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Tag: Matthew Halton High School

Empty desk with three books and pencil stack on it and blackboard in the background

Holocaust education to become mandatory for Alberta students

From Jan. 30, 1933, to May 8, 1945, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime led a systemic, state-sponsored genocide of six million Jews in Europe. Commonly referred to as the Holocaust, it represents one of the darkest times in human history.

In a move to ensure that students learn of the horrors of the Holocaust, the provincial government announced it is working to make Holocaust education a mandatory component of its new social studies curriculum.

“I firmly believe we must do everything possible to combat rising antisemitism and educate young Albertans about the horrors of the Holocaust,” says Demetrios Nicolaides, minister of education, via government press release.

“Ensuring all students learn from one of history’s darkest chapters will help us confront hate and prevent similar atrocities from occurring.”

Through the current K-12 social studies curriculum, students are taught about groups of people who have been historically or presently persecuted.

While the Holocaust is a mandatory topic for senior high social studies, Alberta Education is reviewing what grades should be taught about it, and how to keep teachings age-appropriate.

“Coming to an understanding of the origins and horror of the Holocaust helps Alberta students to better understand the need to respect, affirm and defend the lives, dignity and rights of all persons,” says Jason Schilling, Alberta Teachers’ Association president, via press release.

 

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As it looks to develop and set curriculum standards, Alberta Education is working with educators, education partners and specialists to develop the new K-12 social studies curriculum. Additionally, Alberta Education will work with Jewish communities and organizations, including the Calgary Jewish Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, to best identify how to develop the new curriculum.

“Creating an anti-racist society starts at the school-age level, and Holocaust education is an important tool in helping our students learn about the underlying ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping,” says Adam Silver, CEO of the Calgary Jewish Foundation, via press release.

This announcement comes in the wake of a rise in antisemitism in Canada and across the world amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. With antisemitism on the rise, local educators see this as an opportunity to combat hate.

“The teaching of historical events such as the Holocaust provides students with an opportunity to learn how the dark actions of some can have long lasting implications for many,” says Bryan Burns, principal of Matthew Halton High School.

“Through exploring the historical legacies of the Holocaust with the use of resources such as first-hand survival stories, students can equip themselves with tools to combat hatred, racism and prejudice.”

Alberta Education will begin public engagement early next year, where Albertans will be able to provide their input on key learnings within the K-12 social studies curriculum. Additionally, they will be able to view a draft of the new K-6 social studies curriculum and provide further feedback.

This announcement follows a decision in October from British Columbia Premier David Eby and the B.C. government to make Holocaust education mandatory for high school students.

 

 

 

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Fynn Mackintosh, a white teenaged male with short brown hair, runs a cross-country race. Cover photo of Oct. 18, 2023, issue of Shootin' the Breeze.

October 18, 2023 – Shootin’ the Breeze

Push it to the limit

Fynn Mackintosh of Matthew Halton High School pushes himself through the final stretch of the junior high juvenile boys 3K race during the southern Alberta zone cross-country championships. Fynn would go on to finish eighth, with a time of 12 minutes 51.131 seconds. | Photo by William Cockerell

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Kieran Larson, teenage boy with longish brown hair and wearing a red-and-white hat plays Dungeons and Dragons.

Experiential Learning Week candids

Students honed their skills through a variety of courses offered during Matthew Halton High School’s Experiential Learning Week last week. This semester’s options included photography, scrapbooking, mechanics, board games, sewing, painting and more.  | Photos by Jillanna Hammond

Emily Barclay experiments with watercolour paints and fine lines.
Anise Girard shows off her scrapbooking masterpiece.
Photography student Ava Hodge isn’t afraid to get her socks dirty to set up a photo of her cowgirl boots.
Jack Simard, wearing a white and blue Mustangs football jersey catches a football while other players collide to his right.

Mustangs recruit enough athletes to field bantam football team

A few weeks ago, the Pincher Creek Mustangs football program was in jeopardy of being unable to field a team for the 2023-24 regular season because of changes to Football Canada’s roster rules.

Under the new rules, teams looking to compete in nine-a-side football needed 17 players registered before the season began, otherwise they’d be ineligible for regulation play.

Fortunately, the Mustangs were able to recruit enough players for their bantam team to compete in league action this year.

“We were thrilled to get the players we needed to field the bantam team,” says Faith Zachar, president of the Pincher Creek and District Mustangs Football Society.

“We had been recruiting since April when we had our Stamps Camp, and more recently, we started recruiting at all the schools and putting the word out on Facebook. When we finally came up with the last recruit we needed, we were just ecstatic.”

The team’s season opener was against the Lethbridge Rams Gold on Sept. 9 at the University of Lethbridge Stadium. Despite a solid effort, the Mustangs fell by a score of 34-6. 

Pincher Creek’s home opener was played this past Saturday at Matthew Halton Field, where the Mustangs faced the Lethbridge Coyotes in a nail-biter of a contest.

The Mustangs played well, even leading 14-0 partway through the third quarter, but the determined Coyotes mounted a comeback, capped by a touchdown with just 1.6 seconds left, to win the game 21-20.  

Despite the 0-2 record, Faith is thrilled with what she has seen from both new and returning Mustangs athletes on and off the field.

“They’re all so determined to play and help each other out, especially the ones returning to the team. You can tell they’re all becoming very close, very quickly,” she says.

 

We got your bumps and bruises covered advertisement for Osa Remedy'sRx in Pincher Creek

 

Sean Oliver, head coach of the bantam Mustangs, is also happy with this relatively inexperienced club.

“What’s nice to see as a coach is that they are playing to win every play. They may not have the experience, but they compete hard and aren’t afraid to go up against anybody,” he says.

“There’s a really good trajectory with these kids, and I’ve been really impressed with how well the boys have worked and how they’ve soaked up everything that I can teach them as a coach.”

Despite being unable to recruit a sufficient number of athletes for the peewee and senior clubs this year, both teams will be competing in exhibition games organized by the Mustangs throughout the fall.

Confirmed dates are posted to the Mustangs group page on Facebook, with more to be added later. 

The hope is that this time next year, the Mustangs will have a sufficient number of registered athletes for all three teams to compete in league play.

Based on the current makeup of the senior team, Faith believes the Mustangs should have enough bantam athletes moving up to the senior level to qualify for regular season play next year.

The same applies to peewee players moving up to the bantam level to meet roster needs, so the recruitment focus moving forward will be primarily on peewee athletes.

A high school student wearing a checkered jacket and black ball cap demonstrates his automotive servicing skills at a competition.

Students compete in regional skills competition

On March 18, students from Matthew Halton High School in Pincher Creek, Livingstone School in Lundbreck and Crowsnest Consolidated High School in Coleman participated in the regional competition.

The competition showcases trades and technology occupations, while rewarding students for their performances and commitment to these career paths. It is intended to help students develop a career awareness strategy to motivate them to pursue trades and technology occupations as a first-choice career plan. 

Matthew Halton High School results

Matthew Halton High School had five students at the event, with three finishing in the top three in their respective categories. 

Austin Willms competed in the automotive service category, where he picked up an impressive first-place finish. Competitors displayed their understanding of specific areas of an automobile, while demonstrating their ability to maintain and repair components of those areas.

Grady Mackintosh finished second in the cabinet-making competition. Students constructed a four-corner mitred box. This required them to interpret a provided drawing and perform various joinery techniques to construct the box.

Nathan Mitchell placed third in the carpentry competition, which evaluated students based on their ability to organize and execute a given work assignment both accurately and safely. 

“We’re thrilled that the students get to explore areas of passion that could lead to careers, and that they get to not only put this practice into everyday learning, but actually be recognized for their efforts,” says Bryan Burns, assistant principal at MHHS.

 

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Livingstone School results

Two students represented the Lundbreck school at the skills competition.

Neveah MacKinnon competed in the baking category, finishing in second place. She and her fellow competitors were tasked with producing a wide range of intricate baked goods. They were tested on ingredient selection, portioning, baking, presentation and more.

Sarah Yagos also competed for Livingstone, finishing second in the culinary arts competition. For this category, students were evaluated based on their culinary competencies and creativity. Competitors were tasked with preparing two specific menu items.

“These fantastic young ladies showed remarkable skill and talent in their respective disciplines and we’re thrilled to have them representing our school,” says Eliza Grose, the school’s assistant principal.

Crowsnest Consolidated High School results

CCHS had two students team up in the video production competition. Sophia Groves and Makayla Gustavson took home first place in this category, demonstrating a proficiency in the video communications field. 

The event gave participating students the opportunity to explore digital video production while creating a short video based on a topic and theme provided to them.

Since 2001, Career Transitions has teamed up with Lethbridge College and Skills Canada Alberta to host this skills event, one of nine regional competitions held throughout the province.

Congratulations to all of the local students who participated in this year’s competition and best of luck to those continuing on to provincials.

Members of Pincher Creek high school reunion committee meet around a u-shaped table

Plans underway for Pincher Creek classes of 1950-73 reunion

Pincher Creek’s multi-year high school reunion — for alumni who were part of or could have been part of graduating classes from 1950 to 1973 — is making its return this summer for the first time since 2018.

Individuals from the aforementioned years are welcome to get together with friends and fellow alumni for a weekend of fun, festivities, storytelling and activities taking place from June 30 to July 2.

“It’s both wonderful and heartwarming to see people that you’ve grown up with after so long, and interesting to see what the people that you spent so many years with have done with their lives and what they’re doing now,” says BJ Scott, one of the lead organizers.

While the majority of attendees and organizers attended Matthew Halton High School, alumni from St. Michael’s School are welcome and encouraged to participate as well.

 

Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta

 

The Pincher Creek/Matthew Halton High School reunion has been taking place since 2003 and takes place every five years. The range of graduating classes expands with each edition of the reunion.

Planning began in early December, when the reunion committee convened for the first time to discuss plans, make arrangements for venues and activities, and get organized for the summer. The committee is made up of representatives from the majority of grad classes featured at the weekend festivities.

While many details remain to be ironed out, the event will be held primarily at Pincher Creek Community Hall, where alumni can look forward to sharing meals together, socializing, dancing, singing, taking in a live band and storytelling.

Additionally, a local photographer will take pictures of alumni from each graduating class to produce a reunion yearbook. 

 

Table setting of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

“The reunion will be both emotional and heartfelt. It’ll be so incredible to see all of these folks back here again and socializing and talking about those days when life seemed perhaps a little simpler,” says David Green, chairman of the reunion committee and a town councillor in Pincher Creek.

“This is really an important step out from the pandemic. I mean, for many of the alumni this will be one of the first major opportunities since the last reunion to get out and socialize. It’ll be a great chance for people to cut loose.”

Further decisions and updates regarding the reunion should be made available when the committee gets together to discuss further plans for the weekend event.

The reunion committee will have reconvened as of Jan. 10, so if you are interested and eligible for the event, and wish to learn more, visit the Pincher Creek High School Alumni page on Facebook or shoot an email to the committee.

 

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Man blowing nose into handkerchief while woman wearing non-medical mask has hands in the air fending off germs

Respiratory illness outbreak at MHHS

A “respiratory illness outbreak” was announced at Matthew Halton High School in Pincher Creek on Tuesday, Nov. 22, according to Darryl Seguin, superintendent at Livingstone Range School Division. 

The outbreak came into effect at MHHS after at least 10 per cent of the 278 students stayed home with respiratory symptoms.

Schools are asked to notify Alberta Health Services’ Co-ordinated Early Identification and Response team whenever absenteeism due to respiratory illness hits 10 per cent or when there’s an unusual number of individuals (off sick) with similar symptoms.

Tuesday’s announcement came one day after an outbreak was declared at Pincher Creek’s Canyon School.

No further outbreaks were reported within LRSD as of Wednesday afternoon. A prior outbreak had been announced at the school division’s early-learning program at the Horace Allen School in Coleman. 

 

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Seguin didn’t say if LRSD has the authority to impose masking mandates. Premier Danielle Smith announced earlier this month that “Our government will not permit any further masking mandates of children in Alberta’s K-12 education system.” 

A Court of King’s Bench judge had previously ruled that a health order to this effect by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, formerly Alberta’s chief medical officer, “was made for improper purposes.”

Justice G.S. Dunlop ruled that the chief medical officer has the authority to mandate school health measures, but that Hinshaw had based her order on a political decision by cabinet.

Custodial staff at Canyon and MHHS are taking extra care to clean surfaces, while teachers are being encouraged to rearrange classrooms to allow for more social distancing, Seguin said. 

The outbreak seems to have spared teachers at MHHS, with Seguin saying staff absences due to illness have been normal for this point in the school year.

The division is home to about 3,750 kids in K-12.

 

Shelves of bottled liquor in an ad for Town & Country Liquor Store in Pincher Creek

 

Male youth pins poppy to Remembrance Day cross held by female youth, while another male youth stands at attention, on the front page of Shootin' the Breeze. Alberta news from Pincher Creek area and Crowsnest Pass.

Nov. 9, 2022

We will remember them

Peter Van Bussel and Abigail Rigaux receive a poppy from Walker Anderson at the MHHS Remembrance Day assembly in Pincher Creek.