The students, staff and parents of Sunny Bend Colony School were proud and excited to welcome Education Minister David Eggen to his first ever colony school visit. Minister Eggen was also greeted by past Principal Brett Seatter, current Principal Mitch Hammond, Superintendent David Garbutt, Board Chair Jennifer Tuininga, and Trustees Nancy Keough and Jackie Comeau.
Teacher Alyssa Pfaeffli began by sharing an overview of life as a teacher at a Hutterite Colony School. She described how she worked with peers to plan for instruction to multiple grades simultaneously. For instance, the day’s science unit about liquids, viscosity and density included learning outcomes for all students in Grades 1-9. Her Universal Design for Learning approach anticipates the diverse needs of students and ensures daily lesson plans include every student.
Kathy, a Grade 9 student, described a typical colony school student day, which includes two hours of German school in addition to English school each day. She also shared some examples of the leadership role she plays in the school, including her love of working with the younger children.
The visit concluded with a short tour of a colony home, the colony’s exceptional laundry facilities, and state-of-the-art kitchen where everyone gathered for a beautifully prepared lunch. Following lunch, the women and children sang songs about their teachers and school staff—two in English and one in German.
Minister Eggen noted the excellent relationship that colony leaders have with the school division. We are thankful for the opportunity to spend time with Minister Eggen and demonstrate our committment to quality education and inclusive learning at our colony schools.