School News

MONTHLY UPDATE: February 2017

February, albeit short, is a busy and exciting time for student learning and growing. With increasing sunlight each day, Balzac Billy, the notable Alberta groundhog, saw his shadow. So, we might expect from that "prediction" to prepare for another six weeks of snowy weather. Continued care in dressing for chilly, unpredictable weather is encouraged for all!

The Galaxyland Family Fun Night fundraiser was a resounding, sold out success!  Thank you to the amazing parent volunteer team of JP Grebenc, Jennifer March, Wendy Marty and Cheryl Popik for preparing and promoting the event.  It was wonderful to see students, parents, family and friends enjoying the evening. Please check out the pictures on the school website.  

February 14th, Valentine's Day, is approaching as a celebration of love and affection.  In light of recent events, nationally and internationally, the world can seem a little more fearful and less hopeful for our children. As a school staff, we are well aware that news messages enter our homes daily and our children are watching and listening.  It is so important to reassure our children and each other, that as a community, we recognize the inherent dignity and worth of each other as human beings. The manner in which we think, speak and act towards each other is important as our children make sense of the world around them.

As a 7 Habits school, we support students in the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes that empower them to become the caring and capable citizen leaders they are and can be. Our upcoming Student  Demonstration of Learning on February 22-23 is evidence of their growth.  We know you are proud of your children as they develop - so are we.  Acceptance and understanding of each other's differences serves to celebrate the richness embodied in our community, province and country. AEL is so blessed to have such a caring parent community that models acceptance and understanding for all students and peoples - this is a truly wonderful place to learn and grow together. Great Happens Here!

Table of Contents

Action

  • Kindergarten Registration 
  • Attention Grade 4 Parents!
  • Register for Student Demonstration of Learning

Opportunity

  • School Council and AEPSA (Fundraising) Meeting - February 7, 2017
  • Jump Rope for Heart - Activity Day February 22 (money raised due by February 28)

Information

  • Great Canadian Valentine Swap
  • Artist in Residence
  • Makerspace
  • Parents Make the Difference!
  • Boundary Exemption Process
  • Public Meetings - Ministik School
  • Campbell Soup Labels - The End of an Era
  • Hot Lunch Tidbits
  • Leader in Me Ledger - Building Citizens through Caring and Sharing
  • Access to Parking Lot - Reminder
  • North Central Teachers' Convention - February 9-10, 2017 (No School)

ACTION

Kindergarten Registration

Is your child turning five on or before December 31, 2017? If so, it’s now time to register for Kindergarten.

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.

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.

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.

Student Demonstration of Learning

On February 22nd and 23rd from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. parents and guardians are invited to the Student Demonstration of Learning. Beginning February 13, 2017, please login into https://www.schoolinterviews.ca/code to book a time to visit your child's classroom to view and participate in their progress. The event code is j329z. Fundraising for the new kitchen continues with Hot Lunch offering Dilly Bars for $2.50 both evenings. Yum!

OPPORTUNITY

School Council and Canadian Parents for French Meeting - February 7, 2017

Please join us in the Learning Commons (Library) on Tuesday, February 7 for School Council at 6:30-7:30 p.m. followed by a AEPSA (Fundraising) meeting at 7:30 p.m. Find out how much money was raised by the Galaxyland Fundraiser.  All parents are welcome to attend. See you there!

Jump Rope for Heart

Healthy living is part and parcel of this month long charity fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. As a recipient school of an AED device complete with training for 100 students and staff, AEL is a proud supporter of the the Jump Rope for Heart Fundraiser. This is the 10th year of school community participation and approximately $20 000 has been raised. Bisons Jump!

INFORMATION

The Great Canadian Valentine Swap

The Great Canadian Valentine Swap has 256 classes involving 5000 students from 8 different provinces and 2 territories making homemade valentines and writing a letter about their communities.  One valentine and letter will be sent to each community and AEL will receive twenty in return. Mrs. McBride's students are part of this fabulous learning connection that links communities across the country together during the 150th birthday of Canada. 

Artist in Residence

Aaron Paquette, an award winning First Nations artist and author, helped students create a painting of 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. Artwork will be displayed in the classrooms and hallways during Student Demonstration of Learning on February 22-23. 

Makerspace

The excitement of makerspace continues in 2017! New stations or design challenges are added monthly. Students began using the Makedo station this month - creating and building using cardboard and plastic screws. This gives them a wonderful opportunity to experiment with skills needed in the real world of work. They have real experiences in seeing how architects, engineers, and contractors work together to build structures.

Our Grades 4-6 students had a special presentation with district learning consultants, Jon Thomas and Danielle Nelson, about how our makerspace will evolve for the second half of the year. Students were given this design challenge: How can we design a piece of playground equipment for the new school so everyone can play safely and have fun? Students will use the design thinking process to develop projects over the next few months. On May 31st, our Grades 4-6 students will host a Maker Faire where they will present their projects to parents, students, and community members. More details will be sent out closer to the event.

To follow our experiences with Makerspace, please click on Mme Hewitt's Adventures in Makerland blog to find out more!

Parents Make the Difference

February newsletter provides insight into the following subjects areas:

Public Meetings: Ministik School

As you may be aware, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) Board of Trustees approved the motion to consider the possible closure of Ministik School. As a result, two public meetings are being held to offer families and community members an opportunity to learn about what is being considered, ask questions and provide feedback. Please share the meeting dates with your families and community members. The meetings are taking place at Ministik School on February 7 and February 15 at 6:30 p.m. Learn more ǀ MIN Report

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.

Please note: Ecole Ardrossan Elementary will not be accepting new out of boundary students for the 2017-18 school year.

Campbell Soup Labels - The End of an Era

After 18 years, Campbells Soup Labels for Education is winding down. We extend our gratitude to Terri-Ann Trohubiak and her team as many thousands of labels have been collected, counted and managed by these dedicated parent volunteers. Thank you for your commitment to the program as it has directly benefited our students. AEL has been the beneficiary of gym equipment such as birdies, rackets and balls. Thanks as well to the staff liaison, Mrs. Krista Ruptash, who ordered and organized the equipment. Merci beaucoup! 

Hot Lunch Tidbits

There are a few important hot lunch items that require your attention:

Effective IMMEDIATELY, the charge back fees for NSF cheques will be increased to $20.

VOLUNTEERS Needed:  The LunchBox is desperately looking for volunteers to join our board.  Many members of our board have children in Grade 6 and/or no longer have children in the Elementary School and hold critical positions.  We are open to all parents joining us and we are hoping that parents with younger children will step forward and help us maintain our hot lunch program.  As an incentive, we would like to offer a $20 hot lunch credit to all new members (which will be applied to the family account for our June Schedule).

Positions to fill:

General Board Members:

  • Board meeting – Attend monthly meetings
  • Co-ordinate daily lunch service – All board members are expected to take turns coordinating daily lunch service

Secretary:

  • Board meeting minutes – Attend monthly meetings to record minutes, type up and distribute to all members
  • Time Commitment – Maximum 2 hours per month

Treasurer:  

  • Posting Cash/Cheque Payments – All cash/cheque payments received for monthly orders need to be posted to family accounts
  • Bank account maintenance – Depositing monies received from HL monthly orders, pay vendors, and monthly account reconciliations
  • Reports – Keeping the board regularly informed of key financial events, concerns, in addition to completing required financial reporting forms in a timely fashion and making these forms available to the board
  • Time Commitment  – Maximum 6-8 hours per month
  • Important to know – The new volunteer will work jointly with our current treasurer to learn this position until the end of the year

Parent Lunch Volunteers:  We want to thank all of our parent and student volunteers for helping us deliver lunch.  Please note that we typically have only 1 or 2 volunteers on Mondays and Wednesdays.  If you could please look at your schedules and sign up for these days, we would appreciate it!  

If you have any questions, please contact Allison Usher at info@aeslunchbox.com.  Thanks and make it a great day!

Musical Notes

Grades 3-6 students will start to play recorders near the end of February. The Grade 3 students and students new to Ecole Ardrossan Elementary School will all be given a recorder. If students have not done so already, they need to find and bring their recorder to school by February 21st.  

Leader in Me Ledger - Building Citizens through Caring and Sharing 

The February Focus is Habit 4: Think Win-Win! This month is another opportunity for us to raise money for such a worthy cause - heart health! Our kick off for Jump Rope for Heart and Think Win-Win assembly was held this Wednesday. Skip-de-do-da!

Our Win-Win student leaders believe:

  • I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want;
  • I make deposits in others’ Emotional Bank Accounts; and
  • When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.
  • For more information about Win-Win, please visit:  Leader In Me Parent Handbook

Access to Parking Lot - Reminder

Student safety is a priority. As you are aware, Student Transportation has placed signage at the entrance to the parking lot stating:  no through traffic except for school buses between 8:25 a.m. – 8:35 a.m.  Along with the signage, Mrs. Kilpatrick, the Ardrossan bus monitor continues to ensure that access to the parking lot is limited to bus traffic during peak transportation times. 

Thank you to our parents/guardians/substitute staff for their cooperation and support with ensuring the safe movement of student traffic from the parking lot to the school.  We appreciate your understanding in our efforts to achieve a safer environment for your children.

North Central Teachers' Convention - February 9-10, 2017

Teachers’ conventions are an annual winter tradition throughout Alberta.  North Central Teachers’ Convention, which includes Elk Island Public Schools, provides approximately 6 800 teachers the opportunity to learn about new and innovative pedagogical practices and theories to better support student learning experiences in their classrooms.  Some of the diverse topics that teachers will learn additional information about include: 

  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Primary Literacy Games
  • Math Fact Fluency
  • Fun with Fractions! Teaching Proportional Reasoning with Style!
  • Teaching Emotionally Resilient Students
  • Leading Innovative Teaching and Learning
  • Assessment Ideas for Math and Science
  • Learning with the Brain in Mind
  • Life of a Student Living With a Disability
  • Understanding Self Harm in Children and Teens with Borderline and Bipolar Disorder

Your child’s teachers will be pleased to share with you some of the exciting topics and interesting learning they have gained during these two days of professional development.

 Great Happens Here!

 

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