NSO Weekly News
December 18-22, 2023
Sherwood Park - Fort Saskatchewan - Vegreville
We hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! This is the last week of classes prior to Christmas break. As of Monday, there are only 15 Instructional days remaining in semester 1, for non-diploma courses. For Diploma writers, there are only 7 Instructional days until ELA 30-1/2 Part A exams and 8 instructional days until Social 30-1/2 exams.
We appreciate the opportunity to engage, interact, and support all families. Our Next Step vision is to create a community of learners who embody the virtues of acceptance, flexibility, individualization, respect, and responsibility. We are excited you are part of our alternative learning environment. Have a great week! #gogreen Mr. B. Spady Principal & Mrs. K. Porter Assistant Principal
December 21 Winter Solstice
December 23 Christmas Break starts
January 6-7 Diploma Exam Prep Session (ELA & Social)
January 8 Classes resume & 10 Instructional days left to complete assessments
January 10 ELA 30-1/2 Part A Diploma
January 10 Early dismissal (2:15 p.m.)
January 11 Social 30-1/2 Part A Diploma
January 15 EIPS High School Info Night 6 p.m.
January 20-21 Diploma Exam Prep Session (Math, Bio, Chem Physics)
January 22 Math 30-1/2 Diploma & Last day of regular class
January 23 ELA 30-1/2 Part B Diploma
January 24 Social 30-1/2 Part B Diploma
January 25 Biology 30 Diploma & Bell Let's Talk Day
January 26 Chemistry 30 Diploma
January 27 Diploma Exam Prep Session Science 30
January 29 Physics 30 Diploma
January 30 Science 30 Diploma & last day semester 1
January 30-31 Ribbon Skirt and Shirt Workshop at Fort Saskatchewan High
January 31 Professional Learning day-NO School
February 1 Semester 2 starts
Cybersecurity Update: Important information for families
Enhanced Location-based Security for Student Accounts Starting Jan. 19, 2024, access to student user accounts—used for platforms like PowerSchool, Brightspace and Google—will be limited to within Canada's geographical boundaries. This change is an essential step in strengthening our cyber defenses and ensuring the digital safety of students.
What Does This Mean for You and Your Child? Location-limited Access: Your child's account will be accessible only when they’re physically located in Canada. This includes all activities related to their schoolwork, such as submitting assignments, accessing study materials or sending EIPS account emails. Seamless In-country Use: While in Canada, students will experience no change in how they access and use their accounts. The process remains as straightforward and user-friendly as always. PowerSchool Access for Parents and Caregivers: This change will NOT impact parent and caregiver access to PowerSchool during periods of travel.
Why This Change? The safety and privacy of students are paramount. This location-based access control is a proactive measure to prevent unauthorized access to students' accounts and protect sensitive information from potential cyber threats. For more information, contact the school office at 780-464-1899.
Share Your Thoughts on Budget Planning for 2024-25
Alberta Education allocates funds to school boards to fulfill their delegated responsibilities of providing education programs for students in kindergarten to Grade 12. As part of Elk Island Public Schools’ (EIPS) commitment to stakeholder engagement and to continue allocating resources according to local priorities, the Division conducts an annual budget planning survey to seek input from staff, families Grade 12 students and community partners.
The survey is voluntary, anonymous and takes about 3 minutes to complete. The survey questions suggest possible budget areas for EIPS to focus its resources, which align with the Division’s current Four-Year Education Plan. If you believe there are other areas where the Division should concentrate its resources, you can also indicate what these are. EIPS will consider all budget planning input to guide future decision-making. Survey closes Dec 20, 2023 COMPLETE THE SURVEY NOW
The RBC Future Launch Scholarship
The RBC Future Launch Scholarship could help you take your next step towards a better job. This Scholarship is for anyone from 15 to 29 who wants to learn something new… Could $1,500 make you more future ready? Accepting applications all year. The RBC Future Launch Scholarship
The RBC Future Launch Scholarship will be awarded to those who show a clear vision for their future.
- For Canadian youth between 15 – 29 years old
- Enrolled part time in school or not in school at all
- Grades and transcripts are not required
- Hundreds of scholarships available throughout the year
- Not working at RBC or a dependent of someone working at RBC
The $1,500 scholarship can be used for many different things, including:
- Short-term courses, Workshops, Certificates, Necessary equipment or books
With the winter season well underway, 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) will advise families of any bus cancellations or changes to school operations using various communications tools—automated-telephone messages, email, SMS, 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 or changes to school operations are guided by EIPS’ Administrative Procedure 131: Inclement Weather, which states: “school bus service may be suspended … when there is a forecast or current temperature of -40 C including wind chill, in one or more regions.” Other reasons for suspending or delaying school bus services or school-related activities 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 what they feel is safest during times of inclement weather. For more information, contact EIPS Student Transportation at 780-417-8151.
Returning Student Registration for 2024-25
Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) will once again conduct an online returning student registration process to confirm student registrations for the 2024-25 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 2024-25 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 2024-25 returning student registration takes place Feb. 8-21, 2024.
One contact for each current PALS to Grade 11 student will receive the Returning Student Registration Form link through Permission Click on February 8. The recipient is based on which contact has been identified as the one to receive forms as listed on the most recent registration form, Correction and Verification Form or Student Information Update submitted to the Division. To review the contacts listed for each student, refer to the Student Information Update available through the PowerSchool Parent Portal. Only one contact can be selected to receive forms.
For more information, contact the school office at 780-464-1899 or 780-992-0101.
School Fee Consultation
Under Alberta Education’s School Fee Regulation, schools must consult with parents prior to setting school fees for the upcoming school year. Our next school council meeting will be taking place on January 23, 2024 at 6 p.m. During that time, I’ll be sharing information about our current fee structure, and asking you to provide your feedback as we plan for the next school year. While many of these activities and services enhance students’ educational experience, we want to ensure these fees aren’t cost prohibitive for families.
Specifically, we will be asking for input on the following: Field trips and associated fees and Non-curricular goods and services (for example, student union and yearbooks)
I understand not all families will be available to attend the meeting but it’s still important we get as much input from the school community as possible. Following the meeting, materials will be shared on our website eipsnextstep.ca for your review, and an email address provided so you can submit a written response.
School administration will use feedback provided to help determine fees for next year, which will then be shared at the (month) school council meeting, posted to our website and shared via link through email. See you January 23!
Did you know?
The Education Act requires every public school division in the province to have a Board of Trustees. The Board is made up of elected representatives who are accountable to you, the families, and to the community members of a school division who have elected each trustee. For EIPS, the Board provides overall direction and leadership, accepting responsibility for the Division’s policies and procedures. You can view all current policies and procedures on the EIPS website.
Young Women in Trades & Technologies (YWITT)
Student Discover Your Future Information Session Feb 07 2024 6- 8:00 pm
This event looks to bring together parents, students and employers to address some of the misconceptions about young girls going into the skilled trades. We will have mentors and employers at the event that support young women entering and being successful in their careers. Throughout the night will be hands on activities, and you will get to hear directly from the women in these different industries and meet their employers who are committed to our YWITT mission to provide young women with the opportunity and confidence to explore career options in non-traditional skilled trades and technologies.
Young Women in Trades and Technologies Spring Camp: Edmonton March 25-28, 2024
Are you ready to discover your passion! Join our free in-person YWITT Camp for female Edmonton youth in grades 10-12. This year we will be accepting 6 female youth to participate in our four day camp. During the camp, students will have the opportunity to explore several careers in the skilled trades, gain hands on experience, talk with female mentors who are working in the field, and connect with other young women with similar interests.
Cannabis: Get to know more about cannabis and explore the effects that early use of cannabis products can have on a young person’s life, then have a conversation with your child.
Health Education and Learning Website: www.ahs.ca/heal is a resource aimed at providing families easily accessible, reliable information about common minor illness and injuries in children. This resource offers general information about the causes, symptoms and home management options for common minor illnesses and injuries, and when to seek medical care.
Parent Support Hub: is safe virtual space for parents, guardians and families to get guidance and support. This free service is available 24/7 for anyone who is concerned about the use of substances by a young person in their life.
Vaping: Vaping’s popularity among youth has grown significantly over the past five years – and there is a lot of concern that this increase may have a negative impact on the overall health of young people. https://www.drugfreekidscanada.org/issues/vaping/
Teaching Sexual Health: For up to date, evidence based information and strategies for parents to deliver effective sexual health education https://teachingsexualhealth.ca/
Next Step envisions itself as not just an educational institution, but a vibrant community of learners deeply committed to virtues that go beyond the classroom. Here's a brief overview of the core values that make up the vision:
Acceptance- We strive for a diverse and inclusive environment where every student, parent, caregiver, and staff member feels accepted, irrespective of their background, beliefs, or circumstances. We believe that learning is most effective when everyone feels like they belong.
Flexibility- Understanding that each learner is unique, we aim to offer flexible learning and a range of teaching methodologies to cater to individual needs. Whether through elective courses, extracurricular activities, or personalized learning paths, flexibility is at the heart of our educational approach.
Individualization- Building on the concept of flexibility, we focus on personalized education. Our staff are committed to identifying each student’s strengths, and areas for growth, allowing for a more tailored educational experience while maintaining a high academic standard. This individual attention ensures that every student is equipped with the tools they need to succeed both academically and personally.
Respect- In our community, respect is mutual. Staff, students, caregivers, and parents are encouraged to show respect for each other's ideas, feelings, and contributions. We believe that open dialogue, grounded in respect, fosters a rich learning environment where complex issues can be discussed and dissected.
Responsibility- While our staff are committed to providing the best educational experience possible, we also encourage students, caregivers and parents to take responsibility for their learning journey. This includes active participation in school activities, regular communication with staff, and a commitment to personal and academic growth.
For parents, caregivers, and families, becoming a part of the Next Step community means joining a network committed to these virtues. Together, we work toward providing an educational experience that values the uniqueness of each student, respects the input of each community member, and prepares learners for a future full of possibilities.