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Mustang Memo - December 1, 2023

Team spirit!

This week has been full of sporty fun! Our Grade 6 students have been practicing hard for our DCE volleyball tournament taking place tomorrow. In order to show that they are in tip top shape, different school teams have challenged our staff at informal games over the lunch hour. Those Grade 6 students are giving our staff a run for their money!

This week also marked the first day of our 12 Days of Christmas Food Drive. How does it work? 

The Strathcona County Food Bank has asked us to collect particular items that they use to pack student snack kits. We will announce a different item that they need each day for 12 days and families are encouraged to check their pantries to see if they might have one of those kicking around that they could send to school. You can send items on multiple days or you can pick one item on one day. We are also accepting cash donations in the office. We know groceries are super expensive and so any little thing that you can afford to send is greatly appreciated! You can see the item of the day on our school calendar and in the Week at a Glance section of the Memo.

Enjoy the weekend and stay warm!

Helene Hewitt & Jay Robertson 

Principal & Assistant Principal

You belong here!

Table of Contents

Week At a Glance


  • Report Cards are Online Today!
  • Fee waiver application deadline


  • WOW Wednesday is Coming
  • Share Your Thoughts on Budget Planning for 2024-25
  • Christmas Concert is Coming


  • Counselor's Corner
  • Christmas Concert - Save the Date
  • Returning student registration for 2024-25
  • Parents Make the Difference


  • Twelve Days of Christmas food drive item: granola bars
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Running Club: Gr. 4-6 girls
  • Twelve Days of Christmas food drive item: Fruit snacks (no sugar)
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • D & D: Gr. 4
    • Art Club: Gr. 2
    • Staff vs. students volleyball game
  • WOW Wednesday!!!
  • Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
  • Early dismissal @ 2:18 p.m.
  • Twelve Days of Christmas food drive item: Apple sauce (no sugar)
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Running Club Gr. 4-6 boys
    • Games Club: Gr. 4-6
  • Twelve Days of Christmas food drive item: cracker packs
  • Confetti Sweets Cookies & Milk Snack Day (Kinder Group B)
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • D & D Club: Gr. 5 Group 3
    • Staff vs. Student volleyball game
  • Jeans & Jersey Day!
  • Twelve Days of Christmas food drive item: Bear Paws
  • Confetti Sweets Cookies & Milk Snack Day (Gr. 1-6 & Kinder Group A)
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Daebak Dance: Gr. 5 & 6
    • Gymnastics Club: Gr. 4-6
  • Mustang Memo posted online


Report Cards are Here!

Term 1 report cards are now posted online and can be accessed through Parent Portal! We encourage all families to check them out so that you are staying current on student progress so far. Forget your login? Can't remember how to find it? Call the office and we'll walk you through it!

As always, if you have questions about the report card or any other topics related to your child's education, reach out to your classroom teacher. All staff emails follow the pattern: 

Teachers are happy to set up a phone call or a meeting. Student success is a team effort! 

Fee Waiver Application Deadline

If circumstances exist where you’re unable to pay school or transportation fees, you can apply to have fees waived by submitting an Application for a Waiver of Fees. The application deadline is Dec. 15, 2023. If you’re new to the Division, the deadline is the latter of Dec. 15, 2023, or 45 days after registration.

To access your fee information, simply log in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal and go to “Student Fees.” There you can view your fees and pay them online using Visa, MasterCard or debit card—when available from your financial institution. All fees are due within 30 days of being posted.

Don’t forget to also log in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal regularly throughout the year. Fees are often added to your child’s account to cover the cost of various school activities such as field trips, class projects, extracurricular activities and more.

For more information about school fees, waivers and payment deadlines, visit and Alternatively, contact Christa Gawron, Business Manager of Davidson Creek Elementary at 780-467-5557.


WOW Wednesday Is Coming

December 6 is WOW (Walk or Wheel) Wednesday! Walk, bike or scooter to school for a chance to win a prize for your class at the end of the year! Parents driving their children to school can park a little further away and walk part-way to school together with their kiddos! For our students who take the bus, you are encouraged to walk or run around the soccer field twice at recess! Dress warm and get outside!

DCE hosts WOW Wednesday on the first Wednesday of each month! (The same day as early dismissal). On Each WOW Wednesday your teacher will tally all the students in your class who walk or wheel to school — AND, at the end of the year, the class with the highest total number of WOW Wednesday students wins a prize!

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 five to 10 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
Grade 12 students will complete the survey at school.

Thank you for sharing your input to help inform Division planning.

Spread the Word: EIPS is Hiring Substitute Educational Assistants

Do you know someone who may be interested in part-time, flexible work as a substitute educational assistant (EA)? Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) is hiring—spread the word!

EAs are integral to the school team, assisting teachers with instructional and non-instructional tasks in the classroom and other school activities. Whether it’s working one-on-one with individual students or with a small group of students in a class or special program, EAs provide support and assistance to help students achieve success.

Substitutes are needed to fill positions at all school locations until the end of the school year. The application deadline is December 8. If you know someone who’d be great in this role, encourage them to apply today.


Counselor's Corner

The Holidays can bring up a lot of feelings for families and children, especially those grieving the loss of loved ones. This week, we wanted to share some considerations from Pilgrims Hospice for navigating this time of year when coping with grief as well as some options for accessing support in the community.

Grief Care for the Holidays - Pilgrims Hospice

  • Take care of yourself first.It’s okay to take a break from the Season. Plan a trip away. Pare things back and do less. Let family and friends know you need and/or want to be alone this year.
  • Do what feels right.No one says the holidays have to be a big event. If you want to do a smaller event, or skip tradition, or make new traditions, go right ahead.
  • Make use of memorialsto honour anyone who is missing from your celebration. Stories, pictures, and a candle are great ways of keeping them in the holiday.
  • Ask for help.Often we put all the stress on ourselves to meet a high expectation. Asking for help is a great way to reduce stress and ensure that the holidays go with minimum burnout. This also helps those around us feel they can actively help at a time when they may feel helpless.
  • While children and teens grieve,they still anticipate and hope for Christmas. Engage family and friends to take care of preparations that may be too difficult, like Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, decorating or cooking.
  • Have a “signal”with those closest to you when attending parties or events – if the gathering becomes too difficult, you have the right to leave and a signal to those with you that’s “it’s time, I’m done” will help facilitate a quick exit.
  • Allow yourself timeto unwind after stressful activities. You may not realize how much energy it takes to be part of the holiday season.
  • Spend time withthose who will give you the space and time you need, and provide compassion when the tough moments appear.
  • Recognize triggers– songs, smells, traditions that may be too hard at this time. Minimize as much as you can.
  • Turn off or limit social mediathat may spark feelings of not being able to keep up with everyone else’s holiday plans and festivities.”

Low Cost/ No Cost Group Programs/ Grief Counselling

Briar Patch Family Centre (Local to Sherwood Park):

Group sessions focusing on support for grief will begin again in the New Year. The Colored Tears Expressive Arts Program is for ages ranging from 5 to 12 for the kids program, and 13 to 18 for teens. A group for parents also runs at the same time. Briar Patch can also offer individual and family counselling as well. If families wish to consider the Colored Tears Program, you can contact briarpatch via this email directly:

Pilgrims Hospice (Based in West Edmonton)

Pilgrims Hospice Society provides grief and bereavement services to children, teens, and their families who have experienced a death of a loved one.

At this time Pilgrims Hospice Society offers a quarterly registered 8-week Child, Teen, and Family program, as well as quarterly drop in dates. If you’re interested, you can fill out an intake form at the link below.

The Winter session offering will run Thursdays, January 25-March 14 6:00-7:30PM.

The Winter session drop in date is January 8, 2023. Please note families will need to complete an intake and register prior to attending a drop-in.

Families can contact us via phone at (587)414-1148, email at, or by completing an intake form on our website here:

Strathcona Family and Community Services

German Villegas is our county’s Family Resource Facilitator with Family and Community Services. Strathcona Family and Community Services  offers pay what you can counselling services, which German could help connect you with. FCS also offers solutions navigation which can be very helpful for families and parents trying access supports in any capacity. They are a great resource!

German Villegas (he/him)

Family Resource Facilitator, Family Community Services
Phone: 780-504-8508

Private Counselling

You can search for psychologists/ counsellors by postal code and area of expertise on Just click “Find a Therapist” and enter your postal code, then you can use the filters to narrow in on psychologists who work with children and grief. Costs for private counselling vary between providers, though some providers do offer services on a sliding scale for families who cannot afford to pay their full hourly rate. Many group benefits plans will cover the cost of private counselling in part or in full. It can take some time and investigating to find a psychologist or counsellor who is the right fit for your specific situation.

Madison Bashaw & Kelley Mitchell

DCE Counselling Team

Christmas Concert - Save the Date!

Mrs. Allen and her merry band of students are hard at working preparing Christmas concert to take place in our gymnasium. We cannot wait for our students to have a chance to perform in front of a live audience! There is nothing like the rush of adrenaline from a great performance!

Since our school is rather large, we will be splitting the event into two concerts. Like last year, students will arrive at their appointed time and meet in the music room. Parents will take student coats and belongings with them to the gym.

Audience members will enter the gym through the main doors and find their seats. Siblings can sit with their parents and families are welcome to stay in their seats if they need to attend the next performance.

When the performance is over, the parents will exit by the exterior gym doors and meet students at the drop off lane so that the next batch of audience members can enter through the main gym doors in the foyer. With a little friendly cooperation, we'll have a smooth traffic flow of happy people!

Here are the details of who is performing when, and what time students meet in the music room:

Concert #1: Tuesday, December 12

Grade & Class Meet in Music Room Performance Time

Grade 1: Breen, Clark, Siminick

5:45 PM 6:00-6:15 PM

Grade 2: Gillis, Ennis, Snaterse

6:20 PM  6:35 – 6:50 PM

Grade 3: Lobe, Nicks-Tambasco

6:55 PM  7:10 – 7:25 PM

Grade 4: Hansen, Morrison

7:30 PM  7:45 - 8:00 PM

Grade 5: Crockett, Miller, Pietsch

8:05 PM  8:20 - 8:35 PM

Concert #2: Thursday, December 14

Grade & Class Meet in Music Room Performance Time

 All Kindergarten

5:45 PM 6:00-6:15 PM

 Grade 2: Drechsel, Oslanski

6:20 PM  6:35 – 6:50 PM

 Grade 3: Parker, Versteegt

6:55 PM  7:10 – 7:25 PM

 Grade 4: Kellough, Mikitka

7:30 PM  7:45 - 8:00 PM

 Grade 5 & 6: Brouwer, Coates, Kotronis

8:05 PM  8:20 - 8:35 PM

Returning Student Registration: 2024-25

Mark your calendars! Returning student registration for the 2024-25 school year will take place Feb. 8-21, 2024.

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. Watch for more details in the new year.

Parents make the difference

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

Talk to your child about showing respect for teachers, classmates

Respectful behavior is vital for education. When students show respect for teachers and classmates, they help create the positive academic environment all children need to be successful learners.

Encourage your child to:

  • Address the teacher by name. Simply saying “Good morning, Mrs. Jones” is an easy way to show respect.
  • Be courteous. Your child should say please and thank you to the teacher and classmates.
  • Raise a hand. When students avoid interrupting and wait to be called on, they demonstrate respect for others.
  • Do what’s expected. Everyone in the class has a job to do. If the teacher doesn’t plan any lessons, no one can learn anything. If students don’t do their jobs—completing assignments, listening to others—it makes it more difficult to learn.
  • Listen to the teacher’s comments. Teachers want students to learn and improve. That means they have to point out mistakes. Students do much better in school when they can recognize and accept constructive feedback.

Reprinted with permission from the December 2023 issue of Parents make the difference!®  (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2023 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.


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