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

Good News Report – February, 2017

February 17, 2017

​The following Good News Report from Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) and its schools will be shared at the upcoming Board Meeting on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

News from PWSD:

February 22 is Pink Shirt Day – Make Nice

Kindness is universal – a trait we encourage everyone to openly express every day. The phrase "Make Nice", selected as the theme of Pink Shirt Day 2017, acts as a friendly reminder that no matter what our differences are, kindness is always a choice worth making. Being kind and "making nice" is the underlying philosophy behind the anti-bullying movement that we hope will live on beyond Pink Shirt Day. Learn more at http://pinkshirtday.ca.

On February 22, PWSD schools will show their commitment to creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments and promoting healthy relationships by wearing pink shirts and participating in the following activities:

  • Students and staff at Beaverlodge Elementary School will wear pink and teachers will share the significance of the day with their classes.
  • The Beaverlodge Regional High School Student Leadership Team will host a 'Wear Pink Day' with team-building activities in the school's student gathering area.
  • Eaglesham School will wear pink to promote anti-bullying awareness, while shifting the focus to kindness and acceptance of all people.  
  • Elmworth School will wear pink and the Student Leadership group will host team-building activities for the students during lunch recess.
  • Harry Balfour School will host a "Sea of Pink Sock Hop" for all three Grade divisions. Kindergarten – Grade 3 students will dance their morning recess away in the school's large gym starting at 10:26 a.m., followed by Junior High students at 12:28 p.m. during lunch recess. Grades 4-6 students will take their turn during afternoon recess at 2:22 p.m.
  • La Glace School has taken Pink Shirt Day to a new level by declaring February as Happy Heart Month. The school kicked off the month with an assembly to generate excitement about the coming events and activities that will focus on the social, emotional and physical health of the heart. During the assembly, students watched the video, Don't Laugh at Me. Classrooms will participate in weekly activities sourced from the Operation Respect website, http://operationrespect.org. Students will celebrate Pink Shirt Day by wearing school-supplied pink wrists bands. To promote the full health of the heart, a greater variety of nutritious snacks will be available free of charge at the canteen, and students will be encouraged to raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation with a Jump Rope for Heart/Hoops for Heart event that kicks off on February 23.
  • Peace Wapiti Academy's Class of 2017 has issued a "Pinkest Class on Pink Shirt Day" school-wide challenge for February 22, with the winner receiving bragging rights and a sweet treat on February 24.
  • Savanna School is wearing pink to show support for ending bullying and promoting healthy relationships.
  • All staff and participating students at Sexsmith Secondary School will wear pink as a visual reminder that the school environment is welcoming and inclusive for all. Teachers will facilitate classroom discussions on the topic of bullying, emphasizing the importance of ongoing conversations beyond Pink Shirt Day.
  • Students and staff at Spirit River Regional Academy will wear pink shirts or pins and acknowledge the importance of promoting kindness and acceptance. High school students will write notes to elementary and junior high students, expressing words of wisdom and encouragement. Students who display random acts of kindness will receive tokens that will be displayed as a visual representation of the number of acts of kindness that can occur in any given day.
  • Woking School will provide all students with 'Make Nice' Pink Shirt Day T-shirts.


Duane Howard of The Revenant set to star in upcoming FNMI school tour 
Ten PWSD schools will welcome actor and stuntman Duane Howard during the FNMI school tour on March 13-17, 2017. Mr. Howard is most recently noted for his portrayal of 'Elk Dog' (pictured) in the movie, The Revenant, alongside Hollywood headliners Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. Mr. Howard's visit to Peace Wapiti Academy will focus on offering pointers to Grades 10, 11, and 12 Drama students who share his love of acting. Mr. Howard's tour schedule includes:

  • Monday, March 13: Peace Wapiti Academy Drama 10, 20 and 30 classes; Harry Balfour School; Central Office Meet and Greet
  • Tuesday, March 14: Beaverlodge Regional High School; Elmworth School
  • Wednesday, March 15: La Glace School; Eaglesham School
  • Thursday, March 16: Bezanson School; Ridgevalley School
  • Friday, March 17: Hythe Regional School; Helen E.Taylor School, Wembley

Jump Rope for Heart events at PWSD Schools

  • Bonanza School - February 14
    Students at Bonanza School collected pledges for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and hosted a Jump Rope for Heart event on February 14 (pictured). The school has set a goal of $2,500 and currently, they are at $2,107.26 with donations still coming in.

  • LaGlace School – February 23
    LaGlace School has chosen the Heart and Stroke Foundation as their charity of the month for February. The school will kick off their Jump Rope/ Hoops for Heart event on February 23.

  • Rycroft School – February 24
    A Jump Rope for Heart event will take place early afternoon in the gym. The event will be followed by the Rycroft Winter Frolic kick-off and activities.

  • Bezanson School – March 2
    The Jump Rope for Heart 'Jump Day' will take place on March 2. Students are busy collecting pledges and held a "Guess the Candies in the Jar" contest last week in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

  • Woking School – March 16
    A fundraising kick-off event is planned for February 23. The school has set a goal to surpass the $2,500 raised two years ago. The Jump Rope for Heart event will be held on March 16.

Two PWSD staffers receive Passionate Hearts Awards
Congratulations are in order for Beaverlodge Elementary School's Assistant Principal Andrew Lojczyc and Lisa Cage Ostaszewski, Administrative Assistant. The pair were among those recognized with Passionate Heart Exceptional Service Awards during the 11th annual Passionate Heart Awards luncheon held on February 14, 2017 in Grande Prairie. Read more at http://bit.ly/2lLhun7.


News from PWSD schools:

Beaverlodge Regional High School

BRHS launches 'Cree Word of the Day' video series
BRHS has launched a new video-based initiative, Cree Word of the Day, as a fun and informative way to increase awareness of FMNI Elder Peter Joachim's presence in the school. Mr. Joachim meets with Co-Principal Anna Nelson to record the daily videos, which students, staff and the greater BRHS community can access on the BRHS website at http://www.pwsd76.ab.ca/schools/brhs, or on the BHRS Facebook page.

Bezanson School

Upcoming events

  • Presenters Bill Gordon and Ryan Laird will visit the school on March 8. Mr. Gordon will speak on the "Power of Kindness" and Mr. Laird, a musician, will share his "Bigger Than That" campaign covering every day obstacles students have to overcome to believe in themselves, achieve their dreams, or simply make it through the day.
  • Nitehawk Day will be held on March 17. Bezanson School staff and students will enjoy a day of skiing, snowboarding, and carnival events.
  • A Spring Book Fair will be held on March 20-23, and Parent-Teacher Interviews are planned for March 23.

    Pictured: As part of a recent Effective Behaviour Supports assembly at Bezanson School, students held a Fly on the Wall contest.

Bonanza School

Literacy Day held on January 31
Bonanza School hosted a Literacy Day "Learn at Play Every Day" event on January 31. Parents and community members joined students for an afternoon of learning through play. Literacy-based activities included hands-on word play, drama, board games, crafts and technology. Students thoroughly enjoyed sharing their learning experience with parents and community members.

Colony Schools

Colony Schools receive German language picture books
PWSD's eight Colony schools will each receive $400 worth of German language picture books, thanks to combined funding from PWSD, the Central Peace Early Childhood Coalition, the Hutterite Colonies, and area municipalities. Deb Reynolds, PWSD Inclusive Education Coach and Co-Chair of the Central Peace Early Childhood Coalition began delivery of the books on February 17. Ms. Reynolds will be joined by Co-Chair and Public Health Nurse Laurie Shofner, and Rowena Stewart, PWSD Literacy Instructional Coach.

"Recent research shows that, for English language learners, being exposed to print in their first language supports successful literacy acquisition," says Ms. Reynolds. "We're grateful for the partnerships that have enabled us to provide colonies with a significant number of books."

Hythe Regional School

Musical talent show planned for evening of February 24
HRS will host a musical talent show featuring Kindergarten - Grade 6 student performers on Friday, February 24 at 6:30 p.m.

LaGlace School

Special events and activities at LaGlace School
Students and staff will celebrate the 100th day of school on February 23 by dressing up as 100 year olds. On March 17, it's off to Nitehawk for a day of fun in the snow, with Grades 1-4 students participating in winter carnival activities while Grades 5-9 enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Grades 1-9 students will travel to Beaverlodge on March 13-23 for swimming lessons.
Pictured: LaGlace School's Grades 1 and 2 class dressed as their favourite storybook characters during Family Literacy Day on January 27. 

Peace Wapiti Academy

Media Design course opening doors for students
Last year, Peace Wapiti Academy launched a Media Design course for students interested in exploring design, video and marketing. Len Morissette, co-founder of CIA solutions, an advertising network in Grande Prairie, facilitates real world experience by working with PWA students to create short marketing videos that air on communication screens at public facilities, such as the Eastlink Centre. Principal Wanda Gerard says, "Seeing their work in public is a confidence booster for students, and the work experience can be applied as credits toward their high school diploma."

PWA CONNECT an integral part of school learning community  
CONNECT provides opportunities for student success through individualized programming. New CONNECT courses offered this semester include Paleontology 35 (pictured) and American Sign Language 35. Several students have taken advantage of dual credit safety ticket courses offered at GPRC throughout the year, and successful completion of all six courses translates into five high school credits. Students are also learning to drive through a partnership between the school and AMA. Students can sign up for the course at any time throughout the school year and earn three credits for completing a combination of online theory and driving instruction.

American Sign Language course taking off at PWA
A locally-approved course in American Sign Language (ASL) has taken on a life of its own at PWA, resulting in a community of signers beyond the classroom. Students are taking the initiative to create signing videos, and sign language communication is happening in the cafeteria and around the school. ASL 15 and 25 courses are offered by PWA teacher Chelsea Kiddine. Due to popular demand, PWA is now offering ASL 35 through CONNECT this year, which completes the three-year requirements of ASL. Watch the following video of a PWA student signing:


'Try-it' Room opening soon
Beginning February 28, PWA will implement a 'Try-it' Room one day per week during iPlan block. Students may participate in learning options that are not device-related. Teachers will open their classrooms for Sudoku, chess, card games, crocheting, knitting and juggling. 

Pictured: Outdoor Pursuits students are having fun with their new game of big Jenga, courtesy of Mr. Morrison's shop students.

Penson School

NuVista Energy funds new Robotics kits for Grovedale students
NuVista Energy Production Superintendent Vern Crone and his colleague, Jade Rowe, visited Penson School on January 24 to see the new Robotics program in action. The program is the latest Penson initiative funded by NuVista Energy, thanks to a recent donation of $4,470. Penson Principal Jenny McAusland says, "Student engagement is exceptionally high, as kids experience firsthand how science and technology exploration shapes their future. A huge thank-you to NuVista Energy for their continued support." Past support from the company has covered the cost of SMART® boards and team jerseys.

Ridgevalley School

Missoula Children's Theatre and RVS students to present Treasure Island on February 25
The Missoula Children's Theatre group will work with a cast of approximately 50-60 student actors and stagehands from Ridgevalley School during the week of February 21-25, culminating with a presentation of the play Treasure Island on Saturday, February 25.

Rycroft School

Busy March planned for Rycroft School
On March 2, Kindergarten-Grade 3 students will celebrate 'Pirate Day' and Grades 4-8 will enjoy skiing at Nitehawk. Odyssey House presentations to Junior High students will take place on March 13-14. On March 22, award-winning singer, songwriter and storyteller Michael Mitchell will bring his 'Canada is for Kids' presentation to the school at 1:00 p.m. In mid-March, Grades 4, 5 and 6 classes will travel to Wembley for a basketball tournament.

This school year, the Grades 5-6 students are exchanging letters with pen pals in Fort Vermillion. The Grade 1 class enjoys weekly visits with a 'Roots of Empathy' baby. The FNMI Liaison Worker plans to cook up a storm in March, introducing Rycroft students to delicious traditional foods such as pemmican, bannock, and three sisters soup.

Looking ahead, the school's Learning Fair, themed 'Canada – 150 years', is tentatively set for May 4.

Sexsmith Secondary School

JSET students form Administrative Council at SSS
Sexsmith Secondary School (SSS) students who are members of PWSD's Jurisdictional Student Engagement Team (JSET) have taken the initiative to form a school-based Administrative Council to meet with SSS Administrators to discuss student issues. Principal Mike Lauzon says the Council has given the JSET group more power, and members really feel that the student voice is being heard. The group, in turn, aids Administration in relaying their voice back to the student body.

SSS Wrestling team preparing for Provincials
SSS wrestlers are training to compete in the ASAA Rural Provincials in Edson on February 24-25. High school wrestlers who place in the top five of their weight class at Rural Provincials will compete at Provincials in Calgary on March 10-11 for top placing in Alberta.

Teepee Creek School

Western Wednesday, dancing and outdoor fun at TCS
TCS will host a Western Wednesday event on March 8. Students and staff will dress in country attire and participate in western activities. In March, Grades 7 and 8 students will take dance lessons during gym class, covering a basic two-step, line dancing, and the waltz. Earlier in February, students enjoyed a Valentine's Day dance with prizes for enthusiastic participation, and Grades 5-8 students made two trips to Nitehawk for skiing and snowboarding.

Recent Press Releases:


Other news:

  • PWSD and its schools were featured in approximately 30 media stories during the month of January, 2017, bringing the total coverage for the first semester of the 2016-2017 school year to 204 stories.