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Mustang Memo - December 22, 2023

All wrapped up!

What a week! There were all kinds of holiday shenanigans happening from snowball fights and wrap the teacher to guess the Christmas carol contest. We had daily visits from our DCE holiday friends, Carl the Christmas Cow and Freddi the Yeti who were hiding in classrooms all over the school and sending us videos for the announcements.

This week, we had many events that were planned by our newest lunch club, the Student Leadership Club made up of students in Grades 5 and 6 under the leadership of Ms. Breen. They created a bunch of fun activities over lunch like gingerbread man games, wrap the teacher, snowball fights and hot chocolate. We are so proud to see our kids take on the responsibility for making our school a warm and welcoming (and fun) place in which to learn!

We finished off the week with caroling in the gym where we sang about the Grinch and hippopotamuses to name a few tunes. Have you ever heard a gym full of kids belting out "Let it Go" altogether? It was a sight to see!

We know that the holiday season brings much joy, love and excitement. We also know it can be a hard time for some families. Whatever the season looks like for you, we hope that you have a chance to spend time with those you love most and that you are able to find some peace and rest.

We will see you on January 8, 2024! 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!

Helene Hewitt & Jay Robertson

Principal & Assistant Principal

You belong here!

Table of Contents

Week At a Glance


  • Being Good Neighbours
  • Drop Off Lane


  • 2024-25 School Fees Consultation
  • Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health Newsletter
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit Family Gathering


  • Counsellor's Corner
  • The Gift of Giving
  • Strathcona Food Bank Update
  • Christmas Break
  • Parents Make the Difference

WEEK AT A GLANCE - January 8-12

  • 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
    • Dungeons and Dragons meetings all groups
  • Swimming Lessons (Tambasco-Nicks & 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 4 members
  • Early dismissal @ 2:18 p.m.
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Games club - Div 1
    • D & D Club - Gr. 5 groups 1 & 2
    • Gr. 5 library helpers
    • Propagation Pros club
    • Running Club Boys
  • Another great day of learning
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Gr. 5 library helpers
    • Cute Things Club - Gr. 5
    • D & D Club: Gr. 5 group 3
  • Flying Canoe field trip - Grade 5 @ 11:30 to 2:45 p.m.
  • Mustang Memo published online
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Daebak Dance - Gr. 4-6 drop in
    • Gymnastics Club - Gr. 4-6 drop in


Being Good Neighbours

We are lucky to find ourselves in a beautiful street full of friendly neighbours. Let's do our part to show our neighbours that Mustangs are respectful at all times! We know it can be easy to quickly pull into someone's driveway for a quick drop off or to turn the car around. Let's take a minute to think about how that makes our neighbours feel. Would you like it if people drove up your driveway or parked in a way that blocked your vehicle? Let's be good role models for our students and respect the property of the houses that line our street. We teacher the students that Mustangs are kind and that kindness starts with us! Go, Mustangs!

Drop off Lane

We are lucky to have a terrific drop off lane right near the school. As the weather gets colder, we know more and more people will use the lane. We have a few reminders to help make it work as smoothly as possible:

  1. If you plan to get out of your car, park on the street or in an actual visitor parking stall.
  2. Roll to the farthest available spot in the drop off lane.
  3. Kiss your child and send them out of the car. Stay with your car.
  4. Check to see that the moving traffic lane is clear of cars or pedestrians before signaling and moving into the moving lane.
  5. Enjoy a great rest of the day!

Also, we ask for your help in making sure that you do not park or drop offkids in the staff parking lot. With almost 50 staff members as well as guest staff or other Elk Island employees who work at the school, we do not have enough room for visitors to park in our staff parking lot. 

Thank you for being the role models of kind, safe, and respectful behaviour for all of our students!

Together, we can make DCE a place where everyone belongs!


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

Alberta Health Services Addictions and Mental Health Newsletter

The December edition of the Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health Newsletter focuses on smoking and vaping. Newsletter

Themes include:

First Nations, Métis and Inuit Family Gathering

The First Nations, Métis and Inuit education team has planned a series of in-person gatherings for families of self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit students who are curious to learn more about the supports offered throughout EIPS. It's an opportunity for First Nations, Métis and Inuit families to gather together and engage in conversation in partnership with the EIPS First Nations, Métis and Inuit education team. Self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and their allies are invited—all ages are welcome. Dinner will be provided.
     Métis Kitchen Party
     Wednesday, January 10
     5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
     Glen Allan Elementary
     Music with professional Métis fiddlers Alex Kusturok and Brianna Lizotte
     See the full invitation


Counsellor's Corner

This week we wanted to re-share some valuable resources and contacts available to support your children and family. If you have any questions or would like more guidance on how to support your child’s mental health, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the counseling team at the school by phone (780-467-5557) or by email ( or and we follow up early in the new year when we are back in the office.

Alberta Health Services Child and Youth Mental Health Intake  

780-342-2701 (Intake line for parents to call for their children) This is a great starting point for accessing mental health supports for your child, especially if you are unsure where to begin or what type of support to seek out. 

Child Adolescent and Family Mental Health Through CASA

CASA offers a family therapy program, as well as programming options for children and youth.  You can also look at an overview of CASA programs here, as well as information about how to access CASA services here.

Anxiety Canada website 

This website is a great resource for anyone struggling with anxiety symptoms. There are handouts, quick links and activities for youth and adults, including audio and video links to help guide people through various activities. A self-help section is available with a wealth of resources including articles, personal stories and information on evidence-based interventions that are helpful for anyone experiencing general anxiety. 

Strathcona Family and Community Services 

If you’re stressed about money, groceries, relationships, parenting, mental health custody issues or you just need to talk, call Strathcona Family and Community Services at 780-464-4044.

Family and Community Services staff will support you and connect you to free resources in the County. Services include:

  • Solutions Navigation
  • Counselling
  • Family Resource Network (Info on child and youth development, discussing challenges and individualized parenting plans, Referrals to other agencies, Connecting to community resources, In-home parenting support)
  • Family Justice Navigator (Guidance regarding parenting/custody and other family court applications and court processes)

Call-in hours: Monday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

On behalf your counseling team, we wish you a safe and warm holiday.

Madison Bashaw & Kelley Mitchell

DCE Counselling Team

The Gift of Giving

The School Council and Fundraising Society would like to thank all the kids, parents, caregivers, teachers, and volunteers for the amazing work being done at our school. Without each one of you, the school would not be able to provide the programs and services offered to our kids and create this wonderful DCE community. Go Mustangs!

Due to the incredible efforts of our volunteers and Fundraising Society additional funds have been raised this year, which we wanted to pass along to the kids. They have been working so hard and we know many of them have faced challenges over the years, are just starting their journey or moving onto next steps. All of which can be stressful and exciting at the same time. On Thursday morning, your child will have received a locker gift. We hope these little items will help them through their daily journey and have some fun too.

All the best to you and your families over winter break, we hope to see you out at the next School Council meeting on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 6:30pm. For more information, please contact your School Council Chair at

Strathcona Food Bank 12 Days of Donations!

Wow! Our school did an incredible job of collection items for the food bank over the last 12 days! We had a mountain of cans, boxes, and items that completely filled up the cube truck from the Strathcona County Food Bank! We are so impressed with the generosity of this community! Way to show kindness and citizenship, Mustangs!

Christmas Break

Davidson Creek Elementary will close for the Christmas break at the end of the day on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023. The school will reopen on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. During this time, if you have any school-related questions or concerns, contact Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) Central Services at 780-464-3477.

EIPS Central Services Christmas Break Hours

Closed             Dec. 25, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2024

Open               Jan. 2, 2024; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*for location and contact information visit

From everyone at Elk Island Public Schools, we wish all of you a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.

Parents make the difference

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

Strengthen your elementary schooler’s math fluency

Being fluent in math is similar to being fluent in a language: You just know that 2 + 2 = 4, just as you know that “Hello” is a greeting.

This kind of instant recall is important in math because it helps your child solve bigger problems more efficiently.

To develop math fluency:

  • Provide counters. Hands-on experiences help your child “see” math facts and put them into long-term memory. Let your child add and subtract with small objects like pennies, buttons, dry beans, etc. Your child can put a handful of pennies in a cup, dump them out, and add those that land on “heads” plus those that land on “tails.” Or your child can attempt to toss 10 beans into the cup, count the ones that didn’t go in, and subtract that number from 10 to figure out how many landed in the cup.
  • Play games like a math-facts version of War. Remove face cards from a deck, and deal the rest facedown. Each player flips over two cards. For “Addition War,” each player adds the numbers on their cards, and the player with the largest sum takes all the cards. To play “Subtraction War,” each player subtracts their smaller number from their larger one, and the player with the largest difference keeps the cards.
  • Make fact practice a daily habit. Pick a Number of the Day, such as the date. Then take turns saying addition or subtraction facts that equal that number. On the 15th, your child might think of 20 – 5, 7 + 8 and 10 + 5.

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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