Alberta Rural Education Symposium

Flourishing Rural School Communities:
Learning and leading through appreciative inquiry.

Fantasyland Hotel, Edmonton AB
March 6-8, 2022

2022 Hotel Information

Hotel reservations can be made by calling The Fantasyland Hotel reservations department at (780) 444-3000 or toll-free at 1-800-737-3783. The cutoff date for booking your hotel room is February 4, 2022.


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About ARES

The Alberta Rural Education Symposium was initiated by the Minister of Education in 2012. Alberta Education organized and planned the entire one-day symposium. Since 2013, the Alberta Rural Education Symposium Planning Committee has been an example of effective collaboration between education stakeholder groups. The committee is made up of representatives from the Alberta Teachers’ Association, the Alberta School Boards Association, the Alberta School Councils Association, the Alberta School Business Officials Association, the College of Alberta School Superintendents and Alberta Education.


The Minister of Education has always had a presence at the Alberta Rural Education Symposium. Many rural MLAs have joined the Education Minister in previous years. The audience for the symposium includes parents, teachers, school administrators, trustees, municipal leaders, health care professionals, county counsellors, business leaders and individuals from a rural context who take an interest in rural education and sustainability of rural communities. Portions of the symposium are webcast so participants who cannot attend in-person can still participate in the symposium. The symposium has attracted a provincial, national and international audience. Alberta Education has taken the opportunity to highlight ministry initiatives. The symposium is an excellent venue for the elected representatives and government officials to connect with rural leaders from across the province.


Countdown to ARES 2023



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The Symposium

Flourishing Rural School Communities: 

Learning and leading through appreciative inquiry.

"Flourishing Rural School Communities" is the theme for ARES 2022. Participants will learn about the power of storytelling and appreciative inquiry to create flourishing school communities.This year's symposium is adopting a workshop approach to engage participants fully in their learning.


The Symposium launches on Sunday evening with Dr. Scott Morrison, Superintendent of Christ The Redeemer Catholic Schools. He believes that stories are a profound way to share your beliefs. Scott's goal is to assist educators, trustees, and MLA's to both identify and tell the stories about what makes education in rural Alberta worth our time, attention, and resources.


"You love your family because you grew up with them and know their story. If we want Albertans to love and support education in rural Alberta, they need to hear our stories."  


We will also continue with our tradition of having our Minister of Education, Adriana LaGrange, along with other Ministers, yet to be named, share with us their stories of rural Alberta. Afterwards, participants will have an opportunity to engage in one-on-one conversations with the MLAs. 


Starting Monday morning, Dr. Sabre Cherkowski, Okanagan School of Education, will engage us over the next day and a half on the practical findings from her recently completed research on teacher and administrator wellbeing. She will provide experiential opportunities to engage with practices and strategies for noticing, nurturing and sustaining flourishing in schools.    


  • What does it mean to pay attention to wellbeing at work during these unprecedented times? 

  • How can we craft our work in ways that empower us to notice and nurture wellbeing for ourselves and with others in our school systems? 


This workshop will provide an opportunity for you to learn about and practice an appreciative inquiry process designed to focus on what works well and what contributes to feeling a sense of flourishing at work. Throughout the course of this workshop, you will have opportunities to learn about the research findings from a positive organizational approach, and think about what these mean in their own contexts. You will try out the practices and strategies that emerged from the research, and engage in a flourishing inquiry process designed to guide participants to notice and nurture wellbeing at work. By the end of the workshop, participants will establish some plans toward learning to flourish in their own context. 


In an effort to showcase all that is good in our Alberta schools, this workshop will also feature initiatives from 2-3 school divisions that speak to their creativity and resourcefulness. Delegates will celebrate these local projects that have pushed the boundaries of value-added programming for students and their communities. 


We have an exciting and thought-provoking program prepared, making this an Alberta Rural Education Symposium you and your team will not want to miss!