Cougar Tracks

Friday, October 22, 2021

Principal's Message

Hello Everyone,

It’s hard to believe we are almost into November !

We have a very busy week coming up. A reminder to parents/guardians that School Council will be hosted virtually at 6:30pm on Tuesday, October 26th. New parents are always welcome!

The next important date to be mindful of is Thursday, October 28th which will be our first set of Parent/Teacher interviews. The second date is set for Tuesday, November 2nd. Please read through the information below to learn about how to book with your teachers!

Finally, on Friday, October 29th there will be Halloween activities held throughout the school. Students are reminded to ensure that costumes are school appropriate (no weapons!).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Parent-Teacher Conferences

We are happy to announce that you can now start booking times for our first round of Parent-Teacher Conferences for this school year!

Interview Dates: Thursday, October 28th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday, November 2nd from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Interview Details: Our interviews will all be online with Microsoft Teams. Interviews will be for 5 minutes each with a 2-minute transition window. If you would require a longer interview, please contact the teacher directly.

Teachers Availabilities:

  • We are happy to announce that our volleyball teams will also be participating in playoffs this year, however, that also prevents James Gieringer, Kristin Davies, Brad Olsen, and Mathieu Rivard from participating in interviews. Please contact them via email should you wish to schedule a meeting at another time.
  • Mme Mclean will only be available for interviews on Thursday, October 28th
  • Mrs. Moen will also only be available for interviews on Thursday, October 28th

Please click on the following link to access the online booking platform: Parent Teacher Interviews Booking Platform

Improving Home-School Communication

To enhance communication between families and schools, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) has developed a how-to guide entitled, “Communication Protocol for Schools.” Topics include appropriate channels to use, standard formats and structures, timing and sequencing for regular and ongoing home-school communication, and ways to bring forward questions or concerns. The guide also offers useful tools and resources schools and families can use to enhance face-to-face meetings, email communication and various social media efforts.

Communication Protocol for Schools

School Council Corner

We had a fabulous turnout to our first school council meeting in September. Thank you to everyone who attended. There was a very rich discussion about mental health. We have decided to have Student Mental Health as a standing item on our agendas so we can get updates on what the school is actively doing to support our children’s mental health. Our Family School Liaison worker, Mrs. Moen, is also excited to attend and hear from parents about how we can build a strong partnership between home and school.

Our next school council meeting is on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and will be held via Microsoft Teams again. You can click here to join the meeting. We have a great agenda planned which includes discussions and updates on:

  • Our staff recognition program (you can submit them anytime at )
  • An idea we have to support students and parents with high school transition
  • An update on the returning SRO program
  • A discussion on how we want to use the Facebook group
  • A discussion on how we can support advocacy around getting a replacement school for SWH

We hope to see you this Tuesday!

Indigenous News

October 2021 - Upcoming Events and Important Dates

As our Division reflects upon the history and continuing legacy of residential schools, annual Orange Shirt Day and the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we commit to ongoing learning and truth-seeking. Important learning and conversation cannot happen for just one day; we will continue to deepen our understanding throughout the school year.

Global TV Story

In September, Global National was at Glen Allan Elementary filming for an upcoming story for their current affairs TV show, “The New Reality.” Various people were involved in the filming including Glen Allan students and teachers along with Elder Wilson Bearhead and Superintendent Mark Liguori. Thank you to Glen Allan for hosting and making everyone feel welcome. The segment is scheduled to air on Global’s “The New Reality” program on October 30. It will be on at 7:00 p.m. across all markets and time zones (e.g., 7:00 p.m. in Toronto, 7:00 p.m. in Edmonton, etc). There will be a YouTube version and an online piece.

Ongoing First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education

Curious to see what’s happening in First Nations, Métis and Inuit education around the Division? Check out the monthly blog on the EIPS website. School leads, teachers, students, administrators and families are working throughout the Division to understand the truths of colonization, to develop foundational knowledge for better understanding and to build respectful relationships.

One exciting project you may have noticed is the inclusion of a tipi at Central Services, thanks to the ongoing relationship with Elder Wilson Bearhead. Many schools in the Division are thinking deeply about Elder Wilson’s teachings, how to honour his invitation for each EIPS school to know their story with land and place, and to breathe life to that story.

As such, several schools are learning to build relationships with the natural spaces near their schools or are creating outdoor learning spaces within their schoolyards. Elder Wilson worked alongside Superintendent Liguori to create a vision for a land-based learning space at Central Services. The central space will lead the Division as an example of learning from and with the land. It will showcase Elk Island Public Schools’ commitment to bring to life the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the Division’s commitment to honour its responsibility as a Treaty 6 partner.

We are just at the beginning stages of this learning as a Division and look forward to all the ways we can work with Elder Wilson, families and communities to invite land-based learning experiences for EIPS students.

Many events happen in the month of November, including Métis Week, Inuit Day, Rock Your Mocs and Indigenous Veterans Day. We’ll include more information on these events and how EIPS will participate via our website and newsletter.

Direct Student Support

Family School Liaison Worker At Sherwood Heights, we are fortunate to have access to two Family School Liaison Workers. Harlee McArthur is EIPS First Nations, Métis and Inuit Family School Liaison Worker.

Tansi, my name is Harlee McArthur and I am a proud member of White Bear First Nation located in the beautiful prairies of Southern Saskatchewan. I have a Bachelor of Health Sciences. Since graduating I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside and learn from various nations across western Canada. Although the job titles have differed, all the work I’ve done has been centered around creating trusting and meaningful relationships and helping people identify their strengths and make positive changes.

My position at Elk Island Public Schools is First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Family School Liaison Worker. I’m here to support students and their families, to provide resources, to act as a liaison between school and home and more. I’m very excited to be working with Elk Island Public Schools and look forward to working with students and families.

Jessica Moen is the Family School Liaison Worker operating out of Sherwood Heights.

Family School Liaison Workers in Elk Island are a part of student support teams in the schools they work in. My primary function here at SWH is to support families with complex home lives and out of school situations that impede learning.

Jessica Moen, R.S.W.

MNA Resources From skills courses to wellness kits, discover all the MNA Youth Services has to offer free to all Métis ages 12-29. The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) has a variety of other family support services, including health, housing and entrepreneurship.

Literacy Resources For Métis families new to EIPS, the Métis Nation of Alberta has partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for the Oskaya Ayamichikewak Young Readers Program. Children four years and older registered in the program receive a new book in the mail every month. It’s an excellent way to promote literacy and foster a love of learning in children. Rupertsland Institute is also holding virtual early learning engagement sessions for Métis parents, educators and families.

Jordan’s Principle Learn more about Jordan’s Principle and the funding supports available for First Nations children—visit the Assembly of First Nations and Government of Canada resources.

Questions? Have questions about your child’s learning? Please reach out to the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education lead teacher at your child’s school. We’re here to engage with you and offer supports to students. Harlee McArthur, EIPS First Nations, Métis and Inuit Family School Liaison Worker, is also available for conversation and to offer supports to children and families.

Resources of Interest

Virtual Family Gatherings We’re grateful to Elder Wilson Bearhead and the family members who attended our virtual parent gatherings last school year. We look forward to continuing the conversation and welcoming new families to our virtual circle. We have set the meetings for the winter season, the traditional season for gathering and visiting. Once we firm up Elder attendance at the meetings, we’ll share the specific dates, times and meeting link with you. We’ve tentatively planned for one meeting in November, one in January and one in March.

Interested in learning Michif online?

Josh Morin will be once again hosting a southern Michif language virtual gatherings for beginners taking place October 13 to December 1, 2021. Register online or call Dana at Further Ed at 780-460-2207.

Interested in learning Cree?

The Centre for Race and Culture is once again offering beginner and intermediate Cree language classes with program coordinator and instructor Reuben Quinn. Check out this website for descriptions, dates and support resources.

NorQuest College also has an open studies beginner Cree course starting in January.

Check out Edmonton Public Library’s commitment to the 94 Calls to Action and working toward reconciliation through their Indigenous Services programs. Many programs are available, including online Cree classes in partnership with the Canadian Native Friendship Centre.

Interested in learning about Indigenous sports role models with your family in a COVID-safe, online format?

An invitation to you from our friends at Roots of Resilience.

We’re so excited to be back at it for a second year of speakers series kicking off with the fall series “Indspired Through Sports,” providing an opportunity to celebrate Indigenous resilience and success after the hard but necessary truth learning we all did leading up to the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

This speakers series will feature six incredible Indigenous athletes with different sports and backgrounds. From Bullriding to Dance we’ll hear of their motivations, their setbacks and what pushes them to continue to strive for greatness. This series is going to be a great opportunity for students to get a look into what these professional athletes have gone through to get to where they are today and give a new outlook at the many possibilities sports can open up to youth! The series will also help teachers and adults see first-hand the importance of sports as an avenue to responsibility and success.

Speakers and dates:

  • October 14: J.R. LaRose (Football)

  • October 21: Dakota Louis (Bullrider)

  • October 28: Kendra Jessie (Dancer, Fitness Coach & Tiktok influencer)

  • November 4: Mathew Rathbone (Hockey)

  • November 12: Sonya Dodginghorse (Barrel Racing)

  • November 18: Angie Lightning (the importance of sports for youth)

Tickets are available online (one price for the whole family).

Mask Reminders

EIPS requires that all individuals in all schools wear a mask, unless medically exempt. Students are required to bring their own masks every single day. The school has a small number of disposable masks available for emergency purposes only.

Students that are relying on the school for their mask supply will be considered unprepared for school and will be given a consequence. Make sure your child has spare masks, reusable or disposable, with them at school every day.

Updated COVID Health Checklist

The government has updated the daily health checklist. Please review the new checklist and print a copy for yourself to keep at home.

The main change relates to household contacts of COVID-19 cases.

If you are not fully immunized and are a household contact of a COVID-19 case, you should stay home for 14 days from the last day of exposure and monitor for symptoms.

A household contact is a person who lives in the same residence as the case OR who has been in frequent, long-duration, close-range interaction with a case of COVID-19. For example, someone who is a caregiver or an intimate or sexual partner of a COVID-19 case. For children, it also includes siblings, someone who slept over, or someone who provided direct physical care to the child.

If you have fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat or loss of sense of taste or smell you are required to isolate for 10 days as per the current CMOH Order OR receive a negative COVID-19 test and feel better before returning to work or activities.

Proof of Vaccinations and Negative Tests for Volunteers

Please be advised the requirements for proof of vaccination and testing in the EIPS Operations Guidelines have been changed, effective today:

Pg. 6 - Proof of Vaccination:

Unvaccinated staff may be required, under occupational health and safety requirements, to take additional precautions. Additionally, all EIPS schools require proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test result, from volunteers. The negative COVID-19 test must be a privately paid COVID-19 PCR or rapid test and completed within 72 hours. No school will accept a test result from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories.

Pg. 19 - Visitors, Volunteers and Service Providers Entering EIPS:

Visitors, volunteers and contractors are permitted in the school or workplace as long as they have a specific reason for being there and follow the site-visitor protocol—appointments are recommended. As well, anyone entering an EIPS school or building must complete the COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist, sign the visitor log and sanitize hands. Masks are mandatory in all schools, buses and EIPS-operated buildings. For deliveries, offload at the designated location.

All EIPS schools require proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test result, from volunteers. The negative COVID-19 test must be a privately paid COVID-19 PCR or rapid test and completed within 72 hours. No school will accept a test result from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories.

Visitors in Schools

All visitors, couriers, and contractors must sign in at the front main doors and check-in at the office, complete the COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist, and be wearing a mask properly.

If any of the answers to the questions are “YES,” DO NOT enter the school or workplace.

Similarly, if feeling unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms—fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of smell and taste, aches, pink-eye, nausea —DO NOT enter an EIPS-operated school or workplace.

Save Your Newspapers!

Science 7 is asking all SWH families to hold on to their Sherwood Park Newspapers until November. We will be holding a competition to see who can build the strongest stool out of newspapers!

SWH Staff Contact Information

We recently made changes to how families can contact Sherwood Heights Junior High staff.

If you’d like to reach out to your child’s teacher directly, simply log in to your PowerSchool Parent Portal account. From the Grades and Attendance page, you can click on the name of any of your child’s teachers to email them directly as needed.

To connect with school administration and main office staff, refer to the online contact form to send an email to the applicable person directly. From the online contact form, you can also send an email to report your child’s absence.

If you’re having trouble with your PowerSchool account, contact the school office. And, of course, we’re always just a phone call away if you have questions or need assistance, 780-467-5930.

Sync the School Calendar to Your Calendar

Did you know you can sync the school calendar to your own calendar? You can! Simply, visit and click on the applicable subscription option:

  • Download to iCal
  • Add to Google Calendar
  • Subscribe to Calendar

NOTE: Options are located above the calendar.

Once you click on the desired subscription option, follow the instructions. Within seconds, your calendar will contain all Sherwood Height Junior High’s important dates including holidays, school-closures days, planned activities, events and more.

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Parent to Parent – Finding Digital Balance, Cyberworld: What Happens when youth press send? – For Parents and caregivers for youth grades 6 and up.

Want to know more about how to support your youth with their time online? Come out as a family to learn from others and end the afternoon together at the CanTeen Youth Hub to enjoy some pizza and bonding time!

When: Saturday, November 27, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more info, please click here.

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Upcoming Dates and Events

October 26 - School Council Meeting via Microsoft Teams at 6:30 p.m.

October 28 - Parent-Teacher Conferences (Virtual) 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

October 29 - Halloween Activities

October 31 - Halloween

November 2 - Parent-Teacher Conferences (Virtual) 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

November 3 - Early Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.

November 4 - Bystander Intervention for Sexual Assault and Harassment (Virtual) 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

November 6 to 14 - November Break - No School