Abbotsford students to benefit from Innovation Partnership project

Submitted –

B.C. Government Caucus
News Release
October 13, 2015

Abbotsford students to benefit from Innovation Partnership project

ABBOTSFORD – The world of education is changing and students at Rick Hansen Secondary School of Science and Business in Abbotsford will benefit from innovative concepts being put into practice by teachers and administrators.

Rick Hansen Secondary is transforming into a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) school and business academy with an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary approach. Classrooms are being transformed into digital nerve centres with a real world approach to education.

“The Innovation Partnership program allows schools to explore initiatives that benefit student learning,” Abbotsford West MLA Michael de Jong said. “Moving personalized learning from concept to everyday practice will help students acquire the practical skills needed to excel after graduation.”

The project at Rick Hansen Secondary is one of the first 17 projects that will receive support under K-12 Innovation Partnership projects.

“Being selected for a Provincial Innovation Partnership grant affirms our decision to launch the Rick Hansen School of Science and Business,” said Abbotsford Board of Education Chair Cindy Schafer. “We are adapting to the changing needs of students by creating a learning environment with an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary approach, with the intention of developing graduates who are better prepared for professional careers or post-secondary studies.”

The K-12 Innovation Partnership gives public and independent schools the opportunity – and support – to explore new programs and practices to help students and teachers succeed. The selected projects complement the new K-12 curriculum being phased in over the next three years and focus on:

  • Enhanced hands-on, project-based learning
  • Supports for vulnerable and/or at-risk students
  • Aboriginal learning
  • Science and technology, and
  • Reporting and assessment practices.

The 17 projects throughout the province were selected by the Innovation Partnership Working Group (IPWG), a collaboration of education partners including the BC Teachers’ Federation, BC Schools Superintendents Association, BC Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association, the Federation of Independent School Associations of BC and the Ministry of Education.

Each project will receive $8,000 in financial support for teacher release time, research, and project expenses. There will also be opportunities for project teams to collaborate with colleagues and explore how these innovative concepts could be adopted by other school districts.

A second intake for the Innovation Partnership will be announced later this fall, and schools are encouraged to continue to submit proposals for consideration.

Quick Facts:

  • The working group received 77 project proposals for the first intake of the Innovation Partnership.
  • Proposals were received from 33 school districts and 19 independent schools.
  • The IPWG will bring teams from each project together twice during the year to discuss their innovations.
  • The Innovation Partnership is a key component of the K-12 Innovation Strategy announced at the ‘BC’s Focus on Learning’ forum in January 2015.

Learn More:


Media Contact: Ashley Stewart, B.C. Government Caucus Communications, 250-387-8589





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