Menno-Simons Community School (MSCS) is the most westerly located school within Peace River School Division #10. We are located approximately 100 kilometers west of Fairview on Highway 64 in the small hamlet of Cleardale. MSCS is a K-12 school of approximately 140 students. Menno-Simons Community School offers a public school program in accordance with the prescribed Alberta Curriculum and also maintains a sensitivity toward the distinct cultural needs of many within our community. Since the majority of the students are of a Mennonite background, special language programs exist to assist students in developing strong English language skills. A significant number of the Mennonite elementary students attend German classes on Fridays. The elementary program accommodates and reflects this special program.
In addition to the regular ECS program, the school also welcomes students who are learning English and have reached the age of 4 by September 30 of the current school year, or those with special educational needs. Students in this stream are admitted for an additional year of ECS following requisite testing and are fully supported in meeting developmentally appropriate educational goals.
Programming at MSCS reflects an emphasis on reading literacy, however, a full range of academic subjects, Physical Education, Music, Art and German is provided. Assistance and supports for exceptional students, based on evidence of need, are available through the Inclusion Coach (iCoach). Junior High programming, along with the core courses prescribed by the Alberta Curriculum includes an emphasis on developing students’ understanding of the 21st Century economy and cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit. CTS and other options in 2013/2014 include Food Studies, Fashion Studies, Life Skills, Word Processing, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Data Management, Robotiecs, and Construction. A unique partnership with Clear Hills County is also poised to enrich trades-based CTS courses, potentially increasing options.
The County of Clear Hills and F.C.S.S. provide a Youth Educational Support Worker (YESW) with competencies in Life Skills. This consultant is in the school one day per week in addition to providing guest speakers and presentations from community organizations. Small groups or individuals have access to the consultant as needed in order to explore future educational and career paths. The Youth Enhancement Society (YES) provides two Art facilitators who meet with grades one through nine weekly.
A Hot Lunch program is fully funded and operated by the Cleardale Agricultural Society. The Society also has a rich history of joining in partnership to improve the school and the broader community. Clear Hills County also assists the school in providing programming and funding for special projects when appropriate, such as an annual ski trip, seniors tea, and hamlet cleanup.
The School Council is very active and assists the school by providing input on school-related matters and the school improvement plan. Currently the Menno-Simons Community School Parents Association, which is separate from but affiliated with the School Council, is pivotal in the development of an upgrade to the playground. The School Council plans and completes the Highway Cleanup in the spring; an excellent fundraiser. The principal, a teacher and, when possible, a representative from Student Council, all attend School Council Meetings.
Cleardale is primarily an agricultural and former logging community with some developments in the oil and gas industry. Cleardale is served by a single, combined, general store, restaurant and gas bar. There is also a post office, banking service, laundromat and carwash within three kilometers of the school.