BTPS Newsletter

May 1, 2023

Superintendent's Memo

Happy May, Team!

It is hard to believe we are in the home stretch here.

Today is bus driver appreciation day. Thank the bus drivers that bring our students safely to and from school and ensure their first BTPS contact each and every day is a positive one. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated drivers.

This week also brings Hats On! For Mental Health day on May 3rd. Join me in wearing a hat on Wednesday to help bring more awareness to mental health and break the stigma.

Friday, is Red Dress Day, also called the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People. We honour the thousands of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people who have been disproportionately impacted by violence in Canada. I will be wearing red to help bring awareness to this issue.

I also want to recognize that Friday, May 5 is Education Support Staff Appreciation Day. It is a day to recognize the hard work and dedication of our support staff who work tirelessly to support our BTPS students. Our students are fortunate to have these amazing people working with them.

I wish all the teams luck in our May walking challenge. I love seeing how much some of you get out there and bring up the average. My goal is to hit 10,000 steps each day in May!

We have some new media releases posted on our website if you have not yet had an opportunity to see them.

Have a great week,


BTPS Announces Changes to Secretary Treasurer Position

Buffalo Trail Public Schools would like to express our appreciation to Mr. Nadeem Altaf for his outstanding service as our Secretary Treasurer for the past two years. Mr. Altaf has been instrumental in guiding BTPS through the budget process and overseeing transportation, finance, facilities, and payroll. We are saddened to announce that this week he will be leaving us to join Chinook's Edge School Division.

Superintendent Holoien would like to acknowledge Mr. Altaf's incredible dedication to our students and staff, saying, "We were fortunate to have Mr. Altaf with us for the past two years. He was truly student-focused, patient, and innovative in his role. BTPS has greatly benefited from his wealth of knowledge and expertise. He will be missed, not only for his exceptional work but also for his infectious smile."

BTPS wishes him all the best in his new position.

With this news also comes the announcement of an addition to our team, Mr. Peter Neale, as our new Secretary Treasurer. Mr. Neale has a wealth of experience in his current role as Secretary Treasurer of Clearview School Division, and we are thrilled to welcome him to BTPS.

He has direct and extensive experience with over 18 years of experience in support services leadership at all levels, from school-based accounting to division-wide strategic planning. Peter's background includes a strong knowledge of school divisions which encompass many communities including Hutterite communities.

Superintendent Holoien expressed her excitement about Mr. Neale's appointment, stating that "BTPS is extremely fortunate to have Mr. Neale join our team. His expertise and experiences will support and enhance BTPS, and we are confident that he will bring processes and learning opportunities that will support BTPS."

BTPS is excited to have Mr. Neale on board and looks forward to working with him.

May 1, 2023 is Bus Driver Appreciation Day!

On Bus Driver Appreciation Day, we would like to take a moment to recognize and thank the amazing bus drivers at BTPS for their outstanding service. Your dedication to ensuring our students safety and timely transportation does not go unnoticed. Thank you, BTPS bus drivers, for all that you do! Happy Bus Driver Appreciation Day!

May 1, 2023 is Principals Day!

Happy Principals Day to all the hardworking Principals and Assistant Principals at BTPS. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our students and staff. Your leadership is truly appreciated and valued!

Hats On! for Mental Health Day

BTPS, are you ready to wear a hat on May 3 for Hats On! For Mental Health Day? This is a day to show support and raise awareness for good mental health. By wearing a hat, we can start a conversation about the importance of taking care of our mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

So, BTPS, let’s wear a hat on May 3 for Hats On! For Mental Health Day. Let’s start a conversation and break the stigma around mental health and encourage open and honest conversations about mental health. Together, we can make a difference and support mental health for all.

Norah, from Delnorte School, shares an important message for Hats On! For Mental Health Day. Take a list to the great message here.

May 1-7 is Mental Health Week!

It is crucial to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental Health Week is a time to promote positive mental health practices and to remind everyone that it is okay to seek help when needed. More information is found here.

Education Week

Buffalo Trail Public Schools is excited to announce its participation in Education Week, taking place from May 1-5. This year’s theme is “Learning Uplifts All”, which celebrates the transformative power of education and the remarkable achievements of students, educators, and communities across the province.

As a school division committed to maximizing student learning, we are proud to showcase the outstanding work of our students and staff during Education Week. Through various activities and events, we will highlight the exceptional teaching and learning taking place in our schools and the positive impact it has on our students and their futures.

Education Week provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the importance of education and the role it plays in shaping the lives of our students. It is a time to recognize the hard work, dedication, and innovation of our educators and the positive contributions they make to our communities.

We invite our staff, families, and community members to join us in celebrating Education Week and the power of learning. Celebrating our students’ achievements is uplifting for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @BTPS28 as we share school events and to learn more about our commitment to maximizing student learning.

Step it Up! May Challenge

It is time for our last stepping challenge for the 2022-2023 school year.

The Challenge

  • There are only 20 groups. one for each school and one for central office.
  • Sign up in a group. If you are a part of many groups (SEC, VIBE, WOW, speech assistants, tech, maintenance, wellness facilitators...) PLEASE a team you work closely with. We want as many of you to participate as possible.
  • Record your daily steps. These can be from walking, running, supervision, pacing... any type of stepping you can do. There is no group goal, just set a goal for yourself or challenge a friend.


There will be two prizes awarded at the end of May.

  • Prize #1 - Greatest Number of Steps

The team with the most steps (this will be averaged over the number of participants in individual teams)

  • Prize #2 - Participation

The staff with the most members recording steps on a regular basis (this will be based on your staff : participant ratio)

What will you win? I am glad you asked. The winning staffs will receive lunch. There is nothing better than enjoying a meal and laughter together!


Learn about vaping and tobacco education from this podcast. This is an important health priority in schools.

Vaping and Tobacco Education with Chrysta Bell

- The PodClass

Residential School Art 10 Project (Detailed Explanation)

"My inspiration for this piece came from a documentary we watched in grade nine in regards to residential schools and orange shirt day. The documentary is called We Were Children, directed by Tim Walochuik, and it communicates the horrible things the children had to endure in residential school . Phrases such as “I felt like they were taking something away from me, like they were stripping away my human; my sense of who I was” from the documentary is specifically what I wanted to portray in my piece (ie, the hand with a rosary clawed to the face ) to show how the priests and nuns tried to strip away the indigenous identity. The hand in the artwork is trying to take away the native identity and hide it with religious beliefs which is shown by the merging of black watercolor on the hand and face. It was inspired because the priests and teachers wanted to physically alter the children's appearances to ensure that any ties to their heritage would be lost.

I wanted to use the colors orange and black for my artwork because of the representation it holds with Phyllis Webstad and her story being at the residential school. Before going to the Mission School at the age of six, her grandmother bought her a new orange shirt which was then stripped away from her when she got to the residential school. She had stated in an article that “The color orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing.” This connects with my artwork because the feelings that Phyllis felt is what I wanted to show in my artwork with the residential school’s attempt to strip away the indigenous identity.

My piece is a reminder that even though we sadly can not change the fact that many people had to endure residential schools, we can certainly learn more about residential schools and learn more indigenous cultures."

- by Dakota Tizzard, BTPS Student

Apply for School at the Legislature – virtual, onsite, and hybrid options available!

We are thrilled to invite your schools to participate in our 23/24 School at the Legislature program, an exciting and immersive educational experience that enables students to learn about government and democracy.

Our program provides a unique opportunity for students in grades 6 and 9 to interact with key players in the government, participate in a Mock Legislature, tour the Legislature building, and learn about the legislative process and the roles of elected officials. What's more, School at the Legislature adapts to student and teacher needs, ensuring a personalized learning experience for all.

We offer three options for schools to participate in our program: virtual, onsite, and hybrid. Our virtual option enables schools to participate in our program from the comfort of their classroom. Our onsite option enables schools to participate in-person at the Alberta Legislature building. Our hybrid weeks offer a combination of both our virtual and onsite programming for a unique learning experience.

Applications for the 23/24 school year close on May 19, 2023. For more information and to apply, please click here.

New Curriculum Implementation Plan

Big picture

Human Resources Department

WORTH KNOWING - Teacher Discipline

On January 1, 2023, the new Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers and Teacher Leaders came into effect. The new Code can be found here. This is a significant change as the Alberta Teachers’ Association (Association) has performed this regulatory function for over 80 years. Ongoing discipline cases (initiated prior to January 1, 2023) will remain the responsibility of the Association until June 30, 2023.

The new processes are complex with short timelines (some as short as 15 days) and include alternatives to hearings, such as dispute resolution, mediation and consent resolution. The Association will ensure that members are treated fairly in accordance with the law and principles of procedural fairness and natural justice. Call the Association immediately if you believe you are the subject of a complaint as there is a short window to act.

Reach the Association with any questions or if you require more information by telephone at 780‑447‑9400 or 1-800-232-7208. You can also email

Technology Department

Chrome Apps

The Chrome Apps Icon will be removed from the Chrome Browser toolbar. If you use this icon you can find all you need in the 9 boxes or as an extension in the toolbar top right of the page. Google is going away from using “Apps”, everything will be available as “Extensions”.

“According to Google's Chromium blog, the decision to end support for Chrome Apps was due to two factors: the relatively low usage of Chrome Apps, and the development of technology making it easier to host applications entirely from the web.”

Learning Services Department

EdTech Tips with Stacy:

Springtime is learning time with Workspace! Tiptoe through the tulips with this spring-themed Workspace for younger learners.

Learn how the solar system affects the Earth’s seasons in this Workspace for middle school learners.


Looking for strategies and resources to teach reading comprehension in K-3? Look no further. Shout out to Stacy Brouwer from Provost Public School who created and shared this Google Slide with reading comprehension strategies!

Inclusive Learning Department

May Newsletter - Wainwright & District FCSS

Please see the attached Wainwright & District FCSS newsletter that is packed full of some very exciting and dynamic opportunities in May!

AMH Caregiver Education May/June 2023 Newsletter

AMH Education Services, Edmonton Zone, is proud to offer free addiction and mental health virtual programming for parents and caregivers of children and youth, as well as sessions for all adults.

See the attached newsletter for more information on topics, dates, times, and registration.

Around BTPS

Buffalo Trail Public Schools

Location: 1041 10A Street, Wainwright, AB, Canada
Phone: 7808426144
Twitter: @BTPS28