Utility links 8611A - 108 Street, Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 4C5| Phone: (780) 532-8133| Register Online| Contact Us
Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

PWPSD Good News Report – December 2019

December 10, 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, December 12, 2019.


Season's Greetings from PWPSD – R.W. Zahara student wins 2019 PWPSD Christmas Card Art Contest

Congratulations to Grade 6 student Taylor Bozarth of Robert W. Zahara Public School, winner of the 2019 PWPSD Christmas card art contest.

The contest cycles through the four Grade divisions annually. This year, 346 Grades 4-6 students submitted entries under the theme, "The best thing about Christmas is…" PWPSD Trustees chose the winning artwork.

Taylor's colourful scene features the time-honoured tradition of searching for the perfect Christmas tree, and what better way than in a red antique truck. Her submission earned her a swag bag and a $100 pizza party for her class. View a larger version of the winning artwork.


New Leadership Explorations Program underway at PWPSD  
PWPSD has launched a new Leadership Explorations Program this year, developed by a committee consisting of Deputy Superintendent Darren Young and School Administrators Penny Rose, Penny Calvert, Holly Gould and Lawrie McKeith. The program is designed to help prospective leaders continue to become deeply committed instructional leaders who are able to find creative solutions to the most challenging school problems. The group met in November (pictured) for its first of five Saturday sessions focusing on leadership dimensions, followed by a second session on December 7.

Christmas concerts and events – online schedule

View the online schedule. Rescheduled events, due to inclement weather or other changes, are noted in red.

Free 'On Your Mark' Diploma Exam tutorials returning in January

Free Diploma Exam tutorial sessions will be offered to PWPSD students, with six sessions spread over three consecutive Saturdays in January, followed by Science 30 on Wednesday, January 29. There is no need to register – students should simply show up ready to review and ask questions. Lunch and snacks provided by PWPSD.


Social Studies 30-1/30-2

Saturday, Jan. 11
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Peace Wapiti Academy
Ms. Bednard, Mr. Riding,
Ms. Armbruster
Math 30-1Saturday, Jan. 189:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.Coming soon Mrs. Lambert, Mrs. Thibault
Math 30-2Saturday, Jan. 189:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.Coming soonMr. Hassanali, Dr. Vavrek
Biology 30Saturday, Jan. 259:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.Coming soonMrs. Lario, Mr. Camsell
Chemistry 30Saturday, Jan. 259:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.Coming soonMs. Houlder, Miss Creighton
Science 30Wednesday, Jan. 299:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.Coming soonMs. Soule

2020 Passionate Heart Awards – Nominations close January 17

Past PWPSD winners of the Passionate Heart Awards have included (left-right) PWPSD Learning Coaches (2016); Beaverlodge Elementary School's Assistant Principal Andrew Lojczyc and Administrative Assistant Lisa Cage Ostaszewski (2017); and District Principal Karen Chrenek (2018).

Would you like to nominate an individual or a team for a Passionate Heart Award? Nine awards, honouring front line workers and supporters in the field of social services, will be handed out at a luncheon at Revolution Place on Valentine's Day 2020 – Friday, February 14. Nomination deadline is January 17, 2020. Nominations are open to individuals, teams, and businesses working in Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, Sexsmith, Hythe, Beaverlodge, and Wembley. Access the online nomination form and more information.  

School News

Beaverlodge Regional High School

Equine Leadership and Engaged in the Future –
Beaverlodge Regional High School students benefit from two new programs

This year, PWPSD, Beaverlodge Regional High School (BRHS), and the Horse Lake First Nation have come together to offer two new programs that focus on building capacity and confidence in Grades 10-12 students at BRHS.

The Equine Leadership Program, facilitated at Exceptional Equine in Dawson Creek, aims to help students envision themselves in positions of leadership. The curriculum includes 12 lessons, broken down into three segments:

  1. Horse handling and safety (pictured above).
  2. Drawing connections between horse care and working to develop relationships, communication skills, common sense, negotiation, and appropriate assertiveness (pictured above).  
  3. Finding change, making choices, working together, and behavioural modification.

The Engaged in the Future Program encourages students to envision themselves in a post-secondary setting, and sets them up for success in pursuing that journey. The plan for the 2019-2020 school year saw GPRC representatives visiting BRHS in September, and students traveling to Grande Prairie to tour the college in October. In November, an expert from GPRC traveled to BRHS to assist students with application completion. In February, the PWPSD Indigenous Speakers' Series will bring motivational speakers to the school – both past and present post-secondary students. In the spring, students will revisit GPRC for a celebration and student shadow day. The program will cap in June with a final visit from program supporters who will reassure students and celebrate their upcoming post-secondary plans.

Bonanza School

Club Moo milestone – Celebrating 35 years of school milk

The Alberta Milk Producers visited Bonanza School on December 3 to celebrate 35 years of Club Moo, the school milk program. A member of the program since its inception, Bonanza School is one of only five schools in the province to achieve this milestone. Moo-nique the Cow congratulated students and staff for this achievement and for contributing to children's health. Students enjoyed milk and cookies from the Alberta Milk Producers, who are also donating a milk fridge to the school to keep milk fresh. 

Clairmont Community School

First 'Books and Bannock Day' at CCS featured in GPRC Wisdom magazine

Teachings from an elementary school are included on pages 6-7 (above) of the 2019 edition of Wisdom magazine, an annual publication by Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC). According to the college website, this issue of Wisdom puts the spotlight on Indigenous perspectives at GPRC, including celebrating the successes of Indigenous alumni.

The two-page spread features an interview with 2012 GPRC alumna Jackie Benning, who serves a dual role at CCS as a Grade 4 teacher and Indigenous Liaison. She helped introduce 'Books and Bannock', a combined celebration of literacy and Indigenous culture, during the school's 2019 Literacy Week activities. Teachers read books by Indigenous authors while students enjoyed bannock prepared by parent volunteers.

"The students are able to see role models in the authors," says Benning "It's very powerful to see yourself and your culture portrayed in books."

Elmworth School

Second round of Mentorship Hour passion projects underway

Students received new Mentorship Hour buddies on December 4 and brainstorming for the second round of the Elmworth Mentorship Hour passion projects is underway. To start the process of choosing a common interest project, buddy pairs are getting to know one another's dreams, hopes, hobbies and interests. The pairs will work together on projects for an hour during Wednesday afternoons over the next couple of months. Completed projects will be proudly displayed in the gym for all students, staff and family members to see.

Helen E. Taylor School

HET Knight Block offers catch-up time, special activities
Students at Helen E. Taylor School are called Knights, and a weekly Knight Block provides opportunities for them to catch up on incomplete work. Those who have completed their work may choose from a selection of weekly activities. Students have chosen yoga, a winter walk, making Christmas cards, or playing board games. Things have started to get festive during December weekly collaboration time. Last week, students enjoyed holiday-themed activities, including Christmas Trivia Kahoot, dancing and caroling.

HET Travel Club fundraising underway
Students in the HET Travel Club are busy raising money by collecting bottles and hosting fundraisers and raffles for their upcoming trip to Germany, Italy and Switzerland in April 2020.

LaGlace School

Country band Washboard Union sends special message to students
Canadian country band and two-time CCMA winners Washboard Union wanted to capture LaGlace students' reaction to the music video for their new single, Country Thunder. On November 28, the school recorded a reveal video of students watching the band's new video in the school gym. The school's connection with the band dates back to May 2018 and the Small Town Bringdown concert event in LaGlace, when band members paid a visit to the school to thank students for making a special tribute video of the band's song, Shine.

November was Food Bank Month

The 111 students at La Glace School have stocked up the local food bank, bringing in a whopping 792 food items in November. Principal Heidi Hargreaves says, "Our Grades 3 and 4 class brought in the most items per capita, making them the lucky winners of a class pajama party. We are so proud and thankful for all the gracious donations."

Bringing Christmas cheer to seniors
Grades 1-6 students will head to the Hythe & District Pioneer Home to perform Christmas carols for residents at 1:00 p.m. on December 16.

La Glace students place in the annual Legion Remembrance Day Contest
Congratulations to:

  • Neah Hoogerbrugge: 1st Place, Primary Colour Contest
  • Piper Moodie: 1st Place, Junior Colour Poster
  • Kate Goodward: 2nd Place, Intermediate Poetry
  • Sydnie White: 2nd Place, Intermediate Essay

Peace Wapiti Academy

PWA student a published poet
Congratulations to Grade 12 student Allie Boyd (above, left) whose poem was included in the book "Patterns – A Collection of Canadian Poetry" by Polar Expressions, a small publishing company that provides Canadians of all ages with opportunities to have their poems and short stories published. 

Support the PWA Photography class – Buy a calendar
The Photography class compiled a calendar (above, center)highlighting their best work from this semester. Proceeds from calendar sales will go toward purchasing new equipment and will fund students' participation in the Skills Canada Competition. Purchase a calendar for $20 at the PWA school office, or in Mrs. Knudtson's classroom.

Therapy dog coming to PWA
Mika, a registered therapy dog and member of Pet Partners, and her handler Raelynn Haughian (above, right) will visit PWA throughout this school year.

Ridgevalley School

Valleyview Legion presents cheque to RVS

The Valleyview Legion presented a $250 cheque to Ridgevalley School as an expression of their gratitude for the continued student and staff participation in the annual Legion poster, poem and essay contest, and their commitment to the Night in the Trenches experience and heartfelt Remembrance Day ceremonies. The school says they are equally grateful and appreciate this recognition from local veterans.

Rycroft School

Rycroft School Christmas Store offers students a place to purchase gifts
The Rycroft School Christmas Store was open the week of December 2-6, providing a place for students to purchase gifts on their own for family members. Grades 7-8 students were available to assist younger students with shopping. As part of this annual tradition, gifts are wrapped and ready to open on Christmas morning. The school says this activity is not a fundraiser, but is a fun way for students to learn about budgeting, decision making, and learning the value of different items.

Sexsmith Secondary School

The gift of food
During December 2-12, Sexsmith Secondary students can participate in a points-based food drive – a friendly competition between Block 1 classes. A point is awarded for donations of packaged soup; two points for baby food, boxed mac and cheese, and canned soups; and five points for donations of canned protein such as tuna and stew, or other staple food items such as spreads, coffee, pasta sauce, baby formula, cereals, and canned vegetables, fruits or beans.

SSS Interact students attend RYLA Conference

Left-right: SSS Interact Club Staff Advisor Charis Crandall with student-members, President Brynn Lutz, President-Elect David Huls, Danica Wories, Secretary Avery Heyn, and Holly Huls.

On November 23, five members of the SSS Rotary Interact group attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), a one-day conference in Grande Prairie. Participants attended leadership workshops on running meetings, goal setting, project and event planning, public speaking, and mental health. SSS Interact Club Staff Advisor Charis Crandall says, "Our delegates especially enjoyed interacting with students from other Interact Clubs and came away with some very practical ways to help our Interact Club become even more effective and efficient."

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the SSS Interact Club. To celebrate, the club raised funds to support Bandaged Paw's efforts in animal rescue and care.

12 Days of Christmas at SSS

As a fun way to spread Christmas cheer, SSS kicked off a 12 Days of Christmas activity plan in December, based on the movie, Elf.

Sexsmith Secondary started the holiday season off right on December 5, celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with a little help from Buddy the Elf. Students and staff can participate in Christmas fun and challenges. Teacher Cathe Hassall says, "We will wear festive colours and ugly sweaters, decorate doors and the cafeteria, and sing carols during lunch breaks because, like Elf, we know "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."

Helping those with Alzheimer's disease

Students in the SSS Inclusive Program are sharing the joy of the season with seniors. Educational Assistants (EAs) who work with the students came up with a great idea to purchase toiletries, personal items and a few tasty treats for those living with Alzheimer's at the Points West seniors' home. Students and EAs took a field trip to Costco to purchase products to fill containers. On their next field trip before the Christmas break, the class will deliver the items to Points West.

Teepee Creek School

Successful food drive and book fair

Students at Teepee Creek School just completed a food drive, resulting in three large laundry baskets of food for the Sexsmith Food Bank, to help community members in need.

The Teepee Creek School Booster club donated five dollars to each student, to purchase books at the school's book fair (pictured above). Principal Darren Robertson said the students are thrilled with the extra money to buy a book.

Recent Media Releases

Recent Media Coverage

  • Dec. 06, 2019  Peace Wapiti dealing with $2-million grant cut, promised school replacement, Daily Herald Tribune
  • Dec. 05, 2019  Students shouldn't notice PWPSD budget cuts in the classroom: Superintendent, Town & Country News
  • Dec. 05, 2019  Youth of the Week: Jaxson Longson, BES, Town & Country News
  • Dec. 03, 2019  Operation Christmas Child: Bonanza School students pack shoe boxes, Central Peace Signal
  • Dec. 03, 2019  Peace Officer performs "hands-on" demonstration with Woking School kids, Central Peace Signal

Follow us
Keep up-to-date with the latest news from PWPSD, and local media coverage.