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The ALH Wayfinder - November 29, 2021


Rock Your Moccasins for Métis Week and Holodomor Ukrainian cultural activities have kept students engaged in being creative and reflective over the last couple of weeks. We hope you enjoyed our latest video links sent home featuring the Halloween “parade” and the Remembrance Day ceremony. 


Classrooms are now filled with the sounds of poem recitations and singing as everyone prepares for this year’s Christmas Concert in Ukrainian and English. Across the school division, concerts will be virtual once again. We will be recording our pieces on December 16 in our formal dress and will email the concert videos to you to enjoy at home by December 21. There are many holiday spirit days for students to enjoy this month and dates are outlined below.


A Ukrainian Bilingual (UB) Program survey was emailed to UB parents/guardians on November 15 and closed on November 22. We appreciate the detailed and candid feedback shared with us to help in planning for the 2022/2023 school year. Our current challenges include classroom configurations to best meet the increased time of 40% of instruction in Ukrainian next year and the choice of subjects that help students learn and enjoy the culture and language. Virtual and in-person meetings to discuss the UB Program will be scheduled in early January. More information will be sent to all school families very soon. 


Report cards were published online on November 26 and are accessible through the Parent Portal. Parents/guardians will see comments and marks from homeroom teachers (teaching English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, & Physical Education) and options teachers (teaching Health, Art, Music, Social Studies, and one of French 4-6, Ukrainian Language Arts 1-6, or Literacy 1-3). 

In term one we saw a strong connection between consistent attendance at school and student achievement. We recognize that medical appointments must often be scheduled during the school day and we thank parents for picking up children in time to make the appointment and for bringing children back to school to finish the day, when possible. If you think your child is having difficulty coping with school work and regular attendance, please contact school administration at 780-632-3113. Our school counsellor and wellness coach are available to assist students with anxiety coping strategies, self-regulation and confidence, positive habit building, and short-term goal setting. Students succeed when they come to school. 

Building familiar routines for school nights and weekday mornings set children up for success. The following articles feature strategies for parents to help children look forward to school each day:

Sleep and waking routines

Evening routines

Morning routines - Getting children ready for school

Healthy Habits for TV, Video Games, & the Internet

If you prefer any of the articles linked above in print form, please give us a call at the school and we will print them off for you to send home with your child. 


A huge thank you goes out to the Friends of ALH Fundraising Society and School Council for their work with the Bear Tracks fundraiser and an upcoming silent auction. About $125 000 needs to be raised for a playground replacement in the next two years. If you can help out for a couple hours or assist in leading a fundraiser for 3-4 weeks, please join us at the Monday, November 29 School Council & Friends of A.L. Horton meeting at 6:30 PM. A link to the meeting was emailed to all families last week. If it has disappeared in your inbox, please email Keri Busenius at and the link will be sent to you in advance of the meeting. You can also contact School Council Chair Ken Allan at and the Friends of ALH President Dana Ambrock and society at .


Students in Grades 5 & 6 have volunteered to safety patrol the main crosswalk in front of the school. Please watch for their signals and take extra care before and after school. Parents, please model using one of the five crosswalks near the school when picking up and dropping off children. We continue to have adults walking through the bus ‘danger zone’ (between the buses where we have pylons) and running across the main street. 

Kindergarten students now enter and exit the school by the door off the staff parking lot (which is closest to their classroom). This helps with carrying snowy boots, backpacks, and other gear in the winter season. Thank you to parents/guardians for parking vehicles outside the parking lot to ensure the safety of our smallest students. 


We reached a new record for hot dogs this week - over 200 hot dogs ordered! Thank you to our hot dog lunch volunteers and to staff members who manage the orders and the shopping.

December Hot Lunch Friday orders closed on November 26 and feature Subway, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut. We are proud supporters of local food establishments and we thank them for their flexibility in creating individually packaged lunch options during the pandemic. 


A gentle reminder to all families to please send 2-3 masks to school with your child each day along with a reusable water bottle. We exhaust our mask supplies every three weeks and have run out of child-sized masks and cups for water on several occasions. 


Thank you to students, staff, and families for bringing in unwrapped toys, mittens/hats/scarves, and non-perishable foods in support of the Christmas Bureau. Each morning on video announcements we feature the “12 Days of Giving” and mention items students might bring to the “Giving Box” in the office. This event overlaps with the food bank items children are bringing to classes to participate in the Gingerbread House building competition. Check out our video announcements every once in a while to see what’s going on at school.


Please remember to dress children appropriately for the weather when getting ready for school or the bus. The weather can change unexpectedly. If inclement weather conditions occur, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) advises families of bus cancellations using various communications tools—automated-telephone messages, alerts posted on  and school websites, Twitter, Facebook, local radio stations, and notification through both the Bus Status and the Ride 360 apps. Morning bus cancellations are posted on  by 6:30 a.m.

Decisions regarding bus cancellations are guided by EIPS administrative procedures that state, “school bus service may be suspended…when there is a forecast or current temperature of -40 degrees Celsius, including wind chill factor, in one or more regions.” Other reasons for suspending or delaying school bus services include adverse weather and poor road conditions. When school bus services are suspended, schools remain open to students. 



December 1 - Early dismissal at 2 PM for staff meeting

December 3 - “Dress in your Holiday Bling” (antlers, winter shirts, bracelets, socks, etc.) Day 

December 10 - “Holiday Sweater” Spirit Day

December 10 - Food Bank donations due (if families are able) for Gingerbread House building 

December 10 - 12 Days of Giving wraps up for the Christmas Bureau

December 13 to 17 - Gingerbread House building days for Kindergarten to Grade 6

December 16 - “Dress in your Formal Best” Day for the Christmas Concert video recording

December 17 - Saint Nicholas Ukrainian cultural treat for all students Kindergarten to Grade 6

December 21 - “Dress in your PJs” Spirit Day; Treat from the Office for all students in PM

**December 22 - January 4, 2022 (inclusive) - Christmas Holidays; no school


January 5 - Back to school in 2022!

January 5 - Early dismissal at 2 PM for staff meeting


Your Journey Begins Here!

Keri Busenius & Rita Lal

Principal & Assistant Principal

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