Following the success of the Accelerated Reading program in the Primary school, the Jr./Senior High School adopted the program in the fall of 2001. At the same time, we purchased the Star Testing program which provides reading levels and diagnostic information for each student. The students are tested at various intervals throughout the school year. Students who actively participate in the Accelerated Reading program can readily see their reading growth. (Link to Renaissance Learning of Canada)
Over 1,700 items form the basis of our First Nations collection. Cree culture is emphasized but other native cultures are represented as well. The material is useful in the integration of Native cultures into the Alberta Curriculum. This collection continues to grow.
The library provides a home for the school media centre in which servers for various school databases are housed. Also housed are video recorders and DVD machines, which can be connected to monitors in every classroom and public area. The library server is also housed in this area. This is a secured area with no public access.
In September, 1999 it was decided to clip newspaper articles with native content from both the "Edmonton Journal" and the "National Post." The clippings are posted on the Bulletin Board outside the library for a few days and are then entered into an index which may be viewed in the library. The clippings are then stored for anyone wishing to read the complete article.
When development of this library began in 1991, a very large collection of slides of old photographs was discovered. There was no time then to deal with the slides, so for a number of years they were tucked carefully away. When the opportunity arose a few years ago to finally do something with the slides, we were astounded by the wealth of history they contained.
Community life, residential school, church activities, boy scouts, girl guides, weddings, horses, etc. were all found. Potentially, the pictures represented great stories. Our dilemma was "Can we find anyone who can identify these pictures?" Luck has served us well. Community elders have worked successfully in the identification process. When one group has identified all they can, another group takes over. And the stories are being told, generally with much laughter.
A large professional collection has been developed to supplement and support all the courses taught at Ermineskin. Resource materials are numerous and are heavily used. All teacher's guides are maintained in the professional collection. Teachers needing an idea to put across a new concept across are accommodated here.
The library houses a video and DVD collection of over 1000 items, which is curriculum related. Considerable effort has gone into collecting First Nations material supporting native studies units taught in the school. Feature films are collected if they support novel studies.