Cougar Tracks

Friday, October 29, 2021

Principal's Message

One week to November break!


Many thanks to our wonderful staff, students and parent community who have helped us reach this first “milestone mark” in the school year. There has been a lot of great learning happening and we are so grateful that we have been able to get to this point safely.


As we enter the last week, just a few reminders:

  • Students are reminded that they should not be on Pine Street or OLPH property during lunch hour
  • We still have one more night of Parent Teacher Interviews. It will be held on Tuesday, November 2nd from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Please see below for instructions on how to book a time.
  • On Thursday, November 4th, we will be hosting a parent information night (virtual) in conjunction with the Saffron Centre. This will be from to 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


The topic is bystander intervention training for sexual assault and harassment. All parents are welcome to join.


ZOOM LINK: HTTPS://US02WEB.ZOOM.US/J/89409061200?PWD=QVBIZU9YWNLTBKF2SMFTBWJHUFKRQT09


  • On Friday, November 5th, our school will participate in the Remembrance Day ceremony. This will be done virtually.


Have a wonderful weekend!

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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

Cougar Wear Store NOW OPEN!

We are happy to announce that our first Cougar Wear store is now open! Check it out here: Sport Factor SWH Cougar Wear


The store will only be open until November 8, so get your orders in soon!

School Council Corner

Thank you to the many parents, teachers, admin and our FSLW who attended our school council meeting on Tuesday. We had many rich discussions.


The biggest discussion was about student mental health where school admin and our FSLW shared the many things they are doing to support students with their mental health. We are very excited about the Saffron presentation on November 4th and especially that it will be opened up to parents from across EIPS! There are several more presentations planned too. Student Mental Health will be a standing item on our agenda as it is both timely and relevant, but also, a large concern of both staff and parents.


Our staff recognition program is off to an amazing start. We’ve received 14 submissions and sent them onto the appropriate staff member along with a thank you from School Council. There is a standing button (with a link) in the Cougar Tracks, but it’s also really easy to remember: www.RecognizeSWH.ca We have received really positive feedback about the program!


Do you shop at the Wye Road Save On Foods? If so, save your receipts and send them to the office. School Council will collect them and submit them to Save On who will give us a cheque for 5% of the total (excluding prescriptions, tobacco and lottery). School Council is working with school administration to compile a wish list of items for the school. Ideas brainstormed included: picnic benches, basketball hoops, Phys. Ed. equipment, display cases and books for the library. We will compile a list and determine costs and then work our way down the list!


Do you own a small business (or know someone who does)? Would you be willing to donate small prizes for the “Paws”itive referral program. Students have been loving picking their prizes, but we are running low. If so, please reach out to Mr. Mali!


Lastly, we talked about a High School Transition Idea. The Sal Comp School Council discussed an idea where admin and parents would visit the various feeder schools to hold town hall style meetings with parents and students and answer their questions about high school in a very informal setting. Sherwood Heights School Council also liked the idea, so we will work with Sal to facilitate this session sometime in the New Year. It would be a great opportunity to ask questions and would be open to all SWH students and families, not just those in grade nine.

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.

School Fees Pay Online - Due October 31

School fee information for the 2021-22 school year is 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 them online using Visa, MasterCard or debit card—when available from your financial institution.


Don’t forget to also 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 various school activities such as field trips, class projects, extracurricular activities fees and more.


If circumstances exist where you are unable to pay your 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 www.eips.ca/schools/fees or Sherwood Heights Junior High fees. Alternatively, you can contact the school at 780-467-5930.

Overflowing Lost and Found

Please have your child(ren) come take a look through the lost and found if they are missing any items. It's overflowing with hoodies, jackets and several other items.


Please also try to label all items as we can then call the student to come pick up their item(s).


Items not collected will be donated.

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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!

November Break Student Travel Information

As November break approaches, we have received a number of inquiries asking when students are able to return to school after travelling outside of Canada.


Unvaccinated students under 12 years of age travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians cannot return to school or daycare for 14 days following their return to Canada, and must follow the mandatory requirements under the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order.


Fully vaccinated students 12 years and older who travelled out of the country can return to school without delay so long as they are asymptomatic. If unvaccinated, these students are subject to the Government of Canada’s required 14-day quarantine, whether or not they are accompanied by a parents or guardian who qualifies as a fully vaccinated traveller.


Additional information on travel restrictions and public health requirements can be found at the Government of Canada’s website.

Inclement Weather

With the winter season almost here, we want to remind families to dress children appropriately for the weather when getting ready for school or the bus. The weather often changes unexpectedly throughout the day, so please select suitable outerwear and ensure your child is prepared for changing conditions.


If inclement weather conditions occur, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) advises families of any bus cancellations using various communications tools—automated-telephone messages, alerts posted on www.eips.ca and school websites, Twitter, Facebook, local radio stations, and notification through both the Bus Status and the Ride 360 apps. Morning bus cancellations are posted on www.eips.ca by 6:30 a.m.


Decisions regarding bus cancellations are guided by EIPS administrative procedures that state, “school bus service may be suspended…when there is a forecast or current temperature of -40 C, including wind chill factor, in one or more regions.” Other reasons for suspending or delaying school bus services include adverse weather and poor road conditions. When school bus services are suspended, schools remain open to students. EIPS believes families 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.

Your Future: Post-Secondary and Career Fair

Thinking about attending post-secondary school after graduation? Exploring career options? Not sure on the career or sector? Plan to attend this year’s hybrid Your Future: Post-Secondary and Career Fair on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) is excited to once again be partnering with the Educational Liaison Association of Alberta for the event.


The in-person portion of the event brings together a wide variety of colleges, universities, polytechnic and private schools, and sector experts in one place. The event is free and open to all students in grades 9 through 12. The event will follow the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program, as well as adhere to Alberta Health Services and local guidelines.


The virtual component will include additional opportunities to attend sessions from numerous colleges, universities and sector experts. Participation is free and open to all grades 9 through 12 students.


Participating students and family members in either the in-person or virtual sessions will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from each attending post-secondary institutions, ask questions, talk to experts about various career sectors, learn about future career trends and much more.


Event Details

Date: November 23, 2021 In-person: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Strathcona County Agora 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park

Virtual: Times and schedule to be confirmed


Visit www.eips.ca/students/your-future for a detailed list of vendors once finalized.

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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 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

November 8 - Cougar Wear Orders Due