MONTHLY UPDATE: January 2017
Posted on January 13th, 2017
We wish you and your family a Happy New Year and Welcome to 2017! New Year’s always comes with a somewhat bittersweet feeling – we look back at all the wonderful things that have happened and also look forward with anticipation and excitement to a fresh start. A school year may feel like a long time, but it always seems to fly by. Please find attached a Mid Point Review 2016-17 of some of the learning activities and experiences that students, families and staff have participated in so far to make AEL a truly wonderful place to learn and grow together. You won’t believe how busy we have been!
Students have enthusiastically arrived back to school in the midst of terribly cold temperatures and high wind chills. Thank you to both students and parents for ensuring layers of clothing as well as hats and gloves are worn as unforeseen events, such as a bus breakdown, could occur. As the first of the 7 Habit states..."Be proactive" and be prepared.
Your input counts! Elk Island Public Schools annually canvases the community to gather information about how we, as a school division, are doing. Do take time to complete the survey. Did you know that last year the Ardrossan Elementary community completed the most surveys of all the other schools? With your help and input, we, as a school, can again be the top responder this year! Our Grade 4 parents are invited to take the Alberta Education Accountability Survey as well. Both count!
Lastly, thank you to our caring parent community for their thoughtful support for all students and families that enter this building. Our parents are outstanding, positive role models for their children. Your contributions to learning, both at home and at school, help all students to grow as life long learners, caring citizens and leaders. In particular, a special thank you to the AEPSA parents who have labored to provide fundraising activities that brings the community together and raises funds for audio visual equipment for the new gym. The AEPSA embraces a huge commitment to the school with your support. Merci beaucoup!
Table of Contents
- Kindergarten Registration Starts January 16, 2017
- Have Your Say!
- Attention Grade 4 Parents!
- Galaxyland Tickets available in the Office - Only $10.00 each!
- School Council and Canadian Parents for French Meeting - January 17, 2017
- Family Literacy Day - January 27, 2017
- Artist in Residence
- Playground Pals
- Parents Make the Difference!
- Boundary Exemption Process
- EIPS Division Calendar for 2017-18
- Christmas Concert
- Ski Trip
- Leader in Me Ledger - Building Citizens through Caring and Sharing
- EIPS Stays Connected with Facebook
- Inclement Weather
- Hot Lunch Tidbits
- Addiction and Mental Health News - Talk to your child about tobacco
- Health News from Alberta Health
Kindergarten Registration Starts January 16th!
Is your child turning five on or before December 31, 2017? If so, it’s now time to register for Kindergarten.
Kindergarten registration opens for the 2017–2018 school year on January 16, 2017. To register, please bring your completed Student Registration Form to the school you’re enrolling your child in along with proof of your child’s name, residence, date of birth and citizenship. If you’re registering for Kindergarten at SouthPointe School, the new school in Fort Saskatchewan opening in the 2017–2018 school year, you can submit a registration form to any elementary school in Fort Saskatchewan—the school will make sure your registration package is delivered to the principal at SouthPointe School.
To help families prepare, Elk Island Public Schools has put together an online toolkit to make the transition as smooth as possible. The kit includes information on registration, important dates, programming options, what to expect, eligibility, how to find your designated school, transportation and more. Find it by visiting http://www.eips.ca/programs-services/kindergarten.
Additional information regarding Ecole Ardrossan Elementary’s Kindergarten program, can be found on our school website at Kindergarten at AEL.
Have Your Say: Take the EIPS Parent Survey
Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) is inviting all of our parents and guardians to complete a survey about your experiences with Ecole Elementaire Ardrossan Elementary and the Division.
Annually, EIPS conducts a Parent Survey, which acts as a supplement to Alberta Education’s Accountability Pillar survey for families with children in grades 4, 7 and 10. The EIPS Parent Survey is a chance for all EIPS families to share their thoughts on the overall performance of the Division and their school, the quality of education being provided to students and areas for improvement.
The feedback gathered will help the Division measure its progress towards meeting the goals and priorities outlined in the EIPS 2015–2018 Three-Year Education Plan and develop strategies to better serve our students and the wider community.
We encourage all of our families to complete the survey, which only takes a few minutes. Also, if you wish to share the experience of more than one of your children, you can respond to the survey more than once. The survey is open until January 30, 2017.
Attention Grade 4 Parents
As an annual check-up on the education system, the Accountability Pillar provides an opportunity for Alberta Education and school authorities to ensure that we are equipping students for success.
The Accountability Pillar uses a set of 16 indicators consisting of surveys of students, parents and teachers on various aspects of quality; student outcomes such as dropout and high school completion rates; and provincial assessments of student learning.
From January to the end of February, Alberta Education will be conducting the annual Accountability Pillar Survey. In January, parents of students in Grades 4, 7 and 10 will receive a survey from Alberta Education. In February, students in Grades 4, 7 and 10 and all teachers will be completing their surveys online at school.
All surveys are anonymous and ask questions about experiences with the school. In addition to English and French, the parent survey is available in Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, Blackfoot, Cree, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Urdu.
Your participation in the survey helps provide important information on the quality of education your child is receiving, so we encourage you to return your survey promptly.
Survey results will be available to school authorities in May 2017 and will be reported publicly as part of their 3-Year Education Plans and Annual Education Results Reports.
What are your plans on Saturday, January 28th? Please join the Ardrossan Parent Support Association and the Ardrossan community at Galaxyland at WEM. Tickets are available through the Office. Only $10.00! Proceeds will be used to benefit our school such as purchasing new audio visual equipment for the replacement school.
School Council and Canadian Parents for French Meeting - January 17, 2017
Please join us in the Learning Commons (Library) on Tuesday, January 17 for the School Council at 9:30 a.m. followed by CPF at 10:30 a.m. All parents are welcome to attend. See you there!
Family Literacy Day
Family Literacy Day takes place annually on January 27th to celebrate adults and children reading and learning together, and to encourage Canadians to spend at least 15 minutes enjoying a learning activity as a family every day. Learning can happen at any time. Practicing literacy together every day has tremendous benefits for both children and parents. For lots of ideas, check out the website: ABC Family Literacy
Here are some great ways to get started:
- Write a joke book with your family;
- Read a bedtime story to the grown-up putting you to bed;
- Make up a new recipe together and post it online;
- Tell knock-knock jokes together while doing the dishes;
- Make up a song about your day to sing to your family at dinnertime; and
- Write messages to your family on sticky notes and post them around the house.
Artist in Residence
Aaron Paquette, an award winning First Nations artist and author, is joining the school during Colour Week. From January 23 to 27, Aaron will guide your children as they create original works of art on a bison theme. In order to support us on our journey of learning about First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, Aaron will help us to explore the 7 Sacred Teachings and how they connect to our Leader In Me 7 Habits. Students will each paint a bison roaming the plains while incorporating symbols and imagery connecting the 7 Habits and the 7 Sacred Teachings. We are excited to integrate knowledge of indigenous peoples with art. For more information about our artist, please visit his website at Aaron Paquette.
The excitement of Makerspace continues in 2017! New stations or design challenges are added monthly. Students are keenly anticipating the Makedo station - creating and building using cardboard and plastic screws. To follow our experiences with Makerspace, please click on Mme Hewitt's Adventures in Makerland blog to find out more!
January 16th through February 24th 2017, round two of the Playground Pals Club will be running. Three students from our Grade 4/5/6 Playcore 2 Team will be playing indoor and outdoor games with 10 boys and girls from Grades 1-2 during Monday and Wednesday lunch recesses. The Playcore 2 team continues to use their creativity and leadership in order to facilitate games and activities outside with the younger students. These leadership members are dedicated to providing social problem solving practice and ideas for games to play on the playground using the four missions of Playground Pals:
- We Begin with the End in Mind;
- We Think Win-Win;
- We Seek First to Understand; and
- We Synergize.
Club training and supervision are facilitated by Ms. Mitchell.
Parents Make the Difference January newsletter provides insight into the following subjects areas:
- Help Your Child Follow These Steps For Achieving A Goal
- Focus On Your Child's Self Control To Improve Behaviour
- Should You Pay Your Child For Getting Good Grades?
- Are You Teaching Your Child How To Deal With Failure
Boundary Exemption Request Process
Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) boundary exemption request process for the 2017–2018 school year takes place from February 1st to April 7th. The boundary exemption request process is the only time of year EIPS students—in Kindergarten to Grade 12—wishing to attend a non-designated school in the upcoming school year can apply to do so. Interested families must fill out a Boundary Exemption Request Form and submit it directly to their requested school.
The Boundary Exemption Request Form and additional information about the boundary exemption request process, schools with closed boundaries and frequently asked questions can be found by visiting www.eips.ca/schools/boundaries/boundary-exemption-request-process.
Final decisions will be made by April 12, 2017.
NOTE: Students already accepted into a non-designated school do not need to reapply.
EIPS 2017–2018 Division Calendar: Now Available
The approved EIPS 2017–2018 school year calendar is now available online at EIPS Calendar 2017-18. The calendar includes important dates for the 2017–2018 school year including: school-closure dates; holidays; dates for the fall, winter, spring and summer breaks; the first and last day of classes; professional learning days; and early dismissal dates.
Highlights from the 2017–2018 Division calendar include:
- August 30 First day of classes
- November 13-17 Fall Break
- December 25 to January 5 Winter Break
- January 31 Second Semester begins
- February 8-9 Teachers’ Convention
- March 26-30 Spring Break
- June 28 Last day of classes
- June 29 Schools close for the Summer Break
To view the current 2016–2017 Division calendar and the approved 2017–2018 Division calendar, visit www.eips.ca. You can also sync the calendar to your own personal calendar for easy reference throughout the year.
*NOTE: Start and end times for school timetables differ by school so make sure to call your school’s office or visit your school's website if you need more information.
The attendance of parents at the Christmas Concerts was again outstanding - whether at the DOW Centre or by techno means whereby families and relatives chose to watch the program from the comfort of their homes - in Canada or in the United States. The comments and messages that have been received regarding the concerts are gratifying. Thanks to the efforts of Ms. Podoborozny, Music Teacher, and her elf crew, a tremendous event was experienced by family and friends both near and far! Check out the Christmas Concert Gallery for pictures.
Thanks to the many parent volunteers that joined the Division 2 grades at Sunridge Ski Hill on the last school day before Christmas break. Lots of fun was had by all!
Leadership Ledger: Building Citizens through Caring and Sharing
Put First Things First - Habit 3 is all about deciding what is most important and making sure to do that first. By planning ahead, we are organized and less stressed. Students make the commitment to:
- Make a schedule;
- Spend time on important things;
- Study first, then play;
- Be disciplined and organized; and
- Be aware of the time.
Join us for our Habit 3 Assembly (organized by the Grade 3 students) on January 20th at 9:30 a.m. For further information, please visit the parent handbook for the Leader in Me:
Another way to stay connected: EIPS on Facebook
Did you know Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) recently launched a Facebook page? With 42 schools and approximately 17,100 students spread throughout the Division, there is a wealth of events, activities and stories taking place every day. Using a combination of news articles, videos and photography, the EIPS Facebook page showcases the latest news, updates, events and alerts taking place across the Division.
Stay in the loop, follow us on Facebook.
NOTE: The Division Facebook account is managed by EIPS Communications Services. The account is updated and monitored intermittently during regular office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. The Division welcomes feedback and ideas from followers and asks everyone interacting on the EIPS Facebook page to be respectful. Personal attacks and offensive language will not be allowed and may be deleted.
With the winter season well underway, we want to remind parents to dress children appropriately for the weather when getting ready for school or travelling on the bus. The weather often changes unexpectedly throughout the day, so please select suitable outerwear and ensure your child is prepared for changing conditions.
If inclement weather conditions occur, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) will advise parents of any bus cancellations using various communications tools including: automated-telephone messages, alerts posted on www.eips.ca and school websites, Twitter, Facebook, local radio stations and on Versatrans My Stop. All morning bus cancellations will be posted on www.eips.ca by 6:30 a.m.
Decisions regarding bus cancellations are guided by EIPS Administrative Procedures that states: “school bus service may be suspended…[when] Environment Canada reports a temperature of -40 C.” Other reasons for suspending or delaying school bus services include adverse weather and poor road conditions.
When school bus services are suspended, schools will remain open to students. EIPS believes parents have the right and responsibility to make choices for their children based on their beliefs and perceptions of safety during times of inclement weather.
For more information, contact EIPS Student Transportation at 780.417.8151.
Hot Lunch Tidbits
Ordering for the February schedule has already begun. Menu orders and payments are due by Thursday, January 19th. Don't delay, click and order today!
Important reminder of our bus cancellation policy:
If bus service is cancelled for any reason (snow day, icy roads, fog, mornings only, etc...), hot lunch service will be cancelled and any perishables will be donated to a charity of our choice. Refunds will not be given.
If you opt to send your child(ren) to school, please ensure that you send a lunch with them.
Addiction and Mental Health News
Alberta Health Services publishes monthly articles regarding health and wellness. Please check out the January edition about how to talk with your child about tobacco.
Alberta Health News
Are you aware of available on the Alberta Health Website? Check out the following links for up to date information on:
- Lice - Treating Lice
- Healthy Living - Healthy Living (everything from active living, managing your weight, cancer, preventing injuries)