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, May 26, 2016.
News from PWSD:
- On Your Mark – Free Diploma Exam tutorial sessions
Free tutorial sessions in Social Studies 30-1 and 30-2, Biology 30, Chemistry 30, Math 30-2, Science 30 and Physics 30 will be offered to PWSD students at 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. during three Saturdays in June – the 11th, 18th and 25th. Take advantage of this great opportunity. Free food! View the schedule at http://www.pwsd76.ab.ca/Calendar.
- Peace Country Thunder nabs Swoosh Canada Tournament title
The May long weekend was a thrilling one for the Peace Country Thunder U-15 Girls Basketball Club, nabbing the Swoosh Canada Tournament title in the U-15 Girls Silver Division in Edmonton. The team, consisting of student-athletes from across PWSD, competed in round robin format, defeating three teams from Edmonton and the GPRC Junior Wolves. Peace Country Thunder was named the victor with a narrow 40-38 win in the championship game against the Calgary Basketball Academy Vipers, one of the top five club teams in Calgary. The Vipers took a one point lead with only a minute left in the game, until Brittany Brons scored with just 21 seconds remaining, followed by a free throw by Captain Haley Friesen, giving the team a two-point lead with just eight seconds left in the game. With this title, the team is now three-for-three in tournament wins.
- PWSD's annual FNMI Scholarship awarded to Peace Wapiti Academy graduate Dustin Kaufmann
Dustin Kaufmann, a 2015 graduate of Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA), has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 PWSD First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) Scholarship, valued at $1,000. During Grades 11 and 12, Mr. Kaufman earned 1st Year Apprentice status through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) at PWA. Since graduating high school, he has completed the first year of the Instrumentation Technician program at NAIT in Edmonton and is currently on a work placement at Aurora Energy Controls in Grande Prairie. In September, he will return to NAIT as a 2nd Year Apprentice, and will spend the next two years alternating between school and work placements to achieve Journeyman certification. The scholarship was presented by Shelly Logan, FNMI Liaison Worker at PWA.
About the award: PWSD's FNMI Scholarship receives numerous applications, and is awarded annually by random selection to an FNMI graduate of a PWSD high school who has declared his/her FNMI status on the PWSD registration form, and has registered in a post-secondary institution immediately following high school graduation.
- Rotary Service Above Self Awards presented to PWSD staff
The Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie hosted their 17th annual Excellence in Education Service Above Self Awards luncheon on May 18. The awards recognize those who have enriched the lives of others by living the Rotary 4-Way Test. Award-winners are individuals who willingly reach beyond what is required to help others. School councils were invited to nominate a teacher, support staff member or parent volunteer. Along with the individual certificates presented at the luncheon, recipient's names are added to the Excellence in Education plaque at their school. Congratulations to the following PWSD recipients:
- Jamie Birket, Teepee Creek School – Parent volunteer
- Sheila Brons, LaGlace School – Parent volunteer
- Cheryl McCarty, Penson School – Education Assistant
- Candace Sajtovich, Bonanza School – Parent volunteer
- Krista Umble, Harry Balfour School – Parent volunteer
- Joshua Kostanuick, Peace Wapiti Academy – Teacher and Coach
- Tri-district fundraiser nets more than $40,000 for Fort McMurray evacuees
A coordinated fundraising effort from Grande Prairie Public, Grande Prairie Catholic, and Peace Wapiti Public School Divisions during the week of May 8-14 generated a total of $40,628.48, to be donated to Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal in support those who have been impacted by the Fort McMurray and area wildfire. Fundraising events at PWSD schools included:
- Beaverlodge Elementary School: Cash donations. Created Messages of Hope poster/cards for Fort McMurray elementary schools. Kelsi Longson's Grade 2 class hosted a lemonade sale at Pirate Park in Beaverlodge.
- Beaverlodge Regional High School: Cake walk for Fort McMurray, Amazing Race fundraiser, cosmetology fundraiser.
- Clairmont Community School: Freezies for Fort McMurray sales.
- Elmworth School: Barbecue and car wash at the Beaverlodge IGA.
- Harry Balfour School: Sold Freezies and hosted a track and field bake sale.
- LaGlace School: Let's Help Fort McMurray Community Barbecue.
- Peace Wapiti Academy: Hosted a week of activities and fundraising.
- RWZ Public School: McMovie night, staff contributions, and participated in "Support the Fort" fun activities with Sexsmith Secondary School and St. Mary's Catholic School.
- Rycroft School: Grade 3-4 class made 12 quilts with seniors at the Mary Pioneer Centre, plus cash donations.
- Spirit River Reg. Academy: Sales of freezies and hot dogs during theme day.
- Teepee Creek School: Hosted a TP WE event, which included students and staff of Rycroft, Woking and LaGlace Schools
- Woking School: Hats for Help – students paid two dollars to wear hats to class.
- Cash donations from Bezanson, Bonanza, Hythe Regional, Savanna and Wembley Elementary Schools.
- PWSD Honour Band scores high marks at Provincial Festival of Bands
PWSD's Honour Band, made up of 55 Grade 6 students from Clairmont Community School (CCS), Harry Balfour School (HBS) and R.W.Z. Public School, traveled to Red Deer on May 16 to compete in the Alberta Band Association's Provincial Festival of Bands. The band received a rating of 1 – Superior, as well as a Superior Band Award, the highest rating possible, indicating that the performance was first-rate for the event and the class of participants being adjudicated. The band is under the direction of teachers Rod Vanstone, CCS, and Lawrence Dommer, HBS.
- JSET students and teacher champions provide feedback on Policy IHF
PWSD's Jurisdictional Student Engagement Team (JSET), made up of students in Grades 7-12 and teacher champions from Peace Wapiti Academy and Beaverlodge Regional High, Bezanson, Clairmont, LaGlace, Harry Balfour, Ridgevalley and Rycroft Schools, provided feedback on Policy IHF during a Google Hangout virtual meeting on May 9. The feedback session was part of the policy's communications plan.
- PWSD Google for Education Summit
Nearly 160 teachers and educational assistants from 12 school boards, along with representatives from GPRC's Teacher Education North program, participated in a two-day Google for Education Summit hosted by PWSD at Clairmont Community School on April 29-30. The summit featured training in Google Apps for Education (GAFE), and was presented by members of the EdTechTeam, a global network of educational technologists and official Google for Education Professional Development Partner. Opening keynotes were presented by Donnie Piercey and Kevin Brookhouser. Participants were offered a choice of 42 concurrent hands-on learning sessions.
- PWSD receives Terry Fox Run Donation History Report
The Terry Fox Run, now in its 35th year, is a special fundraiser for PWSD schools, and the story of Terry Fox's determination is one that resonates with students. A recent donation history report, supplied by the Terry Fox Foundation, shows a grand total of $478,777.65 raised by PWSD schools, to date. Included in the report is a breakdown of funds raised by school, along with the total number of run events. Noted for hosting the most run events throughout PWSD is Penson School in Grovedale, with 27 Terry Fox Run events to its credit. Harry Balfour School in Grande Prairie has hosted 10 events, generating a total of $139,606 for the cause, making it the top fundraising school throughout PWSD.
News from PWSD schools:
Beaverlodge Regional High School
- Ombrosa one-way exchange at Beaverlodge Regional High School
Grade 10 student Ronan Rheaume (right) hosted Baptiste Faure (left) from Lyon, France for an English immersion in Beaverlodge during the month of April. While at BRHS, Baptiste volunteered to help the French 20 and 30 classes improve their oral French. Ombrosa, a private language school where students often study four languages, looks for one-way exchange placements for students in Grade 6-10.
- Shout-out from the Legislature
On April 13, Grades 5 and 6 students in Ms. Theresa Simmonds' class were involved in a video conference pilot aimed at engaging students in what takes place during Question Period at the Alberta Legislature. The students were welcomed by The Honourable Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy and MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley, along with the Legislative Assembly and the Speaker of the House. The video may be viewed on the Legislative Assembly of Alberta website archives at http://bit.ly/1SC9IS3. Minister McCuaig-Boyd's welcome to Bonanza School students begins at the 1:36:45 p.m. portion of the video. Ms. Simmonds said this outstanding opportunity allowed students to connect with the provincial government and feel a personal connection to their curriculum.
Harry Balfour School
- Students nearly double Heart and Stroke Foundation fundraiser goal
Harry Balfour School held a Jump Rope for Heart event on April 29, in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The school raised an astounding $18,629.50 for the cause, far surpassing their $10,000 goal. As promised, Principal Young gladly submitted to having his head painted on May 5, which he agreed to do if students raised at least $8,000. Artwork was completed by Ms. Twyla Exner, artist-in-residence at HBS during the months of May and June through a program funded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Margaret Bell, Area Manager for the Heart and Stroke Foundation was at the school for the event and said that HBS will undoubtedly be named the top fundraising school in the Northwestern Alberta, NT and Nunavut district.
- MS Read-a-thon fundraiser generates $3,400 for the MS Society
In celebration of Education Week and the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Read-a-thon, students at LaGlace School shared their love of reading by dressing up as their favorite storybook character and reading with one another. The festivities included a breakfast of green eggs and ham in Grades 7/8 Language Arts class, making Robert Munch-style cookies in Grade 2, as well as other games, crafts and activities. During the week, students raised $3,400 for the MS Society.
Peace Wapiti Academy
- Celebration of the Arts
PWA's Celebration of the Arts will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1. The event will showcase student artwork, and photography, and will include a play by drama students and performances by the PWA school band. Enjoy snacks prepared by students who are enroled in foods classes.
- Students and seniors quilting for Fort McMurray
Rycroft School's Grade 3-4 class joined a group of volunteers at the Mary Pioneer Center on May 11 for a quilting bee in aid of Fort McMurray evacuees. Together, the seniors and the students crafted 12 handmade quilts – the seniors alone have created more than 30 to date. A shipment was sent to an evacuation center in Edmonton on May 13.
R. W. Zahara Public School
- Sexsmith Town Council tours replacement school
Town Council members were welcomed to R.W.Z. Public School on Tuesday, May 11 for a tour of the new facility.
Sexsmith Secondary School
- Interact Club member wins Rotary Club 4-Way Speech Contest
Three members of the Interact Club at Sexsmith Secondary School (SSS) recently competed in the annual Rotary 4-Way Speech Contest, hosted at the school. The contest, open to any high school student, allows participants to speak on a subject they are passionate about as long as it connects to the Rotary 4-Way Test: Is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build goodwill and better friendships, and will it be beneficial to all concerned? Breanna Girvan spoke on the impact and importance of books and reading; Jennifer Huls spoke on the role of feminism in her life and in society; and Hailey Huls spoke on the need to show greater care in the language we use, particularly as it relates to the LGBTQ community. All three spoke with thoughtfulness, clarity, and passion. Rotary judges selected Hailey Huls as the winner. The three were invited to present their speeches at the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie meeting on May 20th and receive their prizes. Since no other Interact Club in the District holds the 4-Way Speech Contest, the SSS students were also named Rotary District 5370 Champions. Pictured left-right: Hailey Huls, Jennifer Huls and Breanna Givan.
- 30-Hour Famine event nets $2,500
Fifty-five SSS students participated in a fun event for the cause. Students completed the required 30 hours without food or sleep while enjoying games of dodgeball and home free.
Teepee Creek School
- "Canada is for Kids" concert
On Thursday, May 26, Michael Mitchell will bring his "Canada is for Kids" concert to TCS, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Parents and community members are welcome to share this event with Kindergarten-Grade 6 students. Mr. Mitchell's show includes storytelling and songs about Canada's heritage.
- School modernization progressing
The community kitchen is complete and the Grades 1 and 2 class have settled into their new space. Classrooms on the west side were painted during the first week of May and occupied the following week. On the exterior, work on the ramp is nearing completion and siding work is ongoing.
- New Junior Kindergarten program coming for the 2016-2017 school year
Teepee Creek School will be offering Junior Kindergarten programming for the upcoming 2016-2017 year. The program will be open to children turning four in 2016. Questions about enroling younger children in the program may be directed to Principal Casey Brown, (780) 568-2265. The program will be offered on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Children must be dropped off at the school, but return busing may be possible. Families interested in busing may contact Ted Gobin, PWSD's Director of Transportation at (780) 532-7734 to arrange transportation.
- Tacky Tourist Day
Students dressed up as tacky tourists on May 19, but some were more cute than tacky, including Kindergarten student Oliver Backmeyer.
Recent Press Releases:
- May. 18, 2016 Tri-district school fundraiser nets more than $40,000 for Fort McMurray evacuees
- May. 17, 2016 Principal Shawn O’Shea named Distinguished Leader – Council for School Leadership announces 2015-2016 award winners
- May. 16, 2016 PWSD school bus drivers compete in Zone 5 Bus Rodeo
- May. 10, 2016 PWSD to host Division-wide Dave Bleile Track Meet
- May. 10, 2016 PWSD schools welcome students impacted by wildfires
- May. 04, 2016 Student leadership focus of ‘TP WE’ event
- May. 03, 2016 PWSD to bid farewell to 378 graduates in the Class of 2016
- May. 02, 2016 Board News - April 28, 2016
- Apr. 29, 2016 School Bus Driver Appreciation Day – May 2, 2016
- Apr. 28, 2016 Whispering Ridge Community School construction set to begin – Attendance boundary adjustments completed following community consultations
- PWSD and its schools have been featured in a total of 42 media stories to date during the month of May, 2016.