Friday, January 30, 2009

A note on spending:

We have always been open to getting ideas for spending from all the parents at the school. As per our bylaws and common procedure, the general population has been invited to share and vote on their ideas for spending the money you helped raise. We find ourselves in a particularly unique position in that we have more money than usual. We have been actively trying to get input on spending that money.

With that goal in mind, and having had very little success in gathering that input from parents, Tuesday I had a meeting with the staff at Haultain asking for their input on programming. Outlining the best procedures for getting funding to staff seems to have triggered some ideas and enthusiasm for spending.

Our next meeting is on February 18th and I'm hoping that a number of spending ideas will be brought forward. Keep an eye out for the agenda and attend the meeting if you want to be involved in voting on how we will be spending our hard earned cash.

Email me with any questions you may have or post ideas in the comments section for discussion.


Professional Day!

The students at Haultain enjoyed a well-earned day off today. If any parents or students were involved in some interesting activities, and have photographs, videos or stories they'd like to share, please contact Nick Newton - the Parent Association's Key Communicator , and he'll put your stories and pictures on the blog for all Haultain families to enjoy!

Key Communicator Steering Committee

I attended a Key Communicator Steering Committee meeting today at noon - my first one. I met the other members, and were duly impressed by their engagement in their roles. I met Katie Young and Barb Kuester - both in the Communications department at the CBE, as well as Wayne Braun, who is the Director, Corporate Financial Services for the CBE.

We went through a debrief of the January System Information Session at Lord Beaverbrook High School, and discussed what went well and where there were opportunities for improvement, as well as topics that might be well received for the next one.

Click here to view the meeting minutes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Area V Meeting

There is an Area V meeting at the Haysboro Centre tonight, from 6:30-8:30pm. Full information is below:

Thursday, January 29
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Area V Conference Room (Haysboro Centre)1123 - 87 Avenue S.W.

Topics to be covered:
Transportation & Accommodation Planning (Community Engagement)
Professional Learning Communities

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

KC Steering Committee

This Friday, there will be a Key Communicator Steering Committee meeting at the CBE. If anyone has any questions or issues they'd like me to address, please let me know by Thursday.

The agenda is as follows:
  1. Welcome
  2. Review/additions to agenda
  3. Update from the Board (Barb Kuester)
  4. Request for parent input on CBE Budget (Wayne Braun, Director Corporate Financial Services)
  5. Debrief of January System Information Session
  6. Topics/planning discussion for next System Session
  7. Information sharing
  8. New Business

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jan 23 Key Communicator meeting

Hi All -

Last Thursday, I attended the Key Communicator meeting at Lord Beaverbrook High School. The house was hardly packed - the cold weather kept a lot of designated communicators at bay.

It was a nice showing by the CBE, however, with all Trustees making themselves available for presentation and comment. As well, Richard Walker (CEO of WorldSkills Calgary 2009) gave a fascinating, compelling talk on the many benefits of both hosting and attending the Worldskills 2009 event.

Here's what is posted on the WorldSkills website:

"Power. Passion. Precision. Craftsmanship. Camaraderie. Competition!

These six words represent the thrill, excitement and spirit of WorldSkills.

Every two years, over 900 of the best young professionals from trades, service and vocational programs around the world gather to showcase their talents and abilities. This thrilling, high-performance, four day WorldSkills Competition is the biggest event of its kind in the world.

WorldSkills was established in 1953. Today it is made up of 49 Member Countries/Regions worldwide. Participants compete for gold, silver and bronze medals – striving to set world-class standards in over 40 skill categories ranging from cabinetmaking to web design.

Yet WorldSkills is more than just a head-to-head challenge between aspiring professionals. It is a unique, not-for-profit, non-political, non-denominational association whose members are responsible for promoting vocational education and training in their respective countries/regions.

The organization’s mission is to bring attention to the high standards of skill, competence and excellence exemplified by trades and vocational professionals. WorldSkills serves to remind us that skilled trade and vocational professionals continue to play a critical role in the success of the modern global economy."

The website is worth going over.

Breakout sessions took place after the WorldSkills presentation, and I introduced myself to our Trustee, Carol Bazinet. She gladly listened to concerns from all of the parents of students in her wards (12&14) in attendance, and duly noted all. I brought up two issues that we'd talked about in Council meetings, security and the future of Haultain once the new Mackenzie Lake school is opened in 2010.

As was to be expected, Carol was non-committal where the issue of future student population was concerned. She did seem hopeful that there would be a large and growing pool of students from Calgary's southern communities that Haultain could school for years to come. Obviously, there is more to come as the situation develops. As it stands, Haultain isn't on this list. Let's hope it stays off!

Where the issue of security is concerned, it was interesting that more than one parent expressed their Councils' interests in installing video surveillance cameras on buses - after the mention of more than one incident involving bullying and/or poor behaviour on student transit.

I mentioned that we had wondered about the possibility of installing cameras in or around our school, and if there was a possibility that Carol could give me an official CBE stance on the subject and its legal implications and considerations that I could post on this blog, for the parents of Haultain children to read. She committed to getting back to me with an answer.

There's an Area V meeting, which takes place on Thursday of this week that I will be attending. I'll post a summary of my learnings on that hopefully on Friday or on the weekend.

ASCA Resolutions

Each year the Alberta School Councils Association holds their Annual General Meeting in Edmonton. They meet to conduct ASCA business, but they also meet to formally gather new resolutions from its member Councils from around the province. In their role as representative advocate - they present our resolutions to Alberta Education as adopted policy (if accepted by the majority).

This year there are 11 resolutions that will be presented, debated, and voted on at the AGM. If you click on the title link above you will see the pdf document outlining each resolution along with its sponsor and contact information. At our next Council meeting we will be deciding how we will vote on each of these resolutions. There are some contentious and possibly far reaching issues in the list this year and if you have any strong feelings about them, please let me know or come to the meeting to voice your opinion and join in the debate.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tumble Books

The Parent Association has sponsored an on line reading program.  Please visit to see the great collections of books to help students of all literacy levels improve.  There was a hand out regarding this that went home, if you need the username and login - send me an email or call the school.  Please take advantage of this great program.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Calendar works GREAT, Shane

Good one!

Sorry for missing the meeting last night, everyone - I've been developing some mutated kind of Norwalk virus or something. Yuk. I'm hoping to feel better by tomorrow night, because that's when the next Key Communicator meeting is, at Lord Beaverbrook high school. I'll post the learnings from that meeting here on Friday.


Added HMSC calendar - position is under the blog entries... not sure if that will work well or not?

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Link section added --->

The ASCA website has a lot of great information and resources for Alberta parents of students.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New post

Testing the post.