Choose Joy!

Week of November 30, 2020

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Christmas Masses @ OLA Parish

It is a blessing to attend mass in person, in a sacred space at this very special time of year. Space is still available to attend Christmas masses in person at OLA Catholic Parish. Here are the masses, their dates and times with space available:

December 24th

10:00pm and midnight

December 25th


There is also a mass at St. Michael Hall at 9:30pm December 24th for anyone in the Lamont area.

Here is the link for sign up:

Fr. Kris Schmidt's Vlog

How can you tell if you’re praying the right way?

In this vlog, Fr. Kris Schmidt explores the world of Lumberjack games to illustrate the fact that our prayer, on order to be real, needs to be fruitful. Lumberjack games are there so Lumberjacks can stay sharp while working, likewise our prayer life needs to be pushed in order for us to see real progress in our Christian life. He explains it all in this week’s ‘Beggar’s Heart’ vlog.

Lumberjack Games & REAL Prayer

OLA's Chapel Blessing!

Did you know?

In every altar, in every church, imbedded in the altar is a sacred relic from one of our saints.

This is no exception at OLA, and in our altar, cradled in marble, is the relic of one of our Catholic Saints. It is believed to be St. Patrick, as the altar came to us from St. Patrick's parish. Parishes are usually named after the Saint whose blessed relic resides there!

On Friday, we welcomed Father Kris who blessed our OLA chapel. Two students from each of our Grade 3 and 4 classes represented the school, and the whole school tuned in from their classes virtually to participate in mass. Many members of our community also joined virtually to celebrate this beautiful service.

We are truly blessed to have this special place of prayer in the heart of OLA.

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A Foggy Day @OLA

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Hibernate or Migrate?

For many of us, our answer would probably be .............. "Yes, please!"

For our Kinders on Thursday, they "showed what they knowed" about Hibernation and Migration...yes, in Kindergarten! Bravo to Mrs. Maclean! In a 25 minute lesson, this is what they learned and demonstrated:

  • The children began their day in PJs...hibernation day!
  • They practiced and remembered the difference between hibernation and migration (they even tested Mme Gravelle!)
  • Were shown pictures of animals. If the animal hibernated, the children curled up on the floor and went to "sleep." If the animal migrated, the children flapped their arms to fly to warmer places. (gross motor and physical movement)
  • Then the children began a craft of colouring, cutting and glueing a cave for their bear that included "snow" over their cave (fine motor skills practice)
  • Together they discussed what it would look like inside the cave. Would it be bright or dark? (predicting and deduction skill development)
  • The children each visited Mrs. Maclean one-on-one to share with her if they themselves would like to hibernate or migrate. She then wrote their answers on whiteboards (children knew their voices and ideas mattered + language learning lesson)
  • Each child then began to copy their answers onto their pages (more fine motor skills, printing skills practice as well as learning that words communicate ideas)!

A little glimpse of the engagement as well as excellent learning and growing at OLA - all with smiles!

Check out what it looked like below!

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Snow Fun!

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Punctuation Matters!

Our Grade 1&2M put that into practice this past week!

Together they read a hilarious story called "Exclamation Mark!" (highlighting literacy and stories) They then reviewed the period, question mark, exclamation mark. With their punctuation puppets, they each raised their punctuation puppets at the end of each sentence example given (language, communication application and engagement). Finally, they were challenged to write three sentences about ice cream, with each sentence ending in each of the three punctuation practiced. (formative and summative assessment).

What did this learning look like in action?

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This week @ OLA

School Begins at 8:45am - Thank you for your help to ensure children arrive between 8:33am and 8:45am so they ease into their day. This helps to set them up for successful learning and growing.

Sunday, November 29 - Advent Begins!

Power Options Week 3!

Monday, November 30

  • Virtual Announcements from our Chapel each day of Advent
  • Collaborative Team Meetings to Support Student Learning
  • Choosing Joy today!

Tuesday, December 1

  • Advent Virtual Announcements from our Chapel
  • A great day to learn and grow together!

Wednesday, December 2

  • Advent Virtual Announcements from our Chapel
  • Early Dismissal - 2:19 p.m.
  • School Spirit - Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
  • More spectacular learning and growing!

Thursday, December 3

  • Advent Virtual Announcements from our Chapel
  • Poinsettia Order Pick ups
  • A great day to be in community together!

Friday, December 4

  • Advent Virtual Announcements from our Chapel
  • Friyay! Where will you Choose Joy today?


To see what is up and coming even further ahead, please visit our website calendar.

You can view our Kindergarten Calendar here.

2019-2020 School Yearbooks

School Council has 10, 2019/2020 yearbooks for sale. They are $21.00 each. Please contact Mrs. Desaulniers to purchase one. 780-998-3716 or email

This could make a great Christmas present.

Making a Snowman

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Quote of the Week

Mrs. Weller: "Did you wash your hands?"

Gr. 1 Student: "Yep! Here! (Child puts hand uncomfortably close to Mrs. Weller's face) "Smell it!"

Virtual Learning and In-Person Learning: Here are the facts.

Thank you OLA families for your patience as we gained clarification of the Alberta Government's announcement on November 24th.

Our Superintendent has been in numerous conference calls with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Education to ensure clarification is received. Here's what the next little while will look like for our Elk Island Catholic School K-12 students:

The last day of classes for students is Tuesday, December 22nd as per our school calendar.

For Kindergarten to Gr. 6, our students continue in-person instruction to December 22nd.

For Gr. 7 - 12, students are learning virtually beginning November 30th to December 22nd.

-- Christmas Break: December 23, 2020 - January 5, 2021 --

First day of instruction after Christmas is Wednesday, January 6th

Kindergarten - Gr 12 classes are learning virtually from January 6th - 8th.

Google Classroom and January Virtual Learning

Many OLA classes have their Google Classrooms established already, and have been connecting with families to ensure they have access. This will be the platform used for our Grade 1 - 4 learning. If you are not yet connected to Google Classroom, please reach out to your child's teacher for assistance so we are ready to go for January.

Each virtual learning day in January will be different than your experience from March to June. It will include full days of learning and will include all subject areas. This does not mean that students will be online and in Google Meets all day. :-) We have time before January 6th, and we will be sharing with you before the Christmas break what the virtual learning schedule will look like so we are all prepared, and in the know. :-)

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to connect with Mme Gravelle at 780-998-3716 ext. 1.

Together: Your Child's Health Matters

Christmas Hampers - Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank

Each holiday season, upon application, we provide qualifying residents of Fort Saskatchewan with a special hamper of food and gifts. This is the 35th year the Fort Saskatchewan Food Gatherers has been bringing the joy of Christmas to those less fortunate! With tremendous support from our community and dedicated volunteers, the Christmas Hamper Campaign is underway for 2020!

While COVID-19 does make things very different this year we are committed to providing special Christmas food hampers and toy packages and having them delivered to each recipient's home.

We realize our community is struggling and I am reaching out today to ensure that you have the information needed to be able to inform your student families about the available Christmas assistance. The campaign provides hampers to families, individuals, and seniors - 2020 has been tough for many and we appreciate the hardships many are facing.

Applications are accepted November 2 - December 4 and can be made in person at the Food Bank office (9803 - 102 Street) during these hours:

Monday 2-6pm

Wednesday 10-2pm

Friday 10-2pm

Appointments can be made in advance by calling 780-998-4099 during office hours.

Walk-ins will be accepted however we do have COVID-19 precautions in place: there is only one client (applicant) in the building at a time and there is now a doorbell in place to ring for entry. We ask everyone to wear a mask.

Fort Saskatchewan residents are able to apply for their immediate family.

What is needed to apply:

Photo ID for each adult

ID for each child - AB Health card or birth certificate

Proof of Fort Saskatchewan residency - current proof of address for each adult, such as a utility bill.

*Toys & Gifts are provided for children up to 16 years old.

Hamper Delivery Day is Saturday, December 19th this year.

An adult must be home to accept the hamper.

Applying for a Christmas hamper does not restrict a food bank client from accessing a regular hamper during December.

While the application process requires individuals to apply and doesn't allow for agency referrals, we realize that only by sharing these details can we ensure that those who need assistance are reached. Schools play a vital role in children's lives and can be a wonderful resource for information within the community. Please share this information.

Reminder: the deadline for applications is Friday, December 2nd.

Thank you

Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank

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Thank you in Advance!

Looking to purge a little? Doing a little winter cleaning?

OLA is in search of shelving units like the one on the right for our children to put boots on. If you happen to have one that is sturdy (it doesn't have to be pretty) please connect with Mme Gravelle at

Keep them coming! We need more!

We continue to welcome donations of:

  • Scrabble letter squares
  • Magnetic letters
  • Chalk board erasers
  • Decodable Books
  • Complete Board Game sets
  • Decks of Cards
  • Puzzles

Thank you for the overwhelming response for garland to help us decorate the school! We are so excited to transform the halls and make OLA sparkle in a whole new way this Advent Season!!

School Fees

School fees have now been added to your PowerSchool ParentPortal and are now due. Payment can be made by debit or credit card by visiting your PowerSchool account.

Field trip: to date all field trips involving bussing are cancelled. Virtual field trips and walking trips may still occur. Once these have been finalized we will share the field trip fee for payment

If the paying of fees is a financial difficulty you may be eligible for the EICS Fee Waiver Program. A fee waiver form can be found here or on the EICS website. The deadline for applications is December 13, 2020.

All unpaid fees by March 1, 2021 may be sent to a collections agency. Please reach out if you have difficulty paying your child's school fees before December 1, 2020.

First Communion and Reconciliation

If you would like your child to receive their First Communion this year and they have not yet celebrated their First Reconciliation, please contact the OLA Parish office at 780-998-3288 to make an appointment to meet with Father Kris.

First Eucharist Registration Form & First Eucharist Brochure

Information about registration for all sacrament preparation will be coming out in December. Registration for all sacrament preparation will occur in January.

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OLA School Council News

See you at our next meeting, on Tuesday, December 8th@ 11:00am.

Google Meet link will be shared with you that day.

Thank you for checking your email inbox or spam/junk folder.

To connect with your OLA School Council, please email

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Click below to order your OLA Spirit Wear!

Student Illness and your Child's Learning

If your child is home with these symptoms:

  • Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath or difficulty breathing, Runny Nose, Sore Throat, Chills Painful swallowing, Stuffy Nose, Headache, Muscle or joint aches, Feeling unwell, fatigue or severe exhaustion, Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite), Loss of sense of smell or taste, Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye.

Please email Mrs. Desaulniers, and cc: your child's homeroom teacher to share what symptoms your child is experiencing as well as an approximate date for your child's return so we can plan for your child's learning and growing in Literacy and Numeracy while away.

Thank you for continuing to connect with us with your child's test results.

Updated Alberta Health Documents

Looking Ahead...

December 6, 2020

  • 2nd Sunday in Advent

December 8, 2020

  • Virtual School Council Daytime Meeting - 11:00am

December 9, 2020

  • Staff Mass in Chapel @ 8:00am

December 11, 2020

  • Fort Saskatchewan Schools Advent Mass @ 10:45am

December 13, 2020

  • 3rd Sunday in Advent

December 20, 2020

  • 4th Sunday in Advent

December 23, 2020 - January 5, 2021

  • Christmas Break

December 25, 2020

  • Happy Birthday Jesus!!!

January 6-8, 2021

  • Virtual Learning at Home - stay tuned for more information coming before the Christmas break.

January 11, 2021

  • In-Class Learning resumes

Advent and Christmas continue to be very important in our Liturgical year and in our lives as Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. We will be celebrating it with the children and including you in the celebrations! It will look a little differently this year, so stay tuned for details on how we will be celebrating this important time in our faith and sharing Christ's joy and love with you!

Boys and Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Club offers a number of programs. Please click the PDF below to see what's happening!