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Bison Tales - June 12, 2020

Frederick enjoys taking care of nature! Here he is watering our office plants!

Hello Bison Families!

Did you know that the month of June is National Indigenous History Month? This month allows us to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. In this edition of the Bison Tales, we've included an article full of resources that you can explore with your family to learn more about this topic.

On a related note, we have also included some more information that can support our community in talking about racism and in finding ways that individuals can actively promote anti-racism. 

We are once again participating in another wellness challenge this week, so make sure to read all about it and to send us those pictures to

As always, don't forget to click here (or scroll to the bottom) to watch our video Bison Tales episode for this week! 

We hope that you find some time to enjoy your family in the lovely sunny weather!


Mme Hewitt & Mrs. Harding (on behalf of the Ardrossan Elementary Staff)


  • Ardrossan Wellness Challenge of the Week
  • Bottle Drive Fundraiser
  • Come Say Goodbye on June 26!
  • Graduation Celebrations & Material Return Sign Up


  • National Indigenous History Month
  • Anti-Racism Resources
  • Storytime with Superintendent Liguori 
  • Little Elk Island Adventure: Registration


  • Why Reading to Your Child Is So Important
  • Student Placements
  • 2020-21 Staffing Update
  • Summer Hours at Elk Island Public Schools


Ardrossan Wellness Challenge of the Week

This week's challenge is to get physically active. Physical health and mental health are closely linked, that's why we are challenging you to get active! Walk your dog around the block or take your longboard out for a spin! Even running through the garden hose can be great for your physical well-being!

Take a picture or a short video of you or your family with the hashtag #AELWellnessChallenge and email it to We'll add your pictures & videos to our weekly Bison Tales Video for our community to enjoy. Stay connected, stay safe, stay well!

Bottle Drive Fundraiser

Being cooped up at home can increase the volume of "stuff" we collect in our living spaces. Has your bottle collection been growing larger and larger the longer you stay in isolation? We have just the solution for you!

Our Ardrossan Elementary Parents Support Association (AEPSA) is collecting bottles in a trailer parked in front of the school during the last week of June 22-26. The money raised will go to funding special events in the school as well as to our playground fund. Load up your car and drop off those bottles when you have a spare moment! 

Come Say Goodbye on June 26!

We would like to invite our students and their families, to pretend that they are a bus and to drive through the bus lane between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. on June 26. Our staff will be standing on the sidewalk with signs, ready to wave and cheer for our students! We hope to see you there!

Graduation Celebrations & Material Return Sign Up

Do you have a child in Grade 6 or Kindergarten? Do you need to drop off a Chromebook or other school materials? Sign up for a time by going to and use the code: h629r.


National Indigenous History Month

Happy National Indigenous History Month! Here are some excellent resources that are available to learn more about the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous cultures in Canada. Some of these resources also include a familiar face! See if you can find Elder Wilson!

  • Click here to view a Google Slideshow of interesting videos all about Indigenous peoples created by Elk Island Public Schools.
  • Canadian Geographic, under the excellent direction of Charlene Bearhead, has created resources to support learning during this month. Besides their regular content Canadian Geographic will begin to post lesson ideas K-12 (French and English), to showcase Indigenous Peoples in Canada. New content will be uploaded regularly throughout the month of June. 
  • First Nations Child and Family Caring Society has many excellent resources in French and English. 
  • The Canadian Government has some great online resources too.

More Anti-Racism Resources

Last week, we shared some resources that might assist families in beginning to talk about racism. We know that this is topic can be tricky for many of us to navigate comfortably. Although it might feel hard to begin the the conversation, we all have to start somewhere. If you want to start talking, but don't know where to start, have a peek at some of the links below. You can find ideas of how to speak about it including a list of children's picture books that might help you ease into a dialogue with your children. 

Storytime with Superintendent Liguori

Time for another great story with our Superintendent! Follow along with Superintendent Liguori as he read us Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. 

Little Elk Island Adventure: Registration

Elk Island Public Schools is once again planning to run Little Elk Island Adventure, a fun and informative program for first-time school bus riders.

Annually, Student Transportation offers the Little Elk Island Adventure to new riders and their parents. The program’s aim is to help ease any anxieties a family may have about riding the bus before even starting school. Through a series of activities, riders learn about: school bus safety, danger zones, tips on boarding and how to sit properly on the bus. After that, both the children and parents hop on the bus to practice what they’ve learned and then venture out on a short ride.

The Little Elk Island Adventure is for first-time school bus riders entering the 2020-21 school year. The tentative session dates and times are as follows:

 Location                                                    Date                                              Time

EIPS Central Services                              August 18                                         6 p.m.
EIPS Central Services                              August 19                                         6 p.m.
EIPS Central Services                              August 20                                         2 p.m.
EIPS Central Services                              August 20                                         6 p.m.
EIPS Central Services                              August 24                                         9 a.m.
EIPS Central Services                              August 24                                         6 p.m.
EIPS Central Services                              August 26                                         6 p.m.

SouthPointe School                                August 25                                         2:30 p.m.
SouthPointe School                                August 25                                         6 p.m.

NOTE: Date and time may change depending on the phase of the province’s relaunch strategy.

EIPS Central Services is located at 683 Wye Rd., Sherwood Park
SouthPointe School is located at 11 SouthPointe Blvd., Fort Saskatchewan

Register Now Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

More information about busing for kindergarten children is available at:


Why Reading To Your Child is So Important

Reading to your child is an important way to build up vocabulary and background knowledge. Everything children see, hear and touch adds to the information they access to make sense of written words. 

Did you know that if you read to your child each day for 20 minutes you can increase their vocabulary by 1.6 million words per year? Research also shows that children who are read to at least three times a week by a family member are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to children who are read to less than 3 times a week. (Denton, Kristen and Gerry West, Children’s Reading and Mathematics Achievement in Kindergarten and First Grade (PDF file), U.S. Department of Education, NCES, Washington, DC, 2002.)

Here are some great resources that may help you to learn more about reading to children at home:

Student Placements 

We know that our families are already thinking ahead to the next school year and wondering about placements and staffing. Hopefully we will back to school in the fall! Parents and students will be informed of class placements in the June 26 report cards.

As we have shared in previous Bison Tales, we ask for your support in trusting us to make decisions on student placements into classrooms. We take this task seriously and consider many factors when determining our class lists. If you would like to share an exceptional circumstance that will impact your child, please send an email to Helene Hewitt at 

In order to be in compliance with FOIP regulations, class lists will not be posted publicly in the fall, therefore it will be important for you to view your child's report card in order to determine their classroom for next year. Student report cards can be accessed through the Parent Portal in Powerschool.

2020-2021 Staffing Update

This is preliminary staffing and class sizes information only. Due to increasing or decreasing enrollments, these configurations may change over the course of the summer. We are continuing to work on staffing positions and will share more information in the final year end update. Based upon the current information we have, staffing and class configurations for the 2020-2021 school year will be as follows:

French Immersion Classes (student #)

  • Kindergarten Mme Bouchard (21)
  • Grade 1 Mme Rovensky (27)
  • Grade 2 M Tomaszewicz (25)
  • Grade 3 Mme. Proulx (31)
  • Grade 4 Mme Krys (32)
  • Grade 5 M Castle (18)
  • Grade 6 M Wandji (27)

 English Classes (student #)

  • Kindergarten Mrs. Belcourt  (21 & 23)
  • Grade 1  Mrs. Samaratunga (23)
  • Grade 1  Mrs. Gilliland (23) 
  • Grade 2  Mrs. Hill (25)
  • Grade 2  Mrs. Brady (25)
  • Grade 3  Mrs. Kent (21)
  • Grade 3  Mrs. Klippenstein & Mrs. Ruptash  (20)
  • Grade 4  Mrs. Grauman (25)
  • Grade 4  Mr. Jeffries (26)
  • Grade 5  Mrs. McBride  (27)
  • Grade 5  Unknown Temporary teacher (28) - until Mrs. Massel returns
  • Grade 6  Mr. Campbell (28)
  • Grade 6  Mr. Halbert  (28)
  • Music  Mrs. Pretzlaff 
  • PALS Mrs. Drechsel

Office Team

  • Principal Mme Hewitt
  • Assistant Principal Mrs. Harding
  • Counsellor Mrs. Bashaw - until Mme Mitchell returns
  • Secretary Mrs. Shackleton
  • Business Manager Mrs. Pearson

We know you join with us in extending best wishes to the staff who are leaving us at the end of June:

  • Mme Fafard has accepted a French Immersion teaching position at Heritage Hills Elementary;
  • Mrs. Robinson has accepted a PALS teaching position with Pine Street Elementary;
  • Ms. Budney, Mr. Jap, Ms. Kommant and Ms. Wilson have taught students under temporary contracts this year and we hope teaching positions will become available in 2020-21; and 
  • Mrs. Falk, Mrs. Olsen, Mrs. Peter, and M. Gnoan have completed their temporary contacts as Educational Assistants for this year.

We have been fortunate to have these staff members share their gifts and talents with our students and we sincerely hope they will find future employment working in schools with children. Each staff member that leaves Ardrossan, takes a bit of "Bison Pride" with them! 

As the staffing process continually changes, we will keep you informed. 

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