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River East Transcona School Division
creating student success

​In Our Schools

Baking for Madison House

Maple Leaf School
December 07, 2017

Baking Cookies (small).jpgOn December 5, students from Maple Leaf School walked up the street to McIvor Church and spent some time baking and decorating Christmas cookies with the church's outreach team. 

While they did get to have a nibble, most of the cookies will be packed into paper bags decorated by Maple Leaf students and delivered along with other supplies they collected to Siloam Mission's Madison House in Wolseley.

Great job, kids!

Treaty No. 1 territory

Angus McKay & Polson Schools
December 05, 2017

Treaty map on Polson bulletin board; class treaties on Angus McKay bulletin boardBoth Angus McKay and Polson, along with other schools in our division, have done projects or posted information recognizing that their schools are on Treaty No. 1 territory. 

In Angus McKay's case, the entire student body took part in a treaty project led by Leanne Smith, an RETSD Indigenous inclusion teacher. Treaty No. 1 was negotiated and entered into in August 1871 at Lower Fort Garry. 

Click here for more information about the treaty:

Students 'Create Kind'

River East Transcona School Division
December 05, 2017

Advent.jpgOn November 25, a group of RETSD girls from Grades 6–12 gathered for the division's latest Empowerment Project called "Creating Kind." It was a free, interactive event during which they created kindness advent calendars to bring back to their schools and help promote positivity. Great job, girls!

Congratulations to Rajbir Singh

Kildonan-East Collegiate
December 05, 2017

Reivers (small).jpgCongratulations to Rajbir Singh, who plays football with the Kildonan-East Collegiate Reivers. Last week, at the annual WHSFL awards banquet, Rajbir was chosen to receive the John Potter/D'Arcy Bain Sports Physiotherapy Award.

The award and bursary of $500 are presented to a graduating player based on their development and progress during their high school career. Rajbir first started playing football in Grade 10 as a mostly practice player and developed into a starter (and league All Star) this year.

His love for the sport inspired his commitment and determination to achieve his best. Rajbir is a respectful young man and is always proud to call himself a Reiver. Way to go, Rajbir!

Congratulations also go out to nominees Jackson Oneschuk (Best Defensive Player), Joe Heyward (Best Lineman), and Deion Nelson (Best Offensive Player). Well done, players!

Photo: (left to right) Coach Ryan Scott, Joseph Heyward, Deion Nelson, coach Jason Hawkins, Rajbir Singh, Jackson Oneschuk and coach Chris Cunnane.

Deck the halls of RETSD

Administration Offices
December 01, 2017

Charlotte1b.jpgDecember is here! And that means the RETSD Administration Offices are decorated for the season, courtesy of our receptionist, Charlotte Benedictson. She does a smashing job of decking the halls every year, and we're very lucky to have her.

Students ‘Care, Give and Share’

Angus McKay School
December 01, 2017

Advent (small).jpgAs a way to do something special for their school, teacher Calla Cooper's Grade 5 class at Angus McKay School created a "Caring, Giving and Sharing" advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas vacation. They researched and compiled a list of ways students can show kindness and then chose an idea to hide in each numbered envelope suspended on the tree. So, each day has a special surprise challenge for Angus McKay students to try to complete. Each day, a selected student opens up an envelope and the kindness challenge is shared on the morning announcements and in the classroom. The students have the month of December to complete as many as they can. The hope is that all students have fun counting down the days, while remembering that it's always a time to care, give and share.

Students visit aviation museum

Bernie Wolfe Community School
November 30, 2017

Aviation 1.JPGOn Wednesday, Grade 6 students from Bernie Wolfe Community School went on a field trip to the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada. 

They toured real airplanes and learned about Bernoulli's principle, the four forces of flight and lighter-than-air flying devices. (Photos by Norbert Iwan)

Percussion ensemble takes on CBC challenge

River East Collegiate
November 28, 2017

Percussion Ensemble.jpgThe River East Collegiate Percussion Ensemble—nine musicians from Grades 9–12—has submitted an entry for the CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge. The winners will be announced on December 15. We wish them the best of luck!

Listen: Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" by the REC Percussion Ensemble

Student chosen for Canada 150 forum

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
November 23, 2017

group photo of Canada 150 Youth Forum participantsJuscenta Haligowski, a Grade 10 student at Miles Macdonell Collegiate, was selected to take part in the Canada 150 Youth Forum in Ottawa in July. 

She was chosen for this all-expenses-paid opportunity as a result of the leadership she demonstrated at the Canada 150 Youth Forum on Human Rights held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights last May. 

Juscenta took part along with the rest of the Grade 9 students in teacher Kara Wickstrom-Street's social studies classes. Ms. Wickstrom-Street very proudly passed along this photo of Juscenta (third from right) along with the other participants.

Gator Nation

Bertrun E. Glavin Elementary
November 22, 2017

wall map and closeups of North America, Asia and AfricaJust inside the doors of Bertrun E. Glavin Elementary, there's a large map on wall with the words "Gator Nation" next to it (the school's mascot is an alligator). 

It's marked with stickers (and a pin) showing where some of the school's students originally lived, and spans the globe from across the Americas to nations in Asia and Africa. 

What a great way for kids to be proud of where they've come from and also feel like part of the "Gator" school community!

Little chefs prepare healthy meals

Bertrun E. Glavin Elementary
November 21, 2017

kindergartners wearing chef hats chopping fruits and vegetablesToday, fruits and veggies were abundant in Arusia Leskiw's kindergarten class at Bertrun E. Glavin Elementary. So were little chefs. For the past seven years, students in Ms. Leskiw's class have worked with Agriculture in the Classroom to learn more about the food they eat, and this year the class has partnered with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, as well. The CPMA provided funding so the students could prepare some healthy menu items and learn more about healthy eating.

"I've made chef hats for all the kids," says Ms. Leskiw. "And we're so excited to be adding an Indigenous component to our cooking."

International student nominated for award

Kildonan-East Collegiate
November 16, 2017

Giorgia.jpgCongratulations to Giorgia Di Tria, a Grade 12 student at Kildonan-East Collegiate, on being nominated for the International Student Award from the Manitoba Council for International Education. Giorgia is from Italy. Unfortunately, she didn't receive the award, but she had a wonderful time meeting Minister of Education Ian Wishart and Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon. The food at the reception was fabulous, and being nominated was a great honour.

Photos: (top) Giorgia (right) with Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon and Mariela Rueda Gomez, who is from Mexico and is staying with the same homestay family as Giorgia; (bottom) Giorgia and Mariela with Education Minister Ian Wishart.

Titan chosen as ‘Athlete of the Week’

Transcona Collegiate
November 16, 2017

Kolbuck.jpgCongratulations to Christine Kolbuck, a Grade 10 student at Transcona Collegiate who was highlighted by the Winnipeg Free Press as one of their “Athletes of the Week.” 

Christine plays on the Titans volleyball team and has helped lead her team to titles in tournaments at Garden City, Maples and Calvin Christian Collegiates.

Veteran shares experiences

Valley Gardens Middle School
November 15, 2017

DSC_1753a.jpgStanley Mazur, a veteran of the Second World War, visited Valley Gardens Middle School on November 9 and spoke to students about his experiences as a new recruit and during the liberation of the Netherlands, often with self-deprecating humour. Mr. Mazur worked with mortars (cannons), though the army first suggested he become a paratrooper: "They wanted me to jump out of planes, when I wasn't even comfortable climbing a ladder!"

Wall of Honour and Remembrance

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
November 15, 2017

Wall.jpgThe Henderson Highway Legion has created a special Wall of Honour and Remembrance that includes the work of RETSD students, such as those from Miles Macdonell Collegiate who took part in trips to France for the 95th and 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge (1917).

Two stories from Hiroshima

Sun Valley School
November 14, 2017

Cranes (small).jpgLast week, when students across RETSD were learning about the sacrifices made during wartime, students at Sun Valley School learned about the story of Hiroshima from two different perspectives.

Armond Bourbonniere—the grandfather of two Sun Valley students—was a prisoner of war near Japan at the time the atomic bomb was dropped on the city and he saw the terrible aftermath. He allowed his story to be posted in the school and shared with Sun Valley students.

Click here to read it: Armond Bourbonniere's Story

As well, Susan Odaisky's Grade 3 class initiated a drive to fold over 1,000 paper cranes that now fill the school's display case (left). The reason they did this can be found in the story titled "Sadako."

Click here to read it: Sadako

A card for a boy's last Christmas

Harold Hatcher Elementary School
November 14, 2017

IMG_7793a.jpgWhen Taylor H. heard the story about Jacob Thompson—a 9-year-old boy from New York with terminal cancer—she decided she wanted to help grant his wish to receive cards for his last Christmas. 

Taylor, who shares a love of penguins with Jacob, decided to send him a giant penguin card signed by her and all of her classmates at Harold Hatcher Elementary School. It was accompanied by a penguin stuffy and penguin Santa hat. 

Kindness like this is the true spirit of the Christmas season—well done, Taylor! And kudos to Liana Romeo's Grade 4 class at Harold Hatcher.

Another successful Paint Night!

River East Transcona School Division
November 10, 2017

file3.jpegWe had a great turnout for the Paint Night we held on November 7 and everyone enjoyed getting creative.

Our next one will be in December 2017, so stay tuned for details.

If you want to get on the waiting list for that event, contact Karina Walker at

Students visit senior care centre

John G. Stewart School
November 10, 2017

image1a.jpgStudent leaders from John G. Stewart School are now volunteering at Kildonan Personal Care Centre, which is just up the street from their school.

The students started yesterday, visiting and playing cards with the seniors. By all accounts it was hugely successful and the visits will be a weekly occurrence.

The care centre was excited about hosting youth from the alternative school, and recognizes the value in this mutually beneficial relationship.

Honouring Remembrance Day

École Centrale
November 08, 2017

KP Remembrance.jpgAs Remembrance Day approaches, our schools each honour the occasion in their own way, paying tribute to Canadian service members who fought and died in the line of duty.

RETSD board chair Colleen Carswell gave greetings at a service held at Kildonan Place on Nov. 6, organized by the Transcona Historical Museum, which has an exhibit on display at the mall's centre court titled: "Remember & Reflect: War Efforts of Transcona."

Students from the École Centrale Lunch Time Choir sang several songs for those gathered.

The service was hosted by Peter Martin, who is a past president of the museum and a member of the Transcona Legion, Branch No. 7. His father, Paul Martin, was a Second World War veteran and lifelong Transconian.

Photos: (from top) RETSD board chair Colleen Carswell with MLA James Teitsma, former MP Bill Blaikie and MLA Blair Yakimoski behind; École Centrale choir; Peter Martin with Mr. Teitsma, Mr. Yakimoski and Alanna Horejda from the Transcona Historical Museum; École Centrale choir.

Take Our Kids to Work

River East Collegiate
November 02, 2017

TOKTW.jpgOn the first Wednesday in November each year, Grade 9 students' learning doesn't happen at school but in workplaces across the country through the Take Our Kids to Work™ program.

Take Our Kids to Work was developed in 1994 by a not-for-profit organization called The Learning Partnership. All Grade 9 students in RETSD participate, attending the workplaces of parents, uncles and aunts, grandparents, guardians, family friends and business contacts they've been connected with through their schools.

Photo: Some River East Collegiate students who took part—in some cases with the people they shadowed for the day.

Family Fun Night

River East Transcona School Division
November 02, 2017

FAMILY FUN NIGHT 2.jpgWe had another great turnout for our Family Fun Night on October 27!

The next one is Friday, Nov. 24. Click below for more details and don't forget to register.

Family Fun Nights information

Award-winning teacher

Robert Andrews & Sherwood Schools
October 27, 2017

Matthew Careless (web).jpgCongratulations to Matt Careless, music teacher at Robert Andrews and Sherwood, who was chosen to receive the Builders Award for New Teachers from the Canadian Music Educators Association. Mr. Careless not only inspires students at school; he has also struck up a community band in the RETSD area. He's great example of the dedicated professionals we have working in our division!

Athlete of the Week

Murdoch MacKay Collegiate
October 26, 2017

Kerra.jpgCongratulations to Kerra Houde from Murdoch MacKay Collegiate on being selected as Athlete of the Week by the Manitoba High School Athletic Association.

The 5-foot-9 middle player led the Clansmen women’s volleyball team to a pair of wins with 26 kills, only two errors and a hitting percentage of 96.

"Kerra is the key to our success this season," coach Treva Tilston-Jones said in an MHSAA release. "She is the foundation of the team and excels in preparing our team for games. She leads by example, and encourages all players on and off the court."

Kenyan Boys Choir performs at Chief Peguis

Chief Peguis Junior High
October 25, 2017

Kenyan.jpgThe Kenyan Boys Choir, who once performed at President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration, sang for an enthusiastic crowd of staff and students at Chief Peguis Junior High on Oct. 24. They were in town to perform at WE Day at Bell MTS Place on Oct. 25, and also took the time to visit some lucky local schools.

The choir is made up of youths and young men from a variety of backgrounds in Kenya, united by their love for singing and commitment to nurturing their talent.  It was started in 2004 to assist boys from disadvantaged backgrounds in raising money for their school fees. Since singing for President Obama, they've had a very busy schedule and have recorded several albums.

Click here to see a video of them performing at the school:
Kenyan Boys Choir

International Day of the Girl

River East Transcona School Division
October 20, 2017

DSC_1626a.jpgWe had a great turnout on October 14 for our first Empowerment Project of the year, which celebrated International Day of the Girl.

The girls had a video chat with Breanne Lavallee-Heckert, who used to work in RETSD youth programming. She's now finishing her law degree at McGill University in Montreal and works for Plan International Canada, which created the #GirlsBelongHere campaign to challenge people in a variety of roles where females are traditionally underrepresented.

On Twitter, Lavallee-Heckert challenged Justin Trudeau to share his role as Prime Minister with her… and he accepted! Each girl had a chance to ask her a question about what it was like to be Prime Minister for the day. Read about her experience here: 'Challenge accepted': Winnipeg Metis woman's tweet turns into a day with Justin Trudeau

For more about Plan International Canada's campaign, click here: #GirlsBelongHere

REC ‘Runs for the Cure’

River East Collegiate
October 17, 2017

IMG_1106a.jpgA round of applause for the 28 students and four staff members from River East Collegiate who took part in the CIBC Run for the Cure for breast cancer awareness on October 1!

The group collected $7,780 in donations, winning the Winnipeg-area school challenged for the 13th year (5th consecutive year). Three of the students raised $600 or more and many were able to at least $100. Some former students are so dedicated that they're still participating—that's the spirit!

Miles Mac students garner film award

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
October 05, 2017

Bugspray2.jpgTwo Miles Macdonell students—Taryn and Shay Edgeworth—along with five other friends, formed a group called Lucky 7 Studios and made a short film recently to submit to the Winnipeg Film Group for their 48 Hour Film Contest. They won second place and the People’s Choice Award! Their film was also nominated for the Gimli Film Festival. Way to go!

Click the link below to see their short film, titled “Bugspray.”

Bugspray (3 min. 20 sec.)

First Family Fun Night of the year

River East Transcona School Division
October 04, 2017

file1a.jpgWe had our highest attendance ever at our Family Fun Night on September 29!

This year, the events are being held in a gym, and the space will allow us to have more options and activities for families to participate in.

Don’t miss our next Family Fun Night—Halloween-themed activities on Friday, October 27, 6:30 p.m. at Bertrun E Glavin Elementary. Families are encouraged to wear costumes and must register by October 25.

Day of learning for RETSD staff

River East Transcona School Division
October 02, 2017

DSC_1414a.jpgRiver East Transcona students had the day off on October 2, as staff from all 42 division schools participated in a co-ordinated day of professional development. The theme this year was: “Empowering All Learners.”

The staff members met at four locations in RETSD and had the choice of 44 different sessions in which to take part, such as: Makerspaces, STEM and Coding; Building Robots; LGBTQ from the Aboriginal Perspective; Music Therapy in the Classroom; Inuit Culture; Engaging and Empowering Middle Years Students in Learning; and a variety of French-only sessions for the immersion staff.  

Photo: School staff take part in the Building Robots session.

Orange Shirt Day

École Margaret-Underhill
October 02, 2017

Orange.jpgÉcole Margaret-Underhill honoured Orange Shirt Day on Friday with guest readings, art projects, and discussions of the book “When I Was Eight,” which is about an Indigenous girl’s experience in a residential school.

Peace Days at Whittier Park

Murdoch MacKay Collegiate
September 28, 2017

Peace.jpgOn September 22, Murdoch MacKay Collegiate students took part in a Peace Days event at Whittier Park called “Standing with Mother Earth.” They enjoyed Indigenous teachings about the four elements—earth, wind, fire and water—that were supported by western science.

Athlete of the Week

River East Collegiate
September 28, 2017

ETopping2.jpgCongratulations to Ethan Topping of the River East Kodiaks for being singled out by the Winnipeg Free Press as an Athlete of the Week for his defence in the WHSFL Vidruk Division. 

In a game against Kelvin, Ethan tallied up eight tackles, an interception return for a touchdown, and a fumble recovery. Well done!

International Day of Peace

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
September 26, 2017

Peace2.jpgMiles Macdonell Collegiate held its annual speaker and workshop series to celebrate International Day of Peace on September 21.

Students were given opportunities to hear different points of view, and interact with each other and visitors on a wide range of subjects pertaining to peace, diversity and human rights.

They welcomed Jean Pierre Venegas from Welcome Place; Misan Odidison, diversity officer for the Winnipeg Police; human rights activist Anamika Anwesha; restorative justice facilitator Louisa Hext; Rachelle Rocque from Development and Peace; and representatives from the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties.

Transcona schools unveil playground changes

École Centrale & Wayoata Elementary School
September 15, 2017

Playground.jpgTwo of our Transcona schools introduced exciting changes to their playgrounds on September 14. Board Chair Colleen Carswell, trustee Jerry Sodomlak, MLA James Teitsma, MP Daniel Blaikie and many families were on hand to visit the new naturalized playground at Wayoata Elementary School. As well, Trustee Carswell, along with city councillor for Transcona Russ Wyatt and many others, took part in the unveiling of a new playground structure at École Centrale.

Reivers show gratitude to Eagles

Kildonan-East Collegiate
September 13, 2017

Eagles 2.jpgThe Kildonan-East Collegiate Reivers football team showed their gratitude toward the East Side Eagles Football Club in a special presentation prior to KEC's first home game on September 7.

They presented the Eagles with a metal eagle sculpture created at Murdoch MacKay Collegiate. A plaque attached reads, "Presented to the East Side Eagles on behalf of Kildonan-East Reivers Football. Working together for our community!"

The Eagles have been a great support to the Reivers since the team's inception in 2006, renting and lending equipment and locker space, accommodating Reivers home games at the club's field, and helping to develop the skills of some of the players.

Photo: Back Row—Reivers head coach Jason Hawkins, Eagles president Ian Brown, Abhishek Sharma, Nick Ducharme, Jackson Oneschuk, Joseph Heyward, Eagles vice-president Al Leitch, Reivers coaches Mike Goring and Ron Burley. Front Row—Reivers coach Ryan Scott, Alex Bater, Brendan Ruchkall, Stephen Dang, and special guests Karen Scott and son.

Culinary arts students feed evacuees

John G. Stewart School
September 08, 2017

Evacuees3.jpegCulinary arts students from John G. Stewart School, along with their teacher, Paul Lemire, volunteered their time and talents this week to prepare and serve food at an emergency shelter at the RBC Convention Centre.

The shelter residents were evacuated from Wasagamack, Garden Hill and St. Theresa Point First Nations at the beginning of September, and flown to Winnipeg and Brandon as wildfires approached the communities. In total, around 4,200 people were forced from their homes in the three First Nations.

The shelter is now closing, and the evacuees are staying with family and friends, and in local hotels. Many thanks to Mr. Lemire and his students for stepping up to help the evacuees!

Construction officially begins on new Valley Gardens Community Centre spray pad

Valley Gardens Middle School & Bertrun E. Glavin Elementary
July 31, 2017

July282017 Sod Turning Valley Gardens Spray Pad.JPGNestled between Valley Gardens Middle School and Bertrun E. Glavin Elementary, the new Valley Gardens Community Centre spray pad is set to open summer 2018 to the delight of families in River East Transcona School Division. Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface - Saint Vital, Councillor Schreyer, Councillor Wyatt, Councillor Browaty, Councillor Pagtakhan and Valley Gardens Community Centre President Angela Howie officially turned the sod to begin construction.  The spray pad area will also feature a new playground and swings, as well as new benches, picnic tables, bike racks, pathways, landscaping and fencing. Learn more here.

Province opens new child-care centre

Donwood Elementry School
July 20, 2017

Families in River East Transcona School Division now have access to more child-care spaces with the opening of the new Laugh 'N' Learn Early Learning Centre located next to Donwood Elementary School. Some of our trustees were invited to tour the facility, meet the staff and the children. Read more.

Photo: (Left to right) Trustees Peter Kotyk, Jerry Sodomiak, and Michael West, River East MLA Cathy Cox, Trustee Eva Prysizney, Superintendent Kelly Barkman, Seine River MLA Janice Morley-Lecomte.




Congratulations to our graduates!

River East Transcona Graduates
June 30, 2017

Grads.jpgCongratulations to this year's graduates for their accomplishment and all the hard work it took to achieve it. We're excited for what the future holds for you! The following ads will appear in the Wednesday, July 12th edition of The Herald: one congratulates all of our high school graduates and lists the award winners; the other congratulates and lists the adult education graduates who attended the graduation ceremony.

High School Graduates & Award Winners Ad

Adult Education Graduates Ad

If you'd like to pick up a hard copy of either ad for yourself, The Herald can be found at the following locations:

City Hall—Information Desk
Concordia Hospital
Henderson Library
Marketplace McIvor Mall
Millennium Library
Munroe Library
Munroe Pharmacy
Public Meats
Tasse's Foods
Transcona Library

Record number of international students graduating

International Education Program
June 29, 2017

IntEd1a.jpgRETSD has a record number of 23 international students graduating this year!

Combined, our schools welcomed over 120 students from 21 different countries, attending grades 5–12 through our International Education Program. 

When these students see their dream of obtaining a Manitoba high school diploma come true, they make their overseas families immensely proud with this huge achievement. Many RETSD graduates will remain in Canada as they continue their post-secondary education in Winnipeg or elsewhere in the country.  

The division is very thankful for the support our international students have received from the administrators, teachers and other school staff during the 2016–17 school year.

KEC talents shine at mock wedding

Kildonan-East Collegiate
June 28, 2017

wedding.jpgKildonan-East Collegiate students from a variety of programs got to show off their talents at the annual KEC "mock wedding" on May 24.

The wedding took place at the Via Train Station and the reception was held at KEC. The bride and groom are drama students and their drama classmates also portrayed roles such as the bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents and guests.

Students participated from programs such as hairstyling (bridal party hair), pastry arts (cake), photography (wedding photos), art (reception decoration), and graphic arts (invitation design). It's quite an undertaking and a great way to show off all the diverse skills being learned by KEC students.

Photos: By students from the KEC Photography Program; invitation by KEC graphic design students

ERP celebrates Canada 150 with ‘Summer Games’

​École Regent Park School
June 22, 2017

GAMES.jpgÉcole Regent Park School celebrated Canada's 150th anniversary in a big way yesterday. They participated in their own opening ceremony for the Canada Summer Games 2017, which will take place in Winnipeg from July 28 to August 13. Each of the 13 provinces and territories were represented by all staff and students. The students will also take part in a wide range of activities that promote health, teamwork and fair play.

Bernie Wolfe unveils new mural

Bernie Wolfe Community School
June 22, 2017


Bernie Wolfe Community School recently unveiled a new mural that's been in the making since June 2016. It was painted by four Grade 8 students under the guidance of local artist Lubko Kozak and with the encouragement and support of several Bernie Wolfe staff members, including principal Andy Zarrillo and teacher Norbert Iwan. The mural, located in the school's front foyer, is 25 feet long and depicts 100 images that represent life at BWCS. It was painted on wood panels using acrylics and markers, and then covered with an epoxy, which protects it and makes the colours very vibrant.

Photo: (Left to right) Trustee Jerry Sodomlak, Devon Pokornik, Megan Roberts, Madison Roberts, principal Andy Zarrillo, assistant superintendent Greg Daniels, artist Lubko Kozak, Jocelyn Kotlarchuk, teacher Norbert Iwan.

Board chair and students sign Indigenous Accord

John G. Stewart School
June 20, 2017

Accord.jpgJohn G. Stewart School was very excited to be one of the first organizations to sign the City of Winnipeg's new Indigenous Accord. Teacher Terence Hoorman took two students to Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks to sign the accord on June 20.

As well, RETSD board chair Colleen Carswell was present to sign the accord on behalf of the division.

The Indigenous Accord is a living document to guide the commitment of the city and its partner organizations to the journey of reconciliation in Winnipeg, and is rooted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 calls to action. John G. Stewart School will choose two out of the 94 and work to create initiatives that foster something very positive for our community.

John G. Stewart School and River East Transcona School Division are very proud to be a part of this important initiative.

Photos: (top) Colleen Carswell (centre, in black) at Oodeena Celebration Circle to sign the Indigenous Accord; (bottom) Ms. Carswell signing the accord.

Outdoor learning at Harold Hatcher

Harold Hatcher Elementary School
June 19, 2017

Outdoor Learning.jpgFor the past two weeks, four classes from Harold Hatcher Elementary School took a break from the four walls of their classrooms and took their lessons outside, rain or shine—two combined Grade 3/4 classes and two kindergarten classes. Tarps were laid out under the trees for some shade, and the students also enjoyed some walks through the neighbourhood.

Trailblazing artist visits ERP

École Regent Park School
June 16, 2017

ARtist.jpgLocal artist KC Adams recently spent a two-week residency at École Regent Park School, teaching students the fine art of clay-making based on the Seven Sacred Teachings.

Students designed, sculpted and glazed their own one-of-a-kind art pieces under her guidance. They felt honoured to have an artist of her calibre involved with their school these past two weeks.

Ms. Adams recently won the Winnipeg Arts Council's Making A Mark Award and the Aboriginal Circle of Educators' Trailblazing Award. She has had several solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and was included in the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France.

Photos: (top two) Artist KC Adams working with students at ERP.

Valley Gardens creates ‘wax museum’

Valley Gardens Middle School
June 15, 2017

Wax Museum.jpgThe Grade 6 students at Valley Gardens Middle School came up with an interesting and interactive way to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary and learn more about their country's history. They staged an event called "The Great Canadian Wax Museum." Each student researched a famous Canadian, created a display about that person and dressed up as them. Then they posed in the gym next to their display. Visitors could "activate" the "wax figures," who would talk about their role in Canadian culture and history.

German students celebrate success

English-German Bilingual Program
June 15, 2017

German 3.jpgOn June 12, the English-German Bilingual Program held an end-of-year award ceremony at River East Collegiate for students who earned their Deutsches Sprachdiplom (German language diplomas). Grade 5 English-German bilingual students from Donwood Elementary and Princess Margaret schools were also on hand to celebrate their own successes… and to enjoy some cake!

Miles Mac student wins MCIC award

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
June 14, 2017

Marcus Matheson 1a.jpgCongratulations to Marcus Matheson, a Grade 12 student at Miles Macdonell Collegiate (MCIC), for winning the Outstanding Take Action Project Award from the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation. He won this award for organizing and implementing the Mental Health Awareness Week at Miles Mac in January. Marcus spoke about his project and received the award, along with a cheque for $250, at the MCIC AGM on June 12 at the Canadian Mennonite University.











Murdoch wins Skills Canada tools

Murdoch MacKay Collegiate
June 13, 2017

Tools 1a.jpgWhat happens to all the wonderful tools used at Skills Canada once the competition is over? They're gifted to a school in the host province (Manitoba this year) that writes a winning grant proposal. That winning school was Murdoch MacKay Collegiate! The proposal was written by teacher Tom Morley, and it earned the school an impressive $16,000 in Stanley DeWALT tools, such as cordless power tools, mitre saws, scroll saws, and hand tools such as screwdrivers. Many thanks to Mr. Morley for his winning proposal!

Boys Club pilot a great success

John W. Gunn Middle School
June 12, 2017

JWG Boys Club 1a.jpgLast week, our community programming department wrapped up their first-ever Boys Club— John W. Gunn Middle School was the pilot school. The boys met once a week for eight weeks to discuss matters important to them (e.g. friendship, emotions, bullying and self-acceptance). The club was funded by a grant from Healthy Together Now. It was a great success and it will continue at John W. Gunn next year.

New garden beds provide outdoor learning

Westview School
June 09, 2017

DSC_9726a.jpgOn June 8, the schoolyard at Westview School underwent some changes, just in time for the warm weather.

Westview had been looking to expand their outdoor learning opportunities and reached out to the community for support. They were fortunate enough to receive a $500 grant from the Nutrients for Life Foundation, which they used to buy plants, soil and gardening tools.

The Home Depot supported the school with a generous donation of materials, as well as a group of volunteers from Team Home Depot who came to the school and built two raised garden beds—one will be used to grow vegetables and the other to grow flowers.

The beds will give students the opportunity to learn about the basic needs of plants, the interdependence of plants and animals within a mini ecosystem, the role of decomposers in breaking down organic materials, and how these processes impact on the quality of the plants and soil.

Students will be able to engage in hands-on learning in the natural and social sciences, and engage in meaningful discussions about the importance of good nutrition.

With the help of their community partners, Westview was able to create an attractive and permanent outdoor learning space that can be used by the school and daycare staff and students for years to come.

Photo: Westview students hold tomato plants in front of the garden beds with members of Team Home Depot (in orange shirts) and teacher Anna Unrau.

Student chosen for national forum

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
June 08, 2017

​CIMG_6456a.jpgongratulations to Miles Macdonell Collegiate student Jessi Haligowski who has been selected as one of the 150 students from across Canada to take part in the "National Canada 150&Me Youth Forum" in Ottawa from June 24 to July 3. All expenses for this trip are covered by Experiences Canada, a national charitable organization and a provider of youth travel and exchange opportunities in Canada. Jessi was selected based upon her leadership and participation in the "Canada 150&Me Youth Forum on Human Rights" at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on May 25.













REC singers perform in community

River East Collegiate
June 07, 2017

Singers.jpgThe talented student singers of River East Collegiate have been getting out and about in the community lately. The senior vocal jazz group Vocalease performed "You've Got a Friend in Me" and other songs with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra at the art gallery. And the chamber choir visited Donwood Manor Personal Care Home to perform at an ice cream social. They not only sang; they also served the residents their ice cream, which was provided by Eastview Community Church.

Photos: Vocalease (top) and the chamber choir (bottom).






REC student honoured for leadership

River East Collegiate
June 05, 2017

Anna Streu.jpgCongratulations to Anna Streu from River East Collegiate on receiving the McDonald's Leadership Award from the Manitoba High School Athletics Association. This annual award is given to 16 students (eight boys and eight girls) who demonstrate exceptional leadership in high school sport, school and community involvement while also maintaining a minimum of 75 per cent average. Well done, Anna!












RETSD joins legion in honouring veterans

River East Transcona School Division
June 05, 2017

Parade1a.jpgThe Transcona Legion held its annual Decoration Day Parade on June 4 and RETSD trustee Jerry Sodomlak was there to take part and represent the division. It began with a service at the Transcona Cemetery to pay respects to our fallen veterans in the Field of Honour. Then, legion and guard members, along with government representatives, marched from the legion to the cenotaph at Memorial Park Circle, where wreaths were laid.

Photo: Trustee Jerry Sodomlak, escorted by a guard member, approaches the cenotaph to lay a wreath at its base.

John W. Gunn marks its 50th

John W. Gunn Middle School
June 02, 2017

JWG50.jpgJohn W. Gunn Middle School alumni greeted each other with hugs and handshakes, reminisced and roamed the halls as the school celebrated its 50th anniversary on May 31. Former and current staff, administrators and trustees were in also attendance, chatting about old times and looking through photos from across the decades and at artwork by current students. From the looks of it, a good portion of Transcona showed up for the event. Happy 50th anniversary, John W. Gunn!

Prince Edward students donate to Oak Table

Prince Edward School
June 02, 2017

20170529_171416a.jpgPrince Edward School recently held a month-long toiletries donation drive and four students delivered the impressive amount of supplies they collected to the Oak Table Community Ministry at Augustine United Church in Osborne Village. Oak Table provides refuge, a meal and a place to connect for some of the more marginalized members of Winnipeg's downtown community. The students representing Prince Edward had a firsthand view of the work done by Oak Table and its volunteers, who feed and provide friendship, compassion and support to almost 100 guests every day. Upon returning to school, the students led their peers in a discussion about what they learned regarding helping the local community.

RETSD students compete in Skills Canada

River East Transcona Senior Years Schools
June 01, 2017

20170601_102348.jpgThe Skills Canada competition is underway at the RBC Convention Centre and runs until June 3. Six RETSD students who won gold medals at the Skills Manitoba competition in April earned the chance to compete at the national competition, which promotes skilled trades and technologies to youth.

Madlen Bowen and Travis Schreibmaier from Miles Macdonell Collegiate are competing in 3D Character Computer Animation; Christiana Masalunga from Kildonan-East Collegiate is competing in Baking​; and Aurora Donaldson and Cory Gross from Murdoch MacKay Collegiate are competing in Fashion Technology and Precision Machining, respectively.

We wish them all the best of luck!

Pictured, a group from RETSD were taken for a tour of the competition: (left to right) Checking out the competition are Superintendent Kelly Barkman, Transcona Collegiate principal Sandy Dzuba, assistant superintendent Karen Boyd, John Henderson principal Brian Straub, Murdoch MacKay principal John Muller, Munroe principal Kevin Mckay, and trustees Rod Giesbrecht, Jerry Sodomlak and Peter Kotyk.

REC golf team wins tournament

River East Collegiate
June 01, 2017

Golf.JPGCongratulations to the River East Collegiate golf team on winning the 47th Annual Ledingham GM Golf Tournament in Steinbach! The REC team finished 12 strokes ahead the second place team, Dakota Collegiate. Riley Hall had the 3rd lowest round of the day with a solid 76. Well done, team!

Photo: (Left to right) Riley Hall, Kyle Schroeder, Eric Strick and Brett Hendrickson. Absent from photo: Mason Hughesman.












Bomber cheerleaders visit Jordan 411

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
June 01, 2017

DSC_9375a.jpgOur favourite amateur sportscaster, Jordan Rogodzinski, was at it again on May 26, taping a segment for his YouTube show—"Jordan 411 Sports"—at Miles Macdonell Collegiate.

Jordan is a Grade 12 student at Miles Mac and has made quite a name for himself in sports circles, interviewing former Blue Bombers Milt Stegall and Doug Brown, and Team Canada basketball player Martin Riley.

This time, Jordan interviewed Bomber cheer and dance team manager Jennifer Mathieson, cheerleaders Minlou Davis and Tasha Farmer, and former Bomber cheerleader (and Miles Mac alumna) Madison Cronk. He also got a special visit from Bomber mascots Buzz and Boomer.

Photo: (Left to right) Minlou Davis, Jennifer Mathieson, Boomer, Madison Cronk, Buzz, Jordan Rogodzinski, and Tasha Farmer.​

Students code, create virtual reality

Kildonan-East Collegiate
May 31, 2017

Virtual Reality.jpgSome Grade 9 students at Kildonan-East Collegiate are developing their own virtual reality projects using a website and app combination called CoSpaces.

The students are in a course called Information and Communication Technology and are creating escape room games, underwater challenges and retellings of fairytales, all viewable on iPods, phones and virtual reality headsets.

The students have learned to add interactivity to their projects by combined coding block, much like assembling puzzle pieces. When the pieces are assembled correctly, objects become interactive and characters, animals or vehicles can move, speak, shrink, grow, change colour or aid in presenting a story.

Students receive Young Humanitarian Award

Bird's Hill School
May 31, 2017

yhab1a.jpgCongratulations to the Bird's Hill School students who recently received a Young Humanitarian Award from the Manitoba Teachers' Society!

The group of seven students were chosen for this honour because of the Dog House Canteen they run at their school under the supervision of teacher Krista Wasney (pictured with the students). The canteen, named in honour of the school's Bulldogs sports teams, donates the proceeds from their sales to charity. They've been running the canteen every second month since May 2016 and have donated over $2,500 to organizations such as The Canadian Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, Christmas Cheer Board, Children's Hospital of Manitoba, and Spirit of Hope Rescue.

The awards ceremony, hosted by Ace Burpee, took place at The Fairmont on May 24. Each of the girls received a personalized framed certificate and medal, and the Dog House Canteen received $1,000. Well done, girls!

Adult education student wins award

McLeod Adult Learning Centre
May 31, 2017

Adult Ed Award1a.jpgCongratulations to Houda Alkwatli, a student at RETSD's McLeod Adult Learning Centre and recipient of an award for the 2017 Starr Writer's and Video Contest, held each year by the Adult Secondary Education Council of Manitoba.

The competition is open to students attending adult learning programs in Manitoba and contestants submit essays or videos based on their recent experience within an adult learning environment. Houda described her return to classroom learning in a way that obviously impressed the contest judges and she should be proud of her accomplishment.

Ms. Alkwatli has been invited to attend the Adult Secondary Education Council Fall conference in October 2017 to share her essay with other adult learning students and staff. Well done!

Photo: Houda Alkwatli (right) and her teacher Jan Ivey.

RETSD patrols earn awards for excellence

Sherwood School, École Centrale & Angus McKay School
May 30, 2017

patrolawards2 (21)a.jpgCongratulations to the hard-working, dedicated RETSD patrol teams who were presented with School Safety Patrol Awards by the Winnipeg Police Service.

Every year, the WPS School Education Section judges the patrols on their ability, professionalism and technique while on patrol.

Sherwood School received 1st place for RETSD and were invited, along with Grade 5 teacher and patrol supervisor Eduard Khinich, to attend an awards ceremony hosted by the Winnipeg Police Service. École Centrale received 2nd place and Angus McKay School received 3rd place. Well done, patrols!

Photo: The Sherwood School patrol team with Cst. Kevin Rampersad (top left) and Eduard Khinich (top right).

Miles Mac celebrates Canada 150

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
May 30, 2017

MMC Canada 150a.jpgLast week, the Miles Macdonell student council, students and staff held daily events for their Canada 150 Spirit Week, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada. They played street hockey and capture-the-flag, held a Red and White Day, and finished the week with a rooftop photo. 

First Paint Night a great success

Community Initiatives Department
May 29, 2017

Paint Night.jpgRETSD's community initiatives department held its first Paint Night on May 25 and it was a great success! We had a combined 40 participants made up of both RETSD students and the L'Arche community, and they were guided by artist Hannah Picklyk. The event encouraged inclusiveness, socializing and exploring new talents. A big thank you to L'Arche Tova Café for hosting this event! There will be more Paint Nights to come.

AAA mentors honoured

Aboriginal Academic Achievement
May 26, 2017

AAA.jpgA large group of RETSD students have put their time and hearts into serving as mentors to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in the division. On May 26, they were honoured at the Aboriginal Academic Achievement (AAA) Mentorship Celebration at the Canad Inns on Regent, and trustee Michael West and MLA Nahanni Fontaine attended to give thanks for their work.

Photos (clockwise from top left): (Left to right) Trustee Michael West, AAA staff members Lisa Aymont Hunter, David Delorme and Connie Spence, and assistant superintendent Jason Drysdale; trustee Michael West and MLA Nahanni Fontaine; AAA mentors; Lisa Aymont Hunter and a student prepare a spirit plate.

Angling Club catches and cleans

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
May 25, 2017

Angling Club.jpgThe Miles Macdonell Buckeyes Angling Club has been meeting regularly and fishing two evenings a week since the beginning of fishing season a few weeks ago. At the end of each evening, they’ve done a riverbank cleanup and hauled away many bags of garbage. Next week, they’re finishing off their season with the 8th Annual Buckeyes Fishing for a Cure Derby for which they’ve collected pledges (for fish caught), and 100 per cent of the pledge money will go directly to charities of their choice.

Murdoch holds Integrity Barbecue

Murdoch MacKay Collegiate
May 25, 2017

Integrity BBQ 2a.jpgOn May 16, Murdoch MacKay Collegiate students took part in an Integrity Barbecue. Integrity is one of Murdoch's core beliefs. Staff were asked to submit ballots to acknowledge students who have demonstrated integrity at school this year. Students who received ballots were congratulated, invited to the celebration barbecue, and asked to bring a friend with them if they wished. Free hot dogs, chips and drinks were consumed by over 60 students. A great example of the school's positive behavioural interventions and supports.













Earth Rangers visit Emerson

Emerson Elementary School
May 24, 2017

Earth Rangers.jpgStudents got to meet some fascinating creatures at Emerson Elementary School on May 19, when they were visited by Earth Rangers, a kids' conservation organization. The students learned some important lessons about the role they can play in helping to conserve wildlife and the environment. They also met several Live Animal Ambassadors, such as a tegu lizard, a prehensile-tailed porcupine, a peregrine falcon and a barn owl, and got to see the falcon and owl fly over their heads. Kateri the falcon had a mind of her own, and decided to tour the gym and visit the basketball backboards and video screen before returning to her handlers. To learn more about Earth Rangers and their programs, visit:

Photos: (Clockwise from upper left) Trustee Peter Kotyk (left) and principal Peter Nicholls talk to the students; Crimson the tegu lizard; students enjoying the show; and Quillow the prehensile-tailed porcupine.

Student represents Manitoba in gymnastics

River East Collegiate
May 23, 2017

April DeMeule 1a.jpgCongratulations to April DeMeule, a Grade 11 student at River East Collegiate, on earning a place to represent Manitoba at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships in Montreal, May 23–29. April has trained very diligently to be able to represent her province at this prestigious event. We wish her the best of luck!













Infinitely Inspired fashion show

Murdoch MacKay Collegiate
May 18, 2017

Fashion Show.jpgStudents from the Murdoch MacKay Collegiate fashion technology program showed off the results of their creativity and hard work at the school's Infinitely Inspired fashion show on May 17. This is the 37th year the school has held this annual event, and groups of students from other Winnipeg schools were a part of the appreciative audience. Many people put in a lot of hard work to make this event happen each year. Great job, everyone!

Photo: (top left, left to right) RETSD board chair Colleen Carswell, trustee Brianne Goertzen and trustee Peter Kotyk took in the fashion show.

Library technician receives honour

John W. Gunn Middle School
May 16, 2017

Denise Desrosiers 1a.jpgCongratulations to library technician Denise Desrosiers from John W. Gunn Middle School, who received the Outstanding Library Support Staff of the Year award at the Manitoba School Library Association's annual awards ceremony on May 8. Ms. Desrosiers was nominated by John W. Gunn teacher Margo Gerus, who described her as "a great asset to our school division and libraries." We're fortunate to have such talented and dedicated staff.

Hampstead students make, awaken drum

Hampstead School
May 12, 2017

IMG_7342a.jpgStudents at Hampstead School worked together to build an Aboriginal floor drum this week, and were guided through the process by Robert Caribou. Classes did research and learning in preparation for the process, which took days and involved soaking the bison and moose hide to soften it before building the drum. Everyone who had a part in making the drum left a thought, drawing, or signature inside, along with tobacco offerings. On Friday morning, the completed drummed was "awakened" in a special school assembly with singing, drumming and teaching. Afterwards, they shared a feast of berries and bannock.

Transcona BIZ spring cleanup

Transcona-Area Schools
May 12, 2017

Cleanup.jpgMany Transcona neighbourhoods were suddenly much tidier on May 5, after groups of RETSD students went on a trash-collecting spree for the annual Transcona BIZ spring cleanup.

This is the third year the BIZ has held the spring cleanup, and all of our Transcona-area schools took part. The BIZ provided all participating groups with garbage bags, gloves, free T-shirts and tickets for a barbecue lunch. Thanks to the BIZ for organizing this, and a big pat on the back to all our industrious students!

Photos: Westview teacher Lisa Crabb and her students tidying the area around their school.

RETSD excels at provincial concours

French Immersion Program
May 11, 2017

Mic1a.jpgCongratulations to students from RETSD who participated in the provincial finals of the Concours d'art oratoire, a French language public speaking competition. You did us proud, with 16 students placing in the top three in their categories. Eight of those students won first place in their respective classes. Best of luck to Gabriel Avendano, Gabriella Niemczyk, Mariia Nevoit and Ombeni Birinda as you continue on to the national competition on June 3 in Ottawa.

Grace Melnic, 2nd place, Early Immersion, Grades 3 & 4

Brooklynne Grieger, 2nd place, Early Immersion, Grades 5 & 6

Anna Nevoit, 1st place, French Communication & Culture, Grades 5 & 6

Andoni Ybanez, 1st place, Français, Grades 5 & 6

Madison White, 1st place, Late Immersion, Grades 7 & 8

Anastasiya Ishchuk, 1st place, French Communication & Culture, Grades 7 & 8

Sebastian Kapustka, 3rd place, Early Immersion, Grades 9 & 10

Saron Lemma, 2nd place, Late Immersion, Grades 9 & 10

Blaise Kikundule, 1st place, French Communication & Culture, Grades 9 & 10

Katie McKenzie, 2nd place, French Communication & Culture (Extended), Grades 9 & 10

Olivia Cassie, 3rd place, Early Immersion, Grades 11 & 12

Gabriel Avendano, 1st place, Late Immersion, Grades 11 & 12

Gabriella Niemczyk, 1st place, French Communication & Culture, Grades 11 & 12

Mariia Nevoit, 1st place, French Communication & Culture (Extended), Grades 11 & 12

Ombeni Birinda, 1st place, Français, Grades 11 & 12

Leah McPhail, 2nd place, Impromptu, Grades 9 & 10

Kyra Shaver, 3rd place, Impromptu, Grades 11 & 12

Global Space Balloon Challenge

River East Collegiate
May 05, 2017

Balloon.jpgA team of students from River East Collegiate took part in the Global Space Balloon Challenge recently and captured some amazing images in the process.

They built and launched a high-altitude balloon (a large weather balloon) with sensors and a camera attached that recorded video from the edge of space. The Global Space Balloon Challenge website ( says, "They can be built for a few hundred dollars in just a few weeks by people of all ages with no prior experience." The challenge allows for valuable lessons in teamwork and engineering.

The REC team had a highly successful first launch. They collected 36 GB of video data and information on temperature and pressure changes outside as the balloon ascended and descended. Total flight time was around 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Teams from all around the world take part in this challenge. River East and Miles Macdonell Collegiate are the two RETSD schools registered as teams, out of 11 registrants in Manitoba.

Paddles Across Canada

Munroe Junior High School
May 05, 2017

Paddles.jpgSome students from Munroe Junior High School were selected to take part in one of the Paddles Across Canada workshops that are being run throughout the country in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary. Over several evenings, with the help of Munroe teacher Charla Hum, they hand-carved and decorated a canoe paddle that they got to take home to keep. The workshops are being held in recognition of Canada's long history with canoeing. Canoe routes linked our communities together long before roads and railroads took shape.





Leading for Success

RETSD High Schools
May 04, 2017

Leading.jpgOn May 1, a group of students from all six of our high schools took part in an evening of conversation with the RETSD board of trustees, school administrators and the superintendents' department.

This "Leading for Success" event was about a common understanding of "student success." Conversation covered what makes the students feel successful in schools, what they think students need at school in order to be successful in life, what the division is currently doing to support this success, and what more could be done.

It was a great evening of sharing and provided insights that will help us continue to advance our efforts to create student success.

Empowerment Project a hit for girls and role models

Middle & Senior Years Students
May 04, 2017

For She I Am Me 2a.jpgRETSD had another successful Empowerment Project on April 29 with the "For She ♥ I Am Me" event. This time, each of the girls was joined by a special person in her life, including moms, grandmas, aunts, cousins and friends.

We had activities to help the girls and their role models better understand each other and become closer, and we had an amazing afternoon of celebrating each other.

Many thanks to all of the role models who attended with their girls! We look forward to holding more events like this in the future.

Transcona schools celebrate Music Monday

Transcona Areas Schools
May 03, 2017

Music Monday.jpgMay 1 was Music Monday, a national celebration of music and school music programs, and students from several schools gathered at Transcona Collegiate to celebrate the special day. Music students from Radisson, Bernie Wolfe, John W. Gunn, Westview and Joseph Teres all joined Transcona Collegiate band and choir students in the gym and performed for each other and for guests. Schools across the division celebrate Music Monday in a variety of ways.

Unity in Diversity Day

John Pritchard School
May 01, 2017

IMG_0381a.jpgOn April 28, John Pritchard School held their annual Unity in Diversity Day and this year's theme was "storytelling."

The school invited 15 different people to share stories from their perspectives about a variety of topics, including indigenous issues, refugee issues, mental health, disabilities, cancer survival, and LGBTQ issues.

One of their guests was budding broadcaster Jordan Rogodzinski (pictured), who attends Miles Macdonell Collegiate. Jordan, who lives with cerebral palsy, has his own YouTube program called Jordan's 411 Sports Show, and he's interviewed several big names in sports, such as former Blue Bombers Milt Stegall and Doug Brown, and Team Canada basketball player Martin Riley.

Jordan spoke with the students about his sports program and about persevering in the face of challenges due to his disability. He had several young fans that came up to meet him before and after he spoke.

JT sing song for Canada’s 150th

Joseph Teres School
May 01, 2017

Canada150_3a.jpgThe entire student body of Joseph Teres School took part in an assembly on April 28 to sing a song celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary, along with local singer and songwriter Aaron Burnett. Mr. Burnett collaborated with some Grade 4 JT students to write the song. That group (pictured) gathered after the assembly and sang the song themselves for visiting media. Schools across RETSD are celebrating the anniversary in a variety of ways, from creating and singing songs to carving canoe paddles to holding citizenship ceremonies.

REC goes to the dogs

River East Collegiate
April 28, 2017

therapydogs.jpgRiver East Collegiate was visited by therapy dogs the past few days, as part of their Mental Health Awareness Week activities. Skye (a chocolate lab) and Trooper (a poodle/Australian shepherd cross) parked themselves in the library with their owners (Carolynne Pitura and Leanne Stoddart, respectively) and received a lot of attention from the students. They brought smiles to many faces!

Earth Day celebrated at Miles Mac

Miles Macdonell Collegiate
April 27, 2017

permafrost.jpgMiles Macdonell Collegiate hosted their 2nd Annual Earth Day Conference on April 25, allowing students and staff the opportunity to engage with several leaders and organizations in the environmental community.

Presenters included climatologist Dr. Danny Blair from the University of Winnipeg, and Susan Lindsay and Curt Hull from Climate Change Connection.

Students participated in do-it-yourself workshops, including making their own eco-friendly air freshener and hand sanitizer. Others learned about research being done at the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area by presenters from the International Institute of Sustainable Development. 

Homesteading, Slow Fashion, Green Justice, and Fair Trade were other workshop options for students. Lunchtime featured a thrift fashion show and sustainable-development-themed "Minute to Win It" games. It was a busy and rewarding day. 

Students are now taking their learning back to their teacher advisor groups and coming up with ideas to effect positive environmental change at Miles Mac and in the community. The winning proposal will become an initiative in the next school year.

RETSD students show off their skills

River East Transcona School Division
April 26, 2017

Pic.jpgThe 2015 Skills Manitoba competition was held at Red River College on April 13 and saw 475 students from across Manitoba compete in 42 different contests.  We had 25 medal winners from RETSD and the following gold medalists have earned the chance to compete at the Skills Canada competition from May 31–June 3, 2017. This year, it's being held right here in Winnipeg at the RBC Convention Centre.

Madlen Bowen
Miles Macdonell Collegiate, 3D Character Computer Animation

Travis Schreibmaier
Miles Macdonell Collegiate, 3D Character Computer Animation

Christiana Louise Masalunga
Kildonan-East Collegiate, Baking

Aurora Donaldson
Murdoch MacKay Collegiate, Fashion Technology

Cory Gross
Murdoch MacKay Collegiate, Precision Machining

Joshua Pessagno
Kildonan-East Collegiate, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning

Photo: Gold medalists Madlen Bowen and Travis Schreibmaier at the Skills Manitoba competition.

Students ‘mummify’ vice-principal

Bernie Wolfe Community School
April 26, 2017

MummyBW.jpgOn April 26, teacher Sandy Fazenda's Grade 2/3 class from Bernie Wolfe Community School "mummified" their vice-principal, Ryan Francis, as part of an interesting hands-on learning experience about mummification in Ancient Egypt. The press came out in full force to take in the process, which was no doubt memorable for the class and Mr. Francis!

 Visit these links to learn more about it:

CTV News Winnipeg

Global News Winnipeg

The Metro

The Herald

Photos: (top) Ms. Fazenda and Mr. Francis, as he's getting mummified; Ms. Fazenda and her Grade 2/3 class






Sun Valley receives trophy

Sun Valley School
April 24, 2017

DSC_7163a.jpgSun Valley School's Grade 2 choir were chosen to receive the Sir Hugh Roberton Trophy for their performance at the recent Winnipeg Music Festival, and last week they were presented with it after they performed at a school assembly. Well done!

Photo: (left to right) Barbara Trawon, Sun Valley music educator; Joanne Mercier, president of the Winnipeg Music Festival; and Collette Wilvers, Sun Valley music educator and choir director.




RETSD celebrates with Powwow

River East Transcona School Division
April 21, 2017

Powwow2017.jpgThe gymnasium at Kildonan-East Collegiate was filled with pounding rhythms and swirling colours on April 20, as River East Transcona hosted the fifth divisional Powwow it's held since its first in 2008. These Powwows are lively and inclusive community events that attract traditional dancers and drummers from across the province.

For the school division, these regular Powwows have become a way to celebrate Aboriginal culture, the community and another successful year of Aboriginal Academic Achievement (AAA) programming.

AAA programming integrates Aboriginal perspectives into learning for all students and aims to help Aboriginal students achieve the highest possible success at school. Being part of the Powwow is a source of pride for the students. A wonderful time was had by all.

Photo: (Upper left, left to right) trustee Michael West, Dakota Barker, trustee Eva Prysizney and trustee John Toews.

Happy Ukrainian Easter!

English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program
April 21, 2017

Ukr.Easter.1a.jpgStaff, students and parents from the English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program, along with guests, celebrated Ukrainian Easter at their annual traditional breakfast on April 19 at Springfield Heights School. Ukrainian Easter was on Sunday, April 16 this year.

Students performed songs and dances, and both students and guests played Tsokannya (the egg game). Afterwards, everyone enjoyed eggs, paska, kovbasa, fruit and other goodies.

RETSD offers the English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program at three of its schools—Bernie Wolfe Community School, Chief Peguis Junior High and Springfield Heights.

Photo: (Left to right) RETSD trustee Peter Kotyk, former trustee Helen Mayba, and former principal Vic Kuzyk are regular guests at the Ukrainian Easter celebration.







Students excel at Concours d’art oratoire

French Immersion Program
April 21, 2017

pexels-photo-144429a.jpgThe RETSD Concours d'art oratoire (French speech arts competition) was held April 11–12 at École Regent Park School. Students ranging from grades 4–12 represented their schools and competed in Basic French and French Immersion categories. Congratulations to the following first-place finishers who will present their speeches at the provincial Concours d'art oratoire on May 6, 2017, at Université de Saint-Boniface.

Gabriel Avendano         Ombeni Birinda
Olivia Cassie                   Andoni Ybanez
Renelle Chartier             Bella Coreau
Christina Duerksen        Brooklynne Grieger
Anastasiya Ishchuk        Sebastian Kapustka
Blaise Kikundule             Saron Lemma
Leah McPhail                  Alexandra McRae
Grace Melnic                  Anna Nevoit
Mariia Nevoit                 Gabriella Niemczyk
Kyra Shaver                    Madison White

REC ‘Reaches for the Top’

River East Collegiate
April 20, 2017

Reach for the Top 1a.jpgRiver East Collegiate, after decades of absence in the Reach for the Top program, placed second in their region and advanced to compete in the provincials on April 17. All teams at the provincials were impressed with the REC rookie team and they placed fourth overall in the province. Congratulations! With another year of experience, look for them at nationals next year!



Harold Hatcher cultivates kindness

Harold Hatcher Elementary School
April 17, 2017


In recent years, students and staff at Harold Hatcher Elementary School have been focusing on learning about and encouraging kindness as a way to prevent bullying. Last week, they had different activities every day as a part of this project. They learned about "paying it forward" and about how small efforts can make a big difference. They also signed a rainbow after doing something kind for someone else. On Thursday, they dressed up in the colours of the rainbow to pose for this photo.

Province announces enhanced Respect in School program

Bernie Wolfe Community School
April 10, 2017

Respect.jpgBernie Wolfe Community School was a busy place this morning, as Premier Brian Pallister announced an enhanced Respect in School program for Manitoba schools, along with former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, who co-founded the program. After the announcement, they took time to visit Meghan McOmber's Grade 7 class to chat with the students.

RETSD was chosen for the announcement because of our early commitment to the original Respect in School curriculum, which 100 per cent of the division's employees completed by 2015. The online training is designed for administrators, teachers and others who interact with students, to help them understand and respond to incidents of bullying, abuse, harassment and neglect.  

We look forward to continuing to use the Respect in School program as a part of our commitment to creating safe and caring environments for students.

For more information: Province of Manitoba News Release—Respect in School

Photos: (Clockwise from upper left) Brian Pallister speaks to the media; (left to right) RETSD trustees Michael West and Jerry Sodomlak, Premier Brian Pallister, RETSD board chair Colleen Carswell, Education Minister Ian Wishart, RETSD trustee Eva Prysizney, and Sheldon Kennedy; Sheldon Kennedy speaks to Bernie Wolfe students.

Welcome to Coral the service dog

Bernie Wolfe Community School
April 10, 2017

Coral1a.jpgWe'd like to introduce you to Coral the service dog, a highly-trained companion who belongs to a student at Bernie Wolfe Community School. Coral assists in many of the routine activities that can pose challenges for this student.

All the students and staff at Bernie Wolfe have been instructed in proper procedure regarding Coral. They know her role is a working service dog and not a pet while she's at school. They are not to pet or feed Coral, or call her by name.

We welcome Coral to RETSD and we're thankful for the work she does!

Photo: Coral with the student she helps and his teacher, Kelsey Petersen. (Photo by: Norbert Iwan)

Students present mayor with carving

John G. Stewart School
April 06, 2017

Mayor's Office April 6,2017 1a.jpgSome John G. Stewart School students used their creative talents to make a gift for Mayor Brian Bowman, and it earned them a special visit to the mayor's office on April 6.

The students put in many hours carving the plaque, made of laminated pine, with the help of educational assistant Robert Unik. It depicts Winnipeg's city crest.

John G. Stewart students have carved many beautiful plaques over the years, including one of the Winnipeg Police Service logo that now hangs in their new headquarters, and logos for the Winnipeg Jets and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

We're very proud of their carving skills. Well done!

RETSD schools earn awards at music festival

Angus McKay School & Sun Valley School
April 04, 2017

Close-up of sheet musicMusic students from across RETSD put their talents on display between February 26 and March 19 when the Winnipeg Music Festival took place, and two of our schools emerged with awards.

Angus McKay School's Grade 4/5 choir received the Anne Tate Memorial Trophy for the most outstanding performance by a school chorus, grades 4 to 6. And Sun Valley School's Grade 2 choir received the Sir Hugh Roberton Trophy for the most outstanding performance by a school chorus, kindergarten to Grade 6.

Congratulations to these students on their award-winning performances, and many thanks to all the students and dedicated staff who took part in the festival.

Historical trivia about the festival: The last night of the very first Winnipeg Music Festival was May 15, 1919, during the Winnipeg General Strike. The strike had begun just an hour prior to the completion of the last performance, and most of the people in the audience had to walk home because the street cars had gone out of service.

School celebrates Canada's 150th with citizenship ceremony

Springfield Heights School
March 23, 2017

citizenship.jpgStudents at Springfield Heights School celebrated Canada's 150th anniversary in a very unique way on March 23. Their studies about Canadian government and citizenship came alive when the school hosted a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony.

As students in grades 3 to 5 looked on, 35 individuals from 17 countries became Canadian citizens in a ceremony conducted by Dwight MacAulay, chief of protocol for the province.

Mr. MacAulay reminded the new Canadians they can now hold public office, and "live free of discrimination and persecution." The ceremony was made extra special by the involvement of two RETSD students who did a traditional Aboriginal dance. Elder Theodore Fontaine, as well as two students from Springfield Heights, also officially welcomed the new Canadians.