Next Step: Connect, Engage & Build Relationships
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December 7, 2015                                                  Edition 58

Remembering Our War Veterans

On November 4th, Sherwood Park Next Step was honored by the presence of Roy Teske who led us into our moment of silence by playing a heartwarming rendition of Last Post and Reveille on his trumpet. We were further privileged to have Leading Seaman, Luke Butterworth with the Canadian Armed Forces give us a thought-provoking view into the lives of our war heroes both past and present.   
Students at Fort Saskatchewan Next Step were able to view the Second World War through the eyes of Walter Tomaszewski as he shared stories and feelings regarding his experience in the war. Mr. Tomaszewski bravely fought in Europe as well as volunteered his services to go to Asia after V.E. Day. Students were then treated to the Royal Canadian Legion Service of Remembrance by the Sergeant at Arms for the Fort Saskatchewan Legion Brian Bilan. The Service of Remembrance was then followed by a lively discussion regarding Mr. Bilan's experience with the military, in peacetime, and the importance of remembering our fallen soldiers. Both Mr. Tomaszewski and Mr. Bilan shared lunch with students and staff where they continued to share more of their unique experiences and personal facts. One of the school's favorite facts was learning that Mr. Tomaszewski is the oldest living resident in Fort Saskatchewan and the oldest serving volunteer Firefighter in Canada. The local fire station in Fort Saskatchewan is named after him!

CFCW Critter Goodwill Hockey Tour 2015/16 

On November 5th, Next Step High School Vegreville partnered with Special Olympics Vegreville to host the CFCW Critters Goodwill Hockey Tour. VGO students were responsible for a variety of tasks which included making tickets, preparing bake sale items, advertising for the event, preparing the meals for the hockey teams, and working with the Special Olympic athletes. The students enthusiastically put in long hours working hard to make this event a huge success. Students also collected items for the local food bank. It was an amazing night that will be remembered for years to come! 

VGO would like to give a special thank you to Cody Machney for his steadfast effort at scouting out players for the big game!

Bullying Awareness Week

Students in Fort Saskatchewan started bullying awareness week off by watching David Bowden’s video “The Inner Net”. This inspiring video was based on a poem Bowden wrote reflecting on how we stay in constant connection with each other through technology, but yet lack a personal and physical connection with each other. After the video students discussed how they see this disconnect in their daily lives, and things that could be done to change it. One way to make a change would be through small acts of kindness.

Throughout the week, student’s focused on kindness as opposed to bullying. Students and staff filled out a nomination ballot when they saw someone in the school participate in an act of kindness. At the end of the week, the nominations were tallied up, and the winner with the most nominations received a lunch of their choosing.  Congratulations to our act of kindness winner Nicholas Korchinski!  

In addition, the Art 10 students worked on creating a school-wide art project which was called “How Do You Want to be Remembered?”. This project allowed students to express the negative feelings and words associated with being bullied then juxtaposed these words with how the students want to be remembered.
To raise awareness of bullying, students in Sherwood Park also focused on being kind. Similar to Fort Saskatchewan, students at SPO were encouraged to demonstrate random acts of kindness.  When a student or staff member witnessed a student demonstrating kindness, that person could give the student a random act of kindness nomination. At the end of the week, all of the names of students who were nominated and those who nominated will be displayed on a bulletin board to recognize their kind acts.

SPO also participated in the “How Do You Want to be Remembered?” activity.  Students filled a wall poster with negative words such as Jealous, Rumor, and Violent. Students were then given blank pieces of paper where they wrote words that reflected how they want to be remembered.  Words such as Kind, Respect, Nice etc. Students then put their words over the negative ones. Students also participated in eME (early Morning Events) which focused on Self Awareness. Activities focused on mindfulness, wellness, and thankfulness.  Any students who would like to continue with eME activities can contact Jeannie.
Students in Vegreville focused on encouraging kindness by created motivating memos that were then distributed throughout the community. 

VGO is Spreading Holiday Cheer!

Students at VGO are helping the community gear up for the Christmas Season by working with the FCSS (Family & Community Support Services) by preparing gifts for the annual Reindeer Lane.  Also this year, students will be working with one of the local senior centres to assist the residents in making and sending out Christmas Cards to their friends and families!
December 21

Winter Break Begins

December 25

Christmas Day

January 1 

New Years Day

January 4

Classes Resume

Join Us For Our Christmas Luncheons

Sherwood Park will be hosting their annual Christmas luncheon on December 10 at 11:30 am. 

Vegreville will be hosting their annual Christmas luncheon on December 10 at 11:30

Fort Saskatchewan will be hosting their annual Christmas luncheon on December 18 at 12:00.  

Parents, students, and community members are encouraged to join us for a festive lunch in celebration of the holidays!

Get the support you need and ease the stress of your diploma exams. Diploma Exam Preparation courses start in January. 

Register early to ensure your spot in the class and gain an advantage by being prepared. Details can be found here.

For the Alberta Education diploma exam schedule follow this link and select "Schedules & Significant Dates". 

Next Step's own Jeannie Lungard showed off her beautiful painting of Remembrance Day poppies created at Continuing Education's heART Paint Cafe on October 23.  Painters came out to support Sherwood Park ANAVETS; one of Canada's oldest associations who have been advocating for war veterans since 1840.

Accomplished Young Athlete Wins Gold!

Next Step Home Education is proud to announce that Mikala Cutler won the gold medal at the Skate Canada Alberta/NWT/Nunavut Sectionals Championships held in Calgary November 5-8.  This incredible win has earned Mikala a spot on the Skate Canada Alberta Junior Development Team, where she will represent our zone at the Alberta Winter Games in February!  Congratulations Mikala!

PE is Fun!!!

SPO students spent the afternoon at SALTO Gymnastics on November 19th. Students demonstrated impressive skills during this fun activity!
EIPS is excited to announce the First Annual Elk Island eSports Tournament being held December 11th from 9 am – 2:30 pm at Salisbury Composite High School in Sherwood Park.The main events for this tournament are League of Legends and Super Smash Bros. Project M. League of Legends is a 5 vs 5 game and Super Smash Bros. Project M is 1 vs 1. The entry fee to this tournament is $10 per participant.  For more information or to register to compete either as a team in League of Legends or individually in Project M visit the tournament website at
As the winter season will soon be upon us, we would like to take this opportunity to remind parents 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.
Should inclement weather conditions occur, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) will advise parents of any bus cancellations using various communications tools including: automated-telephone messages, alerts posted on and school websites, Twitter, local radio stations, and on Versatrans My Stop. Any morning bus cancellations will be posted on by 6:30 a.m.
Decisions regarding bus cancellations are guided by EIPS administrative procedures, which says: School bus service may be suspended when Environment Canada reports a temperature of -40 C including wind chill factor, in one or more regions. School bus services may also be suspended or delayed due to adverse weather or road condition and on a region-by-region or route-by-route basis.
When school bus services are suspended, schools will remain open to students. EIPS believes parents have the right and responsibility to make choices for their children based on their beliefs and perceptions of safety during times of inclement weather. Parents must use discretion when sending children to school during inclement weather, even when buses are running and schools are open.
For more information, contact Student Transportation at 780-417-8151.
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