Cougar Tracks

Friday, September 24, 2021

Principal's Message

Hello Sherwood Heights Families,

It’s hard to believe we are heading into our last week of September already!

We are excited to soon be starting some lunch time activities for students. We will have posters throughout the school and in classrooms so that students will know what activity is happening and where. There will also be a bulletin board dedicated to lunch time clubs. Many thanks to the teachers who are giving up some of their lunch hour and their classroom to create some fun opportunities for our students!

As a reminder for students and parents to please be courteous in the morning and after school. The area in front of the school is a very high traffic zone with lots of vehicles and students crossing the street. Please be mindful of this during your before and after school routine.

Finally, we are virtually hosting our first School Council meeting of the year on Tuesday, September 28 at 6:30pm. All parents are welcome to join!

The link for the meeting is below: School Council Meeting Link

Have a wonderful weekend!

Orange Shirt Day

Next Wednesday is Orange Shirt Day!

Check out available resources here ou ici.

A reminder that The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is growing Orange Shirt Day into a week of learning.

The programming offered will feature short videos created by Indigenous storytellers, followed by conversations with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Survivors, and the children of Survivors of residential schools. The videos will be supported with classroom activities for students.

Throughout the week we’ll share artistic and cultural performances by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists. There will also be a moving tribute to the Missing Children that never returned home from the residential schools.

The Event is virtual and FREE! Check out the schedule of events! You can register here.

Pay School Fees Online

School fee information for the 2021-22 school year has been posted on the PowerSchool Parent Portal. All fees are due within 30 days of being posted. To access your fee information, simply log in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal and go to “Student Fees.” There you can view your fees and pay online using Visa, MasterCard or debit card—when available from your financial institution.

Don’t forget to log in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal regularly throughout the year. Fees are often added to your child’s account to cover the cost of certain school activities such as field trips, class projects, athletic-team fees and more. Additionally, junior high and senior high fees can change as courses are added and deleted.

If circumstances exist where you’re unable to pay your school fees, you can apply to have fees waived by submitting an Application for a Waiver of Fees. The application deadline is December 15, 2021.

For more information about school fees, waivers and payment deadlines visit Alternatively, contact Mrs. Candace Lyles at Sherwood Heights Junior High at 780-467-5930 ext. 6504.

Enhancing Literacy and Numeracy

As part of Elk Island Public Schools’ (EIPS) ongoing efforts to enhance the literacy and numeracy of students in all grade levels, the Division is once again administering the Star Early Literacy/Star Reading and Math Intervention/Programming Instrument (MIPI) assessment tools in the 2021-22 school year. The tools focus on literacy and numeracy, are digitally based and offer an opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning. The goal: To provide timely information to teachers, help enhance classroom instruction and ensure student learning needs are identified.

Three times a year—in September, January/February and May/June—EIPS students in Grade 1 complete the Star Early Literacy assessment and students in grades 2-12 complete the Star Reading assessment. The assessments take approximately 20 minutes and are administered on a digital device. Also, in September, students in grades 2 through 10 will complete the MIPI assessment, which is a mathematic screening tool used to inform teachers about a student’s math skills—students enrolled in math for Semester 2 will complete the MIPI assessment in February. For students in grades 7 through 10, the MIPI takes approximately 50 minutes, and for students in grades 2 through 6 it takes approximately 20 minutes. The results offer the teacher a clearer picture of a student’s learning needs and help determine if subsequent instructional planning is required.

The scores of the assessments aren’t used toward a student’s grade, and there is no need to study ahead of time. The tools simply provide the teacher with information to better understand where each student is in terms of reading comprehension and mathematic ability. If, after analyzing the results, it’s determined a student can benefit from extra support, the teacher will contact the family to discuss possible support strategies.

For more information about the Division’s Star and MIPI assessment tools, contact EIPS Supports for Students at 780-464-3477.

Video Surveillance on Buses

Did you know each EIPS bus is equipped with video surveillance? Video surveillance and equipment helps:

  • ensure the safety of all students, drivers and property; and
  • discourage destructive acts.

On a regular basis, EIPS Student Transportation reviews the video recordings, in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act). The recordings assist the department with monitoring student and driver conduct and may be used as evidence in a disciplinary matter.

For more information about the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, contact the EIPS FOIP Coordinator at 780-464-3477.

Mask Reminders

  • Masks are mandatory for all staff and students in kindergarten through Grade 12.
  • Any and all visitors to EIPS schools and buildings must adhere to EIPS’ mandatory masking requirement.
  • Students should bring multiple masks with them daily.
  • Masks should be changed when they become dirty, wet or torn.
  • In colder weather and during heavy physical activity, masks can easily become wet from breathing.
  • A wet mask is harder to breathe through and is less efficient at preventing respiratory droplets from reaching others.
  • If a reusable mask becomes wet, put it in a sealed bag until it can be washed and put on a clean, dry mask.
  • Masks should have at least three layers of fabric and fit properly—not too loose or too tight.
  • Reusable masks should be washed daily.
  • Neck gaiters, bandanas and masks with one-way valves are not suitable masks.
  • For additional resources on proper mask use, visit the AHS or CDC websites.

Please carefully read the EIPS Operations Guidelines 2021-22 and EIPS Operations Frequently Asked Questions documents that were sent out to families.

School Council Corner

Welcome back to another amazing school year!

We want to invite you to the first School Council meeting of the year on Tuesday, September 28th at 6:30 p.m. While the meeting will be virtual (via Microsoft Teams), we are hoping to gather in person at some point during the year.

We know that there is a lot of change to navigate and we will do that best together. As we look forward to the upcoming year, we know there are a ton of topics to discuss. Our plan is to share the agenda each month a week in advance, and to also share updates through the weekly newsletter.

At this first meeting, some of our topics will include:

  • Student Mental Health
  • Beautification of the School
  • EIPS Trustee Elections
  • Advocating for a Replacement School

Our Family School Liaison Worker, Jessica Moen, will attend to build the bridge with families as well. It would be great to see you there!

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!

For more info, please click here.

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!

How to Report an Absence and/or Late

Should your child be unable to attend school, please call or email the school office to report the absence or late arrival.

If your child is absent or late, and you have not called or emailed the school office, you will receive an automated phone and email message after attendance is taken in the morning, as well as in the afternoon after lunch.

Email Absence Reporting

From our school website (, please click on the "Quick Links" tab on the right hand side, and then on "Report an Absence".

You will then be directed to a drop-down box under "Send to", and then you will click the first one that says: "Student Absences - Mrs. Johanna Ryan", and then fill out the rest of the fields.

Please submit your absence email prior to 8:30 AM on the day of the absence.

Please include the following information in the email:

  • Your child’s full name
  • When your child will be absent or late
  • When your child is expected to return to school

Telephone Absence Reporting - Call 780-467-5930 to report an absence.

Please include the following information in the phone call:

  • Your child’s full name
  • When your child will be absent or late
  • When your child is expected to return to school

Homework - If your child missed school due to an excused absence, please contact their teachers directly via email to make arrangements to receive their missed work. You can find their direct email(s) on the "Quick Links" tab on the right hand side, and then under the "Contact Us" tab.

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.

Upcoming Dates and Events

September 28 - School Council Meeting at 6:30 p.m. (virtual via Microsoft Teams)

September 29 - Orange Shirt Day

September 30 - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation - No School

October 4 to 8 - Read-in-Week

October 5 - World Teacher's Day

October 6 - Early Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.

October 11 - Thanksgiving Monday - No School

October 18 - PD Day - No School

October 21 - School Photo Retake Day

October 31 - Halloween