Bentley Community News: museum’s latest expansion nearly complete

An addition to the entire west side of the Bentley museum’s agriculture building now houses bigger agricultural-related things like the heavy binder

An addition to the entire west side of the Bentley museum’s agriculture building now houses bigger agricultural-related things like the heavy binder.

Now that the addition to the museum’s Ag building that is located at the back of the museum’s lot is complete, it now displays some of the bigger agriculture artifacts. They were moved from the main part of the Ag building that was squeezed for space into the unheated addition. That has made more much-needed room for other displays in the main Ag building.

New cement around the flagpoles, and cement sidewalks to the front of museum and from the main Pico House to the agriculture display building, are also completed.

Artifacts continue to come in. The Bentley Museum is now the latest home of a Mason and Risch piano made between 1891 and 1895. It had originally been in the Boyle School, ended up in the Grace Lutheran Church, and the congregation there recently donated it to the museum.

Reorganization also continues because of the flooding in the basement and the repairs that had to be done. Artifacts and records that had been moved to private homes can now be relocated back into the renovated basement.

All the improvements, renovations and reorganizing wouldn’t have been possible without some very wonderful volunteers.

Museum volunteers are planning a special open house on Heritage Day on Feb. 16. The museum will be open from 1-4 p.m. and volunteers will be offering free refreshments.

There will also be horse-drawn sleigh/wagon rides, depending on the weather and snow conditions, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. courtesy Cyril Healy and his team of beautiful horses. The hayrides are also free. It will be a chance for the family to attend a Family Day event together and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Bentley community and it’s wonderful museum.

A group of dedicated volunteers meet at the museum most Wednesday mornings from about 9 a.m. until almost noon. Ongoing rearranging and cataloging of displays and artifacts continues.

People are invited to drop in, meet some of the volunteers, see what is going on, and have a look around. There is no admission charge ever, and tours can be arranged. Call museum chairperson Doris Bargholz at (403) 748-3943 to make arrangements or inquiries.

Bentley school considering modifying school calendar

The Bentley school Parent Advisory Council’s (PAC) met again on Tuesday, January 20 in the jr./sr. high school library.

Wolf Creek Public Schools Ward 4 trustee Karin Engen was in attendance and gave some insight into Special Needs funding for those with severe disabilities. She said the school division is short of Special Needs funding from the provincial government and no changes are scheduled to be forthcoming until the fall of 2010.

Funding is being based on old numbers indicating Wolf Creek has 300 Special Needs students with severe disabilities, when in fact the school board has identified 424 students. Because the special funding is being distributed based on old numbers, which leaves the school short of dollars to dedicate where it is needed and having to rob from other places.

Losing two years of early intervention and help for these students is just unacceptable said Bentley school principal Lane Moore.

People are encouraged to write letters stating how they feel about the shortfall of funding for such programs. Engin is hopeful, that with the right pressure on the government, a million new dollars of interim money can be added to next years Wolf Creek budget instead of waiting another one and a half years.

A sample letter and possible contact names and addresses will be available at the school.

PAC chair Pat Schmidt reported on a Summit on Public Involvement in Public Schools that is coming up in March in Edmonton. Two members of the public that don’t have children within the school system and hopefully not currently actively involved in the system can put their names forward as possible delegates if they would like to attend. The cost of travel and the overnight stay will be picked up by Wolf Creek. There is no registration fee. Contact the school for more information.

Principal Lane Moore reported on updates in the school, and what else can be expected, and why. The school is going to go wireless and mini laptop computers will be able to be signed out for use around the school. The videoconference room will be moved into the library for individuals and smaller numbers of students to make use of, thus making for better utilization of the computer lab for larger classes.

Modifying the bell schedule and thus the daily start and dismissal times is being considered for next year and parent, staff, and student input is being asked for. Options then could include more full P.D. days for staff or shorter school days. Now is not too early to consider differentiated calendar options that could be implemented next fall.

After a commercial fridge is purchased for the Food Sciences Lab, students will be able to take Food Prep courses and will offer sub sandwiches for sale at noon.

Vending machines in the school now offer water, milk, and juice (no pop) and more healthy snacks.

Work is being done to come up with a new mission statement and motto.

No one responded to the need for someone to remove snow from the school’s sidewalks. School staff is currently trying to keep up with the snow removal themselves.

The next Bentley School Parent Advisory Council meeting will be held in the Bentley Elementary School library on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. Meetings alternate between the jr./sr. high school building and the elementary building. Those interested in the Bentley school, K to Grade 12, are invited to come, bring any questions they have, and find out what is being proposed for the school and its students. Input and feedback is always welcome, and in fact invited.

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