Next Step: Connect, Engage & Build Relationships
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Newsbite 74                                                                         November 10, 2016
Everyone benefits from being engaged in trusting, healthy relationships. When parents ask 'How was your day?' The response we get is usually 'Fine'. This is probably not what we are looking for. So in an effort to dig deeper family connections we will provide ideas for a more meaningful conversation. For the remainder of the school year our Newsbites will include thoughtful, engaging questions/topics for you as families to participate in daily conversations with one another at home. Include times in your day when you have the ability to focus your full attention to generate a more dynamic discussion. A couple of suggestions for times to have these conversations are: dinner and driving in the car.
Question: What did you learn about yourself today?
Question: What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
Tips for a respectful conversation:
Don’t interrupt. This is a good rule for any conversation, but especially if you want to get a lot information from each other.
Ask for more. Simply say, “I’d love to hear more about that…” Or, “Can you expand on that a little?”
Ask about feelings. After someone describes an experience, ask, “How did you feel in that moment? What did you notice about your feelings?”
Thank them for sharing with you. Always appreciate the honesty and willingness to share the highlights and bright spots, as well as the difficult moments. This will fuel confidence in sharing more in the future.
Lest We Forget
Fort Saskatchewan was once again honored to have Walter Tomaszewski and Brian Bilan join their Remembrance Day ceremony. Mr. Tomaszewski shared his stories of bravery during the Second World War as well has his volunteer service. Mr. Bilan, a member of the Fort Saskatchewan Legion and Sergeant at Arms, explained the importance of remembering our fallen soldiers.
In Sherwood Park Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Ian Nicol shared his vast experiences in the Canadian Military. Students also participated by reading "In Flanders Fields" and emceeing the ceremony.
Vegreville Outreach had Rod Stewart, popular speaker from the Royal Canadian Legion come to speak at the school this year. The ceremony included a reflection exercise that helped students connect Remembrance Day with active peace-making. 
Get Fit, Get Active
At Next Step Schools we believe in healthy lifestyles. Check your school to see what activities are available for you. Don't see what you are looking for? Contact the staff at your school to make a suggestion.
Fort Saskatchewan
November 23 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Floor Hockey
November 30 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
All students are welcome to participate in these exciting activities. Contact Danielle or Alena for more information.
Sherwood Park
November 23 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Racquet Sports
November 30 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Racquet Sports
Focus your energy on yourself and discover the benefits of yoga. Every Friday from 1:30 to 2:30 Amy Winters guides students through the beginning movements to more advanced levels. All students are encouraged to try at least one class. See Susan for more details.
Hot Lunch
In keeping with building our community and a safe and caring school, we are pleased to offer our students a weekly home-made hot lunch! We accommodate a variety of dietary needs and healthy choices throughout the year.
Want to earn credits?
High School students are encouraged to participate in preparing the menu and meals, which can be used towards obtaining Foods and/or Volunteer credits. Bon Appetite!
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings the Vegreville Breakfast Club provides a snack box to all schools in Vegreville. This snack box is available for all students at our school. One of the many benefits of a healthy lifestyle!
Credits for cooking! 
Want to learn more about planning a healthy meals and nutrition? Cooking classes will be available soon.
Contact Tanyss or David for more information.

The Next Step Environmental Action Team (NEAT) and friends spent a fantastic day on October 27 at the University of Alberta to learn about the U of A's efforts to create a sustainable campus and to increase our school's environmental action. As part of the the U of A's Sustainable Awareness Week, our students took a sustainability tour of the campus in the morning, and learned how to compost from the City of Edmonton's Master Composter, Mark Allen-Stumpf.  At the end of the day, Next Step school was the proud owner of two composting units, and received kudos from the University of Alberta Ambassadors for our sustainability efforts, including a community kitchen, community garden and our ongoing (and growing!) environmental group at the school.
For more pictures of this fantastic field trip go to our "What's New" tab on our website:
What’s New: Sustainability Day at the U of A

You are Never Too Young for Fun

Students in Fort Saskatchewan show off their pumpkin carving skills.

On Friday October 28th Fort Saskatchewan students competed in a pumpkin carving contest. Next Step Principal Paul Pallister was the judge of the pumpkins. The competition was fierce, the carvings amazing, and Ed was left to clean up the mess! The winner will received a pizza lunch.

Winnie a Junior High student in Sherwood Park was one of the winners of the costume contest. Her Freddy Fazbear costume was completely home made right down to the Toy Bonnie.

All creatures great and small came out to celebrate Sherwood Park's Halloween Spooktacular! They started with cookie decorating and ended with a costume contest with prizes donated by Student Leadership and the RCMP. Our winners also took home some sweet Next Step toques.

David in Vegreville with students in their jammies.
Hot chocolate, jammies, and the smell of pumpkin cheesecake cooking in the oven….what could be more comfy? Vegreville Next Step is a place where students and staff can relax and learn together (even on days when we don’t wear our jammies!)

Share your Thoughts on Alberta’s Curriculum
What do you want to see in Alberta Education’s new curriculum? Recently, the province launched a survey to find out exactly that.

As many of you know, Alberta Education is currently reviewing and updating its provincial curriculum for students in Kindergarten to Grade 12. The goal: To ensure all students receive the best possible education to meet 21st century needs.

Currently, the province is developing a new curriculum for the following subjects: arts, language arts, mathematics, social studies, sciences and wellness education. It’s expected to take six years to fully implement. During this development, Alberta Education is exploring various opportunities to gather valued and meaningful feedback from all Albertans. Most recently, the province launched a fall 2016 online survey to help with decisions relating to the content for future curriculum.

There are two parts to the survey. Part A is about the general direction for the new curriculum and takes roughly five minutes to complete. Once finished, there is a Part B section that focuses on the strengths and gaps in the current curriculum. Part B is more detailed and will take anywhere between 15 minutes and 60 minutes to complete—depending on the number of subjects and grade-specific questions you choose to answer.

In addition, face-to-face engagement sessions are being hosted by the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC) from October 18 to November 18. These sessions allow parents and community members to meet and discuss the topics identified in the survey. In the Edmonton region, two sessions are being offer—on November 3 and November 10.

Survey closes Nov. 18, 2016

The survey and engagement sessions are two of many feedback opportunities the province plans to conduct. For more information on the provincial curriculum development, visit

Be Part of the Conversation!
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November 11 - Remembrance Day, School Closed

November 14 to 18 - Fall Break, School Closed

November 21 - Classes resume after fall break

The staff at Next Step Schools wish all our students and their families a safe and relaxing fall break. See you on November 21.

Thanks to everyone who attended the Sherwood Park Junior/Senior High School Council on November 8. The next council meeting will be January 17, 2017.
Normalize Being You
All students are invited to attend the GSA in Sherwood Park. Over the next couple of months, the group is planning movies and guest speakers. Informal gatherings are Tuesdays at lunch from 11:53 to 12:37. If you would like to participate but are not sure what to expect or learn more about the GSA contact Lesley.
Moodle and You
Next Step Schools have a new URL for Moodle at 
Change your bookmarks and contact your teacher if you have any difficulties logging in.
New this Year is CSL
Communicating Student Learning replaces the eLuminate report card system in the teacher directed home based learning program that we offer at Next Step. It is in its second year of a ‘pilot’ with all EIPS elementary schools participating. This means that EIPS is welcoming feedback from parents and teachers. The first term CSL report card will come out November 25th. Your comments regarding the CSL report card provide valuable feedback to those in the lead of this new reporting system. The Parent Survey Link will be made available in the Newsbite to families after CSL report cards have been sent out.
Next Step Continuing Education is offering Diploma Prep courses in all level 30 subject areas for January.
Students will:
  • review key concepts with teacher help
  • learn exam writing strategies
  • go through practice questions
  • learn tips on how to write exams
Diploma preparation help students gain a better understanding of their course, raise averages, and boost confidence as they prepare for their diploma.
To view the class schedule and register go to:
Numeracy and Literacy

This free APP free from the Centre for Family Literacy Centre for Family Literacy App may help your student and EIPS meet the outcome set for numeracy and literacy set out in their 3 year plan.

EIPS Three Year Education Plan [2015-2018]

Priority 1: Promote growth and success for all students.   

Goal 2: Success for Every Student

Outcome: More students achieve a minimum of one year’s growth in literacy and numeracy.

Did you know there is a PowerSchool App?
Download PowerSchool Mobile today on your Apple or Android device to stay connected with similar information available on the PowerSchool website. The same app can be used by both parents and students. You’ll have real-time access to attendance, upcoming assignments, grades and more. Sign-up for push notifications to stay up to date.

Links to download PowerSchool Mobile are available from the PowerSchool parent or student portals or directly from the App Store or Google Play. Use the Elk Island Public Schools district code, HXWF, and your PowerSchool portal username and password to login to the app. The first time you login, or if you haven’t used the app in a while, it may take three to five minutes for the app to load completely as it accesses all of your data from the PowerSchool server.

More information, links to download the app and a copy of the PowerSchool Mobile app user guide are available at
Inclement Weather
If 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, Facebook, local radio stations and on Versatrans My Stop. All morning bus cancellations will be posted on by 6:30 a.m.

Decisions regarding bus cancellations are guided by EIPS administrative procedures that states: “school bus service may be suspended…[when] Environment Canada reports a temperature of -40 C.” Other reasons for suspending or delaying school bus services include adverse weather and poor road condition.
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.

For more information, contact EIPS Student Transportation at 780-417-8151.
Let's talk. We all want a healthy and vibrant community. But life isn't always easy; sometimes it's complicated. So let's talk to better understand what we need as a community. Do you feel supported, safe and connected to this community? What's working well? How can we improve together? Join us in an honest conversation about creating collective solutions in our community. Share your opinion in an online survey or call us to let us know your thoughts. Your input will be used to develop a new strategic framework that will guide future policy, programs, and services.

Let’s Talk 780-464-4044

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