Mission school wins big award

Edwin S. Richards Elementary named a new and emerging school

Edwin S. Richards (ESR) elementary school recently received the New and Emerging School Award from the Arts Schools Network (ASN).

ASN, based in the USA, is the nation’s largest professional membership organization of specialized art schools, and the award is presented to a promising school in its first three years of development.

ESR offers an art-based curriculum and was designated a school of choice in 2013 after running a two-year pilot project.

“We are grateful for the ASN for recognizing our school as we continue on this journey,” said principal Jan Minty.

The award, she adds, is validation for the school’s program to provide students with opportunities for creativity, collaboration and leadership through arts.

The school of choice is one of the most popular programs in the Mission school district. Minty credits the efforts of staff to learn along with students for its success.

“It is an inclusive program, providing opportunities for students with varying learning styles to show how they can learn and understand,” said Minty.

Students build confidence through performing arts, and activities with the artist in residence encourage team work, Minty added.

Next year Minty and her staff have plans to work with a drama artist to apply elements of movement in the curriculum, and a visual artist to engage students in learning about the styles of famous Canadian artists.

Parents are also a huge part of the success, according to the principal, who praised the Parent Advisory Council for supporting the school with fundraising activities as well as students’ endeavours.

The ASN award presentation will take place during the annual ASN conference in October in Denver.