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

PWSD Good News - January 21, 2016

January 20, 2016

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, January 21, 2016.

News from PWSD schools:

  • 3D Charity Hockey Tournament: Many PWSD schools will compete in the annual tri-division charity tournament in support of seriously ill students. The event is scheduled for April 28-30. Team divisions are:  Elementary (Grades 5-6), Junior High (Grades 7-8), and High School (Grades 9-12).


  • Family Literacy Day: This annual event celebrates the love of reading and encourages families to spend "15 minutes of fun" on a literacy-based activity. Many schools are planning special events. Look for an upcoming press release which will include a list of events throughout PWSD.

Beaverlodge Elementary School

  • Friends across the miles: Recently, Mrs. Saastad's Grade 1 class, with a little help from Mrs. Mysko and Mrs. Werbiski's Grade 1 classes, participated in a New Year's postcard and book exchange with a group of Grade 1 students from China. Mrs. Saastad coordinated the project with Dave Berezan, a local teacher who is teaching in China. BES students sent letters, drawings and books to their new friends in China.


  • BES Classroom Champions say thanks to community members: As part of their Classroom Champions program, Mr. Lojczyc's Grade 4 class hosted a community appreciation barbecue on December 9th for staff of the Beaverlodge RCMP, Hospital, Public Health, EMS and Fire Hall. The guests were very appreciative of the luncheon.

  • Safety Patrol Team a fixture at BES for more than 20 years: The Safety Patrol Team at BES received winter refresher training on Wednesday, January 20th. The team has been active at BES for more than 20 years, and is still going strong with 25 members this year. 

  • Upcoming events: Literacy Week will include a "Dress up as your favorite character" assembly on Wednesday, January 27th, paired reading with popcorn in the gym, and a book bingo.


Eaglesham School

  • An Elementary Volleyball Tournament will take place at Eaglesham School on Thursday, January 28th. Games will begin at 10:00 a.m. and wrap up at 3:00 p.m.
  • Bright future awaits Eaglesham student-athlete: Brittany Duvall was recognized by the school for her accomplishments in Cross-Country Running and Track and Field during her high school years. She has been offered scholarships by a number of colleges to compete in Cross Country Running.

Harry Balfour School

  • HBS Healthy Ninjas receive FCSS grant: The HBS Healthy Ninjas were represented by Krista Umble and Dee Bell at the County of Grande Prairie Council meeting in November. As a result, the group received a $2,000 grant from FCSS to make a positive difference at the school by creating a healthy environment. The school is looking forward to moo days and healthy snacks delivered to classrooms by the Ninjas.


Peace Wapiti Academy

  • Titans Football program receives new equipment, thanks to County grant: As part of the County of Grande Prairie's capital grants announcement on January 11th, the PWA Titans Football team received $25,000, to be directed toward purchasing new jerseys and shoulder pads.


Penson School

  • Celebrating Ukrainian heritage: Troyanda Ukrainian Society visited Penson School last week and taught students about Ukrainian heritage, including how to dance.


  • Student-athletes qualify for Zones: Three junior high students have qualified for Alberta Zones which will be held in February. Liam McAusland and Cameron Copley qualified for U15 Volleyball and Joss Murray will compete in Slope-Style and Mogul Skiing.


Ridgevalley School

  • Ridgevalley student-athlete selected to All-Star team; receives Mike Sokoluk Bantam AA Top Defenseman Trophy: Grade 9 student Devan Klassen, a hockey player with the Grande Prairie Coyote North Bantam AA Storm team, was selected to play in the Edmonton Rural Bantam Hockey League's AA All-Star game on December 17th. On December 27-31, his team competed in the Edmonton Invitational Bantam Tournament of Champions, along with 14 teams from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Devan was awarded the Mike Sokoluk Trophy as the Bantam AA Top Defenseman at this event, and his team placed fourth overall.

Robert W. Zahara Public School

  • Running from Sexsmith to India: After raising funds to build a school in Verdara, India last year, RWZ's Running Club set a goal to "run from their school to the school they built in India" –  a total of 10,765 kilometres, or 26,912.5 laps around the RWZ running track. By the middle of January, the club had already completed 11,670 laps – 43 per cent of their goal. They are confident they will achieve their goal before the end of the year.


  • New members added to the 100 Lap Club: In January, 16 Grade 1 students joined RWZ's 100 Lap Club, for completing more than 100 laps in Running Club. The students were presented with 100 Lap Club t-shirts and are wearing them with pride.

  • Construction update: The first two of ten modular classrooms for the replacement Robert W. Zahara Public School arrived on January 14th. With two arriving each week, they should all be at the construction site of the new school by mid-February.

  • Brown bag lunch planned for Family Literacy Day: On January 27th, RWZ will celebrate Family Literacy Day with their annual brown bag lunch and family reading time. Parents, grandparents and other family members are welcome to spend the lunch recess reading together during a picnic lunch in classrooms or the gym.

Savanna School

  • Basketball team at Savanna School receives $600 boost: On January 8th, Birchcliff Energy presented a cheque for $600 to the Savanna School basketball team. The funds will be directed toward purchasing jerseys for the girls' team. Last year marked the first time Savanna School had entered a basketball team in competitive tournaments. Pictured are: (back row, l-r) Naomi Aloysius, teacher; Moira McRann; Taylor Supernault; Kelsey Dolen; Craig Frisen, Birchcliff Energy; Wyatt Chipps; Will Mattison; and Krista Whyte, teacher; (front row, l-r) Cheyenne Dolen; Dawson Elliot; Lane Fitzsimmon; Wyatt Knelson; Jackrey Siw-aten; Sierra Mitchell; and Rae-Ann Young. Savanna School staff and student-athletes would like to thank Birchcliff Energy for supporting the team.


Sexsmith Secondary School

  • Junior High drama to examine image issues: The SSS Junior High Drama class will present two performances of Linday Price's Hoodie on January 27 – the first will be during Block 5 for students, following by an evening showing for friends and family. The play covers the tornado of questions middle school students face every day, posing what may be the most difficult question of all – Do I stay in the clump or do I stand alone?

  • Outdoor education program at Sexsmith Secondary School enhanced, thanks to County grant: As part of the County of Grande Prairie's capital grants announcement on January 11th, SSS received a $6,000 grant which was used to purchase cross country skiing equipment for the school's outdoor education program. Families may also use the new ski equipment on week nights and weekends, in exchange for a small donation which will be used to maintain the new equipment.


  • You're from Grande Prairie? What a coincidence! A recent story in UToday, the University of Calgary's online newsletter, highlights how their M.Ed. program brought together four outdoor education enthusiasts from the Grande Prairie area, including Ryan Shelly, a teacher at SSS. The interesting part? Three are high school teachers, and the fourth works as a parks and recreation coordinator, yet all were unknown to each other prior to meeting at the University of Calgary! Click here to read the story on the U of C website.

Spirit River Regional Academy

  • Academic Awards ceremony: SRRA will recognize student success during the first semester and the second quarter during an Academic Awards ceremony on February 2 at 10:00 a.m. in the gym.
  • Sister act – Menzies twins a package deal for Olds College Broncos: SRRA alumnae and twin sisters Kennedy and Kassandra Menzies (SRRA Class of 2013) are both in their third year of play on the Broncos Women's Volleyball Team at Olds College. They were featured in an article in the Olds Albertan newspaper on January 12th: http://www.oldsalbertan.ca/article/Sister-act-on-the-volleyball-court-20160112

Wembley Elementary School

  • Hip Flick Hoops a hit at WES: "We're Hooped, and LOVING it" is a two-week program being offered in WES physical education classes for Kindergarten – Grade 4 students during the month of January. Facilitated by Amanda Syryda of Hip Flick Hoops, students participate in a variety of fitness activities using hula hoops. Throughout the school year, WES offers additional enhancements to their physical education programming, including a two-week free gymnastics program led by GymNiks, and a hockey program which is offered twice weekly to Grades 3 and 4 students during February and March.


Woking School

  • Christmas fundraiser shines a light on Ronald McDonald House: In December, staff and students raised money for Ronald McDonald House Children's Charities of Northern Alberta through sales of $2 red paper light bulbs. On January 12th, representatives from the Grande Prairie Office visited the school to collect a cheque for $252 and to share information about Ronald McDonald House.

News and Press Releases:


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.