Next Step: Connect, Engage & Build Relationships
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October 2, 2015                                                                                 Edition 56

Welcome Back to the 2015/2016 School Year!!!

The school year has begun with a flurry of excitement and the promise of another successful year! We are excited to see so many new and familiar faces at all of our Next Step locations and look forward to building lasting relationships that will help each of our students reach their educational goals.  Next Step strives to provide all of our students with a high-quality and engaging education that is delivered in a safe and supportive environment built on a foundation of trust, respect, and open communication. 

In an effort to keep everyone informed on school news and events, a bi-weekly Newsbites will be emailed to students as well as posted to our Next Step website at

Parent Council Meeting



Monday, October 19th
at 7:00 p.m

Sherwood Park Next Step Junior and Senior High would like to invite all parents to lend their time and talents to our school by joining our Parent Council!

Not only is joining our school council an awarding experience, but your support is important to the education of the children within our community. There are many ways parents can get involved which include attending regular school council meetings, sitting on a short-term committee, or sharing any special skills with the group. We invite all parents to participate in any manner that works best for you!  For more information regarding the Parent Council or to discuss any questions that you may have, please contact the school's principal Paul Pallister.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Next Step is excited to announce that we will also be setting up time for our schools in the Fort Saskatchewan and Vegreville locations to start a parent council too!  If you are part of these communities and would like to join these groups, or would like more information regarding your role, please contact Assistant Principals Ed Gillis or Denise Charbonneau.
Friday, October 16th, All of Next Step's locations will once again participate in the Canada-wide Student Vote.  This great program gives Junior and Senior High students the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice in the Sherwood Park – Fort Saskatchewan riding!  Throughout the day, students will be able to visit a mock voting station (complete with ballot boxes and printed ballots) where they will be able to practice their democratic right and cast their ballot.     
Student Vote is a fun and engaging activity that work towards teaching students about democracy and the electoral process, and we at Next Step are so excited to once again be part of it!
"The evidence is clear.  Parents make a difference.  And the way they contribute most to their children's education is through what they do at home.  Being a parent can be challenging, but the good news is that you don't have to be 'volunteer of the year' or an expert on the war of 1812 to help your child succeed at school."

People for Education

Read-In Week, October 5-9

Read-In Week 2015 is taking place October 5-9.
The theme for this year is The Power of a Story –Books that Inspire, Connect, & Ignite, which will highlight the importance of reading, viewing, and listening to rich, engaging text. Read-In Week is a division-wide initiative that happens annually to promote a life-long love of reading in students and enhance literacy awareness involving students, staff, parents, and community members.

Through various planned activities, students will learn how stories have the power to teach lessons, broaden perspectives, and foster empathy. To celebrate Read-In Week, our Fort Saskatchewan location will host a book swap where students can trade their used books for some new and exciting material!   In our Sherwood Park location, staff will be bringing in a collection of their favorite books which will then be displayed daily at their desk. Vegreville will join the celebration by inviting a guest author to come to the school and read to the students and staff.  

We invite all our families to participate in Read-In Week with us either by reading yourself, with your child or with someone in the community. We hope you discover some great stories.
On October 8, the Fort Saskatchewan location will be celebrating International Day of the Girl. The Boys and Girls Club will join Fort Saskatchewan in the celebration and has generously donated Pizza, Cupcakes and Pink Lemonade! The school will also be contributing to a piece of artwork that is dedicated to celebrating the day. This important event works towards empowering girls through active support and engagement with each other, the school community and global issues.


Gavin Otsuji, new to Next Step's home education for Grade 6, recently competed in the Alberta BMX Provincial Cup Series winning first place overall in his age category and level! This series takes place over the summer from June until September and consists of 8 races taking place in Edmonton, Lethbridge, Calgary, Cochrane, and St. Albert.  This is Gavin's third year racing competitively at a provincial level. Congratulations Gavin!

Become Part of the Next Step Environmental Action Team Now!

Please join us Monday, October 5th for NEAT's first meeting of the year!  

Next Step's Environmental Action Team would like to invite all students who love the earth and want to be a part of caring for it to join us. It’s a lunch meeting so bring your bagged lunch, and Michel and Susan will bring the dessert!  Everyone will meet at Michel's desk at 11:53. This gathering will be a great opportunity for the group to get to know one another, have questions answered about this terrific team, as well as discuss ideas for the upcoming year.

Thanks to NEAT's community garden we were able to serve our students and staff a delicious hot lunch twice!  
On behalf of Alberta Health Services, we would like to inform our families there is a pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak in our region. The rate of pertussis in the area is not high but it’s circulating and is contagious when an infected person coughs or sneezes near another individual.
The pertussis vaccine, which protects against the illness, is part of the regular childhood immunization series in Alberta. However, while unusual, it’s still possible for an individual who has been vaccinated to develop pertussis.
If your child exhibits any of the below symptoms, please have them assessed by your family doctor as soon as possible:
  • Persistent cough
  • Spasms of coughing followed by a characteristic “whoop” sound
  • Coughing followed by gagging or vomiting.
More information regarding pertussis can be found at or by phoning Health Link at 811.
October 7

Early Dismissal
School will close at 1:00pm

October 9

Professional Learning Day
Schools Closed

October 12

Thanksgiving Day
Schools Closed
myPass is an Alberta Education secure self-service website for high school students to:
  • View and print diploma exam results statements
  • Order transcripts
  • And more
Visit to request access.
October 5 is World Teachers’ Day! Since its launch 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 our 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 its teachers for their dedication, hard work, and commitment in guiding and educating our students through their Kindergarten to Grade 12 years.
Next Step Continuing Education's Fall programs are in full swing!  From life and leisure to career development, Continuing Education has a course for you!

To view the full course catalog or to register for a course visit follow the link to the Continuing Education website. 
P.E. is off to a great start!  For the month of September, students and staff had a lot of fun playing Ultimate Frisbee, floor hockey, sand volleyball, tennis and swinging our clubs at the driving range.

P.E. in Sherwood Park

Oct. 1, 22 – Soccer
Oct 6, 8 â€“ Boot Camp
Oct 15 - Handball

  Students Do Not have to be enrolled in P.E. to enjoy these activities with your friends. We welcome all Next Step students to join in the FUN!

P.E. in Fort Saskatchewan

P.E. will be held every Thursday afternoon

P.E in Vegreville

P.E. will be held every Friday morning 
September has been busy with home education registrations and preparation for the grade 3 Student Learning Assessments (SLAs). The grade 3 students participating in the SLA pilot completed the digital literacy component on Monday, and the digital numeracy component is scheduled for Thursday.  The Performance tasks in literacy and numeracy are scheduled for the following week and are not digital ie. pencil and paper.  The results of the assessments should be ready by mid-November which will be shared with parents.
Pay school fees easily using PowerSchool

The 2015–2016 school fee information will be available through PowerSchool beginning September 2. To access your fee information, simply login to your Parent Portal account and click the green dollar sign symbol. Once logged in you will be able to view fees and have the ability to pay online using Visa or MasterCard.
Elk Island Public Schools Student Transportation would like to inform our parents and students using bus services that all EIPS buses are equipped with video surveillance equipment, which is in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The equipment records and stores several days of data and is reviewed regularly by Student Transportation staff who monitor both student and driver conduct. All video and audio recordings of individuals on school buses are for the safety and security of passengers, drivers, and property, and may be used as evidence in a disciplinary matter.
If you have further questions about the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information, please contact the FOIP co-ordinator at EIPS by calling 780-417-8204.
As many of you are aware, this fall Alberta Education will continue the Grade 3 Student Learning Assessment (SLAs) pilot. The pilot is mandatory for all Grade 3 students and will take place between September 14 and November 1. The assessments will focus on numeracy, literacy, and critical thinking; be digitally based; offer an opportunity for students to show their learning in ways not possible with paper-based tests. The goal is to provide timely information to parents and teachers, help enhance classroom instruction and ensure any student learning needs are identified.
For more information on the 2015–2016 Grade 3 SLA pilot, visit
Mental Health Review: Questionnaire
Alberta’s mental health policy is currently being reviewed by the province. Its goal: to find better ways to help individuals who are struggling with addictions or mental health challenges. As part of that review, a questionnaire has been developed by Alberta Health’s Mental Health Review Committee. Albertans are being asked to give their feedback on the current system in place and ways to improve its services. Some of the questionnaire topics include: addiction and mental health services, support services for in-patients, addiction services, geographic challenges, and inclusive services. Feedback from the questionnaire will be analyzed and used to help guide an improved mental health strategy.
To complete the online questionnaire, visit The questionnaire is open until Oct. 23, 2015. The report and recommendations will be presented to the government by the end of the year.
In our ongoing effort to provide safe and caring schools for our students, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) participates in the No Child Without program along with all of its schools serving students between the ages of four and 14. No Child Without is a joint program of the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation and the Lions Club of Canada. Through the program, all registered children receive 24-hour MedicAlert coverage free of charge.
If your child has a serious medical condition or allergy and would benefit from MedicAlert services, please contact the school to obtain a program information pamphlet. You can enroll in No Child Without by calling 1-877-282-5378 or online at If your child is already registered with MedicAlert and you would like to enroll specifically in the No Child Without program, you can sign up by telephone using the phone number above.
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