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 19, 2017.
News from PWSD:
Sexsmith Principal wins national Principals of Music Award
Congratulations to Principal Lawrie McKeith of Robert W. Zahara (R.W.Z.) Public School in Sexsmith on being named a winner of a 2016 Principals of Music Award (POMA), presented by the Coalition for Music Education. According to the Coalition for Music Education website, more than thirty inspiring applications were submitted to the POMA committee, and one winner was selected from three regions across Canada – Eastern, Central and Western – as well as an award sponsored by the National Arts Centre for a recipient in Nunavut. Ms. McKeith was named winner for the Western region. Award winners received a plaque and $1,500, to be applied to their school music program. The Coalition formally acknowledged Ms. McKeith's achievement via a video message during the R.W.Z. Christmas concert.
"It is with great pleasure we award the Principals of Music Award to Lawrie McKeith, who has shown dedication above and beyond what education administrators typically do on a day-to-day basis," says Don Quarles, Chair of the POMA Committee and Coalition for Music Education Board member. "Principal McKeith ensures each child has access to music and the necessary resources, supports her music specialists by providing dedicated classroom space, and advocates for the power of music within the school, Board, and community."
Ms. McKeith was nominated by R.W.Z. music teacher Janina Carlstad, who also included letters of support from Assistant Principal Stacy Rorem and PWSD Inclusive Education Coach Deb Reynolds. To view the announcement of the 2016 award recipients on the POMA website, visit http://www.musicmakesus.ca/principals-of-music-award.
PWSD students benefit from free diploma exam tutorial sessions
PWSD's free diploma exam tutorial sessions are back this month. The comprehensive six-hour weekend tutorials, known throughout the Division as 'On Your Mark!' sessions, are open to all PWSD students. The sessions provide an opportunity to review course content while further developing strategies to tackle question formats. Free lunches and snacks are provided by PWSD. Math and Social Studies 30-1 and 30-2 sessions were held last weekend.
- Biology 30: Saturday, January 21, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., GPRC, Room A211.
- Chemistry 30: Saturday, January 21, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., GPRC, Room A210.
- Science 30: Friday, January 27, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Peace Wapiti Academy.
Kindergarten Registration set for March 21 at PWSD schools
Is your child is turning five in 2017? Register them for Kindergarten at a PWSD school near you. Registration opens at PWSD schools on Tuesday, March 21. A birth certificate and proof of county address are required at the time of registration. Some schools complete registration by appointment only, while other schools welcome drop-ins, or host evening registration events. Additional information will be available soon.
Family Literacy Day to be celebrated at PWSD Schools
Family Literacy Day, a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada, is celebrated annually on January 27. Some PWSD school extend the day into a week of literacy activities. More than reading stories together as a family, Family Literacy Day promotes other activities, such as making a grocery list and encouraging your children to locate the items at the store, playing board games, unscrambling jumbled sentences, and allowing your child to keep score during a game to sharpen their math skills. Learn more about Literacy Day online at http://abclifeliteracy.ca/family-literacy, or ask your child to describe what they did at school during the following events:
- Beaverlodge Elementary School: A week of activities during January 23-27 have been organized by the school's Literacy Week Committee under the theme "Welcome to Camp Read-a-lot" to get students excited about literacy. During the week, students will place reading logs in the school's 'campfire' pit (pictured), collect books for a book swap, decorate classroom doors in a cabin theme, and colour bookmarks. On Thursday, January 26, the school will gather in the gym for a campfire story during nutrition break, complete with S'mores snacks, songs and reading aloud.
- Bonanza School: Families and community members are invited to join students for a 'Learn at Play Every Day' afternoon of literacy through play on Tuesday, January 31 at 12:30 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. Participants will experience creative ways to enhance literacy skills at home and in school through hands-on word play, drama, board games, crafts and technology.
- Helen E. Taylor School: The school will host a 'Green Eggs and Ham' breakfast and 'Alphabet Soup' lunch on Friday, January 27. A multitude of activities are planned for the week, including a life-sized Scrabble® game and a read-in.
- LaGlace School: Students are encouraged to dress up as their favorite storybook character on January 27 and share a story as a part of the buddy reading program.
- Teepee Creek School: Grades 1-6 students will participate in six Family Literacy Day activities, led by Grades 7-8 students, during Friday afternoon, January 27: camp-out reading, write a letter to my future self, winter words in the snow, Race to Read game, yoga alphabet, and an alphabet scavenger hunt.
News from PWSD schools:
Beaverlodge Elementary School
BES students learn about farm safety
With more than half of its students living on rural properties, Farm Safety is an important issue for BES. On January 11 and 18, Carla Richard from Alberta Farm Safety (pictured) presented on the topic to Grade 1-5 students. The presentations have proven extremely valuable to all students, whether they live on a farm, on an acreage, or in town. The school plans to make this an annual event at BES, as the presentations build upon the previous year's information. Pictured: Ms. Longson's Grade 2 class learn about boat and ice safety.
BES Carnival Day planned for January 25 – Proceeds to support school snack shack and Global Medic organization
Mr. Lojczyc's Grade 4 Classroom Champions Team and the Grade 6 'Me to We' Leadership Team at BES are pleased to present the 2017 BES Carnival Day on Wednesday, January 25. All proceeds from the event will support the BES Snack Shack which provides free healthy food options to students, and the Global Medic organization which sends Canadian volunteers around the world to aid in the aftermath of disaster and crises. During the carnival, students will rotate through stations to test their skill, talent and luck. Admission is a suggested donation of a dollar. Most stations are free, but students and staff will pay a dollar to play 'Shoot the Apple of the Ape', throw a pie at a team member, or purchase a cupcake. Family members are welcome to participate in and donate to this event.
Students' Union Update
Following the JSET Student Conference in November, Bezanson School's Students' Union president Madison and Secretary Elena were inspired to create a mission statement for the school. They organized students into groups to get feedback. Currently, the Students' Union is working on creating a logo and an approved message to post in the school's entrances. On Random Acts of Kindness Day, the Students' Union presented shovels to each class to encourage clearing walkways in the community.
Kindergarten student collecting donations for Haiti
Adryen, a Kindergarten student at Bonanza School (pictured), will be traveling with his family at the end of January to spend a week at the Mission of Grace in Carries, Haiti. He has a huge heart for orphans and has been raising support for them during the past year. The young student has reached out to his schoolmates for donations of vitamins, baby formula, new soccer balls and goalie equipment, and cash. The deadline for donations is Friday, January 20. For more information, check out a video featuring Adryen and his mother: https://www.facebook.com/lori.peachey.77/videos/1862239097357062/
February focused on active living and heart health
On February 10, the Grades 5-8 classes will enjoy skiing and snowboarding at the Whispering Pines ski hill in Worsley, AB. This annual event offers new learning opportunities for students who have never tried the activities.
Bonanza School will host a Jump Rope for Heart event on February 14. The school has set this year's goal at $2,500, with a reward of a movie and treats in the gym for participants. Students and staff look forward to this annual event as it supports a great cause – The Heart and Stroke Foundation – along with the fun of the heart-pumping skipping activities.
Eaglesham School to host Elementary Volleyball Tournament
Approximately 15 PWSD Elementary schools will compete in the Elementary Volleyball Tournament, hosted by Eaglesham School on Tuesday, January 31. Competition will begin at 10:00 a.m. and wrap up at approximately 2:00 p.m., depending on the number of participating teams. The round robin tournament, open to students in Grades 4-6, will award first and second place medals in each division. Best of luck to all teams!
Upcoming programs at Eaglesham School
- A senior high drama course will be offered in the second semester which begins on February 1.
- The Grades 5/6 class will welcome RCMP Constable Guy Girard-Lallemand who will present the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program, as part of Eaglesham School's safe and caring school environment initiatives.
Helen E. Taylor School
Yoga and farm safety coming to HET
In partnership with the Wembley FCSS, HET will offer students weekly yoga sessions, beginning January 23 and running until April. Junior high students will participate in sessions on Mondays, while elementary students will practice yoga on Wednesdays.
Grades 5 and 6 students will attend a Farm Safety presentation at the school on February 14. On the same day, Grades 7-9 students will attend a Learning Clicks presentation, offered by the Alberta Government, regarding career and post-secondary choices. Learn more at http://learningclicks.alberta.ca.
Winter fun at LaGlace
The LaGlace School senior student leadership team designed and led a winter-themed school-wide event on January 13 (pictured). Students were divided into four teams and rotated through different stations. Pictured: The snow fort building station.
- LaGlace School's charity of the month for January is the St. Lawrence Centre, and funds will be raised through a grilled cheese sandwich sale.
- PACE will present educational workshops for the prevention of sexual violence on January 24, 26, 31 and February 2 for students in Kindergarten to Grade 9.
- February is Nutrition Month! Students will sample fruits and vegetables during last recess.
Peace Wapiti Academy
Therapy dog easing final exam fears
Happy, the Educational Assistant Therapy Dog (pictured), along with his handler Ms. Erker, will greet students in the school foyer every morning during final exams. There are many reported benefits of therapy animals, including improving cognitive functioning by relieving daily stress, providing emotional and social support in the form of comfort, increasing social engagement, and improving self-confidence and self-esteem.
French 9 students off to Quebec Winter Carnival in February
Mrs. Deimert and her French 9 students will be off to beautiful Quebec on February 1 to enhance their French speaking skills. The group will also enjoy winter carnival and its ice palace and ice sculpture competition, a Ramparts hockey game, along with many visits to local museums. The group returns on February 6.
Astronomy a hit at PWA
Astronomy students from Mr. Camsell's Grade 9 class (pictured) having been studying the sky with the school's three new telescopes, and have been most impressed looking at the moon, Venus and Mars.
PWA grad class to host first Grad Fashion Show and Auction
The PWA grad class will be taking a turn on the catwalk at the first PWA Grad Fashion Show and Auction on February 16, with proceeds directed to supporting their commencement event which will take place on May 6.
New Participarent Group and return of canteen services making positive impact at Penson
Penson's newly-formed Participarent Group (pictured) is making a positive impact, and students are benefiting from the changes. Led by Chair Kathy Drysdale, staff and students now enjoy a pancake breakfast on Fridays, complete with sausages, fresh fruit and juice. The breakfasts are sponsored by various local community businesses, with plenty of parent volunteers flipping pancakes. As a result, the school is reporting a significant increase in Friday attendance, along with improved contact with parents.
Principal Jenny McAusland says, "There's something about the smell of home cooking that makes a school whole." The school also brought back canteen services (pictured) following a two-year hiatus. Cheryl Kotcheroski and Karen Copley of Kayceez Lunchbox offer fresh, homemade lunches to staff and students on Tuesday-Thursday, and occasionally offer lunch on the house.
Teepee Creek School
Winter activities in full swing at TCS
Grades 4-8 students will learn the game of curling during three afternoon visits to the Sexsmith Curling rink on January 16-18. On January 19, the school will host a special lunch to celebrate students with January birthdays. The Grades 4-6 classes are enjoying snowshoeing (pictured), and Grades 5-8 students will participate in a Nitehawk ski trip on February 16 and 23.
Recent Press Releases:
- PWSD and its schools were featured in approximately 40 media stories during the month of December, 2016.