Palliser signs new partnership in China

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Corporate News

Associate Superintendent Education Services Pat Rivard, right, participates in a panel discussion about international education.

Palliser Regional Schools and the Vancouver Public Education Alliance signed a five-year memorandum of understanding Friday in China as an initial step toward a partnership to help high school students from China complete high school in Alberta.

VPEA and Palliser representatives have met several times both in China and in Alberta. The organization is interested in giving students from China opportunities to learn online as well as in person in Alberta, and works with high schools, universities and colleges across North America to develop joint international programs with high schools in China.

Associate Superintendent Education Services Pat Rivard and Palliser Beyond Borders Prinicipal Alison Hancox travelled to China last week to present to VPEA on Palliser’s online school and its teaching and learning model.

Palliser has proposed a two-plus-one program in which students from China would study Alberta courses in Grade 10 and 11 online with Palliser and in their own school in China,  before attending a Palliser high school for their Grade 12 year. The division also proposed a one-plus-two, which would give students in China the option of taking Alberta courses for a year from home before coming to Palliser for two years of high school. The proposal includes steps for building competency in English and the option of an immersive summer camp in southern Alberta between grades.

Rivard said the partners also discussed creating opportunities for student and teacher exchanges between Palliser and schools in China.

“We hope to develop a range of learning opportunities for our students and staff to developer deeper understandings of the larger global community,” he said. “It’s one thing to go on vacation to another country. It’s something else to live and work in a community for a semester or a year. The connections our students and staff can make will have lasting and meaningful impact on their lives.”

Rivard also participated in a panel discussion at a conference on Promoting International Pilot Schools in Chengdu. Chengdu is a city of about 10 million people. It is also home to a world-renowned breeding and research centre for giant pandas.