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Bison Tales - January 10, 2020

Students getting ready to add ideas to our Gratitude Wall!

Welcome to the year 2020!

This new year provides us with 365 new chances to do something incredible. 365 days in which, to take risks, to make mistakes, to learn new skills and to build the citizens of tomorrow.

Aside from being the first month of the year, January is also the month that we focus on Habit 3 - Put First Things First. Habit 3 is all about setting priorities and setting up plans and strategies to accomplish the most important things first. 

This is the month to take stock of what we are doing and to check-in to see that we are still following our vision. Our staff are working hard reviewing literacy and numeracy data in order to ensure that students are progressing effectively in their language arts and math goals.

Our school council is also Putting First Things First by taking time to talk about what fees might look like for next year. We value your opinions and we hope that you are able to join us on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in order to help us make important decisions for the upcoming school year.

Later on this month, keep your eye out for our Mid-Point Review. It will summarize all of our achievements and successes for the first months of the year. You should get a copy emailed directly to you next week.

As always, we thank this Bison community for working together to support great learning experiences at Ardrossan Elementary. We are excited to see what the rest of the year will bring us!

Stay warm and safe out there!

Helene Hewitt

Acting Principal


  • Grade 4 parents: Check your mail for the Accountability Pillar Survey this month! 
  • Gratitude Wall begins this week
  • Cute Thing Club Team 1, Jr. Art Club Group 1 and Running Club at lunch
  • School Council meeting 9:30 a.m. (fees discussion!)
  • AEPSA meeting 10:30 a.m.
  • Grade 4 Field trip to the Royal Alberta Museum
  • Yearbook Cover Art Contest submission deadline
  • Sign Club in first recess
  • Art Club Grade 3, Card Club & Running Club at lunch
  • Little Bisons Club & Green Team, Apple Leaders and Gardening Club @ lunch
  • Grade 6 Basketball skills club at lunch
  • Habit 3 Assembly (Grade 3s) @ 9:30 a.m.
  • PALS at Ardrossan Recreational Centre - Love to Play 9 a.m.
  • Games Club, LEGO/Makerspace Club & Running Club at lunch recess
  • Bison Tales published online


  • Grade 4 Parent Accountability Pillar Survey - Please check your mail!
  • Kindergarten Registration
  • Returning Student Registration
  • Have Your Say About Fees - Come to our January School Council Meeting
  • Colour Week
  • Lost Cat - Have you seen Gidget?


  • Tidbits from the Lunchbox
  • Gratitude Wall
  • Habit 3 Assembly by our Grade 3s - January 17
  • Yearbook Cover Art Contest
  • Parents Make the Difference


  • Inclement Weather
  • Ski Trip A Huge Success!
  • Social Media
  • EIPS Division Calendar


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. Data on these indicators consists of surveys of students, parents and teachers on various aspects of education 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 your school.  In addition to English and French, the parent survey is available in Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, Blackfoot, Dene, 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, and will be reported publicly as part of their 3-Year Education Plans and Annual Education Results Reports.

The survey arrives this month in a printed format. Grade 4 parents are also able to complete online. Information is provided in the package mailed directly from Alberta Education.

Kindergarten Registration Starts Soon!

Is your child turning five on or before Dec. 31, 2020? If so, it’s almost time to register for kindergarten.

Kindergarten registration opens for the 2020-21 school year on Feb. 1, 2020.

To help families prepare, Elk Island Public Schools has put together an online toolkit—available at—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.

Additional information regarding kindergarten is available at

Returning Student Registration for 2020-21

Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) will once again conduct an online returning student registration process to confirm student registrations for the 2020-21 school year. Families of all returning students must complete the process to confirm the school their child plans to attend in the 2020-21 school year. Additionally, students who want to attend a non-designated school need to make that request through the returning student registration process—acceptance is based on available space. The 2020-21 returning student registration takes place between Feb. 1-29, 2020.

Access to the Returning Student Registration Form is provided through the PowerSchool Parent Portal. If you don’t have a PowerSchool Parent Portal account, you need to set one up before Feb. 1, 2020.

Create a PowerSchool Parent Portal account

For more information contact the school directly.

Have Your Say About Fees - Come to our January School Council Meeting

Our next school council meeting will be taking place on January 14, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. During that time, we'll be sharing information about our current fee structure, posing specific questions about priorities, and asking you to provide your feedback as we plan for the 2020-2021 school year. While many of these activities and services enhance students' educational experience, we want to ensure these fees aren't cost prohibitive for families. Specifically, we will be asking for input on the following:

  • Noon hour supervision
  • Field trips and associated fees
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Non-curricular travel (for example, ski trips)
  • Non-curricular goods and services (for example, yearbooks)

We understand not all families will be available to attend the meeting but it's still important we get as much input from the school community as possible. Following the meeting, materials will be shared on our website: for your review, and an email address provided so you can submit a written response. 

School administration will use feedback provided to help determine fees for 2020-21, which will then be shared at a later school council meeting, posted to our website and shared via link through email. 

We look forward to seeing you in January!

Colour Week

Don't forget to dress with colour during our annual Colour Week. There is nothing like bright colour to enliven the long January days.

  • Monday - blue
  • Tuesday - purple
  • Wednesday - green
  • Thursday - red
  • Friday - yellow

Lost Cat - Have you seen Gidget?

Have you seen a white, fluffy cat with beautiful blue eyes roaming the neighbourhood? A white cat named Gidget has been missing in Ardrossan since Saturday, December 28 at 1 p.m. He may be trapped somewhere or unable to find his way home and we would appreciate it if you could check your sheds and garages for him. 

If you find Gidget, or if you have recently adopted a stray long-haired white cat, please contact Donna at 780-903-1424. His family is anxiously awaiting his return to their loving home!


Tidbits from the Lunchbox

Thank you for everyone's ongoing support of our Hot Lunch Program.  Today we were able to give all students who ordered free Hot Dogs, veggies, fruit, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and milk. 

If you have not registered online for the program yet, visit We offer free meals throughout the year but you must register online to receive. 

February Menu opens on January 14 and closes January 23. Brownie Treat day is on February 28 for Pink Shirt Day. 

Please remember to send your reusable cutlery daily for your child's hot lunch needs!

Thank you to all our volunteers, we have had so many extra delivery days and shortages everyone always steps up to help the program out! 

The Lunchbox Team

Gratitude Wall

This year, we have had many opportunities to learn about the importance of gratitude. Although life does not always turn out the way we want, we have many blessings and much for which to be grateful! Research shows that taking time to express gratitude has positive effects on our mental health and feelings of well-being.

Our students will have the opportunity to post a gratitude thought onto our beautiful Gratitude Wall over the next few weeks. Next time you are in the school, feel free to grab a post-it note from the office in order to add your own gratitude message to our wall!

Habit 3 Assembly - Grade 3s Put First Things First!

Join us on Friday, January 17 at 9:30 a.m. to learn about Putting First Things First. The Grade Three students will be emceeing the event and teaching us all about this important habit!

Putting First Things First 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.

For further information, please visit the Parent Handbook for the Leader in Me.

Yearbook Cover Art Contest - due January 15

Show us what Ardrossan Elementary means to you through your art! Use your creativity to show everyone that "Great Happens Here!" The winning entry will be featured on the cover of the yearbook. The work of the two runners up will be featured on the back cover.

Artwork must be submitted on 8.5" x 11" white paper, portrait/vertical style and must include the words "Ardrossan Elementary 2019-2020" somewhere on the page. 

Students can pick up entry forms and submit their contest entries to Mrs. Shackleton in the front office by January 15, 2020. 

Parents Make the Difference

Check out this week's article to support parents in helping their child to learn and grow:

Teach Your Child to Follow 4 Steps to Achieve Any Goal


Inclement Weather

With the winter season well underway, we want to remind families 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) will advise families of any bus cancellations using various communications tools, including automated-telephone messages, alerts posted on and school websites, Twitter, Facebook, local radio stations and on Versatrans My Stop.

Decisions regarding bus cancellations are guided by EIPS’ Administrative Procedure 131: Inclement Weather, which states: “school bus service may be suspended … when there is a forecast or current temperature of -40 C including wind chill, in one or more regions.” 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 families 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.

Ski Trip A Huge Success!

Thank you to the many parent volunteers who joined the Grade 4-6 students at Sunridge Ski Hill on the last school day before Christmas break. After having to cancel this event due to inclement weather last year, we are so pleased that our students were able to hit the hill in their skis and snowboards! Thank you to our Hot Lunch parents for coordinating a delicious meal at the hill! Thank you to Mr. Castle for his help in coordinating this trip for our students.

Another way to stay connected: Follow EIPS on Twitter and Facebook

With 43 schools and close to 17,400 students, there’s a wealth of events, activities and stories taking place across the Division every day. You can find these stories and more by following Elk Island Public Schools on both Facebook and Twitter. Each uses the combination of news articles, videos and photographs that showcases the latest news, updates, events and alerts taking place across the Division.

Plus, if you’re a member of an EIPS school community and want to share in the storytelling, simply tag the Division using #EIPS.

Stay in the loop, follow EIPS on Facebook and Twitter.

NOTE: Communications Services manages the Division's Facebook and Twitter accounts. 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 but does ask everyone interacting on the EIPS Facebook page to be respectful. Personal attacks and offensive language are not allowed and may be deleted.

EIPS 2020-21 Division Calendar: Now available!

The 2020-21 EIPS calendar is now available online. The calendar includes important dates during the 2020-21 school year, such as school-closure days; breaks; the first and last day of classes; professional learning days; and early dismissal days.

Highlights from the 2020-21 EIPS calendar include:

September 1 – first day of classes
November 9-13 – November break
December 23 to January 5 – Christmas break
February 1 – second semester begins
February 4-6 – Teachers’ Convention
March 29 to April 2 – spring break
June 25 – last day of classes
June 28 – last operational day before the summer break

To view the 2020-21 calendar, visit

Did you know you can sync the Division calendar to your personal calendar? You can. Simply, visit and click on “subscribe to calendar.” It’s that easy.


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