Fairview Seniors Community and Saint Louis Launch ‘Living Classroom’

Fairview Seniors Community is pleased to officially welcome Saint Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education and the Class of 2021 PSW students to its Cambridge campus on Tuesday, October 8.

A ceremonial (mask-) cutting was held by a small group of key contributors to this initiative on Thursday October 8 at 10:00 a.m., social distanced, outside the new classroom in the Main building of Fairview Seniors Community. Fairview and St. Louis have partnered to offer the innovative ‘Living Classroom’ experience for up to 22 PSW students who will receive their training in the newly constructed 1,000 square foot classroom at Fairview.

The curriculum is the same as other PSW learning environments recognized by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.  The Living Classroom concept, developed by Conestoga College and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging and tested by Colleges across the province, is being adopted in collaboration with Fairview’s long-term care home and St. Louis’ 20-year PSW program.  Together, they are taking care training to the next level to create a shared learning environment. Students have the benefit of practical, hands-on experience incorporated into their learning and apply their knowledge throughout their training, while current staff and residents benefit from refreshers on best practices. This living classroom approach helps students build on their confidence and experience, as well as learn about the opportunities for growth and development in long-term care.

Tammy Cantin, St. Louis PSW Program Manager reflects on this partnership evolution by stating that “Fairview Seniors Community has been a solid partner with St. Louis for well over a decade, working with students during the placement portion of the program and hiring our graduates.  We are thrilled and honoured that Fairview would choose to invest in our school board-run adult training program.  I believe our shared vision will help further advance personal support worker care and care training in our community.”

As part of their training, students will continue to have practical placements in Fairview’s Long-Term Care Home (LTC) and Fairview’s Home and Community program. Upon successful completion of their certification exam in early July 2021, graduates may have the possibility of employment at Fairview in its LTC Home, Home and Community program or Fairview Suites.

“Fairview Seniors Community is privileged to enter into this training initiative with St. Louis, given the overwhelming need for PSWs in our Community, Long Term Care, Retirement and Home and Community,” says Elaine Shantz, Fairview Parkwood Communities CEO. “This enriched learning model feels like exactly the right fit for our campus of care. We are truly pleased to see this partnership unfold.”

Staff and students will follow Fairview’s and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s health and safety protocols, including health test screening upon entry and exit, physical distanced learning environment and personal protective equipment. Safety in our community and our residents in care will always remain top priority.

Read about it in the Exchange Magazine.

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