School News

MONTHLY UPDATE: November 2018

It is hard to believe that we have spent two full months in our new building! As I watched our little ghosts and goblins walk through the school during our annual Halloween parade, I was overcome with a feeling of gratitude. Seeing the joy on each child's face as they showed off their costumes to friends and family reminded me of the important role our school plays in this community. Thank you to all who were able to join us.

We have much to be grateful for this month. We would like to thank our School Council and our Ardrossan Elementary Parent Support Association (AEPSA) for their generous support in purchasing recess equipment for each classroom. Additionally, several of our students made presentations to our members of AEPSA in order to ask for funding for their school clubs. Thank you to our school council for providing them with an opportunity to grow in their public speaking and leadership skills.

We would like to also thank all of the families who have joined us for many of our school events in October such as our Family Math Night and Read In Week.

We were also happy to see so many people at our parent/student/teacher conferences. Your attendance helped us to celebrate your child's accomplishments and to set goals for the upcoming report cards that will be posted online on November 30.

Our Book Fair was a huge success as was our jewelry sale to support Cancer Awareness month. We are pleased to share that we raised $543 for Healing Connections for Patients with Breast Cancer. Thank you to Heather Chaba for so generously sponsoring this event in honour of Mrs. Whetstone.

November offers many new opportunities for families to be involved in our school. We would like to invite you to attend our Remembrance Day Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on November 9. A special invitation to the Remembrance Day Program is extended to all serving and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces as well as to our local first responders. Please contact Helene Hewitt at 780-922-2066 if you are able to attend. Girl Guides, Cubs, Scouts and Beavers are encouraged to wear their uniforms on this day of remembrance. All other students are asked to wear white shirts for this occasion.

Parents are also invited to attend our School Council and AEPSA meetings on November 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Finally, we will begin our annual Giving Tree charity event at the end of the month. Students are invited to bring in items that we donate to the Christmas bureau for families in need. This is one of the ways that our students demonstrate citizenship by giving back to the larger community.  

As we take stock of the months that have gone by and we look forward to the months ahead we hope to share with you our deep gratitude for being part of such a loving and generous community.

Great Happens Here!


  • SAVE THE DATE: School Council Meeting -  November 6th at 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. followed by AEPSA at 7:30- 8:00 p.m.
  • Remembrance Day Assembly -  November 9th at 10:30 a.m.
  • Visitor Procedures in our New Building


  • Giving Tree
  • Tidbits from the LunchBox
  • Christmas Concert
  • Caregiver Education Series
  • Get Some Ardrossan Swag!


  • Welcome Our New Counsellor - Mme Chantal Devigne
  • Literacy At Home
  • French Immersion Update
  • National Bullying Awareness Week
  • Inclement Weather
  • No Child Without: Free MedicAlert for students
  • New SchoolMessenger Call-display Number
  • Parents Make the Difference
  • Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids
  • Student Absences
  • Dressing for the Weather
  • Report Cards - November 30th


School Council and AEPSA (Ardrossan Parent Support Association)

Now's your chance to get involved! Parents are cordially invited to attend our next meetings on November 6th at 6:30 p.m. followed by the AEPSA (fundraising group) at 7:30 p.m. We meet in the Gathering Area. Bring a friend! 

Remembrance Day Assembly - Thursday, November 9th 

We invite all serving and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and our local First Responders to attend our Remembrance Day Assembly on Friday, November 9 at 10:30 a.m. This very special event provides our school community an opportunity to honour and respect very important uniformed members of our community. If you or a member of your family is able to attend, please contact Mme Hewitt at 780-922-2066. Join us for this time of remembrance. 

Visitor Procedures in our New Building

One of the great things about our new building is our increased safety features. All visitors are expected to sign in at the office and pick up a visitor lanyard. This helps us to track who is in the building, why they are here and where they went. We can then ensure that they are safe and accounted for in case of an emergency. It is also helpful for ensuring that we minimize disruptions to classroom instruction. If you are picking up a child or dropping something off, you need only to let the office know and we can call your child down to meet you. This helps us to keep the learning flowing without interruption in the classroom! Thank you for working with us to keep everyone safe!


Giving Tree - Citizenship in Action

Mahatma Ghandi once said, "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." Please help us demonstrate compassion for those less fortunate through our annual Giving Tree event beginning this month. Each grade collects and donates key items during the weeks leading up to the holidays to support Strathcona families who might need a little extra help. The items being collected include:

  • ECS - Nov. 26 bring socks
  • Grade 1 - Nov. 27 bring mittens
  • Grade 2 - Nov. 28 bring mittens and gloves
  • Grade 3 - Nov. 29 bring hats
  • Grade 4 - Nov. 30 bring non-perishable food items
  • Grade 5 & 6 - Dec. 3 & 4 bring personal care items

These items will be used to decorate the Giving Tree. The donations will be collected by the Strathcona Christmas Bureau on Thursday, December 6. Thank you in advance for your support of those in our community who are less fortunate.

Tidbits from the LunchBox

Thank you to all who have been continually supporting our Hot Lunch Program. And to our parent volunteers, thank you, we could not get these meals out to the classes without your help.

This past month we made 350 Frankenstein Pudding Cups for Halloween Treat Day. November’s treat day is on the 23rd, a sports themed cupcake, to coincide with Jersey Day.

December Hot Lunch ordering begins November 6th, orders will be accepted until midnight November 22. This includes ordering for our December Pizza Day on December 14th! (The day after our School Christmas concert) Reminder to all who ordered Little Caesars Pizza Kits, the pickup is November 7th at the School from 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm.  Prize winners will be announced shortly. Thank you to all who supported the fundraiser.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us or

The LunchBox Team

Christmas Concert

Is it too early to plan for the Christmas Concert? Absolutely not! This year's concert is on Thursday, December 13 at the DOW Centre in Fort Saskatchewan. See the times below:

  • Grade 1 & 2 -  5:15 p.m.
  • Grade 3 & 4 -  6:30 p.m.
  • Grade 5 & 6 -  7:45 p.m.

Each family will receive 2 complimentary tickets to see the performance. Once again, we will provide the opportunity to purchase tickets for $5.00 each should you need more than the 2 tickets provided free of charge. We will send out a SchoolMessenger email with more details about when to expect tickets as well as the process for purchasing extra tickets in the near future.

Our Kindergarten friends will celebrate on Tuesday, December 18 in the school gym at 9:30 a.m. Stay tuned for further details. 

Caregiver Education Series

The Division, in partnership with Strathcona County and Elk Island Catholic Schools, is hosting a series of caregiver information sessions focused on ways to support students’ mental health. The free sessions provide parents, caregivers, teachers and community members with information about challenges that can impact children and adolescents. Some of the session topics include: dealing with anxiety, teenagers and technology, cannabis, understanding depression and self-injury, test anxiety, building executive functioning skills, and limit setting.

Visit the Division calendar to see all scheduled caregiver sessions.

Get Some Ardrossan Swag!

Do you want to show your Bison pride everywhere you go? We are happy to share that we now have an official shop for Ardrossan clothing. You can visit it at:

You are able to browse a wide selection of products, with a variety of brands! There is a variety of logos that you are able to choose from to customize your clothing. The site also allows you to view your product before ordering. There is no minimum quantity required when ordering. If you have any question, feel free to contact us at 780-922-2066.

Happy shopping!


Welcome our New Counsellor - Mme Devigne

Hi there! My name is Mme Devigne and I am the new school counsellor replacing Mrs Mitchell. Social-emotional well being is essential to your child’s academic success. I collaborate with students, parents, and staff to help support your child’s academic, personal, emotional, and social development.

How I help students:

  • Solving friendship problems
  • Setting goals
  • Working with others
  • Feeling good about themselves
  • Adjusting to a new school
  • Learning how to make decisions
  • Managing their feelings
  • Dealing with peer pressure and bullying

How I help parents:

  • Exploring ways to help your child succeed
  • Making referrals for community sources
  • Understanding the developmental changes of childhood
  • Supplying reference materials
  • Providing information to help understand your child’s specific needs
  • Explain the results of a specialized assessment

Ways I can help:

  • Classroom presentations
  • Group counselling (For example: ZONES, Study Skills, Worry busters, etc.)
  • Brief solution-focused counselling*
  • Parent consultation
  • Community resource referrals
  • Consultation should your child need an Individualized Support Plan (ISP) or a Behaviour Plan

*Please note that school counsellors do not provide long-term or traditional therapy or counselling. Referrals for outside counseling services are available for children needing more traditional therapy.

I look forward to getting to know all of our Ardrossan families.

Chantal Devigne

Literacy At Home

Establishing a reading routine at home helps develop children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as providing extra one-on-one bonding time with your child. Here are some strategies that can help you when you are listening to your child read.

Word Attack Strategies – Going Beyond Sounding it Out

So how can you prompt your child when reading doesn’t make sense? Try these strategies.

  1. Flip the Sounds: If the word doesn’t sound right, try flipping out the short vowel sound for a long vowel sound.
  2. Picture Clues: Looking at the pictures can help children make informed word prediction. Replace the challenging word with a person, an object, or an action from the picture. Check to make sure the beginning sound of the picture matches with the word.
  3. Skip and Go Back: Skip the word and read to the end of the sentence, then reread. Is there a word that would make sense? Does the beginning sound and first letter in the word match?
  4. Read On: Stuck at the step above? Read on to find more clues in the text (context clues), then go back and figure out the word.
  5. Look for Chunks: Ask your child to picture our familiar chunks in the word, such as word family endings (at, in, op, etc.), prefixes, or suffixes to help figure out the word.
  6. Familiar Words: Does it look like a word another word your child knows? For example, night – right.

Working on Comprehension – Searching for Deeper Meaning  

Set your child up for success by using these strategies.

  1. Before Reading
    • Preview the Book Before Reading – look at the cover, back of the book, table of contents, etc. to make informed predictions of what the book is about.
    • Activate Prior Knowledge - discuss what your child already knows about the topic prior to reading.
  2. During Reading
    • Predicate – based upon what your child has read thus far, predict what will happen next. Encourage your child to revise predictions when appropriate.
    • Check for Understanding – every few pages, stop and ask your child questions. Make sure to include higher level thinking questions that encourage your child to look at deeper meaning within the text such as “how”, “why”, “what if”, and “how to you know that”.
  3. After Reading
    • Summarize the Story – use the format, “somebody (main character) – wanted (what) – but (problem) – so (solution) – then (resolution/ending)”.
    • Retell the Story – this is a bit different from summarizing. This time we want as many details as possible.
    • Talk About the Story – ask your child to dig deeper into what happened in the story by justifying their choice of favourite or least favourite character, defend the actions of a character, explain how the story could have been improved, describe what would of happened if one of the actions in the story was changed, and how the book would have changed if it was told from the perspective of another character.

Don’t forget to squeeze in a few minutes to read to your child. Is book time essential to a child’s development? New research shows children’s brain activity runs “cold” when they listen to an audiobook and “hot” when they see a book on an electronic screen, but “just right” when they are read a children’s picture book. This “Goldilocks Effect” proves children’s books are a great learning tool.

Please feel free to contact me for tips and resources to help develop your child’s reading.

Lea Kulmatycki, Literacy Support

“There are worse crimes than burning books.  One of them is not reading them.” – Ray Bradbury

French Immersion Update

Merci, thank you to all the volunteers and the Hot Lunch parents for cooking the corn during l'Épluchette de blé d’Inde in October. The students had fun celebrating this festival. Congratulations to the students who were chosen for student of the day.

Parents, the new issue of Canadian Parents for French is out. You can visit their website at for more information.

Here are some websites to practice French with your child at home. - Games for beginning French learners. - This is an excellent website that promotes literacy in French. The zone de parent has very useful information although it is written in French. - Offers French videos for kids.


National Bullying Awareness Week - November 19 - 23

Our staff, with the support of the parent community, strive to provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be engaged responsible learners and caring, thoughtful citizens. The Leader in Me program provides students with a variety of personal awareness skills and strategies to build positive caring relationships with others (friendship skills), listening, synergizing and thinking win-win. 

Bullying Awareness Week from November 19 - 23 is an opportunity for our school community to focus on how to use our 7 Habits to prevent bullying. Helping students to understand and identify what bullying looks like is an essential first step to supporting them in feeling safe at school and in helping them to know what kind of help to look for. At school, we often refer to a poster entitled: Is It Bullying? This poster distinguishes the difference between rude behaviour, mean behaviour and bullying.

Students will engage in a variety of activities throughout Bullying Awareness Week which include reading stories about standing up to bullying behaviour as well as a presentation for Division I and Division 2 students from the Saffron Centre on November 22. The week will end with Jersey Day on November 23 to show that we are all on the same team and that we support one another.

For more information regarding bullying please visit: 

Alberta Education Bullying Prevention Information

Psychology Today Article: Is it Rude, Mean or is it Bullying? 

Inclement Weather

With the winter season already here, we want to remind parents to dress children appropriately for the weather when getting ready for school or 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) advises parents of any bus cancellations using various communications tools—automated-telephone messages, alerts posted on and school websites, Twitter, Facebook, local radio stations and on Versatrans My Stop. Any morning bus cancellations are posted on 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 condition.

When school bus services are suspended, schools 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.

No Child Without: Free MedicAlert for students

In our ongoing effort to provide safe and caring schools for our students, Ardrossan Elementary is once again participating in the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation’s No Child Without program. The program is a national initiative that provides no-cost MedicAlert services to children—between the ages four and 14—who have chronic health conditions. The goal is twofold: to help children with severe allergies, medical conditions or special needs and to assist schools with medical-emergency plans for students.

Once a child is registered, their school is provided with advice on a medical-emergency plan for that student and given a list of medications, allergies and medical conditions the student has. If your child has a serious medical condition or allergy and could benefit from MedicAlert services, contact the school office at 780-922-2066. To learn more about the No Child Without program, visit

New SchoolMessenger Call-display Number

Effective November 1, all phone calls going out through SchoolMessenger will display one of the following toll-free numbers rather than the school or Division number.

  • Messages programmed from Student Transportation: 1-833-298-5234
  • Messages programmed from schools and the Division office: 1-833-202-1419

With this change, parents/guardians have the ability to call back to this number to replay all recent phone messages they’ve received through SchoolMessenger. If you’ve missed a call or would like to replay a message to confirm you have all the details, simply call back the applicable 1-833 number and follow the prompts to repeat any recent messages.

Parents Make the Difference

Do You Let Your Child Take Charge of Homework?

Five Ways to Make the Most of Your Child's Report Card

Help Your Child Have Some Fun with Fractions

Model the Respectful Behaviour You'd Like to See From Your Child

Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids

We were impressed to see so many students bring healthy treats for Halloween this year! We are pleased to see that our families keep healthy habits in mind even during special events. See Special Event Foods for some great suggestions. Please remember that we are a nut aware school. This means that we all do our best to avoid bringing food that contains nuts to school. Thank you for helping us provide a safe environment for all students. For some more great ideas on Healthy Habits, check out EIPS Healthy Schools and Nutrition.


Thank you for explaining your child’s absence when you call to report that your child is away. This helps with tracking absences as we are required to report absences that may be in excess of 10% of the school population (i.e., flu symptoms).

Recess: Dressing for the Weather

Brrrr! Fall is upon us. Thank you for making sure that your child has the necessary winter gear to keep warm. Our students participate in outdoor recesses except in the most extreme cold weather. Hat, mitts and a warm coat are necessary during outdoor play. We generally have indoor recess when temperatures reach -21 degrees Celsius or lower.

View Your Child's Report Card - November 30th After 3:00 p.m.

Click on the Parent Portal to view your child's report card. Don't have a parental portal access? See the link.  Contact Sandy Shackleton at 780-922-2066 if you need your access code. 

Comments (1)

Jackie said on November 2, 2018 at 4:30 PM

Thanks for all of the great info and for keeping us in the loop!

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