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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 – May 2017

May 19, 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, May 25, 2017.

News from PWSD:

PWSD to host two school grand opening events on June 9, 2017
PWSD will celebrate two school grand opening events on Friday, June 9, 2017. Families, community members, and local media are invited to attend the following events.

Grand Opening: Replacement Robert W. Zahara Public School
Location: 9802 - 93 Street, Sexsmith
Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting: 11:00 a.m.
Guided Tours: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Grand Opening: Modernized Teepee Creek School
Location: 10101 - 100 Street, Teepee Creek, AB
Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting: 1:30 p.m.
Guided Tours: 2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

PWSD Google Summit a success

The PWSD Custom Google Summit, led by PWSD Educational Technology Coaches Memorese and Leah on May 5-6, scored a perfect 100 with its 95 attendees and five presenters. The two-day professional development event included beginner and intermediate/advanced sessions for participating PWSD staff. To view photos from the Summit, visit http://edtech.team/wapitiphotos17.

PWSD Grade 6 Honour Band wins at Provincial Festival of Bands for second year in a row

For the second year in a row, the PWSD Grade 6 Honour Band has earned a Superior Band Award in the Elementary School I category at the Alberta Band Association's 2017 Provincial Festival of Bands in Red Deer, held on May 8-18. The Superior rating is the festival's top level, with the winning band meeting the standards of "A first-rate performance for the event and the class of participants being adjudicated." The band, a collaboration of students from Clairmont Community School, Harry Balfour School, and Robert W. Zahara Public School, is under the direction of Mr. Rod Vanstone and Mr. Lawrence Dommer. The young musicians meet as a group for six rehearsals prior to the festival. View the Superior Band Award winners at www.albertabandassociation.com/pdf/FOB_2017_SuperiorBandAwards.pdf. On Thursday, May 18, Mr. Vanstone received an email from the Festival administrators, advising that the band also received an Adjudicator's Choice Award. View the Adjudicator's Choice Award winners at www.albertabandassociation.com/pdf/FOB_2017_AdjudicatorsChoiceAwards.pdf.  

Horse Lake hosts fourth annual Career Fair

Horse Lake First Nation hosted their fourth annual career fair on May 3 at the Horse Lake Multiplex. Elder Peter Joachim is pictured in an interview with 2day FM Radio that was video recorded by CIA Solutions. Mr. Joachim is also Beaverlodge Regional High School's Elder Success Coach where he and Co-Principal Anna Nelson have worked together to develop a Cree Word of the Day video series to teach the language to students and the community.

News from PWSD schools:

Beaverlodge Elementary School

Earth Rangers

On May 17, Earth Rangers presenters Mike and Mark taught students and staff about the Earth Ranger Program and how everyone has a role in saving species and their habitats. The duo brought along birds – a Rufus Backed Toucanette, an American Kestral, and a Harris Hawk – and a North American Skunk for students and staff to observe and appreciate. The Earth Rangers Alberta Tour is sponsored by Canfor, represented at the event by Melonie Zaichkowsky who shared sustainable forestry practices with the kids.

Annual Spring Tea event a success

BES held its annual Spring Tea on May 4, hosted by the Grade 5 classes. The well-attended event featured performances by students.

Bonanza School

Upcoming events at Bonanza School

  • Spring Tea: Friday, May 26, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Grandparents and seniors are invited to attend the tea and see what's happening at Bonanza School. Students in Kindergarten - Grade 4 will share musical performances, Grade 5-6 artwork will be on display, and Grades 7-8 students will serve strawberry shortcake and tea. Students who have auditioned will also showcase their talents during the event.
  • Kindergarten Graduation: Thursday, June 15, 7:00 p.m., Bonanza School gymnasium.  Everyone is welcome.
  • Last day of school/Awards Ceremony: Thursday, June 29, with awards handed out at 10:30 a.m.

Clairmont Community School

Fine Arts Night at CCS
The amazing talents of Clairmont Community School students will be on display during the annual Fine Arts Night at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1. Enjoy performances by drama students, numbers by the CCS band, top acts from the recent talent show, along with works of art displayed throughout the gathering area.

CCS Band earns "Excellent" rating at Provincial Festival of Bands
The Clairmont Community School Grades 7 and 8 Band performed at the Alberta Band Association 2017 Provincial Festival of Bands in Red Deer, Alberta, held on May 8-18, and received a rating of "Excellent" for their performance. The Excellent rating is the second highest rating at the festival and meets the standards of "A commendable performance showing a high standard of musical accomplishments but lacking in one or more of the characteristics of a superior rating." Director Rod Vanstone says this is an outstanding accomplishment for the band at the Alberta Provincial Festival level.

Eaglesham School

Donations boost Eaglesham School Breakfast Program

In April, Eaglesham School's breakfast program received two generous donations – $2,000 from Pioneer (pictured) and $1,000 from the Northern Spirit Light Show. Many thanks to both community partners for their gifts, and to the parent volunteers who help run the program.

Upcoming events:

  • Jump Rope for the Heart: Elementary jump off will take place on Friday, May 26.
  • Grades 5-6 DARE Grad: Students will graduate from the Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (DARE) Program led by Constable Girard at the end of May.
  • Grade 9 First Aid certification: Also open to any high school students interested in obtaining certification, June 1-2.
  • H2S Alive certification: Open to high school students. The training will be offered in June.

Harry Balfour School

From France to Grande Prairie – Ombrosa students embrace Canadian life and learning at Harry Balfour School

Harry Balfour School welcomed six students from the Ombrosa School in France on April 25 - May 14. Charlotte Cellerier joined the Grade 8 class; Grade 6 students welcomed Friedrich von Nussbaum to their class; and Grade 5 students embraced their new friends Thomas Li, Adam Ahmed-Kadi, Celeste Honegger, and Naomy Govou. While the students did admit to being a little homesick, being from the same school in Lyon helped to ease the transition. They were quick to talk about the bear and moose seen during their trip to an Edmonton Oilers game – their first time ever attending a hockey game. Adam also said that he had tried baseball for the first time during his stay in Grande Prairie. Pictured (l-r): Adam, Freidrich, Charlotte, Celeste and Naomy. Missing from photo: Thomas.

Helen E. Taylor School

HET launches "4-8" Mentorship Program

For five weeks, Grade 8 mentors from HET will partner with Grade 4 mentees at Wembley Elementary School in an effort to ease the transition from one school to the other. During the first week, students got to know one another during a scavenger hunt at HET.  In the second week, WES students played host to the Grade 8 class, leading them on a tour of the elmentary school. Future plans include a school tour of HET, collaborative team fun, and getting to know what school will be like at HET. The program is having a dual impact – Grade 8 students are becoming leaders in their school, and Grade 4 students are experiencing less anxiety about their move to HET in the upcoming school year.

Elementary Volleyball

Twice weekly after school, Grades 5 and 6 students are learning the game of Volleyball with Mr. Boettcher and junior high volleyball mentors.

Upcoming events:

  • Trauma Drama, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Thursday, May 25. Grade 9 students from LaGlace School, St. Mary's School and Helen E. Taylor School will learn about the dangers of impaired driving during a crash scene dramatization at the Wembley Rec Centre. Guest speaker Keisha Mastrodimos will share her presentation, "Fall Down Seven Times, Stand up Eight" at the Helen E. Taylor School gym. The event is supported by FCSS, Alberta Health Services, Beaverlodge Victim Services Unit Society, Oliver's Funeral Home and the Wembley Fire Department.
  • Annual Grade 6 campout: May 31 - June 1.
  • Grade 9 high school orientation at BRHS: Afternoon of June 7. The students will experience 20-minute mini lessons in art, math and physical education, followed by a guided tour of the school by former HET students. Special thanks to Co-Principals Ken Pon and Anna Nelson, and Learning Coaches Penny Calvert and Rochelle Dempsey for facilitating this event.
  • Masquerade-themed Grade 9 Farewell: Wembley Rec Plex, June 15. 

Hythe Regional School

Gold medal win for HRS at Youth Regional Hand Games Tournament
HRS students took home gold at the Youth Regional Hand Games Tournament held in High Prairie on May 6. The team was chaperoned by Shirley Horseman, FNMI Liaison Worker at HRS. Elder Eileen Horseman was also invited to accompany the team to the event. The tournament was open to elementary to senior high students. After a full day of competition, the HRS team was named tournament champions. In addition to individual medals for the winning competitors, the team received a drum and a plaque for display in the school's showcase.

University of Alberta Mixed Chorus and Faculty of Education Handbell Ringers performs at HRS

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada, the U of A Mixed Chorus and Faculty of Education Handbell Ringers performed before a packed house at HRS on May 2. The HRS concert was part of the U of A's 73rd Annual Spring Tour Concert series – one of eight stops on the tour. Under the direction of Dr. Robert DeFrece and Adam Robertson, the Choir and Handbell Ringers performed a wide selection of Canadian music. The tour is sponsored by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. During the afternoon, the 45 musicians performed a one-hour concert for more than 400 students from HRS and Beaverlodge Elementary School, followed by an evening two-hour performance for the general public. Donations collected from the evening concert will be directed to the HRS music program. HRS was selected for a concert after their handbell choir impressed Dr. DeFrece with their talents on the tone chime bells during the 2016 Grande Prairie and District Music Festival where he acted as adjudicator for the group. The U of A handbell ringers met with HRS elementary classes following the afternoon concert to discuss their experiences and let students play the big bells. The group inspired HRS students and set an excellent example of musicianship, leaving a lasting impression that will continue to encourage them toward future pursuits in music.

HRS Travel Club tours Ireland and Scotland

The HRS Travel Club headed to Ireland and Scotland on April 8. The group's trip included tours of Dublin, Trinity College Library, Sir John A. MacDonald's home in Glasgow and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Students enjoyed clapping and dancing to Irish music at the Belvedere, signing their names to the Peace Wall, the Titanic Museum, riding a ferry, and listening to bagpipers. The group learned how many Gr. 9 students can fit in a phone booth (nine), visited Robbie Burns' house and the Edinburgh and Sterling Castles, looked for Nessie on Loch Ness, cruised the Highlands, returned to Edinburgh, and then survived the 26-hour trip through multiple airports on April 17 on their return trip home.

Upcoming Event:

  • June 6: A Bike Rodeo will be held in the school parking lot, in co-operation with Health & Safety and FCSS, to build a broader general awareness of bike safety.


LaGlace School

Grade 9 students exposed to future career, education options during trip to Edmonton

On May 10-12, the Grade 9 class traveled to Edmonton to attend the 2017 Canadian Provincial Skills Competition and toured six science labs at the University of Alberta. Pictured: LaGlace School Grade 9 students check out marine animals native to Canada's west coast at the University of Alberta.

Upcoming events:

  • May 18: Students will display their good citizenship skills by picking up garbage throughout the Hamlet of LaGlace.
  • May 25: Grades 1-4 classes will attend the Grande Prairie Children's Festival.
  • May 25: Grade 9 class students will travel to Helen E. Taylor School to participate in the Trauma Drama event.
  • May 30 – June 1: Grades 5 and 6 students will take an educational field trip to Edmonton to visit the Telus World of Science, the Alberta Legislature and Fort Edmonton Park.
  • June 22: Grades 7 and 8 students will attend Bear Lake Bible camp for a day of fun activities.

Peace Academy of Virtual Education (PAVE)

Musical get-together

PAVE students learned basic chords and a song on the ukulele from singer/songwriter Andrew Scott during a PAVE get-together on May 1.

Peace Wapiti Academy

Three PWA students to compete at National Skills Canada Competition

Peace Wapiti Academy students Brandon Towes and Morgan Embree (Robotics) and Jason Cote (Outdoor Power and Recreation Equipment) will advance to the National Skills Canada Competition in Winnipeg, Manitoba on May 31 - June 2, 2017, following gold medal wins at provincials in Edmonton on May 10-11, 2017. Gold medalists from the provincial event formed Team Alberta, earning their place at the national event.

Upcoming events:

  • Indigenous Week, May 23-26. Planned activities include:
    • Bannock and stew making with community members, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24.
    • Cosmetology students' fundraiser with Indigenous-themed crafts by the students, 12:55 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23 and Thursday, May 25.
    • Deer hide rattle making with Elder Shirley Boomer, 2:05 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. on Thursday, May 25 and Friday, May 26.
  • PWA Rugby tournament in Lloydminister: Friday, May 26.
  • Celebration of the Arts: Wednesday, June 7, 6:30 p.m. See amazing student artwork and photos, watch a play presented by PWA Drama students, listen to the PWA Band perform, and enjoy snacks prepared by PWA's Foods students.

Penson School

Annual Junior K art exhibit on May 24
Junior Kindergarten will host their annual art exhibit on Wednesday, May 24, in celebration of their very successful year at Penson.

Rocky Mountain adventure planned for June
Grades 7 and 8 students will travel to Jasper for two nights in June to hike to the peak of the world famous gondola, canoe Pyramid Lake, and visit the Jasper Activity Center and Miette Hot Springs.

Penson School garden
Ms. Dalen and Mrs. Hutchinson are busy starting plants in the classroom to transplant to the school's three elevated garden beds established last year. 

Donations improve inclusion at Penson
Many thanks to the South Wapiti Rec Board for donating $3,000, Northern Lights Draft Horse Club for their donation of $1,000, and the 3-D Charity's gift of an iPad. The funds will be used to purchase an inclusive playground swing to accommodate a wheelchair-bound child, and the iPad will be used for speech enhancements.  The school is thrilled to achieve their goal of enhancing inclusion at their school, thanks to the help of community partners.

Ridgevalley School

3-D Charity supports Ridgevalley student

On May 12, Kevin Mack presented a $2,000 cheque and various gifts to Ridgevalley Grade 2 student Jordan Cartwright and his family, on behalf of the 3-D Charity Hockey Tournament. Jordan has been battling leukemia, and the funds will help ease the financial burden associated with the illness and the multiple trips to Edmonton for medical appointments. The gifts of toys will provide a welcome relief for Jordan as he receives treatment. Many thanks to the 3-D Charity for their support of seriously ill children through their annual tri-school district charity hockey and soccer tournaments. Ridgevalley Principal Penny Rose says, "For the past two years, the 3-D Charity has been beyond generous and amazing with this family, and the Cartwrights and our school are extremely grateful for all that has been provided."   

Savanna School

Safety first – Savanna School hosts bike rodeo

Kindergarten - Grade 6 students participated in a bike rodeo on May 17 to review important bike safety tips, followed by bike rodeo games.

Spirit River Regional Academy

From Spirit River to Spain – SRRA Travel Club news

Eighteen enthusiastic travelers departed for Spain on April 14, returning 10 days later sporting a slight bronze color thanks to all the sunshine. Suitcases were a few pounds heavier, stowed with souvenirs and life-long memories. The group started their tour in Madrid, traveled through Toledo, Granada and Seville, and wrapped up the trip with a three-day stop in Marbella that included a day trip to Gibraltar. English was not an option during afternoon visits with two families in Malaga province – an authentic Spanish experience. Highlights of the trip included playing with the wild monkeys of Gibraltar, attending a Flamenco dance in Granada's Gypsy caves, and touring the largest bullfighting ring in all of Spain.

Teepee Creek School

Sorkenville topic of Grades 4-6 book project
In celebration of Canada's 150th, Teepee Creek School Grades 4-6 Language Arts students are writing and illustrating an alphabet book about Sorkenville, a local historic village under development 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. The book will be released at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21 as part of the school's Learning Fair and Aboriginal Day celebrations. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the school.

Recent Press Releases:

Other news:

  • PWSD and its schools were featured in more than 30 media stories to date during the month of May 2017.