PWPSD News2022 General School Councils’ Meeting a success
The PWPSD General School Councils’ Meeting, held on April 6, saw a record 125 attendees, with approximately 90 non-school council parents. The event was held both virtually and in-person and covered topics such as the Division Update, strategies employed by the Division to promote wellness among students and staff, and the recently held Alberta School Councils’ Association annual conference and AGM.
Ashley Mercer, Mental Health Therapist with PWPSD, and Heather Craigdallie, Registered Psychologist with Peace Collaborative Services, presented on how the pandemic has affected the mental health within the Division and the wellness services available to students and staff. The mental health supports offered through PWPSD include a list of specialized programs and professionals who work hard to effectively meet the needs of students and staff; some of which include: Mental Health Therapists, Family Education and Support Programs, and PWPSD and FCSS Community School Liaison Counsellors.
The team also highlighted initiatives from the 2021-2022 school year, and how they plan to expand in the future.
You can view more information on the Wellness Supports presentation, as well as the entire meeting summary here.
Leadership Explorations Program
This year, PWPSD was very excited to offer the Leadership Explorations Program to 13 participants. The leadership development program consisted of five in-person sessions, assigned professional readings and guided online discussion. Modeled on the Leadership Quality Standard, each session provided collaborative learning activities and a presentation from a leader within PWPSD. The program wrapped up on April 7 with participants presenting final projects on a leadership theme of their choice. The presentations were insightful, creative and demonstrated a deep understanding of leadership by all participants.
Special thanks to the Leadership Exploration Committee: Lawrie McKeith, Penny Rose, Penny Calvert, Holly Gould and Darren Young for their hard work and dedication in making this program a success. The Committee would like to thank the PWPSD leaders who shared their knowledge and expertise at each of the sessions, and the participants; their active participation in the learning was evident across all aspects of the program.
PWPSD students win poster design contest
In recognition of March 21, the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, PWPSD's Indigenous Education Services hosted a poster design contest in partnership with Western Cree, Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, and Grande Prairie Intercultural Association. Students learned about local and global movements to end racial discrimination, and were invited to create poster designs that would promote a message of cultural inclusion.
This initiative is directly linked to TRC Call to Action #63 (iii), which asks that school communities "build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect". The Indigenous Education Services team would like to thank all who participated in this meaningful act of reconciliation!
After much deliberation the judges’ panel selected three winning designs. Congratulations to (top to bottom): Locklyn Hippard (Whispering Ridge Community School), Savanna Cavanaugh (Whispering Ridge Community School), and Josh McClellan (Bonanza School).
Beaverlodge Elementary School
Students learn to weave
Mrs. Wallan’s Grade 5 students enjoyed learning to weave at the Beaverlodge Cultural Centre.
Fundraiser for Ukraine
Students and staff worked hard over this past month preparing beautiful artwork to put towards an auction to raise money for Ukraine. The school hosted a wonderful evening full of beautiful art, refreshments and visiting with the community. The event raised a total of $2986.00 for UNICEF for the Ukraine Crisis. Saddle Hills County sent the Reeve Alvin Hubert, and purchased $1000.00 worth of art from JK - Grade 6!
Students perform Home to Me by the N’we Jinan Artists
The Grade 3-6 students performed beautiful versions of the Indigenous song ‘Home to Me’ by the N’we Jinan Artists. Grade 3-4 students sang and rapped the song, while Grade 5-6 students played a combination of keyboards, ukuleles, and drums.
Hot Lunch Program buys new snowshoes
Students have been enjoying the school’s new snowshoes, which were purchased with money raised through the Hot Lunch Program.
Gracie Roszmann takes home Easter treats
Junior Kindergarten student Gracie Roszmann won the Bonanza School Easter basket contest! The contest was organized by the wonderful school librarian Michelle; thank you for putting on such a fun challenge!
Grade 5/6 students cleanup for Earth Day
Harry Balfour School
Personal Projects option class a hit
Mr. Groff’s Quarter 3 Personal Projects option class wrapped up this month, and the students celebrated by sharing their successes with their classmates. Projects ranged from skill building (typing speed, Rubik’s cube time, origami, guitar, and violin), to creative endeavours (Lego, stop motion animation, model of the solar system, choose your own adventure video story), to leaning/instructional (hockey trick shot tutorials, building model engines, coding games).
Students participate in Indigenous Games
Thank you Jackie Benning for coming and spending the day teaching us about Indigenous Games! The students had a wonderful time.
Harry Balfour School has some amazing artists! Students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 created works of art that were exhibited throughout the school foyer and small gymnasium. Parents were invited to walk through these exhibits, enjoy an open canteen (for cash donation), and participate in a dessert silent auction. Student teachers Miss Balderston and Mr. Senger have been at HBS for the last nine weeks and were the organizers of the Art Walk. They have been teaching in Grade 3 with Ms. Baker and Mrs. Pascut and Grade 8 with Mr. Groff. They graduate this week and we look forward to seeing them around HBS!
Students put their designs to the test during structures and forces unit
Mr. Dommer’s Grade 7 science students built their own bridges for their structures and forces unit. The even added additional weight to see if they would hold up!
Jr. Kindergarten students parade through Harry Balfour halls
Junior Kindergarten (JK) students worked their fine motor power to decorate fun and festive parade floats that were showcased in the Harry Balfour St. Patrick’s Day parade! JK parents and the rest of Harry Balfour students and staff were invited to watch the parade go by, standing at the sidelines in the school hallways. There was music, costumes, laughter, and even candy!
Students impress judges in Easter Bonnet Fashion Show
The JK students showed off their beautiful spring creations in their Easter Bonnet Fashion Show. A big thank you to Ms. Jodi Andruszko, Harry Balfour’s fabulous librarian, for offering up the library and decorating it for the special event. Thank you to the Junior High volunteer judges who cheered for the little fashionistas and then awarded them each with chocolates!
Congratulations to our badminton gold medalists!
Girls’ basketball team wraps up season with fun game against PWA
Helen E. Taylor School
HET takes over Nitehawk
The whole school enjoyed a two-day field trip to Nitehawk Adventure Park.
Students show teachers how it’s done in basketball battle
The HET basketball team welcomed their teachers to the court in a friendly game in front of their fellow students and staff. The school held a pep rally to cheer on the two teams and watch as the basketball team showed staff how it’s done.
Hythe Regional School
Students earn District Level Legion Remembrance Day awards
On behalf of the Legion, Joann Reuckert presented Brynn Martin with her award for placing third with her colour poster, and Laney Smith with her award for placing third with her poem. Congratulations ladies!
Grade 9 student Steven has been busy creating dinosaurs, zombies, and monsters out of clay, which was generously donated by the Hythe Co-op. Steven’s favourite dinosaur is the T-Rex!
Grade 2/3 students learn to code
The Grade 2/3 students enjoyed learning about coding and programming with help from Ms. Leah Montes and her Bee Bots.
La Glace School
Students raise $1459 for Jump Rope for Heart
La Glace School is proud to announce that they have raised $1459 to support critical research that helps save lives, and prevent heart disease. Well done!
Students learn Red River Jig from Harris brothers
Students and staff were thrilled to learn the Red River Jig from Mikey and Jacob Harris during the Indigenous Speaker Series.
Students at La Glace School have been busy building and created apparatuses in Science! The Grade 1/2 class built boats to learn about and test buoyancy, while the Grade 8s built their own catapults to learn about levers.
Peace Wapiti Academy
Mr. Warkentin’s Grade 9 PE class enjoyed their day of bowling.
Congratulations Josh and Keyton!
Congratulations to Josh Street and Keyton Murray for successfully completing their second year of Power Engineering through the PWA Connect Dual Credit Program with Northern Lakes College!
Band students attend clinic in Edmonton
On April 21 and 22, the PWA band students attended a band clinic with Dr. Angela Schroeder, Associate Professor with the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. They finished their trip with a stop at the Winspear Centre where they enjoyed the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s performance of John Williams’ Greatest Hits. You may recognize John Williams’ music from movies such as Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter!
Beads and bannock
Each Thursday throughout the month of April, during lunch and iPlan, students are invited to use available beading kits and make red dress pins in support of the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2Spirit Peoples, hosted annually on May 5. Books and more information on the topic are available as supports, while affirmation cards are shared throughout the space to help lift each other up. Free bannock is available while supplies last!
PWA represents at Skills Canada Alberta Competition
PWA students Marissa Dodd (Junior Hairstyling), Ethan MacLeod, Parks Kimble, Hannah Weins, and Ava Driedger (Robotics) competed at the Skills Canada Alberta Competition.
In March, the FSL classes at Ridgevalley School participated in Manie Musicale, an annual competition where students vote on their favourite French songs from a field of 16. The students had a blast getting to know more about Francophone musical artists and cultures. The tension was high as students watched the final reveal, and the excitement in the room when "their" song won the competition was contagious.
Catapulting into spring
The Grade 4 students enjoyed making and testing catapults as part of their Science unit.
For the love of technology
The Grade 7 students spent some time sharing their knowledge and love of technology with the Grade 1 class.
Ridgevalley fitness centre get upgrades
The students at Ridgevalley School have been enjoying the newest additions to their fitness centre as they continue to build their bodies and minds!
Grade 7s host elementary carnival
The Grade 7 students organized and hosted RVS’s first elementary carnival. The Grade 7s enjoyed planning the event as much as the younger students enjoyed participating in the activities!
Robert W. Zahara School
Jr. Kindergartener brings inspiration to RWZ
Four-year-old Cohen MacDonald may be new to school, but he’s already making waves. The Jr. Kindergarten student inspired his whole school with his dedication and effort during the recent Jump Rope for Heart campaign. Cohen worked hard on his healthy habits, jumped rope almost every day, and was the school’s top fundraiser, bringing in $1112 with the help of his family and friends. His fundraising total helped the school raise $3526, putting RWZ in the top 10 fundraising schools in the province!
Sexsmith Secondary School
Students enjoy the fresh mountain air
Students from Sexsmith Secondary School (SSS) and Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) spent three days in Jasper hiking, skiing, and enjoying the mountains.
Mr. Tyler Weber of SSS and Mr. Matt Vavrek of PWA led a group of students through three days of fun in Jasper. They spent a day hiking the Jacques Lake Trail, where they stopped to cook their meals and enjoy a history lesson on the creation of Jasper National Park. The group also enjoyed a day of exploring the area’s natural attractions that combined both science and outdoor education. The beautiful weather made for an unforgettable trip!
Fine Arts students experience a musical
73 eager fine arts students went to the cinema! The trip to the theatre was unlike any other movie experience as students were able to watch the filmed, live musical "Anything Goes" performed at the Barbican Theatre in London. The show, a heart-warming romance with good old-fashioned farcical fun, spectacular dance routines and some of theatre’s most memorable songs, was released to cinemas worldwide on March 27th, 2021. What a treat to be able to enjoy popcorn and a theatre performance at the same time!
Spirit River Regional Academy
Rally for Change
Students and staff at SRRA participated in a "Rally for Change" fundraiser to raise money for Ukraine. Students raised $785.15 and staff donated another $923.95. Saddle Hills County generously donated another $1000 to the cause.
SRRA split the funds in two and donated $1354.55 to the World Kitchen Center to provide hot meals and food for those in Ukraine, and sent the other $1354.55 to the Canadian Red Cross specifically to go to help those in Ukraine.
Wembley Elementary School
WES purchases a class set of snowshoes thanks to NuVista donation
Students at Wembley Elementary School have been thoroughly enjoying a new activity for the past two months: snowshoeing! Using a gracious donation from NuVista Energy LTD., the school was able to purchase a class set of snowshoes. The positive feedback from students and staff has been overwhelming. Snowshoeing is a great activity that aids in physical and mental health during our long winter months. Now that WES has a class set of snowshoes, the community’s children will benefit from the opportunity to learn this enjoyable new skill for many years to come. Thank you NuVista!
- School Principals’ Day: Sunday, May 1
- School Bus Driver Appreciation Day: Monday, May 2
- Mental Health Week: May 2-8
- Cinco de Mayo: Friday, May 5
- Happy Mother’s Day!: Sunday, May 8
- Victoria Day, no school, all PWPSD offices and shops closed: Monday, May 23
- Next Board Meeting: Thursday, May 26, 10:30 a.m.
- April 20, 2022 PWPSD announces principals for Helen E. Taylor and Colony schools
- April 14, 2022 PWPSD’s Indigenous Education Services reflects on Pope Francis’ apology for residential schools
- April 06, 2022 Peace Wapiti Academy returns to class as RCMP concludes investigation
- April 06, 2022 RCMP evacuate Peace Wapiti Academy as precautionary measure
- March 22, 2022 Harry Balfour School to offer KinderSmart programming this fall
Recent Media Coverage
- April 22, 2022 Wembley Colour Dash Fun Run to support new school playground, My Grande Prairie Now
- April 13, 2022 Several Grande Prairie players named to Football Alberta Senior Bowl North squad, My Grande Prairie Now
- April 07, 2022 Protesters look to ditch the k-6 draft curriculum, Town & Country News
- April 06, 2022 2 Grande Prairie schools evacuated due to ‘potential threat’: RCMP, Global News
- April 06, 2022 Peace Wapiti Academy, Grande Prairie Composite High School evacuated after bomb threat, My Grande Prairie Now
- April 06, 2022 Grande Prairie Composite & PWA evacuated due to threat, EverythingGP
- April 05, 2022 2022 Iceberg Tournament raises $17,000 for ed-psych evaluations, EverythingGP
- April 02, 2022 Let’s get ready to Rugby, Alaska Highway News