palliser, the students would receive the regular per-pupil instruction grant, and Palliser would benefit from increased economies of scale, Andrews said.

The institute supports leadership development not only of its students, but of community members as well.

“Horizon Academy Institute provides programs and services in education and leadership development through the universal human values and modern best educational practices,” reads the academy mission statement. “We measure our success through our ability to provide a culture of effectiveness, innovation and trust while building a new generation of competent, knowledgeable and value-driven leaders.”

The new school would adopt FranklinCovey’s The Leader In Me program, already found in several of Palliser’s elementary schools.

The agreement will come back to the board once the necessary reviews are completed for further consideration. A board motion will be required to finalize any agreement.

Highlights of the Feb. 7th meeting are online.