Date of Submission

8-27-2018

Embargo

7-1-2018

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Education

Keywords

Rural education, Old Colony Mennonites, Educational Partnerships

Abstract

The purpose of this Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) is to increase the number of Mennonite students who register in a school division located in western Canada by creating a social justice perspective for Mennonite students amongst divisional staff.

By accepting the challenge of this OIP the school division will seek to better understand the cultural and religious needs of the various Mennonite groups living within the division’s catchment area. Hopefully, schools can make changes to policies, practices, and structures resulting in increasing numbers of Mennonite families feeling comfortable registering their children in the division’s schools. School board trustees and school and divisional administrators will need to understand the history of why Old Colony Mennonites (OCMs) have been avoiding public education for generations. By understanding history school board trustees and school and divisional administrators will be able to communicate to school staffs, students, parents, and community members the need to make accommodations for OCM families so they feel comfortable registering their children with the school division. It is imperative that the division come to an understanding that a social justice perspective will be required to bring as many Mennonites as possible to the school division. In order for Mennonite families to see our school division as their first choice for education of their children it is necessary to make accommodations at schools and defend those accommodations in the face of public scrutiny.

If the school division wishes to remain true to its vision of being first choice for students, school board trustees, school and division administrators, school staff, current students, parents and community members need to be open to schools becoming more accommodating for Mennonite families.

Keywords: Mennonites, OCMs, history, culture, religion, accommodations

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