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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 – February 2018

February 20, 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, February 22, 2018.

News from PWSD:

February 28 is Pink Shirt Day – Nice needs no filter

The theme for Pink Shirt Day 2018 is 'Nice Needs No Filter'. To combat cyberbullying, think twice before posting something negative. On February 28, PWSD students and staff will wear pink to raise awareness and show their commitment to creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments.  

Stop, block, talk, save
Cyberbullying is the use of online and mobile technology to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated and hostile manner. For those who experience cyberbullying, the Pink Shirt Day website recommends following four key pieces of advice: stop, block, talk and save. Don't try to reason with the person who is cyberbullying you. Instead, stop responding, block them, tell a trusted adult, and save or capture any messages and images. If you are being bullied, bullying someone else, or see a friend who is being bullied, helpful resources are also available at https://www.pinkshirtday.ca/resources. For a list of participating PWSD schools, visit http://bit.ly/PWSD-PSD-2018.

Welcome to Kindergarten – Online registration opens March 27

Beginning the school journey is an exciting step for children and their families. Enrol your child in full-day Kindergarten at a PWSD school near you. Online registration opens on March 27. Kindergarten registration for the 2018-2019 school year will be open to children turning five by December 31. All families welcome. To learn more about Kindergarten, and to access PWSD's InfoSnap online registration, visit PWSD's new Kindergarten webpage at www.pwsd76.ab.ca/kindergarten 

District Principal Karen Chrenek recipient of Passionate Heart Exceptional Service Award

Congratulations to Karen Chrenek, District Principal at PWSD, on being recognized with a Passionate Heart Exceptional Service Award for outstanding contributions in the area of social work during the 12th annual Passionate Heart Awards Luncheon on February 14, 2018. The awards are sponsored by the Family Community Support Services (FCSS) in the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith and Wembley, and the Village of Hythe. Read the official press release on the County of Grande Prairie website.

Tour the Trades event exposes students to future career paths

This year's second 'Tour the Trades' event was held on February 14, 2018, to introduce students to potential work experience opportunities and future career paths at four trades-based businesses in Grande Prairie. Participating in the tour were Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) Grade 11 students Sydney Olderskog and Kattie Williams, along with students from the two other local districts. The group boarded a bus at Charles Spencer High School at 8:15 a.m. to see the sheet metal trade in action at Lee's Sheet Metal Shop. From there, the group visited M & R Plumbing. After lunch at the Muskoseepi Pavilion, students visited Lonnie's Auto Body, before moving on to Ken Sargent GMC Buick Ltd. (pictured) where they learned about career opportunities as an auto technician, and in the parts department and warehouse. Trades featured on the tours are in high demand and provide an opportunity for students to talk with tradespeople on the job and learn about the trades and the steps required for certification. Prior to the tours, students complete the Alberta Education Workplace Safety Systems HCS-3000 course. Through a partnership between CAREERS: The Next Generation and school-based off-campus coordinators, students can complete a three-day job shadowing experience at one of the industry partners during the summer months. To view additional photos from the tour, visit PWSD's Facebook page.

Pictured above left: Gordon Berg, Parts Manager at Ken Sargent GMC Buick, shares career path advice with Susan Ramroop of CAREERS: The Next Generation (left), and PWA students Sydney Olderskog (middle) and Kattie Williams (right) during the Tour the Trades Event held on February 14, 2018.

Pictured above right: Wayne Orosz (left), Shop Foreman at Ken Sargent GMC Buick, shares advice on the automotive mechanic trade with PWA shop teacher Riley Morrison, PWA students Sydney Olderskog and Kattie Williams, and Susan Ramroop of CAREERS: The Next Generation.

First-year and mentor teachers come together for second annual group learning day

PWSD's first-year (protΓ©gΓ©) and mentor teachers came together in Grande Prairie on February 13 for the second annual Mentorship Program group learning day of the 2017-2018 school year. Mentor and protΓ©gΓ© teacher pairs began the day by working together on topics and questions. For the second half of the morning, protΓ©gΓ©s attended a session led by Monique Gravel, Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) Professional Development Executive Staff Officer for Northern AB and steering committee member for the PWSD/Northern Spirit ATA Local 6 Mentorship Program. Mentors worked with Adele Lowen, PWSD teacher and Mentorship Program Coordinator. Two ATA workshops were offered during the afternoon, based on the results of a needs assessment questionnaire completed during the group's first Mentorship Program learning day in October: Winning Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom, led by Jacqueline Werstiuk, and Unseen Hurts: Promoting Positive Mental Health in Schools, led by Nicole Felicitas. Read the full story on the PWSD website at http://bit.ly/MP-Feb-13-18.

News from PWSD schools:

Beaverlodge Elementary School

Junior Kindergarten program expanding at Beaverlodge Elementary

Beaverlodge families will benefit from an expanded Junior Kindergarten (Jr. K.) program at Beaverlodge Elementary School (BES) this September. Registration will open on Friday, February 23, with a drop-in event at 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. During the event, families will meet the instructional team and tour the classroom and school. After February 23, registration will be ongoing during school hours. Included in the expanded program is a dedicated class for all three-year-old children. In the past, the school accepted only those requiring additional supports. To qualify, children must be potty-trained and turning three by December 31, 2018. Programming for four-year-olds will increase to three days per week, offering even greater learning opportunities. Read the full story at http://bit.ly/BES-JK.

BES Olympics opening ceremony on February 21
Back by popular demand, the Beaverlodge Elementary School Olympics will kick off with a ceremony during the afternoon of Wednesday, February 21, open to families. Classes will represent countries at the opening ceremony and during the games. Led by their teacher and volunteers, each class will participate in a series of outdoor activities including smooshing, luge, curling, cross-country skiing, dog sleds, and Indigenous games, such as antler toss and high kick. Hot chocolate will be supplied by the School Council. A closing ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, February 23. Principal Paul Cincurak says students and staff are looking forward to this school event.

Bezanson School

Upcoming "mystery event" to focus on female empowerment
Bezanson School will host its second annual mystery event, Chaos on the Red Carpet, during the evening of February 28. This special event for junior and senior high girls will focus on female empowerment. The event is similar to Murder Mystery games, but was developed and written by the school's librarian/educational assistant Carol Matlock and teacher Holly Galbraith. The students will be in costume to play their roles in the mystery.

Other upcoming events:

  • March 1: Jump Rope for Heart jump day in the gym
  • March 6-7: Ski trip to Jasper
  • March 19-22: Book Fair
  • April 9-13: Bezanson School will welcome the Missoula Children's Theatre for what school staff believe to be the twentieth time since the mid-1980s. The team will spend a week working with approximately 60-80 students to fulfill all roles – from stagehands to actors – to produce a play for families and community members to enjoy on Friday, April 13.

Father and daughter face off in Smoky River Classic Jr. Basketball Tournament

Spectators at the Smoky River Classic Junior Basketball Tournament, co-hosted by Bezanson and Ridgevalley Schools on January 27, witnessed a unique form of competition when father and daughter coaches faced off against each other. Don Wold, a teacher and coach at Hythe Regional School, competed against daughter Kayley Wold, teacher and coach at Ridgevalley School. FNMI Education Coordinator and basketball coach Darrell Willier says he has been involved in school sports for 38 years, and has often seen sibling versus sibling, but never parent versus child. He believes this was a first for PWSD basketball history.

Bonanza School

Students make, present quilts to Alzheimer's patients

Students from the Bonanza School sewing club presented blankets to residents of Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek and joined them for tea on February 7. The students quilted the special blankets as fidget devices for Alzheimer's patients. Pictured left-right with Grades 5-6 teacher Mrs. Yvonne Marshall-MacRae are students Sydney Simmonds, Jenny Rose, Adara Lowes, Molly Hamilton, Victoria Frazer and Laura Sajtovich.

Other events:

  • The school held a Jump Rope for Heart event on February 15.

Clairmont Community School

Third annual CCS Student Convention
Clairmont Community School (CCS) will host its third annual Student Convention on Friday, March 23. Stay tuned for details closer to the event.

Eaglesham School

Daily breakfast program up and running

Eaglesham students are enjoying a daily breakfast of yogurt, cereal, fruit and juice in the school lounge. A hot breakfast of eggs or pancakes is served once a month.

Jasper ski trip

Grades 7-12 students traveled to Jasper for skiing on February 2-4. Many thanks to Mr. Mckay and Miss Leblanc for organizing and chaperoning the trip, and to the many parents who went along to offer additional help.

A warm welcome to German exchange student Thyra-Luuise
Eaglesham School's Grade 11 class welcomed German exchange student Thyra-Luuise Van Oltersdorff-Kalett for the second semester. Students and staff look forward to learning about her country and culture, and sharing theirs with her.

Elmworth School

Fun activities at Elmworth School
Junior high students traveled to Quebec on Feb 1-6 (pictured) and will enjoy a day of skiing at Nitehawk on February 27. Grades 1-9 students have committed to 60 minutes of daily physical activity during January 8 - March 16 through the Oilers Energize Oil Country activity challenge, presented by the Edmonton Oilers, Cenovus and Canadian Tire Jumpstart. On March 1, Grade 9 students will attend the World of Choice event at Evergreen Park. Grades 4-6 will enjoy cross-country skiing at the Nordic Ski Club on March 7.

Harry Balfour School/Whispering Ridge Community School

Valentines for Vets project brings joy to Canadian veterans

Grades 4-7 French as a Second Language (FSL) students recently participated in the Valentines for Vets initiative. Each year, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) invites Canadian schools, individuals and organizations to make Valentines for Vets, to distribute to veterans in long-term care facilities in time for February 14. The initiative dates back to 1989 when the late newspaper columnist, Ann Landers, encouraged her readers to create special valentines for veterans in care facilities. In 1996, VAC became involved and has been receiving and distributing the valentines ever since.

Other news from HBS/WRCS:

  • Both Basketball teams are doing well, with the Girls team winning gold and the Boys team nabbing silver at the Clairmont Community School Tournament (pictured above).
  • Grade 6 students rallied and organized their first dance on February 15. Grades 4-8 Curling wraps up on February 22, with thanks for a great program extended to Mrs. Fisher and Mrs. Schellenberg. Students were excited to get outside and breathe in the fresh air on Winter Walk Day (pictured below).
  • Student Council continues to be a positive voice within the school, organizing fun school-wide events, such as Valentine's Heart Hunts, Kahoot games, school dances, and dress-up days. Thanks to Miss Chandler and Mrs. McAusland for their support.
  • Alyssa Linssen's Grade 3 class will share their innovative ideas and considerations for the new WRCS playground during an informal open house event on February 21, at the end of the school day.

Upcoming events:

  • February 23: Jersey/Team Day
  • March 1: Grades 4-6 skiing at Nitehawk
  • March 5-7: Jasper trip for Grades 7-8 HBS and WRCS students. Those not traveling to Jasper will have an opportunity ski at Nitehawk on March 7.

Hythe Regional School

HRS to host first Build a Village Fair on February 21
Kindergarten - Grade 6 students at Hythe Regional School have been busy working on social studies group projects designed to broaden their understanding of an area. The Build a Village models, created by students with guidance from their teachers, include images of the dress, wildlife, traditions and landscape that represent the uniqueness of the area; and information describing the components of the society. Build a Village displays will be open for viewing in the HRS foyer during the afternoon of Wednesday, February 21, when students will speak about their models and answer questions. The displays will remain in place for parent-teacher interviews on Thursday, February 22. Prizes will be awarded to the best group projects. Everyone welcome.

Telus World of Science brings new experiences to students

Grade 1 students learned about how animals adapt to cold weather during the Telus World of Science visit in December. Students touched polar bear fur and ate ice cream made using dry ice.

Peace Wapiti Academy

Three PWA Band members perform with UAlberta Symphonic Wind Ensemble at Winspear Centre

Peace Wapiti Academy Band members (left-right) Maryn Johnson, Grade 10; Tayvis Rodacker, Grade 11; and Adam Harris, Grade 12 were found among Alberta's most talented high school students at the annual Honour Band Weekend, hosted by the University of Alberta (UAlberta) on February 9-11. The students participated in workshops on Friday - Sunday. As members of the High School Honour Band, they joined the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the winner of the Department of Music Concerto Competition in a grand weekend finale at the Winspear Centre on Sunday, February 11. "A very exciting opportunity for our students," says PWA Band teacher Darcy Nielsen.

Recent events:

  • PWA's Class of 2018 hosted a successful grad fundraiser that saw a large turnout on February 8. The event included a fashion show, bake sale and silent auction.

  • PWA expresses thanks to Nic Wright (left), Danny Johnston (right), Ali Wright and Dylan Bressey (no photos available) of Young Life for volunteering to help students with tutoring, sports, iPLAN seminars and field trips. Young Life is a world-wide organization that has been present in the Peace Country for more than 30 years. Young Life staff and volunteers spend time building mentoring friendships with teenagers. Learn more about the organization at http://ylpeacecountry.ca.

Ridgevalley School

Matching gift directed to Grande Prairie Youth Shelter
An order of 70 pairs of socks by Ridgevalley School's Basketball teams has been met with a matching gift from the vendor, Your City Sports. Coach Darrell Willier and the teams have decided to donate the gift to the Grande Prairie Youth Emergency Shelter. The presentation will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7.  

Recent and upcoming events at RVS

  • Ridgevalley Kindergarten - Grade 8 students enjoyed the play Robinson Crusoe by Axis Theatre, a touring theatre company, on February 14. Assistant Principal Barry DeFord (pictured right) had a minor role in the play.
  • A Farm Safety event will be held on February 23.

Robert W. Zahara Public School

FNMI team hosts cultural day

On January 19, PWSD's FNMI team hosted a special cultural event at Robert W. Zahara Public School that included singing 'O Canada' in Cree, followed by a stew and bannock lunch for the entire school. Pictured: Students enjoying lunch prepared by FNMI Liaison Workers (left-right) Barb Belcourt, Krista Lucas, Shirley Boomer, Marlene Letendre, Shirley Horseman, Heather Campbell, Angela Dougall, Corinne Dennis, and FNMI Education Coordinator Darrell Willier. Missing from photo: Connie Gladue.

Rycroft School

Skating, snacks and an empowering event
Students are celebrating winter with two weeks of skating at the Rycroft Arena during February 12-23 (pictured below).

Thanks to a number of generous donations, the school's popular Healthy Snacks program offers students free snacks during the school day. Recent cheque presentations were made by Big Stick Rentals and Secure Energy Services. Pictured below: Sam Purves of Secure Energy Service Inc. with Principal Julie Hynes and a Grade 8 student.

Junior High students recently participated in a two-day 'Eureka' workshop (pictured below). The program enhances students' communication skills. Students said the empowering evented helped them gain new respect for themselves and others.

Sexsmith Secondary School

Community partners support launch of breakfast program

February 1 marked the kick-off of Sexsmith Secondary School's free breakfast program for students. SSS teacher Eric Goodwin says, "It's important to provide students with a strong and supportive learning environment, while ensuring hunger is not a barrier to their success." Students and staff would like to thank the community and local businesses for supporting the sustainability of this important program. 

Teepee Creek School

Olympic-themed winter carnival in celebration of 100th day of school

To mark the 100th day of school on Friday, February 23, Teepee Creek students will enjoy an afternoon winter carnival featuring Olympic- themed events such as snowball target practice, snowman building, penguin slide, snowshoe relay races and tug of war. Thanks to Tim Horton's for supporting this event with donations of hot chocolate and toques for all students and staff.

Woking School

Great Canadian Valentine Swap

Students at Woking School created valentines and wrote a letter about their school and community to send to 20 schools across the country as part of the Great Canadian Valentine Swap. In return, students received valentines from fellow Canadian students from coast to coast – from Coquitlam, BC, to as far away as Prince Edward Island, and all points in between. The valentines and letters, on display outside the Grades 3-4 classroom, share fun facts and stories about communities and classrooms – a great way to learn about being a Canadian citizen while showing gratitude and kindness on a special day. Those interested in participating in future swaps should contact Emily MacGillvary, organizer of the event, via her classroom blog found at http://emmymacsclass.blogspot.ca/2016/01/2nd-annual-great-canadian-valentine.html.

Recent Press Releases:

Other news:

  • PWSD and its schools were featured in more than 20 media stories to date during the month of February 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.
  • Sign up to receive Board News, Division Update and other PWSD publications at www.pwsd76.ab.ca.