Pauw Foundation supports specialized resources for Canadian Rockies Public Schools
The Canadian Rockies Public Schools (CRPS) division is grounded on the premise that students should be educated in the most supportive environment possible. Needless to say, many students require additional help from administrators, teachers, and other support staff to succeed and navigate their school experience.
A key focus for CRPS is to provide a continuum of support based on students’ particular needs. This includes ensuring that the educational process remains inclusive for all students, and that support extends throughout their time at school—from kindergarten until they graduate in grade 12.
“This continuum of support is foundational across the school division,” says Debbie McKibbin, Deputy Superintendent at CRPS. “We want to ensure all students have access to what they need to succeed in school and in their daily lives.”
Foundational to student success is the capacity to identify individual needs to ensure effective, long-term learning. While educators can offer academic and some social supports, some situations, such as crisis intervention, requires specialized resources that the school budgets cannot provide.
A $160,000 annual financial commitment from the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation is addressing the challenge by helping support two full-time positions: a School and Family Wellness worker and a Divisional Psychologist. While CRPS had identified the need for these two roles, without support from the Foundation, they could only have funded them on a part-time basis.
“Support from the Foundation means we can offer essential services that our students need to succeed. Simply put, without funding from the Foundation, we could not always provide the help some students need in a timely manner, and that can make all of the difference,” says McKibbin.
With deep connections to the community, the School and Family Wellness worker offers families an avenue of support that extends beyond the classroom. Right now, this position works directly with 109 families in both Banff community schools.
The role’s is wide-ranging and includes building social skills, dealing with stress and anxiety, ensuring balanced screen-time, and hosting informational sessions for parents. It’s an important role designed to identify student needs and ensure effective learning processes.
Working across the division, the Divisional Psychologist is available to students at schools throughout the Bow Valley. Key to this role is identifying strategies that support students’ mental wellness and provides a continuum of support for them and their families.
Currently, the psychologist works with about 40 students, offering psychological and academic assessments, high risk crisis management, and issues relating to behaviour and social connections. Because they work in so many schools, the psychologist also trains staff on how to deal with low-risk situations in their classrooms.
“The Foundation is proud to have supported CRPS for years. The academic and wellness they provide Bow Valley students is exceptional, but we also realize that financial resources are limited,” says Cathy Geisler, Executive Director of the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation. “Having mental health supports in place ensures that youth are given the opportunity to succeed and thrive at school and at home. We are pleased that our donation makes such a positive impact to families throughout the Bow Valley.”
McKibbin and her team are grateful for the support and recognize how important it is for the health and welfare of their students.
Learn more about how the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation continues to support a more active, vibrant, and happy community.