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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 – March 23, 2017

March 21, 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, March 23, 2017.

News from PWSD:

Awards and Announcements

PWSD's FNMI Scholarship awarded to Spirit River Regional Academy graduate Katelyn Byam
Katelyn Byam (center), a member of the Spirit River Regional Academy (SRRA) Class of 2016, has been selected as the recipient of the 2015-2016 PWSD First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) Scholarship, valued at $1,000. The scholarship was presented at PWSD Central Office on March 1, 2017 by FNMI Coordinator Darrell Willier (left) and Corinne Dennis (right), FNMI Liaison Worker at SRRA.

Assistant Superintendent secures Alberta Education grant to improve outcomes for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit early learners
Heather Putio, Assistant Superintendent of Inclusive Education at PWSD (pictured), has been awarded an Alberta Education research grant, valued at $50,000. As project lead, Ms. Putio will collaborate with community partners and the University of Calgary's Werklund School of Education to implement an Engaging All Early Learners study focusing on the systematic collection, analysis, and application of evidence to improve outcomes for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit learners in Early Years Programs in Hythe and the Horse Lake First Nation. The research will be conducted during a two-year period commencing in April, 2017.

Kindergarten Registration at PWSD schools begins on March 21
Is your child turning five in 2017? Kindergarten Registration begins on Tuesday, March 21. All families welcome. For information on how to register online using InfoSnap, visit http://bit.ly/Kindergarten2017.

PWSD student-athletes, staff and a team recognized by Grande Prairie Sport Council
Congratulations to PWSD FNMI Education Coordinator Darrell Willier on his nomination for a 2017 Northwest Alberta Sport Excellence Award in the Developmental Coach of the Year category. The nomination recognized his impact, both on and off the court, during the 12 years he has coached Peace Country Thunder U-15 Girls' Club Basketball. The gala event, hosted by the Grande Prairie Sport Council, was held on March 10 in Grande Prairie. At the event, Kinley Link, a Grade 11 student and wrestler at Sexsmith Secondary School, was named Female Athlete of the Year. Peace Wapiti Academy student-athlete Allison Pilgrim was nominated in the same category. The Spirit River Regional Academy Girls Volleyball team was nominated for the Female Team of the Year Award, and player Quinn Pelland received a separate nomination for Junior Female Athlete of the Year. Former PWSD bus driver Marjorie McAusland was honoured posthumously with a Sport Builder Award. For more information about the awards gala, visit the Grande Prairie Sport Council website, http://gpsportcouncil.ca/event/sport-gala. Photo credit: Grande Prairie Sport Council Facebook page.


Nominate a PWSD student for a Leaders of Tomorrow Award by April 3, 2017
The Leaders of Tomorrow Awards program recognizes students who have made outstanding contributions in their communities through volunteerism. Individuals, community groups, educational institutions, and volunteer organizations are invited to nominate youth between the ages of 13 and 18. Nomination deadline is Monday, April 3, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. For more information and the nomination package, visit http://www.volunteergrandeprairie.com/services/recognition-programs/leaders-of-tomorrow.

Students: Join the Minister's Youth Council – Application deadline is May 5, 2017
If you had a direct line to the Minister of Education, what would you say? Alberta Education is looking for 32 junior and senior high school students to form a Minister's Youth Council made up of individuals with diverse interests, identities, background and perspectives. For more information and the application, visit www.education.alberta.ca/myc. Deadline to apply is May 5, 2017.

PWSD EdTech Team to offer Custom Google Summit May 5-6
PWSD staff are invited to attend the PWSD Custom Google Summit, led by PWSD Educational Technology Coaches Memorese and Leah (pictured), on Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, 2017. The event includes beginner and intermediate/advanced sessions. Whether you know nothing about Google, are ready to take your Level 1 certification, or just want to get geeky, this is the event for you. Register at http://pwedtech.weebly.com/google-summit-2017.html. An early bird discount of $50 is applicable to registrations completed prior to April 1.

News from PWSD schools:

Bonanza School

Alberta Opera coming to Bonanza School
Bonanza School will welcome back the cast and crew of the Alberta Opera and their production of Hansel and Gretel. The performance will take place at the school at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. Everyone welcome. Kindergarten - Grade 6 students from Savanna School will also attend this event.

Clairmont Community School

Clairmont Community School hosts third annual Student Convention
Clairmont Community School (CCS) hosted its third annual Student Convention on Friday, March 17. The event line-up delivered an engaging day of discovery, exploration and positive energy for students. The day kicked off with a performance by country music duo Trin and Ariane, followed by three one-hour learning sessions in classrooms, the gym and the attached Wellington Resource Centre. The varied sessions, led by teachers and external presenters, encouraged students to explore technology, sports, arts, fitness, cooking, painting, team building, and music. Staff and students reconvened in the gym for a wrap-up keynote presentation by Keisha Mastrodimos, a graduate of Beaverlodge Regional High School who, in her final year of high school, suffered a severe spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident. Despite the setback, Miss Mastrodimos' can-do attitude serves as the basis of her message of hope and never giving up.

Eaglesham School

Breakfast program receives local support
A recent donation of $600 by the Rycroft Farmers Market has provided a needed boost to the school's elementary breakfast program. The school's goal is to expand the program to a daily event for the 2017-2018 school year.

Presentations provide valuable learning
Eaglesham students enjoyed a presentation by FNMI school tour guest Duane Howard on March 15. The school also welcomed Sgt. MacDougall for a talk on impact of bullying and being a bystander. The school will travel to Falher later this month for a presentation on fentanyl. HIV North will offer two presentations to junior and senior high student groups. Fifteen students have enroled in driver education.

Harry Balfour School

Annual International Food Fair celebrates 35th year
The 35th Annual Harry Balfour School International Food Fair will be held on Wednesday, March 29. Grades 1-8 students will bring an international food dish to share together during the lunch hour.

Harry Balfour School DARE grads
Grade 6 students graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Training (DARE) program on February 27 (pictured).

More HBS events

  • Grades 5-8 students are preparing for Mighty Peace Day with various acts of volunteerism and citizenship.
  • Junior High Badminton is getting underway, with tryouts scheduled for March 22.
  • FNMI Education Coordinator Darrell Willier is presenting the Circle of Courage with some Grades 5, 6 and 8 classes.
  • Students are looking forward to fun on Dress like a Celebrity Day on March 31.
  • An Art Showcase event will be held in the small gym on April 5, organized by student teachers Miss Mayer and Miss Price.
  • Twenty Grades 5 and 6 students will participate in the Edmonton Eskimos Flag Football Clinic on Tuesday April 11.
  • With the Music Festival fast approaching on April 11-13, Mr. Dommer and the band students are working hard to prepare for their performances.
  • Nine Grades 4-8 students will attend the Spring Break Camp at the Eastlink Centre on April 17-24, offered by the Community Foundation and the City of Grande Prairie. The group will try kayaking, the flow rider, indoor soccer, wheelchair basketball, squash, and more.
  • During April 25 - May 15, Harry Balfour will host six French exchange students through the Ombrosa International School exchange project.
  • On May 2, junior high students at Harry Balfour School will be joined by Bezanson School's junior high students for a free Chemistry demo by Dr. Lucio Gelmini of MacEwan University. The program is supported by the Alberta Science Network.

Helen E. Taylor School

Carnival travel club fundraiser planned for March 23
The carnival will be the final H.E.T. travel club fundraising and community event before heading off to Japan during Spring Break.  The group of Grade 9 students will be led by Mr. Robinson and Mrs. Grinde.

Exciting learning opportunities for H.E.T. students
 H.E.T. student can explore the world, walk the plank and deep-sea dive during their unstructured time, thanks to a new HTC Vive Virtual Reality System (pictured) at the Wembley Public Library. Art option students will complete a five-part ink and watercolour course taught by local artist Colleen Holler (pictured), who also serves as a Wembley Town Councilor and member of the Wembley and District Art, Culture and Historical Society.

First H.E.T. Identity Day a rousing success
The school hosted its first Identity Day on March 2, and judging from its success, it may become an annual event. Students and staff created displays to share their personal interests with one other and community members (pictured).

Film and Taste of Travel – New junior high options offered this term
Junior high students are storyboarding, recording and editing videos in a new Film option class. Students in the new Taste and Travel option class (pictured) have benefited from a number of guest presentations, along with opportunities to research, present and cook food for the class based on places they would like to travel.

Annual Pi Day pie throw celebrates 3.14
On March 14, students lined up to throw pies at participating staff members, in celebration of Pi Day (pictured). Students either bought a pie, or earned one by successfully completing math problems throughout the week. 

New sensory room at H.E.T.
H.E.T. has developed a special room to stimulate the senses of hearing, sight, touch and smell (pictured). The room offers students with sensory integration disorder a place to explore and develop their sensory skills, or relax and relieve stress and anxiety. To learn more about the sensory room and equipment, visit https://goo.gl/EyAgrR.  

First basketball jamboree at H.E.T.
On March 18, H.E.T. hosted its first Grades 5-6 Basketball Jamboree, and welcomed students from Penson, Teepee Creek and LaGlace Schools to play.

Hythe Regional School

Hythe speed skaters compete at Westerns
Ethan and Andrew Blackmore, twin brothers and Grade 7 students at Hythe Regional School, qualified for the Canada West Short Track Championship held in Saskatoon on March 18. The pair only joined the Peace Wapiti Speed Skating Club (PWSSC) this season. Congratulations to both student-athletes. Their achievement was included in a story by the Daily Herald Tribune on March 16: http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/2017/03/16/local-speed-skaters-competing-at-westerns

Peace Wapiti Academy

Congratulations to PWA winners of the Aboriginal Youth Role Model Award
Five PWA students received Aboriginal Youth Role Model Awards at the 2017 Spirit Seekers Youth Conference held in Grande Prairie on March 4:

  • Patricia Moberly: Academic Achievement
  • Landon Cook: Health and Wellness
  • Joel Wanihadie: Career and Employment
  • Mia Cook: Arts, Music and Creativity
  • Eden Hatch: Ahkameyimok Perseverance

Congratulations to PWA Titans Girls Basketball team
The PWA Titans Girls Basketball team (pictured) qualified for provincials in Medicine Hat on March 16-18.

Outdoor Pursuits class taking advantage of great weather
Mr. Spence's Outdoor Pursuits class is pictured with the four-person quinzhee they built in March. A quinzhee is a snow shelter made by gathering a large pile of snow and then hollowing it out. This is in contrast to an igloo, which is made from blocks of hard snow. A quinzhee can be made for winter camping, survival purposes, or for fun.

Information night and open house for parents
PWA invites parents and students interested in attending PWA in September to an information night and open house on Tuesday, March 21, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the school's theatre. Tours of the school will follow a brief presentation.

PWA Concert Band to compete in New Orleans Festival of Music
Forty-four members of the PWA Concert Band will compete at the New Orleans Festival of Music on April 5-10, and enjoy the culture and creole food offered by the area. After their competition, students will tour a swamp, a plantation and an aquarium, along with a walking tour of the French Quarter, Mardi Gras World and a jazz dinner aboard the Natchez. What an adventure!

Free First Aid training for PWSD high school students
Peace Wapiti Academy's One Credit Wonders courses provide PWSD high school students with additional opportunities to earn credits. First Aid training will be offered on April 29-30, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at PWA. The course, valued at two credits, is free of charge to PWSD high school students and lunch will be provided. Students must register for the course with their school counselor, or by emailing debbieterceros@pwsd76.ab.ca by April 1.

PWA band performs at two public events
The PWSD Spring Band Concert on March 14 was a great success with more than 100 students from PWA, Harry Balfour and Clairmont Schools on stage at GPRC (pictured).  Eight PWA Band students were selected to play in The Mighty Peace Honour Band at the Teachers' Convention (pictured). Sierra Greentree, Emma Young, Maryn Johnson, Laine Johner, Tayvis Rodacker, Adam Harris, Jace Wirth and Max Barrs performed with a selection of students from Northern Division schools, under the direction of Kirk Wassmer from Didsbury. Preparation for the performance included a clinic and two rehearsals.

PWA's Got Talent event planned for May
The school will host a talent show on May 11. Stay tuned for more details closer to the event.

Penson School

Alberta Opera brings Hansel and Gretel to Penson School
Penson School will welcome the cast and crew of the Alberta Opera and their production of Hansel and Gretel at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28.

Chris Warkentin meets with Grade 6 students
Penson Grade 6 students welcomed MP Chris Warkentin to their classroom last week (pictured). The students had many questions for Mr. Warkentin, mainly around his thoughts on the carbon tax, our Premier and Prime Minister.

Students publish anthology of works
The Grades 7-8 Language Arts class published Penson Anthology of Original Short Stories, and are very proud to see their words in a print compilation (pictured).

Ridgevalley School

Students attend PC leadership vote
Grade 11 students Calen Warkentin (left) and Dylan Thomas (right) were selected as delegates by the riding association to attend the PC leadership convention in Calgary on March 18. Both students are very active politically and RVS was thrilled to see them attend this event.

New Breakfast Club up and running at RVS
RVS has started a Breakfast Club for students. The club is off to a great start and is run by students, for students to promote a strong community atmosphere. Volunteers (l-r) include Grade 8 students Reegan Fobes and Cale Sampson; Ryan Mycek, Grade 7; Keenan Aldrich, Grade 8; and Josh Appleby, Grade 10. Each morning, secondary students can choose from toast, bananas, apples, and granola bars. Doyle's Repair donated the toasters, and donations of bread are always needed.

Robert W. Zahara Public School

Coalition for Music Education to profile R.W.Z. music program
Since naming Principal Lawrie McKeith among the winners of the 2016 Principals of Music Awards (POMA) in December, the Coalition for Music Education has expressed interest in profiling the school's unique approach to music.

Savanna School

New learning opportunities
Mrs. Olsen's Grades 1-2 math class learned to create pictographs. Kindergartens are having fun with their new sensory center (pictured). Grade 5- 12 students welcomed MP Chris Warkentin on March 16 (pictured).

Mrs. Taylor's Grades 7-8 class visited the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton and met with Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy and MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley (pictured). The trip included visits to the Alberta Art Gallery, Telus World of Science, West Edmonton Mall, the Aviation Museum, and the zoo. 

In Outdoor Education, Mr. Young and his students participated in a mock rescue (pictured), moving an injured student to safety using whatever they could find in the outdoors, along with items from their backpacks – a great teamwork experience.

Upcoming events at Savanna School
Senior High Basketball is in its last week, and the team will host a movie fundraiser at Savanna with the showing of "Sing" on March 31. Kindergarten - Grade 6 students will travel to Bonanza School on March 30 for the Alberta Opera production of Hansel and Gretel. On April 6, the school will host their annual spring concert, starting at 5:00 p.m., with a potluck dinner to follow. The event will also include an art show and sale, with works for display located in the gym, and items for sale in the elementary hallways. The school's combined Hoops for Heart/Jump Rope for Heart event will take place during the afternoon of April 13.

Sexsmith Secondary School

Wrestling wins
The Sexsmith Secondary wrestling team wrapped up an exciting season with three provincial titles and a number of individual awards. The Rural Provincial Wrestling Championships in Edson, held on February 27-28, saw both the Girls and Boys teams win their respective 1A and 2A provincial titles, along with two gold medals, three silver medals, and two individual sportsmanship pins. Two weeks later, the Girls team earned the 1A/2A Girls Provincial Wrestling team banner in Calgary on March 10-11. In addition to the team banner, team member and Grade 11 SSS student Kinley Link (pictured) was named provincial champion in her weight class. She appeared via video link to accept the Female Athlete of the Year Award, presented by Grande Prairie Sports Council at the Northwest Sports Excellence Awards gala held on March 10. She was also named 2016 Outstanding Female Cadet at the Alberta Amateur Wrestling Association (AAWA) annual banquet held in March. SSS Wrestling Coach Adam Link was also honoured at the AAWA banquet with the 2016 Outstanding Contributor Award. Photo courtesy of the AAWA website http://albertaamateurwrestling.ca/2016-aawa-awards-banquet/

Teepee Creek School

Fun and learning at TCS
Grades 7 and 8 students learned all about the two-step, line dancing and more during six dancing lessons offered in March (pictured). 

Grades 1-6 students enjoyed the second annual TCS Western Wednesday. Students made trail mix and "Wanted" posters, and dug for gold. Grades 7-8 students did a fantastic job leading stations and helping younger students with the activities. Pictured is Grade 5 student Telson Steeves.

Coming up, the school will host a Backwards Day on April 7.  Students will do anything and everything backwards – clothing, schedules, walking, and more. It should be a YAD NUF!

Wembley Elementary School

Shinny hockey program back at WES
The WES shinny hockey program, open to Grades 3 and 4 students not involved in minor hockey, has been running for more than 10 years. Some minor hockey players act as associate coaches. The 6-8 week program, offered during February and March, wraps up with a season-ending game that sees parents, staff and the entire student body cheering on the program's 35+ participants.

Face-lift for WES
WES is in the process of getting a few touch-ups, including new interior painting to reflect the school's red and white colour theme. This summer, painters will move to the exterior of the building. The colour change tops off a three-year project to replace classroom, library and office furniture, giving WES a clean new look.

Woking School

Woking students give back
Woking School kicked off their Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation on March 14. Students are busy fundraising and will participate in a jump event on April 13.

Staff and students continue to raise money for the school's Cambodian foster child, Phyreak Soam. Upcoming March fundraisers include a cookie sale and 'toonie' hat day.

The Woking Snow Angel Program received a $1,000 donation to purchase snow shovels, mitts and toques. Since receiving the funds, the Snow Squad has been busy shoveling snow around the hamlet of Woking.

Tower gardening and curling provide new learning opportunities
Students have been busy planting seeds for transplant to the school's indoor tower garden (pictured). The cost of the unique mobile indoor greenhouse was covered by a donation from ConocoPhillips.

Grade 3 - 8 students have learned a new sports skill this winter, thanks to three weekly curling lessons at the Spirit River Curling Club (pictured).

Recent Press Releases:

Other news:

  • PWSD and its schools have been featured in 38 media stories to date during the month of March 2017.