Spring Has Finally Arrived!

As we write this newsy item, it appears that spring has finally sprung for once and for all!  With the fast departure of the last snow and with temperatures rising into double digits we are even more excited to be out and about with our learning!

During the last full week of April, our school cared for our home earth in a variety of ways.  Two of the main activities we participated in were: a.) actively taking part in a recycling plastic bag challenge and b.) pitching in to gather all the garbage and debris from around our school that was left visible once the snow retreated.  The week was a huge success in learning and caring for our environment.

We are happy to announce that our school is once again taking part in the David Suzuki 30 x 30 Nature Challenge during the month of May.  Students and families will be logging at least 30 minutes each day outside in nature for 30 days.  Over the past years with our annual involvement, there has been a steady increase in those participating and logging their times exploring the outdoors.  Of course as we know, connecting with nature signifies a positive impact on being a healthier well being individual!  Why don’t you join us in this movement?  It’s free, it’s inspiring, it’s motivating and most importantly it is FUN!  You can register your involvement @ https://davidsuzuki.org/take-action/act-locally/one-nature-challenge/  You won’t regret it!

We are well underway in our “One Book, One School” endeavor of reading “Adventure According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney.  The students have been reading with their parents/guardians and excitedly answering the chapter questions along the way.  We are sure this venture has been successful in encouraging some quality reading time together as a family!  A final celebration will take place in mid May when we culminate our reading adventure.

Our school has become “up to date” with social media and now have a school Twitter account.  To follow us or check us out find us at: @PikeLakeSchool.  Don’t forget to visit our blog page to that has wonderful tidbits of valuable information for you to resource.  E.g. monthly calendars and newsletters, My Prairie Spirit Classroom, special links, school goals, etc.  You can find our blog by visiting: http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/pikelakeschool/  Check it out and discover all the important information about your school in your community.

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Waiting For Spring!

As we await the spring weather that leads to summer time, our school is continually learning inside and outside in so many wonderful ways!  As the saying goes, “not all classrooms have four walls” is something we actively put into practice in our small school.

Our school is once again accepting plastic bags for recycling and we want your help!  We are taking part in a recycling challenge that includes participating schools all across Canada.  Last year our school collected the greatest number of bags in Saskatchewan and we won a beautiful recycled Trex bench for our efforts!  If your home is overrun with plastic bags we encourage you to drop them off during school hours beginning Monday, April 16th – Friday, April 20th, 2018.  With your help we hope to achieve an even higher number of bags collected for recycling, while reducing the number of bags that are wasted in our community.  At the culmination of this challenge we will be applying curriculum learning in math, language arts, social studies and health subjects as we sort and count the bag donations we received.

In keeping with our reading goals, our school will partake in a family reading activity with a book called “Adventures According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney.  There will be activities and prizes awarded as we read along together to discover what adventures Humphrey is talking about.  We would like to express our thanks to the Pike Lake SCC who have purchased the books for each student as well as some prizes.  It is fantastic to have the support for our school’s reading aims from our SCC!  As a team, we know the benefits and importance of reading aloud at home and research shows that children who are read to learn to read more easily and become better readers.

Our school has been active within our community since the weather has warmed up.  We donned on our snowshoes and travelled through the nearby bush to read a copy of a story book that was placed along a pathway.  We began our story, “A Little Bit of Winter” across the road and made several stops to find and read the pages of the book for this unusual literacy activity.  It was a unique way to read a book and was surely enjoyed by the volunteers who came to help with snowshoes and reading.

In a scavenger hunt type activity, we also learned more about our own community history.  As we trekked along finding clues to each location, we discovered the history of such places as our new and old schools, the Pike Lake Community Hall and satellite Fire Hall, the Pike Lake Provincial Park, along with the significance of the pioneering families in our community.  It was a great learning activity for the students and helped make the bond to their school and community a little bit stronger.

We are looking forward to having a bit of a break at Easter time before resuming classes on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018.  We wish everyone a wonderful Easter with family and friends as we all eagerly anticipate the coming of spring!

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Busy Beavers!

With February behind us after our winter break, we returned to classes rested and rejuvenated!

We look forward to the many exciting, challenging, inviting and informational activities our school has planned for March that will carry us right up to the Easter break.  In the next weeks ahead we will get to enjoy some wonderful music when Singing with Sylvia comes to our school.  We get to share knowledge and learning information with our parents, students and teachers with the upcoming conferences for the second half of the year.  We have lined up some outdoor activities to challenge us as we take our learning outside to test our knowledge and our physical abilities in our local surroundings.

One of the big activities that we all look forward to is the annual Winter Feast.  Our school (along with our SCC) puts on this event for our school families and community members as a thank you for their continued support.  This FREE feast will be held on Friday, March 16th at Pike Lake Hall beginning at 12 noon.  As you are an honored community and family member, we invite you to join us for this special FREE luncheon that the students will prepare with skills learned in their daily nutritional snack program.  This meal will allow you to see our school in operation at its best while enjoying a wonderful student made buffet!  We kindly ask you to contact the school (306-668-4808) to RSVP or to find out more information.

We are very fortunate to have two wonderful student teachers joining our teaching team here at Pike Lake School.  We warmly welcome Miss Madison McLean and Miss Jordanne Estergaard to our school family.  These ladies will be with us each Tuesday and Wednesday until the end of March and will progressively increase their time teaching and learning from our seasoned staff and students.  We are happy to have these upcoming teacher candidates at our school to learn from and with us!

Our “Saddle Up and Read” Scholastic Book Fair was once again a great success.  From all the books that were sold from this Fair our school was able to raise a profit of $900.00 worth of Scholastic books for the school library.  We truly thank everyone who  supported our fundraiser and encouraged young readers with all the purchases made!  We couldn’t have done it without you!  Special thanks to Mrs. Knackstedt for all her extra organizing work and volunteer hours she donated to make this Book Fair the success that it is!

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Saddle Up & Read

It was a cold January for Saskatchewan and one that prompted at least one “no school” day because of the frigid temperatures.  Nevertheless, as the winter begins to wind down, our school begins to wind up with some great fun and activities for learning.

Our annual Scholastic Book Fair is fast approaching with this year’s theme being “Saddle Up and Read!”  We invite all families and community members to come on down to peruse the fair to lasso some special books for your little cowpokes.  The fair will begin Monday, January 29, 2018 and run until Friday, February 9, 2018.  Our school will host two evening open houses: Thursday, February 1st and Wednesday February 7th beginning at 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. both evenings.  All proceeds from the sales of books will be used for purchasing library and educational resources for the students.  We hope you can come and rope in some wonderful options for Saddling Up to Read!

Each year we compile information about the school enrollment over the next five years.  This information is very vital to our future planning and funding.  If there are any families in our community and area that have young children who will attend Pike Lake School within the next five years  it is imperative that you contact Pike Lake School @ 306-668-4808  This would include youngsters 0-5 years!  We look forward to hearing from you so that our preliminary furute enrollments can be firmed up.

We will be learning and actively demonstrating many of the wonderful traits of what it means to be a friend when we celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th.  We can dress up in red, pink and/or white as we spend the afternoon in fun learning activities with our friends.

In keeping with tradition, the SCC will once again be supporting the annual lunch for our community and school families. The students are always eager to prepare a meal to share with the community and demonstrate the skills they have learned in the school’s daily nutrition program.  Please save Friday, March 16, 2018 as the date for sharing a meal with a neighbour, the school students and staff.  Watch for more details in the upcoming days.


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Speeding Along!

Our school is definitely in full swing as we wind down towards the end of the calendar year!  It is hard to believe we are almost at the end of November as it seems like we just started school a short time ago.  However, enough academic time has passed that we have already participated in Three Way Interviews with parents/guardians to discuss their child’s progress and learning achievements thus far in the school year.  Interviews are always a great opportunity for parents/guardians, students and teachers to connect and get an in depth look at how well the school year is going for their child.

Recently, our school was endowed with a cheque from Agrium Potash Corporation for our nutritional morning snack program.  It is so wonderful that we have such strong community support from our local Agrium and that they recognize and put value on this program.  We truly appreciate Agrium’s substantial donation to our school and thank them deeply for assisting us monetarily!

Our school was fortunate to have Jeanne Corrigal (a Metis filmmaker and story teller) share with us a parts of her documentary about a Saskatchewan man and skilled tracker, Jim Settee, who saved a young boy up north.  This documentary (Jim Settee: the Way Home) is about a man who touched many people’s lives in his lifetime and helped them find their “way home.”  Through her own eyes, Ms. Corrigal, spoke of the various life experiences of Jim Settee who was also a close friend of her father’s.  She spoke of his teachings being a tender legacy for all people and our varied journeys “home.”  Many lives of others were transformed as a result of Jim’s guidance through his wisdom and kindness.  She aptly engaged the students and staff as she imparted her knowledge of the indigenous culture as told through her experiences.  Thank you Jeanne for your wonderful presentation to our students and staff.

Students have prepared some wonderful crafts to sell at our upcoming annual Pike Lake Community and School Association Craft Sale on Sunday, November 26th.  All proceeds from the sale of their crafts will be put towards enhancement of our student learning.  We invite you to come and see all the crafters and vendors and possibly do some unique Christmas shopping!  Pike Lake School Community Council will operate a concession that will have warm beverages and goodies to enjoy!  We hope you are able to come (and bring your neighbor!) to support these essential community organizations and crafters in our neighbourhood.

As we approach December, our school will once again begin to prepare and excitedly present our Christmas concert performance.  This long standing tradition is always eagerly awaited by the students and community alike.  This year we will be presenting “Melton, The Warm Hearted Snowman” on Thursday, December 21st at Pike Lake Community Hall.  We will have a morning showing at 11:00 a.m. and an evening performance at 7:00 p.m.  Of course, we hope Santa will stop by for a visit in the evening!  These performances are open to the public in addition to the community and school families.  We welcome you to join us and be entertained as we perform and embrace this heartwarming message of the season – it’s all about love!

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We Welcome You Back!

Our new academic year is about to begin with some wonderful and exciting activities in store throughout the year!  With last year now in the background, we successfully and actively familiarized our school and community families with our place based learning model.  From the feedback we have received, all the team partners were very happy with the outcomes of our introductory first year.  This year we are even going to be better with all we learned from and with our students and staff!

We warmly welcome Corinne Dutka as our Principal for this upcoming year.  Corinne is on board as our new team leader and is enthused to carry on and expand this model of education in our school.  Over summer, Corinne has been actively pursuing the best ways to connect curriculum and kids through nature.  We also look forward to hosting a new intern, Chelsey Braybrook who will begin on the first day of school and will be staying with us until the end of December.  Chelsey will be learning with us, as well as teaching students in and out of doors.  These ladies have some wonderful ideas to share so be sure to watch what our school will be learning in the next 10 months.

We hope you join us as we journey with our learning this year.  If you have a hobby or leisure activity that you are interested in sharing with us, we invite you to give us a call and we can make arrangements to have you share your knowledge with our students.  You don’t have to be a professional – just someone who is passionate about what they do in any capacity.  It can be birdwatching, wild flower enthusiast, mushroom scavenger, environmentalist, sport guru, rock or bug collector, calligrapher, paper quiller, miniature artist, gemologist and the list goes on.  Anything a student can learn about will be welcomed and we would love to have you connect with us!  Just call us at 306-668-4808 for more information.

Our School Community Council (SCC) has set the date for the annual Welcome Back to School BBQ.  In cooperation with the Pike Lake Community and School Association (PLCSA) there will be a FREE burger/hotdog supper for ALL school families and community members to be held on Thursday, September 14th, 2017 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the school.  You are welcome to come meet the staff, tour the school and get the low down on what we eagerly do in a school day!  You can also purchase your membership to the PLCSA and register your young ones for the various activities that PLCSA has acquired this year!  So there you have it – three good reasons for you and your family to join us for FREE supper!  Bring your neighbor along to share in the fun!  Mark this date down so you don’t miss out on a FREE and filling enjoyable time!  See you there!

Watch for us out and about in our community as we inquire, discover, build, study and absorb all there is in our own rich backyard environment!

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Try-A-Thon Success!

     June 15th was a fantastic day at Pike Lake School!  The Pike Lake School Community Council hosted its second ever Try-A-Thon with great success!  The morning was filled with education and fun followed by the afternoon which saw students complete a rigorous Try-A-Thon course.  Most importantly this athletic event was about students coming out to have fun, achieve something personal and special, and for everyone else to cheer and congratulate them on their accomplishments!

This day would not have been possible if not for our sponsors, donors and volunteers.  A Try-A-Thon is a huge event that takes a lot of organizing and resources!  Without the support of our school team, the School Community Council members and parents, our Try-A-Thon would not have been possible.  Hurray to everyone for tor their contributions that allowed for this most amazing Try-A-Thon to come to be!

This long and adventurous day would not have been the same without the Outdoor Ed. Grade 11 students from Delisle Composite School!  The Outdoor Ed. students made each student from Pike Lake School smile and feel encouraged.  Everyone felt inspired to dig deeper and push harder.  We developed our stamina while exercising together and bonds were formed that will last a lifetime in our memories.  All students from Pike Lake School had fun and we hope the Outdoor Ed. learners did too!  Thanks to Erin Hill for helping to coordinate the students with us over the last few months!

We would also like to extend our gratitude to Constable Sean Nave, School Liaison from the Warman RCMP detachment for coming out to help with the day!  Constable Nave is quite familiar with the Triathlon as a competitor and was present to encourage the students as they went through all stages of the Try-A-Thon course.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge these special businesses who believed in our educational event and donated some funds towards putting the event into action:

Pike Lake Community and School Association – Our community backs our school 110% each and every time we do something that involves doing “more” for our students!  They do their best to see that our learning opportunities are not compromised or hindered because of lack of funds and contribute where they can.  PLCSA knows the value of Pike Lake students having different opportunities to enhance their education.  PLCSA has had our back and has ALWAYS been there for us!  Thank you Pike Lake Community and School Association for your support!

Ball & Sons Heating – They have been such a substantial support for our school over the years!  They have supported our many endeavors with monetary donations and we cannot thank them enough for all they have given us.  It is so very rewarding to know they believe in our school and all we do!  Thanks so much Ball & Sons Heating!

UTL Inspections– The branch manager and family of this company have total faith in our school and its programming!  They have provided monetary support for this event as well as providing assistance with physical labour with other various school needs!  They have not been shy to show their support for our school many times over and we are grateful for their financial support for this event!

To the Pike Lake School students – thank you for making it an amazing day!  You should all be very proud of your accomplishment!

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Final Lap

Our year end is picking up speed as we round the corner on the final lap before summer holidays begin!  We have partaken in a lot of activities with more to come!  It is an exciting time for students and staff as we near the finish line!

We were saddened to discover that some of our outdoor items went missing over these last few weeks.  We have “lost” a birdbath and some decorated flower pots as well as some other miscellaneous outdoor pieces.  The alumni students had left some of these items as legacy projects and these pieces were supposed to stay with the school as a reminder of their time here.  Some of these objects have been here safe and sound for a number of years – until this year!  It is unfortunate that some folk feel that because an item is outside of a school building that they can “borrow” it for their own use.  Our school works very hard with yearlong fundraising to purchase the things we need for our outdoor learning area and legacy projects.  We sure hope that the items that were borrowed kindly get quietly returned with no questions asked.

Over this last busy month, we welcomed our new Kindergarten students and parents to the school, we acknowledged and thanked our volunteers in an afternoon.  We planted vegetables and flowers as well as transplanted our tomatoes that we grew from the seeds from outer space. (aka the Space Station).  We helped keep our environment clean by collecting and recycling plastic bags and have expanded our time out in nature with the 30 X 30 challenge!  We are looking forward to the upcoming Try-A-Thon on June 15th at Pike Lake Provincial Park!  We invite you to come out and cheer us on as we challenge our bodies to be their best in the swimming, running and cycling courses!

During May, we once again received eggs from the University of Saskatchewan and watched as they successfully hatched into chicks.  The students named the eggs and wondered who would hatch first!  With the aid of a 24 hour camera, students were able to recall data and observe while each of the eggs cracked and opened.  Our learners watched as the hatchlings went from weak and wet fledglings to fluffy chirping chicks!  Once the chicks were strong enough, we sent them home with Farmer Ken to take care of them for their life duration.  We also adopted 10 painted lady caterpillars and watched their transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.  We fed and cared for these butterflies until we released them into the wild.  Having the ability to partake in these two responsibilities was a great illustration of two different life cycles, which in turn prompted curious inquiry from the students.  Students’ interests were substantially piqued and allowed a gateway to open to learning that could not be taught as successfully from a book.

At the end of June we will be saying our farewells to our Grade Four students who will transition to Delisle Elementary School.  We know they are ready to take on new learning and leadership roles in their new school.  We will also be sending our bittersweet well wishes and fond farewell to Diana Jemieff Hayes as she shifts her administrative duties to another school.  Diana will be returning from her maternity leave in January to begin her new role as Principal in Delisle Elementary School.  We know she will have great success as she begins to initiate the same acclaimed programming that she had launched here in Pike Lake.  She will of course have some familiar faces and leaders working with her as she begins her new journey!

June will not be all sadness!  We will be enjoying our traditional yearend swim for the Grades 1-4 students and have added mini-golf to the day’s activities.  We welcome Tara Mayor as our acting principal for the month of June!  Mrs. Mayor comes to us from Willow Park and will stay with us to the end of the year.  She will then begin her new role as Principal in the Eagle Creek Colony School.  If you have any concerns, comments or compliments, Tara welcomes your calls/texts either at the school number (306-668-4808) or @ 306-220-6299.  Commencing in the fall we will have Corinne Dutka take on the administrative role for our school.  Corinne is currently the acting Vice Principal at Warman Elementary School and is excited to join our school family in August.  Corinne has had previous interactions with our school in years past and is so excited to continue with our new programming in the fall!

Wishing one and all a great summer of warmth and sunshine spent with family and friends!  Safe travels as you head out on your adventures and we look forward to hearing about your stories and the memories made when we meet up again!  Happiest Summer Time!

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Exciting Learning!

We have returned from our spring break renewed and hopefully into the true spring weather!  The final months of our academic year are full and mixed with fun learning as we continue to explore in our community!  We recognize that we have so many great opportunities from the surrounding learning lake and land to acquire the knowledge from our curriculum lessons!

Throughout the last three seasons the students have been truly engaged as they studied their nearby adopted tree.  They have discovered the necessary importance that their type of tree has on the environment it lives in and the creatures who count on it for protection and survival.  These place based learning experiences has laid the foundation for students’ studies in math, science, social studies, language arts and other subject areas across the core curriculum.  It is truly rewarding to see the students build vocabulary, communication and inquiry skills, learn how to respect and interact with the environment and develop a love for their very own place in our community and school.  And on top of it all, the students have had fun and been excitedly immersed in their learning.

It was great to have the parents/guardians attend the Student Led Conferences.  It was so meaningful to work together as a team to co-construct a piece of the student’s “Reflections of Growth” document.  There is so much growth and learning that occurs when parents, teachers, and students collaborate together as a team!

For the 4th year in a row, our school will once again be participating in the 30 X 30 Challenge presented by the David Suzuki Foundation.  During the month of May, we will pledge to spend 30 minutes in nature every day for 30 days!  Sounds like fun and we are going to take that challenge on with gusto!  Each year we tally more time outdoors than the year before and more of our families are getting involved!  You can take that challenge at home or at work too and we hope you join us as spring begins to blossom!  Go to http://30×30.davidsuzuki.org/ for more information!

Is your home being overrun by all those plastic bags from shopping?  We have a solution for you!  Beginning May 29th to June 2nd, 2017 we will participate in a challenge with other elementary schools all across Canada!  We will be collecting plastic shopping bags to recycle and enter to win some prizes to support environmental initiatives for our school!  So start gathering those single use plastic bags and have them ready when we call out for them at the end of May!  We know we can really make a difference with this recycling incentive!

We are looking forward to our upcoming Try-a-Thon on June 15th and have begun our running training.  Our Try-A-Thon is being governed by the Saskatchewan Triathlon Association Corporation (STAC) and will incorporate swimming, biking and running.  We will once again be partnering with the Delisle Composite Outdoor Education students as they buddy up with our students to support and mentor them on this fun challenge.  For the students at Pike Lake School, the Try-A-Thon is an exciting and challenging event that complements the physical education component of our academic program.  We invite you to come cheer us on!

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