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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
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Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

PWSD Good News Report – January 2018

January 16, 2018

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, January 18, 2018.

News from PWSD:

On Your Mark! PWSD students benefit from free diploma exam tutorial sessions

Free diploma exam tutorial sessions are being offered to PWSD students in January. The comprehensive six-hour tutorials, known throughout the Division as 'On Your Mark!' sessions, are open to students enroled at PWSD high schools. The sessions provide opportunities to review course content while further developing strategies to tackle question formats. 'On Your Mark!' sessions will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on three consecutive Saturdays in January. Math 30-1/30-2 sessions were held at Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) on January 13. PWA teacher Farouq Hassanali said they decided to run the Math sessions differently this year, with groups of students actively tackling problems on whiteboards (pictured). Biology 30 and Chemistry 30 will be offered at GPRC on January 20 and 27, respectively. There is no need to register for the tutorial sessions; PWSD students should simply show up ready to review and ask questions. Lunch and snacks provided by PWSD.

PWSD schools celebrate literacy

Family Literacy Day, a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada, is celebrated annually on January 27. Some PWSD school extend the event to a week of literacy activities, or celebrate on an alternate day. A media advisory listing event details by school will be issued later this week.
Pictured left: Dr. Seuss Literacy Week-themed doors at Beaverlodge Elementary School.
Right: The Family Literacy Day website offers ideas for families to 'Learn at Play Every Day'.


News from PWSD schools:

Beaverlodge Elementary School

D.A.R.E. graduation

Congratulations to the BES Grade 6 class who recently completed the Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program, sponsored by the RCMP and taught by Constable Dan Hine. Principal Paul Cincurak said that Cst. Hine quickly established positive relationships with students and staff. "Our students worked very hard throughout this program and we sincerely hope they remember the lessons they have learned when they come upon life's challenges in the future."

Grade 3L students are "all ears"

Prior to the Christmas break, Mrs. Barb Lojczyc's Grade 3L class was busy exploring hearing and sound in science. After studying the parts of the ear, students constructed 3-D models to demonstrate what they had learned.


Bezanson School

Blanket Exercise at Bezanson School
Grades 4-9 students will participate in a Blanket Exercise on January 17.

Careers class to present 'Bulldog Pen' projects to panel of external judges
Miss Owens' Grade 8-9 Careers class will present their 'Bulldog Pen' projects to judges and families on January 17. Judging will be modeled after the television show, Dragon's Den, where students will pitch projects to a panel of judges. Students have been working on their projects since the beginning of the school year. Judges for the event are MP Chris Warkentin, Mack Erno, Gordy Klassen of Trapper Gord's, and representatives from Jade Cash, Junior Achievement Canada and Ernie's Sports Experts.

Bonanza School

Recent events at Bonanza School

The Bonanza School Christmas concert, held on December 21, offered a full night of entertainment featuring all students. For more photos, visit the Bonanza School Facebook page or check out the school's January newsletter online at http://www.pwsd76.ab.ca/schools/bonanza


Students and staff celebrated school custodian Christine Meier (pictured right) at a special assembly on December 14, recognizing 20 years of service at the school. The event featured presentations by all classes and she received gifts of garden rocks painted by students.

Upcoming events

  • Jump Rope for Heart kick-off, Tuesday, January 31 at 1:00 p.m.

Clairmont Community School

From New Zealand to Alberta – Basketball teams share culture with Clairmont students

On January 11, visiting high school Boys and Girls Basketball teams from the Hauraki Plains College in New Zealand participated in an assembly at Clairmont Community School (CCS). The teams, in Grande Prairie for the Basketball Pow Wow Invitational, were billeted by Peace Wapiti Academy students and have a special connection with Clairmont Community School teacher Tammy O'Hallahan, a former teacher and coach at Hauraki Plains College. This is the third time the New Zealanders have played in the Invitational, thanks to arrangements made by Ms. O'Hallahan during her time in New Zealand and since returning home to Grande Prairie. The teams shared elements of their culture, namely how they do Haka (a traditional war cry or challenge) and make poi. Troy Sandboe, Physical Education Coordinator and coach of Boys Basketball at the Grande Prairie Composite High, organizes the annual Pow Wow Invitational, held this year on Friday and Saturday, January 12-13. The Invitational saw the New Zealanders competing against teams from Peace Wapiti Academy and the Grande Prairie Composite High School.


Eaglesham School

Donation expands breakfast program to full week


Eaglesham School would like to thank the Falher Farm Credit Canada branch for their generous donation of $1,000 (pictured) to the school breakfast program. The money supported adding two days per week, making it a full five-day program.

GPRC Recruiter to visit students on January 25
Eaglesham School will welcome a representative from Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) on Thursday, January 25 to answer questions and share information with students during lunch, and make a presentation to the CALM class.

School improvements
The library at Eaglesham School now features a beautiful Medicine Wheel/Seven Teachings Carpet (pictured). The seven teachings symbolize the traditional North American First Nations teachings, identifying the core values of truth, honesty, love, courage, respect, humility and wisdom.

Eaglesham School has had been refreshed, with new blinds installed in all classrooms and the school interior has been painted. 

Winter fun
Students and teachers are enjoying the winter weather, participating in snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and skating at the local rink. A Jasper ski trip for Grades 7-12 students will take place on February 1-4.

Elmworth School

Upcoming events

  • Grades 1-6 swimming lessons will be offered during January 22- February 1.
  • February 1-6: Junior high Quebec trip. Bon voyage, Grades 8 and 9!
  • February 15: The Cultural Wheel Social Dance Program will conduct a half-day folk dance program at the school. The program fuses Canadian history and culture with song, dance and animation. Learn more at http://theculturalwheel.com.

Harry Balfour School/Whispering Ridge Community School

Upcoming events:

  • HBS and WRCS students will participate in a Jump Rope for Heart event on February 15.
  • Boys are Girls Junior High Basketball teams are looking forward to upcoming tournaments:
    • January 19-20 at Peace Wapiti Academy
    • February 9-10 at Clairmont Community School
    • February 23-24 at GPRC
  • Students are learning to curl as an extra-curricular activity on Thursdays during January 18 - February 22.
  • Annual book swap, in honour of Literacy Week, will take place on January 23-24.  
  • Travelling authors Lana Button and Marina Cohen will visit the school in the near future. Date TBA.


Pictured: Grade 6 students enjoy skating prior to the Christmas break.


Helen E. Taylor School

Upcoming events at Helen E. Taylor School

  • Family Literacy Night at the Museum: Friday, January 26, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.: Families are invited to join Helen E. Taylor and Wembley Elementary School Councils, in conjunction with the Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum for this FREE event – a night of board games, crafts and snacks.

  • Crib Tournament: Thursday, January 31 at Helen E. Taylor School, 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.: The tournament, a fundraiser for new Volleyball uniforms, will be the culminating activity after students learned and played the game of Crib during breaks this month. Drinks, snacks and pizza will be available to purchase during the evening. 


Peace Wapiti Academy

Fantastic Fridays expose PWA students to nine languages
Grade 9 students enroled in Sheryl Deimert's French and Spanish courses will be exposed to nine different languages this year, thanks to a new 'Fantastic Fridays' initiative developed by Ms. Deimert to enhance her students' second language experience. The classes have already received special Friday presentations in German, French and Spanish. Due to the amount of information, PWA's American Sign Language (ASL) class will share their language skills during two classes this week – at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 18 and 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 19. Upcoming Fantastic Friday language days will include exposure to Arabic, Korean and Japanese. In March, GPRC's Cree language instructor Darlene Horseman will offer a presentation that will include videos made by her students. The Fantastic Friday series will wrap up in June with a Mandarin session.

Hands on learning at PWA

  • This semester, Mr. Morrison's Construction 30 students have been busy building playhouses (pictured right). Students work in teams to plan, frame, insulate, shingle and side the houses. Grade 9 construction classes have been designing, constructing and painting miniature dragsters propelled by a CO2 cartridge, and will race their completed cars in the gym.
  • Two Outdoor Pursuit classes, led by Mr. Spence, visited the Palisades Stewardship Education Centre in Jasper on November 27-28 and December 4-5 (pictured right). The Centre, designed for leadership and teambuilding, provided a place for students to stay and interact through snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking Maligne Canyon and learning to build shelters.

  • Leadership and AIM groups showed their Titan Christmas spirit by preparing backpacks for teens at Sunrise House. The packs included a range of items – mittens, scarves and toques, toiletry items, and personal touches such as a Christmas ornament, books and a flashlight.
  • Thirty Outdoor Pursuits students completed First Aid training on January 15.

Ridgevalley School

Ridgevalley student wrestler off to Artic Winter Games in March
Sarah Anderson, Grade 10 student at Ridgevalley School, will be competing in wrestling at the Arctic Winter Games this March in Hay River, Northwest Territories. She is currently in her second year of wrestling and really enjoys the sport. Last year, Ridgevalley teacher Mr. Anthony Wills introduced the sport at the school, running it under the Grande Prairie Wrestling Club. Due to lack of interest this year, the school-based club has taken a break, but Sarah continues to move forward in the sport by attending practices in Grande Prairie. Good luck, Sarah!

Sexsmith Secondary School

Sexsmith Secondary's Child Care Program provides hands on experience

Junior high students enroled in the Sexsmith Secondary Child Care Program are putting their learning to good use right in their own backyard through twice weekly visits to the Sexsmith Childcare Development Centre. During the visits, students interact with young children and participate a variety of activities. Students created picture books to read to children at the daycare, and developed games to play with them. The program has been a rewarding experience for all involved.

Rotary 4-Way Speech Contest sees record number of SSS participants
On December 7, the Sexsmith Secondary School (SSS) Interact Club hosted a Rotary 4-Way Speech Contest, featuring speeches from a record number of contestants from the school. Students prepared a short speech on a topic of their choice that addressed the Rotary 4-Way test: Is it the truth; is it fair to all concerned; will it build goodwill and better friendships; will it be beneficial to all concerned? SSS teacher Chris Crandall said all speeches the five SSS students were personal and compelling, but Kelly Liland's account of the change in her perspectives following a family mission trip to Mexico was named the winner. Prior to Christmas, the top three speakers attended a Rotary luncheon where the winner presented her speech to the Rotary Club members and received the grand prize of an iPad.  Pictured l-r: SSS Grade 12 students Jennifer Huls, Shayla Foley and Kinley Link; Grade 11 student Kelly Liland; and Grade 9 student Morgan Rees competed in the 2017 Rotary 4-Way Speech Contest.


Teepee Creek School

First Boys Basketball tournament on January 18-20
The Boys Basketball team will compete in their first tournament on January 18-20 at the 2018 Stonebridge Junior B Jamboree Basketball Tournament, presented by the PWA Titans. Coaches Jennifer Bishop and Sarah Grant are excited for the opportunity to see the Teepee Creek boys play. Go Mustangs!

Recent Press Releases:


Other news:

  • PWSD and its schools were featured in a total of 33 media stories to date during the month of January 2018.
  • To keep up-to-date with the latest news from PWSD, and local media coverage, check out PWSD's online Media Room at http://www.pwsd76.ab.ca/mediaroom.

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