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Peace Wapiti Public School Division

October 25, 2016

Division Update Central Office, 8611A-108 Street, Grande Prairie, Alberta T8V-4C5 |

Inspiring all learners to become confident, collaborative and ethical citizens motivated with a passion to achieve a sustainable future.

Staff Update New Vice-Principals named at three PWSD schools In August, PWSD announced that seven PWSD staff members had assumed new school administration assignments for the 2016-2017 school year. Those changes brought about changes to the role of Vice Principal at three PWSD schools.

Robert W. Zahara Public School and Teepee Creek School grand opening events postponed until spring


Kaila Villiger, Vice-Principal at Peace Wapiti Academy.

rand opening event plans for the replacement Robert W. Zahara Public School in Sexsmith and the modernized Teepee Creek School fell victim to the early arrival of winter on Friday, October 14. Although all parties involved were disappointed by the cancellations, everyone agreed that ‘safety first’ was the best choice.

PWSD’s Communications Committee members and Principals Lawrie McKeith and Casey Brown will put their heads together to come up with a new date for the events in the Spring of 2017. A formal announcement and invitations will be sent out as soon as a decision on the date and time for both events is reached.

Enrolment and Staffing Report – PWSD’s enrolment and staffing numbers remain stable


Rod Vanstone, VicePrincipal of Clairmont Community School.

Rob Robinson, VicePrincipal of Helen E. Taylor School.

he early projection for Grades 1-12 enrolment in PWSD schools was 5,203 students. Actual enrolment currently sits at 5,222. In addition to this number are 579 Early Childhood Services (ECS) students, an increase of 14 children over October, 2015. ECS includes both Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten students. Deputy Superintendent Bob Stewart, who presented the annual Enrolment and Staffing Report during the Board meeting on October 6, noted that Clairmont Community School, Penson School, Sexsmith Secondary School and Peace Wapiti Academy have all experienced growth. Staffing at PWSD schools for the 2016-2017 school year sits at the full-time equivalent of slightly more than 368 teachers.

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Awards and Achievements Nominate an Outstanding Principal by October 31 The Learning Partnership honours outstanding principals who exemplify excellence in public education. Details at http:// Geoff Berg, local Rotary Clubs honoured at ASBA awards event

The ASBA Zone 1 meeting in September included an awards ceremony in which Geoff Berg (right), a teacher at Clairmont Community School (pictured with Principal Kevin Elias), was recognized along with fellow Zone One Edwin Parr Teacher Award nominees.

nEW dEVELOPMENTS PWSD Board selects leadership for 2016-2017 school year –

Dana McIntosh acclaimed as Chair, Robert Knull named Vice-Chair


oard leadership and committee structure and membership were determined during the annual organizational meeting of the PWSD Board on September 8, 2016. Election of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair is an annual event at PWSD. According to PWSD policy, a Trustee may serve in the role of Board Chair for a maximum of five consecutive years. The role of ViceChair is limited to two consecutive years of service. Dana McIntosh was acclaimed as Chair for the 2016-2017 school year. “I am pleased to continue in my role as Chair for a third term,” says Ms. McIntosh, who has also served as a Trustee for the past 12 years. “The Board will continue to lobby government for new schools to address PWSD’s steady enrolment growth. Aside from the new K-8 school which is currently under construction in Whispering Ridge subdivision, the Board’s top three capital priorities for 2016-2019 include two new K-8 schools – located in Clairmont Heights and southeast of Grande Prairie – and a new Grades 9-12 school located north of the city, all of which will reduce school bus ride times for rural students.” Trustee Robert Knull was elected as Vice-Chair. “It has been a pleasure to work with the Board, the administrative and school staff, and our parents during the past six years as the Trustee of Ward 8 – Ridgevalley,” says Mr. Knull. “I look forward to supporting Ms. McIntosh in her role as Chair.” Committee membership and structure may be viewed under the Trustees tab at

Chair Dana McIntosh

Vice-Chair Robert Knull

Alternate Education Report


uring the 2015-2016 school year, 30 students completed the requirements for their Alberta High School Diploma or Certificate of Achievement through PWSD’s Alternate Education Program (AEP). A total of 159 students were registered in the program, the majority of which completed courses through the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC). Assistant Superintendent Darren Young noted that graduates may enrol in AEP to upgrade courses or marks to meet specific post-secondary requirements. Students in rural schools may choose to use the program to augment course offerings. Services are also provided to homeschooled students in Grades 1-9.

student achievements PWSD’s FNMI Scholarship awarded to Peace Wapiti Academy graduate Dustin Kaufmann

Grande Prairie Rotary Clubs, PWSD’s 2016 Friends of Education Award nominee, were honoured along with nominees from other Boards for their contributions to education. The award was presented by Dana McIntosh (left), PWSD Board Chair to Superintendent Sheldon Rowe, also a Rotarian, who accepted the award on behalf of Grande Prairie Rotary Clubs.


ustin Kaufmann (r), a student at NAIT and 2015 graduate of Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA), was named PWSD’s 2015-2016 FNMI post-secondary scholarship recipient. The award was presented by Shelly Logan (l), FNMI Liaison Worker at PWSD.

Terry Fox School Run events at PWSD schools net more than $42,000 for cancer research


WSD students have come through once again for cancer research, raising $42,786.14 through Terry Fox School Run events. Pictured are students of Beaverlodge Regional High School with social studies and health teacher Scott Bowen (far left), who went good on his promise to dye his hair pink if the school exceeded their $1,000 goal.


2016-2017 Education Officers receive school leadership portfolios

Upcoming Events Merv Crouse Coats for Kids


ach school year, PWSD’s executive team members are assigned schools which are included as part of their leadership portfolio. Pictured (l-r): Superintendent Sheldon Rowe will oversee schools in Sexsmith, Teepee Creek, LaGlace, Eaglesham and Ridgevalley; Deputy Superintendent Bob Stewart will lead schools in Clairmont, Woking,

2016-2018 PWSD viewbook highlights success of students, staff and programs


ind your place at PWSD. Discover all that you can be. To learn about the successes of our students, teachers and programs, read PWSD’s new viewbook online at In September, PWSD students were given copies to take home. Requests for copies of the 40-page magazine may be sent to Many thanks to local organizations and businesses for funding the production of this publication through advertising placements.

Total funds collected, by school: • Harry Balfour School: $11,523.50 • Beaverlodge Elementary School: $5,333.19 • Wembley Elementary School: $4,282.60 • Rycroft School/Teepee Creek School combined run total: $4,083.40 • R. W. Zahara Public School: $3,059.80 • Penson School: $2,358.20 • Bezanson School: $2,176.50 • Clairmont Community School: $1,744.10 • LaGlace School: $1,635.00 • Bonanza School: $1,620.00 • Savanna School: $1,377.00 • Spirit River Regional Academy: $1,313.25 • Beaverlodge Regional High School: $1,253.05 • Peace Wapiti Academy: $1,026.55 In addition, Elmworth School participated in The Children’s Wish Foundation Wishmaker Walk on September 29, raising $1,607.95 for the cause.

Rycroft, Spirit River, Savanna and Bonanza; Assistant Superintendent Heather Putio will manage Elmworth School; Assistant Superintendent Darren Young will lead the Peace Academy of Virtual Education (PAVE) along with schools in Wembley, Beaverlodge and Hythe; and Principal Designate Shawn O’Shea will oversee schools in Grovedale, Grande Prairie and Bezanson.

council corner New ASCA School Council Resource Guide released, available online


he Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) is pleased to announce the release of the new School Council Resource Guide, which replaces the ASCA Resource Manual released in 2006, revised 2007. More than an updated version, the new Guide is shorter and is designed as a digital document with links to relevant resources. Filled with elements relating to school council, it serves as a compact, concise handbook. As the current School Act and corresponding Regulations are still in effect, little has changed in the content prescribing school councils in Alberta. Integrity of the original resource has been maintained and is meant to be updated annually going forward. What has changed are the relevant resources that align with ASCA materials utilized in workshops, webinars and the website. Although the Guide is not about the ASCA, consistency of language, definition and direction will encourage common practice and enhance school council effectiveness in the province. View the guide on the ASCA website at

School Council Resources


SCA will present workshops at your school, free of charge. The workshops are designed to enhance school councils’ effectiveness and parent engagement in public education, and focus on foundation building, operational aspects and expansion potential. Also, check out their weekly Webinar Wednesday series and more at

Those in need of winter wear may pick it up free of charge at the Merv Crouse Coats for Kids Distribution Centre, Prairie Mall, next to the Hallmark store, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday, October 1-31. PWSD Board Chair Dana McIntosh (left), Vice Chair Robert Knull (right) and Trustee Stefanie Clarke (missing) volunteered at the centre on October 7. ASCA Webinar Wednesday Upcoming webinars include: Oct. 26: Chair Basics Nov. 2: Fundraising Assn. Partnership Nov. 9: Meeting Management PWSD Board Meetings Upcoming meetings will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 27 and November 24 at Central Office. On December 8, the meeting will be held at the Sub-Office in Spirit River. Remembrance Day Friday, November 11 No classes. National Bullying Awareness Week November 14-18 School Professional Development Day Friday, November 25 No classes. Deadline to submit Resolutions on Issues for Change in Education, ASCA 2017 AGM Monday, December 12 The next ASCA Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at the Delta Edmonton South. Paper and electronic forms are available at



Orange Shirt Day event at Hythe Regional School

Academy Awards at PWA

Back-to-back hockey-themed FNMI school tours

Back by popular demand were NHL father-son duo Reggie (center) and Jamie (left) Leach. The pair visited a number of schools in 2014, and covered seven additional schools during this year’s tour on September 12-16. The following week, eight PWSD schools welcomed Brigette Lacquette (right), a member of the National Women’s Hockey Team since 2013, and current member of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s Calgary Inferno team. Saddle Hills County Leaders of Tomorrow

Grades 5 and 6 students and teachers from Woking, Bonanza and Rycroft Schools, and Spirit River Regional Academy were welcomed to Saddle Hills County offices on September 21 for the second annual ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ event, designed to educate youth about municipal government. Students elected peers as councilors who pledged their ‘Promise of Office’ and participated in a mock council meeting which included a debate and voting on changing school zones to playground zones to increase safety for children. Students also toured the County Complex and enjoyed lunch. Many thanks to Saddle Hills County for hosting this educational event. Statement of Intent Whispering Ridge Community School attendance area Families within the new WRCS attendance area, whose children are currently attending other schools, must complete a form to express their intent to enrol their children at WRCS. To receive the letter of intent and the form, contact

Good News

On September 29, Hythe Regional School hosted an Orange Shirt Day event to remember the experiences of former students of residential schools. The event began with a prayer in Cree and English, followed by a brief explanation of the significance of Orange Shirt Day and the Every Child Matters tree made by HRS students and staff. HRS FNMI Liaison Worker Barb Belcourt acknowledged the elders in attendance, who are also residential school survivors. Mr. Wayne Drysdale, MLA for Grande Prairie-Wapiti, brought greetings, followed by a round dance accompanied by local drummers, and closing remarks by Assistant Principal Holly Gould. Trustees engage with students of Spirit River Regional Academy and LaGlace School In October, PWSD Trustees and Superintendent Rowe toured SRRA and LaGlace School and met with students for an engagement activity on School Board governance, gathering feedback on what is working well at both schools. Groups worked together to come up with three words to describe what makes their school special. The words were entered into a ‘Wordle’ that can be printed as a poster for the school. Remembrance Day ‘Night in the Trenches’ tradition continues at Eaglesham School Grades 7-12 students at Eaglesham School will dig and sleep in trenches on the night before Remembrance Day, and conduct the Remembrance Day Ceremony at Eaglesham Hall. Other PWSD schools, such as Beaverlodge and Ridgevalley, have practiced this tradition.

A total of $13,750 in scholarships and numerous awards were handed out during Peace Wapiti Academy’s 15th annual Academy Awards night on October 6. For a list of award winners, visit Bonanza School Spirit Day

Bonanza School kicked off its first school spirit day in September with a Super Hero Day. Each month, the Students’ Union chooses a theme for school spirit day. Pictured is Mrs. Roszmann’s Grades 1-2 class, ready to save the day. School Community Time at HBS

School Community Time is a new program at Harry Balfour School which matches Grades 7-8 students with K - Grade 6 classrooms to create opportunities to build a strong sense of community, while strengthening students’ leadership capacity and promoting relationships. For more good news, read the News & Announcements section at Sign up for school bus route notifications by email

PWSD Division update PWSD Division Update is a report on news from Peace Wapiti Public School Division, produced for the Spring and Fall General School Councils’ Meetings. Content and Design: Angela Sears Communications Officer

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PWSD Division Update October 25, 2016