ATC 18/19 Report to the Community
It was another very busy year at the Louis Riel Arts and Technology Centre (ATC). ATC is unique in the province of Manitoba, as we are the only high school where all we do is Vocational and Career Training. We don't have electives such as Music, Art or Physical Education. Students choose to come to ATC and temporarily leave their home high schools, hoping to earn certifications.
Career Development is the primary focus at ATC. It drives a lot of our PD and last year was no exception. We began with the entire staff taking the Better Business Bureau's LIFT Certification. This focused on Ethics in Business or Government and how it affects how we do our programing. Many of the school programs then used this to teach the concepts in their classes to our students. It was an excellent addition to our programming. In November it was time for the entire staff to be recertified in First Aid. Given the nature of what we do at ATC, it is important for us to have this training. Our teachers then joined all other LRSD staff at the RBC Convention Centre to hear from James Nottingham about Challenging our Learners and making sure they are continually engaged. Next in March, we had LRSD Student Services Staff facilitate a workshop regarding Mental Health Safe Talk, specifically addressing Suicide Prevention. In April 2019 we spent the morning visiting the new facilities of the Red River College Notre Dame Campus, paying particular attention to the programs which ATC feeds. We also spent time learning about Sustainability concepts and using them to build our Sustainability Programs. Our final PD day of the year in May was spent working on our School Plan for 2019/2020 School Year.
Our big focus over the 2018/2019 School year was evolving The Edge, ATC's Work Readiness Program which develops the soft skills all industries require. For almost three years now this has gone from concept to practice. Now students at ATC are actually assessed for their Work Readiness Skills. Why would we do this? Employers are telling us they know our students have the technical skills, but they really need them to be Ready to Work. Are they on time? Are they prepared for the day with whatever is required? Have they put their outside lives aside while they are at work so they can focus on the task they are being paid to do? The support from the outside community has been tremendous, not just from potential employers but also from parents. Many vocational schools are very interested in what we are doing and have asked to hear about our progress. We are very excited about how this has evolved and are looking forward to seeing the progression as it has become an integral component of ATC's culture. We are also excited to see how this may impact all of our students who are going out on work experience placements, with five programs going out in the month of January alone. All programs do some form of work experience except for Electrical Trades.
PD was not the only thing we focused on this year. We started a "Spirit Cup" where each of the programs competed in friendly events to gain points toward being the program with the most school spirit. The Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Programs hosted amazing Fall and Spring Buffets along with another successful Senior's Dinner at the end of November. Our students competed and did very well at Skill's Manitoba, winning seven medals. This led to our Broadcast Media team going to Skills Canada! Our Information Systems Program competed again in the US Cyber Patriot and the Canadian Cyber Defence Challenge placing 3rd. Our Plumbing and Electrical Programs once again volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, giving back to the community. ATC hosted the first ever Manitoba High School eSports competition, an extra-curricular area that is growing across the province. Our Broadcast Media Program continues to do an excellent job for MHSAA by live streaming the 4A Basketball and Volleyball Championships, the High School Team Handball Championship, as well the High School Football Championship for WHSFL. Our Salon Programs, both Hairstyling and Esthetics ran a very successful Cancer Care Fundraiser in April, bringing in well over $2200 in just one day! The Applied Business Management Program was very successful in running our first ever Winter Market. Every program brought in speakers and experts to talk about life in the industry, discuss specialty areas, do demonstrations, present on workplace health and safety and so much more. Our e-cycling program has grown, we are composting and have a small garden, recycling is evolving as we move away from single use items. It is part of a growing Sustainability initiative and focus at ATC. All of this culminated in producing 210 Program Graduates, 9 Mature and High School Graduates, making this one of our best years ever.