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Bison Tales - October 1, 2021

This week we had a chance to reflect on how we can all contribute to acts of Truth and Reconciliation as a part of Orange Shirt Day. Our students had opportunities to learn more about residential schools and some of the sadder parts of Canada's history in a safe and supportive environment. Classes shared their thoughts on paper hearts or orange shirts and had a chance to visit a reflective display in Ms. Kowalchuk's mental health capacity building classroom. We also participated in a school wide virtual assembly. You can view the assembly video by clicking here.

As our students wrestle with this tricky topic, we make it a priority to remind students that they are not responsible for this history. Our role is to understand what happened and why it happened so that we can move forward in a way that honours and respects all treaty people. We learn so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past and so that we can become part of the solution.

I had a chance to do some reflecting of my own yesterday. Like many adults, I am still surprised that all of this information was unknown to me through all of my childhood and adult life until only a few years ago. As a fellow human being, I am heartbroken at the hardships that our fellow Indigenous communities have had to shoulder for so long.

Yesterday I watched a news report about many up and comers from various First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. There are incredible artists, writers, dancers, speakers, comedians, and leaders speaking out from Indigenous communities across Canada. I am humbled by their tenacity and resilience as well as the strong voice of hope that they convey. Watching communities reclaiming their stories, songs, languages and culture is nothing short of inspirational.

Although we have much to learn from our past, I see a better and brighter future as voices from the various First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities are being lifted up. Representation matters and seeing the current and future leaders of Indigenous communities finding more places in government, entertainment, the sciences, and private enterprise makes me hopeful for the future. 

If you'd like to learn more about inspiring Indigenous voices in Canada, you can find more information at these websites:

Indigenous History-Makers

15 Indigenous People to Know in Canada

The Best Medicine - 10 Indigenous Comedians Using Humour for Healing

Great Happens Here!

Helene Hewitt & Kyla Harding

Principal & Assistant Principal

Table of Contents

Week At a Glance


  • Municipal Election 2021: Vote October 18
  • Improving Home-School Communication
  • Pay School Fees Online!


  • Tidbits from the Lunchbox
  • Read In Week
  • Canadian Parents for French Meeting
  • It is Almost Time for our Virtual Book Fair
  • Picture Retakes Coming Soon!


  • October is Dyslexia Awareness Month
  • Celebrating World Teachers' Day - October 5
  • EIPS Operational Guidelines Updates
  • Parents Make the Difference 


  • Read In Week begins!
  • Start tracking minutes read at home in your child's agenda starting today!
  • First day of Hot Lunch service
  • Virtual CPF meeting @ 7 p.m. You can join us at this link
  • Keep tracking how many minutes you read at home for our 100 000 minute Reading Challenge!
  • Early dismissal day
  • Track those minutes!
  • Grade 1 field trip to Prairie Gardens
  • Keep tracking minutes read at home!
  • Read to Your Stuffy Day - bring a stuffed toy!
  • Last day to track minutes read at home!
  • Bison Tales posted online


Municipal Election 2021: Vote October 18

The next municipal election, which includes the election of local school board trustees, takes place on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. It’s your opportunity to get involved in public education by casting your vote for a public school trustee.

EIPS Trustee Election information

EIPS Trustee Candidate List

Electors can cast their votes for municipal candidates—mayors, reeves, councillors, as applicable—and school board trustee candidates—public or separate. Voting stations are typically open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Each municipality conducts the election for its residents and establishes formal voting station hours and procedures.

To learn more about election day procedures in your area, including opportunities for advance voting and voting by special ballot, visit:

County of Minburn

Fort Saskatchewan

Lamont County

Strathcona County

Town of Bruderheim

Town of Lamont

Town of Mundare

Town of Vegreville

Village of Andrew

Village of Chipman

Improving Home-School Communication

To enhance communication between families and schools, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) has developed a how-to guide entitled, “Communication Protocol for Schools.” Topics include appropriate channels to use, standard formats and structures, timing and sequencing for regular and ongoing home-school communication, and ways to bring forward questions or concerns. The guide also offers useful tools and resources schools and families can use to enhance face-to-face meetings, email communication and various social media efforts.

Communication Protocol for Schools

Pay School Fees Online!

School fee information for the 2021-22 school year is now posted on the PowerSchool Parent Portal. All fees are due within 30 days of being posted. To access your fee information, simply log in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal and go to “Student Fees.” There you can view your fees and pay them online using Visa, MasterCard or debit card—when available from your financial institution.

Don’t forget to also log in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal regularly throughout the year. Fees are often added to your child’s account to cover the cost of various school activities such as field trips, class projects, extracurricular activities fees and more.

If circumstances exist where you are unable to pay your fees, you can apply to have fees waived by submitting an Application for a Waiver of Fees. The application deadline is Dec. 15, 2021.

For more information about school fees, waivers and payment deadlines, visit and the fees section of our website. Alternatively, contact Tanya Suprovich, Business Manager, at Ardrossan Elementary at 780-922-2066.


Tidbits from the Lunchbox

The first week of hot lunch service kicks off on Monday! Watch for your weekly order reminder in your email every Sunday. 

On Monday the November menu will be live for ordering and the deadline for orders and payments will be October 14.

Please check your child's backpack as information regarding our annual Little Caesar's Pizza Kit fundraiser was sent home today! Ordering is from October 1-15 and the pizza kits will arrive November 4 for pickup from 3pm-6pm for you to distribute to your friends and family members that ordered. As always we will have prizes for the Top 3 Families that sell the most pizza kits so get out there and sell! 

The Lunchbox

Read In Week 2021 - October 4-8

Read In Week returns on October 4. This year’s theme: “To Each Their Own Story.” Through various activities, students will spend the week learning ways to tell their own stories and how stories have the power to teach lessons, broaden perspectives and foster empathy. Some of the activities planned for Read In Week include:

Staff Picks

What books do our staff like to read? Each staff member will share their favourite book during the morning announcements each day of the week! Maybe students will discover some new titles? 

The 100 000 Minute Reading Challenge 

Can our Bison community read for at grand total of 100 000 minutes throughout the week? Classes will track the number of minutes they have read collectively each day and add them to the whole school total! As we reach different benchmarks for minutes read, we will win prizes for the whole school:

  • 50 000 minutes = 5 minutes added on to last recess for a day!
  • 60 000 minutes = Hat Day!
  • 70 000 minutes = 10 minute dance party as a whole school (music over intercom!)
  • 80 000 minutes = No homework for one night!
  • 90 000 minutes = Pajama Day!
  • 100 000 minutes = One free period in class (students have flex time to engage in fun activities)

Tongue Twister Challenge of the Day

Each morning we will feature a tongue twister in the morning announcements for students to try. This is a fun way to practice phonemic awareness and fluency!

DEAR - Drop Everything and Read

We will randomly announce it is DEAR time on the intercom throughout the week! Students are encouraged to bring their books with them wherever they go so that they can stop and read!

Virtual Readers & Guest Readers

Students will access virtual readers in a Bitmoji classroom as well as have an in person read aloud with Mrs. Hewitt, Mrs. Harding, Mrs. Bashaw and Ms. Kowalchuk throughout the week! We will also welcome the Honorable Minister Glubish as a guest virtual reader in the Grade 6 classrooms. 

Get Caught Reading

Students can receive tickets when they are "caught" reading that will go in a prize draw! We will announce winners on October 12.

Read to Your Stuffy

Students are invited to bring their favourite stuffed toy as their reading buddy for the day!

Read In Week is a division wide initiative held annually to encourage a lifelong love of reading and to enhance literacy awareness among students, staff, families and community members. Ardrossan Elementary invites all families to participate in Read In Week by reading yourself, with your child or with someone in the community.

Don’t forget to share what you’ve learned. Throughout the week, you can post your own stories about Read In Week using the hashtag #eipsreads.

For more information visit and

Canadian Parents for French (CPF) - October 4 AGM

Is your child in French Immersion? Do you like planning events like Carnaval and the year end BBQ? If your answer is yes, please join us for our first Canadian Parents for French meeting of the year!

This group of dedicated parents meets to talk about French Immersion, provide supports for students from kindergarten all the way to Grade 12 such as money to challenge the DELF exam for French language credentials that can be used for post-secondary and employment purposes!

Meetings take place every 2nd month. Everyone is bienvenue! 

To join the virtual meeting please use this link which will also be posted in our yellow notice banner on the top of our webpage the day of the meeting!

It is Almost Time for our Virtual Book Fair

While we are not able to host a in person Book Fair, we are thrilled to yet again offer a virtual Book Fair experience for families starting on October 12! This win-win opportunity enables your family to access more great quality books while allowing our school to raise money to purchase new books for our library!

Soon you will be able to explore exciting new books to enhance your home library and inspire the young readers in your life! Hundreds of books, carefully chosen to delight kids of all reading levels, will be waiting for you when our virtual doors open!

  • REMEMBER! Every purchase earns valuable Book Fair Rewards that can be used to support our students.
  • Shop any time! Your fair is open 24 hours, beginning at midnight on your start date!
  • No shipping fees! Orders are sent directly to our school. *Free shipping where available, some restrictions may apply

Visit this website for more information!

Ms. Thompson 

Library Technician

Picture Re-takes

Don't forget that picture retakes take place on October 12 and 13! If you need to get your picture redone, polish up your smile for then!


October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

Did you know that October is Dyslexia Awareness Month? Dyslexia is a hereditary disability that makes it difficult to read, write or spell. According to, 1 in 5 kids struggle with dyslexia in Canada.

Over October, buildings and monuments across Canada will light up red in support of the 20% of the population who live with dyslexia. This year's theme is Empowering Voices which hopes to inspire young people across Canada to be proud that they are #PoweredByDyslexia and to provide a platform for young voices to be heard. Helping to empower these voices will allow those with dyslexia to learn how to self-advocate for their educational needs.

To learn more about dyslexia and to find resources available for parents, you can visit: Dyslexia Canada

Celebrating World Teachers' Day - October 5

October 5 is World Teachers’ Day! Launched in 1994 by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually around the world as a way to recognize teachers and the integral role they play in providing quality education to students. On October 5, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) encourages all of its students, parents and community members to show their appreciation for their teachers and the positive impact they make on our lives.

EIPS extends its heartfelt thank you to all Division teachers for their dedication, hard work and commitment in guiding and educating students through their kindergarten to Grade 12 years.

EIPS Operational Guideline Updates

As the pandemic continues to evolve, so do the EIPS Operational Guidelines. Make sure to continue to check them by visiting this link

Of note, a recent update was made on p. 19 in regards to visitors, volunteers and service providers entering EIPS as follows:

Visitors, volunteers and contractors are permitted in the school or workplace as long as they have a specific reason for being there and follow the site-visitor protocol—appointments are recommended. As well, anyone entering an EIPS school or building must complete the COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist, sign the visitor log and sanitize hands. Masks are mandatory in all schools, buses and EIPS-operated buildings. For deliveries, offload at the designated location. 

All EIPS schools require proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test result, from volunteers. The negative COVID-19 test must be a privately paid COVID-19 PCR or rapid test and completed within 72 hours. No school will accept a test result from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories.

If you are volunteering, connect with Mrs. Hewitt or Mrs. Harding at the front office. You simply show your proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test and valid ID and you are good to go! For those who show a proof of vaccination, you will only be required to show that proof once and we will note it in our records.

Questions? Feel free to contact Mme Hewitt directly at 780-922-2066.

Parents Make the Difference

Each month we will include some articles with some great tips and strategies for parents. Here is this month's featured article:

Research shows that goofing off builds your child’s brain

Kids missed out on a lot during the pandemic. As a result, many families are enrolling their children in a variety of extracurricular activities this school year. But signing up for too many structured activities could rob your child of an important chance for some “goofing off” time.

Studies show that even when kids’ brains are in a “resting” state—that is, not being fed a formal stream of instruction—they’re still active. It’s just that they’re learning in a different way. So, just because your child may not look busy, it doesn’t mean his brain isn’t busy!

To provide some brain-boosting downtime for your child:

  • Let him be bored sometimes. Don’t race to solve your child’s every “There’s nothing to do!” whimper. Instead, challenge him to figure out how to fill the time himself. Who knows? It might be just the spark his brain needs to come up with something innovative!
  • Turn off digital devices. It’s easy to hand your child a smartphone or tablet to occupy his downtime. But consistently doing so robs his brain of a chance to actively acquire information (instead of being “fed” information by a screen). What if he looked out the car window, not at an app, during your next drive? What might his mind take in?

Reprinted with permission from the October 2021 issue of Parents make the difference!®  (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2021 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: L. Waters, Ph.D., “How Goofing Off Helps Kids Learn,” The Atlantic.

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