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Bison Tales - January 14, 2022

Stretching out with a good book!

This week was the first time that I have wished I owned a Zamboni! Thank you to everyone, staff, students and families who braved the icy roads to come to school. For those of you who couldn't make it out of your residence without strapping skates onto your car, thank you for staying safe at home! 

We have much for which to feel grateful this week. I would like to thank our amazing staff who strapped on ice cleats and a bag of ice melt to make sure the sidewalks were safe for students on Thursday. We also had many staff who helped to fill in for colleagues stuck in the traffic jam on the highway. On top of all of that, we had an amazing army of staff working together to fill Ziplock bags with masks and test kits for each student in the school! It was inspiring to see everyone working together, smiles on faces, to get the job done! Pack up over 600 packages in one day? No problem for the Ardrossan team! 

Finally, we need to acknowledge the incredible work being done by our terrific office duo, Mrs. McNeely and Mrs. Suprovich over the past month. They answer phones, process payments, order supplies, apply First Aid and ice packs, give out cups to students without water bottles, drop off lunches in classrooms, and answer a bazillion questions about illness without losing their sense of humour and cheerful disposition. They truly keep our ship afloat!

We hope that the weekend gives everyone a moment to take a breath and rest up for the next week of excitment! 

Great Happens Here!

Helene Hewitt & Kyla Harding

Principal & Assistant Principal

Table of Contents

Week At a Glance


  • Stay at Home Guidelines
  • Kindergarten Registration Starts Soon
  • Returning Student Registration


  • Fee Survey
  • Have Your Say! EIPS Wants to Hear from You!
  • Alberta Education e-Tutoring


  • Inclement Weather
  • Literacy Update
  • Parents Make the Difference 


  • Colour Week begins! Blue Day
  • Canadian Parents for French virtual meeting @ 7 p.m. - Meeting Link
  • Colour Week - Purple Day
  • Colour Week - Green Day
  • Colour Week - Yellow Day
  • Colour Week - Red Day
  • Bison Tales posted online


When Should You Keep Your Child(ren) at Home?

With the ever changing healthy and safety guidelines, it is easy to be confused of what to do when it comes to illness and staying home. We get confused too!

Thankfully, Elk Island Public Schools has prepared this handy one page document called the Parent Stay At Home Guide. Simply answer the questions and follow the chart to figure out if and when your child can come to school. If you have questions, you can always call the front office and we'll do our best to help!

Kindergarten Registration Starts Soon!

Is your child turning five on or before Dec. 31, 2022? If so, it’s almost time to register for kindergarten.

Kindergarten registration opens for the 2022-23 school year on Feb. 1, 2022.

To help families prepare, Elk Island Public Schools has put together an online EIPS Kindergarten Tool kit 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 Ardrossan’s kindergarten program is available at by clicking here.

Returning Student Registration for 2022-23

Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) will once again conduct an online returning student registration process to confirm student registrations for the 2022-23 school year. Families of all returning students must complete the process to confirm the school their child plans to attend in the 2022-23 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 2022-23 returning student registration takes place between Feb. 1-28, 2022.

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, 2022.

Create a PowerSchool Parent Portal account

For more information, contact the school directly.


Ardrossan Elementary School Fees for 2022-2023

Your Ardrossan Elementary leadership team is looking for your feedback on a few topics for next year! Mme Hewitt and Mrs. Harding would like to hear your thoughts about fees, agendas, and field trips for the 2022-2023 school year. Please fill out this survey so that your voice can be heard! Your feedback will influence the fees for the 2022-2023 school so don’t miss this great opportunity to share your thoughts!

Have your say, EIPS wants to hear from you!

Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) wants to hear from you to gain a deeper understanding of your confidence in the Division and its strategic direction. As such, it’s launched a new annual survey entitled, EIPS Year in Review: Stakeholder Confidence Survey—open January 6-18.

The survey covers a range of topics, including student growth and achievement, learning supports, teaching and leading, governance, and resource allocations. The information gathered will help EIPS:

  • assess stakeholder confidence—families, staff, Grade 12 students and community members;
  • gather input to guide future decision-making;
  • gather feedback to enhance its Four-Year Education Plan; and
  • provide a platform for families, students, staff and community members to have a voice in ensuring high-quality, student-centred learning environments in EIPS schools.

EIPS will share the results in the Annual Education Results Report 2021-22.

Survey closes Jan. 18, 2022

 NOTE: EIPS encourages everyone to respond honestly. Your identity and answers are confidential and cannot be linked in any way to you or your child’s school. Grade 12 students will have an opportunity to complete the survey at school. Families who do not want their child to complete the survey simply need to advise their child’s school.

Alberta e-Tutoring Now Available

Are you looking for some free online tutorials? Alberta Education has begun posting regular e-Tutoring videos to support learning at home. Click here to check them out!


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 the Ride 360 and Bus Status apps.

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 conditions.

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 they feel is safest during times of inclement weather.

For more information, contact EIPS Student Transportation at 780-417-8151.

Literacy Update

Now that January is here, we will begin our second round of reading screener assessments. As you may be aware, we assess all students in three areas of reading three times a year using norm-referenced tests. We want to know how students are doing when it comes to:

  1. decoding (being able to sound out words and apply phonics rules to read pseudo-words);
  2. fluency (reading seamlessly and rapidly)
  3. comprehension (understanding what you read) 

We track this data over the course of the year with the goal of seeing as many students reach grade level reading targets as possible. We also look to see that growth in skills is happening and if not, we look at what we need to do differently in order to better help our students to grow as readers.

We will also complete the STAR reading assessment this month, which is done on a Chromebook or iPad. In this assessment, students read questions and answer multiple choice questions online. Each question is timed and students continue answering questions that get harder with each correct response and easier with incorrect responses. We use this data as additional information to help us to understand if a student is making good gains in reading. 

Parents Make the Difference

Throughout the year we will include some articles with some great tips and strategies for parents. Here is this week's featured article:

Make your family read-aloud time a success with these tips

Some parents stop reading aloud as soon as their children learn to read. But reading aloud can continue to be fun,  and it builds reading skills, too.

To make your read-aloud time successful:

  • Do it every day. When you read aloud with your child daily, you demonstrate that reading time is much too important to miss.
  • Pick a regular time. When reading is already part of your daily routine, you won’t have to think about trying to fit it into a hectic day. Choose a time when your child will be most receptive, such as after playing outside or before bed.
  • Read the book first—before you read it aloud. Reading aloud is performing. You’ll do a better job if you’re familiar with what you’re going to read. Previewing a book may also keep you from getting bogged down in a book that neither you nor your child enjoys.
  • Read books you like. If you like a book, odds are your child will, too. Start by reading books you enjoyed as a child. Often, your enjoyment will be contagious!
  • Emphasize the first line. The first line of any good story will grab the reader’s attention. Your reading should make your child want to sit up and listen.
  • Use facial expressions. Widen your eyes to show surprise. Squint a bit to show you’re thinking.
  • Leave your child wanting more. Stop your day’s reading at a point where you are both eager to hear what happens next.

Reprinted with permission from the January 2022 issue of Parents make the difference!®  (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2022 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

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