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Professional Development School formed to better equip indigenous teachers

An event was held Wednesday in Saskatoon to mark the formation of a Professional Development School for indigenous teachers. Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools / Supplied

St. Frances Cree Bilingual School hosted an event in Saskatoon marking the formation of a Professional Development School (PDS) for indigenous teachers.

It offers more immersive teacher training than a standard internship to prepare future educators with the skills to teach young minds, in particular First Nations and Métis students.

“This program will give new and experienced teachers a deeper understanding of how to navigate complexities and tailor the learning environment for student needs,” Saskatoon Tribal Council Tribal Chief Felix Thomas said.

“By setting teachers up for success we are ensuring greater success rates amongst indigenous students.”

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PDS provides a learning environment where students from the College of Education’s Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) and St. Frances teachers can enhance the quality of learning for both teacher and student.

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Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS), University of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Tribal Council signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday to pave the way for more collaboration and routine participation.

“This agreement is a natural progression to offer the best education we can to our students by offering an enhanced training experience for our future teachers,” GSCS board of education chair Diane Boyko said.

“The existing relationships we have with our partners in education are invaluable.”

The first group has already gone through PDS, housed at St. Frances, with the next ITEP students expected in the fall.