Micro Village – Year 2 in Review

This year was a success in many ways. As always, we continue to reflect on how ways we can modify Micro Village to improve next year! Part of this reflection is through the Venture Annual Reports. While creating these reports, facilitators assist owners/mangers and employees in  reviewing the year through the creation of an annual profit/loss statement, and examing their success at reaching the venture goals, which were set earlier in the year. With this feedback, all members of the venture begin to look forward to being more successful next year. It is important to realize that success is not only reflected in the bottom line, but is also reflected in how they have grown as individuals and through their contributions to the community. Many ventures contributed to our community beyond the business of their business.

  • Pet Heaven was able to expose many members of the public to animals that were looking for a forever home via SCARS Animal Rescue, Edmonton
  • Helping Hands did mutiple community service activities to enhance the playground and pick up the spirits of others
  • Micro Bank sold Teddy Bears for the Stollery and raised 500MB which converted to $137.50 CA!

In addition to reflecting on their business, as a whole, every employee was given an annual performance evaluation. In these evaluations, managers, assisted by the facilitator, noted the strengths of each employee. In an effort to move learning forward, managers also noted areas for growth and discussed ways that improvement could occur. Finally, employees had the  opportunity to give feedback both on their performance and the job itself.

To celebrate the successful year, Micro Village held its 2nd Annual Micro Village Community Fair. This is our way of closing up business and saying good bye. Each venture designed an activity for the members of the Micro Village to enjoy during our last market day. This day is closed to visitors as it is a time for the students to enjoy themselves visiting ventures and participating in the games/activities. It seemed that all students had a great time as they wandered from venture to venture and enjoyed the free activities.

This time of year is also a time to give thanks to those that have supported Micro Village through the year. We wish to publicly acknowledge and thank the following:

  • The Spruce Grove Examiner & Marcia Love for their wonderful coverage of Micro Village specifically, and Parkland Village School, in general
  • The Spruce Grove & District Chamber of Commerce – Dianne Pilla, Membership & Events Coordinator, Brenda Johnson, President & CEO
  • Officer Hoffman, Parkland County Peace Officer, as a mentor for the Parkland Patrol
  • Mrs. Armishaw, Mrs. Bagnel, & Mrs. Kitura for their support of the Italian Bistro
  • Mr. deBoer for assisting with birdhouse building in Pet Heaven
  • SCARS Rescue, from Edmonton, for bringing out adoptable pets in support of Pet Heaven
  • Nina McLaughlin for sharing her animal rescue expertise for a second year in a row
  • Parkland Village School Council for their unwavering support of Micro Village
  • The Parkland Village School Community

Well the year has wound up with a little sadness, but all are looking forward to next year with anticipation. It will be just a little bit different and a little bit better, as we continue to grow. If you are interested in supporting Micro Village, or know of anyone who may be, please don’t hesitate to contact the school at 780 962-8121. Have a restful summer.



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.

The Survey Says…

The results are in! They are very encouraging and supportive of PVS Micro Village’s MicroSocietyⓇ. Each Market Day, we were so lucky and pleased to have a number of visitors come to tour and shop. Over the course of our inaugural Market Day Season, we had 72 “adults” and a very special group of 36 grades 2 & 4 students from Blueberry School tour as our guests. Adult visitors included parents, grandparents, aunties, and uncles of PVS students; trustees, superintendents, and visiting PSD70 administrators; venture/agency mentors and community members. All these wonderful visitors provided an amazing opportunity for our government members, as hosts at the Visitors’ Centre, to hone their public speaking skills, social convention & pragmatic skills, and to see the enthusiasm from the community around our Micro Village. Additionally, touring guests gave all Micro Village citizens the chance to interact with customers outside of our school community. Thus, providing unique interactions. Some visitors came in more than once and were able to provide feedback that indicated we were showing growth in the manner we conducted ourselves, in the products we sold, and in the general organization of the Market Day. This positive feedback may mean the most to both students and staff. However, all that being said, maybe it is the way Micro Village enhances our link to the community that will have the greatest impact in the upcoming years. We are truly blessed to have this opportunity to create partnerships that encourage, through almost daily, interactions with those in the community outside of our school itself. Clicking on this link will give you the specifics of our survey results. A summary is as follows:

Adult Visitors’ Rating………………………………………average of 4.8/5

Blueberry Students’ Rating…………………………an average of  4.6/5

Thank you, once more, for your support and involvement. We hope you can visit again next year to witness the growth we will undoubtedly experience.

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!




Last Micro Village Market Day of the Year

On the last Micro Village Market Day of the year, we were excited to have some special visitors from Blueberry School. Two classes from Blueberry attended the Market Day both as shoppers as well as to gain work experience in our different ventures. It was a great way to finish the first year of our MicroSociety® journey.

Check out this short video about the day.

Read more about the day on the 184 Days of Learning Blog.

Value Village Gives Helping Hands A Hand

On, Tuesday, May 24, 2016 PVS Micro Village’s Helping Hands NGO traveled to Edmonton to visit Value Village.This visit came about because the Helping Hands staff wanted to get a first hand look at how a thrift store operates. The following is an account of the visit by Carter Davidson, Manager and Mason Murray, Assistant Manager:

Bernadette, the Value Village Store Manager, meet us at the front of the store. She asked us to put the items we brought for donation into a donation box, then we rolled it into the loading bay. We learned in the loading bay that everything needs to be accepted by the gentleman that works in that area. He put it into bags and then into containers. The loading bay was stacked with clothing, toys, books, and stuffies. From the loading bay the donations went to a sorting room. Altogether, there are 70 staff members working in the store. Many work in the sorting room where they check donations to see if the condition is good enough to keep and sell. If the condition isn’t good, they recycle it. Clothing  goes to Africa or is used for bags of rags. Electronic cords, all metal, and paper are recycled. Donations that are are good enough to sell are priced and then put into the store so people can buy them.

We learned some business strategies such as how it all works, how they price, how they know which items haven’t sold and that while the business is for profit, it also helps people with disabilities because they buy their products from Inclusion Alberta. Inclusion Alberta gets donations from the public and sells it to Value Village. So, every time a person gives donations to organizations such as the Canadian Diabetes Association, people with disabilities are given the opportunity to have a job and make money. We learned  new ways to price and display donations in Helping Hands so that we can sell more, make more money and help more people. 

Helping Hands wishes to thank Bernadette and all the staff at Value Village for welcoming us into the store and for sharing ideas on how we can improve our  Micro Village Helping Hands store. They would also like to thank the Aspen Foundation for Labour Education for their grant, which provided for transportation. 

Micro Village Bank is Shown “The Money”

On Monday, May 16th the Micro Village Bank made a visit to Spruce Grove’s local ATB Financial Branch.  The field trip was organized by Louise Dworak Facilitator for the Micro Village Bank and Mrs. Milne, an EA at PVS.  The bank manager, Jayson Reddekopp and 10 bank employees made the trek to the ATB offices. They visited in the early morning, prior to ATB opening its doors to the public.  The following is Jayson’s account of their visit, as told to Mrs. Jeanes.

We arrived at ATB Financial and were met by the Manager, Rosetta.  She took us to the money vault. It was 10 small vaults in one big vault. After looking at the vault we went upstairs to the staff room and met some tellers. Jarrett, a teller told us about how important it is to get good grades so we can go to college if we want to get a job in a bank. We also met the loans officer, Debbie and more tellers on the main floor. The tellers upstairs answered phone calls and the tellers on the main floor served customers. They had all the money. Rosetta also gave everyone a little gift of a water bottle, sunglasses and a cowbell. I don’t know why we got the cowbell, but it does say ATB Financial on it and is fun to play with.

We asked Rosetta questions like:

  • How do you remember all the vault codes?
  • Where does all the money come from?
  • How much does it cost to keep the business running?

We learned the money is shipped to ATB from the Canadian Mint and that it costs over $2,000,000 to run the bank each year. The most interesting part of the visit was getting to see the vault with all the little vaults inside it.

It was a fun time visiting ATB Financial. I think I would like to work in a bank one day.