Choose Joy!

Week of December 14, 2020

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3SK Has Rhythm!

3SK Music
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Celebrating Advent

We are excited to share with you the beautiful and exciting ways we are celebrating Advent with our community this year! Here's a sneak peek of what has begun and what to stay tuned for!
  • Thank you to the many staff who stayed late on November 30th to beautifully decorate the school for children. The lights are dimmed each morning, and Christmas music is enjoyed in the hall as the children enter the school - transforming the school into a sparkling space of wonder and love.
  • Each morning, we gather together virtually for our Advent Prayers with Mme Gravelle and Mrs. Weller (and our Grade 4 leaders) who take us through the story of Jesus's birth and the promises of God that begin with the story of creation. Each day we come together to light the Advent candles and learn each story of God's promise through the Jesse Tree. So far we have learned the story of Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob. Each story comes from Scripture and we hear all about God's promise of Love.
  • We are a preparing a special Advent Video Presentation for you to enjoy with your family at home. This will be our OLA children retelling of the story of Jesus' birth. Stay tuned!
  • We will be bringing in more fun by having a Door Decorating Contest coming up near the end of December...with prizes too!
  • December 11 we celebrated with St. John XXIII, St. JPII and SAB a Fort Saskatchewan Catholic School Virtual Advent Mass at 10:45am

Advent Celebration Updates:
  • Look for a GREEN SHEET in your child's back pack! Each year we support Catholic Social Services and Valeda House and this year we invite you to donate with us. As a thank you for your donation, we offer 12 available VIP Advent VIP Viewing Packages filled with goodies for you to enjoy while watching OLA's Advent Presentation in the comfort of your own home. Please read the green sheets in your child's backpacks. We are asking that all donations be received by 9:00am Monday December 21st. Thank You in advance for your generosity! (We will follow all EICS Re-entry safety protocols as donations arrive at school.)
  • With the Alberta Government's announcement on December 8th, we will be re-scheduling our OLA in-person celebrations of mass at OLA Catholic Parish to a future Liturgical season in 2021. As well, Father Kris and Father Danial will visit classes virtually this week and next week.

Thank you for your continued patience, partnership and trust as we navigate the ever-changing landscape. We continue to be committed to your child's safety and wellness in a learning environment that is Faith filled with love and joy!

Choose Joy daily!

OLA Celebrates Mass Together

With St. John XXIII, St. JPII & SAB

While "together" looks a little differently, we continue to be, together.

Advent Morning Celebrations

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Visit From Kokum Doreen

OLA is very grateful to Kokum Doreen for spending this time with us in 4E, 4P and 3MK teaching us about the Seven Sacred Teachings. We again thank the Fort Saskatchewan Multicultural Society for this beautiful connect.

The Seven Sacred Teachings

Our OLA School Community is embarking on a journey to learn about and apply the Seven Sacred Teachings as well as learning how they are so truly in alignment with our Gospel values and how we as Catholics live our lives through Christ.

  • The Seven Sacred Teachings are values based on First Nations cultural tradition.

  • Almost all First Nation people follow the Seven Sacred Teachings as a way to know how to behave and treat others well.

  • These teachings reinforce the teachings of our Catholic faith and to people all over the world that are trying to live a good life.

Mrs. Weller shared a beautiful video at our OLA assembly helping us understand the "why" behind recognizing the land we gather on, and the link between the Seven Sacred Teachings and our Catholic Faith.

Click here to see the video!

Sacred Teaching: LOVE

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Kindergarten Center Fun

Who's Who @ OLA

Introducing you to the Team!

Each week we will highlight a few members of the OLA team who welcome OLA children to school and who are walking with them this school year!

Your children are in great hands!

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Cooler Weather = Dress Warmer

Going outside and getting fresh air continues to be a vital and important part of our mental, physical and emotional wellness, and it sets us up for successful learning and growing.

Children will be outside for each recess to -25 degrees Celsius (or Windchill). Thank you for checking each morning that your child has the proper gear to enjoy the fresh air. If you are in need of warm items, please feel free to call us at the school. We can help.

We also will be kicking into gear our Polar Bear Recesses for those who would like to join!

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, December 13 - 3rd Sunday in Advent

January Power Options Selection This Week

Donations for Valeda House welcomed this week & VIP Viewing Packages available - Look for a green sheet in your child's backpack that came home on Friday.

Monday, December 14

  • Advent Virtual Prayers & Jesse Tree from our Chapel
  • OLA Student Support Team Meeting
  • Choosing Joy today!

Tuesday, December 15

  • Advent Virtual Prayers & Jesse Tree from our Chapel
  • A great day to learn and grow together!

Wednesday, December 16

  • Advent Virtual Prayers & Jesse Tree from our Chapel
  • Virtual Announcements & Sacred Teaching of Love
  • More spectacular learning and growing!

Thursday, December 17

  • Advent Virtual Prayers & Jesse Tree from our Chapel
  • A great day to be in community together!

Friday, December 18

  • Advent Virtual Prayers & Jesse Tree from our Chapel
  • Door Decorating Contest Day
  • 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.

1MW - Creating "A Road to Bethlehem"

Wednesday Staff Morning Mass

We continue to find ways to safely gather for mass at OLA in our beautiful chapel and in our cozy library.

Thank you for your help!

We have our shelves! Thanks to Mme Gravelle and Mrs. Bassett for their watchful eyes on facebook upcycling pages - we have our shelves!

We continue to welcome donations of:

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

Thank you to the families who have already donated items! They are and will be well used!

M/W Kindergarten Grinch Day

T/Th Kindergarten Grinch Day

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OLA's Sparkle Box

This week Mrs. Buban will be sharing the story, "The Sparkle Box" written by Jill Hardie and published by WorthyKids/Ideals.

We are inviting our OLA families to help us fill our very own sparkle box.

Please click the link above if you would like a peek at the story and to learn what goes into the Sparkle Box!

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Getting Ready for At-Home Learning in January...

As we prepare for At-Home Learning January 6, 7 & 8 there are a few things you can help with to ensure your child experiences success:

  • What is Google Classroom? Click here to access a short Slide Show presentation about Google Classroom and how to access the Google Applications with Google Suite. Here is a PDF version of the slide how presentation.
  • Ensure you or your child has access to Google Classroom. Kindergarten to Grade 2 families have received emails from their teachers with instructions on how to access and log onto Google Classroom. Please connect with your child's teacher if you do not yet have access. Grade 3 and 4 parents, please ask your child to show you how they access their Google Classroom as they use it regularly in class.
  • Do you know your child's unique student ID that begins with a 6 and contains six digits. These six digits, plus are their EICS email address and login email: . Please reach out to your child's teacher if your child can't remember theirs or you cannot find the email that was sent to you with it.
  • Once you have access, here is a quick video on how to log into Google Classroom and other Google applications from a laptop or other device than a Chromebook.
  • As teachers post assignments, videos and information online for your child's learning,

    these videos, pictures or other instructional content shared with you are for instructional purposes only within your home and your child. These are not to be re-shared to other platforms or individuals. Your cooperation with regards to this is much appreciated!

  • When your child meets their class for their google meet, it may be advantageous to get the Grid View extension for Chrome so your child can see all of his/her classmates. It can be disabled at any time. For more information, please click here.

  • Just like a regular school day, teachers will be taking attendance twice each day on January 6, 7 and 8.

  • Looking for fun things to do with your children, or fantastic music to play and sing along with? Check out Mrs. Lukie's Music Lab Web Page!

Stay tuned this week and next for more information

in this newsletter and from your child's homeroom teacher

that will set us for learning and growing together at home

January 6, 7 & 8.

Thank you for checking your junk mail.

Highlight on Learning in 3SK

It is beautiful the language children generate together when they springboard from each other's ideas, and collaboratively co-construct paragraphs and stories!

In 3SK's class this week, they revisited a writing piece they co-built together and reviewed the journey to get there. First they used Pobble365 as inspiration for their writing (the picture is seen below). Together they mind mapped words and phrases they generated from a careful and intentional analysis of the picture prompt. This is an effective brainstorming activity to pre-teach and highlight vocabulary. It is also an excellent English as a Second Language Learning strategy! Once they made concrete their many wonderful ideas, together they wrote the paragraph below. Amazing how Science and our Faith were integrated into an English Language Arts writing lesson!

Click on the paragraph picture below to read their masterpiece!

Timely words for us all!

Continuing the writing process, and scaffolding learning for students, the "I do, We do, You do" process continued with another exciting Pobble-inspired writing prompt. Hands were flying up in the air, children could barely contain their excitement to share ideas as they pulled out elements in the picture! The story idea began to take shape as Ms. Keleva guided a mind mapping activity on the whiteboard after children had "looking time" to focus their minds and ideas.

Language clarity and depth were explored together as discussions occurred about the difference between a tortoise and a turtle, the Winter Solstice and what word best described what the man was wearing, a coat or jacket? Children also explored language related to spruce trees vs pine vs evergreens, looking for language that helped to paint clear mental images. As words were shared by children and written on the board, Ms. Keleva modelled a spelling strategy of sounding out the big ones that were tricky to spell.

I wonder what imaginative stories will be generated from this highly engaging writing lesson?

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.

Telus Internet for Good

In the current landscape of physical distancing, access to fast, reliable connectivity has never been more essential. TELUS Internet for Good helps low-income families stay connected, empowering youth to safely learn from home.

Please click here for more information.

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.

OLA School Council News

See you at our next meeting, on Tuesday, January 12th@ 7:00 pm.

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!

Highlight on Learning in 1MW

I wonder what happens when we mix paint colours? This is the question 1MW were curious about in today's lesson.

We learned that lots happens!

Children received their paint pallettes with three primary colours (a science vocabulary term they previously learned) and were shared that the goal was to experiment with the mixing of these primary colours to see what colours we get!

Literacy in Science? Fantastic! Before beginning their experiment, together they read a story about mice and paints. They learned how the mice painted themselves to get away from the cat. This inspired the conversation about camouflage!

Using a paper filled with mice (great connection to the story!) and cue tips as paint brushes, children followed the directions to paint each mouse one colour and predict what would happen when they painted the third mouse a mix of the first two colours! Children shared their predictions and then they had the chance to try it out. The amazement, WOWs, OOOHHHs were palpable! Children were amazed at what colours were formed! Cue tips shot up into the air as children with big smiles exclaimed, "It's purple!!!"

As with any activity, the messier you are, the more learning fun you've had!

The grade 1s are science experts now! They can tell you all about red + yellow = ?? yellow + blue = ?? blue + red = ??

To wrap up the learning, and help children connect it in different ways, the children took out their secondary colour sticks and together they remembered which two primary colours made the secondary colour in their hand!

A perfect "sandwich lessons!"

The question to inspire curiosity: What happens when we mix colours? (top bun)

Let's explore! (the meat!)

What goal did we achieve? What did we learn? (bottom bun)

Thank you 3MK for Solving the Mystery!

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Thanks to 3MK

Mme Gravelle & Mrs. Weller

were found safe and sound.

Looks like they had it rough (not!).

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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

Outside Fun!

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Looking Ahead...

December 20, 2020

  • 4th Sunday in Advent
December 21, 2020
  • VIP Viewing Packages Draw
  • Cohort Advent Celebration - Fourth Week of Advent!
  • Valeda House Donations due by 9:00am
  • Check out the night sky - can you see the Star of Bethlehem?

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

January 12, 2021

  • Virtual School Council Meeting 7:00 p.m.

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.