The following Good News Report from Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) and its schools will be shared at the upcoming Board Meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 19th, 2015.
News from PWSD schools:
- Random Act of Kindness Day
PWSD received a Random Act of Kindness from the Education Students' Association at Grande Prairie Regional College on Friday, November 6th – Random Act of Kindness Day. The group hosted a mitten drive and divided the resulting collected items between the three local School Divisions. Pictured left-right are members of the GPRC Education Students' Association Executive: Melissa Pearson, Julian Camsell, Jacy Meeres and Krista Kisch. Missing from photo: Brittany Jones and Tarryn Hemingway. #RAKDay
- Two PWSD students selected to Swoosh Canada Basketball
Adara Sperling (left), a Grade 9 student at Hythe Regional School, and Haley Friesen (right), a Grade 10 student at Peace Wapiti Academy are the newest players selected to Swoosh Canada Basketball, which is based out of Edmonton. Both student-athletes are members of The Peace Country Thunder Program coached by PWSD's FNMI Education Coordinator Darrell Willier, and members of their school-based teams. Both will join Swoosh Canada Basketball on the upcoming 2016 United States Tour. The Swoosh Canada team selected for the U.S. tour is made up of Alberta's highest level players and opens up student-athletes to the possibility of U.S. post-secondary scholarships.
"Swoosh Canada Basketball runs the only U.S. travel team in Northern Alberta with a goal to showcase top-level players and show them how far basketball can take them," says Coach Ron Hopkins, founder, president and head coach of Swoosh Canada Basketball. "Given the fact that Haley and Adara could play for the next three years, the sky is the limit, and with their ability, we have no doubt that they can make it to the next level."
Since 2009, ten Peace County Thunder student-athletes from PWSD schools have been selected to play with Swoosh Canada Basketball: Cassandra Zenner of Ridgevalley School, now in her fourth year with St. Mary's University College in Calgary; Emma Newhook of Beaverlodge Regional High School, now in her first year with King's College University in Edmonton; Jordan Cartwright, Allison Pilgrim, Mackenzie Marple and Haley Freisen of Bezanson School and Peace Wapiti Academy; Shaelyn LaValley of Bezanson School; Adara Sperling of Hythe Regional School; and Taryn Arnet and Kaitlynn Hatfield of Hythe Regional School and Beaverlodge Regional High School. For more information about Swoosh Canada, visit www.swooshcanada.com.
- PWSD's Jurisdictional Student Engagement Team (JSET) hosts second meeting
Members of PWSD's JSET met for the second time on November 17th. Students and Teacher Champions benefited from leadership training and support provided by representatives from Alberta Education's Speak Out initiative.
Clairmont Community School
- 'Candy man' initiative back at Clairmont Community School – Students embrace healthy eating, give back to community
For the third year in a row, students at Clairmont Community School have been encouraged to adopt healthy eating habits while giving back to the community during the school's annual post-Halloween 'candy man' initiative.
Each year, Sheila Payeur, the school's Fine Arts teacher and Healthy Schools Facilitator, works with her art classes to create hollow life-size sculptures of human bodies, made of clear packing tape. During the week following Halloween, students are encouraged to place unwanted wrapped candy inside a 'candy man' sculpture located outside the school's library. In exchange for their candy donation, students may select a healthy snack food. Earlier in November, the 'candy man' was delivered to the Northern Addictions Centre in Grande Prairie for clients to enjoy.
While the success of this initiative may come as a surprise to many, Ms. Payeur says last year, students donated enough candy to create a candy family, filling two of the sculptures, and an arm and both legs of a third sculpture.
The healthy snack foods options offered to students fall within the recommended "Choose Most Often" category, as outlined in the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth, such as yogurt, cheese strings and mandarin oranges.
"Clairmont Community School has worked at becoming a healthy comprehensive school for the past four years," says Ms. Payeur. "We were selected to be part of the Healthy Schools–Healthy Future initiative back in 2011, which is sponsored by Ever Active Schools, APPLE Schools and the University of Alberta. From there, it evolved into student leadership and engagement and healthy goals for our school. Aside from healthy eating education, our other healthy living activities include a Student Wellness Action Team (SWAT), Playground Activity Leaders (PALS) who interact and play with younger students during recess, Walking Wednesdays, Taste of Fridays, and special presentations at school assemblies, to name a few."
"Staff and clients at the Alberta Health Services' Northern Addictions Centre would like to thank the students at Clairmont School for their generosity. We are grateful to see that the spirit of giving back to your community is alive and well and being taught in our schools," says Irene Gladue, Manager of the Northern Addictions Centre.
Harry Balfour School
- Harry Balfour School teacher wins Early Child Education Council Award
PWSD congratulates April Brown, a Grade 2 teacher at Harry Balfour School, on receiving the annual Early Childhood Education Council (ECEC) Award of the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) during a ceremony on November 7, 2015. The award recognized Ms. Brown for her leadership, mentorship and continuing pursuit of excellence as a teacher.
Aside from her teaching career, Ms. Brown has been a member of the ATA Teachers for Learning Cohort for the past five years, presenting on the topics of Math and 21st Century Teaching and Learning for the Northwest Regional Learning Consortium (NRLC), PWSD and the Mighty Peace Teachers Convention (MPTC). She is also regional president of the ECEC South Peace, and past-president of ECEC Alberta.
"I feel very honoured to have received the award," says Ms. Brown. "I am thankful to work with a fantastic group of teachers on this council who have supported me in my career goals."
The ECEC was formed in 1966 to facilitate professional development of Kindergarten-Grade 3 teachers and to improve the quality of early childhood education programs in Alberta. The ECEC presents an annual award to an individual or organization that, in the judgment of the Council, has contributed to the field of early childhood education by exemplifying the philosophy of the ECEC and has taken action to promote this philosophy.
- Harry Balfour students place in local Royal Canadian Legion Annual Literacy and Poster Contest
Twelve students at Harry Balfour School have placed in the local level of the 2015 Royal Canadian Legion Annual Literary and Poster Contest. The contest is divided into four categories by Grades – Senior (Grades 10-12), Intermediate (Grades 7-9), Junior (Grades 4-6) and Primary (Grades 1-3) – and is open to all Canadian school children with a goal of fostering the tradition of Remembrance amongst Canadians.
Colour Poster (English) category:
Intermediate: 3rd place, Drey Russell, Grade 8; Honorable mention, Keenan Hanchar, Grade 8
Junior: 1st place, Jessica Niedermayer, Grade 6
Primary: 2nd place, Tylee Fedorowicz, Grade 3
Colour Poster (French) category:
Intermediate: 2nd place, Paige Forman, Grade 8
Black-and-White Poster (French) category:
Intermediate: 1st place, Dylan Sieben, Grade 8
Intermediate: 1st place, Maryn Johnson, Grade 8; 2nd place, Riley Watt, Grade 8
Junior: 1st place, Kaylea MacMillan, Grade 6
Intermediate: 1st place, Breanna Cote, Grade 8; 2nd place, Kaeden Smith, Grade 8; 3rd place, Ethan Moline, Grade 8
Last year, Cheyanne Kraig was named first place winner in the Intermediate Black-and-White Poster category by both the local and district legions, and placed second at the provincial level. Miss Kraig, now a student at Peace Wapiti Academy, entered the contest in 2014 while she was enroled at Harry Balfour School. She was awarded certificates and prize money at the local, district and provincial levels for her poster depicting a relative who fought in World War II, and was honoured during the 2014 Royal Canadian Legion Branch 54 ceremony in Grande Prairie.
Initial judging takes place at the community level by volunteers at local Legion branches, with winning entries progressing to judging at the provincial level. Winning entries are forwarded to Ottawa for judging and the national winners are declared. Winning entries, along with the names of the entrants, are published in the Winners Booklet which is sent to all Legion branches, and is also made available to schools and published on the Royal Canadian Legion website. To learn more about the National Remembrance Day Legion Contest, visit http://www.legion.ca/youth/contests/.
Hythe Regional School
- HRS shares Cree language program with Eaglesham School via video conference
The Cree language sharing program, which began in November, is exciting news as this marks the first time it will be offered at more than one school within PWSD. Barb Belcourt, FNMI Liaison Officer at HRS, will instruct Cree classes three time per week, under the direction of Holly Gould.
Peace Academy of Virtual Education (PAVE)
- PAVE students enjoyed a tour of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum on November 12th. PAVE hosts monthly get-togethers to connect with PAVE students and their families.
Peace Wapiti Academy
- Renowned coach to lead Skill Development Basketball Camp at PWA
Renowned coach Shawnee Harle will lead the two-day camp on Friday, November 20th at 1-4 p.m. and 6-8:30 pm, and Saturday, November 21 at 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Coach Harle holds a Master's Degree in Coaching Studies and is the only basketball coach in Canada, male or female, with NCCP Level 5. She is currently the lead Assistant Coach for the Canadian Women's Olympic Basketball Team, and after a fifth-place finish at the 2014 World Championships and a gold medal finish at the 2015 Pan Am Games and FIBA Americas, the team will represent Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Camp participants will be grouped according to skill level and will be taught shooting, free throws, scoring in the key, scoring from the three-point line, how to make better decisions and more shots, how to decrease turnovers, scoring in transition and dynamic one-on-one, two-on-two and three-on-three.
With a wealth of international coaching experience, Ms. Harle rejoined the National Team staff in 2011 after serving as an Assistant Coach at the 1994 World Championships in Australia, the 1994 Goodwill Games in Russia and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She also served as an international scout for Canada Basketball, traveling to Peru and the Dominican Republic to scout South American teams for the World Qualification Tournament. In 2011 she was an Assistant Coach with the Canadian World University Games Team that competed at the FISU Games in China. In 2012 she was named Assistant Coach for the National Development Team that played and trained in Montenegro and Belgium.
Ms. Harle was the Head Coach at the University of Calgary for 18 years. She joined the U of C after coaching at Brandon University for two seasons. Prior to that, she served as an Assistant Coach for the University of Victoria for three seasons as a full time student at the National Coaching Institute.
- On October 30th, physical education students tried bubble soccer using Zorb balls provided by GPRC's student wellness program – a very fun experience for both participants and spectators.
- PWA Titans will play host to the Boys 3A Volleyball Provincials on November 26-28, marking the first time PWA has hosted a provincial tournament. For team rosters, schedules, results and live-streaming of the games, visit http://provincials.asaa.ca/page.cfm?s=263.
Robert W. Zahara Public School
- RWZ observing Bullying Awareness Week, November 15-21
This year, RWZ School is focusing on heritage and appreciating how diversity creates a stronger school and community. During the week, teachers will present scenarios and foster student discussions to help define what constitutes as bullying, as opposed to conflict and socially exclusive behaviours. Students will complete surveys to determine if they have ever been bullied, been a bully, or been a bystander and a witness to bullying, and suggest ways to make their school a better place. Students will take the anti-bullying pledge during a school-wide assembly on Wednesday. The pledge is an annual practice at RWZ.
- Mural to bridge old and new RWZ schools
RWZ staff and students are in the planning stages of designing a mural, to be installed at the new replacement school, acting as a bridge between the old and the new.
Sexsmith Secondary School
- Fire fighter training program offered to SSS seniors
Grande Prairie Regional College and Lakeland College are working together to deliver components of the fire fighter training program offered at Lakeland to high school students at SSS. The pilot program includes a one-day Hazardous Materials Awareness Level 1 course at GPRC. Upon successful completion of the program, students will gain national and international certification.
- SSS Junior A Girls Volleyball team captures Northwest Alberta 2J Zone Championship
The Sabres defeated the Peace River High School Nomads in the final game of the Zone championship tournament held in Fairview on November 7th.
- Sabres Football team nabs provincial playoff win
This past weekend, the Sabres faced the Vermillion Marauders in Tier IV provincial play, defeating the host team 48-27. Stay tuned for more action this weekend when they travel to Edmonton to play perennial northern rivals, Ardrossan Bisons, in the Northern Regional Final.
- Dinner theatre in December
SSS and Webster Hall will join forces to present a dinner theatre featuring two one-act plays, Detention Tension by Kip Fagan, directed by Sydney Martell, and Lifeguards by Robert Lehan, directed by Parker McMurphy, on Saturday, December 5th. Tickets may be purchased at Sexsmith Secondary School or Webster Community Hall.
Teepee Creek School
- Sock Drive
In conjunction with the food drive in support of the Sexsmith Food Bank and Christmas hampers, students and staff of TCS are also participating in a sock drive. Pictured is Grade 6 student Ty Doucette who has organized the sock drive to provide local shelters with donations of new socks. Classes are competing to see who will bring in the most socks.
- TCS students develop policy to guide use of digital devices
Grades 5/6 students developed a new digital device policy for their school based on the acronym "THINK":
- TRUST: Teachers should be able to TRUST students to use their devices properly.
- HARMLESS: All device users must cause no HARM to anyone.
- INNOVATIVE: Students should use their devices as an INNOVATIVE learning tool.
- NECESSARY: Devices should only be used when NECESSARY and with permission.
- KNOWLEDGE: Access appropriate online materials to increase your KNOWLEDGE and understanding for learning.
- Woking School earns $1,500 mini-grant from CFIndustries
In September, Mrs. Beaupre applied for a CFIndustries classroom mini-grant. With a local branch in Rycroft, CFIndustries is a global leader in fertilizer manufacturing and distribution, and the company's grants focus on incorporating agriculture or the environment in the classroom. On November 6th, Woking School staff were surprised to receive a cheque for $1,500. Woking School's mini-grant application outlined plans to purchase an indoor greenhouse and various other materials to support Science curriculum objectives on life cycles, plants and interaction with nature. Students and staff are looking forward to ordering supplies in preparation for spring and the chance to get their hands dirty in a new greenhouse.
- Grades 3-8 students received tickets to the December 2nd draw of the Canada Cup Curling event at Revolution Place.
- Destination Imagination is up and running at Woking School for the first time.
- Staff and students travelled to Pleasantview Lodge in Spirit River on November 6 for Random Acts of Kindness Day. The Grade 6/7/8 Foods class baked goodies and students performed Remembrance Day poems and songs.
News and Press Releases:
- Nov. 16, 2015 Bullying Awareness Week 2015 invites you to #PostItForward
- Nov. 13, 2015 PWSD Christmas card art contest, open to Grades 4-6 students
- Nov. 06, 2015 PWSD schools remember
- Nov. 04, 2015 Determining when to cancel buses – PWSD exercises care and caution during times of inclement weather
- Nov. 03, 2015 Board engages with students at Woking and Clairmont Schools
- Nov. 02, 2015 Interactive School Councils meeting at Sexsmith Secondary School
- Nov. 02, 2015 Board News - October 29, 2015
- Oct. 29, 2015 Name That School – PWSD invites naming submissions for new Whispering Ridge K-8 public school
- PWSD and its schools were featured in more than 35 media stories to date during the month of November, 2015.
- 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.