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Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
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PWSD Good News Report – June 2018

The following Good News Report from Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) and its schools will be shared at the upcoming Board Meeting on Thursday, June 21, 2018.






News from PWSD:

Peace Wapiti Academy student nabs gold at National Skills Canada Competition

Congratulations to Jason Cote (center), a Grade 12 student at Peace Wapiti Academy, on earning gold in the Outdoor Power and Recreation Equipment category at the 2018 National Skills Canada competition in Edmonton on June 4-5, 2018. He is the best in the country! Way to go, Jason!


PWSD schools celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

A number of schools have made plans to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day 2018 on Thursday, June 21 or on an alternate day to accommodate exam schedules. See the full schedule at http://bit.ly/PWSD-NIPD2018.


Alternate Education Program graduate among the Class of 2018

Congratulations to Valerie Klassen on completing high school through PWSD's Alternate Education Program. Miss Klassen completed all credits for Grades 11 and 12 through the program's flexible distance learning courses. She plans to pursue post-secondary studies in a two-year cosmetology and esthetics program. She received her high school diploma during a presentation at PWSD Central Office on June 13, 2018. In presenting the diploma, Alternate Education Coordinator Connie Mitchell congratulated Miss Klassen for her determination to complete high school on her own through distance learning. Students who are interested in learning more about the Alternate Education Program should visit http://www.pwsd76.ab.ca/services/curriculum/alted.


PWSD Superintendent, Communications Officer receive PSBAA Special Contribution to Education Awards

On June 2, 2018, the Public School Boards' Association of Alberta (PSBAA) presented an award to Superintendent Sheldon Rowe for making a Special Contribution to Public Education, a category the PSBAA holds for leaders who build competency within and for staff and teachers (left). At the same event, Communications Officer Angela Sears received the Special Contribution to Public Education (Media) Award (right).


News from PWSD Schools:

Bezanson School

Upcoming events:

  • June 21: Kindergarten graduation at the school, followed by a picnic for kindergartens and their families at Kleskun Hills.
  • June 26: Kindergarten orientation – a time for the upcoming class to meet the teacher and become familiar with their classroom.
  • June 26-28: Grade 5-6 trip to Edmonton.


Bonanza School

Birchcliff Energy donates SMART Board® to Bonanza School Kindergarten class

The Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten room at Bonanza School now includes a mobile SMART Board® unit, thanks to a donation by Birchcliff Energy. Representatives from the company stopped by for a picture with the Kindergarten students and the SMART Board®.  Pictured with the students are Mike Cordingley, Production Superintendent (left), Brenda Kutschinski, Kindergarten instructor (center), and Grant Friesen, Production Foreman (right). Mrs. Kutschinski says she is excited to have this piece of equipment for her classroom. Many thanks to Birchcliff Energy for their generosity and for providing technology to the small school.


Eaglesham School


Pictured left: Noon hour biking continues on the new trails located north of the school.

Right: For the past couple of weeks, Grades 3-4 students have enjoyed a Reader's Workshop. Students celebrate completing a novel with a project of their choice. The two students who read "How to Eat Fried Worms" made a gummy worm cake to share with their classmates.

Upcoming events:

  • June 21: Adventure Race Day, a joint venture of Eaglesham School and the Ag Society. Students will make up three teams to compete in an obstacle course at the fairgrounds. Community members are welcome to attend and enjoy a free lunch and cake in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the local Elks Lodge. The day will wrap up with a staff against students softball game.
  • June 22: Plan to attend the Elementary Awards and Music Festival event starting at 1:00 p.m.
  • Grades 1-6 students will complete their Swim to Survive Program during a final lesson in Falher.

Recent events:

  • Eaglesham School celebrated eight students during the graduation on June 9. Jaylin Ouellet was valedictorian.
  • Grade 9 students successfully completed a two-day First Aid course at the school.
  • Congratulations to four staff who were honoured with Long Service Awards – Esther Fehr, 20 years; Patsy Blois, 20 years; Sarah Koning, 10 years; and Rae Ann Bolster, 10 years.

Elmworth School

Recent events:

  • The Grade 9 Farewell ceremony and supper took place on June 7 in the school gym, followed by junior high awards. Congrats to the Grade 9 students and best wishes as you advance to high school (pictured left).
  • Students participated in the Grade 4-6 Track Meet at St. Mary's in Beaverlodge (pictured right).
  • June 22: Grade 1-6 Fun Day.
  • June 22-27: Grades 6 and 9 PAT exams and junior high final exams.


Harry Balfour School / Whispering Ridge Community School

Grade 8 students introduced to 'Gamification'

Jonathan Groff's Grade 8 Language Arts and Social Studies classes were introduced to gamification. Mr. Groff says he first learned about gamification during the 2018 Mighty Peace Teachers' Convention in a session led by Scott Hebert.

"I brought a first attempt to my classroom the Monday following convention", says Mr. Groff. "Gamification is more than playing games or holding a competition. It's a way to engage students in an immersive story where they become characters on a mission lasting through an entire unit, term, or year. Gamification offers risks and rewards; it builds collaboration, critical thinking, creative thinking; it makes learning curriculum engaging and fun. Both of my Grade 8 LA/SS classes have become explorers on ships, and with their shipmates, the small groups of four students learn together, compete against other ships, earn game cards, fight monsters, and make the world a safer place to live."

Throughout the process, students learn new concepts, complete formative and summarize assignments or quests, review work in ship-to-ship battles, and write tests known as monster battles. Gamification covers curriculum and students show learning while earning game rewards and having fun.

"Engagement is up, collaboration and thinking skills are a focus, more work is being turned in on time, and students have actually shared with me that they are doing better quality work because it earns them more game rewards," adds Mr. Groff. "Gamification is a meaningful way of improving the educational experience for our students while maintaining high standards of learning."


Grade 6 HBS/WRCS Camp Warwa trip

Grade 6 classes had a great time during the annual year-end camping trip on June 6-8. Students enjoyed zip lining, canoeing, and the climbing wall. Camp Warwa is located along the shore of Lac Ste. Anne near the town of Alberta Beach.


Peace Wapiti Academy


Titan Yoga Retreat

Fourteen students and PWA staff members enjoyed a day of yoga, hiking and crafting during the Titan Yoga Retreat on June 11 at Nitehawk. The full-day retreat focused on environmental stewardship, with students earning a credit in the Introduction to Stewardship (ENS1010) course. PWA student Kylie Minelli organized the retreat. Pictured: PWA Technologist Daniel Hallock practices yoga with student Jordan Ollenberg. Students also decorated plant pots during the yoga retreat. 


First Responders take a closer look at an ambulance

At the final First Responders' meeting of the year, PWA's Alberta Health Services Liaison brought an ambulance for the First Responders to check out.

Ridgevalley School

RVS Industrial Arts Playhouse Auction Fundraiser

RVS Industrial Arts students are once again auctioning off a playhouse. The minimum bid to cover the cost of materials is $800, with additional funds generated by the auction directed to the purchase of new tools and equipment for the RVS Industrial Arts Program. Relocation of the structure is the responsibility of the winning bidder. Deadline for bids via email is Friday, June 22, to pennyrose@pwsd76.ab.ca (Subject line: Playhouse).

Recent and upcoming events

  • Foods and leadership classes will deliver food and clothing donations to the soup kitchen in Grande Prairie on Wednesday, June 20, where they will also spend the day volunteering.
  • Young adult and children's author and playwright Marty Chan of Edmonton presented two sessions filled with stories and magic tricks to Grades 3-4 and 5-6 students on May 15.
  • The leadership class is busy building new outdoor bleachers for the sports field area.
  • RVS hosted a Track and Field Day for Ridgevalley and Bezanson elementary students on June 1, run by staff and leadership students. Students and staff enjoyed a lunch courtesy of the annual community barbecue.



R.W. Zahara Public School

Grade 3 student named PWSD winner of 2day FM & Telus 'Bring Back the Mural Contest'

Tessa Brown (left), a student in Ms. Wilson's Grade 3 class, was PWSD's winner of the 2day FM & Telus 'Bring Back the Mural Contest'. The mini-contest for students sought design submissions that showcased the community as diverse, inclusive and welcoming. A winner was declared in each of the three local school divisions. The prize was a pizza party, enjoyed by the whole class on June 14.


Rycroft School

Grades 7-8 challenged by Amazing Race Rycroft

On June 8, students faced road blocks, detours, challenges, obstacles and a scavenger hunt during an amazing adventure. Next year's junior high class is already looking forward to carrying on the tradition. Special thanks to ATB Rycroft, Rycroft Co-op, Village of Rycroft, Rycroft Ranch Supplies, Shell Rycroft and Mrs. Scheers for their support, as well as organizers Miss Chafe, Mrs. Parks and Mrs. Campbell.


Farewell, good luck!

Rycroft School celebrated their out-going students at the Grade 8 Farewell on June 14. The event included supper and fun activities for students and parents. The school says they will miss this great group of students and wish them the very best as they move on to Grade 9 next year.

Other recent events:

  • Grades 1-6 students participated in the Elementary Track Meet at Spirit River Regional Academy on June 13. The group made new friends, tested their limits and got plenty of fresh air.
  • Grades 1, 3, and 4 visited the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum on June 14 (pictured) and enjoyed exploring the Fossils and Gallery sections. This hands-on educational field trip never fails to thrill both students and supervisors.
  • Four junior high students participated in Rycroft's Community Kitchen on June 14.  Students learned cooking skills and shared stories while building positive school-community relations. This fabulous opportunity is held at the Rycroft Community Hall on a regular basis and includes students, community members and FCSS leaders. 

Upcoming events:

  • Thursday, June 21: Kindergarten graduation
  • Wednesday, June 27: Staff and student all-school swim – a great ending to another great year.

Sexsmith Secondary School

SSS Girls Ruby team takes Peace Country League title

For the third year in a row, the Sexsmith Secondary School Girls Rugby team won gold at the Peace Country Girls 15s High School Rugby League championship. The event was held on May 30 in Grande Prairie. The team also secured a respectable fourth place finish at the ASAA Tier III Rugby High School Provincials on June 8-9, marking the highest finish for a Peace Region school since rugby was established as an ASAA high school sport.

SSS students and staff enjoy stew and bannock lunch by FNMI team

The First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) team prepared a stew and bannock lunch for SSS students and staff on June 6. The group took a fun photo with FNMI Education Coordinator Darrell Willier, who has accepted a position at another school division, effective the start of the upcoming school year. The group also prepared a stew and bannock lunch for the Board and Central Office staff on May 31. Pictured left to right are Corinne Dennis, Beth Peterson, Barb Belcourt, Angela Dougall, Marlene Letendre and Heather Campbell, with Darrell Willier (front). Missing from photo: Shirley Horseman and Shirley Boomer who also cooked and served, but had to leave early to meet other commitments.


Teepee Creek School

Seven TCS students complete Empower Reading program

This year, seven students from Teepee Creek School participated in the Empower Reading Program, supported by PWSD through the Classroom Improvement Fund (CIF). Principal Casey Brown says, "Despite some missed time due to poor winter weather, with cooperation from the classroom teachers and a tremendous amount of effort, we finished our 110 lessons five days ahead of schedule. The seven students have worked so hard and I couldn't be prouder of them."


Recent Media Releases:

Other News:

  • PWSD and its schools were featured in a total of 53 media stories during the month of May 2018.
  • To keep up-to-date with the latest news from PWSD, and local media coverage, check out PWSD's online Media Room at http://www.pwsd76.ab.ca/mediaroom.
  • Sign up to receive Board News, Division Update and other PWSD publications at www.pwsd76.ab.ca.

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Sears, Angela6/18/2018 3:15 PM18 Jun, 2018
PWSD schools celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

Grande Prairie, AB – A number of Peace Wapiti Public Schools have made plans to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day 2018 on Thursday, June 21 or on an alternate day to accommodate exam schedules.

On Thursday afternoon, June 21, Grades 4-6 students at Penson School in Grovedale will participate in a Blanket Exercise. Grades 1-5 students will circulate through stations to experience traditional storytelling, beading, face painting, craft making and bannock. 

Teepee Creek School students will play traditional Indigenous games of the Dene Tha First Nation, and try the game of lacrosse during the afternoon of June 21. Grades 7-8 teacher Darren Clarkson plans to lead a Wampum belt-making session.

This past year, students at Beaverlodge Elementary School have been learning about Aboriginal culture through the school's Indigenous Studies Program. To celebrate the success of the program, the school will host a day of Indigenous games on June 21, along with a traditional lunch.

On June 21, Ridgevalley School will host a stew and bannock lunch for staff and students. Classes at Rycroft School will enjoy Aboriginal stories and activities. A photo display throughout Peace Wapiti Academy will provide an opportunity for students and staff to celebrate a year of activities and guests who have shared Indigenous teachings with the learning community.

Traditional food, crafts and games will be the focus of events at Harry Balfour School/Whispering Ridge Community School on Thursday, June 21. Grades 1-2 students will learn about Cree storytelling traditions during a reading of The Bear Story, enjoy crafting, and play match pull and run-and-scream games. Grades 4-5 students will circulate through traditional games stations, including kadoma, hand pulls, match stick, foot pulls, stick pulls, and run-and-scream. Grades 6 and 8 students will play lacrosse, while Grades 5 and 7 will enjoy catapult. Bannock will be served to all students. Rain date is Monday, June 25.

Bezanson School will celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on Thursday, June 28 by introducing students to six traditional Indigenous hand games, followed by a picnic with homemade bannock for all to enjoy.


For the past number of months, Robert W. Zahara Public School in Sexsmith has been focusing on Indigenous culture, beginning in January with a bannock and stew lunch prepared by PWSD's FNMI Liaison Worker team. Grade 6 students created "A Project of Heart," a legacy art project to be unveiled at an upcoming ceremony as a gift to the school from the 2017-2018 class. Students and staff will salute Indigenous history by painting healing, celebratory or mindful words and quotes on rocks and decorating feathers of peace, to be placed around the school. The annual RWZ Sports Day on Friday, June 15 featured Indigenous games.

Beaverlodge Regional High School held two events on June 5 and 7 to accommodate students' final exam schedules. Connie Calliou, First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Liaison Worker and Peter Joachim, Elder in Residence led the events that began with singing 'O Canada' in Cree, followed by a sharing circle of items of cultural importance.

To learn more, visit https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng.

Photos: R.W.Z. Public School's focus on Indigenous culture began in January with a bannock and stew lunch prepared by PWSD's FNMI Liaison Worker team. Grade 6 students will present their legacy art project, "A Project of Heart," during an upcoming ceremony.

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Sears, Angela6/18/2018 9:53 AM18 Jun, 2018
On Your Mark! PWSD students benefit from free diploma exam tutorial sessions

Starting this weekend, Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) will offer free tutorial sessions to help students prepare for upcoming diploma exams. The comprehensive six-hour tutorials, known as 'On Your Mark!' sessions, will be open to students enroled at PWSD high schools.

"Our goals in offering this opportunity to students are to highlight and review key information, provide time for them to do sample questions with teacher assistance, and allow them to have different teachers deliver material in different ways," says Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) Principal Wanda Gerard. "Students are given helpful hints to approach questions, and strategies are modelled for tackling more challenging topics."

Math and science teacher-facilitator Farouq Hassanali says students embrace the format of the review sessions and realize the most effective means to study math is to do math.

"Students brainstorm in groups to discover ways to tackle a problem, follow dead ends, and identify their own errors," Mr. Hassanali adds. "In the spirit of PWSD's goal to build thinking classrooms, the math session will see groups of students working together on whiteboards to solve problems. When students hit a roadblock, our teacher-facilitators re-engage them by suggesting they look to see how other groups in the room are doing with the same question, allow another student in the group to take the lead, or pose questions to trigger past learning."

All sessions will be held at Peace Wapiti Academy. Social Studies 30-1/30-2 tutorials will be held on Saturday, June 9; Chemistry 30 and Biology 30 will run simultaneously on Saturday, June 16; followed by Physics 30 and Math 30-2 sessions on Saturday June 23. A Science 30 session will be offered on Tuesday, June 26. There is no need to register for the tutorial sessions; PWSD students should simply show up ready to review and ask questions. Lunch and snacks will be provided by PWSD.

"The rigorous review provides a morale boost and helps students feel more confident in their understanding of concepts, and it also identifies areas for students to focus on during their additional studying and review," adds Principal Gerard. "As a learning community, we would like to extend our appreciation to the teachers from our high schools throughout the Division who facilitate the weekend sessions, and give a huge shout out to the participating students."

All sessions will be held at Peace Wapiti Academy.

Schedule:

Saturday, June 9
Social Studies 30-1/30-2 Review
Ms. Armbruster, Ms. Viken, Ms. Bednard, Mr. Tanasichuk
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Saturday, June 16
Chemistry 30 Review
Mr. Iverson, Mr. Stone
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Biology 30 Review
Mrs. Rief, Mrs. Lario
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 23
Physics 30 Review
Mr. Hassanali, Mrs. Paquette
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Math 30-2 Review
Mrs. Lambert, Mrs. Thibault
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 26
Science 30 Review
Mrs. Rief, Ms. Zarowny
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Photo Caption: Students from across Peace Wapiti Public School Division review course content and further develop strategies to tackle question formats during the popular 'On Your Mark!' free diploma exam tutorial sessions, offered in January and June. 

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Sears, Angela6/7/2018 4:07 PM07 Jun, 2018