Sturgeon Public School Division is proud to announce the name of the new grades 5-9 school in Morinville! After a collaborative process with local elders and the community, including a naming contest, the Advocacy Committee recommended the name Four Winds Public School. The Board approved the name at the Board Meeting on Wednesday, September 27.
In the new name, “four” represents four seasons and four elements on the medicine wheel. “Winds” represents four directions of the world. The Committee sought to choose a name that supports the inclusive nature of the school and the intended focus on the environment, nature and our community's indigenous history and culture.
The Advocacy Committee deliberated on the school name over the past months. As part of this process, the committee held a contest and invited members of the community to submit suggestions. Many entries were received, and a sub-committee of staff and parents provided a shortlist of possibilities for further consideration. Committee members also met with local elders to seek their guidance on the use of a Cree word for the new name.
“Based on their counsel, the Board will instead look to incorporate a Cree word in the school welcome, a welcome that will include words from the various languages of those who played a role in founding the Town of Morinville and surrounding areas,” said Trustee Misty Featherley, Advocacy Committee Chair and Morinville Trustee. “This will support and reinforce the Division’s commitment to open, welcoming and inclusive school environments.”
In deciding upon the name for the new school, the committee focused on the expressed rationale for the names submitted by local community members; the vision of the school as it connects with nature and environmental stewardship; and the inclusive nature that will be foundational to the creation of the broader school community.
“We’re thankful to everyone who submitted a school name to the contest,” said Trustee Featherley. “The committee liked more than one, so we’ve decided to name parts of the school after people in the community.”
Trustee Featherley and the committee have recommended that various significant sections of the school, including the Learning Commons, Fine Arts Complex, Athletics Department, Outdoor Classrooms and Natural Amphitheatre, be named in honour of various prominent members of the community.
Four Winds Public School will have a capacity of 600 students and English and French Immersion programming. The planned opening is September 2019.