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Mustang Memo - January 12, 2024

Having fun in science class!

Welcome back to school after a nice break!

It was great to see all those smiley faces this week, even though it was a bit colder than we are used to. Thank you to all families for sending their children dressed for the weather!

Speaking of winter gear, our lost and found is once again full to the brim! Feel free to drop by and look through our bin at any time. We sort through the items and look for names to return them to their owners, however, so many items have no names! We encourage all families to get out that Sharpie to label winter gear so that you don't have to replace it! 

Stay warm!

Helene Hewitt & Jay Robertson

Principal & Assistant Principal

You belong here!

Table of Contents

Week At a Glance


  • Help Us with the Drop Off Lane
  • Inclement Weather


  • 2024-25 School Fees Consultation
  • Caregiver Series
  • EIPS Annual Education Results Report 2022-23: Now available!


  • Counsellor's Corner
  • Did You Know?
  • Cybersecurity Update: Important Information for Families
  • Parents Make the Difference

WEEK AT A GLANCE - January 8-12

  • Hot Lunch Group A KG, Gr. 1 & 2
  • Swimming Lessons (Snaterse & Versteegt) @ 1:45-2:30 p.m.
  • Swimming Lessons KG Group A @ 1:00pm
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Gr. 5 library helpers
    • Girls Running Club
    • Cute Things Club (Thursday group)
  • Hot Lunch Group B KG, Gr. 3-6
  • Swimming Lessons (Tambasco-Nicks, Oslanski & Parker) @ 10:00 - 10:45 a.m.
  • Group B KG Swimming Lessons @ 1pm
  • DARE - Gr. 5 classes
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Art Club - Gr. 1
    • Cute Things - Gr. 5
    • Gr. 5 library helpers
    • D&D Grade 5 group 2
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Games Club - Div 2
    • D & D Club - Gr. 5 group 3
    • Gr. 5 library helpers
    • Sprouts Club Gr. 1 & 2
    • Running Club Boys
  • School Council and DCFS meetings @ 6:30 p.m. in the library
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Gr. 5 library helpers
  • Mustang Memo published online
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Daebak Dance - Gr. 4-6 drop in
    • Gymnastics Club - Gr. 4-6 drop in


Help Us with the Drop Off Lane

With the cold weather in full effect there is a big increase to the use of the drop off lane. You may have noticed that the lane gets very full and traffic can get backed up at the corner of Davenport Drive turning into our drop off lane area. You can be of huge help in reducing congestion by:

Driving to the farthest spot in the drop off lane

Yes, we know that it is closer to the front door to stop at the start of the lane but it makes it impossible for traffic to flow if we prioritize our personal desire for a shorter walking distance over the greater need of all the parents waiting to drop off kids. Let's work together to make room for the people waiting behind us!

Staying in your vehicle and letting your child walk to and from without you.

We know it's hard to have kids walk alone, especially when they are little. That being said, we do have staff walking around outside who direct kids to their doors and we also have designated staff at each door. Did you know they wait there and make sure no child is standing outside? In January, we would expect that students know how to get to and from their assigned doors, even our littlest learners can do it!

Every person who gets out of their car to walk their child to the school is stopping the flow of traffic and affecting the cars behind them. If you want to walk in, please park your car in a visitor stall or on the road. 

Not parking on Davenport Drive to turn into the drop off lane corner.

Not only is it dangerous to let your child out in an area without supervision and near so much traffic, it is also holding up all of the cars behind you waiting to turn right into the drop off lane. 

Welcome to our bylaw officer!

Today we enlisted help from our friendly neighbourhood bylaw officer to make things run smoothly. He shared that people who violate traffic laws can have a $243 fine!

We believe that DCE parents are kind and respectful. Together, we can make the lane work smoothly!

Plan for 15 extra minutes for pick up and drop off when the volume is higher - perhaps crank the tunes and rock out while you wait! Of note, today the drop off lane was clear and open by 3:28 p.m.! That means that it was a ghost town within 10 minutes of the bell ringing! While it might feel like a long wait, it might be faster than we all think! 

Inclement Weather

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 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 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.


2024-25 School Fees Consultation

Dear Davidson Creek Elementary families,

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 18, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. During that time, I’ll be sharing information about our current fee structure, posing specific questions about priorities, and asking you to provide your feedback as we plan for the 2023-24 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:

  • Optional courses and associated fees
  • Noon hour supervision
  • Field trips and associated fees
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Non-curricular travel (for example, ski trips and band camps)
  • 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 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 2023-24, which will then be shared at the February school council meeting, posted to our website and shared via link through email.

I look forward to hearing from you on January 18.


Helene Hewitt, Principal
Davidson Creek Elementary

EIPS Annual Education Results Report 2022-23: Now available!

EIPS’ Annual Education Results Report 2022-23 is now available online. The report details how EIPS is doing relative to Alberta Education’s performance measures; how it’s supporting students to achieve the best possible outcomes; and its successes, challenges and priority strategies moving forward. What shines through in this year’s Annual Education Results Report are the myriad programs and initiatives taking shape throughout the Division to ensure high-quality education, support student growth and achievement, and develop learners with the skills and knowledge needed to help them succeed.

EIPS invites you to read through this year’s Annual Education Results Report 2022-23. Celebrate our collective achievements and discover how EIPS fosters environments for all students to learn, grow and thrive—and why it matters.

Annual Education Results Report 2022-23

Also available is a condensed version of the report: AERR 2022-23: Overview 

EIPS Four-Year Education Plan: 2022-26
EIPS Three-Year Capital Plan: 2024-27


Counsellor's Corner

We hope everyone had a restful and relaxing holiday (as much as any parent can at least)! We are excited to be back in the building with students as we dive into the new year. We wanted to start off this first week back by highlighting some of the amazing (and free) education sessions being offered through AHS in January and February. We especially want to draw your attention to the Understanding Anxiety Series, as this is learning that can truly benefit all children and their parents at any stage of life. For more information about how to register in the sessions described below, please click here to see the Caregiver Series AHS Newsletter.

Understanding Anxiety Series

Part 1: An Introduction

This session will distinguish between normal worries and anxiety that is no longer helpful or productive and will help participants to identify signs that they or their child/youth may be experiencing anxiety.

  • Date: Thursday, February 1, 2024
  • Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
  • For adults supporting their own wellness or the wellness of children and youth.

Part 2: Calming Our Bodies

In this session, we will review how the body reacts to stress triggers, ways we can start to notice the body’s stress responses, and strategies for regulating ourselves, children, and youth.

  • Date: Thursday, February 8, 2024
  • Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
  • For adults supporting their own wellness or the wellness of children and youth.

Part 3: Settling Our Minds

In this session, we will look at how anxiety can lead to negative thoughts and thinking traps that can hold us back. Strategies for encouraging more realistic thinking will be discussed.

  • Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024
  • Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
  • For adults supporting their own wellness or the wellness of children and youth.

Part 4: Overcoming Avoidance

In this session, we will discuss how avoidance of stressors can increase our stress response over time. We will discuss ways to manage stressful situations in steps and effective coping skills.

  • Date: Thursday, February 22, 2024
  • Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
  • For adults supporting their own wellness or the wellness of children and youth.

Substance Use: A Harm Reduction Approach

The experience of substance use is different for each person. Learn about some common substances, the science behind addiction, and the many benefits of harm reduction. We will discuss strategies to support loved ones who may be using substances, through understanding and courageous conversations.

  • Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
  • Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm
  • For adults supporting their own wellness or the wellness of a youth (grades 7-12) or loved one, for adults only.

Body Image and Eating Disorders

Struggles with self- esteem, body image and weight control are a common concern for both girls and boys. This session will explore some of the reasons behind these struggles, provide information on disordered eating and eating disorders, as well as discuss strategies for supporting teens towards healthier perspectives and habits.

  • Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
  • Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm
  • For caregivers of youth grades 7-12; for adults only.

Madison Bashaw & Kelley Mitchell

DCE Counselling Team

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.

Cybersecurity Update: Important information for families

As part of EIPS’ ongoing commitment to maintaining a secure and effective digital learning environment for students, the Division is implementing an important update to its cybersecurity protocols Jan. 19, 2024.

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 780-467-5557.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter. Together, we can ensure a secure and thriving digital learning environment for all students.

Parents make the difference

Here is this week's article with helpful tips for families:

Empathize with your child—up to a certain point 

Is there such a thing as being too supportive when it comes to your child’s negative emotions? Experts say yes.

One study showed that parents and caregivers who are overly sympathetic about their children’s troubled feelings think their kids are more socially well-adjusted than others. Those same kids’ teachers, however, rate them as being less well-adjusted than their peers.

Why the disconnect? It could be that when parents indulge every bad mood their child has, the child never stops to consider that there may be little justification for that mood.

This doesn’t mean you should ignore your child’s feelings. But rather than rush to agree every time your child feels wronged:

  • Ask for details. If your child says a friend was mean, find out more before agreeing. Say, “Tell me what happened.” This way, you’re encouraging your child to open up but not automatically agreeing that your child was treated badly.
  • Challenge your child. If your student is upset that about a quiz grade and says the quiz was really “unfair,” ask questions. “Why wasn’t it fair?” If the real story is that your child didn’t study for it, then point that out. Your student was irresponsible, not mistreated. It’s a difficult—but vital—lesson to learn.

Reprinted with permission from the January 2024 issue of Parents make the difference!®  (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2024 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: V.L. Castro and others, “Changing tides: Mothers’ supportive emotion socialization relates negatively to third-grade children’s social adjustment in school,” Social Development, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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