Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Water, water everywhere...

...but nary a drop to drink.

Yesterday, Alderman Linda Fox-Mellway sent a request for feedback to the Queensland Community Association regarding two issues. I thought I would use this opportunity to reach the school community as well, these issues will ultimately affect our children more than us anyway. The following is a summary, her comments are in quotes, mine are not.

First issue:

There is a motion coming forward this Thursday to the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee by Alderman Joe Ceci to ban bottled water from all City of Calgary facilities. This would likely not only affect "City hall and all Municipal buildings but it appears to cover all buildings that are on City land which includes Community Centers and Regional Recreational Facilities".

This issue has been brought forward due to the impact that bottling water (and then not properly disposing of the empty bottles) has on the environment. While these are valid concerns, banning bottled water seems to contradict the current promotion of "making healthy choices". Thus, we would be left using the drinking fountain - yuck - or choosing another beverage from the vending machine which also comes in containers that may not make it to the recycle bin. The best solution would be to always remember to bring water from home in a reusable container, but we all know that doesn't always work out.

Ald. Fox-Mellway concedes that there are more 'pressing' issues on the table at the moment, but she would appreciate our feedback on this issue.

Second Issue:

"While you're at it, could you please give me your thoughts on Fluoridation in Calgary Water since there is a Notice of Motion coming forward by 5 Aldermen (they only need 8 votes) at the April 6th Council meeting to remove it completely from Calgary water. Just so you know my thoughts on this one, I have not seen any conclusive evidence that any studies have advised us to do this and that it is still considered safe and beneficial by many health care professionals and I have heard from many, many of them telling me not to support this."

This issue keeps re-surfacing, but this time Council initiated the discussion, not based purely on health concerns, but on the monetary cost of continuing to supplement our drinking water with fluoride and the capital costs of updating the facilities. If discontinued, the proposal is that funding will be provided to low income households for access to fluoride treatments necessary for dental health.

I personally do not know enough about the science of fluoride to know if there are any risks from drinking tap water or if removing it will have dental health repercussions down the road. Obviously, the fluoride in our toothpastes and what we receive from our dentists is in much higher concentrations than in the water supply, but we also don't swallow it.

Please feel free to post your comments and I will compile and forward them to Ald. Fox-Mellway's office. If you would like to send your comments directly to her, you can reach her at linda.fox-mellway@calgary.ca.

Showcasing Alberta

"Alberta has a great story to tell, and we're going to tell it. The perception of Alberta has a profound impact on the success of our province."

The Premiere's office sends out monthly newsletters. This month is an update on the re-branding of Alberta. Some interesting stuff. Read more here - maybe you have a story to contribute.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Big Day

One of our own is reaching a ripe old age. Please join me in adding congrats and any advice you may have for Nick.

Like so many of us, he's passing the dreaded 4-0 mark... middle age... the downhill slide... grey years... broken-hips just ahead ... 'can someone help me tie my shoes'... dietary fibre supplement meals ... hair-growing-in-strange-spots ... flab in stranger spots... repetitious stories of the good old days... listening to 'oldies' that you're sure are new... clapping to turn off the light, oh well - you still got your hair! Happy Birthday Nick.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Last Day of Spring Break

Enjoy it while you can - school starts back up on Monday. Hopefully everyone enjoyed having the kids around for a week!

Don't forget that Inline skating begins on Monday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

About Teachers

Alberta's teachers are highly-trained certificated professionals. The COATS website offers information about teacher professionalism, teacher preparation and certification, teaching quality, standards for teaching practice, teacher professional knowledge, and competencies (knowledge, skills and attributes) for quality teaching. The website also has information for individuals concerned about a teacher's teaching practices or conduct.

Click here to read more!

School Councils

I found this on the Alberta Education website, and thought that Mackenzie Towne parents might find it interesting, since a council must be formed for the new school soon:

School councils were established in 1995, to increase parent and community involvement in the education of children in Alberta. Public schools, including charter schools, are required to attempt to establish school councils.

Each school council must include the following members:

  • school principal
  • teacher(s)
  • parents of students enrolled in the school
  • student(s) (high schools only)

Parents must form the majority of members. Individual school councils may also decide to include as members one or more persons who are not parents of students enrolled in the school and/or one or more persons who are parents of children enrolled in an Early Childhood Services program at the school.

Click here to read the full article.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recognizing the bully in your child

(An interesting read!)

No longer outcasts, bullies are often the most popular kids in school

By Norma Fitzpatrick-Bailey, The Ottawa Citizen

It's hard to recognize bullying tendencies in our own kids.

"Every time I speak to a group of parents, there is always one who says, 'I never realized my child was a bully. I didn't recognize I was doing the wrong things,' " says Joel Haber, a New York clinical psychologist and co-author of Bullyproof Your Child for Life.

Cost of substitute teachers for field trips may be catching up with schools

By Laura Shutiak, CAPSC President

In the not too distant past, the fees that parents paid for field trips included the cost of the substitute teachers needed to cover classes while teachers were away from the school.

That changed in June 2007 when the CBE brought in AR 7005 which states that fees can only cover the per-student cost of the activity. The policy was meant to bring the CBE into compliance with the School Act, which clearly states that fees cannot be used to cover instructional expenses. A grace period until January 2009 was put in place to cover trips which had already been planned and budgeted for.

Click here to read the full article.

Accountability in Alberta's education system

 Girl holding A+ signAlberta has developed an innovative new way of measuring performance to ensure we continue to provide the best possible education opportunities for all of our students.

This accountability framework, called the Accountability Pillar, recognizes and respects the outstanding work seen in our school authorities every day. It ensures school authorities receive the tools they need to identify areas of success and improvement, combined with the flexibility to determine how they can best address local challenges.

Read the full article here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Recession lessons for the kids

Here's a tip: If you get laid off from your job, don't leave your severance agreement on the kitchen table where your children are likely to find it.

You're likely to hear a little voice scream out, "Mom, you got fired?" You'll be forced to explain there is a major difference between being fired and being laid off -- the latter the consequence of a recession in which companies are scaling back by shedding salaried employees.

Losing a job is something all of us face in this economy. The question is, what do you tell the kids?

Click here to read the full article.

Don't forget!

Don't forget that it's your comments and contributions to the blog editors that make this site successful. It's your contributions and involvement that shows our trustees that parents care about Haultain. When the CBE looks at options where Haultain's future is concerned, having a proven, archived parental involvement site like this will show them that Parents feel strongly that Haultain matters in our community.

So please contribute, through the 'feedback' link at the top, right hand side of the page underneath the picture of Haultain, or comment using the 'comment' link beneath posts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

March Key Communiqué

This is information that Haultain Council's Key Communicator recieves for distribution to the parent population of students attending Haultain Elementary.

Area V Meeting:
Thursday, April 16, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Area V Conference Room (Haysboro Centre) 1123 - 87 Avenue S.W.
Topic: Student Accommodation and Transportation

Check out the latest issue of the Trustee-zine here.

WorldSkills Calgary 2009:
The CBE's Worldskills website is continually being updated as we receive more information regarding our schools and this exciting event. You can check it out here or visit the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 homepage at http://www.worldskills2009.com/

CAPSC has also written an article about the event. You can read it here.

(It was brought to the CBE's attention that the email address included in previous Key Communiqués was not correct. Marsha Levy's email address is: mlevy@cbe.ab.ca. Please feel free to contact her with your questions.

Barbara Coloroso Comes to Calgary:
Mark your calendar for the evening of April 20th, 2009 as the Federation of Calgary Communities is bringing world renowned author and parenting expert Barbara Coloroso to Calgary for a truly insightful evening.

For this speaking engagement Barbara will be discussing the topic of Bullying and the three roles that are played in the process: the bully, the bullied and the bystander.

The event will take place at First Alliance Church (12345 40th Street N.E.) and doors open at 6:30. For more information, visit www.calgarycommunities.com


CAPSC is Calgary’s city-wide, public school parent association. CAPSC’s primary goal is to keep parents up to date and involved in their children’s education, and to help make individual school’s Parent Councils as effective as possible. CAPSC provides parents with resources, learning and sharing opportunities, and representation of parent concerns to the CBE and all levels of government. For more information or to subscribe to their newsletter, visit www.capsc.ca.

School Council Development
School Council Development (SCD) provides workshops and resource materials to assist school councils.

School Council Development provides the following services:
  • Workshops for school councils anywhere in Alberta
  • Toll Free School Council Consultation Line - 1-800-661-3470
  • Instructor training to deliver workshops to school councils
  • Resource manual and materials for school council

Alberta Education

School Council Resource Manual

Contact InformationKatie Young, BPRParent/School Communications SpecialistCalgary Board of Education http://www.cbe.ab.ca/ Email: klyoung@cbe.ab.ca
T (403) 294-8566 F (403) 294-8172
515 Macleod Tr. SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2L9

We are always looking for ways to improve communication so if you have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to email them to Katie Young.

School Council Website & Hotline:

The School Council website is a great resource for information. Check it out at: http://www.cbe.ab.ca/Parents/schlcouncils.asp. I have also been regularly updating our Key Communicator and School Council Chair Hotline. If ever you don’t have access to a computer but want to find what is going on, call 403-294-8244.

Student Led Conferences

Students had the chance to show their school off to parents last night at Haultain - and it made for a pretty entertaining evening. The smiles were out in full force as kids took parents through classrooms, pointed out artwork, and did some problem solving.

Parents also saw first-hand the monster known as 'Mission Impossible' - a superbly set up obstacle course in the gymnasium. Attempted by a few brave parents, the course is a student favourite every year.

Kudos to the teachers and administration of Haultain for helping the kids host a very informative and highly entertaining evening at the school.

Albertans Invited to Shape the Future of Education

Conversation opportunities announced for Inspiring Education:
A Dialogue with Albertans

Edmonton…Albertans are invited to take part in a series of conversations about the future of education in Alberta. Joined by a group of Grade 6 students at Grandin School in Edmonton, Education Minister Dave Hancock announced 10 community conversations with Albertans in eight different locations across the province in April, May and June.

“The Inspiring Education dialogue is about our hopes, dreams and aspirations for the children of Alberta, and the future of our province,” said Minister Hancock. “It will examine how education in Alberta can help tomorrow’s students find their passions and prepare for success in the future.”

Read the full article here.

Alberta Education Information

Quick Facts: Alberta Profile

The province’s population of three million is:

  • one of the youngest in the world; one half of its people are under 30 years of age;
  • made up of many ethnic groups, adding a rich, multicultural diversity to the province;
  • well-educated with more people per capita having university degrees than any other province in Canada.
This is a great read. Check it out here.

Stainless Steel Baby Bottles

I found this link for you, Roxanne - and they're either in stores now, or coming to stores soon. The article includes contact info, too.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

BPA Baby Bottle Bans

There has been a lot of talk lately about BPA (bisphenyl A). BPA is a chemical found in some types of plastic used in many containers that store or deliver water, juice, pop, baby formula, etc. The charge against BPA is that its a toxic leaching agent found in certain types of plastic that adversely affect pregnant women, infants and children. There is also some evidence to suggest increased risks of certain types of cancer. Not surprisingly, there are detractors of these claims are out there. The regulation of food grade plastic will affect a billion dollar industry world wide so the spin doctors are at it. Unravelling the whole thing is difficult and often leads to contradictory claims and evidence. A quick skim through the google-powered inter-webs has led to some interesting items:

- BPA exists in polycarbonate plastic (some Nalgene or Avent baby bottles) but not polypropylene.
- April 2008 Health Canada proposed classifying BPA as toxic to human health and the environment.
- Canada has also banned the use of BPA plastic in baby bottles since 2007.
- Since 2006 German and Japanese regulators have pronounced polycarbonate baby bottles are safe and that BPA research has so far been inconclusive.
- A number 7 recycling triangle on your plastic indicates material that includes polycarbonates, a number 1 indicates a bottle that isn't meant to be re-used.
- The Canadian Government's official take.
- A more frantic appeal.
- In defense of BPA - tough to find since the FDA rescinded this decision on BPA and has recently decided to follow Canada's lead on banning the baby bottle BPA's.
- The US senate and house has this month introduced bills that would ban BPA altogether from the consumer goods market place.

If all this is confusing and irritating and you just want to choose something that doesn't require reading lab reports for determination, use stainless or glass.

Would love to your take on this - click on 'comments' immediately below this post and share your thoughts. You can even add links to the comment section to articles you may have found about this.

Where's Ecuador? Not on new Brazilian school map

RIO DE JANEIRO - Where's Ecuador? Better not ask that question in Brazil.

A new Brazilian geography text book for sixth-grade students doesn't even include the South American country on the map.

Click here to read the full story.

Superheroes in Queensland II

"People can't let fear stop them from doing what's right" - the protagonist of our story.

Here is the promised follow up to the previous post. It seems our conscientious and engaged parent population is at it once more. Some kids in our playground saw some children putting graffiti on the school yet again; they called home, our heroine called the police, jumped in her car and followed the vandals as they ran straight home (once again showing a particular level of intelligence). This led to an arrest by the police of an 18 and a 16 year old boy, both known to police. The older one having outstanding warrants.

The responding officers were excellent, praising our quick-thinking Haultain students and extremely pleased with the outcome. The older boy was spending the night in jail and fines were handed out to both of them.

Thanks once again to the community-minded efforts of our storied and intrepid heroes.

Another Successful Council Meeting

Spending money was never such hard work.

Parents and Association members toiled long and hard last night, looking for ways to wisely spend the hard-raised money that was left in the coffers from the last casino and various fund-raising efforts. The Association appreciates all the input from parents who attended.

What kinds of things does the association purchase for the teachers and students of Haultain? Listed items from the treasurer's report handed out last night include:
  • The purchase of 20 digital cameras with memory cards
  • The purchase of sessions with 'Clay for Kids'
  • The purchase of a performance by Fat Cat Productions, "HOYA" (On April 20th)
  • Busing of students to various field trip events, such as the Science Centre and the Glenbow Museum
  • Inline skating
  • Outdoor school
This is a very broad sample of the programs and assets that Haultain's Parent Association has provided on Parents' behalf. Having a surplus of money isn't a problem that most Associations have to deal with - but your Association and Council are involved and very effective.

As well last night, the future of Haultain was disussed. Suffice to say that parent involvement is the key to a positive outcome for our school. Stay informed, and make sure your voice is heard. Use the 'comment' links at the end of articles you read, or send us your feedback using the link underneath the image of Haultain at the top right. A good school with good teachers and an active, effective Parent Council/Association is worth keeping open.

Minutes from last night's meeting will be posted for viewing soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Council/Association Meeting Tonight

Tonight is the Parent Council/Association monthly meeting. Agendas for both the Council and Association meetings are as follows:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm

6:30 – 6:35 CALL MEETING TO ORDER - 5 min
6:35 – 6:40 ACTION ITEMS
7:00 – 7:20 CHAIR’S REPORT – Shane – 20 min
7:20 – 7:25 KEY COMMUNICATOR – Nick - 5 min
7:25 – 7:30 VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR – Monika – 5 min
7:30 – 7:40 NEW BUSINESS – 10 min
7:40 – 7:45 WHITE SPACE – 5 min

Wednesday, March 18/09, – 7:50 – 8:45

7:50 – 7:55 CALL MEETING TO ORDER – 5 min
7:55 – 8:00 ACTION ITEMS – 5 min
8:00 – 8:10 TREASURER’S REPORT – Sherri – 10 min
8:10 – 8:15 CHAIR’S REPORT – 5 min.
8:15 – 8:45 NEW BUSINESS – 30 min

The Association will be discussing ideas on spending tonight - so being in attendance to offer suggestions would be a great idea. Please note by the times indicated that the meeting moves along at a good pace - this is time well spent, not wasted.

There are a few great ways to be part of the Council/Associatoin decision making process - one easy and quick way is to send comments or feedback using the 'comments' link at the bottom of posts, or the 'feedback' link located underneath the photo of Haultain on the top right hand side of the page.

Send Council feedback before tonight's meeting - it will get brought up and discussed on your behalf. Better yet - attend the meeting and address issues there.

Calgary schools utilizing every room to reduce class size

About 50 Grade 2 students transform the St. Albert the Great School library into a hive of activity.

Kids aren't weaving through the stacks searching for a good book before heading back to class. The library is their classroom.

Increasingly, schools across Calgary are converting art rooms, gym stages and staff rooms into class-rooms to meet provincial targets meant to reduce class sizes.

Click here to read the full article.

Researchers warn of brain tumour link to teen cellphone use

OTTAWA -- An international group of scientists is calling on Canada and other countries to bring in tougher safety standards for cellphone use after a Swedish team found a fivefold elevated risk of malignant brain tumours in children who begin using mobile phones before the age of 20.

Click here to read the full story.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Legislature passes motion urging end to Grade 3 testing

MLAs passed a motion Monday at the Alberta legislature calling for an end to mandatory testing of third grade students.

The motion asking the government to examine the practice was introduced by Genia Leskiw, Conservative MLA for Bonnyville-Cold Lake and a former teacher.

It was passed by a majority of MLAs after an hour-long debate, but the government isn't obligated to do anything, as it is not binding.

Click here to read the full article on CBC.

(Some of the comments posted on CBC are worth noting, too, for alternative points of view. Please feel free to leave a comment of your own on this site.)

Results from the Survey - removed

I have received so many more surveys since I posted this, that this one is pretty much irrelevant until I put the rest of them together - stay tuned...

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey, if you'd still like to have your opinion heard, click the links on the upper right of the home page.

If its too small to read, just click on the grey and white rectangle on the upper right of the document.

A Sign That You Should Always Proof Read Your Work

St. Patrick's Day!

This is the day where one needs to remember to wear green - or face the curse of the leprechauns! (Or Mr. Murphy.)

Also today, Clay for Kids is taking place, rooms 1 & 2 go on a field trip to the Calgary Zoo, and at 1pm, the grade 5 students have their final Hepatitis B shots.

Please check the calendar at the bottom of this page for further information - or feel free to email questions or comments to the council using the link beneath the picture of Haultain on the right hand side of this page.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fire Drill practices

It is CBE policy that schools hold 6 fire drills per year; 3 prior to December 31 and 3 between January and the end of June. Each drill involves an orderly evacuation of the school. While we try to ensure drills are done during favourable weather, it is imperative that students have and are wearing indoor shoes. Please make sure your child has a pair for indoor use and encourage him/her to wear them inside and take time to discuss fire drills with your child.

March Assembly

You are invited to join us for our next school assembly on Monday, March 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM. The students from rooms 3, 4, and our afternoon kindergarten class will be hosting this special assembly. Please join us if you are able.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Parent-Teacher Conference Time Booking

Don't forget to book your time slot on Monday morning for your Parent-Teacher conference interviews. Also, Monday is Clay for Kids - for details, click on the calendar at the bottom of this page.

Please feel free to comment on any of the articles posted on our blog site - your questions, comments and concerns are very welcome and encouraged.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Grade One Field Trip to Home Depot

(Entry written by an anonymous Haultain Student)

On Wednesday March 4 2009, the grade ones from Haultain went on a field trip to Home Depot in Mackenzie Towne. When we got there we went on a tour of the store, we saw tools, flowers and seasonal stuff, birds flying around the store, finally we went to the receiving area and talked about recycling, and we saw the box crusher. It was awesome!! After the tour we started building our art easels. We had lots of help from the Home Depot staff and parent volunteers. We used hammers, nails, screws, washers, and wing nuts. When we finished the easels we got to plant a sunflower seed. We sprayed WORM POO fertilizer on it. We all got a certificate, a apron and pin, a carpenter’s pencil and a reusable bag. This was a great field trip and an excellent connection to science and social studies.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Move to scrap Grade 3 tests gaining support

An Alberta MLA wants to scrap mandatory testing for Grade 3 students, a move that has garnered some support among teachers and parents.

A motion from a Conservative member asking that the tests be ended and alternatives considered will be up for debate in the Alberta legislature next week.

"Parents out there aren't happy. Teachers out there aren't happy. And maybe it's time to seriously look at alternative forms of assessment," said Bonnyville-Cold Lake MLA and former teacher Genia Leskiw, who introduced the motion

Click here to read the full article on CBC.ca.

Curriculum Handbooks for Parents 2008-2009

I was just looking through the Alberta Education website, and found this page which might be of interest to Haultain parents.

Curriculum Handbooks for Parents, Curriculum Summaries and Curriculum Express contain information for parents on subjects, programs and courses available in Alberta schools. They are updated every year as changes are made to the curriculum. Print copies of the Curriculum Handbooks and Curriculum Express are available for purchase from the Learning Resources Centre (LRC).

Canadian Attitudes Toward Learning

(copied from http://blogs.library.ualberta.ca/ednews/)

Canadians’ attitudes toward K-12 schools are very positive, according to a 2008 survey by the Canadian Council on Learning.

High proportions of the 5,500 people surveyed say that elementary and high schools are meeting or exceeding their expectations for teaching basic skills (reading, writing, arithmetic), computer skills and preparing young people for further education. However, when asked about whether schools are preparing students for work, the satisfaction rate drops.

Find out what was asked and what Canadians had to say by visiting http://www.ccl-cca.ca/SCAL2009/.

Save the Planet Effect

"When we all do one act, we act as one. That's the save the planet effect."

Every day there is another news story about the dire condition of our planet's future. Our children are growing up with a different fear than we did. We faced the possibility of the 'end of days' during the cold war, our kids are faced with a rapidly aging planet caused by human interference.


Just as when we were younger there is much for our children to hope for. From emerging technologies and new ways of thinking there is a growing effort to rectify this mess so that our kids will inherit a greener earth. From the huge carbon reductions incentives of government to the small job of changing to different light bulbs -the times are changing. With that in mind, here is a web site that will challenge you every day to do what is right for the environment. Green.cbc.ca is a gathering place for people who are making a difference.

It started as a challenge to Canadians on the CBC show "The Hour". The challenge was to perform and log one million 'acts of green'. Acts that will help to reduce green house gases. They reached the million mark quickly and there is presently a log of over 1.2 million acts reducing greenhouse gases by an estimated 72 million Kg.

Join up and start logging your efforts at reduction today.

If people are interested we can even create a common account and challenge others to a reduction goal. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Where School Closures Are Concerned

Visit this page on the Calgary Board of Education website often. It shows what schools in Calgary are facing closure, and details where meetings for the discussion of these closures are to take place. Attending some of these closure meetings is a valuable way to get educated on the rationale of the CBE where this topic is concerned, and offers valuable information as to what parents of children in these schools are doing to prevent the closure.

Parent comments and ideas are always greatly appreciated - an informed parent population is essential to ensure a healthy school community, and well-educated children. Parent dialogue is key. If you have questions or suggestions, please use the link in the upper right hand of this page to send them to the council for consideration.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Our School's Future - revisited

There were a number of comments and questions regarding this post. Mr. Barkley has posted a comment to help clarify the questions that have come up. Here is the comment:

I understand how this process will present challenges to specific families and raise many questions with others. Please know that the CBE has students as their first filter for decision-making. Having said that, sometimes what is "best" is not always attainable, or easy, so in lieu of what is best, we go with what is most manageable and what is the least disruptive to students.

I will attempt to clear up the misunderstanding concerning the teacher issue. As presented at the meeting, it is true that the teachers WILL move with the students when the kids transition to the new building. It is not up to the teachers whether they move with the students. The confusion lies in the process (which will take a bit of text to clarify so please be patient).

Teachers currently employed at Haultain Memorial teach Haultain students. This year that means they teach 302 students from Queensland area as well as McKenzie Towne. Next year the population Queensland will remain close to what it is now, at approximately 120 students. As McKenzie Towne will have their own school next year (and those teachers MUST move to the new building), the roughly 200 McKenzie Towne students will not be calculated in the Haultain population. In essence, there will be two "schools" in Haultain next year; one for local students, and one for McKenzie Towne children.

What that means is Haultain will hire teachers for roughly 120 students, thereby surplussing a number of current staff due to declining numbers. Many of those teachers will have the option of applying to teach at McKenzie Towne. They will be interviewed by the new principal and if they are successful, they will begin the year in the Haultain building for the McKenzie Towne principal and school. When the school is completed, those teachers (and any others hired by the McKenzie Towne principal) will move with the students to the new building. Hiring will be done according to skill set, however only teachers with a minimum of two years continuous contract with the Board AND two years service at their current school will be considered for application (as per union and Board guidelines). The two staffs will work side by side in the Haultain building.

I agree that there will be some challenges to this move and I also agree that this will work out for the best. To this end I also believe that the CBE, School Council, and the Haultain administration will continue to be as transparent in this process as possible. We appreciate making any concerns public so that we might work to correct any misunderstandings.

Trevor Barkley, Principal,
Haultain Memorial School

Coming soon to Haultain Memorial? The Robot Teacher.

It has started!

Today, they teach your kids in school, tomorrow they take over the world.

Meet a Robot Teacher that can take the register and get angry: The device, created by scientists after fifteen years of research, is being trialled at a primary school in Tokyo.

Named Saya, she can speak different languages, carry out roll calls, set tasks and make facial expressions – including anger – thanks to eighteen motors hidden behind her latex face.

The replica humanoid was originally developed to replace a variety of workers, including secretaries, in a bid to allow firms to cut costs while retaining some kind of human interaction.

Her creator, science professor Hiroshi Kobayashi at the University of Tokyo, had been working on a robot for fifteen years.

Book Fair Volunteers Required

Monika is asking for volunteers to help out with the upcoming book fair on Thursday March 19th from 4pm - 8pm, and Friday the 20th from 8am - 1pm. Volunteers are asked to help out for 1 hour or longer, if possible. Four to six volunteers are needed.

If you're available to help, please contact Monika at 403-282-2668 or email her at roxie11@telus.net.

Your volunteer hours are what make Haultain a great school for our kids!

Remarkable Achievement at Haultain

The published scores of the recent Fraser report were very complimentary to Haultain's professional educators as well the aptitude of the students. Haultain did a tremendous job, ranking 73rd in the province (out of 715) with the school's rating steadily climbing to an impressive 8 out of 10.

Click here to view the full ranking table! (In .pdf format)

March Key Commmuniqué

A regular bulletin for Key Communicators & School Council Chairs, to be shared with your school councils and parent communities.

System Meeting - Save the Date:
Here are the particulars for the last System Information Session of the 08/09 school year.
When: April 8th, 2009 registration begins at 6:00 p.m, event runs from 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Where: John G. Diefenbaker High School (6620 - 4 Street N.W.)
Topics: Safety and Security in Schools and The CBE Parent Portal

Area V Meeting:
Thursday, April 16, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Area V Conference Room (Haysboro Centre) 1123 - 87 Avenue S.W.
Topic for discussion: Student Accommodation and Transportation

More Questions to Trustees Answered:
Click here to read the Trustees' answers to more of your questions from the last system information session.

WorldSkills Calgary 2009:
The CBE's Worldskills website is continually being updated as we receive more information regarding our schools and this exciting event. You can check it out here or visit the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 homepage at http://www.worldskills2009.com/
You can also contact Marsha Levy at mlevy@cbe.ab.ca with your questions.

New Parent Section of the Website:
We are in the process of developing a section of the website for prospective CBE parents. Your feedback will help us make sure we include all the necessary information that new parents will need. If you could email Katie Young at the CBE your thoughts on the kinds of things you were looking for when you registered your children in CBE schools, as well as the reasons you chose the CBE that would be a great help.

CAPSC is Calgary’s city-wide, public school parent association. CAPSC’s primary goal is to keep parents up to date and involved in their children’s education, and to help make individual school’s Parent Councils as effective as possible. CAPSC provides parents with resources, learning and sharing opportunities, and representation of parent concerns to the CBE and all levels of government. For more information or to subscribe to their newsletter, visit www.capsc.ca.

School Council Development
School Council Development (SCD) provides workshops and resource materials to assist school councils.

School Council Development provides the following services:
  • Workshops for school councils anywhere in Alberta
  • Toll Free School Council Consultation Line - 1-800-661-3470
  • Instructor training to deliver workshops to school councils
  • Resource manual and materials for school council
Alberta Education

School Council Resource manual

The School Council website is a great resource for information. Check it out at http://www.cbe.ab.ca/Parents/schlcouncils.asp.

If ever you don’t have access to a computer but want to find what is going on, call 403-294-8244.

Student Ambassadors Welcome WorldSkills Technical Delegates to Calgary

Calgary Board of Education student ambassadors welcomed dignitaries from around the world at a special event held at the Westin Hotel on March 4, 2009. This was a meeting with WorldSkills Technical Delegates who represent the countries that will be competing in WorldSkills Calgary 2009 this September. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce the One School, One Country program to the Technical Delegates and to encourage communication between the competitors and schools prior to the competitions in September.

Read the full article here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mckenzie Towne Update

For all those who couldn't make it to the McKenzie Towne meeting on the 26th, here(this is a pretty big file and may take some time to download) is the slide show that was presented. You can have you say with the CBE by filling out this form, make sure you select the correct option in the pull down in 'Issue'.

If you have trouble with the document - let me know and I'll email it to you.

Don't Forget!

... Don't forget to move your clocks ahead this Sunday. We're one step closer to spring!

As well, I just read this story about the recent safety poster contest. Haultain's winner, Nevyn, is featured!

Outdoor School Success!

Our grade 5/6 students are thoroughly enjoying their time at Outdoor School in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Students are learning about environmental impact, tree identification, the animal food chain, the value of team work and other "funs" of camp like camp songs, meal times, games, and night time activities. Students are due back Friday afternoon, but here is a taste of camp life for now.

Outdoor School

I had the opportunity to go out to the Outdoor School location yesterday to do a short geocaching field trip with the kids. I was accompanied by another Dad and Mr. Nikalou as we led the kids on a treasure hunt using GPS receivers. We went out after they ate supper so it was a night time search through the snowy woods. We all had a great time.

For those of you who don't know what geocaching is - I would recommend reading this link for a full explanation - www.geocaching.com.

We split the kids into three groups (it was voluntary and we had about 18 kids join us). The Wolves, the Ravens, and the Moose were each given coordinates to their own 'cache. When they followed the GPS units to that location they had to hunt for the hidden 'treasure' that turned out to be another set of coordinates to the real treasure. They used the GPS units again to hunt it down. They all carried flashlights and went tromping through the woods in the dark. The moon was bright and reflecting off the fresh snow so we could see very well. The "Moose" found the cache first and had enough time to hide in the woods to scare the wits out of the next group of kids to come along. Everyone got to pick out some treasure from the cache.

The Outdoor School is a great program. The kids were extremely happy and full of energy. Their days seemed well planned and organized and they were kept busy from moment to moment. I would give this activity my full recommendation and wish that my girl could go again next year.

I would love to hear from the parents. If your child went to this Outdoor School (or the last one) please leave a comment to let us know how it went for you and yours.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

PACT Anti-Gang Open House

As some of you are aware via a phone message from PACT recently, there will be an Anti-Gang open house held on Monday, March 9th, from 7-9pm at Centennial High School - located at 55 Sun Valley boulevard in the South East. The focus will be on gang culture in Calgary, how how it's possible to identify and help youth who may be at risk of joining or engaging in gang culture.

For more information, contact Constable Karen Moffat at 403-567-6800

Maclean's List of Dangerous Cities

Maclean's has published their annual list of the most dangerous cities in Canada. Calgary has ranked 27th out of 100 cities when population factors and national averages are accounted for. It makes some interesting reading. The full break down is here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Excellent Information on Traffic Safety for Students

Protect yourself against the unpredictable, buckle up in all seats of your vehicle.

The use of occupant restraints reduces the likelihood of sustaining an injury or injuring others. If you don’t buckle up, you may become a deadly weapon to others in the vehicle. Research and collision investigations show that seat belts increase the chances of survival in a collision by 50 per cent. According to Transport Canada, almost 40 per cent of drivers and passengers killed in collisions were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the crash.

In Alberta, the fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $115.
Drivers are also responsible for the proper restraint of children under 16.

For more information on Occupant Restraints, check out these links:

Head Restraint Information

Occupant Restraint Program Supplementary Educational Materials

Child Safety Seats

Radio Spot

Booster Seats

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Superheroes in Queensland

On Saturday, some children decided to practice their graffiti skills on the side of our school. They were spotted by a Haultain parent. Instead of being a complacent and apathetic bystander she decided to do something about it.

Yelling at the kids to stop what they were doing, she then called the police non-emergency line to report what she was seeing. As the kids were running away, another Haultain parent got involved and stealthily followed the children back to their homes. She was able to determine their address and report to the police the description of the kids. We have a promise from the responding officer of a follow up. A third Mom got involved by photographing the graffiti and providing copies to the police. This may help in linking past graffiti crimes to these kids and hopefully some other habitual 'taggers'.

These Haultain parents displayed a showcase of stellar community awareness. If everyone could pitch in with some civic pride and passion as they did, it would spell the end of this type of petty crime. I'm proud of our three Haultain 'superheroes'.

Stay tuned for updates...

Outdoor School!

Today's the day the grade fives and sixes take off to the great outdoors - for three days of Eco School. Let's hope they have a great time and a safe time, and that they learn a lot. And take some good pictures!

Also, it's the grade three craft club at noon today. Tomorrow, the grade six students visit Wilma Hansen to prepare for the big jump.

Stay warm and dry out there today - the weather stations are calling for more cold and wet snow for Wednesday and Thursday.

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments you might have regarding Council, or the Association - and I'll get back to you promptly - or if you have a story you'd like me to post on here, I'll make it happen. Parent input is very welcome, and encouraged.

Sunday, March 1, 2009