Recently we have been meeting with many new families who will be joining our school community next year and as we tour the school and share highlights it always reminds me of how immensely proud I am of our staff. It is certainly true that at Greystone “it takes a village to raise child”. One of our most important relationships is with our parent / guardian community as we know that working closely as a team is in the best interest of our students as they develop and grow into healthy citizens of the world. Our staff recognizes and embraces the importance of not only developing the academic learner ~ the intellectually engaged mind ~ but also how important it is to create an environment in which a healthy mind, body and soul are enriched through a variety of meaningful extracurricular activities, peer mentorship groups and school wide activities. Many times I am asked if we have a formal counselor at our school, and although we do not, I feel very confident in saying what we do have are numerous supports for our students. These supports include, above all else, an incredibly dedicated staff who are always there for our students. Our team understands the importance of focusing on being an adult mentor, role model and advocate for our students. Our staff ensures our students receive the immediate supports that they and their families need at any given time. In addition, we have found it beneficial to have three administrators at Greystone to increase our supports and resources for students, families and staff. This week our two Assistant Principals, Kulbir Dhaliwal and Tracy Lachman, will be participating in a Counseling In-service to further develop their skills in working and supporting our diverse group of students.
Opportunities for our students at Greystone include:
Challenge Day ~ “Be the Change you want to see in the World” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
For the past three years, students in LC 8 have had the opportunity to participate in Challenge Day. This is a transformational day of fun, leadership, and empowerment that can change the way people view each other forever. Students, staff and community volunteers participate in a variety of team and trust building activities and discussions focusing around goal setting, self esteem, bullying, conflict management, peer pressure, and other issues that our adolescent community faces in today’s world. Everyone is given a unique opportunity to see themselves and the people around them through a new set of eyes.
NAIT Career Fair ~ Greystone is looking forward to hosting our first annual Tri School NAIT Career Fair during the afternoon of Monday, May 9 in our school gymnasium. Several departments from NAIT will be setting up hands on displays and providing information to our grade nine students from Greystone Centennial Middle School, Ecole Broxton Park, and Woodhaven Middle School. For the past two years, Greystone has worked with NAIT and we are excited to share this opportunity with our friends at our other two middle schools in Spruce Grove. Students and staff can plan on seeing leaders from Chemical Technology, Auto body, Millwork and Carpentry, Nanotechnological Systems, Petroleum, Chemical, and Geological Engineer Programs and many more. This will be a great experience for our grade nine students as they are preparing for high school transition and thinking ahead to their future.
Girls and Boys Groups ~ Greystone in partnership with FCSS ~ Family and Community Support Services has been able to offer Girls and Boys Groups to over 60 students in the past two years. These groups focus on building positive relationships, self esteem, and will address other topics that young adolescent students face today through a variety of activities and conversations. We have seen great benefits in having a small group of students closely connected to an adult role model where they can hang out and have some fun in a structured and supportive setting.
Heroes ~ Students in LC 7 have taken part in the Heroes Program for the last four years. The City of Spruce Grove, FCSS ~ Family and Community Support Services, and the Impact Society offer the HEROES program to all of the middle schools in Spruce Grove and surrounding area. Facilitators join our classes and their teachers once a week for a twelve week program focusing on self esteem, choices, character building and relationships. The program celebrates and builds upon the unique gifts and strengths of each individual to inspire themselves and others. This program is an excellent link to our health curriculum, our division and school priority on Citizenship and Social Responsibility, in addition to many integrated curriculum opportunities.
After the Bell ~ We have had the awesome experience of working closely with the City of Spruce Grove and FCSS to provide an after school drop-in program for our students on Mondays and Thursdays. Youth look forward to exciting activities, an opportunity to connect with other students in the community and receive additional homework support and mentoring.
Rainbows ~ is a peer support program for children who have experienced a significant loss to their family or lives. The loss may be due to separation or divorce of parents, the death of someone close to them or some other painful loss to the family. Greystone has offered this program over the past 4 years to over 50 students.
D.A.R.E. ~ For the past 6 years students in LC 6 have participated in the D.A.R.E Program facilitated by an RCMP liaison officer from the Spruce Grove detachment. This program focuses on drug abuse resistance education; our students are provided with information and awareness of substance abuse.
In past years we have also had many guest speakers and presentations on cyber bullying, internet awareness, power positive thinking, life choices and tolerance. Just this year we had Holocaust Survivor, Eva Olsson, speak to our students and share her inspirational story about courage, tolerance and compassion for all humanity. It was the most powerful, moving and impactful presentation that I have seen. For two years we have also connected with the DST – Tri Municipal Drug Strategy Team – to have our students involved in the Youth Mentorship Program. In addition, our students have attended presentations shared by the guest speakers that the DST brings into the community. Since we opened the doors of Greystone six years ago, we have continued to build community relationships with AADAC, Children’s Mental Health, Roots and Wings, FCSS and others agencies to ensure we have the necessary resources at our fingertips to support our students and families.
Responding to an ever changing society, we take great pride in accessing the resources from within our school and our community to wrap around with services and support for our students and families. We recognize that to successfully prepare our youth for the future, it takes a village working together.
For more information on any of these programs please contact our school office @ 780-962-0357.