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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

PWPSD Good News Report – February 2019

February 19, 2019

​The following Good News Report from Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) and its schools will be shared at the upcoming Board Meeting on Thursday, February 21, 2019.

News from PWPSD:

Tour the Trades event exposes students to future career paths
A group of PWPSD high school students will join with students from the two other local districts for a full-day 'Tour the Trades' event on Thursday, February 21. During the tour, the group will be exposed to potential work experience opportunities and future career paths at trades-based businesses in Grande Prairie. Trades featured on the tour are in high demand and provide opportunities for students to talk with tradespeople on the job and learn about the trades and the steps required for certification. Prior to the tour, students complete the Alberta Education Workplace Safety Systems HCS-3000 course. During the morning, the group will visit Canfor to learn about the millwright, electrical, heavy duty mechanics and power engineering trades. At Northpoint Technical Services, students will be exposed to the electrical, machinist and parts trades. Following lunch, the group will visit Thomas Group Inc. to see the electrical, mechanical and insulators trades in action. 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.

Nominate a PWPSD student for a Spirit Seekers Indigenous Youth Award by February 22

Spirit Seekers Indigenous Youth Awards honour the successes of Indigenous youth, aged 11-29. Nominate an Indigenous youth for their personal achievement or significant contribution to their community. Nomination deadline is Friday, February 22, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Access the online nomination form and view award categories at https://spiritseekersyouth.wordpress.com/nominate-an-aboriginal-youth-role-model. The Spirit Seekers Indigenous Youth Awards will be presented to 18 recipients during the Spirit Seekers Youth Conference opening ceremony at Grande Prairie Regional College on Friday March 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Plan to attend the 3-D Charity Hockey/Soccer Tournament in April; GP Storm fundraiser game on Feb. 23
Funds raised during the tri-district charity tournaments are directed to meet the needs of seriously ill students. Learn more at http://3dcharityhockey.com/hockey. Secure Energy has sponsored a game for the 3D Children's Charity again this year, taking place on Saturday February 23 against the Bonnyville Pontiacs at 7:30 p.m., Revolution Arena. Tickets are at a reduced price of $10 each and can be purchased from pattinichol@pwsd76.ab.ca in advance, or at the door from a 3D Charity member.

 Hockey TournamentSoccer Tournament
Open to:Grades 4-12. Students will form teams in three Divisions: Elementary, Middle School and High School.Grades 4-6
When:Thursday - Saturday, April 25-27, 2019Friday and Saturday, April 26-27, 2019
Where:Coca Cola Centre, Grande PrairieEastlink Centre, Grande Prairie

February 27 is Pink Shirt Day – Be Kind
The theme for Pink Shirt Day 2019 is 'Be Kind'. To combat cyberbullying, the focus of Pink Shirt Day 2019, think twice before posting something negative. On February 27, PWSD students and staff will wear pink to raise awareness and show their commitment to creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments. An upcoming media release will provide details on school-based events.

Nominate a PWPSD student for an Leaders of Tomorrow Volunteerism Award by March 8
The Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau is seeking nominations for youth ages 13 to 18 who deserve recognition for their devotion to helping others and exhibiting leadership through volunteerism. Award recipients will receive a trophy, certificate, cash award of $100, and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice. Awards will be presented at the National Volunteer Week Annual Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, April 11 at Revolution Place, Grande Prairie. The deadline for nominations is March 8, 2019. Nomination packages are available at https://www.volunteergrandeprairie.com.

Kindergarten online registration opens on March 19

Beginning the school journey is an exciting step for children and their families. Kindergarten online registration opens on March 19. Register your child at a PWPSD school from the comfort of your own home at www.pwpsd.ca/registration. Open to children turning five in 2019. All families welcome. Those without Internet access should contact their school. A birth certificate and proof of residency are requirements for online and in-person registration. Our Kindergarten webpage offers answers to questions: www.pwpsd.ca/kindergarten.

Teacher recruitment in full swing for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year

In January, representatives from PWPSD were busy recruiting future teachers for the upcoming school year. Pictured left are Deputy Superintendent Darren Young, Beaverlodge Regional High School Principal Anna Nelson, District Principal Karen Chrenek, Savanna School Co-Principal Tina Sauder, and Hythe Regional School Principal Dwayne Speager. The team met with candidates at the B.Ed. National and International Job Search event at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax on January 26-27, followed by the University of Alberta Education Career Fair in Edmonton on January 28. On January 31, Mr. Speager and Mr. Young (pictured right) met with local upcoming graduates during the GPRC Bachelor of Education – Teacher Education North (TEN) Collaborative Degree Program recruitment event on January 31. If you about to graduate or already a certified teacher, view our teaching opportunities and apply online today at www.pwpsd.ca/employment.

PWPSD schools register for Student Vote Alberta
Sixteen PWPSD schools have already registered to participate in the upcoming Student Vote Alberta. This free event will bring the 2019 Alberta Provincial Election into classrooms, as a means of empowering students to experience the voting process firsthand. Registered schools receive print and online teaching materials, posters and election supplies. Students are informed about government and the electoral process and are encouraged to research the issues, parties and candidates, and to engage in conversations with their friends and families. During Student Vote Day, students fulfill the roles of election officers to coordinate a vote in their school. Students cast ballots for the candidates running in their school's electoral division. Results are shared publicly after the close of the general election polls. To learn more about how the program builds the habits of active and engaged citizenship in students, and to view election results, visit www.studentvote.ca.

Registered PWPSD schools at press time: Beaverlodge Elementary, Beaverlodge Regional High, Bezanson, Clairmont Community, Eaglesham, Harry Balfour, Hythe Regional, LaGlace, Peace Wapiti Academy, Penson, Robert W. Zahara, Rycroft, Savanna, Sexsmith Secondary, Spirit River Regional Academy, Teepee Creek, Whispering Ridge Community, and Woking.

News from PWPSD Schools:

Clairmont Community School

Cree Class series kicks off at CCS

Clairmont Community School kicked off a six-week Cree Class series on Wednesday, February 6. The series will run on Wednesday evenings, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. during February 6 - March 13 at the school library. Classes are open everyone wishing to learn the Cree language. Instructor Alfred Beaver is teaching oral Cree and reading and writing Cree syllabics. Classes are open to all ages and families are encouraged to attend together.

Elmworth School

Parents pull out the stops during Teacher Appreciation Week

During Teacher Appreciation Week, Elmworth School parents spoiled teachers with fresh home-baked goodies each day, inspirational messages posted in the staff room, and a "Spa-tacular" lunch on Valentine's Day. 

Harry Balfour School

Healthy living focus of Grades 4-6 options class

Champions Gym has been delivering fitness sessions to students in the Healthy Living Option. A Champions instructor provides bi-weekly lessons to students on various techniques and skills to promote strength and fitness. Bliss Be Fit also presented a Pound Class (pictured) which fuses music, rhythm and fitness into an exciting hour.

Personal Learning Time sessions offer programming variety

Grades 7-8 HBS students have received instruction in cupcake decorating, knitting, crochet, coding, fitness, chess, ping-pong, specialty music courses, canvas painting, comic book creation and virtual reality travel tours.

Additional practice time for choirs

Jeannie Pernal, Director of the Grande Prairie Boys Choir, will work with Grade 1-3 and 4-6 choirs on February 22. Mrs. Tomke and Mr. Dommer have also been hosting Saturday sessions for choir groups leading up to spring carnivals. 

Eureka Program

All Grade 7 students participated in the Eureka Program, led by John Howard Society instructors and sponsored by the HBS Parent Council and Participarent. Students spent two days at Muskoseepi Park, developing communications skills, learning how to assert themselves positively, how to build community, and how to be empowered to make productive choices

Snow Club focusing on skiing and snowboarding skills

The weekly club, held at Nitehawk, gives students an opportunity to work with professional instructors to improve their skiing and snowboarding skills.

Both Junior High A teams won gold at the Clairmont Basketball tournament. Mrs. Clevette coaches the Girls team and Ms. Gaucher coaches the Boys team.

On February 8, HBS hosted their family dance. Parents made hearts in support of their students.

Upcoming events:

  • Division-wide Grades 5-6 Basketball Jamboree, March 16: Cost to enter a team is $20 to cover the fee for officials. Games will run for 20 minutes and there will be no scorekeeping. Schools interested in entering a team should contact Principal Jen Clevette.

Helen E. Taylor School

HET teachers wear messages of support on Bell Let's Talk Day

Teachers at HET made T-shirts to recognize Bell Let's Talk Day on January 31. Each shirt featured a caption to encourage students and adults to talk to each other about mental health and help reduce stigma. An excellent and very visible way to show support.

Hythe Regional School

Letter writing provides new skills
Pamela Christie's Kindergarten students are learning a number of new skills through writing pen pals in New Jersey. The teacher says her students are excited to write to students in the United States.

Upcoming event:

  • HRS Talent Show: Friday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is by donation. Funds raised will support the HRS music program.

Peace Wapiti Academy

Plan to attend the PWA fashion show fundraiser and auction event on February 28
Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) will host their annual grad fashion show fundraiser on February 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the PWA gym, in support of the school's graduation ceremony. Students will model fashions from Calista's Career & Bridal Wear, Edward's Factory Outlet, and Ernie's Sports Experts. The event will include a silent/live auction and a grad labour auction.

PWA student achieves perfect Math 30-1 diploma exam score
Congratulations to PWA student Kevin Terceros on achieving a mark of 100 per cent on his Math 30-1 diploma final exam. 

PWA students navigate loss through Circle of Life sessions
PWA Youth Advocate and First Nations, MΓ©tis and Inuit Liaison Worker Leslie Bell is hosting a six-session opportunity to help students navigate loss and talk about significant life experiences such as death, divorce, separation and fostering. The sessions, completed over three weeks, focus on six different themes. Students participate in open discussions and fun activities aimed at helping them understand grief as a normal process, while learning to cope and manage the feelings that come from change.

Puzzling project

PWA teacher Ms. Vogan has started an ongoing jigsaw puzzle project at the back of her classroom and Grades 9-12 students have already completed ten puzzles. Teachers say it's exciting and heartwarming to see the engagement and enthusiasm as students finish up one puzzle and pick up the next project.

Ridgevalley School

Holocaust survivor Dr. Eva Olsson and travelling Anne Frank exhibit

The international travelling exhibit from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, chronicling her life, experiences, and ultimate death during the Holocaust, will continue to be on display at RVS until February 28. Student volunteers were trained by a visiting curator to act as tour guides (pictured). The exhibit will be open to the public on Thursday, February 21 during 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., followed by a talk by Holocaust survivor Dr. Eva Olsson (inset) at 7:00 p.m.

Rycroft School

Rycroft School to celebrate centenary on May 10
Rycroft School will host a 100th anniversary celebration of the school on May 10, 2019. The school is seeking yearbooks and memorabilia from former staff and alumni – contact the school at (780) 765-3830 or email juliehynes@pwsd76.ab.ca or heathercampbell@pwpsd.ca. The event will include a learning fair, school tours and a barbecue lunch. Stay tuned for more info as plans develop.

Upcoming events:

  • February 21: Grades 4-8 ski trip at Nitehawk.
  • February 28: An afternoon of Frolic activities. The Frolic event, held in Rycroft for many years, involves lumberjack games such as leg wrestling, log sawing and tug of war.

Sexsmith Secondary School

Mechanics class swaps manual truck engine for automatic

Sexsmith Secondary School's (SSS) Mechanics class, led by teacher Clinton Brundige, has successfully achieved a daunting task – swapping a five-speed manual engine with a four-speed automatic.

The project began in the 2017-18 school year when students pulled an automatic V8 engine and transmission from a 2007 Chevrolet 2500 Express Van, donated to the school for educational purposes by Oscar's Pick A Part. Mr. Brundige says it took hours of custom work to support and clear the donor engine and transmission for installation in a five-speed manual 2006 Chevrolet Colorado truck.

The following year, the class worked on the wiring, stripping any items not needed to run the automatic engine and transmission. Students used ignition-wiring diagrams to modify how the former five-speed manual truck would start.

"Overall, I was really impressed with my students' ability to understand the electrical side of things," adds Mr. Brundige. "Most people do not enjoy or understand how to troubleshoot electrical problems, but some students were quickly able to diagnose issues."

"The class learned engine-tuning software basics to bypass the anti-theft system in the automatic engine's computer. One piece of the truck that caught a lot of attention was the custom-built shifter made by two of my students. Now that the project is complete, there are dropped jaws and huge grins whenever the truck's rumble fills the shop."

Mr. Brundige says the final goal is to enter the truck in local legal drag races to show off the students' work.


Recreational Pursuits class develops new games for R. W. Zahara Grade 4s

This semester, the Recreational Pursuits option class at SSS developed new games to share with fourth graders at R. W. Zahara (RWZ) Public School. As part of their brainstorming, the class spent time learning existing games that do not rely on technology before moving on to making their own game boards, cards and rules.

With this type of project being a first for options teacher Amelia Mildenberger, she admits being unsure of the quality of work students would produce.

"As the work progressed, I was pleasantly surprised and proud to see students taking ideas from games they enjoy to form something completely unique to share with others. I couldn't have asked for more from this multi-grade group of students."

"From the start, I had planned for the class to share their projects with the neighbouring RWZ. It was so special for me to observe students patiently sharing their knowledge with Grade 4 students, especially to see some examples of sibling mentoring. It was the perfect finish to an exciting project."

New Aboriginal Studies option course at SSS

Sexsmith Secondary is excited to introduce Aboriginal Studies this semester, a thought-provoking new high school options course. With new education standards moving toward alignment with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action, the course focuses on past and present events using interactive methods such as stories, truth circles, film culture, guest speakers, interactive maps, and fieldtrips.

SSS coach, team and student-athlete nominated for Northwest AB Sport Excellence Awards

Alison Lario, Assistant Principal and Track and Field Coach, has been nominated for the 2019 Coach of the Year Award. The Senior Girls Rugby Team has been nominated for the Team of the Year Award. Student-athlete Keyanna Anderson, Track and Field, has been nominated for the Junior Female Athlete of the Year Award. Awards will be presented on Friday, March 1 at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre at 7:30 p.m.

Teepee Creek School

The TCS Boys Basketball team and Coach Danielle Devoe celebrate winning the Harry Balfour School/Whispering Ridge Community School Tournament held on January 26.


Wembley Elementary School

It's the little things – WES initiates new Safe & Caring Awards program

WES staff have found a new way to recognize students who go above and beyond to help others feel safe and cared about at school. Launched in January, the new Safe & Caring Awards are typically presented to one student per class. Recipients receive a certificate and recognition at monthly assemblies. Acting Principal Holly Gould says the awards celebrate acts of kindness, ranging from inviting someone to play outside, to helping to tie shoes and do up zippers. Students are pleased to receive the awards in front of their peers. Teachers reinforce messaging in the classroom by expressing appreciation for the effort and emphasizing how small actions can improve school life for everyone. Pictured left-right are students Chevy Wiggins and Kaden Warkentin. The certificates state, "In recognition of consistently acting in a safe and caring manner and contributing to the safe and caring environment at WES."

Hula Hoop Circus fun at WES

Amanda Panda, Hula Hoop Circus, spent a week at WES. Acting Principal Holly Gould says students had an fabulous time.  

Woking School

Upcoming events:

  • February 21: Grades 4-8 Nitehawk ski trip. Grades 1-3 will celebrate 100 days of school.
  • February 20: Knights of Columbus Free Throw – qualifier in gym.
  • February 26: Knights of Columbus Free Throw – round 2 in Spirit River.

Recent Media Releases:

Other News:

PWPSD and its schools were featured in 15 media stories to date during the month of February 2019. To keep up-to-date with the latest news from PWPSD, and local media coverage, check out PWPSD's online Media Room at http://www.pwpsd.ca/mediaroom. Sign up to receive Board News, Division Update and other PWPSD publications at www.pwpsd.ca.