Hearts are bigger than Wallets.

I am EXTREMELY proud to say that I am the Principal of Seba Beach school. I am always proud of my school and my students, however recently the students and staff at Seba Beach school proved that anyone can make a difference and that their hearts are just as big as others.

Why am I writing this, you may ask, so I will tell you. Over the past couple of weeks the students of Seba Beach took on a “stuff a bus challenge” that was presented By Spruce Grove’s Save-On Foods and Royal Lepage Westgate. The challenge was to collect the most amount of food donations for the food bank. The winner would be based on a Per capita basis, which ensured a level playing field for all participants. I am elated to report that Seba Beach school was able to collect 8 items per capita, which translates to 800+ items.

As Mr. Wilhauk has stated, one of the “initiative is developing the younger generations sense of community” For more on the Challenge and a future goals please visit the Stony Plain Reporter. The students were extremely excited when they were informed yesterday and met with Trevor Wilhauk from Royal Lepage. The students, staff and community are looking forward to their BBQ in the Spring/Summer, however they are more excited that they have the bragging rights of winning the challenge against other schools in Parkland School Division.

The staff and students at Seba Beach look forward to next years challenge and would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and the most Memorable of New Years.

Musicians in the WEST

There are many advantages to living and working in rural Alberta. The small community feel, the atmosphere and the being connected is wonderful. It sometimes reminds me of the atmosphere that was presented in the television series CHEERS, the place where everyone knows your name.

This being said there are some disadvantages to living this peaceful, less hectic, less busy life style. The largest disadvantage is the difficulty in accessing some of the amenities that exist within the urban centers. One of these such elements is the ability to access and participate in cultural/musical events that for the most part do not play in towns or villages where the population is less that 1000.

To help facilitate this, the Resiliency Coordinator at our division office worked diligently to create and implement a Music/Artist in house program at Seba Beach, that would benefit not just Seba Beach but also the other three schools in the area, Tomahawk, Entwistle and Wabamun.

The music integration began at Seba Beach on Thursday, October 4th with The arrival and mini-concert put on by The J.D. Edwards Band. This event was sponsored by The Stony Plain Reporter and made available with a lot of work by Parkland School Divisions Resiliency Coordinator.

The JD Edwards Band is a 6 piece Winnipeg based group with a fascinating history and a brand
new story to tell. Together since 2006, this ever evolving group is driven by the uniquely infectious,
engaging and heartfelt songwriting of band leader JD Edwards. With a truly original voice and a
knack for crafting amazing songs, JD is able to capture every listener with an honest and uniquely
personal touch. From gentle and melodic to fierce and powerful JD’s voice has a sound that
embraces diversity as a strength. JD’s eclectic songwriting style draws from a wide variety of
musical experiences, honing a loud and gritty repertoire heavily influenced by Country, Blues,
R & B, and Soul. Delivered with a contagious optimism and energy, each performance JD is able
to draw in audiences with a real sense of musical purity. Offering a full pallet of textures and
sounds the JD Edwards Band always manages to musically acknowledge their influences without
compromising their ingenuity or principle. As a full group the band delivers time and time again
with the subtlety and power required to capture their original and highly appealing signature
sound. Now with a self titled first release, a live acoustic record and the proud release of their third
disc (Roads & Roads 2011) the JD Edwards Band is geared to hit the road and deliver its own brand
of infectious Canadian music tailored to appeal to all.

Here is a little Video that was created to capture the event – Enjoy

Lee from the Stony Plain reporter also came out to join us on this exciting day, and we appreciated him coming out and more importantly for The Stony Plain Reporter for sponsoring the event. It gave the students of the three schools some insight to choosing music as a methods of expression and provided the students with an experience that many of them may not have had.

 

Changes to improve student engagement.


Many junior high schools in rural areas are limited by factors such as staff, resources, space, time, money and experience when it comes to providing optional classes to students. Seba Beach is also in this predicament, being a school of less than 150 students ECS through grade 12. To increase the opportunities for the students for students at Seba as well as the three schools (Tomahawk, Wabamun, Entwistle) which are all thirteen minutes away. The schools in the far western portion of Parkland School Division run collaborative WEST end options. Ironically WEST stands for the four schools that are involved:

Wabamun  – W

Entwistle    – E

Seba Beach – S

Tomahawk – T

By joining the schools for options we almost double the number of optional classes that the students can choose from, which is amazing for the students.

However, at the end of the last school year, while planning for the next school years scheduling. I noticed that there is a sufficient amount of time during the week that Seba Beach could run some of these same options as in-house options. Now, I know that some teachers and administrators out there are thinking two things :

This is going to be more work for the teachers?

Are teachers going to be taking away time from the core subjects to allocate for this additional option time?

The truth of it, is the answers for the questions are yes and no, respectively. Yeah there many be some more time that the teachers have to plan for and some more work in relation to keeping students motivated, but what it the outcome.

Students that are participating and enjoying their learning experience

That is a more than acceptable trade off. Remember it is all about the kids. Aside from this there is another benefit and it is not solely to that of my students. With the students in my school having the other options earlier in the week. It leaves additional spaces for the other schools students to participate in those options instead of competing for spots. I will be honest, it does mean that my students do get two options per term instead of one., but that only means that they have a better rounded year. I am looking forward to the start up and running of our new in-house options program.

I do however have one request, if you have an idea for an option that you believe would be feasible in a small rural school please share. It will be greatly appreciated.

What to expect this year at Seba

Sunrise 3
Parkland School Division has made some great, innovative and inspiring changes over the course of last year and many will come into effect this year at Seba.

With a New Vision : Parkland School Division is a place where exploration, creativity, and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams.

And a New MissionOur purpose is to prepare, engage and inspire our students to be their best in a quickly changing global community.

To ensure that we are meeting our division Vision and Mission the educational team at Seba Beach will be trying a great number of things, the new division report card and digital portfolio’s to name two. In addition the team at Seba hope to increase clarity, to increase the sharing of information and practices as well as engage parents and community by allowing them a direct line and view of the learning that is going on in each classroom.

We will strive to achieve this by are being inviting parents, community members, other division staff and other educational stakeholders to access our classroom blogs which are listed below as well as our school Facebook pages.

We hope that by collaborating within our division, outside our division, by highlighting our diversity and expressing our success while sharing our learning that we can ensure that at Seba Beach we are doing our best to meet the priorities we have in Parkland School Division.

Please come and join us, and share your ideas and experiences.

Starting off the 2012-2013 with Flying Bob

Every year, I am sure that Principals and School staff diligently plan and organize the first day of school activities. These activities are to not only start off the year on a positive note, but also to welcome and inspire the students and teachers about the upcoming year. Some schools hold prep rallies, some have huge meetings, some only have a welcome in the morning and it is off to class.

This year at Seba Beach, we thought we would try something that had not been done in some time. The students went to their classes in the morning to meet with their peers and with their teachers, to get important information about their classes and share their adventures over the summer.

In the afternoon, as always we planned to have cake (Chocolate and Vanilla) and hot dogs. As an additive this year we invited Flying Bob – a motivational speaker and entertainer to finish off the school day.

I would love to explain the amount of fun that the students had, however my literary skills would not do the experience justice. Therefore please enjoy our quick trailer video and please share what your school does for the first day of classes.