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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

Welcome back to the 2016-2017 school year – School construction, Kindergarten start-up, bus safety top PWSD’s back-to-school list

August 25, 2016

The first day of school can prove hectic, even for the most organized, but Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) can help make things run smoothly. Personalized Kindergarten orientation sessions, school-based bus safety demonstrations, email notifications on the status of bus routes, and a user-friendly school year calendar will help families transition from summer break to the start of the 2016-2017 school year on Thursday, September 1, 2016.

Construction projects respond to steady enrolment growth
Enrolment remains stable at PWSD's 33 schools, with early projections at approximately 6,000 students in Kindergarten to Grade 12.

In June, the Board approved the addition of Silver Valley Colony School to serve Hutterite students of the newly-established Silver Valley Colony.

Construction continues on the new Whispering Ridge Community School. Water and sewer have been installed to the property line, the bus lane is ready for storm sewer installation, 275 pilings have been installed on site, and grade beam excavation for the foundation will commence this week. A mid-year opening is planned for December, 2017. Updates on the project, along with answers to frequently asked questions, are available online at http://bit.ly/WRCS-PWSD.

Modernization work continues at Teepee Creek School, with a grand re-opening event planned to coincide with the grand opening of the replacement Robert W. Zahara Public School in Sexsmith on Friday, October 14. The school saw updates to the gym, renovations to classrooms, the addition of a new office and foyer with improved sight lines for supervision, library upgrades, a new kitchen, and new exterior cladding and masonry.

Kindergarten start-up
While Thursday, September 1 marks the official first day of school, many schools opt to vary Kindergarten start-up dates and/or schedule personalized orientation meetings with families to determine programming needs and ease the transition to school. Please consult the chart below for a list of Kindergarten start-up dates by school. PWSD welcomes all new Kindergarten students and looks forward to working with families to ensure their children experience learning that will set them up for success in the future.

Beaverlodge Elementary School – Mon./Wed.Sept. 2Penson School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 1 & 6
Beaverlodge Elementary School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 1Ridgevalley SchoolSept. 1
Beaverlodge Elementary School – Mon.-Thurs. a.m.Sept. 7R.W. Zahara Public School – Mon./Wed.Sept. 6
Bezanson School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 6R.W. Zahara Public School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 6
Bonanza SchoolSept. 6Rycroft School Kindergarten – Tues./Thurs./non-CSW FridaysSept. 6
Clairmont Community School – Mon./Wed.Sept. 2Rycroft School Junior Kindergarten – Mon./Wed.Sept. 7
Clairmont Community School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 1Savanna School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 1
Eaglesham School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 6Spirit River Regional Academy – Mon./Tues./Thurs.Sept. 6
Elmworth SchoolSept. 6Teepee Creek School KindergartenSept. 1
Harry Balfour School – Mon./Wed.Sept. 12Teepee Creek School Junior KindergartenSept. 7
Harry Balfour School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 13Wembley Elementary School – Mon./Wed.Sept. 2
Hythe Regional School – Tues./Wed./Thurs.Sept. 1 & 6Wembley Elementary School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 1
La Glace School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 6Woking School – Tues./Thurs.Sept. 6

Bus safety and route notifications
As of Thursday, September 1, school zones will be in effect on school days. Drivers are reminded to exercise caution and adhere to posted speed limits. Also, it is illegal to pass a school bus when red lights are flashing.

Families should ensure that current daytime telephone numbers are provided to schools and PWSD's Transportation Office. PWSD's bus drivers will be in touch with families prior to the first day of school to make them aware of busing information. Students should plan to arrive at their bus stop five minutes early. In September, trained PWSD busing representatives will conduct free bus safety presentations at participating elementary schools.

Families are also encouraged to sign up for email notifications on the status of individual or multiple bus routes at http://transportation.pwsd76.ab.ca. Notifications of late and/or cancelled buses on individual routes will only be posted via the email notification system, which may also be viewed on the Division website and all school websites by clicking the Bus Advisory button. In addition, notifications of emergencies and Division-wide cancellations will be publicized via all available communication tools, including the Division website and all school websites, the Power Announcement telephone system, email notifications, and PWSD's social media outlets – Facebook and Twitter.

School year calendars
The first day of classes for the 2016-2017 school year is Thursday, September 1. Parents and students may subscribe to PWSD's online calendar to receive alerts of important dates on their computer or mobile device. PWSD asks families to review the 2016-2017 school year calendar and to be mindful of official school holidays when booking vacation time throughout the school year. To assist with long-term planning, a draft copy of the 2017-2018 calendar is also available on the Division website and all school websites.

School supply lists
To access school supply lists and other registration information, families may click the Registration tab on their school's website.

PWSD wishes all students, families and staff a happy and successful school year. Welcome back!