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New site offers over 3,000 courses to DVSS students


    Having a bit of a techie for a principal seems to be a bonus for Drumheller Valley Secondary School (DVSS) in obtaining availability to current learning tools for both students and staff.
    School principal Curtis LaPierre launched to the school in mid-February “lynda.com”, a website that offers over 3,000 courses in different categories such as business, computers, and creative design.
    “We provide as many opportunities for kids to touch base with different career sectors,” said LaPierre, “so they can find where their gifts are.”
    Originally considering the site as a professional development resource for staff, LaPierre found the programs on the site could capture students interest, and perhaps help them find an interest they hadn’t had a chance to explore previously.
    The principal gave the example of one young student who became so interested in the lynda.com course he was taking, he completed over 14 high school credits in a 5 credit time space.
    LaPierre said since the launch of the site about a month ago, he’s had 92 students registered and over 500 of the instructional videos viewed.
    A premium subscription to the site for one person is $450 per person; the license LaPierre obtained for the school’s students and staff use comes in at $10 per person.
    LaPierre said he’s always looking for opportunities for kids to step outside and engage themselves, the new site expands the DVSS course offerings for its students outside the regular school timetable.
    The principal notes the students access to lynda.com also supports one of the missions of DVSS. “If I can get kids to take a course just because they’re interested, we’ve won - we’ve engaged a lifelong learner.”

2015 Bicycle Expedition on course


    The Badlands to Banff (B2B) Bicycle Expedition is heading into its third year and it looks like interest is strong for the annual event.
     B2B goes August 10-19. The ride is the product of a partnership among the Drumheller RCMP, the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Two Wheel View. It is geared towards young people between the ages of 14 and 17. Constable Craig Nelson is heading up the excursion locally and says its creating abuzz.
    “I have parents calling, saying, ‘my kids want to go, how do we do it?’” Nelson tells inSide Drumheller. “I’ve had three or four kids say not just that they were interested in going, but they are going.”
     There is an information night coming up this Wednesday, March 18 to learn more about the trip.
     Colin Rioux of Two Wheel View, the company that arranged the trip, says there are 10 spots for the ride. The route leaves the valley and takes the scenic route all the way to the heart of the Rockies, camping along the way.
    “We go through four landscapes, from the Badlands to the prairies and the foothills to the Rocky Mountains, so it gives our participants a great view of their backyard,” said Rioux “We says to our youth ‘if you can get out of Drumheller, you can get there.’ That is the hardest climb.”
    The trip fits in well with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, a merit program that is recognized internationally and has service, growth and adventure requirements.
    “It fits all the requirements for the volunteering and outdoor adventure,” said Chelsey Dawes of The Duke of Edinburgh Awards, adding it fulfills the requirements at the bronze, silver and gold levels of the award.
    Nelson says the Duke of Edinburgh program is valuable, but it is not a requirement to participate in the B2B Bicycle Expedition. The ride is divided up into manageable stages that do not require having an advanced fitness level.
    There is a fundraising component to the excursion to cover the required money for the participants, and in most cases, riders were able to fundraise for all the associated costs within a few months. All the gear and expenses are covered.
    Those interested in getting involved or learning more are invited to an information session on Wednesday, March 18 at the BCF at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Nelson at 403-820-4264.

Community Learning Centre looks for input for needs assessment


The Drumheller Community Learning Society is being proactive and looking to the community to update a Needs Assessment for Drumheller and area.

The Community Learning Society has gone through a number of changes over the years, but has always remained a group that has served the community and delivers programs that are needed. Linde Turner has been involved with the group in its previous incarnation as the Further Education Council for almost three decades. Recently it amalgamated with Adult Literacy, Family Literacy,  Homework Help and the Early Childhood Coalition to form a non-profit society called Drumheller Community Learning Society (DCLS).

“In 2012 we did a dialogue with the community asking what was needed,” said Turner. “We did what they asked.”

    One of the recommendations that came out of that was better accessibility. They delivered with the new community learning centre at the former Chinook Credit Union. They share space with Campus Alberta. Their numbers have steadily increased. The group was able to involve families in their programing and introduced a GED program.

Today they are looking to complete a Needs Assessment and are looking for constructive ideas.

    “We said at the board, ‘we need to do a Needs Assessment, let’s broaden our horizons.’ If we do something out of the box and don’t limit it to the learning centre and try to involve everybody who has a voice to be heard, maybe we will have something constructive for the community,” said Turner.

There have been a number of changes taking place in the community including economic, educational, cultural, political, climatic and agricultural to name a few.

“There is a current groundswell of ideas, so it is a time to make a new plan for the future of the Drumheller area, with participation from all residents and organizations,” she said in press release.

The Drumheller Community Learning Centre’s request is simple; come up with three constructive suggestions or ideas, and their solutions. They can simply e-mail them to drum
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, drop them off at the Community Learning Centre at 250 Centre Street, or mail them to Box 998 Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y0.

Turner said they have floated the idea to the Town of Drumheller which is interested in hearing constructive ideas to put together a needs assessment.

“We have a good record of asking the community what it wants and fulfilling it,” she said “It is about what ordinary people want, and it’s about dealing with ordinary people.”

  They are hoping to get as many suggestions as they can by March 20. They will then put the information together and present it to the public shortly thereafter.

    “I think it will be valuable to the town’s population to have constructive ideas and solutions,” said Turner.