The positive learning environment at Gibson Neill Memorial Elementary School provided a living lab for an educational organization in charge of the largest group of private trilingual, preschool and elementary schools in the Province of Quebec.
Serge Pelletier, a native of Edmundston, and one of the owners of the Vision Network, visited the Fredericton school on April 4 to learn about the New Brunswick curriculum and job shadow Principal Sherry Norton-Graham.
"In this school, everyone works as a team," Norton-Graham explained. "We share what we're doing and what's being taught based on the provincial curriculum. We work together on what a student needs next."
Pelletier spent the day learning about school leadership, best practices in teaching, what a New Brunswick classroom looks like, how the school day unfolds, how a school improvement plan works as well as the characteristics of a well-run school. His organization will apply this knowledge in the opening of two international offshore private schools in Africa, one in the country of Senegal in the fall 2019 and one in Morocco in 2020.
"We're looking at dynamic schools with dynamic curriculum to prepare students for the necessities of today," Pelletier said. "It's going to be our job to train the teachers using the New Brunswick curriculum. Students will get a New Brunswick diploma at the end so it will open the door to studying abroad also."
Pelletier had 20 years of experience with the Quebec school system before joining the Vision Network to lead the establishment of private schools at the preschool and elementary level with a strong focus on immersion programming.
The two schools opening in Africa will focus on English immersion, the country's mother tongue, and second language training in French, Mandarin or Arabic. New Brunswick's Atlantic Education International agreed to partner with Vision Schools in the curriculum sharing project. In Quebec, Vision schools include 23 institutions and over 3,000 students.
Pelletier said New Brunswick's curriculum was chosen for the new schools in Africa because of its strong focus on literacy.
Shown in the photo below are (left to right) Serge Pelletier, president of Quebec's Vision Schools Network, retired teacher Mary Evans and Sherry Norton-Graham, principal of Gibson Neill Memorial Elementary School in Fredericton.