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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 – March 2019

March 18, 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, March 21, 2019.

News from PWPSD:

Is your child turning five in 2019? Register them for Kindergarten and attend your school's open house event

A warm welcome is extended to parents and children as they take the first step in their educational journey when Kindergarten online registration for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year opens tomorrow, Tuesday, March 19 at PWPSD. Registration is open to all children turning five in 2019, and can be completed online from the comfort of home at www.pwpsd.ca/registration. Those without access to the Internet should contact their school. A birth certificate and proof of residency are requirements for online or in-person registration. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/Kindergarten-2019-20. A number of schools will host open house events – the following were submitted before press time:

Kindergarten Open House EventsDate & TimeEvent Details
Beaverlodge Elementary SchoolTuesday, March 19,
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Open to Jr. Kindergarten and Kindergarten.
Clairmont Community SchoolTuesday, June 18,
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Open to parents and 2019-2020 Kindergartens.
Penson School, GrovedaleFriday, April 26,
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Kinder Open House
Teepee Creek SchoolWednesday, March 20,
2:15 - 3:15 p.m.
Open to Jr. Kindergarten and Kindergarten.
Wembley Elementary SchoolMonday, June 24,
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Open to Jr. Kindergarten and Kindergarten.


Join us at the General School Councils meeting – All parents, school council members welcome

When: Tuesday, April 2. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Supper at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Sexsmith Secondary School cafeteria
Agenda: http://bit.ly/PWPSD-School-Councils   
RSVP by: Thursday, March 21 to terrytofer@pwsd76.ab.ca

  • Find out the latest news from PWPSD.
  • Share your thoughts and learn more about the Together for Students campaign.
  • Discuss the Alberta School Councils' Association Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting: Proxy voting, attendance, and the new electronic pre-vote option by March 22.

Annual PWPSD Band Concert at GPRC

The annual PWPSD Band Concert will take place tonight, Monday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre, GPRC, featuring junior high bands from Clairmont Community School, Harry Balfour School and Whispering Ridge Community School, along with the Peace Wapiti Academy high school band. The night will conclude with a mass band performance.

Basketball star encourages PWPSD students to follow their dreams

Seven PWPSD schools welcomed basketball star Michael Linklater during the 2019 Indigenous Speakers Series on March 11-14. During his final presentation at Harry Balfour School on March 14, Mr. Linklater told students, "Instead of letting words discourage you, let them encourage you. There's a fire burning inside all of us and other people's words can build or extinguish our fire. I took people's words of discouragement and made them the wood that fueled my fire." Mr. Linklater walked students through his life experiences, highlighting how he never allowed anything or anyone to break his focus on basketball, despite having the odds stacked against him – including a family history of addictions, his short stature for the sport (he's 5' 10"), experiencing racist attitudes, and having teachers and coaches who did not believe in him. "When someone tells us we can't do something, we have the choice whether to believe them or not."

Bezanson student wins Peace Country Regional Science Fair – Off to Nationals in Fredericton in May

Joshua Street, a Grade 9 student at Bezanson School, placed first in the Peace Country Regional Science Fair (PCRSF), held in Peace River on March 15-16, 2019. He won gold for his project, Pro-Detector, which was named best in the Grades 9-10 Biotechnology, Engineering and Mathematics category, and Best in Fair. Joshua created a programmable fire alarm that can be reset for a few minutes using a radio signal. This is especially useful if an alarm is set off by burnt toast – the homeowner can reset the alarm for couple of minutes to deal with the smoke. The alarm will automatically turn itself back on in a set amount of time, minimizing the need to pull the batteries to reset it. His school says Joshua did all the coding and 3D-printed the necessary parts for the project. His gold medal win means Joshua will be heading to the Canada Wide Science Fair in Fredericton, NB on May 11-17. Congratulations, Joshua! View the official PCRSF results at https://sites.google.com/view/pcrsf/home. View details about the Canada Wide Science Fair at https://cwsf.youthscience.ca/fair/welcome-fredericton-2019.

Annual Horse Lake Family Affair event part of Innovation in First Nations Education grant roll-out

As part of the Innovation in First Nations Education (IFNE) grant roll-out for the 2018-2019 school year, the annual Family Affair event was held in Horse Lake on March 12, hosted by the Horse Lake First Nation and the Northwest Regional Learning Consortium. The grant, secured through a partnership between PWPSD and the Horse Lake First Nation, is used to develop school-based programs and initiatives that meet student needs and strengthen opportunities for student success. A wonderful event for the families of Horse Lake!

News from PWPSD Schools:

Alternative Education

Alternative Education students: Plan to attend a free seminar on Independent Learning
The Peace Wapiti Enterprise Centre (PWEC) is hosting a free seminar on Independent Learning for Alternative Education students at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 at PWEC, located at 11735-105 Street, Unit 106 in Grande Prairie (in the Royal Oaks subdivision). Join Bradi Baker-Bowen to learn time management skills, how to manage distractions and self-advocacy.

Bonanza School

Bonanza Spring Tea event celebrates the coming season
Bonanza School will host a Spring Tea event on Tuesday, March 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the Bonanza Community Hall.  Students will celebrate spring with performances by all classes, along with duets and solos. Grandparents, parents, community members and the local media are welcome to attend this event.

Clairmont Community School

CCS completes, installs collaborative Medicine Wheel project

A recently installed collaborative art project features a Medicine Wheel on one side (left), bearing a handprint from each student. The other side (right) is a collaborative circle project where every student decorated a quarter of a circle.

Harry Balfour School

Junior High Band Trip to Edmonton

The Junior High Band trip included a performance at the AIberta International Band Festival, a visit to the Telus World of Science, and attending The Music of Star Trek by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Author visit

Author Karen Bass spend one-hour sessions with the Grades 4P and 6T classes. Ms. Bass, author of several young adult novels, worked with students on character development exercises and answered questions about being an author.

Pink Shirt Day and wrap-up of Snow Club

Pink Shirt Day (right) recognized students from each grade who embody active and positive citizenship by participating in school and/or community service. Citizenship is shown in their positive attitude toward classmates, school, and the community; by displaying an understanding of responsibility; by possessing strength of character and the courage to do what is right; and by promoting citizenship within their school or community through other activities. March 13th marked the end of the HBS Nitehawk Snow Club's first year (left).

Geography Challenge

Students were quizzed on their knowledge of geography during the annual elementary Geography Challenge event hosted by Mr. Schwandt during a number of lunch breaks.

New mural by HBS art students

Mr Twelvetree's Grades 4, 5 and 6 art students created a mural in the HBS foyer that frames the aquarium wall and beautifies the school.

Service Ninjas option class making a difference

Mrs. Larocque's Grades 4-6 students are having an impact in their community by raising money to create care packages for single student moms at GPRC, shoveling driveways, organizing Pink Shirt Day, and helping out around the school. The Service Ninjas option ends mid-March. Pictured is a note from senior citizens Brian and Judy Riddle who appreciated the help with shoveling, telling the class, "The world is a better place because of people like you!"

Recent and upcoming events at HBS:

  • Grade 5G toured a recording studio and observed science experiments at GPRC.
  • A family dance fundraiser in support of the new HBS sensory room saw a great turnout of families and K-6 students. The school will run a gift card fundraiser in partnership with Braeheid Gardens during April 8-19 to generate additional support for the sensory room.  
  • Sixteen teams of PWPSD Grades 5 and 6 students participated in a basketball jamboree on March 16 at HBS.
  • The ninth annual Spring Fling Concert takes place on April 12.

Hythe Regional School

Grade 1 class celebrates 100 days of school

Grade 1 students in Mrs. Godel's class celebrated the 100th day of school in February. Students made T-shirts decorated with 100 thumbprints, hats with 100 stickers, necklaces with 100 Fruit Loops, wrote about being 100 years old, and viewed app-altered elderly images of themselves. Principal Dwayne Speager dressed up as Zero the Hero and read a story about the best number in the world, zero!

Grades 7-9 students cooking in Cree

Hythe Regional School offered a Cooking in Cree 13-week option class this term, open to all students in Grades 7-9. In addition to learning to cook traditional Indigenous foods, students also learned the Cree terminology. Students cooked and ate bannock, bison stew, bison dry meat and rabbit. Barb Belcourt, Cree Instructor and First Nations, MΓ©tis and Inuit Worker at HRS, said the students were very brave in cooking and eating fried rabbit during the last class of the term (pictured).

Pink Shirt Day activities held on February 27

All HRS students were encouraged to wear pink to show they "Choose Kindness." Students and staff wrote and drew on paper pink T-shirts which are now displayed in the foyer – a great way to share positive messaging with all who enter the building. "In addition to recognizing Pink Shirt Day annually, we continue to practice being kind to ourselves and others on a daily basis," says teacher and counsellor Kelly Woltjer.

Gold medal win at 2J Basketball Zones
The Hythe Panthers Junior High Boys Basketball team won gold at 2J Zones in Grimshaw on March 1-2, beating the defending champion Peace High Nomads in the finals.

Penson School

Pi Day at Penson School = A whole lot of pies

On March 14, otherwise known as Pi (Ο€) Day, Penson School celebrated by having more than 200 pies made in a variety of flavours – one for each student and staff member. Grade 4 students helped sort and deliver pies to each classroom, from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Such a fun and tasty way to celebrate March 14 (3.14).

Ridgevalley School

Above: Mr. Shell's Grade 4 students made mouse trap cars for their science unit, Building Devices and Vehicles that Move.

Silver medalists at Rural Wrestling Provincials

RVS Grade 11 student Sarah Anderson (left on the podium) won silver in the Rural Wrestling Provincials, tying with Sexsmith Secondary for the second place plaque. Sarah will be competing at Nationals in New Brunswick.

Hundreds of students, community members attend two presentations by Dr. Eva Olsson at RVS

Approximately 400 students from Ridgevalley, Penson and Bezanson Schools; Hillside School in Grande Prairie; and St. Stephen's Catholic School in Valleyview attended an afternoon presentation on February 21 by Holocaust survivor Dr. Eva Olsson. Later that evening, a public presentation saw approximately 300 in attendance.

Grocery bags transformed into sleeping mats for homeless

RVS Grade 5 students recently held a grocery bag drive in support of a project led by the Grande Prairie Rotary House that will see donated bags cut down and crocheted into sleeping mats for the homeless.

Missoula Theater production of Blackbeard the Pirate at RVS
Missoula Theatre worked with a group of Grades 1-9 students to produce Blackbeard the Pirate during the week of March 11, with shows on March 15 and March 16.

Sexsmith Secondary School

Sports success for SSS
Sports teams at Sexsmith Secondary have been celebrating success during recent weeks.

The Junior High A Girls Basketball team took the 3J City League banner, taking out the GP Composite High School in the finals. The Senior High Girls team will head to Provincials in La Crete on March 15.


SSS is celebrating a third Provincial Boys title from the 1A/2A Wrestling Rural Provincials. Individual silver medals were awarded to Landen Badger, Devon Barnfield, Noah Palfy and Sarah Palfy. Individual bronze medals went to Liam Palfy and Kodiak Seguin. At the Boys 1A/2A Wrestling Provincials, Landen Badger and Devon Barnfield earned individual bronze medals while Devon Barnfield earned the sportsmanship medal.

Triple Gold at Junior High Curling Zones

The SSS Curling team won three gold medals and a banner for their efforts in the Junior Mens, Junior Mixed and Junior Womens events. Celebrating their wins are Junior Boys team members Kayne Young, Garrett Ewan, Bryce Bogdanek and Gavin Skarberg; Junior Mixed team members Jaxon Hiebert, Olivia Hagerman, Logan Skarberg and Brooke Bogdanek; and Junior Womens team members Hayden Young, Brooke Bozarth, Brylee Girard and Lola Rasi. 

Teepee Creek School

Recent events at TCS

Above: The school celebrated Pink Shirt Day on February 27. The Booster Club supplied pink T-shirts.

Above: TCS welcomed students and staff from Woking School on March 12 for the PWPSD Indigenous Speakers Series featuring Michael Linklater.

Whispering Ridge Community School

Recent and upcoming WRCS events

Above: County of Grande Prairie Reeve Leanne Beaupre (left) and MP Chris Warkentin (right) gave presentions on governance to Grade 6 students.

Above: Miss Wieler's Grade 2 students are focusing on gratitude.

  • As part of their comprehensive school health focus, WRCS will provide Community Pride time on March 20 so that students and staff can focus on building relationships within their assigned pride groups.
  • Barb Belcourt, Cree Instructor and First Nations, MΓ©tis, Inuit Worker at Hythe Regional School, will be offering Cree language instruction to five WRCS classes on April 10.
  • Grades 5 and 6 students interested in basketball have been practicing and competed in a tournament at Harry Balfour on March 16. After completing Junior High Badminton try-outs, students will now begin practicing on a regular basis. Grade 5 students recently completed swimming lessons. Grades 5-8 students and teachers hit the slopes at Nitehawk on March 21. Students are signing up for the 3-D Charity Tournament.

Recent Media Releases:

Other News:

PWPSD and its schools were featured in 11 media stories to date during the month of March 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.