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Pursuit Program

Elementary Program

Are you looking for a different approach to learning for your child? One which provides your child with more opportunities for hands-on learning, exploration, and creativity? Check out our newest offering at Kinosayo (Keenooshayo) Elementary School. We are building on the success of this popular program at William D. Cuts Junior High School by offering it to our younger students, allowing them to learn in this environment all the way from Kindergarten through junior high.

What’s so different about this approach? We deliver the same curriculum as the rest of our schools – the difference lies in how we deliver it, in a child-led learning environment. This is built around the following key features:

  • Play-based programming for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students
  • Guided inquiry for students in subsequent grades
  • Project-based and hands-on learning – students explore and problem solve as they develop critical-thinking skills
  • Multi-grade classrooms
  • Cross-grade mentorship and collaboration
  • High parental involvement
  • Nature and outdoor learning opportunities
  • Students can enter the program at any of the grade levels offered
  • All students are welcome – there are no entrance requirements

Junior High Program

The Pursuit Program is designed to provide Grade 7-9 students with developmentally-specific skills that will help them navigate a changing world and develop the confidence to tackle problems using 21st-century skills. The world is looking for independent thinkers, self-starters and global citizens and the W.D. Cuts Pursuit Program provides preparation for such a world while allowing 12-14 year olds to explore the skills of their ages together.

We are excited to offer students the opportunity to experience a way of learning that teaches them to take personal growth risks, responsibility and rigor in their education. While learning to solve problems by communicating, collaborating, creating and thinking critically, students will cover all essential outcomes for the Social Studies, Math, Science, Physical Education and ELA curriculum. 

And, what makes the Pursuit Program a “pursuit” is that students also have the stimulating opportunity to explore and engage with their own personal passions. Our students have explored unique individual projects including:

  • environmental protection (solar panels for our school - in progress);
  • pilot training; and
  • the science of singing, psychology, wood working, skateboard design and building, animation, language learning, music, coding, art, permaculture gardening, robotics, physical fitness and podcasting just to name a few!

Our students are eager and motivated learners, interested in exploring their world, curious to find out how things work, and excited to take up challenges! The learning in our class is based on students Knowing, Doing, and Being! It is the pursuit of practical and academic knowledge and skills that will help students tackle any current or future challenge.


What does a typical day look like?
We have two types of days in general: Challenge Days and Personal Pursuit Days.

Challenge Days propose real-life problems to students to engage with and learn about the four curricular areas (Social Studies, ELA, Math, and Science), sometimes through gamification.

Personal Pursuit Days are for exploration of students’ interests, wonders, curiosities and passions. They have time during these days to find information, build, try out experiments, create, read, gather information, calculate, write, collaborate and anything else they can to learn about their area of pursuit.

Can students still take all the options they want?
Yes! Because WD Cuts has nearly all the options in the afternoon, Pursuit students take options just like all other regular program students in the school, even Hockey and Rec Academy. All morning, students are in the Pursuit Program for their core courses (Social Studies, Science, ELA, Math & Physical Education). In the afternoon, they disperse to take the options of their choice with all of the other students in the school.

Do they cover all the required points of the Alberta curriculum?
All essential outcomes from the four curricular core areas and Physical Education are covered with special emphasis on subject areas' skills development.

Do they have the freedom to explore other areas of interest?
YES! This is the whole purpose of the program! We believe that students need time to try out what is on their minds and in their hearts, and through this process they learn their strengths and challenges, how to tackle problem solving, how to use their curiosity and independent thinking, how to work with others, and how to communicate their successes and failures (temporary ones - they dust themselves off and get back to it!).

What does instruction look like?
Depending on the time of year, the extent of instruction changes. At the beginning of the year, there is direct instruction about how to use 21st-century skills to solve problems and how to use the design cycle to construct their own projects. These two things are essential to the program since our goal is not to have students learn to regurgitate given information, but rather learn how to assess, face and break apart ANY problem from any subject area that they encounter and come up with testable solutions. 

In addition, there is direct instruction built into each challenge with necessary information for use in that challenge. However, the intent with the challenges is not to give information to be memorized for its own sake, but rather that knowledge will be used in doing and experiencing the concepts of the subject area. We know that students learn far better and more deeply, and remember better, by doing and engaging with subjects, topics and concepts.

Offered at

Kinosayo (Keenooshayo)
Kindergarten-Grade 6
40 Woodlands Road
St. Albert, AB T8N 3X3
[email protected]

William D. Cuts
149 Larose Drive
St. Albert, AB T8N 2X7
[email protected]
St. Albert Public Schools