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Mustang Memo - February 2, 2024

Time to celebrate! Read the Mid-Point Review!

The fun at Davidson Creek continues as our grades 4-6 students enjoyed a nice day on the ski hill!

We have had many fun events take place over the first half of the school year from Grade 4 Science Fairs on waste to our first ever family dance and Family Literacy Night! Celebrate with us by reading the DCE Mid-Point Review! This is our way of showing you all of the ways we ensure that our students have access to a high quality education in a warm, fun and community-filled environment. 

We're also happy to share that thanks to Elder Campiou, our tipi is safely set up again - cover and all! We did some great learning about how to set up a tipi in the Cree style and now our students have this great space to do some quiet reflection or learning. Our school now feels a little bit warmer with our tipi back in its rightful place!

Helene Hewitt & Jay Robertson

Principal & Assistant Principal

You belong here!

Table of Contents

Week At a Glance


  • Interviews Next Week
  • Complete the Alberta Education Assurance Survey
  • Kindergarten Registration is Now Open!


  • Wellness Committee Update - Last Day to Order a DCE Pink Shirt 
  • Caregiver Series: February Sessions


  • Counsellor's Corner
  • EIPS Annual Education Results Report
  • Literacy Tip
  • Did You Know?
  • Parents Make the Difference


  • 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
    • Pokémon Club - Grade 3 group 3
    • D&D Grade 5 group #3
  • Student/Parent/Teacher Interviews 4 - 7 p.m. Scholastics Book Fair Open!
  • Swimming Lessons (Lobe & Oslanski - Tambasco-Nicks & Parker) @ 10:00 - 10:45 a.m.
  • Group B KG Swimming Lessons @ 1pm
  • Gr. 2 Field trip Telus World of Science (Ennis & Snaterse)
  • DARE - Gr. 5 classes
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Art Club - Gr. 1
    • Badminton Club - Gr. 6 girls
    • Cute Things - Gr. 5
    • Gr. 5 library helpers
  • Student/Parent/Teacher Interviews 4 - 7 p.m. Scholastics Book Fair Open!
  • Lunch Clubs:
    • Games Club - Div 1
    • Gr. 5 library helpers
    • Choir - Gr. 3-6
    • Running Club Boys
    • Propagation Pros Club - student bring their plant & lunch
  • Early dismissal @ 2:18 p.m.
  • North Central Teachers' Convention - no school
  • North Central Teachers' Convention - no school


Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews Next Week

Parent/student/teacher interviews are on Monday, February 5 and Tuesday, February 6 from 4 to 7 p.m.! Online bookings are now open! Click here to book your 10 minute interview slot! 

Complete the Alberta Education Assurance Survey

Once again, Alberta Education is surveying teachers, students and families through its annual Alberta Education Assurance (AEA) Survey. The survey gathers feedback on the quality of education provided by school authorities and their schools, which they then use to help understand how they’re doing and plan for the future.

Throughout February, Grade 4 students at Davidson Creek Elementary are completing the survey online at the school. Student participation is voluntary and completely anonymous. Students are assigned a random username and password to ensure survey responses aren’t linked to any individual student. The survey doesn’t take long to complete and is done within the school day during regular class time.

Additionally, parents and guardians of students in these grades are also asked to take a survey online. Alberta Education has mailed families information about the survey directly. As with the student and teacher survey, it’s anonymous and asks questions about your school experiences. If you have a child in these grades, we encourage you to participate. The survey deadline is March 1, 2024.

Results from the AEA Survey are provided to Elk Island Public Schools each spring. The Division then uses the data to inform its four-year education plan, school education plans and strategies for continuous improvement. Each fall, the results are also shared with EIPS families and school communities in the Division’s Annual Education Results Report.

AEA Survey: Information for parents and guardians
AEA Survey
Assurance and Accountability: Alberta’s K-12 education system

Kindergarten Registration is Now Open!

Is your child turning five on or before Dec. 31, 2024? If so, it’s now time to register for kindergarten. To register, simply complete the online registration form at

To help families prepare, Elk Island Public Schools has put together an online EIPS Kindergarten Tool kit to make the transition as smooth as possible. The kit includes information on registration, important dates, programming options, what to expect, eligibility, how to find your designated school, transportation and more.

Additional information regarding Davidson’ Creek Elementary’s kindergarten program is available at: 


Wellness Committee Update - Last Day to Order Pink Shirt

Support our students and show that we put kindness first by purchasing and wearing your Pink Shirt for Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 28!

Our Pink Shirts were designed by DCE students! Any extra funds raised through this fundraiser will go directly to benefiting our kids at DCE!

Ordering closes tonight at Midnight! Order through!

For ordering instructions click here.

Feb 7 is WOW Wednesday AND Alberta's Winter Walk Day!

With a low of -10 and a high of -3 in the forecast for next Wednesday (Feb. 7), it's sure to be a great day to participate in WOW Wednesday at DCE!

On this day (early dismissal) our students (and their parents) are encouraged to walk, bike or scooter to school for a chance to win a classroom prize 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!

February 7 also happens to be Alberta's Winter Walk Day. You can track your minutes walking outside through the Alberta Winter Walk registration page here.

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! 

Caregiver Series: February sessions

Alberta Health Services offers free online programming for parents and caregivers of children and youth. Sessions are offered through Zoom. Upcoming topics include understanding anxiety and substance use. The list of February 2024 sessions is now available.

EIPS Ribbon Skirt-Shirt Day – First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education

A friendly reminder that the Division’s Ribbon Skirt-Shirt Day is on February 7. Indigenous staff and students are encouraged to wear their ribbon shirts and skirts proudly to school. For allies that have been gifted ribbon shirts or skirts, it's an opportunity for them to show their solidarity as well.


Counsellor's Corner

This week we wanted to share some important concepts about brain development from the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.

“Kids can’t build strong brains by themselves—they need positive, nurturing interactions with trusted caregivers to support their development. These positive interactions are the bricks that build sturdy brain architecture, leading to improved learning and behaviour as well as better physical and mental health throughout life. To learn about what kind of interactions build strong brain architecture, read about serve and return.” 

“Serve and return works like a game of tennis or volleyball between child and caregiver. The child “serves” by reaching out for interaction—with eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, babbling, or touch. A responsive caregiver will “return the serve” by speaking back, playing peekaboo, or sharing a toy or a laugh. These back-and-forth exchanges are the building blocks of children's early brain development. They help children learn how to control their emotions, cope with stress, and learn skills that will serve as a foundation for later development. A caregiver who is sensitive and responsive to a young child’s signals provides an environment rich in serve-and-return experiences”.

To learn more about “How Brains are Built”, check out these videos from the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative

How Brains are Built: Introducing the Brain Story

The Core Story of Brain Development

DCE School Counsellors

EIPS Annual Education Results Report

Every year, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) publishes an Annual Education Results Report, which outlines the Division’s Four-Year Education Plan, opportunities for growth and how it’s supporting students to achieve the best possible outcomes. Read through the most recent EIPS Annual Education Results Report 2022-23 and discover how EIPS fosters learning environments for all students to learn, grow and thrive—and why it matters.

February Spotlight: Student Growth and Success

  • Early Learning: Ensuring early learners reach developmental milestones
  • Culture of Literacy: Dive deep into the data and learn how students are developing strong literacy skills
  • Math Matters: Enhancing reasoning, understanding and achievement through numeracy-rich classrooms
  • Boosting Educational Outcomes: Discover how EIPS supports the growth and achievement of students who self-identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit
  • Beyond High School: Supports and strategies that are creating real-life career pathways for learners

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

Literacy Tip: Checkout Your Local Library!

Did you know that your local library has a variety of resources that you can access to support your child's education? They can all be accessed for free by getting a library card. In Strathcona County or Fort Saskatchewan, you family can access homework help as well as a bunch of other online learning opportunities such as music lesson or languages. There are also great online resources from the Vegreville Library, Lamont Library, Bruderheim Library, or Mundare Library.

February is a great month to talk about kindness. With Valentines Day and Pink Shirt Day celebrated in February, here are some great books that could get you and your child talking about the power of kindness. Or try creating a kindness journal as a family to write about and celebrate kindness.

Did you know?

Within EIPS, schools consistently offer a broad range of educational choices for students of varied backgrounds and interests—from specialized language and faith-based programs to advanced academic opportunities and competitive sports to specialized supports and continuing education. Through this, students are then able push their limits and find meaningful ways to contribute to and enhance their communities. Learn more about Division programs and services on the EIPS website.

Parents make the difference

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

Building your child’s social skills can give learning a big boost

Students learn much more in school than academics. In every class, kids practice an important skill—getting along with others.

Research shows that problems with social skills can interfere with learning and make it difficult for kids to succeed in school and in life.

To reinforce social skills:

  • Be a role model. Children notice how family members interact with others. Do you introduce yourself to new people? Stay connected with friends? Support people you care about? Let your child see you being a good friend.
  • Read stories. There are many books about friendship. After reading, talk about the story.
  • Role-play. Kids need help practicing manners. With your child, pretend you’re meeting new people. “Hi, I’m Charlie. Nice to meet you!” Also focus on sharing and kindness.
  • Give your child plenty of opportunities to spend time and interact with other kids. Head to a local playground. Participate in children’s events at your local library. Sign up for a free class for kids at a community center.
  • Children don’t need lots of friends. Just one good buddy is fine, as long as your child cooperates well with others. If you have any concerns, talk with the teacher and work together on solutions.

Reprinted with permission from the February 2024 issue of Parents make the difference!®  (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2024 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: K. Steedly, Ph.D. and others, “Social Skills and Academic Achievement,” Evidence of Education, National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.  

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