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Bison Tales - September 27, 2019

A smiling face after a fun week of learning!

As the first month of school draws to a close, I've been thinking a lot about student success. I wonder what factors are at the heart of success. Is it the raw talents and skills that students possess before they come to school? Is it the foundation provided to them from a loving home? Is it the techniques and knowledge of a great teacher? Is it all of those factors combined?

If you dip into recent educational research, you may notice that there is much talk about grit. Grit is the ability to stick with something, even when it is hard, not fun or time consuming. It is the idea of persevering no matter what in order to achieve a long term goal. Angela Lee Duckworth, psychologist and researcher, describes grit as "living life as a marathon not a sprint" and she pinpoints it as the key factor to long term success. 

Duckworth learned that "grittier" kids were significantly more likely to graduate and to experience success in future life goals. If grit is the key to success, how can we foster it in our students? 

The answer may lie in the idea of having a growth mindset. Having the underlying beliefs that you can get smarter through effort, practice and reflection is the definition of having a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is just the opposite - a belief that you are stuck as you are and that there is no hope for change. If we help students to perceive challenges as opportunities and failures as stepping stones to learning, we are fostering their grit. 

As the year progresses, we invite you to help your child to develop a growth mindset. Some simple things you can do include thinking about the language you use when praising your child. If we praise children for being smart, it promotes a fixed mindset. If we praise effort, talk about the brain, and celebrate mistakes as learning, we help kids to have a growth mindset. For more ideas, you can look here.

We look forward to fostering more opportunities to practice new skills, to work hard, and to make mistakes as we learn together this year. We know that together, we can ensure success for all!

Helene Hewitt, Acting Principal  

Great Happens Here


Week At a Glance


  • Orange Shirt Day - September 30
  • Read Our Family Handbook


  • Halloween Family Dance This Friday, October 4
  • Read In Week - October 7 to 10
  • Girl Guides in Ardrossan
  • Babysitters Stay Safe Courses


  • Staying Safe - Classroom Visitors & Volunteers 
  • Fire Inspection - A Huge Success!
  • Getting Ready for Halloween - Costume Considerations
  • Parents Make the Difference 


  • Orange Shirt Day
  • An amazing day of learning!
  • Early Dismissal (2:14 p.m.)
  • Just your average learning day!
  • Bison Tales posted by 3 p.m.
  • Halloween Family Dance 6 to 8:30 p.m.


Orange Shirt Day - Every Child Matters - September 30

In 1973, six-year-old Phyllis Webstad attended her first day at St. Joseph's Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C. Her grandmother had given her a new, bright orange shirt for the occasion. When she arrived at school, the staff cut her hair and forced her to change her clothes. Her new shirt was taken away and she never got it back. 

"The colour orange has always reminded me of that, and how my feelings didn't matter, how no one cared, and how I felt I was worth nothing," said Phyllis, forty years later. when she first shared her story publicly, people who heard her speak were deeply moved - and the idea of Orange Shirt Day was born.

September 30 was chosen as the date for Orange Shirt Day because September is the month when Indigenous children were taken from their families to attend Residential Schools. 

As a way of honouring the tens of thousands of Residential School Survivors, Ardrossan Elementary students, staff and community members are invited to wear orange shirts on September 30 as a way of showing that "every child matters".

Read Our Family Handbook

Did you know that our school has a Family Handbook that outlines our beliefs, policies and processes at the school? Curious about the bell schedule? Wonder about what the Leader in Me program is all about? Need information on our student code of conduct? You can find all of that information in our Ardrossan Elementary Family Handbook


Halloween Family Dance This Friday, October 4

We are inviting all of the little ghosts, goblins and ghouls to join us in the gym from 6 to 8:30 p.m. for our Halloween Family Dance. Come in a costume of your choice and be prepared to dance the night away in your socked feet! (No shoes in the gym, please!)

The dance will feature a concession, quarter raffles, and quarter song requests with proceeds going to our Ardrossan Elementary Parent Support Association (AEPSA) for our playground replacement fund. 

We hope to see you there for a spooky good time!

Read In Week - October 7 to 10

We are excited to participate in Read In Week from October 7 to 10. This week is a celebration of reading and the importance of literacy in your life. This year, our events include:

  • Poppin' Hot Reads Contest - students submit a book rating of books they read that week into a draw and can win some great prizes
  • Visit from Canadian author Robert Feagan in the morning on October 9 for all students
  • Classroom visits from guest readers including Mrs. Shirley Mischuk (former librarian of Ardrossan Elementary), Mrs. Cathy Allan (former principal of Salisbury Composite High School) and students from Ardrossan Junior Senior High School
  • Family Read Together Picnic - parents/guardians come to school to read with students over lunch recess

We will share more information about this exciting week as we get closer to the date!

Girl Guides in Ardrossan

Join Guiding in Ardrossan girls ages 5-17 welcome. Girl Guides is an all-access pass to unlimited adventures, countless confidence-building moments and ready-for-anything skills. Guiding is where girls shine as they take the lead and explore new challenges designed just for them – all with the support of girls and women who cheer them on every step of the way. It’s all part of our formula for empowering every girl to be everything she wants to be. For more information call or text Sarah 780-691-3023.

Babysitters/Stay SAFE Courses

For teens in Canada who want to become babysitters, our course is a great first step. The qualification shows that you are responsible, knowledgeable, and skilled at taking care of children. Plus, you will feel more confident about your ability to cope with any situation, including medical emergencies.
A major feature of our Alberta babysitting course is first aid. The course covers everything you need to know to deal with different types of emergencies and to provide basic care for minor injuries. You will also learn how to take steps to prevent accidents before they happen:

  • The Check, Call, Care procedure
  • The proper way to remove gloves
  • How to put a child in recovery position
  • CPR techniques for children and for babies
  • Signs someone is choking and what to do, according to whether the person is an adult, child, or baby
  • The symptoms of common illnesses and how to react
  • Asthma training, including how to use inhalers and spacers
  • Signs someone is suffering anaphylaxis and how to respond (including the use of an EpiPen)
  • About common household substances that can lead to poisoning and what you should do if a child ingests one
  • How to care for wounds like minor cuts, scrapes, bumps, and bruises as well as life-threatening bleeding
  • How to deal with insect stings, burns, and nosebleeds
  • How to respond to head, neck, and back injuries and broken bones
  • The procedure for seizures

The dates for the Stay SAFE! Course are September 29th, October 20th and 26th, November 17th, December 1st, 15th and 21st.

The dates for the Babysitting Course are September 28th, October 19th and 27th, November 16th and 30th, December 14th and 22nd.

The cost for the Stay Safe Course is $65.00
The cost for the Babysitter Course is $65.00

To register, call 780-643-6163 or go to and look under the Courses tab, then to Youth Courses!

These courses are run right through The Western Institute of Emergency Education at the Sherwood Park training centre, #232-2755 Broadmoor Blvd.


Staying Safe: Classroom Visitors and Volunteers

Did you know that schools are not considered public buildings? Our school is designed to be a safe learning space for our students while we care for them as if we were their parents. It is their home away from home. For that reason, we have procedures in place to ensure that we monitor who is in our school.

If you are visiting the building, please sign in at the office and collect a visitor lanyard. If staff see you wearing a lanyard, they know that you are supposed to be here. Staff are required to ask if they can help you if you are in the building without identification. 

Volunteers are an amazing part of our school community and we could not function without them! Did you know that we require volunteers to sign confidentiality agreements and to complete security checks? Student privacy matters to us and by signing an agreement, volunteers commit to not sharing private information about students and their learning when volunteering. 

We ask that you communicate with your child's teacher if you would like to volunteer in the classroom. Having parents dropping in unexpectedly to the classroom is disruptive to learning and so we ask that you make arrangements with the teacher before dropping in. 

If you need to drop off a lunch or other forgotten items, please do so at the office and we will call the student down to pick it up. When you arrive to pick up a student at the end of the day or for an appointment, please do so at the office instead of going to the classroom. Your respect for the students and their learning is appreciated! Together, we create a safe and caring learning environment!

Fire Inspection - A Huge Success

We are proud to share that we had a very successful fire inspection last week. We met all safety regulations and requirements with flying colours! Thank you to all community members for continuing to put student safety as a priority. 

Getting Ready for Halloween

Halloween is a fun time in elementary schools! We enjoy seeing our students prowl the hallways in their costumes and the energy in the building is full of fun and excitement. 

When preparing your child's costume we ask that you keep in mind a few criteria to ensure that the day is fun and safe for all. Please refrain from sending weapons (plastic swords, nerf guns, etc.) to school with costumes. We know that they help to complete the "look" of the costume. However, some community members may feel unsafe with weapons at school as some replicas look very real. Also, students have a hard time resisting the urge to play fight with weapons which can then result in unintended injuries. Please keep those play weapons at home for trick or treating!

We also ask that you consider the level of scariness for an elementary aged community. Sometimes our smallest students can be afraid of graphic or particularly gruesome makeup. If you have a truly scary costume, we ask you to save it for the evening and to wear a more PG costume at school. 

Finally, when sending treats to school, please remember that we have many students with life-threatening allergies to peanuts. We are a nut aware school and so we ask that you keep peanut products at home to ensure a safe and fun Halloween for all! 

Parents Make the Difference

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


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