Next Step: Connect, Engage & Build Relationships
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Newsbite 72                                                                             October 14, 2016
Next Step Staff Participate
in a
Blanket Exercise
A teaching tool used to share in the historic and contemporary relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
Paul Pallister (Center) principal of Next Step schools, poses with Terry Lynn Cook (left) and Etienna Lafferty (right), presenters of the Blanket Exercise.

Part of the findings from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Call to Action mandates teacher-training relating to Canadian-Indigenous history. On October 7th Next Step staff participated in a Blanket Exercise and took on the roles of indigenous peoples in Canada by standing on blankets that represented the land formally known as Turtle Island. The staff walked through 500 years of history from pre-contact, treat-making, colonization, resistance, residential schools, the sixties scoop, to present day. They were directed through the exercise by facilitators representing a narrator and the European colonizers.

Staff participated by reading scrolls, carrying cards, and crafts that ultimately determined their outcomes in the exercise. This emotional and intellectual journey ended with a debriefing session in which they had the opportunity to discuss their experiences about the exercise.

For more information on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action please go to their website:

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

P.E./Wellness for
Fort Saskatchewan
October 19 - 1:00 to 2:30
Outdoor Obstacle Course
October 26 - 1:00 to 2:30
November 3 - 1:00 to 2:00
November 9 - 1:00 to 2:30
To participate in all these exciting activities please see Danielle or Alena to sign up.
P.E./Wellness/Yoga activities for Sherwood Park
October 19 - 12:30 to 3:00
Soccer/Frisbee/Sand Volleyball/Field Games
October 26 - 12:30 to 3:00
November 9 - 9:30 to 11:00
Strength Training/Racquet Sports
Outdoor Soccer/Frisbee/Sand Volleyball/Field Games
Yoga!  Amy Winters teaches students and staff about the benefits of yoga while guiding us through the beginning movements. All students are encouraged to try at least one class! It’s a perfect way to unwind and re-focus your energy on yourself and your wellness. See Susan for more details!
Wellness for Vegreville
Credits for cooking! Students who would like to learn more about nutrition, wellness, and the value of planning a healthy meal can sign up for the new cooking classes being offered at Vegreville. Contact Tanyss or David for more information.

Snack Box is available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. Don't forget to check it out!
Next Step Continuing Education offers a wide variety of opportunities to learn something new. This fall most evening classes will be available to youth ages 12+ when accompanied by an adult.
Here are a few ideas to get you started: Find even more inspiration for having fun together at
Paying Forward
Value of Reading
In Fort Saskatchewan Ed and Laura picked their favorite book and read an excerpt from it for a group of captive students. After which Ed and Laura explained why they enjoyed their book and discussed with the group why reading was so important to them.
Vegreville invited Constable J Gagnon, their School Resource Officer who shared some soliloquies from Hamlet and Henry V. After having read books to elementary students all morning Constable J jumped at the opportunity to read to our Vegreville students some Shakespeare, something he personally finds satisfying.
Most of the students agreed that Shakespeare is not something that comes to mind when they see a police car, and that the RCMP member they encounter may have hidden depths. Constable J reminded us all that you can’t judge a book simply by its cover!

Junior and Senior High students in Sherwood Park enjoyed teen graphic novels from around the world. Countries included Austria, England, Germany, Holland, Japan, USA, and North American Aboriginal stories. Graphic novels are stories presented in a comic-strip format and published as a book. The idea of presenting novels in this format from around the world was to encourage students to learn about other cultures. 

Elementary students in Home Education were invited to participate in a Raz-Kids Reading Blitz to earn a minimum of 50 extra bonus points. Those students not in Raz-Kids (Junior/Senior High) can pat themselves on the back for being good role models as bonus points could be earned for the elementary students.
The Orange Shirt Campaign
Staff and students in Fort Saskatchewan participated in a variety of activities for the Orange Shirt Campaign.
Every Child Matters remembers the experiences of former students of Indian Residential Schools and is a commitment to ongoing reconciliation in Canada. Originating in British Columbia, this is the third year the campaign will be running in BC and other parts of Canada, and the first coordinated effort to celebrate the campaign in Alberta.

Fort Saskatchewan recognized the day by having staff and students wear Orange shirts. Ed Gillis’ mother made the students stew and his sister Priscilla Gillis interactively taught students how to make bannock. Laura Pallister had students work on a coloring of pictures that replicated a stained glass window in Centre Block of Parliament that commemorates the legacy of former Indian Residential School students and their families. After the staff and students enjoyed the delicious stew and bannock for lunch Ed, our assistant principal, then shared with our students the history of Residential Schools and the importance of Orange Shirt Day.
Sherwood Park's Garden

Still Blooming
Nikki and Camryn take in the fall beauty of the NEAT garden located at Smeltzer House in Sherwood Park.
Be Part of the Conversation!
Follow us on
November 1 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Your Future: It's a Matter of Choice

November 2 to 9 - Diploma Exams

November 8 - 7:00 p.m. - Sherwood Park School Council Meeting
Sherwood Park Next Step Junior and Senior High would like to invite you to be a part of our School Council! Our next meeting is on November 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Normalize Being You!
Sherwood Park is happy to announce that our GSA meetings are open to everyone. Informal meetings are every Friday at lunch from 11:53 to 12:37. Contact Lesley for more information.
Home Education
Families interested in our Home Education programing for the 2016/2017 school year may contact our home education liaisons: Jeannie Lundgard and Stephanie Strong in Sherwood Park. 
This edition of Our Steps comes from Brayden. Brayden is grade 12 student who started attending Sherwood Park a year ago. This is his story:

My time at Next Step has been extremely rewarding. Next Step has brought me great success and even greater friends. Next Step and outreach schools in general tend to carry a bad stigma as they are known to be the schools where bad or problematic kids go, but that couldn't be more wrong. Next Step is a school with a very flexible schedule letting you learn at your convenience. So whether you're upgrading, working, or just need to get an education, Next Step is the perfect place. The impeccable staff at Next Step make you feel welcome. Every time you walk into the school you are greeted with a smile and a warm welcome. Everyone at Next Step truly cares about your growth and success as a student and a person. 

Next Step has a wide variety of courses to take as well from core courses and Phys Ed. to options and extracurricular activities; they offer more than enough courses to meet the requirements of graduation. 

Overall, Next Step is an efficient school with a positive environment and encouraging teachers. I feel privileged to attend Next Step.


Sherwood Park
Lunch time meetings Wednesdays (11:53 – 12:37) in the back room
We have great initiatives where students are bringing in unused plants, pots and or soil to grow in the school over winter. We already have strawberry runners to propagate, some tomato and pepper plants and other greenery seeking shelter at Next Step this winter. Students wanted more greenery and O2(g) in our learning space and we are supporting their ideas, and maybe produce some food and propagate some knowledge in the process. Great ideas team!
All Next Step Students!
Don’t miss out on this! OCTOBER 27TH Sustainability Day
at the U of A!
Next Step has teamed up with the U of A SAW for this engaging hands on field trip! Students will start the day with a tour of the Energy plant and then attending a workshop on creating a composter and actually create one for the school along with compost mix so we can use it for our community garden! 
ALL students welcome! Bus leaves Sherwood Park Next Step at 8:30 a.m. and will be back by 3:00 p.m.

Please see Susan for permission forms.

Congrats to Dario, Michael, Camryn, Tanner, Leona, Philip, Aaron, and Breanna, who on October 21st, will represent Next Step on an exciting two day adventure in Calgary and participate in MUN. This extraordinary event will see students representing the countries that they have been assigned in a mock United Nations conference. For more info, please visit the website from Sir Winston Churchill High in Calgary, Sir Winston Churchill High

Thanksgiving Feast in
Fort Saskatchewan
Betty, a volunteer in the community, and Neal are getting some food. YUMMM

On October 4th, Fort Saskatchewan celebrated Thanksgiving with their students A magnificent lunch was prepared by all the staff and enjoyed by everyone.
The 14th annual Literacy and Learning Day Conference takes place on Oct. 22, 2016 at the Edmonton Expo Centre. The event is a fun-filled day for both parents and teachers, and includes various free workshops and keynote speakers. Participants are guaranteed to walk away with new strategies, tools and resources to support children as they grow and learn. The conference is free and everyone is welcome. For more information, or to register, visit
Your Future:
It’s a Matter of Choice
Your Future: It’s a Matter of Choice is Elk Island Public Schools’ (EIPS) annual post-secondary and career event that brings together colleges, universities, technical- and private-vocational schools, and career displayers from around the country.
The 2016 Your Future: It’s a Matter of Choice career fair is free and open to all EIPS students in grades 9 through 12. Students and their parents/guardians will have the opportunity to talk to and ask questions of potential post-secondary institutions, browse booths, examine future career trends, determine high school requirements for specific programs and so much more.
Event Details
Date:       Tuesday, Nov. 1/16
Time:       6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Location:   Holiday Inn Conference Centre of Sherwood Park (Second Floor; 2100 Premier Way; Sherwood Park)
Your Future: It’s a Matter of Choice is co-ordinated in conjunction with the Educational Liaison Association of Alberta and is one of the largest events of its kind in Alberta.
Copyright © 2016 Next Step, All rights reserved.

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Next Step · 1604 Sherwood Drive · Sherwood Park, AB T8A 0Z2 · Canada

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