Government of Alberta Education Minister and MLA for Red Deer North Adriana LaGrange was in Lacombe speaking to Grade 6 students about her role as minister.
During LaGrange’s visit, students at Lacombe Upper Elementary School asked several questions about education in Alberta — which is part of the current Grade 6 curriculum — including changes to the current math curriculum, student consultation and also the challenges and joys of being the education minister.
LaGrange said it is great being able to listen to students directly.
“I just love interacting with the students and it reminds me why I got involved as a trustee and why I was super involved as a parent,” she said. “It is for the kids and it is to ensure they have the best possible education system going. When I look at the kids it inspires me to do even better to ensure education continues to thrive and improve.”
LaGrange said consultation with students needs to be part of the process of any education changes in Alberta.
“I do have the Minister’s Student Advisory Panel,” she said. “I was probably a week into the job with my ministry when I met with them and they are so enthusiastic about the input they have been able to have. I was impressed with what I was hearing and I really want to expand that across the province to get more students engage.
“I do hear from them now, whether that is students writing letters to me or when I am able to attend similar events like this where I can interact on a class to class basis.”
LaGrange said her schedule prevents her from doing as much interaction in schools as she would like — but she does try to keep Fridays as a day for her constituency.
“Anytime I can fit it into my schedule, I do. Thankfully I was able to fit Lacombe into my schedule,” she said.
LaGrange also commented to reporters on how the UCP Government intends to protect LGBTQ students and vulnerable youth.
“I believe in protecting all students and that is what I am really focused. Every student in our school system should feel they are in a welcoming, safe and caring environment. That is my priority for every single student. I value every student for who they are and I value them being authentically who they are,” she said.