Parkland Elementary School Principal, Mandy Friesen, recently shared her excitement about a video presented to the Garden Valley School Division, entitled Breaking Down Barriers.

“The video was initially created for the Garden Valley School Division board. Each month a different school presents to the board to highlight their school.” 

Friesen explains that this video celebrates empowering students through occupational therapy, speech and language programs, and connection time, and how these programs are breaking down barriers. She expresses how their excitement grew as their project progressed.  

“I think that people are not always aware of all the things that [our] schools have to offer, and the many supports that are in place to support their children. This is a great way to highlight the great work of our divisional clinicians, our resource teachers and our educational assistants who are really invested in the children and work hard to educate and support the whole child.” 

The video was a team effort, including work from speech and language pathologist, April Harms, occupational therapist, Jill Stuart Edwards, as well as resource teachers, Jacqui Warkintin and Crystal Rachul. 

Parkland is now seeing the benefit of sharing this video with their teachers to help them see the big picture. 

“The teachers do not get to see their kids when they're in these programs. There are times when kids have been taken out of class to participate, so teachers know they're gone, but not what they are doing [in the programs]. Through the video [they] can see it.” 

Parkland School educational assistant.Educational Assistant Susan Peters with student from Parkland Elementary School, Winkler.

Friesen explains that the main purpose for this video is to celebrate.  

“We are so proud of our educational assistants here and our resource teachers and the divisional clinicians, and what we do here at Parkland. We have great educators and support systems, and we want people to know that.” 

The video was only intended for the GVSD board initially, however there are now hopes of sharing it publicly in the future. Friesen says, that in order to share the video, they will have to make some changes in order to protect the privacy of the children, "We have been so excited about it here since we started putting it together and would love the opportunity to share it.” 

Friesen encourages parents to be proud if your children attend Garden Valley School Division. 

“Be proud if your kids attend Garden Valley School Division. There are a lot of great people looking out for your kids. We're happy to be here and happy to be a part of that journey”. 

Please click below to hear the full interview with Connie Bailey.