Micro Village Citizenship Ceremony on 184 Days Blog

Day 54: MicroVillage Citizenship Ceremony (Parkland Village School)

Published in PSD 184 Project Blog, November 30, 2016

Students participate in our society through elected government, government services, private enterprise, or non-governmental organizations. All students apply for positions, interview, undergo performance assessments, collect wages, manage their own bank account, pay taxes and spend money – just as in the real world.  So far in 2016, students have completed elections and job fairs. This video recaps the Citizenship Ceremony on November 23, 2016 officiated by the Mayor of Parkland County, Rod Shaigec.


Congratulations PVS Micro Village!

Over the last school year, the PVS community went quietly about the business of working through our inaugural year as a MicroSociety school. It seems that our hard work has been recognized by the MicroIMG_5874SocIMG_5872iety  organization. Today, arriving inauspiciously by mail, was a nondescript envelope. Who would expect that the envelope would contain 2 certificates? The first awarded us the Rookie of the Year  and the second named us as a Three Star MicroSociety School; the second highest level of possible achievement (four stars is the maximum awarded)! This tells us we are off to an amazing start on our journey to becoming the best MicroSociety possible. We are looking forward to digger deeper this year and increasing the level of student and community engagement. Stay tuned as we continue to share our journey during the 2016-2017 school year.

Entrepreneurship in Action

Earlier this month, PVS Micro Village citizens, in grades 2 & 3, had the opportunity to bid for ownership of one of the 10 ventures within our society. Just as in the real world, bidders were required to complete an application package that included a business plan, budget and either proof of cash for purchase or a loan approval from Micro Village Bank. Each venture was assigned a minimum bid value, based on their profitability, and prospective buyers were expected to include a 10% deposit with their application. Finally, all bids were sealed and had a “not before and not after” submission date and time. This was to ensure all students had an equal opportunity to enter a potentially successful bid.

I am sure, that by this time readers may be thinking, “Oh my gosh, what a lot of work for the little ones”, or “Isn’t that so cute?”. Well, at first glance it is both. However, this is serious business for our students. As such, we needed to treat the process with the respect it deserves. The applicants were asked to go through a process that engaged them in reflecting on the business at hand, research the profitability of their business plan, be financially accountable, and in some cases, examine partnership viability. While 19 applications were picked up, only 10 were actually submitted. This is a testament to the work involved and the commitment of those students that chose to make a bid. In fact, two partnerships were unsuccessful in their first bid. One decided to complete the process to purchase an available venture (which, initially, did not receive any bids) and the second chose to move on. A case of clearly supporting MicroSociety’s mandate of giving students choice and managing the outcomes of their decisions.

As I visited the classrooms, talking to the students about the process, I was amazed by their insightful questions and felt privileged to be part of the discussions about the pros and cons of owning a venture. In one case, I was asked if partnerships were allowed. “Why, yes”, I said, as if it was the most natural thing, but in reality this was the first time I had considered partnerships. In my adult world, I only envisioned lone applicants. It took a student to think outside of “my box” and propose a new and viable idea; such is the beauty of MicroSociety and in our following the students’ lead. As a result, many of the ventures are now owned by partnerships.

I am hopeful that readers can now look at this process through the lens of the learners. When we look at the Cross-Curricular Competencies and 21st C Skills Wheel, it is clear this process has touched on many. While, it is only a handful of the students in the school that, by necessity, have this particular opportunity or have chosen to take advantage of this opportunity, it is the start of what we hope will become a lead-in to students proposing ventures, creating more student partnerships, and increasing their personal ownership of Micro Village. As this is only one area of leadership possibilities, it reminds us of the potential of Micro Village is limited only by the students’ imagination and will combined with our adult willingness to follow and support their lead.

On behalf of the PVS Micro Village community, I would like to send out a hearty congratulations to our inaugural venture owners and wish them the best of luck next year, as new venture owners!

Bugs & Berries Gift Shoppe……………………Emma (gr. 3)

Furever Pawrtners……………………………….Celeste & Hailey (gr. 3)

Italian Bistro……………………………………….Lailee (gr. 2/3)

Micro Media………………………………………..Parker & Easton (2S)

Picture It Salon……………………………………Brooklyn (gr. 2L) & Ellis                                                                             (gr. 2S)

ProLife Sports……………………………………..Dawson (gr. 2/3)

Sweet Treats Bakery……………………………..Ava, Alexandra & Lily                                                                                  (gr. 2/3)

Tech Check…………………………………………..Sam (gr. 3)

We hope you will continue to follow our story to see how the new year plays out. You can be guaranteed it will be exciting!


Thank You, Thank You, and Thank You!

Micro Village Government says Thank You to all supporters

Micro Village Government says, “Thank You,” to all  our community partners.

Well, the end of the school year is fast approaching and so too, it is the end of PVS Micro Village’s activities for the year. We want to take the time to recognize and thank all the individuals and groups that went out of their way to support our Micro Village. Without the support of community members, such as those recognized here, our citizens would not have achieved the level of authentic and engaged learning they did, this year. Of course, we are not stopping here. This year was only the beginning of what will become a way of life in Parkland Village School. We anticipate infusing the principles of MicroSociety Ⓡ, and the authentic learning experiences into all areas of the curriculum in the year or years to come. As the students begin to truly live their Micro Village and take more ownership of the daily functioning of the MicroSociety, they will become increasingly empowered to engage in learning that is driven by student interest/choice, requires critical thinking, and promotes entrepreneurship, problem-solving, independence, personal responsibility, and social skills. 

With that said, we offer our appreciation and thanks to the following community partners:

  • Judge Burch for officiating our Citizenship Ceremony
  • Cpl. Kimberley Mueller for acting as an escort to Judge Burch during our Citizenship Ceremony
  • FortisAlberta for their very generous grant
  • Aspen Foundation for Labour Education for their generous grant
  • Shelley Opryshko of LifeTouch Photography, for her knowledgeable and financial assistance with our venture/agency signage
  • Value Village, Mayfield Common, for hosting Helping Hands
  • The Parkland Food Bank for hosting Helping Hands
  • ATB Financial, Spruce Grove for hosting the employees of our Micro Village Bank
  • Mrs. Holly Armishaw, for her unfailing, ongoing expert support of The Italian Bistro
  • The Italian Centre, Edmonton for generous donation of cookies to the Italian Bistro for our Micro Village Community Fair
  • Infinite Woofs Animal Rescue for their support of Furever Pawrtners
  • Bone & Biscuit Pet Store, Century Crossing, for their generous donations to Furever Pawrtners
  • Petsmart, Spruce Grove, for their support of  Furever Pawrtners
  • Rob Svarin, TriLeisure Centre, for providing expert knowledge to both ProSports Life and Furever Pawrtners
  • Parkland Village School and community members for their kind donations of items for Helping Hands to sell in their Thrift Store
  • Home Depot, Spruce Grove, for their wonderful support of a Helping Hands initiative by donating a beautiful Buddy Bench and paint to decorate the bench
  • Constable Shelley Nasheim for providing guidance to the Parkland Patrol officers
  • Cindy VanBeers, Roxy Wolff and Laurisa Bartley, for their kind donations of materials to Picture It Nail & Tattoo Salon
  • Jennifer Reimer, Investors Group Financial Services, for providing “Financial Smarts Training” to members of the Micro Village Bank
  • Ms. Brandy Caron for sharing her knowledge and expertise with Micro Media
  • Naedene Jeanes for her work with Supply Management, Bugs & Berries Gift Shoppe, Helping Hands and TechCheck
  • All our Market Day visitors, of which there were many, who supported the work the citizens of Micro Village are doing

Once more, thank you to all our community partners for all they  have done, big or small, to support our Micro Village MicroSociety. Their support and generosity enriched the experiences our students throughout the year. We hope to connect with each and every partner again next year!




Zen Den Parent Program

Looking for some ideas and strategies to help your child self-regulate and manage their anxiety? We are excited to be offering Zen Den Parent Program in partnership with Dawn Marie Chalas R. Psych, Aspire Psychological Services Inc.

Zen Den is an psycho-educational program that helps children learn about self-regulation, management of anxiety, and mindfulness. The participants attend eight small group sessions to help them acquire skills that will help them their whole lives.

We are interested in offering the same information in a abbreviated format to parents who would like support their children in learning these skills and strategies.


  • Equip parents with knowledge about the purpose of anxiety, how it can become problematic, and how it is manifest in our minds and bodies.
  • Teach parents self-regulation and anxiety management skills that they can pass on to their children
  • Encourage parents to adopt the skills themselves so that they can model self-regulation to their children


  • This information will be presented in a four session series. Each session would be approximately 1 ½ hour in duration.


Each session would include a mindfulness component, a relaxation strategy, a ‘brain break’ exercise, and some theoretical information about managing anxiety. The information would parallel what children are learning in the school-based program; however your child does not have to be in, or have taken, the ZenDen program for you to participate.

Dates & Times

  • March 16 at 6:00-7:30
  • March 23 at 6:00-7:30
  • April 6 at 6:00-7:30
  • April 13 – 6:00-7:30

Location – Parkland Village School 

If you are interested in attending the Parent Zen Den program please complete this registration form.

The Best Fit for the Best People – Production Has Begun!

This week has been very exciting. After a decidedly unexpected 2 weeks of interviews, every Micro Village Citizen has a job with a venture or agency  and our production meetings have begun! Venture and Agency Management Teams, and their staff, are moving forward with the process of preparing for our  Market Day “soft” opening on March 8. As exciting as this is, we are moving forward with an eye towards excellence, so that may mean some ventures are ready to open and others may need a bit more time.  We are learning that flexibility and patience are key to ensuring we do the best we can, in the most timely fashion. Sometimes, “timely” means “more time”.

If one was to sum up the greatest challenge of our journey it would be that our learning is a process. Although we want to make everything perfect the first go around, it is not always so. Our goal is to engage in reflection, ask for and accept feedback from all stakeholders, then use this information to modify our current and future planning. We are driven to provide an educational experience that engages all our students in a meaningful way through choice and authentic real-life connections. This is evident as we walk around the school during these first production meetings. Despite a few hiccups, we can hear and see the excitement of all Micro Village citizens. Venture and Agency teams are engaged in their planning activities, stretching their thinking, and taking on responsibilities they wouldn’t have dreamed of before. We say bring on Market Day!

Just imagine, that in a few weeks our community will be shopping at the Bugs & Berries Gift Shoppe, Sweet Treats Bakery, The Italian Bistro, or browsing through the Helping Hands Thrift Store. Perhaps one might want to take advantage of the services offered by The Recreation Centre, Animal Rescue & Wellness Centre or at the TechCheck Design Studio. If you are looking for some entertainment, you might stop and visit the Performing/Fine Arts Studio and challenge your brain at the Wild Science Museum. Finally, one may tour the Government Offices, the Warehouse or exchange your Canadian money for Micro Village Micro Bucks at the Micro Village Bank. Don’t forget to watch out for our PeaceKeepers. You just might be issued a “doing good” ticket for following the laws and being kind OR you could find yourself  on the wrong end of a “not so good” ticket for being unsafe or unkind; the choice is yours!

Check out this video to get a taste of our Production Days…more to come in the future.


Micro Village Campaigning and Elections

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If you were to walk through the halls of Micro Village (the name that was created and voted on by citizens at our school) right now you would see colourful signs plastering the walls (like the ones above). We just finished campaign week and students who are vying for position of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have been shaking hands, putting up posters and talking with students on the playground. This year we will have a Prime Minister from grade 4 and a Deputy Prime Minister from grade 3. During our first round of Micro University, students learned how to campaign and how to make an informed vote with professor Dhaliwal.

On November 8th, 2015 we will have an assembly from 2-2:30 p.m. where Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister candidates will have an opportunity to give a short speech explaining why they will make a great leader. Parents are welcome to watch the candidates explain their platforms. On November 9th, 2015 students will vote and the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will be announced before fall break. In each classroom, students will also vote for a Member of Parliament who will represent their class in Micro Village’s government.

Being a member of government is just one of many leadership opportunities that will be open to students this year. Coming up next for Micro Village, we will be announcing the ventures (businesses) we will have this year. We will be hiring managers and assistant managers for each venture. Ventures will be announced the week following fall break!

Thank you to all the citizens who participated in the elections! You can be very proud of yourselves for trying something new and taking a risk. In the words of basketball legend Michael Jordan “I can accept failure. Everybody fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. Fear is an illusion.”

November 2015 Newsletter

Here is our November 2015 Newsletter. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the office or comment below.

Building Resilience In Our Kids

As a dad, anytime my children are faced with a difficult circumstance, challenging situation, hear a “no” when they were hoping for a “yes”, feeling a sense of disappointment, loss or failure, my first reaction is a strong desire to “fix it”. I think most parents can relate. It breaks our hearts to see our children struggle with the various challenges that life throws their way so the immediate and natural response is that we want to protect our kids and just make everything better. If we do that though, we are missing amazing teaching moments with our kids. Each of these challenging moments are opportunities to build resiliency in our children. They are opportunities to teach our kids to persevere and not give up. They are opportunities to teach problem solving, communication, and foster a growth mindset. They are are opportunities for our students to learn how to process emotion and build the skills they need to succeed for their future.

So how do we seize these moments? Probably the most important thing is to make the time to make the connection. It is important that our kids know we are there for them and that their performance, behaviour, and choices are not tied to our love… it is unconditional. But, what do we say in those moments? Here are some potential conversation starters to have with your children the next time they are facing something difficult.

  1. How are you feeling? It is important to acknowledge and validate our children’s feelings. Although, sometimes it can seem trivial to an adult it can mean the whole world to the child. If we dismiss it as trivial our children will learn that their feelings cannot be trusted with us.
  2. Never say can’t – The words we say gives insight into our thinking and can be a predictor of our future actions. The word “can’t” can stop our children from trying. Check out this inspirational video about Jennifer Bricker – Never Say Can’t.
  3. If your friend was going through this, what advice would you give?  We can’t always choose the circumstances that life throws our way, but we can always choose our response. Help your child focus on the things they can control and have influence over, not the things out of their control.
  4. What can you learn from this? What did you do well? What can you improve? Did you try your best? Talking through and reflecting upon the lessons that can be learned from the experience will not only help with their disappointment, it encourages them to try again. Help them identify what they would do differently next time. It builds confidence that prepares them for the future.
  5. What’s next? What now? Help your child look for other opportunities and to find the positives in the experience. We need to teach our children to be solution oriented not problem fixated.
  6. What can you be thankful for? Whatever we focus on gets magnified in our lives. Magnify the good not the bad. Perspective matters. A healthy life perspective remembers all of the positives around us in the midst of a challenging circumstance.
  7. What are your strengths? Reminding our children of their successes and strengths will continue to build their confidence and self-worth. It is important for them to understand that one experience does not define their identity. For example, just because I failed does not mean I am a failure. Just because I made a bad choice does not make me a bad person.
  8. You are good at hard things. Every child has trouble when they face a challenge or find something difficult. Our children need to learn to embrace hard work and challenging activities. “Hard” isn’t something to be afraid of or shy away from. As your child to talk about hard things that they have overcome in the past.
  9. You are a problem solver. Giving our children the opportunity and support to solve their own problems, not only teaches them this essential skill for their future, it also builds their self confidence. Model the patience and perseverance required to finish difficult tasks and support them by brainstorming potential solutions. The challenge is to give the support they need while still empowering them to be problem solvers.
  10. Share your story. If you can’t think of a personal story to share that relates to what your child is facing, share someone else’s story. It is important for our children to realize they are not alone. They are not the first to deal with this and won’t be the last. Inspiration and comfort can be found in hearing other’s stories.

What are other conversation starters and ideas can you share that help build resilience in children? We would love to hear your ideas and experiences by commenting below on this post.