The Story of Prairie Sky School
We believe in children’s intrinsic ability and need to learn;
We foster children’s wonder and joy in the world around them;
We strive for education of the whole child (mind, body, spirit); We value individual expression and motivated learning;
We create a tolerant, inclusive and diverse learning culture;
We support cooperative learning and play;
We encourage learning through the natural environment;
We value community, sustainability, and social responsibility.
Prairie Sky School was founded and incorporated in December 2008. Educator Kim Weiss (currently on sabbatical) brought together community members, homeschooling parents, and university education professors to develop a new vision for education in Regina. Following incorporation, and many living room discussions, the group held its first public meeting on January 22nd, 2009 at the Cathedral Area Community Association centre where 75 attendees shared their own personal visions of school possibilities.
With strong community interest, a keen volunteer spirit and a passionate Board of Directors Prairie Sky School opened its doors to the first classroom of 12 students in the basement of St. Mary’s Anglican Church, on the corner of 15th Avenue and Montague Street. Dennie Fornwald was our first teacher and the school boasted a healthy lunch/cooking program, verma-composting, and many community supporters. By December 2009, another teacher, artist Allan Dotson, was hired to job-share the teaching role, along with a part-time educational assistant the following month. By that time, enrolment had increased to 19 students.
By September 2012, the school had grown to almost 30 students and had become a Qualified Independent School receiving partial funding from the new QIS initiative created by the SK Ministry of Education. In 2013 an Executive Director (now Sara Joy Zimmerman) was employed to build and support the organization as a non-profit business, and by August 2013 our first Principal was recruited, Corry Moriarty, to support and promote PSS learning/teaching and further develop our curricular and extra-curricular programs.
Over the years since inception, much of the vision and founding elements of PSS remain the same. There has also been a great deal of evaluation and transition – the result of a natural evolution of ideas in a grass-roots organization. Now, in Year 11, Prairie Sky School has evolved into a thriving Qualified Independent School with a concise Vision & Purpose that has been synthesized from the original values and approaches. We deliver the Saskatchewan Curriculum holistically through Art, Community, and Nature, and are pedagogically inspired by Waldorf and Reggio Emilia traditions.
We began as many good ideas do; a group of passionate, community-minded people gathered in a living room, sharing ideas of what is possible. It is in this spirit that we will continue to provide a truly holistic education alternative for local families.
We look forward to potential developments in and actualization of our strategic plan in the coming years.