Brant Argyle School


Table of Contents
Click on the appropriate link

Brant Argyle school is the heart of the community of Argyle, that binds all other activities together. It provides a quality education to school age children from grades K to 8. It can be viewed online at www.isd21.mb.ca/argyle.


The "Jewel" of the Interlake School Division
Brant Argyle School is a place where a child can be a child just a little longer. It is:

  • immersed in the rural community values, surrounded by the natural environment, instilling the love for education, providing children from a rural, agricultural community the opportunity to become confident, respectful citizens and the leaders of tomorrow
  • a smaller school environment, where everyone knows everyone else
  • a solid brick, 2 storey, 4 room school house with fine architectural features serving the educational needs of a strongly connected, rural, agricultural community.
  • a rare survivor, historically still used as a school, and the only example of its' kind in Manitoba, probably Canada, and possibly North America. This provincial heritage site still serves the community's children from grades K to 8. At present the enrollment is at 54 children, with 78 being the largest enrollment in the past 20 years

top of page

Ecosystem
Brant Argyle School is the heart of the Argyle community - all activities revolve around the town school - it is part of an "ecosystem", where every part interconnects with the whole. Strong, rural communities live and grow as an ecosystem.

top of page

Brant Argyle School Heritage Site and Architecture
The handsome Brant Consolidated School, with its adjoining modern gymnasium, is located along a rural highway that also forms the main street in Argyle, a village in the southern half of Manitoba's Interlake region. Built in 1914, the two-storey brick structure is set within open grassed grounds that include sand lots and large shaded playgrounds. The provincial designation applies to the school and its large lot.

top of page

Heritage Value
Brant Consolidated School is a rare surviving example of the large and imposing centralized schools constructed in many small Manitoba communities during the early decades of the twentieth century. The facility also is one of the province's oldest continuously operated schools, providing over nine decades of community service. Expanded in 1929 to accommodate four multi-age classrooms, the reworked Georgian style school with its hipped roof, central hall plan and formal features is a good illustration of the level of sophistication reached in the development of larger schools during the period. According to standardized designs established by the Department of Education, the school's design incorporated large banks of windows along its sides and addressed fire prevention with escapes from the second floor. Constructed by John Morrison, the school and its large site remain a major focal point of the community.

More character defining elements can be discovered when you visit the Historic Places website: www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=3486&pid=0

top of page

Value to the local community and economy

  • the smaller, rural, community based school is instrumental in rural economic development. The smaller school offers a unique educational environment that attracts families who are looking for an alternative way of life
  • Rural economy must be approached in terms of diversification.- smaller schools can offer diversity within the rural community
  • Keeping students in the local school, closer to home provides:
    • Reduced bus travel time
    • Less ecological impact on the environment - less gas required
    • Culturally responsive environment for the students - in the formative years, students are then surrounded with their smaller, rural community lifestyle, morals and ethics
    • school is within reasonable traveling distance for the students it serves which allows all students time to participate in school, community and extra-curricular activities.
    • very high parent participation within the school.
    • relevant extra curriculum activities relating to the farm population it serves
    • A sense of belonging - a stronger bond with their school and a love for education - a better chance of success in school and of continuing on with post secondary education
    • Time & opportunity to participate in extracurricular sports and music/arts activities closer to home
    • The school is the reason for people to continue moving into the community
    • Brant Argyle school is effective, is community supported, and meets or exceeds the goals of the Manitoba curriculum

top of page

What is a Small School?
A smaller school encourages:

  • self worth: a place were a child learns self worth.
  • inclusion: Every child is included. There are not the numbers to have the groups of "in" kids, wallflowers and all the other groups that children seem to create when they are insecure in a large setting and they need to be accepted. No matter if it is a play, a sport, or a special event, everyone participates. Every child here knows they are important and their thoughts count. They learn to tolerate each other's opinions because they will no doubt be working in class together.
  • peer tutors: The more capable students realize the pride of sharing and the strengths in learning that they have by helping the one who's a bit behind. The student receiving the help also has a sense of pride in knowing that his/her classmates care enough to give them help.
  • tolerance & conflict management: Just as important is learning to handle conflicts & tolerance. The students at Brant Argyle school have an active conflict manager program where peers teach each other conflict management skills. Conflicts occur in children's lives, they occur in adult lives. A small school means if there is an argument yesterday, then today we need to talk about it and find resolve.
  • fair play & opportunities: a place where a child learns about fair play. In order to have sports teams every child is involved one.
    • There are no tryouts; everyone plays. A player knows why and how to play at an early age. If the students want to have a team, they know they have to work and practice hard enough so even the least experienced player can be "first line".
    • A small school can field a team against a large school and win. The students have a sense of pride so strong, they play at the top of their abilities.
    • Every year, students from Brant Argyle School are accepted on the sports teams at the high school in Stonewall; basketball, volleyball; many students who attended Brant Argyle were selected to be on the newly formed 07/08 & 08/09 SCI high school football team. Students learn the joy of winning and the acceptance of losing.
    • parental involvement: there is a lot of parent and community involvement. Research shows that when parents are involved with their children's education, the students do better academically, creating a positive attitude towards education.

top of page

How do students from a smaller school do when they move to larger schools?
Students are bused to the local high school in Stonewall for grades 9 to12.

  • The lessons learned in a small school are the life skills that will let our children survive in a larger education system. They have the ability to work through high school, then on to the work world or post secondary education.
  • The Argyle parent council conducted a study in 2003 to document students who received honors awards for 80% and over at Stonewall Collegiate. The results indicated that there was a larger percent, of Argyle students achieving these merit awards than from any other school per capita.
  • The Argyle students have excellent study habits, have learned appropriate behavior, and often continue onto post secondary education. In a smaller school, there is a high value placed on education and hard work - values that are carried with them a lifetime.

top of page

Chicago Schools Initiatives
There is a current trend in Illinois where large schools of around 2000 students are being redesigned. Smaller schools of 150 to 300 students are being recreated due to the conclusive evidence that "bigger" has not been successful in high school graduation rates.

"As just one indication of how the rest of the world has moved on from the old way of thinking about schools, one has only to look to the small schools initiatives sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The executive director of the education division of that foundation, Tom Vander Ark (2006), insists that:

Creating smaller, more personalized learning environments where every student is held to high expectations works. Students stay in school, are more motivated and achieve at higher levels." ( Education on a Human Scale, Corbett, Mulcahy, Acadia University, 2006)

top of page

Multi-grade & Internet
Brant Argyle School adjusts to fluctuating student numbers by combining grades into multi-grade classes maximizing teacher's salaries; adjusting staff allocation; commitment & dedication from teachers; and maintaining a very strong parent volunteer base.

  • Creative educational alternatives permits successful education even with lower enrollment; Internet has put education in everyone's hands around the world.

top of page

Rock N Read
The parent advisory council has initiated an early years program at Brant Argyle school called "Rock N Read" designed for preschool age children.

top of page

Argyle Community Park
The parent advisory council has initiated a 5 year construction project of enhancing the school grounds for school & community use

top of page

History

  • 1872 Argyle was surveyed
  • 1911 Douglas store built - still exists & operates as the Meridian Trail General Store
  • 1912 railway service
  • 1914 Brant Argyle School (west wing) was built; 1923 east wing was built; gym 1970's; originally offered grades 1 to 11
  • 1921 Argyle General Store built - still exists & operates
  • 1959 1st Argyle high school aged children go to Stonewall collegiate
  • 1980 1st Kindergarten class in Brant Argyle school
  • 2000 - Manitoba designates Brant Argyle school as a Manitoba Provincial Heritage Site No. 107

top of page

Parent Advisory Council
The school has an active parent advisory council (Brant Argyle Advisory Council for School Leadership, BAACSL) that participates on every level of their children's education. The current chair is Brenda Balzer and can be reached at (204) 383 5237 or brenda.balzer@safeway.com.

top of page

Argyle Community Action Group
The Argyle Community Action Group is a subcommittee of the BAACSL. The ACAG goals & missions are:

- to ensure the long term viability of our small school, Brant Argyle school, into the future, a dynamic place to learn, for a sustainable rural community
- 15 people on the committee - wide range from parents of preschool children, to parents whose children are finished the school system

The current chair is Victoria Schindle, and can be reached at (204) 383 5317 or vschindle@rrc.mb.ca. Victoria is also a certified engineering technologist and instructor at Red River College, who teaches courses in Architectural/Engineering technology, in building design & construction.

top of page

Ten Research-based Reasons
Why Small Works

1. There is greater participation in extra-curricular activities, and that is linked to academic success.
2, Small schools are safer.
3. Kids feel they belong.
4. Small class size allows more individualized instrauction.
5. Good teaching methods are easier to implement.
6. Teachers feel better about their work.
7. Mixed-ability classes avoidcondemningsome students to low expectations.
8. Multlage classespromotepersonalized learning and encouragepositive social interactions.
9. Smaller districts mean less bureaucracy.
10. More grades in one school alleviate many problems of transitions to new schools.

Extra-Curricular Participation
A higher percentage of students in smaller schools participate in extra-curricular activities than do so in larger schools. Students in small schools tend to participate in a wider variety of activities than students in larger schools and find these activities more satisfactory. The greater and more varied participation in extracurricular activities by students in small schools is the single best-supported finding in school size research. ” Extra-curricular participation is associated with several positive outcomes for students: they have more positive attitudes about their school experience and learning, have higher self-esteem, and have higher expectations about obtaining a college degree. Extra-curricular participation is also related to higher grade-point averages, higher standardized test results, and better attendance rates. (Jimerson, 2006)

Safety
The second most common finding of school size research is that smaller schools tend to be safer environments than larger schools. Small schools exhibit fewer violent incidents and experience less vandalism, theft, truancy, substance abuse, and gang participation Large-scale national surveys show that reports of violence and discipline problems decrease with smaller school size. These consistent findings are important. Students in safe settings learn more, are more focused, and feel more positively about school, subject matter, and learning in general. An environment free from violence, threats, and bullying are prerequisites for effective learning. (Jimerson, 2006)

Brant Argyle School easily fits into this realm of research.

(Reference for the above info: Jimerson, Lorna, Ed.D (August 2006). The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools. Rural Trust Policy Briefs Series on Rural Education, Retrieved May 29, 2008, from www.ruraledu.org/site/apps/s/link.asp?c=beJMIZOCIrH&b=2042095)

top of page