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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 Report โ€“ April 2017

April 26, 2017

โ€‹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, April 27, 2017.




News from PWSD:

Peace Country Thunder U-17 Girls Club Basketball team gives back to Grande Prairie Youth Emergency Shelter Society

A donation of 60 pairs of custom-made socks by Your City Sports to the Peace Country Thunder U-17 Girls Basketball team presented a unique opportunity to give back to local youth. The company also offered to provide a matching donation to the team's charity of choice โ€“ Grande Prairie Youth Emergency Shelter Society. In addition, team members and their Coach Darrell Willier, FNMI Education Coordinator at PWSD, decided to include a personal donation of undergarments โ€“ 16 packages in total. The team, made up of 15 players from Peace Wapiti Academy and Beaverlodge Regional High, Ridgevalley, and Sexsmith Secondary Schools, delivered the items to the shelter together. Go team!

PWSD team to present at inaugural Collaborative Response Model conference in Edmonton

PWSD has been engaged in the Collaborative Response Model (CRM) for the past two years and is one of the leading CRM school districts in Alberta. The CRM is a district-wide framework that drives inclusion and promotes a collaborative response to the individual needs of all students, ensuring success for all. In recognition of their CRM leadership, a number of PWSD administrators and teachers will present the following breakout sessions at the inaugural CRM conference, Enhancing School Communities: Collaborative Response Model in Action, hosted by Jigsaw Learning on April 27-28 in Edmonton. To learn more about the conference, visit http://crmconference.ca.

  • Assistant Superintendent Darren Young will participate in a CRM panel discussion with leaders from across Alberta.
  • CRM: What is it good for? Absolutely everything! Beaverlodge Regional High School Co-Principals Ken Pon and Anna Nelson, and teacher Lynn Nordhagen will share their experience with a 'rebirth' of collaborative school culture.
  • The Challenges of Collaboration: Clairmont Community School Principal Kevin Elias, Assistant Principals Karen Gonzales and Rod Vanstone, and teacher Erin MacLellan will share their school's five-year CRM evolution that started when teachers identified a need to build resilience in the student population, and the ensuing culture shift to focus on the "whole" student.
  • The Implementation of CRM in a High School: Peace Wapiti Academy Assistant Principals Kate Thon and Kaila Villiger will share their school's resources, developed over a three-year period of CRM successes and challenges. 
  • Ready Fire Aim! How do we Support the CRM in our Small Schools? Bezanson School Principal Elizabeth Linfield will offer a rural perspective on growing CRM culture in a small school.
  • Collaborative Response Model: A District's Journey: Assistant Superintendents Heather Putio and Darren Young, and District Principal Karen Chrenek will share PWSD's CRM journey, from modest organic beginnings in one school, to district-wide implementation.
  • Supporting Students by Looking Beyond Academics: Whispering Ridge Community School Principal Shawn O'Shea, Harry Balfour School Assistant Principal Abby Stilwell, and Kaitlin Niksic of Alberta Health Services will explore how the CRM assists in early detection of social/emotional, mental and physical health needs of students; the need for universal practices and tools for all staff; and the importance of collaborating with service providers.

Students attend local Edmonton Eskimos football camp

Twenty-eight students from Robert W. Zahara Public School, 25 Teepee Creek School students, and 25 Harry Balfour School students were among 300 kids from 11 local schools to learn the ins and outs of flag football at a football camp led by Edmonton Eskimos players on April 11 at the Eastlink Centre. The camp, open to Grades 4-6 students, was featured in a Daily Herald Tribune story on April 9: http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/2017/04/09/edmonton-eskimos-in-gp-on-tuesday. Pictured: R.W.Z. students with the Edmonton Eskimos team; Teepee Creek Grade 4 student Kolt Hogg with #73 WR Anthony Barrett.

Thanks to our donors โ€“ Northern PWSD schools benefit from support of local organizations

Many thanks to two local organizations for their recent support of PWSD schools. Rycroft Farmers Market donated $600 to healthy food programs at Eaglesham School, Spirit River Regional Academy, Woking School and Rycroft School. The Central Peace Oilmen donated $2,500 to Rycroft School to cover the cost of Rycroft Raiders team uniforms and t-shirts. Photos retrieved from The Central Peace Signal, April 11, 2016.

Pay it Forward Day at Spirit River Regional Academy and Bonanza, Savanna and Woking Schools

On April 5, four schools participated in a Pay it Forward-themed collaborative spirt day, initiated by FCSS School Liaison Shayna Gorber. Activities emphasized how performing kind and helpful deeds for others spurs a 'pay it forward' trend, inspiring the recipients to then pass similar acts on to others to make the world a better place. Woking School learned about the 'pay it forward' concept and discussed ways to help each other. At the end of the day, students recorded their deeds on a thumbs-up graphic for display on the school's bulletin board. Spirit River Regional Academy's day was guided by a helpfulness theme, starting with a breakfast to provide students with a healthy start to their day. High school students helped elementary students with reading, learning games and practicing Frisbee skills. Grades 7 and 8 students invited Grade 6 students to lunch to help them get a sense of what the noon hour looks like for junior high. Elementary students received help with their science experiments and tidied the schoolyard. Savanna School encouraged kind deeds, and students caught in the act saw their names added to the kindness-themed bulletin board. Bonanza School also chose kindness as their theme. Grades 1 and 2 students and their teacher, Mrs. Roszmann, hosted the monthly school assembly and performed kindness-themed songs and skits. Students crafted a clothesline with clothing bearing positive words and made a kindness tree for the school hallway. Since the event, students and staff have been adding leaf messages on the tree whenever they see kindness in action. The visual has been a real positive for the school.  

Upcoming Events:

  • 16th annual 3-D Charity Hockey Tournament: Open to junior and senior high hockey teams from the three local school divisions, May 4-6 at the Coca Cola Centre, Grande Prairie. New this year is the 3D Charity Soccer Tournament, open to Grades 4-6 students of the three local school divisions, on May 5-6 at St. Joseph Catholic High School in Grande Prairie. Funds raised from the events will support students dealing with serious medical issues. More info at http://3dcharityhockey.com/hockey
  • Dave Bleile PWSD Junior High Track Meet: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at the Legion Field, 11313-105 Street, Grande Prairie. Awards will be presented at 1:30 p.m. Rain date is Wednesday, May 24.
  • Alberta Band Association's Provincial Festival of Bands: PWSD's Grade 6 Honour Band will travel to Red Deer to compete at the festival on May 16.
  • PWSD school bus drivers to compete in Provincial Bus Roadeo: The Provincial School Bus Roadeo competition will be held at St. Joseph Catholic High School in Grande Prairie on Saturday, June 10. The event will be hosted by First Student Busing, Grande Prairie Catholic School Division and Grande Prairie Public School Division, with support from PWSD for busing, judging and lunch. The event is open to drivers from each school division who score in the top three at the upcoming Zone 5 contest in High Prairie in May.

News from PWSD schools:

Beaverlodge Regional High School

Expanded BRHS Student Art Show
The Beaverlodge Area Cultural Centre will host an expanded showing of BRHS student works, increasing the former two-week show to a month. The opening reception will take place on April 30 at 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy refreshments and celebrate student talent.

Beaverlodge Elementary School

Grade 4 pottery and weaving program made possible by local crafters

Grade 4 students at BES enjoyed learning pottery and weaving on March 22 and April 5, thanks to the creativity and enthusiasm of local crafters, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Brown. Both are longtime supporters of this fantastic program and the local Cultural Arts Centre. The community is welcome to view student pottery and weaving works in the BES display case during the month of May.

Clairmont Community School

CCS students celebrate success at recent Grande Prairie Music Festival
The CCS Junior High Band won the Grade 2 category for Junior/Senior Bands and the Grade 6 Band won the Elementary Band category. Grade 3 students won the Kindergarten - Grade 3 category for Choral Speech and Grade 4 won the Grade 4 - 6 category. 

Eaglesham School

Upcoming events

  • April 28: Swan Song Aboriginal Storyteller workshop, presented by Denise Miller, to Eaglesham School's elementary students. The 90-minute program explores native traditions through story and drums. Ms. Miller is an international Mรฉtis storytelling artist and award-winning local, national, and international journalist. For more information, visit www.swansong.ca.
  • May 2: Junior high students will get a taste of post-secondary life during the GPRC College Day.
  • May 12: Grade 9 and high school students will travel to Grande Prairie for the Reel Short Film Fest and Psycho Film Fest.
  • May 26: Grades 9-12 students will attend a Trauma Drama event, hosted by Spirit River Regional Academy. The events employ drama to create realistic mock emergency scenarios, enacted by students, staff and emergency personnel, to convey the impact of distracted driving and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Elmworth School

Musical and theatrical performers visit Elmworth School

Staff and students enjoyed a visit from Canadian songwriter and singer Michael Mitchell on March 23. In keeping with the "Canada is for Kids" theme of his presentation, students and staff dressed in red and white to celebrate our great country. Judges were unable to choose the most "Canadian" classroom, so everyone enjoyed a pizza party in return for the 100 per cent enthusiastic participation.


During the week of March 27, Missoula Theatre worked with students on a production of the play, Peter and Wendy. Friday's final hour-long performance was open to parents, grandparents, siblings and community members. The program offers students a glimpse into the world of theatrical production โ€“ from auditions to stagecraft and acting โ€“ engaging students in all areas of the art form.

Upcoming events:

  • Junior high students will attend Mighty Peace Day in Grande Prairie on May 2.
  • Junior high Career Fair on May 3.
  • The Alberta Opera will present to Kindergarten - Grade 6 students on May 4.


Harry Balfour School

Ombrosa students coming to Grande Prairie
Harry Balfour School will welcome six students from the Ombrosa School in France on April 25 - May 14. Charlotte Cellerier will join the Grade 8 class; Grade 6 students will welcome Friedrich von Nussbaum to their class; and Grade 5 students will offer a warm welcome to students Thomas Li, Adam Ahmed-Kadi, Celeste Honegger, and Naomy Govou.

Helen E. Taylor School

Munchie Mondays

On Munchie Mondays, students at H.E.T. are introduced to a nutritious snack, prepared and presented by students. Kiwi was the first snack introduced on April 3, followed by edamame beans. Munchie Mondays is part of the school's new healthy eating program pilot, supported by a generous donation from the Wembley Town Council.

Mindful Movements class
The twice-weekly class offered by Mrs. Klimach combines cardio, heavy lifting, meditation and yoga to help students regulate their bodies and minds in preparation for learning.

HET Grade 6 students to compete for Youth Rock Community Involvement grant
Grade 6 students will compete for a $250 grant, to be spent on a community improvement project โ€“ the team with the best plan wins. Grant applications must include the "who, what, how, when and why" of their project idea, utilizing the SMART principal (Specific and Suitable, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) of proposal writing.

Other news

  • The HET Travel Club visited Japan during spring break.
  • On April 13, Science teacher Mr. Boettcher hosted Science Olympics โ€“ a full day of fun science-based activities for the school's Grades 5-9 students. Activities included a pipe cleaner challenge, great plane race, balloon-powered cars, catapult, marshmallow tower, parachute drop, bridge builder, egg obstacle course, density relay, egg drop, a periodic table spelling test, and launch of hot air balloons constructed by Grade 9 students.
  • Grade 9 English and social studies students, along with Grade 6 students interested in the film studies option course will attend the Real Shorts Film Festival in Grande Prairie in May.


Hythe Regional School

Passion Projects

Since November, HRS junior high students have been working on passion projects that were shared with the school and community during the HRS Passion Project Showcase on April 5. Project topics and formats selected by students showed diverse ideas. Some students worked on learning a new skill, such as playing the piano, coding a video game and crocheting. Other students researched careers or topics of interest, including pediatric surgery, nursing, family history, and the solar system. Projects on hunting, barrel racing and farming showed students' interests and talents. Some chose to research, design and build structures such as a bench, guillotine, model house, a new game, and a solar oven.

Music news from HRS

  • The HRS Elementary 1-6 choir received a silver at the Grande Prairie Music Festival. On April 5, Grade 3 students performed in Choral Speech and 4-6 Handbell Choir performed in Handbells.
  • The annual HRS Spring Concert was held on Thursday, April 13.
  • HRS will host The University of Alberta's Mixed Chorus and Ringers on Tuesday, May 2.  The U of A will giving an afternoon performance for students and an evening performance for the public. Admittance to the evening event is by donation at the door.
  • With more than 35 years of tradition, HRS's elementary air band competition will take place on Thursday, May 18, beginning at 12:35 pm. 


Peace Academy of Virtual Education (PAVE)

PAVE get together planned for May 1
Students enroled at PAVE, PWSD's virtual school, will get together for a ukulele lesson with Andrew Scott at 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Monday, May 1 at the Muskoseepi Park Pavilion. PAVE provides a customized, innovative approach to online education that also includes interaction between students, parents and PWSD teachers.


Peace Wapiti Academy

Students mentoring students
This year, a dozen of PWA's Grade 12 students have been meeting with Grade 6 students a Harry Balfour School twice weekly. The senior students have taken on a mentorship/leadership role, engaging students in meaningful activities to encourage healthy interactions, conflict resolution, resiliency, kindness and respect.

Band students travel to New Orleans, compete in Festival of Music

Pictured, PWA band students at the New Orleans Festival of Music. In addition to competing in the music festival, highlights of the trip during April 5-10 included tours of a plantation, bayou and cemetery, as well as a gospel brunch at the House of Blues and attending the French musical festivals.

Upcoming events at PWA

  • Twenty-eight students will write the A-1 French DELF exam on April 26-27.
  • PWA's Got Talent will be held on Thursday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the gym.


Penson School

Cookie and a Compliment โ€“ Youth Squad delivers individual compliments and sweet treats at Penson School

Grovedale's Youth Squad, an initiative of the M.D. of Greenview, is made up of Grade 6 Penson students Taryn Smith, Jade Braden, Hunter Maurice and Alex Golnick. At the start of the school year, the group developed a unique and uplifting idea for their school, Cookie and a Compliment, with initial help from teacher Sydney Spencer, followed by assistance from teacher Cathy Squires upon return from her leave. The project began with a short survey on bullying that asked respondents questions such as, do you have someone to play with at recess, and do you know what bullying is? After reviewing the survey results, the squad noticed a trend and sought to improve morale using a combination of homemade cookies and compliments. The foursome developed unique compliments for each of their school's individual recipients โ€“ an astounding effort, given the school's 152 students and 20 staff members โ€“ and then printed and attached them to bagged cookies that they baked and decorated for everyone. Principal Jenny McAusland's cookie included the compliment, "You have a smile that always lights up my day." Way to go, Taryn, Jade, Hunter and Alex โ€“ what an excellent enrichment activity for your school! The initiative was featured on Q99 FM's weekly Good News segment on Tuesday, April 25, hosted by Glory Przekop. Listen to her interview with Penson Principal Jenny McAusland here: https://soundcloud.com/q99live/cookie-and-a-compliment-good-news?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=twitter


Robert W. Zahara Public School

Lion King Jr. production introduces students and teachers to a wide range of theatrical skills
Robert W. Zahara Public School in Sexsmith is pleased to present The Lion King Jr., produced by MTI's Broadway Collection. The play will be held in the school gymnasium and will open to the public at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 12; followed by two performances on Saturday, May 13 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Visiting students from other PWSD schools will enjoy an early showing on Thursday, May 11 at 10:30 a.m. In addition to a license to produce the Disneyยฎ show, The Lion King Experience features a rigorous 11-session curriculum designed to introduce teachers and Grades 3-6 students to the fundamentals of theatre. The corresponding Pride Journal assignments encourage students to draw connections between their work in The Lion King experience and their own lives. For more information, visit http://www.lionkingexperience.com. Also, watch for posters, coming soon to the Sexsmith area.


Rycroft School

Teen Wellness Fair
Rycroft School will host a Teen Wellness Fair on Thursday, April 27. The event is open to Grades 7-9 PWSD students from Spirit River Regional Academy and Rycroft, Bonanza, Eaglesham, Woking and Savanna Schools, and GPCSD's Ste. Marie Catholic School. Approximately 125 students have confirmed their attendance to date. The event will run from 9:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Alberta Health Services and the RCMP will present to the entire group, and students will choose two breakout session options from HIV North, ATB Financial, Dealing with Grief and Loss by the Suicide Prevention Resource Centre, and Zumba. A free pizza lunch will be served.

Savanna School

Spring activities at Savanna School

Savanna School has been busy during the past weeks. Students and staff enjoyed laser tag in Grande Prairie. The school's annual spring concert, potluck dinner and art sale on April 6 was a fabulous night of music, art, food and community support. With the start of the NHL playoffs, Savanna teacher Jason Shirley has started a Squirrely Shirley Cup competition in which staff and student names are randomly assigned to the 16 playoff teams, with the winning team receiving a pizza party.


Sexsmith Secondary School

Student talent show planned for May
The SSS Student Leadership Team will host a talent show on May 12.


Teepee Creek School

Sorkenville topic of Grades 4-6 book project

As a project for Canada's 150th celebration, Teepee Creek School Grades 4-6 Language Arts students are writing and illustrating an alphabet book about Sorkenville, a local historic village developed by residents Orval and Betty Sorken since 2004. The village is comprised of buildings from the Teepee Creek area, moved to the Sorkenville site for restoration. Each page of the book will include a short poem starting with each letter of the alphabet, along with an illustration and facts about specific parts of Sorkenville. The book cover will feature a painting by a Grade 5 student. Publishing deadline is April 27, and the book will be released on June 21 at the school's Learning Fair. Copies will be available for purchase at the school.

Upcoming events at TCS

  • The annual Music Monday will take place on May 1, and music teacher Malika Frost is helping students learn the song Sing it Together. On Music Monday, all TCS students will come together to sing the song and enjoy a short dance party in celebration of music.
  • TCS Grade 6-8 students will attend Mighty Peace Day in Grande Prairie on May 2. Students are looking forward to the motivational event filled with amazing speakers, musical acts and performers to inspire youth to make the world a better place. 
  • Kindergarten - Grade 3 students will enjoy a full day in celebration of the arts at The Grande Prairie Children's Festival on May 25.  Students will listen to stories and try pottery and other fun art activities. The Festival runs two days, May 25-26.

Recent Press Releases:

Other news:

  • PWSD and its schools have been featured in 35 media stories to date during the month of April 2017.

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