We are publishing a series of stories about our schools. Read them all here.
Neerlandia Public Christian School is unique in that it is the only school in Pembina Hills to provide an alternative Christian program. With a current enrollment of over 230 students, the K-9 school has seen significant growth in recent years. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years. Principal Brett Seatter says, “We are projected to have over 250 students next year, and we’re excited about the growing opportunity.”
Staff and students are led by the school’s motto “learning to serve” and staff believe they are helping their students to learn to serve for the greater good and to be positive members of society.
Note: Most of the photos in this article were taken prior to the COVID restrictions. Be assured that NPCS is closely following all relevant health and safety protocols.
Offering an alternative Christian program
Seatter says, “Our alternative Christian program is definitely the highlight of our school.” Although most of their students come from the local communities of Neerlandia, Vega and area, a number of students travel from Barrhead and surrounding areas to attend the school. Many students ride the transfer bus from Barrhead, and some families even drive their kids to the school each day so they can access this Christian programming.
All teachers receive training in Teaching for Transformation (TfT), which gives them the outline and structure to integrate the Bible and Christian teaching into all subject areas every day. “Our classrooms have devotions every morning as well as a couple of Bible classes each week,” says Seatter. Before COVID restrictions were put in place, they would host weekly chapels in the gym where the whole school comes together for some singing, scripture reading, and prayer.
Seatter tells us that his staff is a mixture of new and experienced staff members. “In the last three years we’ve had approximately six staff members retire, causing a natural shift in our staff dynamic.” While many of the retired staff still contribute to the school by coming back to sub, the new staff members have fit in very well to the school culture, bringing new skills and ideas to keep NPCS a unique place to work and learn.
Staff members also have a weekly morning devotion meeting each week to connect, build each other up, and learn together. He says, “There is a strong sense of peace and connection amongst the staff and students in our building. Our staff love the students and feel privileged to work with these children on a daily basis.”
Strong CTF and Options program
As a small school, they are proud to offer quite a variety of Career and Technology Foundations and Junior High Options courses. Examples include Outdoor Education, Hunter Education, Winter Pursuits, Hockey/Ringette, Foods, Band, Art, Film Studies, Design, Babysitting, Electronics, Robotics, Wood Working & Construction, and Photography.
Excellent sports programs
NPCS offers several sports for elementary students including soccer, volleyball, basketball, and the running team. With many championship banners for Junior High volleyball, badminton and basketball, the school also has a very strong intramural program at noon-hour every day with most of the students participating voluntarily.
Strong community involvement
School council, parents, grandparents, and community volunteers play a strong role in making the school a vibrant place. Many people contribute time, skills, and financial support to make our school programs a success.
Seatter says, “Our Parent Council (NCES) also hosts a large fundraiser event every second year and that helps support our Christian programs, bussing, playground equipment and other essential items for our school.”
Environmental Award sponsored by Fortis Alberta (2019/2020)
The school hosts several events during the year, bringing community members and parents together. They typically start the new school year with a community pancake breakfast — unless covid rules are in effect. Many parents bring their children to school on the first day to enjoy the pancake breakfast and often stay for an opening assembly. They also host a Christmas concert or Easter concert each year at the Neerlandia Christian Reformed Church sanctuary. All events are well attended by both parents and community members.
Neerlandia Public Christian School has excellent teaching staff and they are proud to see the student successes carry on to high school. Seatter says, “Historically, when our students transfer to Barrhead Composite High School, they continue to do very well and contribute in many positive ways. It is not uncommon to see former Neerlandia students in the extracurricular groups and well represented at the Awards Night each year. We’re proud of the work they do!”