1. By June 2017 all teachers will infuse cultural proficiency with an emphasis on Aboriginal perspectives into each subject; on a school-wide level staff will infuse cultural proficiency with an emphasis on Aboriginal perspectives into school-wide and community activities.
Our work in regards to Aboriginal culture, history, and traditions began before the school year. From a selected reading list that focused on Aboriginal perspectives, each teacher read a book prior to September.
The school year began with staff participating in a division-wide two day in-service on cultural proficiency. The presenter was Ozlem Sensoy, a professor from the University of Victoria, and his focus was on the "invisible dynamics in society that favor some groups over others" and the "understanding the impacts of popular media and its role in stereotyping and marginalizing some groups over others in society." In a follow-up to the presentation, staff keyed on two areas: 1) developing a goal for the school plan and 2) developing unit/ lesson plans that were to be shared with the rest of the division. The emphasis was on Aboriginal culture and education. Staff unit/ lesson development continued on November's professional development day, and each teacher completed and submitted lessons and units. Teachers from other schools also submitted their lessons and now all divisional teachers have access to over 70-lesson/ unit plans that concentrate on Aboriginal education. ECI teachers are applying their lesson plans in classes throughout different times of the school year.
Students and families were invited to participate in our annual Traditional Aboriginal Feast at the end of September at Lake Audy. Myrna Young, our former Building Student Success with Aboriginal Parents (BSSAP) coordinator, organized this event. We had a great turn out and students, staff, and families were treated to a traditional meal, drumming, and dancing. Students and staff from Tanners School in Minnedosa – who just happened to be at the lake – also joined in the festivities. After the meal, one of the hunters from Rolling River First Nation did elk calling.
Myself and two other staff members participated in "Mamatowisiwin: Supporting the Achievement of Aboriginal Students in Literacy and Numeracy". This was a three-part professional development series that focused on 1) literacy, 2) numeracy, and 3) land based education. Each session focused on Aboriginal culture and traditions and provided strategies that could make education more engaging for out Frist Nations students.
The BSSAP coordinator and I attended the annual fall gathering that was held at the Canadian Museum For Human Rights in Winnipeg. The Mystery Lake School Division hosted and it provided opportunities to see what "neat things" other schools are doing with their students. And the tour of the museum was fantastic.
I attended the Council of Aboriginal Educators of Manitoba Conference, and the highlight for me was the session "Indigenous Pedagogy and Practice in High School Math and Science". The Grade 9 – 12 activities in this session focused on the infusion of Aboriginal culture and traditions into math and science lessons (measurement, mass, and conversions using Wampum belts; surface area and scale using treaty maps; wild rice and ecosystems).
Eddy Robinson was our guest speaker at our high school in-service in March. Eddy "brought attention and awareness to the impact of Residential Schools and how it contributed to the breakdown in his own family nucleus." He also put us through an interesting exercise that made us "walk a mile in someone else's shoes". Eddy made high school staffs aware of the plight and circumstance surrounding his experience with residential schools and reserve living (poverty, abuse, unemployment, prejudice)
In March, our Grade 7 – 11 students had the opportunity to attend the Brandon Indian Residential Mobile Unit in Minnedosa. Organizers did a short presentation to students and staff and then they toured the mobile unit to look and learn about residential schools.
ECI also hosted the graduating class of health care aides from RRFN/ ACC at the school. Each graduate set up a display on a disease they had to research. It was a great opportunity for our students to learn in a different way and from a different group of people.
Along with senior administration and other principals, I attended the "Educating for Action: Our Human Rights Journey" conference. I attended a session on Jordan's Principle and I also got to hear Kevin Lamoureux speak. It was just a fantastic conference and reinforced that ECI is headed in the right direction in relation to Aboriginal Education.
Our students have had some other great learning opportunities this past year. Mr. Aaron McKay, our current BSSAP coordinator, brought in his regalia and shared his story about the dress and his dancing. He also assisted Mrs. Collyer and Mrs. Robson and her Law class in a display in support of the REDress Project (The use of red dresses to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls). As part of our GSA/ Human Rights Conference, Mrs. Bachewich and Mrs. McKay from Erickson Elementary took students through a presentation and activity that focused on inclusion, respect, and diversity.
Mr. McKay attended the "Lighting the Fire" conference and got some exciting ideas that he is anxious to use with the students and staff next year.
We will continue to work on this goal next year and there will be some exciting things happening. We will be welcoming Mrs. Laura Brandon, an Ojibway/ Saulteaux teacher. Mr. Mathews is also exploring the possibility of doing a cross-curricular digital achieve project on the history of Rolling River First Nation. And ECI, EES, and RRFN are going to participate in a Brandon University research project.
2. By the end of June 2017 there will be an increased knowledge and improved awareness on mental health among staff and students. All students will have made a meaningful connection with one adult in the building. Students will feel a better sense of connectedness to school.
This is a continuation of a goal that we have been previously working on and is important to us. This goal also aligns with divisional and provincial initiatives. We continued to build relationships with the students and provided numerous and various activities and presentations for the students.
Our cultural proficiency training reinforced the importance of the roles teachers and adults play in students' mental health in terms of inclusion, diversity, and understanding how one's culture and traditions impact on how they see themselves.
Teachers created a "Sense of Belonging" committee with the purpose of providing opportunities for all students to become involved in something at school (dances, movie nights, school wellness days/ spirit weeks, homeroom challenges, gym blasts). Students also had the opportunity to play sports (at noon or on teams) and belong to various clubs (i.e the Gay Straight Alliance group). There were ski trips all students were invited to attend, and we continued to participate in WE Day. Our traditional feast and elk evening at Lake Audy was open to all students and families in our catchment area. And our Remembrance Day Service, Kids Can Shop, and Christmas Dinner involved students and staff from ECI and Erickson Elementary.
Teachers opened up their classrooms at noon hour to allow a place for students to "hang out". While some students wanted to just relax, chat with their friends, and do homework, others participated in different activities such as cards, art, watching videos, foosball, and playing guitars or the drums. Our GSA group organized another amazing Human Rights Conference and the focus was gender equality and sexual diversity. Our students, Onanole's 7 and 8's, and students from four other high schools heard the keynote speaker. Students then participated in several break-out sessions that included Truth and Reconciliation, LBGTQ history, how to be an ally, gender equality, and assertive speaking. Mrs. Robson's Law class and Mrs. Collyer created a bulletin board dedicated to the REDress Project that focused on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Within the classes, teachers carried on with the Mental Health Curriculum Guide and also taught lessons/ units that focused on Aboriginal perspectives. Mrs. Collyer, the guidance counselor, had several guest and community presenters here to speak with our students. Mrs. Collyer is trained in SafeTalk – a program that encourages students to openly and safely discuss their problems. She also provided strategies to assist students in opening up. Students also had two presentations (RCMP and AFM) on Fentanyl and its dangers. The Sexual Education Resource Centre was here again to speak to our Grade 9, 10, 11, and 12 students, as was Ken Surovy from AFM. The mental health worker continues to be available to our students, and other agencies also provide counselors for some of our students. We also had staff attend or trained in the following areas: Mental Health First Aid, Violent Threat Risk Assessment, and Self-Regulation.
Our students participated in the Tell Them From Me Survey again and there were some interesting results.
Areas in which our students are above the Canadian norm:
feeling safe at school as well as going to and from school
students who feel they have someone at school who consistently provides encouragement and can be turned to for advice
students who feel teachers are responsive to their needs, and encourage independence with a democratic approach
there are clear rules and expectations for classroom behavior. Students understand these and teachers maintain high expectations that are followed.
The school staff emphasizes academic skills and hold high expectations for all students to succeed
Students who feel they have someone at home or in their community who consistently provides encouragement and can be turned to for advice
students participating in sports
Areas in which our students are below the Canadian norm:
students who are subjected to physical, social, or verbal bullying, or are bullied on the internet
students who have friends at school they can trust and who encourage them to make positive choices
students who feel accepted and valued by their peers and others at their school
students with moderate or high levels of anxiety and depression
students who like and accept themselves and are proud of their accomplishments
student participation in clubs
While I am pleased with how we are performing in terms of providing a safe environment for our students and building relationships, there still are areas of concern – especially once you break some of these categories into grades or gender.
The survey also indicates to us that bullying is still happening at our school and it also identifies the types and locations. While we are below the Canadian average, the data provides useful information that can be used to address the issues. It is a concern that when students are bullied, more choose to tell a friend or not say anything rather than to tell an adult. The same is true for when students see or hear someone being bullied. However, it is interesting though, students agreed or strongly agreed that anti-bullying measures were practiced at ECI.
As a staff, we will review the data and continue our efforts to making ECI a safe and positive learning environment for all students and staff.
Hello, everyone. Semester One has come and gone and we started Semester Two February 1. Report Cards will go home on the 6th or 7th. If you don't receive one by the week's end, please give the school a call and we'll make arrangements for you to get one. Junior high interim reports are being mailed to families.
Since my last posting there has been a great deal going on at ECI. The week prior to Christmas is always a big one for us. Student Council hosted a Spirit Week and it was a lot of fun to see staff and students dressed up for the different days. Mr. Waterman organized a ski trip to Asessippi and it is always a popular one – with about 50 students going. I appreciate Ms Goriak, Mr. Bayes, Ms Henry, and Mr. Roberts assisting with the supervision for the day. We also host our annual Kids Can Shop event with the elementary school. It is an opportunity for the younger students to come and Christmas shop for their families. It is a wonderful day, as our older students assist the younger ones with the shopping and our Grade 7 and 8 students help them wrap their gifts. This day is not possible without the donations from the community, so thank you very much to all those that found items to make this day successful. Thanks go out to Mrs. Collyer, Mrs. Branconnier, Ms Goriak, and all other staff and students that assisted with this event. On the last day before break we hosted our sixth annual Christmas Dinner. Mr. Waterman, Mrs. Marcinyk, and the Food and Nutrition students prepared a full turkey dinner for the EES and ECI students and staff. We also invited community members that donated, Rolling River First Nations members, senior administration and division office personnel, trustees, and the bus drivers to participate. The meal was a huge undertaking and we fed about 250 people. Mr. Mathews and the senior band were on hand to welcome the elementary school with Christmas carols, and Santa Claus made an appearance to delight of kids of all ages. Thank you to the community organizations and members that donate to the dinner; it is so worth it when you see everybody together enjoying themselves. Thanks to the families that contributed food and dainties. And thank you to the following people: Mrs. Coulson for organizing the event; Mr. Waterman, Mrs. Marcinyk, and the Food and Nutrition students; Mr. Bayes and his "crew" for getting the tables and set up and take down; Mrs. Bachewich and the EES staff and students for the table settings; Mr. Mathews and the senior band; Mrs. Braschuk and Mrs. Strahl; Myrna Gaywish Young for making blankets for our raffle; and to all those other students and staff that I may have missed. Mrs. Robson, Mrs. Boyd, Mr. Bayes, and Mr. Mathews from our Sense of Belonging committee organized a room-decorating contest and it was fantastic. The school looked great and the activity really contributed to a festive atmosphere. As you can tell the whole week is a huge undertaking and it really takes involvement by students, staff, and community to make these things happen. It makes me very proud of our small school.
Prior to Christmas break our junior high teams participated in the divisional volleyball tournament. Both teams did well and had a lot of fun.
School activities were slowed in January, as the focus was on academics and final assessments. Our Grade 12 students did well on both the Essential Math and English provincial standards exams. And while it was a challenge for some students to get outstanding work and final assessments completed in order to receive their credit, dedicated teachers and support staff worked diligently to help get them "across the finish line". As a result, we have very few students that did not receive a credit or that are incomplete in their First Semester courses. ECI continues to have a high pass rate for our students, and in many cases where students are not successful there are extenuating circumstances that contribute to them not getting their credits or being incomplete.
Mrs. Harder had Mr. Ken Kingdon, from Parks Canada, here for the Junior Achievement program to speak to our Grade 9 students. Also, our Grade 12 students completed their final work experience placements this past week. Their interests were wide ranging and Ms Henry did a great job of organizing placements to suit the students' requests where they wanted to go. It is a great opportunity for the students and we always receive such positive feedback from the students and placement supervisors. Mrs. Collyer arranged for Luann from RRFN to come and meet with our graduating First Nation students about assistance for post-secondary education.
Teachers submitted their Cultural Proficiency (Aboriginal Education) lesson plans to me and I forwarded them on to division office in January. They will be posted on a divisional site that includes other lesson plans that teachers from the division have submitted. Our teachers have created some excellent lessons and being able to share with others is a great idea. It is our goal that all courses will have Aboriginal education woven throughout the course at some point. Our March 17 in-service will focus on Aboriginal awareness and education. We will listen to Kevin Lamoureux – an outstanding speaker from the University of Winnipeg – and then we will participate in the Blanket exercise – a moving activity told from an Aboriginal perspective.
All school administrators had to present their school plans to principals, senior administrators, and trustees and then submit them to division office. If you are interested in viewing the ECI school plan it is on our website.
Staff continued to be strongly committed to professional development. Tracy Kingdon, the division's math consultant, has been working with Mrs. Branconnier, Mrs. Boyd, and the Grade 7's this year. Mrs. Robson and Mrs. Harder have also been participating in a Manitoba Rural Learning Consortium pilot project with the Grade 9 Math students. It is a two-year commitment and we are one of two divisional schools to be involved. Mr. Waterman has taken his Mental Health First Aide and he will be participating in a Cultural Proficiency workshop shortly. Mrs. Robson and Mrs. Boyd will be continuing their work on Aboriginal Literacy and Numeracy this semester, and Mr. Mathews will also be carrying on with his work at the provincial level for the Grade 12 provincial standards exam. In April, Mr. Bayes is off to a national physical educators' conference. Mr. Roberts has participated in French workshops and Mrs. Boyd is part of a Manitoba Rural Learning consortium group that is focusing on assisting resource teachers with assessment practices through the observation of students. Mrs. Collyer will continue her safeTalk presentations to students in other divisional schools.
Semester Two is going to be no less busy for students and staff. Our Grade 12 students and Mrs. Robson will continue planning for graduation. The "big day" is Monday, June 26. The students had their grad pictures taken in January.
Mrs. Collyer has arranged for several presentations. The Sexual Education Resource Centre will be here on February 22 to speak with our Grade 9 – 12 students. On March 15, Ken Surovy will be here from AFM to present to all students throughout the day. CAPEM will be here on April 26 to meet with our senior students to talk about scholarships. And our GSA group is planning and hosting another diversity conference for May 31. Jeremy Diaz, who was instrumental in last year's day and very popular among students, is excited to help out and be coming back.
Mrs. Harder has made arrangements for Oak Hammock Marsh to come and work with our students for the afternoon of March 22. On February 22, the students from the RRFN Health Care Aide program will be here to set up display boards on various topics. As part of their final assessment, the students needed to research a topic and do a public display. Some of their Wellness Fair topics are Diabetes, drug addictions, mood disorders, eating disorders, Depression, anxiety disorders, smoking cessation, and alcoholism. The general public is invited to attend that day from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The RCMP will also be here this semester to do a Fentanyl presentation to our Grade 11 and 12 students. Mrs. McInnis is doing her annual movie day to Brandon in March. This trip is a popular one with the students and this year's movie is King Kong. Les Campbell from RMNP will be meeting with Mrs. Collyer, Ms Henry, and myself on February 15 to discuss programs and summer jobs for our students. We have invited RRFN to participate in this meeting too. Mr. Roberts, Mrs. Frey, and Mrs. Vicki Davis (parent volunteer) head out with the senior French students to France the first part of May.
In terms of sports, Mrs. Frey and the Junior High curlers are hitting the ice right now.
Badminton is up next with track and field to follow. Rugby, in conjunction with MCI, will also be getting on the way shortly. Encourage your child to become involved.
In efforts to streamline some of our fundraising, Mrs. Harder and her Grade 9 Careers class are looking at some "larger" fundraising activities that will benefit the whole school. The goal is have different events that will not "nickel and dime" families and to broaden our target group so that families are not always being "hit". Mrs. Frey is also assisting with these endeavors. Watch for information, as the group is hoping to have one or two events before the end of the year.
Please take note of the following dates:
March 17: ECI in-service (no school for students)
March 24: last day of classes before Spring Break
April 3: classes resume
April 13: Parent/Teacher interviews
May 19: ECI Horticulture Annual Plant Sale
June 9: last day of classes for Grade 12
June 12 – 16: Grade 12 final assessment period
June 16: last day of classes for Grades 7 – 11
June 19 – 23: Grades 7 – 12 final assessment period
June 26: Graduation Ceremony at the school 2:00 p.m.; dinner at 5:30 at the Onanole
I wish all our students, families, staff, and communities a Merry Christmas and a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
Classes resume Monday, January 9, 2017.
Well it's time to bring you up to speed as to what's been happening at ECI. And in one short word – LOTS!
Student Council has been busy. They hosted a movie night and the attendance was the highest yet! The week prior to Halloween was Spirit Week and the participation by staff and students was fantastic. The Halloween Dance is always a popular one and all had fun. I encourage you to take a look at our webpage for more information and pictures. The Fall Breakfast was held the first Sunday in November and they were pleased with and appreciative of the turnout. Next, they are focusing their efforts and planning for the week before Christmas break. Hats off to the students for providing activities for our students and contributing to the spirit and culture of our school.
ECI is at the tail end of volleyball season, and both our teams have shown tremendous growth and competitiveness. Mr. Waterman's senior girls team improved throughout the year and experienced success at this level that ECI hasn't seen for some time. They won their own tournament and consolation side at another. Mr. Bayes' junior varsity girls are extremely talented and after having a great year of competing toe-to-toe with some top teams, I have no doubt that we are looking at a provincial contender in the next year or two. Our junior high soccer team tied for second at the Small Schools Soccer Tournament, and now the students are practicing for the upcoming divisional volleyball tournament in December.
Our boys that play on the MCI hockey club are enjoying a solid start to the season. They are 3 – 1 in league play and have also played well in tournaments. ECI's Chayce Hanson is the captain of the team.
Ms Henry, our Career Prep and Work Experience Coordinator, has been extremely busy. Safe Workers of Tomorrow was here to speak to our Grade 9 students prior to them going out on Take Your Kids to Work Day. Along with Mrs. Collyer, our guidance counselor, Ms Henry organized a post-secondary consortium day for our Grade 11 and 12 students at MCI. The students got to hear presentations from different universities, colleges, the government, and RCMP. Ms Henry is currently putting the final placements together for our Grade 11 students who go out on work experience November 21 – 25.
On November 10, in conjunction with Erickson Elementary, we held our annual Remembrance Day Service. The two schools always do a wonderful and moving ceremony. It is an honor to host our veterans, Legion members, and representatives from the RCMP. Ms Goriak and her Grade 7 and 8 students worked with Ms. Young, the BSSAP coordinator, to create a special blanket to present to the Legion. Students made a square with a symbol on it representing what Remembrance Day meant to them. They then sewed all the squares together to make a beautiful quilt. A special thanks to Mr. Mathews for coordinating with EES and organizing the service.
Plans for graduation are in full swing. The class had a very successful fundraising event through Mom's Pantry; thanks to all those who supported the grade. If you have questions regarding graduation, please give Mrs. Robson a call. Our Graduation ceremony is on Monday, June 26, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.
Mrs. Robson, Mr. Mathews, and Mr. Bayes have been mentors to their student teachers since the middle of October. Mrs. Rey, Mr. Navidad, and Mr. Kaluzniak have done an excellent job during their time at ECI, and they have stated they enjoyed their experience in our small community school. Their last day with us is November 18; I wish them all the best in their teaching careers.
November 14 – 18 is National Addictions Awareness Week and Mrs. Collyer will present a variety of topics to students from Grade 7 – 12. On November 17, she is going to be offering SafeTALK – a suicide intervention training for Grade 11 students. Students will also have the opportunity to sign up for Not on Tobacco Program (a smoking cessation program).
Report cards will be sent home no later than November 23. Family – School interviews are being held on Friday, November 25 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please plan to attend the interviews. It is an important part of your child's education.
We have a couple annual events coming up in December. On the 21st, we will be hosting our Kids Can Shop event. Each year we ask the community to make donations so that students from EES can come over and shop for their families for Christmas. Our students and staff gather and organize the day and gifts, and our Grade 7 and 8 students help the younger students wrap the presents. If you have any thing that you would like to donate for the event, please give Nancy a call at 636 2605. We appreciate your generosity; it brings a great deal of joy to many, many people.
Another special event being held on December 22 is our Christmas Dinner. Along with the elementary school, we host a turkey dinner for students and staff. This takes a great deal of organization and donations from families and community organizations. If you would like to contribute to our dinner, please give Nancy a call at the school.
Did you know:
- Mrs. Robson and her Grade 10 Science class collected water samples with Little Saskatchewan Conservation District. This is a partnership that was established a few years ago and it is a great way for out students to learn hands-on science.
- Mr. Bayes was the latest guest chef at Uncle Carl's Canteen. He served up his delicious pulled pork! The next guest is Mr. Mathews.
- That after visiting escape rooms in Brandon and Winnipeg in the past year, Mrs. Frey, Mrs. Robson, and the students are trying to put together ECI's own escape room.
- That Mr. Waterman is pursing his accreditation for the apprenticeship program. When he has completed the process, we will be able to offer apprenticeship hours/ credits for those students interested in a career in culinary arts.
- Mr. Mathews and Ms Goriak's Grade 11 English and History classes are in the early stages of developing the Rolling River First Nations Digital Archive. It is a project "that involves digitizing and curating primary and secondary sources of information related to RRFN and Treaty 4. This is exciting as the plan is to link it to the Rolling River School Division webpage. Watch for further information.
- That Elder Phoebe Morissette has been in working with Ms Young and our Grade 7 and 8 Saulteuax students. Gwen Mackay is also in a great deal helping our students.
- Mr. Roberts is teaching/ tutoring students in German (at noon hours). He is also got quite a number of students involved in the game Magic Cards – also during the noon hours.
- The Grade 7 and 8 students along with a few high school students will be attending WE Day in Winnipeg on November 18.
- That we did a lockdown practice and I was please with the students and staff in terms of how things went.
- Drivers' Education is going on and it is always an exciting time for those students who will be eligible to drive
- The staff have created a Sense of Belonging group and they hosted an afternoon of fun activities for the students. Everyone had a great time, and the staff is looking forward to planning the next fun day for the students
- Mrs. Robson, Mrs. Collyer, Mrs. Boyd, and I attended the Violence Threat Risk Assessment Workshop. It was a two-day training of a process to following in identifying and dealing with worrisome and high risk behaviors in our school
- That in our continued commitment to mental health and well-being, Mr. Waterman will be attending professional development on Mental Health First Aid
- That our November 14th professional development in-service focused on the infusion of Aboriginal perspectives into curriculum/ lessons/ units. Some of the topics teachers are building lessons around include self-government, wild rice (for Food and Nutrition), history of RRFN, spiritual connections – looks at the FN people and their connection to water, the interdependent relationships FN peoples have with Creation, the introduction of dancing and drumming – including the history of the dances, the introduction of lacrosse, and in health - some statistics and lessons that present Aboriginal perspectives relating to issues such as substance abuse, healthy pregnancies, and safe sex.
Please take note of the following dates:
November 14 – 18: National Addictions Week – presentations throughout the week
November 18: Grade 7 and 8's to We Day in Winnipeg
November 21 – 25: Grade 11's out on work experience
November 25: Family – School Interviews 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
December 20: Assessippi Ski Trip for all interested students
December 21: Kids Can Shop
December 22 Annual Christmas Dinner with EES
December 22: Last day of classes
January 9: Classes resume
To all our framing families, I hope that you were able to successfully complete your harvest.
I look forward to seeing you at the Family – School Interviews on November 25. Please come out to meet the teachers to discuss your child's education. Encourage them to attend school, do their best, complete their work, and to be respectful, kind, and caring.
Welcome back to all returning students and families and to those new to our community. For our farming families, I hope that harvest is going well.
As with any year, we have new staff I would like to introduce. Mrs. Harder comes to us from Westview Colony, and she will be teaching mainly Grade 9 and 10 subjects. We welcome back Ms Mel Henry – our Career Preparation and Exploration Coordinator. She returns to us after a couple of years of doing the same position at Elton and RCI. Ms Stewardson is a new educational assistant, and Mrs. Strahl will be filling ea responsibilities while Mrs. Preisinger is out. We are still in search of a Saulteaux teacher and I hope to have someone in that position real soon. Mrs. Goriak has also returned to continue to teach Grade 7 and 8.
We have been back for three weeks and it has not taken long for things to reach full speed. Mr. Waterman and Mr. Bayes have varsity and junior varsity girls' teams practicing; both teams have also been to their first tournaments of the year. The junior varsity girls won the B Side at Dauphin – going 4 – 2. On October 1, the senior girls are hosting a tournament. We will be co-oping with Minnedosa Colleigate for hockey, senior girls' soccer, and rugby. Our junior high soccer tournament is coming up on Saturday, October 8. ECI will also have students participating in the upcoming cross-country race in Spruce Woods.
Congratulations to Bobbi Uhl, who not only represented the school at the provincial golf championship, but also shot a 76 to capture the low score to win the individual title. Quite an accomplishment. Lucas Beatty competed in the zone tournament that was held at Carberry.
On September 16 we had a beautiful day for our annual Terry Fox Run. Organized by Mr. Roberts, our students raised more than $400.00 for the charity.
We also held our undergrad ceremonies the first Friday back and celebrated students in Grades 7 – 11. They were recognized for their academic achievements and citizenship contributions. ECI really has some outstanding students that are interested in their academics and/or contributing to their community.
We have some exciting upcoming trips. Mrs. Robson has organized a couple of trips to Winnipeg. Students will get to attend a Winnipeg Jets pre-season game and for another group they will attend the Winnipeg Ballet.
Just so families are aware, schools are no longer able to establish a fee for programming such as art and photography or charge a fee to cover field trips that are related to curriculum. If a teacher and class would like to go on a field trip, they must fundraise to go. If there is a field trip not related to curriculum there will still be a fee for students to participate.
On September 19 and 20, staff participated in professional development that focused on Cultural Proficiency. On the Monday we listened to a speaker – Ozlem Sensoy – that provided RRSD staff members with a foundation for cultural proficiency. On Tuesday, ECI staff worked on cultural proficiency with a focus on Aboriginal education. We began to work on our school plan and develop an Aboriginal education goal. We will continue this work and develop other goals that center around literacy, numeracy, and sustainable development. The ECI staff is committed to professional development and has some exciting conferences coming up. We will be sending a teams to "Supporting the Achievement of Aboriginal Students in Literacy and Numeracy" and "Violence Threat Risk Assessment" sessions. Mrs. Collyer will be attending a conference that focuses on critical incident training. She is also part of the divisional crisis response team. Ms Young and I will be participating in the "Building Student Success with Aboriginal Parents" fall gathering.
September 22 marked our annual Traditional Feast at Lake Audy and we had a great turn-out again. We had a fantastic day for it! Guests were treated to raisins and rice, deer jerky, soup, fruit, dessert, and bannock. There were also drummers and – new this year – dancers of all ages, dancing various traditional dances. Chief McKay, Elders, Darlene McKay, and Richard Gaywish all spoke and brought forth words of wisdom, tradition, culture, thanks, and wishes for a good school year. We had some other special guests too. Superintendent Ploshynsky attended and the Grade 7 class from Tanners' Crossing (who were camping there) stopped by for the drumming and dancing. After the feast - for those that were interested - elk bugling took place out near the Bison compound. Thanks to Myrna Young, some of her Saulteaux students, and those who assisted with cooking for making the evening so wonderful.
The work on our new greenhouse is set to begin. Mr. Waterman and the students had to have the greenhouse cleaned out so that RRDS maintenance could come in to tear it down. The new greenhouse is to be ready for semester two.
Mrs. Coulson and Mrs. Marcinyk hosted the bus drivers and RRSD maintenance department for coffee and muffins. It was a nice way to express our appreciation for the job that they do for our students and the school.
Did you know:
- Mr. Mathews is offering a guitar course in the second semester
- Trinity Nylen attended the Allyship in Action Conference this past summer in Ottawa. It was a five-day conference held at the Terry Fox Centre in which students learnt how to be allies to the LBGTQ and ethnic communities. Trinity's interest in the conference stemmed from a session and speaker we had here at last year's True Colors Conference. For more on Trinity's trip, her write up and photos will be published in the near future on our webpage.
- That ECI is the number one school in the province in terms of Aboriginal graduation rates
- That the same applies for passing rates for Aboriginal students on the provincial English Standards Exam
- Our French students are going to Quebec in May
ECI has established an Outreach and Self-directed Learning program. In our continued efforts to meet the needs of our students, there was the need to look at creating a program for students in which the current school structure did not match up with their situations for numerous reasons. Mrs. Boyd is working with students in this program.
Just a reminder that students are not to be taking pictures of other students and posting them without their permission. This also applies to parents/ guardians at school events. There are students at ECI in which we do not have permission to post pictures. The same applies for videos.
Please take not of the following dates:
Oct. 10: Thanksgiving Monday – no school
Oct. 14: Grade 9 vaccinations
Oct. 19: Interim Reports go home
Oct. 21: Provincial In-service for teacher – no school
Oct. 25: Vision and Hearing Screening for students in Grade 7, 9, 11
Nov. 2: Grade 9 Take Your Kid to Work Day
Nov. 9: Grades 11 and 12: post-secondary and government agencies presentation at MCI
Nov. 18: WE Day
Nov. 22 – 25: Grade 11 Work Experience
Nov. 25: Parent-Teacher Interviews
Erickson Collegiate has great and effective supports in place for our students. If they are experiencing difficulty academically, socially, emotionally, or in any other way, please give myself or Mrs. Collyer, the guidance counselor, a call. It is always more effective in assisting our students when the family and school are working together. If parents and guardians would like to access the school portal for information regarding their son or daughter, please contact Mrs. Coulson to get set up.
I encourage students to take their studies seriously and to get involved in extra-curricular programs to make the most out of their time at ECI. I also encourage parents and guardians to support the school and their children by communicating with us, attending parent-teacher conferences, and coming out to extra-curricular and community events.
Please check out our webpage for more information and what is happening at ECI.
Happy New Year to all students, families, community members, and staff. I hope that everyone had a great holiday season!
The last week before break was a fantastic one for ECI. Mrs. Ferguson and Mrs. Collyer organized another successful Kids Can Shop for the students from Erickson Elementary. The event is always one that I enjoy – as the younger students from EES are able to come and shop for their families for Christmas. Some of our older students assisted the younger ones and then Mrs. Branconier and Mrs. Goriak's Grade 7 and 8 students helped them wrap their gifts. With the money Mrs. Bachewich and the elementary staff collect, her students are able to "purchase" gifts and support an adopted student in a foreign country. Thanks to all of those involved that make this such a special event.
The Gay Straight Alliance group always hosts another popular event on the last day of school: tie-dyeing. Under the guidance of Mrs. Collyer, students and staff were able to tie-dye shirts and other articles of clothing. Those that participate always have lots of fun and are happy with their "new" piece of clothing.
A special event was added this year – one that was very touching and meaningful. ECI had our own Memory Tree. Students and staff were able to place an "ornament" on a tree that remembered a loved one or someone special that had passed away or is missing. I would like to thank Mrs. Collyer for the idea and allowing others to express their feelings in a different way at what can be a difficult time of year.
Student Council hosted a dance and all those in attendance had a great time. They also organized a "spirit week" and it was fantastic to see the number of students and staff that participated.
And, of course, EES and ECI had their annual Christmas Dinner. This is a wonderful and special event that I look forward to each year. Students, staff, and guests sing Christmas carols that are played by Mr. Mathews and the senior band as the younger students enter the school. Then each one of our grades is matched up with the elementary grades for lunch. It is so awesome to the ECI students helping the EES kids. Santa made his annual appearance too (thank you)! The full course turkey dinner feeds about 250 people and is a huge undertaking. I would like to thank Mrs. Coulson, Mr. Waterman, Mrs. Marcinyk, and Mr. Bayes, and Mr. Moody for their roles in organizing, cooking, or setting up for the event. There were also others - such as Mrs. Robson, Mrs. Priesinger, Mrs. Boyd, Mrs. Braschuk, and students – that contributed in helping set up and/ or decorate. Whatever role people played or assisted with, I appreciate the time and effort they put forth to help make this a successful event. I also appreciate contributions from EES and ECI families and our community sponsors. Your support is valued. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the following people for coming to support our dinner: senior administrators – Mrs. Ployshynsky and Ms Janssen; trustees – Victoria Blackbird and Terryl Maduke; and student services coordinator Mrs. Martin.
January means the end of Semester One is quickly coming to an end. Grade 12's begin to write their Standards Exams next week, and then the rest of their exams follow January 25 – 29. Grade 12's go out on their work experience the first week in February.
Grades 9 – 11 students will have their final assessments the week of February 1 – 5. Report cards will be issued the following week and Semester Two begins for students on Tuesday, February 9.
Please check the website for the exam/ assessment schedules.
There are no finals for Grade 7 and 8 students, as this is only the halfway point for their courses. They will have midterms for their core courses and interim reports will be sent home.
Our December ski trip to Assessippi was cancelled due to lack of snow; it has been re-scheduled to Friday, January 22. Students that are incomplete with tests and assignments will not be allowed to participate.
As the semester draws to a close and work is due, please contact your child's teachers if you have questions or concerns.
Report cards went home on Wednesday, November 24th. If you didn't receive one, please contact the school and one will be provided for you.
Please attend parent-teacher interviews on Friday November 27 between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm.
Life at ECI continues to move along a fast pace! And the reality is that we are only four school weeks away from our Christmas break.
Would just like to say how proud I am of Viktor Popp and Jordan Wiley for taking the initiative to organize the Pink the Rink event on Friday, November 20. The high school hockey team wore pink jerseys in honour of loved ones that had passed away due to cancer. The team and event raised more than $1400 for cancer research. A great idea that I hope becomes an annual event. Way to go, Viktor and Jordan. (see our webpage for further information)
Parent – Teacher conferences are Friday, November 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Reports cards will go home Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. If you are unable to attend the conferences, please call the teachers to make arrangements for another time. I encourage you to come and see how you sons and/or daughters are doing and to bring them along.
Erickson Elementary School and ECI combined their efforts for a Remembrance Day service, and the feedback that I received is that it was another successful and moving service. Thanks to Mr. Mathews' and others who were responsible for putting together the service. It is always a special day and such an important one to remember those who gave and sacrificed so much so that we can live freely like no other nation. (See our webpage for further information)
Our Grade 11 students are out on their work experience this week. Mrs. Raupers has the students placed in many different locations and in so many vocations. Should be a great week and experience for them. Mrs. Raupers was also responsible for arranging our Grade 9's to go to work for a day with their parents and guardians earlier in the month. We received great feedback about our students for that day too!
All grades have now participated in Val Caldwell's "Virtual Realities" presentation. She was here to discuss the realities and dangers of being unaware of what can happen if people aren't careful when using their phones and other technology. It was an excellent presentation.
Last week was National Addictions Awareness Week. Thanks to Mrs. Collyer and Mr. Bayes and Mr. Roberts for doing some activities with the students. (see webpage for further information)
Our Grade 11 and 12's attended the Post-Secondary Consortium event in Minnedosa last week. They heard presentations from various universities and colleges and also the RCMP and Military. It is a great way to expose the students to possibilities for their future.
And last Monday about 40 of our students and five of our staff headed to Winnipeg for We Day. They had a great day and heard various presentations about global issues and social justice.
Earlier this month Mrs. Robson, Mrs. Collyer, and four of our students got to attend the Flight of the Feather conference in Winnipeg. It was an event held by the Treat Relations Commission and the students and staff got to participate in various activities. (see the webpage for further information)
The focus of the November 20 in-service was weaving Aboriginal education into lessons and units. We have had five teachers attend the Treaty Education Initiative and each one has received their own kit. The various Aboriginal and educational organizations involved in this project have done a fantastic job at putting these kits together for teachers to assist them with their learning and teaching of Aboriginal culture, traditions, history, etc. Teachers that attended the training shared their experiences and the contents of the kits, and Mrs. Robson shared the work that she had done on her Masters that related to this topic. Friday was a real good day and worthwhile.
On December 16, Mr. Waterman is organizing the annual ski trip to Asessippi and on the 17th we have our special "Kids Can Shop" event. It is a great event in which the elementary students come over and shop for their families for Christmas. Our students assist them with their shopping and wrapping. It is just such a beautiful event. Part of the success though lies in the donations we receive from the community. If you are able to make donations to the "Kids Can Shop" day, please drop them off at the school or phone to make arrangements for pick up. Thank you in advance.
Lastly, during the first couple of weeks of November we experienced several thefts at school. In the five plus years I have been here, we have not had anything like this happen. The few that are doing it have a great impact on the culture of the building. I have met with staff and students and have put appropriate measures in place to deal with the situation. We have locks at school available to the students at no cost. After last week's assembly we have given out about eight more locks. I encourage you to have your son or daughter put a lock on their locker. I can report too that since our assembly that out of five thefts, three have been solved and those people involved have been dealt with. The following items have been stolen: phones, money, head sets, and mouth pieces from larger instruments (i.e. tuba, horns, etc). If you see these items show up at home and know they aren't your son or daughter's, please ask them about it and/ or give me a call. It is my understanding that some people will use the mouth pieces from the instruments as a bowl to smoke drugs. If these pieces show up at your home please give me a call. I would appreciate it.
All the best for the holiday season!
September 30, 2015
Well, the first month in is in the books! And things are humming along at the usual fast pace at ECI!
Junior and senior girls volleyball teams are up and running with Mr. Bayes and Mr. Waterman coaching, respectively. There is no senior boys team this years. The junior high soccer team is off to Rapid City with Mr. Roberts this weekend. We also have several guys trying out for the MCI high school hockey team.
Mr. Mathews has been working with student council to plan several upcoming activities. Thanks and congratulations to Mr. Roberts and our students for raising the most money ever by our school for the Terry Fox Run.
In our continuing efforts to provide students with new and other opportunities to learn outside of the classroom, there have been a couple of neat field trips taken place already. Mrs. Frey and her Current Topics in Science class teamed up with Ms Myrna Young, our BSSAP coordinator and RRFN liaison worker, and an elder to take a trip out to Lake Audy to learn about the cultural and traditional importance of various plants. Our Current Topics in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Studies and Biology classes joined these groups.
The second trip was another trip out to Lake Audy. Ms Young also organized this event, in which a traditional feast was held and then we went Elk calling out near the bison compound. Students and families from all our communities were invited and I was extremely pleased with the turnout. Close to 70 people attended! We were treated to moose stew, cinnamon rice, berries, and bannock. Elder Richard Gaywish taught us about Aboriginal traditions and culture around feasts and I was very honored to be asked, along with colleague Mr. Charlie Sansom, to beat on a buffalo drum. Everyone then participated in a friendship dance. The Elk calling was a unique experience for me. Ms Young's son, Alexander, called in the Elk and he figured that there were at least five elk that responded to his calls. Ms Marg Janssen, assistant superintendent, also attended this wonderful event.
Mrs. Robson has organized a trip for 32 students and staff to travel to Winnipeg to watch the last pre-season home game between the Jets and the Calgary Flames. This is turning into an annual event that sells out very quickly. Mrs. McInnis will be doing some fundraising very shortly to help with the trip to Brandon for the students to see the last installment of the Hunger Games series. Mrs. Branconnier and the Grade 8's will be travelling to Sandy Lake next week to spend time and work with seniors in that community.
Mr. Waterman's photography students have been taking some awesome pictures, and Mr. Mathew's History Through Film class is proving to be very interesting and popular. Mr. Wesley and the Current Topics in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Studies class have been studying and discussing the impact of residential schools. Mrs. Branconnier's math class – with her centers – is always fun to attend, and Mrs. Robson and Mrs. Boyd continue to push their students through unique and refreshing ways to approach and to teach the sciences. Mrs. Raupers and Mrs. Collyer have completed credit checks with all of the Grade 12 students, and Mrs. Collyer has also arranged for SERC to come in and do some sex education presentations with our high school students. Ask your daughters and sons about all the "neat" things going on in their classes and at school.
Pictures went home yesterday! If your son or daughter needs further hearing or vision testing, you will receive a letter from the school. Testing took place yesterday for students in Grade 7, 9, and 11. Mrs. Robson held the first graduation meeting on September 29 and it was very well attended. It was decided that the banquet is going to be held at the Erickson Rec Center. You can help support a graduate by purchasing Mom's Pantry products.
I would like to thank Mr. Wesley for teaching the Grade 7 and 8 ELA and Science and the CTFNMI Studies classes for the past month. I appreciate the time and effort he put forth to making the start of the year a great one for those students. He has been filling in for Mr. Robertson while he has been away. Mr. Wesley's last day is October 2. Mrs. Goriak has been hired for the remainder of the first semester to teach those classes. We are looking forward to her joining our ECI team; Mrs. Goriak will begin her teaching duties on October 5.
Be sure to check out the pictures of all the activities that have been happening at ECI on our webpage.
Welcome to all students, parents, staff, and community
partners to another school year! I hope
that everyone had a fantastic summer, and to all our farming families, I hope
that harvest is going well.
Each year brings new hopes and new challenges. I encourage students to do their best
academically and to get involved socially and in extra-curricular activities
ECI has to offer. Make this your best
school year yet.
To the parents and guardians, your continued support would
be appreciated. Please ensure that your
daughter or son attends school, does their homework, and are diligent in
studying for tests and exams and in doing their best on assignments. As always, if you have any questions or
concerns regarding your child’s education and their time here at ECI, please
contact the teachers, the guidance counsellor, or myself.
As a staff we are committed to providing a continued safe
and caring learning environment for our students. We are also committed to providing quality
education for our students and to providing other opportunities in which they
may grow and contribute as citizens.
I am excited about continuing our work with Erickson
Elementary School and Onanole School, and I wish your two schools all the best.
I would like to welcome Mrs. Mary-Anne Ploshynsky, the new
superintendent, to our division. I look
forward to showcasing our school and students to her and showing her what a
great little school ECI is! I am excited
to be working with the senior administrative team of Mrs. Ploshynsky and Ms
Marg Janssen, the assistant superintendent.
Have a great year, everyone!!
|No, this isn't actually my picture. I just haven't gotten around to updating this section. It's good to know that someone is reading every last word though. Thanks!