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Mustang Memo - October 5, 2023

Kohkom Linda delights us with her storytelling

What a great evening! We were so happy to have so many families join us for our first ever Family Literacy Night! We hope that you enjoyed all of the carefully crafted sessions set up by our talented staff as well as a chance to listen to Indigenous storyteller Kohkom Linda and popular author Sigmund Brouwer. 

Thank you to the parent volunteers who ran both the book exchange and the concession. We feel so lucky to work alongside such incredible parents who go above and beyond to make our school such a great place of learning!

As we move into the Thanksgiving weekend, we want to take a moment to share how grateful we are to be a part of this incredible school community. While we may seem like such a large school, the way the kids help each other, the way staff laugh and work together, and the way parents show up to support our initiatives should not be taken for granted!

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or you simply use this time to connect we loved ones, we wish you a restful and fulfilling long weekend!

Helene Hewitt & Jay Robertson

Principal & Assistant Principal

A place where you belong!

Table of Contents

Week At a Glance


  • Student Celebration of Learning - Save the Date!
  • Respiratory Illness Guidance
  • School Fees


  • From Alexa to AI
  • Caregiver Education Series


  • Enhancing Literacy and Numeracy
  • School Bus Safety Week
  • World Teacher's Day
  • Parents Make the Difference
  • Counselors Corner


  • Thanksgiving Day - No School
  • Hot Lunch orders are due today
  • Welcome back from the long weekend!
  • Jersey Day - Go Oilers Go!
  • Grade 5's to Fort Edmonton Park
  • Parent Council Meeting @ 6:30 PM.
  • Mustang Memo posted online


Student Celebration of Learning - Oct 25 & 26

It is almost time for parents and teachers to get together to celebrate your child's learning! On October 25 and 26, families are invited to come to the school to see how their child is doing so far. 

For students in grades 1-6, our first round of parent/student/teacher meetings are in the format of a demonstration of learning. What is that, you wonder?

A demonstration of learning is when up to three families sign up for a 30 minute time slot. In those 30 minutes, your child will show you their progress on learning outcomes in English Language Arts and Literature, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. You will have the opportunity to see how your child is progressing by watching and listening to them engage in learning tasks related to the curriculum. 

Kindergarten families will have traditional sit down interviews for 10 minutes at a time so that the teacher can discuss the results of the Early Years Evaluation Teacher Assessment (EYETA). Our grades 1-6 students will also have traditional sit down interviews later in the year. 

As always, we will have our Scholastic Bookfair up and running in the library throughout the demonstration of learning, so make sure to bring some moola to find the latest and greatest books!

Respiratory Illness Guidance

The health and safety of staff, students and visitors is a top priority. Continue to reinforce the following hygiene habits to protect staff and students from spreading respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.
  • Wear a mask if you get sick or develop symptoms while at school or work.

As per Alberta Health guidelines, staff, students, contractors and visitors who have symptoms of respiratory Illness or test positive for COVID, should stay home until:

  • symptoms have improved,
  • they feel well enough to resume normal activities, and
  • they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications. 

For anyone who has a respiratory illness or has tested positive for COVID, it is recommended that they wear a mask for a total of 10 days from the onset of symptoms—even if the symptoms have resolved or improved—when in indoor settings with other individuals.

Pay School Fees Online!

School fee information for the 2023-24 school year is now posted on the PowerSchool Parent Portal. All fees are due within 30 days of being posted. 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.

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 fees and more.

If circumstances exist where you’re unable to pay your fees, you can apply to have certain fees waived by submitting an Application for a Waiver of Fees. The application deadline is Dec. 15, 2023.

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


From Alexa to Algorithms: Parenting in the era of AI

Join the University of Alberta and Amii for an engaging 45-minute online webinar designed to boost AI literacy for parents of kids of all ages, from kindergarten to graduate students. The session will focus on global citizenship, online safety, and education and career guidance.

Don't miss this fun and informative opportunity to empower your parenting in the age of AI, ensuring your kids thrive in tomorrow's tech-driven world.

Event Details:

Date:       Nov. 2, 2023
Time:       10:30 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.

Location:   Virtual 


Caregiver Education Sessions

Alberta Health Services hosts a variety of virtual caregiver information sessions throughout the year focused on ways to support students’ mental health. The sessions are free and geared toward parents, caregivers, teachers and community members who want to learn more about challenges impacting children and adolescents. Session topics include anxiety, ADHD, depression, self-harm, technology, teens and teaching leadership skills, communication, resiliency and more.

Visit Caregiver Education to see the monthly caregiver sessions.


Enhancing literacy and numeracy

As part of Elk Island Public Schools’ (EIPS) ongoing efforts to enhance the literacy and numeracy of students in all grade levels, the Division is once again administering the Star Early Literacy, Star Reading and Star Math assessment tools in the 2023-24 school year. These tools focus on literacy and numeracy, are digitally based and offer an opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning. The goal: To provide timely information to teachers, help enhance classroom instruction and identify student learning needs.

Three times a year, EIPS students in Grade 1 complete the Star Early Literacy assessment and students in grades 2-12 complete the Star Reading assessment. Both assessments are administered electronically and take about 20 minutes. Students in grades 2 through 10 also complete the Star Math, a mathematic screening tool. It, too, is administered electronically and takes about 30 minutes for students to complete. The results offer teachers a clearer picture of a student’s learning needs and help determine if subsequent instructional planning is required. NOTE: Semester students complete the Star Math twice, at the start and end of the course.

In addition to the Star assessments, Alberta Education now mandates all students in grades 1-3 complete additional literacy and numeracy assessments. Students in Grade 2 and Grade 3 complete provincial assessments in September. Grade 1 students will complete the assessments in January 2023.

The scores of the assessments aren’t used toward a student’s grade, and there is no need to study ahead of time. The tools simply provide the teacher with information to better understand where each student is in terms of reading comprehension and mathematic ability. If, after analyzing the results, it’s determined a student can benefit from extra support, the teacher will contact the family to discuss possible support strategies.

For more information about the Division’s Star and MIPI assessment tools, contact EIPS Supports for Students at 780-464-3477.

School Bus Safety Week: October 15-21

Schools throughout Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) are celebrating School Bus Safety Week October 15-21. The theme: ‘Stand Back From Yellow and Black,’ which focuses on proper school bus safety behaviour. Throughout the week, various activities are planned, including information sessions, bus-safety lesson plans and bus-evacuation drills.

As part of School Bus Safety Week, Davidson Creek Elementary reminds students and families all Division school buses are equipped with a Tyler Drive tablet, which allows Student Transportation to better monitor and manage its more than . Families and students also have access to the , a mobile tool to help determine the location of a bus, projected arrival times and when a child is scanned onto a bus.

For more information, visit EIPS Student Transportation or contact 780-417-8151.

Celebrating World Teachers’ Day: October 5

October 5 is World Teachers’ Day! Launched in 1994 by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually around the world as a way to recognize teachers and the integral role they play in providing quality education to students. On October 5, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) encourages all of its students, parents, caregivers and community members to show their appreciation for their teachers and the positive impact they make on our lives.

EIPS extends its heartfelt thank you to all Division teachers for their dedication, hard work and commitment in guiding and educating students through their kindergarten to Grade 12 years.

Parents Make the Difference

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

Help your child bounce back and learn from mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life. It probably won’t be long before your child makes one on a school assignment or test—and that’s OK. What matters is how children and families respond to those mistakes.

Instead of criticizing or ignoring errors, help your child learn from them. Research shows that when students are encouraged to learn from their errors, they do better in school.

By fixing mistakes, children learn they can improve—that “smarts” aren’t something they either have or they don’t. Intelligence can be increased. And when students understand their errors and don’t repeat them, they become more optimistic about their own ability to learn. 

When reviewing schoolwork, first point out what your child did well. Then, to help your student learn from mistakes:

  • Talk about them. Rather than saying, “Don’t worry—you’ll do better on the next test,” ask if your child understands why the answers were wrong. If so, your child should correct them. If not, offer suggestions or encourage your child to ask the teacher for help.
  • Praise progress. Did your child miss only two problems on the latest test? After reviewing mistakes, talk about how your student is improving. Paying attention to past mistakes—and correcting them—likely made a difference.

Reprinted with permission from the October 2023 issue of Parents make the difference!®  (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2023 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: H.S. Schroder and others, “Neural evidence for enhanced attention to mistakes among school-aged children with a growth mindset,” Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Elsevier B.V.

Counselors Corner

Hello DCE parents,

This week we wanted to 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

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.

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