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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
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Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

PWPSD Good News Report – November 2019

November 25, 2019

The following Good News Report from Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) and its schools will be shared at the upcoming Board meeting on Thursday, November 28, 2019. 


Celebrate the joy of Christmas at PWPSD schools

Awaken the spirit of the season by attending a Christmas event at a Peace Wapiti Public School in your community. In the event of cancellations due to inclement weather, revised dates and times will be posted in the schedule found under 'News & Announcements' on the PWPSD website and all school websites.

Students explore career opportunities at Aquatera, Brandt Tractor, Windsor Ford

Participating PWPSD students (left-right): Douglas Young, Peace Wapiti Academy; and Olivia Mickanuck and Jessie Hennig, Beaverlodge Regional High School.

A group of PWPSD high school students joined others from the local school districts to explore potential work experience opportunities and future career paths during a Tour of the Trades event on November 20. The tour began at Aquatera where students explored careers as a Millwright, Electrician, and Instrumentation Technician. At Brandt Tractor in Clairmont, students learned about the path to becoming a Heavy Equipment Technician, Parts Technician, Welder, Electrical Salesperson, and Product Support Worker. After lunch, the group returned to Grande Prairie to meet with an Automotive Service Technician, Parts Technician, and Auto Body Repair person at the new Windsor Ford.  

Trades featured on the tour are in high demand and provide opportunities for students to talk with tradespeople on the job and learn about the trades and the steps required for certification. Prior to the tours, students complete the Alberta Education Workplace Safety Systems HCS-3000 course. Students can complete a three-day job shadowing experience at one of the industry partners during the summer months, thanks to a partnership between CAREERS: The Next Generation and the participating high schools.

High Schools: Registration now open for 2019-2020 'Tour the Trades' events

Tour attendance is capped at six students per school division, but schools should accept students for wait lists, in the event of last-minute openings. Stay tuned for more information closer to tour dates. Questions? Contact joelavalley@pwpsd.ca.

Upcoming tours:

  • February 13, 2020: Grande Prairie and area.
  • April 2, 2020: Grande Prairie and area.
  • May 20, 2020: Rural tour for students in Spirit River and surrounding areas.


International Paper awards funding to Bezanson School Booster Club, Hythe Regional School

Pictured left: Bezanson School Booster Club members Ashley Schneider and Tracy Hunt (center) accept a $12,500 cheque that will go toward a new playground for the school. Pictured right: Hythe Regional School Principal Dwayne Speager and Assistant Principal Holly Gould (center) accept a $15,000 cheque to increase literacy at the school. International Paper Grande Prairie team members (left-right) Trevor Harper, Lisa Hall, Lyman Rorem and Wade Doris presented the funds.

Two PWPSD schools were among nine schools and organizations to receive International Paper grants during a cheque presentation and luncheon at the Dunes Golf and Winter Club on November 20. The International Paper Grant Foundation presented $12,500 to the Bezanson School Booster Club for the playground fund. A $15,000 literacy grant to Hythe Regional School will fund books for use in school that students can take home at the end of the year to help build their personal library.

Wired for connection – Dr. Jody Carrington provides common language to PWPSD staff

Clinical psychologist Dr. Jody Carrington, author of "Kids These Days", spent a full day with PWPSD staff and trustees during the PWPSD professional learning day on Friday, November 22 at Peace Wapiti Academy. She says her favourite thing to do is speak with educators since they have the power to change the trajectory of a life every single day. Her talk focused less on kids, and more on the people who hold them, cultivating the belief that it truly does take a village to raise a child. On Thursday evening, Dr. Carrington offered a free presentation to parents.

Three PWPSD schools qualify for Girls Provincial Volleyball Tournaments, PWA brings home bronze

Peace Wapiti Academy named 3A bronze medalists at the 2019 Volleyball Provincials in St. Paul.

Beaverlodge Regional High School and Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) were among the 3A Girls teams at the Volleyball Provincials in St. Paul on November 20-22. Sexsmith Secondary School competed in the 2A tournament in Three Hills. Congratulations to PWA for their 3A bronze medal finish. View results on the ASAA website.

Design funding awarded for replacement Harry Balfour School

PWPSD has been awarded design funding for the replacement Harry Balfour School. The funding was included among 25 new school projects announced on November 1 by Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange. Read the media release. Further announcements on construction funding and planning, and the projected start date will be shared as information becomes available. 


School News

Beaverlodge Elementary School

Grade 4 Curling Program celebrates six years of Canadian winter sport

BES Grade 4s are hitting the ice for the sixth season of curling. Under the guidance and instruction of Assistant Principal Andrew Lojczyc, students learn the rules and basics of this great winter sport. Students will curl at the Beaverlodge Curling Club for the next four Wednesdays, with a fun bonspiel planned for the last day.

Grade 6 student fundraiser helps feed local community

Grade 6 students Makayla, Lucy and Hunter delivering meals to the Beaverlodge Food Bank.

The BES Recipe in a Jar fundraiser is nearing completion. Organized by Grade 6 classes, the fundraiser donates a meal to the local food bank in return for each order received by the school. The initiative resulted in donations of more than 150 meals to the Beaverlodge Food Bank.

Bonanza School

'Tis the season – Bonanza students pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child

A group of students and staff at Bonanza School gave up their lunch break on November 14 to pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Participating students and staff donated items to help fill the shoe boxes, and then sorted the items into boxes based on various age groups of girls and boys. Principal Theresa Simmonds said, "This was an excellent opportunity for students to experience service of self for others. The resulting 26 full shoe boxes will help make Christmas a little brighter for some special children." The students had a great time, but it took all of Mrs. Simmonds' concentration to put the boxes together!

Clairmont Community School

CCS "Rock Your Mocs" event

Since 2011, Rock Your Mocs has been celebrated internationally as a day or week to promote cultural pride and the artwork and history of moccasins. Students and staff at CCS wore moccasins on November 15. Participants typically upload a photo, video or story to social media. Clairmont School, you really rocked it! Learn more about Rock your Mocs on the PWPSD Indigenous Education Services webpage.

Helen E. Taylor School

HET Sharp Knights enter their rendition of "Snowbird" in the CBC Canadian Class Music Challenge

Under the direction of Rhonda Johnson, 23 Sharp Knights, learned, rehearsed, perfected and entered their version of Anne Murray's "Snowbird" in the CBC Canadian Class Music Challenge. In an effort to engage music classes across the county with Canadian music, CBC Music runs the contest every fall in association with Music Counts – the charity of the Juno Awards. Top prize is $3,000 worth of instruments for the school. A panel of judges will select the winner and make an announcement on December 17. Last year, more than 1,000 music classes from every province and territory entered the contest. Ms. Johnson says, "This was a total labor of love! Anne Murray + energetic music students = awesomeness!" Watch the video.

Literacy focus of November collaboration time

HET is focusing on literacy during this month's weekly collaboration time. Students are rotating through activities such as Sadako and the Paper Cranes, "You Be the Jury" Mysteries, and Snowball/Shared Writing.

EUREKA Program building communication skills, teamwork for Grade 7 classes

Building positive communication skills to enhance teamwork and healthy interactions with others is the focus of the two-day EUREKA program presented to HET Grade 7 students by the John Howard Society. The Grade 7C class attended the workshop on November 19 and 21, with Grade 7M set to participate on December 2-3. Students are challenged to think and respond through games, skits, presentations and discussion.

HET students explore learning through Junior High comps

Junior High HET students can access a variety of courses outside the regular academic stream. This term's choices include card games, construction, fitness games, and guitar/ukulele. 

HET Breakfast Program thriving thanks to support

The program is ongoing thanks to the constant support of The Breakfast Club of Canada, Mrs. Liland, Mrs. Eifert, Rachel and Mack who feed and fuel the growing brains of HET.

Hythe Regional School

HRS students donate Halloween treats to Sunrise House

The HRS Junior High Student Wellness option class created an invisible man for students to fill with extra Halloween candy, as a donation to Sunrise House – the Grande Prairie Youth Emergency Shelter. Teacher Kelly Woltjer says, "We were overwhelmed with donations and were able to fill our invisible man, plus a pumpkin bag. Thanks to HRS and our community for their support, and Clairmont Community School for the great idea." The filled candy man and pumpkin bag were safely delivered to Sunrise House earlier this month.

Peace Wapiti Academy

AIM group challenges increasing school spirit, involvement

PWA kicked off lunchtime intramural challenges between AIM groups on November 5. A point is awarded to each group for every member who attends or participates in the challenges. The group with the most points will win a pizza party at the end of the challenge. The goal of the activities is to see more students participating in activities to increase school spirit and involvement.

For the duration of Grades 9 to 12, students are assigned an Academic and Individual Mentor (AIM) who acts as the students' point of contact within the school. Students are also placed in AIM groups. In addition to the new lunchtime challenges, AIM teachers and students meet regularly to discuss short and long-term goals, complete a High School Road Map, examine post-secondary options, and discuss areas of struggle and strength.  


Upcoming events:

  • Seventeen French 20/30 students will write the A2 DELF exam on November 27 – an internationally recognized French assessment exam that opens educational and career doors for students.

  • Coming up in December: "Life Synergy for Youth" presentation by Dwayne Peace – A look into the lives of today's youth to provide understanding of the pressures they face every day. Participants will learn how students struggle to fit in while dealing with bullying, harassment, stereotypes, teasing, rumours, drugs, depression, suicide, violence, family issues, and more. Mr. Peace will also discuss the power of words; self-respect and respect for others; body image and eating disorders; texting and sexting; the impact of media and video games on youth; and the importance of honest communication. Students who are new to PWA will attend a gym presentation, followed by small group sessions with Mr. Peace. Parents and guardians may attend a session in the library on December 5.

Ridgevalley School

Eight Grades 4-5 students filled 14 Christmas Shoe Boxes.

Sexsmith Secondary School

Twenty-three SSS students participate in annual AB High School Math Competition

The Alberta High School Mathematics Competition (AHSMC) is an annual mathematics competition for high school students in Alberta. Students write the contest in their own schools. The AHSMC consists of two rounds, with students in the top 50 of the first round invited to participate in the second round. The first round took place on Tuesday, November 19, with 23 SSS students registered to participate. The top three students in each zone will receive major individual prizes. Major team prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in each zone.

Recent and upcoming events:

  • To mark their 10th anniversary of service to others, the SSS Interact Club held a bake sale on November 19 to raise money for the Bandaged Paws Animal Rescue Association. Rotary Interact Clubs bring together young people, ages 12-18, to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of "Service Above Self".

  • Saturday, November 30: Plan to attend a holiday dinner at the Crown and Anchor Pub, Grande Prairie, in support of the SSS Japan Travel Club. See poster above for details. 

  • Sunday, December 8: Acadia University Women's Rugby head coach Matt Durant welcomes female athletes in the Peace Region to a one-hour recruitment presentation beginning at 2:30 p.m., Delta Hotel Edmonton. Interested students should email michelle.mosher@hotmail.com. SSS alumna Sarah Palfy '19 is featured on the poster above as the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) 2019 Rookie of the Year for her performance during her first year as a member of Acadia University's Axewomen Rugby team.

Spirit River Regional Academy

Boost for SRRA Breakfast Program

Pictured left: SRRA School Council Chair Jessie Zylinski with a Carman Thompson, Velvet Energy. 
Pictured right: Amanda Johnson of Pure Spirit with SRRA School Council Chair Jessie Zylinski.

The SRRA Breakfast Program is sponsored entirely by private donations and run by a group of teachers who volunteer their time, providing healthy, nutritious breakfast items such as apples, oranges, granola bars, yogurt tubes, juice boxes and cheese strings. The program, which runs for a week each month, ensures students start their school day on the right track. SRRA extends warm thanks to all program donors and corporate sponsors Velvet Energy Ltd. and Pure Spirit. Teacher Agnieszka Pullishy speaks on behalf of all SRRA staff, students and families when she says, "Without the help of amazing companies and families, we wouldn't be able to offer a breakfast program to our students. We thank you for your support."

Spirit River Regional Academy participated in Rock Your Mocs to promote cultural pride and the artwork and history of moccasins.

Wembley Elementary School

WES Learning Rotations help form relationships, provide leadership opportunities for Grade 7

Multi-graded groups of WES students are forming relationships thanks to the new Learning Rotations offered on Wednesday afternoons. Students rotate through activities such as board games, puzzles, Indigenous activities, buddy reading, mural drawing, and LEGO. The Grade 7 class from the neighbouring Helen E. Taylor (HET) School joins the WES group for half of the time block, providing opportunities for the older students to role model and work with younger students. Teachers also benefit from opportunities to collaborate.

ReMax donates $2,030 to support WES Breakfast Program

ReMax realtors John Rudyk (left) and Matt Chomyc (right) presented a $2,030 cheque in support of the Breakfast Program at Wembley Elementary School during an assembly on Monday, October 28, 2019.

Woking School

ECS students learn about law enforcement

Saddle Hills County Peace Officer Norm Backer presented to Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten students in November. Principal Danelle Boychuk says, "Students were exuberant in their questions and appreciated the "hands-on" demonstrations that Mr. Backer presented. The handcuffs and cruiser – especially the siren – were a hit!"

Events and activities:

  • The return of Snow Squad: Students are once again shoveling snow in the Hamlet of Woking for those who need assistance with the task. To offer this service, students will give up some of their recess breaks. An afternoon class has also been set aside for this citizenship activity. 

  • Junior Kindergarten - Grade 2 students attended the Mary Lambert concert on November 7 at the Rycroft Community Hall. The event, hosted by the Central Peace Early Childhood Coalition, was in support of the International Day of the Child. Students enjoyed crafts, singing and lunch before the concert. 

  • New Art Club starting at Woking School on November 21: Students who wish to work on a variety of art projects are welcome to attend during Thursday lunchtimes in the Grade 1-2 classroom, with Mrs. Leger facilitating.

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