Cougar Tracks

Friday, December 10, 2021

Principal's Message

As we have rolled into December, we are mindful that while it can be a joyous time for some families, it can be a difficult and stressful time for others. With that in mind, we wanted to pass along contact information for some of our community partners who can help support if your family is struggling at this time.

Strathcona Food Bank

To apply for a hamper, please phone their office at 780-449-6413. They are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., except for statutory holidays and can usually get hampers to families within 3-5 days with same-day hampers available upon request before 10 am. See for more info.

Strathcona Family and Community Services

Are you feeling anxious, frustrated, or overwhelmed? Stressed about money, parenting, relationships or not sure where to start? Call Family and Community Services at 780-464-4044.

Family and Community Service (FCS) call-in hours: Monday, Fridays: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m./Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saffron Centre & Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC)

Saffron Centre is available to support families and individuals who have been affected by sexual violence.

CASASC has a 24hr Crisis Line: Call or Text 1-866-956-1099

Boys and Girls Club Strathcona County

Boys and Girls Club has teen and child programs running throughout the holidays that are free or low cost.

Phone: 780-416-1500


Alberta Health Services(AHS) has a great resource called Help in Tough Times with a huge amount of organizations and helpful numbers to call if you are in need of support. Mental health concerns, financial support, emergencies, grief and stress are all mentioned in this resource:

Kudos for a SWH Staff Member

On behalf of the Sherwood Heights School Council, thank you for helping us recognize our amazing staff for the wonderful work they do.

Senior Girls Win GOLD!

Congratulations to the Senior Girls Basketball team who took home gold at the Salisbury tournament this weekend! The tournament was capped off by a thrilling 2 point victory against FR. Haythorne. Great work ladies !

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Senior Boys Capture the SILVER!

The Senior Boys basketball team played in a tournament at SAL from Thursday, December 2 – Saturday, December 4. After 2 convincing wins, the boys played ABJ in the finals. After a hard fought game, the boys lost by 12 points, and captured the Silver medal. Well done boys!

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Junior Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Bring Home SILVER and GOLD!

Last weekend our Junior Basketball teams faced off with the other large schools in our district. Both teams ran a gauntlet to make it to the gold medal game. The boys played hard bringing home a silver medal, while the girls fought their way to the top to win gold!

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Career Pathways December Newsletter

Career Pathways is designed to develop skills that students can apply in their daily lives when preparing for entry into the workplace or for further learning opportunities.

Holiday Travel Reminders

As the Christmas break approaches, we wish to remind you of federal public health regulations related to when students are permitted to return to school after travelling outside of Canada.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated 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 or partially vaccinated, these students are subject to the Government of Canada’s required 14-day quarantine, regardless of whether they are accompanied by a parents or guardian who qualifies as a fully vaccinated traveller.

Additional information on travel restrictions and public health regulations can be found at the Government of Canada’s website. Any questions or concerns about these restrictions should be directed to the Government of Canada, through their website.

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.

Returning Student Registration for 2022-23

Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) will once again conduct an online returning student registration process to confirm student registrations for the 2022-23 school year. Families of all current students—with the exception of graduating Grade 12 students—must complete the process to confirm the school their child plans to attend in the 2022-23 school year or advise the Division of their plans not to return to EIPS. Additionally, students who want to attend a non-designated school need to make that request through the returning student registration process—acceptance is based on available space. The 2022-23 returning student registration takes place February 1-28, 2022.

Access to the Returning Student Registration Form is provided through the PowerSchool Parent Portal. If you don’t have a PowerSchool Parent Portal account, you need to set one up before February 1, 2022.

Create a PowerSchool Parent Portal account

For more information, contact the school office at 780-467-5930.

Volunteer Update

All Elk Island Public Schools require proof of full vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test result, from volunteers and visitors. Please note proof of vaccination is not required for those visiting for a short time and not interacting with students—parents, school council members, external delivery or service vendors.

Parent volunteers (field trips, classroom visits, etc.) can either come to the office and show their ID and vaccination card to school administration for scanning, or they can email their QR code to Amit Mali at Volunteers may also be required to show their ID and QR code at field trip venues.

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.

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 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 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.

Christmas Break

Sherwood Heights Junior High will close for the Christmas break at the end of the day on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. The school will reopen on Wednesday, January 5, 2022. During this time, if you have any school-related questions or concerns, please contact Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) Central Services at 780-464-3477.

EIPS Central Services Christmas Break Hours:

Open December 22 and 23; 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Closed December 23, 2021 to January 3, 2022

Open January 4; 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

*for location and contact information visit

From everyone at Elk Island Public Schools, we wish all of you a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.

Upcoming Dates and Events

December 13 - 12 Days of Christmas - Matching Games

December 14 - 12 Days of Christmas - Jersey Day

December 15 - 12 Days of Christmas - Grade 7 Shinny at Lunch

December 16 - 12 Days of Christmas - Favourite Shirt Day & Grade 8 Shinny at Lunch

December 17 - 12 Days of Christmas - Grade 9 Shinny at Lunch

December 20 - 12 Days of Christmas - Christmas Movie shown at Lunch

December 21 - 12 Days of Christmas - Tropical Christmas Day & Christmas Movie shown at Lunch

December 22 to January 4 - Christmas Break

December 24 to January 3 - Central Services Closed

January 5 - Early Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.

January 6 - Grade 9 Immunizations, and any Grade 7 & 8s who were absent in December

January 25 - School Council Meeting at 6:30 p.m.

January 31 - PD Day (No School)

EIPS Operations Guidelines 2021-22

Last updated on November 15, 2021