PWPSD Board News - October 20, 2022

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OCTOBER 20, 2022
Inspiring all learners to become confident, collaborative and ethical citizens motivated with a passion to achieve a sustainable future.

Peace Wapiti Public School Division sees increase in enrollment

In his report to the Board, Deputy Superintendent Darren Young shared that student enrollment throughout the Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) has increased since September 2021. The Division began the 2022-2023 school year with an increase of 236 students (4.3%) throughout its schools. The Division has added eight centrally-deployed teachers to assist with the increase in students.

Wellness at PWPSD

Assistant Superintendents Shawn O'Shea and Heather Putio presented their wellness update to the Board, focusing on a three-year plan with an overarching goal of providing students, staff, and families with wellness supports.

Mental Health Capacity Building Tri-District Wellness Team - Tier I

Funded through Alberta Health Services, the Mental Health Capacity Building Tri-District Wellness Team works directly with students, staff and families within Peace Wapiti Public School Division, Grande Prairie Public School Division, and Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools. The team focuses on a Tier 1 approach by promoting positive mental health by:

  • Raising awareness
  • Increasing knowledge
  • Building personal skills
  • Developing interpersonal skills
  • Fostering positive community norms (support networks, and physical and psychological safety)
The team's goal is to develop mental health literacy and build capacity across PWPSD to develop a common language and understanding for teachers, administrators, students, and parents.

Preventative Wellness Services - Tier I & II

Each school within PWPSD has access to a Community School Liaison Counsellor, through either the Division or Family Community Support Services, who is focused on supporting the positive mental health of both students and staff. The Family Support Program is intended to assist families that need education, support, and skills to better understand their child(ren), build connection, and promote positive outcomes.

Mental Health Professionals Team - Tier III

The PWPSD Mental Health Professionals Team consists of four Mental Health Therapists who provide Tier III assessments and interventions, and support families with accessing Tier IV supports. In addition to completing school-based interventions for students experiencing mental health disorders, our team of Mental Health Therapists provide classroom support, parent support, Suicidal Risk Assessment Protocol training and support, and violent risk assessment support.

Looking Forward

The PWPSD wellness team has shared three key areas it continues to build on:
  • Partnership with the Indigenous Education Coordinators and the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre
  • Leadership development to grow healthy work cultures
  • Elementary mental health literacy

PWPSD celebrates retirees

PWPSD retirees from 2019-2022 gathered on October 20 to celebrate their major achievement.

Peace Wapiti Public School Division was happy to be able to celebrate retirees from 2019-2022 in-person on October 20. Former and current staff were joined by the Board of Trustees to reminisce and celebrate the retirement of 41 teachers, principals, and support staff. With over 600 years of experience in the room, those in attendance shared stories and laughs as they celebrated together.

Congratulations to each retiree, we are so proud to have had you as part of the Peace Wapiti Public School Division!
Beaverlodge Elementary School
  • Linda Burgess, 33 years (2021)
  • Paul Cincurak, 31 years (2020)
  • Donna Dueck, 30 years (2021)
  • Devany May, 27 years (2020)
  • Michelle Werbiski, 30 years (2022)
  • Joey Wieliczko, 25 years (2022)
Beaverlodge Regional High School
  • Anna Nelson, 25 years (2022)
  • Robyn Sorochan, 31 years (2021)
Bonanza School
  • Christine Meier, 21 years (2019)
Bus Shop
  • Brian Birkeland, 22 years (2019)
Central Office
  • Susan Karpisek, 25 years (2020)
Eaglesham School
  • Betty Despins, 37 years (2022)
  • Esther Fehr, 24 years (2022)
  • Joann Martin, 30 years (2021)
  • Michael McKay, 25 years (2022)
Helen E. Taylor School
  • Candice Collins, 25 years (2022)
  • Randy Hopkins, 30 years (2022)
Hythe Regional School
  • Sandra Busch, 23 years (2020)
  • Lisa MacAulay, 17 years (2021)
  • Patti Nichol, 30 years (2022)
  • Dwayne Speager, 34 years (2021)
La Glace School
  • Robert Rycroft, 29 years (2020)
  • Barry Carlton, 14 years (2021)
Peace Wapiti Academy
  • Paulette Durand, 18 years (2022)
  • Kimberly Houlder, 24 years (2021)
Ridgevalley School
  • Elaine Scharf, 30 years (2020)
  • Jody Shell, 29 years (2022)
  • Michael Shell, 34 years (2022)
  • Cathy Gunson, 15 years (2020)
Robert W. Zahara School
  • Janina Carlstad, 15 years (2021)
  • Debbie Hammel, 24 years (2020)
  • Lawrie McKeith, 13 years (2022)
Sexsmith Secondary School
  • Gayle Unsworth, 23 years (2022)
Spirit River Regional Academy
  • Diane Kushneryk, 40 years (2020)
  • Blaine Riding, 31 years (2020)
  • Anne Venhola, 30 years (2021)
Wembley Elementary School
  • Karen Hiltz, 24 years (2021)
  • Johanna Ruxton, 33 years (2020)
Whispering Ridge Community School
  • Gaby Boehm-Nelson, 33 years (2021)
  • Sandy Mason, 18 years (2020)
  • Rod Vanstone, 13 years (2022)

Board approves goals for 2022-2023

The Board approved the goals listed below, as presented by the Board Goal Setting Ad Hoc Committee, for the 2022-2023 school year:

  • Trustees recognize that a key responsibility of elected School Boards is that they are engaged in ensuring that all of our students are receiving the best possible education.
  • Increase Mental Health Literacy of the Board of Trustees and work toward proactive mental health and wellness initiatives across our division.
  • Actively build and re-establish positive relationships with our local municipalities.
  • Trustees are able to access learning opportunities locally and engage in Professional Development that better prepares them to fulfill their role.

Committee & Meeting Reports

  • Trustee Clarke presented the PSBAA Fall General Meeting Report
  • Trustee Piebiak presented the Communications Committee Meeting Report
  • Trustee Speager presented the Health and Safety Committee Meeting Report
  • Trustee Clarke presented the PSBAA Professional Development Report

Upcoming Events

  • Daylight Saving Time Ends - turn clocks back one hour: Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 a.m.
  • Merv Crouse Coats for Kids Campaign Ends - last day to pick up free, gently-used and freshly-cleaned winter gear: Tuesday, November 15
  • Remembrance Day - No school, all PWPSD offices and shops closed: Friday, November 11
  • M├ętis Week: November 14-20
  • Rock Your Mocs: November 15
  • Christmas Card Art Contest (K-3) Closes: Friday, November 18
  • Next Board Meeting: Thursday, November 24 at 10:30 a.m.
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A report on news from Peace Wapiti Public School Division,
published following each Board Meeting.

Content and Design:

Kayla Klava, Communications Officer, [email protected] 
Peace Wapiti Public School Division,
Central Office, 8611A-108 Street, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 4C5  

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