Office of the Superintendent
Superintendent of Schools
Spring Break 2021
Dear GYPSD Staff,
I hope you have a wonderful Spring Break and that you have found the opportunity for some rest, relaxation, and time with your families. This year has been a challenge, but you have risen above negativity, stress, worry, doubt, and fear. Whether you celebrate Easter or not, this period of the year is a time of hope and rebirth. It is an opportunity for personal reflection and knowledge that joy will follow. In these tough COVID times, it is essential to hold onto hope and joy as both help move the world forward. It is also a time for compassion, especially after a year of restrictions, quarantine, loss of employment, and a learning environment restricted by masking, social distancing, and rigorous cleaning protocols. Each of you rose to the occasion and made a difference for our students. Thank you for your professionalism, compassion, and commitment.
I wish you a blessed and joyous weekend.
Dear Grande Yellowhead Public School Colleagues,
I want to wish each and every one of you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Our re-entry and school start-up was an incredibly safe and successful experience due to the leadership of our principals and you - each and every member of our organization. Together we have made a difference for our students and their families. This weekend is a chance to give gratitude for our blessings. The philosopher, John O’Donohue, identifies that “blessings are those experiences we hold as the good in our lives. The language of blessing is a calling forth; to recognize the presence of grace and as such giving gratitude for our blessings is a way to recognize and honor them. The word blessing suggests that no life is alone or unreachable. Blessings are gifts that open doors to healing, connection, meaning, and transformation”. With deep thanks and appreciation
2020 World Teachers' Day
Today is World Teachers’ Day and I want to thank each and every one of you across the Division for your dedication to teaching and learning as we celebrate our continued commitment to public education. This year’s theme is “Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future,” which invites us to not only celebrate but also take stock of our achievements and attend to the future through the thoughts and actions of our colleague teachers across the globe, whose heartfelt efforts continue to focus on ensuring all students receive an exemplary education regardless of where they live. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged education systems throughout the world, and as such, we are invited in this crisis to consider crossing the threshold that invites us, now more than ever, to work together to support the right for every child to access quality public education.
Respectfully, Carolyn Lewis
National Indigenous Peoples Day
Dear GYPSD Community;
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, which is an opportunity for all
members of Grande Yellowhead Public School Division (GYPSD) to recognize and
celebrate First Nations, Metis and Inuit people – many whom are our students,
professional colleagues, and families.
The Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National
Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day/Journée
Nationale des Peuples Autochtone because, “generations of Indigenous Peoples
have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the
significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year”.
Each Indigenous group is beautifully unique as identified through language,
culture, history and spiritual beliefs as a collective group. Using the Alberta
Education Programs of Study, the GYPSD community is committed to developing
foundational knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples by
understanding the historical, social, economic, and political implications identified
in the Teacher Quality Standard that address:
• Treaties and agreements with First Nations;
• Legislation and agreements negotiated with Métis; and
• Residential schools and their legacy.
In addition, GYPSD students and staff can actively access Cree Language
classes, attend Indigenous Leadership Camps held at the Palisades Centre,
collaborate with the Indigenous Elders’ Advisory Group and access knowledge and
guidance from Indigenous stakeholders such as the Hinton Friendship Centre with
whom GYPSD is blessed to have a rich and meaningful relationship.
This is a day of blessings.
kisê-manitow; kinanâskomitin kotak kîsikâw ê-miyiyan.
nipakosêyimon anohc ta-miyiyan sîpêyihtamowin, kisêwâtisiwin, sipiyawêsiwin,
sawêyimik kahkiyaw nitôtêmak mîna niwâhkômâkanak.
ᑭᓭ ᒪᓂᑐᐤ: ᑭᓇᓈᐢᑯᒥᑎᐣ ᑯᑕᐠ ᑮᓯᑳᐤ ᐁ ᒥᔨᔭᐣ᙮
ᓂᐸᑯᓭᔨᒧᐣ ᐊᐦᐨ ᑕ ᒥᔨᔨᐊᐣ ᓰᐯᔨᐦᑕᒧᐏᐣ, ᑭᓭᐚᑎᓯᐏᐣ, ᓯᐱᔭᐍᓯᐏᐣ, ᒦᓇ ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ᙮
ᓴᐍᔨᒥᐠ ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᓂᑑᑌᒪᐠ ᒦᓇ ᓂᐚᐦᑰᒫᑲᓇᐠ᙮
Creator; I thank you for giving me another day.
I ask that today you grant me patience, kindness, tolerance, and love.
Bless all my friends and relatives.
The purpose of Education Week is to call attention to the importance of education and
to show the public the good things happening in Alberta schools.
The Education Week theme for the past three years has been Learning is a Journey
and what a journey it has been! The first four months of 2020 have seen us sailing
through rough seas spiked with challenging winds and unexpected changes of course –
yet each of you have risen to the challenge.
Teachers have a crucial role in our Division – illuminated more so in the light of the
COVID pandemic. In addition to ensuring student learning remains a top priority,
teachers have worked to ensure schools have served as fact-based information hubs,
provided digital devices and technology support, facilitated access to nutritional meals
for struggling families, and maintained access to mental health supports and
counseling. I have tremendous pride in the partnerships that exist between teachers,
students, and families in the support of student learning.
The excellent learning opportunities teachers provide in Grande Yellowhead Public
School Division encourage rigour, creativity and critical thinking that will make a lasting
impact in the lives of our students ensuring their success as global citizens.
Thank you to every teacher who, on a daily basis, makes a positive difference in
the lives of our students.