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

PWPSD Good News Report – February 2020

February 18, 2020

​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 20, 2020.


PWPSD staff presented with Passionate Heart Exceptional Service Awards

PWPSD Passionate Heart Award winners Sarah Herman (middle, left) and Lisa Wiseman (middle, right) accept their awards from City of Grande Prairie Councillor Jackie Clayton (left) and County of Grande Prairie Councillor Karen Rosvold (right).

Congratulations to two PWPSD staff members who received Passionate Heart Exceptional Service Awards during a ceremony and luncheon on Friday, February 14. Sarah Herman is a Grade 6 teacher and Wellness Warriors leader at Whispering Ridge Community School. Lisa Wiseman is a Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) Practitioner at PWPSD. Read excerpts from their nomination packages.

About the Awards:
Eight awards, honouring front line workers and supporters in the field of social services, were presented at the 14th annual Passionate Heart Awards luncheon at Revolution Place on Valentine's Day 2020. The awards are open to individuals, teams, and businesses working in the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith and Wembley, and the Village of Hythe, and are sponsored by the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) serving those areas. Read the joint media release.

Students participate in February Tour of the Trades

Above left: Ian Horan-Lemon (left), a Grade 10 student at Peace Wapiti Academy, and Brennan Cage (right), a Grade 12 student at Beaverlodge Regional High School, pose with Wayne Orosz, Shop Forman at Ken Sargent GMC Buick Ltd.

PWPSD high school students joined others from the local school districts during a Tour of the Trades event on February 13 to explore potential work experience opportunities and future career paths as an automotive services provider, millwright, welder, and parts technician. The group started their full-day tour at IPac Services Corp., followed by a visit to Ken Sargent GMC Buick Ltd. During the afternoon, EnerCorp Sand Solutions hosted a lunch and tour, followed by a visit to Freedom Machining.

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 tours, students complete the Alberta Education Workplace Safety Systems HCS-3000 course. Students can complete a three-day job shadowing experience at one of the industry partners during the summer months, thanks to a partnership between CAREERS: The Next Generation and the participating high schools.


February 26 is Pink Shirt Day – Lift Each Other Up

Pictured: The Kindness Tree at Harry Balfour School.

Lift Each Other Up is the theme of Pink Shirt Day 2020. This year's message encourages us to look beyond our differences, on Pink Shirt Day and every day, and instead focus on celebrating the things that make us unique. The Pink Shirt Day website says, "By lifting each other up, we see past the things that separate us to the things that unite us."

In addition to wearing pink on Wednesday, February 26, many PWPSD schools are hosting special events or activities to raise awareness and show their commitment to creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments.

Alternative EducationFebruary 26
Students and staff are encouraged to wear a pink shirt. Lunch and cupcakes will be provided to PWEC students.
Beaverlodge Elementary SchoolFebruary 26Students and staff are encouraged to wear pink shirts in support anti-bullying.
Bezanson SchoolFebruary 26Students are encouraged to wear a pink shirt. Parents can order pink shirts for their children until Feb. 20 at https://bpshirt2020.itemorder.com/sale.  The Grade 9 Leadership class will lead a student assembly.
Bonanza SchoolFebruary 26Wear a pink shirt to raise awareness about bullying prevention and healthy relationships.
Clairmont Community SchoolFebruary 26Students and staff are encouraged to wear pink shirts in support anti-bullying.
Elmworth School

February 26
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.

Winter Carnival: 1:00 p.m.

Students and staff are encouraged to wear a pink shirt. The school will host a pancake lunch followed by an hour-long winter carnival with friendship and team-building activities.
Harry Balfour School

Feb 26

School Family Teams: 1:15 p.m.

Assembly: 1:45 p.m.

Kindness Tree in front foyer.  Students will meet with their School Family Teams for a pink shirt activity.  Pink Shirt Day assembly led by Grade 7 students. 
Hythe Regional SchoolFebruary 26Everyone is encouraged to wear pink shirts in support of kindness and anti-bullying.
LaGlace SchoolFebruary 24Students and staff will wear pink to support the cause. The school's RCMP Officer representative will present on Anti-Bullying during the afternoon, followed by cross-graded team-building activities.
Peace Wapiti AcademyFebruary 26Students and staff are encouraged to wear a pink shirt. Proceeds from sales of Ladybug Pink ice cream by the PWA Leadership Team during lunch will be donated to Bandaged Paws.
Penson SchoolFebruary 26Staff and students are encouraged to wear a pink shirt.
Robert W. Zahara Public SchoolFebruary 26Staff and students are encouraged to wear pink. A student-led assembly at 2:15 p.m. will focus on kindness.
Teepee Creek SchoolFebruary 26Staff and students are encouraged to wear a pink shirt.
Wembley Elementary SchoolFebruary 26Staff and students are encouraged to wear a pink shirt.
Whispering Ridge Community SchoolFebruary 26School-wide Community Pride Time activities focusing on kindness for Pink Shirt Day.
Woking SchoolFebruary 26Students and staff are encouraged to wear a pink shirt.

Upcoming events:

School News

Alternative Education

New courses at PWEC in February

Alternative Education will offer the one-credit Wilderness Navigation WLD1060 course on Friday, February 28, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Peace Wapiti Enterprise Centre (PWEC) located in the Royal Oaks subdivision, Unit #106, 11735-105 Street, Grande Prairie. The course promises a fun filled day for students to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge in wilderness navigation to enhance their outdoor experiences. Contact nicholasbenoit@pwpsd.ca to register. Don't forget to bring a lunch.

PWEC junior high students recently visited the Eastlink Centre and high school students have started yoga.

Other upcoming courses include:

  • February 24: Sketch and Share at PWEC for all students
  • February 27: PWEC Wilderness Retreat

Bezanson School

Therapeutic riding focuses on self-regulation

Eight students at Bezanson School are continuing therapeutic riding at the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS) throughout the month of February. The end goal of the program is to help students with self-regulation.

Clairmont Community School

Grade 4 student recipient of County of GP Kind Heart Award

Congratulations to Mya Smith, a Grade 4 student at CCS, who was presented with a Kind Heart Award by County of Grande Prairie Reeve Leanne Beaupre on February 7. According to the post on the County's Facebook page, "Mya was nominated by Dale Bond for having a kind heart and being selfless. Every day, she takes the time at school drop-off to help Dale's daughter who is in a wheelchair get into school so that Dale can get to work on time. She helps her with opening doors, carrying items, pushing her when needed and much more. This year on Halloween, Mya came trick or treating with Dale's daughter and spent the evening pushing her wheelchair and gathering treats for her when she was unable to get to the doors. Ms. Bond says she has never seen another child her age that has been so thoughtful and helpful." The post went on to say that the County is extremely grateful to have youth in our communities, such as Mya, whose Kind Heart continually fosters community spirit and the willingness to help others. If you know someone who is deserving of a Kind Heart Award, nominate them at www.countygp.ab.ca/kindheartprogram.

Elmworth School

Skating at school

Grades 7-9 students take a break from skating to enjoy the sunshine and milder temperatures

Students at the Elmworth School are enjoying skating at the nearby outdoor rink, thanks to joint flooding work by the County of Grande Prairie and H2Oil. The school also thanks parent Marc St. Pierre for keeping the ice surface clear of snow.

Helen E. Taylor School

Spreading HET spirit in school and beyond

Students and staff enjoyed dressing up for Twin Day on February 7. Grade 4 students shared love by participating in the Valentines for Vets program that invites students to send in handmade valentines for distribution to veterans in long-term care facilities. The school's bulletin boards are keeping the hallways bright and cheerful while spreading positive messages.

Hythe Regional School

Book Tasting Bistro gives students a taste for new genres

HRS Grades 4 and 5 classes sampled new genres at a Book "Tasting" Bistro event during Family Literacy Week – a fun, engaging way to get students excited about reading. With their classroom set up as a bistro, students "tasted" new book genres and authors to expand their reading interests. As an extra bonus, they practiced the 'Read to Self' technique and picked books that were a good fit for their personal styles. At the end of the fun learning event, the students produced a list of books they can't wait to read, which Mrs. Harris is looking at purchasing for them.


Friends of Hythe & Community Playground Society receives two donations

The County of Grande Prairie awarded $10,000 to the Friends of Hythe & Community Playground Society in support of a multi-sensory playground structure for children aged two to five years. Pembina donated $5,000 to the same project.

LaGlace School

CTF providing new options for students

Junior high students have started a new rotation of Career and Technology Foundations (CTF) options, including classes in cooking, cosmetology, trapped, leadership, and more.

Kindergartens win My LuvPak fundraising challenge

In January, the La Glace School Student Leadership Team challenged all students to donate items to My LuvPak, a local charity that provides a backpack of personal items to needy children in Alberta. Principal Heidi Hargreaves said, "We received enough items to fill eight backpacks, along with additional supplies that filled three large cardboard boxes. For bringing in the most items, our Kindergarten class was rewarded with a movie and popcorn in the gym. Way to go, kids!"

Peace Wapiti Academy

Dr. Vavrek, Ms. Konno and Ms. Bouchard accompanied 35 students to Powder King on February 8 for a day of skiing and snowboarding.

PWA Grad Fashion Show – Support the Class of 2020

Enjoy an evening of fashion at the annual PWA Grad Fashion Show on Thursday February 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the PWA gym. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person or $20 per family at the door. More than 70 graduates will model fashions from clothing sponsors Calista's Career & Bridal Wear, and Edward's Factory Outlet. Enjoy live and silent auctions, a 50/50 draw and a Grand-in-your-Hand Fundraiser.

First local PWA Band Camp

PWA Band students and their teacher, Mrs. Neilsen, will participate in a full-day camp hosted by the GPRC Music Department on Thursday, February 20. The first half of the day will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with PWA student-musicians receiving instruction from clinicians – students and current and retired instructors from the GPRC Music Department, and musicians – who will work with each instrumental section of the student band. A group rehearsal with guest conductor James Galbraith will form the afternoon portion of the day that wraps up at 3:30 p.m. Many thanks to the event sponsors: Rotary, GPRC, and the GPRC Music Department. The school says, "This is the first event of this kind for our school band, and we look forward to many more."

PWA student-musicians part of Alberta Honour Band

PWA student-musicians Wesley LaRochelle, Ashley Morrison and Tanner Montes (pictured left to right) were among 250 accomplished high school students from across Alberta to form the Alberta Honour Band on February 7-9 in Edmonton. The band practiced with clinicians and presented a grand finale performance at the Winspear Centre. PWA expresses thanks to the Alberta Bandstand and the University of Alberta for providing this opportunity for students. 

Ridgevalley School

Go team!

The first game of the 2020 Smoky River Classic Junior Basketball Tournament, held at Ridgevalley School.

Congratulations to the RVS Junior Boys Basketball team on placing fourth at the 2020 Smoky River Classic Junior Basketball Tournament, held at Ridgevalley School, and to the RVS Junior Girls Basketball team for winning the consolation game.

In January, RVS students and staff celebrated Literacy Week by dressing up as their favorite character or author. Grade 2 parents joined the class for reading time.

Sexsmith Secondary School

Peer tutoring benefitting all students

Grades 9-12 students at SSS can tutor their peers in classes ranging from all levels of sciences, humanities and math, to providing support as a reading buddy. The school librarian, Amanda Wills, is providing professional support. When asked why she has taken this on, Mrs. Wills said, "It's a great opportunity for students to learn how to work with and relate to others, and tutoring is a skill they can take with them to post-secondary and beyond. The students receiving help may find they connect better with someone close to their age and learn that it's okay to ask questions when they need help."

Encounters with Canada brings SSS student to Ottawa

SSS student Annika Nelson (above left) participated in Encounters With Canada, an adventure-filled week in the nation's capital on February 9-15. She and other students checked out career options and discovered their country by exploring themes such as medicine, law, arts and culture, and Remembrance Day. Annika's personal theme, Sustainable Food, led to group visits to farms and participating in a food sustainability conference where McDonalds was one of the presenters. Also on the agenda were visits to key sites, including the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Canada Museum of History and the Governor General's residence. Coming from a farming family, Annika says the opportunity allowed her to share her knowledge and opened her eyes to see agriculture and food sustainability from a different perspective.

SSS sending off Rotary Exchange student

SSS student David Huls (above right) will be one of two Rotary exchange students from the area to experience life in another country for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. While the location has not yet been confirmed, he knows it will be a country where English is not the first language. David, who will complete Grade 11 during his year abroad, says he learned about the opportunity through the SSS Rotary Interact Club. "It's an awesome opportunity to see different places, experience new cultures and work with Rotary Clubs from around the world."

Teepee Creek School

Literacy Day, ski trip spell learning and fun

On Family Literacy Day, students enjoyed eating Alpha-getti and using it to spell words. They also worked on a variety of reading activities, and parents and students had fun reading together during the Flashlight Friday event in the gym.

The weather cooperated for the recent Grade 5-8 annual ski trip. Students enjoyed a day of skiing and snowboarding.

Whispering Ridge Community School

Literacy Week, field trips, robotics and basketball – WRCS students enjoy varied learning activities

Clockwise from top left: Grade 5 students were thrilled to meet author and Tanzanian storyteller Tololwa Mollel during the school's Literacy Week celebrations.

Junior high option classes continue to explore areas of interest. Students have participated in enriching field trips to the GPRC nursing lab, Kinesis Physiotherapy, Creative Centre of the Arts, Grande Prairie Art Gallery, bowling, rock climbing, and more.

Grade 1 students are learning how to program using Bee Bots.

The WRCS Boys and Girls Basketball teams wrapped up a successful season, representing their school with sportsmanship, determination, and teamwork.

Upcoming WRCS events: 

  • February 21: Grade 4 visit to the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum.
  • February 26: School-wide Community Pride Time activities focusing on kindness for Pink Shirt Day.
  • March 2-4: Jasper Ski Trip, open to Grades 7-8 students.
  • March 10: Grades 5-8 skiing/snowboarding at Nitehawk.
  • March 12: Fine Arts Night, showcasing Grades 7-8 art, music, band, and drama talents.

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