With new students, new teachers, new play structures, and new outdoor courts, it's safe to say the Portage la Prairie School Division (PLPSD) looks different than it did last semester.

Superintendent Todd Cuddington caught up with PortageOnline following the first few weeks of students being back in the classroom, and he says they're very excited about the changes in the division. Portage Collegiate Institute, Yellowquill School, and École Arthur Meighen have all received new court surfaces, with students playing tennis and basketball.

One of the changes that Cuddington is interested in seeing implemented is the Mamàhtawisiwin document.

"The document came down from the province and it's about engaging students about Indigenous teachings and ways of learning," explains Cuddington. "We had a treaty relations professional development event with almost 800 staff from Portage la Prairie and the Pine Creek School Division that attended. Lots of work around truth and reconciliation, which is a priority for our division."

Cuddington adds, as a father of two, he takes pride in making every school in the division a safe place to learn, especially as many students are attending new schools this year.

"Our schools are incredibly diverse places now, and, I think, if parents are concerned, the best person to talk to is the principal or the teacher that's with their child every day," notes Cuddington. "There's no brainwashing happening in the PLPSD. We just want our schools to be safe and inclusive."

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