Sunday, December 27, 2009

January Newsletter

I hope that everyone is having a healthy, safe, fun holiday.

Please follow this link for the Haultain newsletter for January. Read it this month for the Holiday best wishes, the incredible and lucid grade 6 descriptive writing from Bird School, the fabulous art samples, alternative programming information, some 'learn-to-read' resolutions, and the updated calendar.

Best wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

last Key Communiqué of 2009

Please share the information you receive in these emails with your school councils and parent communities.

This is the last Key Communiqué of 2009. I hope you all have a wonderful and restful holiday spent with loved ones. See you in the New Year.

System Meetings:

The PowerPoints and link to the November 4, 2009 webinar can be found here under the 'Meeting Follow-Up' drop-down menu.

Foyer Cabinet

During the Christmas concert I overheard a few people chatting about the cabinet in our front foyer. The cabinet was the result of fine workmanship and a lot of hard work but even more importantly some serious generosity.

A good friend of mine, Joe, heard that we wanted to update the front of the school a bit in hopes of attracting attention to our students incredible art work. We had considered a display case of some sort but it was dismissed as far too expensive. He said that he would be happy to help us out with their construction. The Parent Association accepted Joe's proposal of design and asked him 'how much'?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Grade 6 Bird School

Recently the PA subsidized the student's portion of their latest field trip to Petro-Canada's 'Bird School'. The Parent Association's mandate is to support the learning environment with funds that we raise.

With this in mind, I asked Mrs. Summers to 'poll' the students after the field trip to find out what they thought they learned from the experience. I wanted to share the responses with you. After you read them, I think you'll agree that our mandate was well met and that the grade six class are literate beyond their years... not that I'm biased or anything!

Ms. Summers responded with their comments and this: "I can also share my educational perspective and say that the time spent outdoors has indeed changed both their outlooks and their output. They have evolved into a hardy group that is inspired by the time they spent alone outside. I have writing samples taken from their journals which shows the dramatic improvement to both the quality and quantity of their writing. Those samples are being sent to both Petro Canada and the Open Minds coordinator."

See the responses by clicking the ...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Don't forget!

It's the 2009 Haultain Christmas celebration tonight beginning at 7pm, in the gymnasium at Haultain.

Please remember to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toy Mountain.

Schools' repair costs skyrocket

Maintenance backlog jumps more than $100M in last year

The backlog of maintenance requests at Calgary public schools has ballooned by $100 million this year to a whopping $742 million.

Calgary Board of Education trustees last night heard the maintenance backlog has grown by $119 million since last December.

This year's $742-million tally includes $363 million for deferred maintenance and life-cycle replacements of $379 million.

Frank Coppinger, superintendent of facilities, said each year the CBE injects $16 million into deferred maintenance requests.
But at this rate, it will take 20 years to clear the current backlog.

Read the full story here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Calgary school board cautions parents as bitter chill puts kids at risk

By Gwendolyn Richards, Calgary Herald

CALGARY - Parents are being warned to bundle their children with extra layers as a new school week starts amid a bitter cold snap that is likely to cause school bus delays.
The Calgary Catholic School District also warns that schools just outside the city -- in Airdrie, Cochrane and Chestermere--may be closed depending on conditions this morning.

Click here to read the full story.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Case for the Outdoors

I have read a number of articles recently that link increased outdoor activity to more focused, healthy, and attentive kids who get better grades. I think a large percentage of the families in our community would tend to agree that there is an intuitive logic to that statement, yet more and more time appears to be spent indoors. Here are a few links to some interesting articles that talk about this subject from different angles.

2009 Basket Raffle - Help Make it BIG!

Once again Angela is working towards getting our very popular basket raffle together. She reports steady progress but needs your help in making this year's raffle as successful as in previous years.

The raffle is held each year just after the Christmas concert and some great prizes have been given out. The most popular baskets usually represent a theme: movie night, kids games, sports package, etc.

If you can donate a basket or parts of a basket please contact her and let her know what you have in mind. If you work for a company that can help us out with some swag then by all means let us know - its a great way to get some advertising out there.

Working Together to Resolve Differences

(From the CBE website)

Alberta schools are required to make every reasonable effort at the school and district level to resolve concerns collaboratively with you as parents. Despite these efforts, when you do not agree with a decision related to your child’s educational programming at school, your first step is to talk to the teacher to try to resolve the concern together. If that fails, your next step is to talk to the school’s principal or assistant principal. Together with the teacher and school administration, you should be able to resolve most issues that affect your child at school.

Click here to read the full document.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Toy Mountain

Our Christmas Concert will be held next Wednesday on December 16th at 7:00. You can see this and all the important events on the calendar at the bottom of the page - check it often.

As an admission 'price' the school is asking that everyone bring an unwrapped gift to the school. All gifts will be going to the Toy Mountain drive that is organised by the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is asking for these gifts:
  • Coloring books and crayons
  • Toys/clothing for girls and boys ages 10-12
  • Toys/clothing for girls and boys ages 13+
  • Toys & clothing for Infants/toddlers
  • Puzzles
  • Sports items
  • Family board games
  • Books for all ages

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Micro Survey 09.04: Innisbrook Fund Raiser

At our last meeting Kristie gave a final tally on her first fund raising effort for the PA. The only way to describe it is: an unmitigated success. Over $2200.00 was raised! Thank you Kristie, great job.

Now we need to hear from you. We need to know if this is worthwhile to do again. We have our 4th micro survey on this subject. Please go here and choose the best answers for your experience - don't forget to click SUBMIT at the bottom of the form.

From mommy blogging to mainstream

By Joanne Chianello, Canwest News Service

"It all happened by accident."

That's how Andrea Tomkins describes becoming Ottawa's best-known parent blogger. (She doesn't love the label, but she'll take it over the condescending "mommy blogger" any day.)

Click here for the full story.

Monday, December 7, 2009

CEOP Letter to the CBE

On December 1st the CEOP group formally presented their letter of recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The notice of that is here. The Board voted to consider the closure of Queensland Downs School and will now hold public consultation on this consideration.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Micro Survey 09-03: Results

Here are the results for the micro survey regarding this years school photographer. You can click on the thumbnail on the left for the full graph or just see below for the results.

I prefer last year's - 10%
I prefer them over last year - 54%
Really? There was a switch? - 6%
Other/Comments - 21%

Read more for some of the comments:

Interesting read

A quotation from "The Cult of the Amateur" by Andrew Keen - a book commenting on the interaction between our kids and the web:

"Which brings me to my final point: Parents must man the front lines in the battle to protect children from the evil lurking on the Web. In today's Web world, one thing is clear - kids are spending more and more time online. And while this may be unavoidable, if you're a parent, when, where, and how your kid spends his or her time online is largely up to you. Move their computer to a family room, rather than allowing them to go online in the privacy of their bedrooms.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Newsletter

Please click link to read Haultain's latest newsletter - LINK. Its a good one, not only the art and information, student writing, and updates from the CBE but some great personal anecdotes from the staff about 'gifts'. Some of you will need to get a hanky ready...

"Junk praise" creating a generation of self-absorbed children

(From the Calgary Herald)

Here's a concept.

The majority of today's parents see their children as flowers. You know, you plant a flower, you give it lots of water and fertilizer and you expect it to blossom beautifully.

Naturally, nurturing our children with life's necessities is a good and necessary pursuit. Only we have a well-intentioned tendency--according to a book called The Self-Esteem Trap (Little, Brown and Company; $17.99)-- to drown our children in what is often unwarranted praise with the aim of building self-esteem.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Calendar has been updated!

Check the bottom of this blog - the December calendar has been updated with event dates and times, along with the Winter Break dates.

Got questions or comments? We'd love to hear them - use the link just below our school picture at the top right and send us your thoughts!

Clumsy kids' brains work differently

(Interesting article, found on the CBC website)

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are shining a new light on a condition that affects children's ability to print, tie their shoes or play sports.

Called developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), it affects about six per cent of school-aged children.

For the first time, researchers have shown that the brains of children with DCD are different from other kids.

According to researcher Jill Zwicker, a PhD candidate in rehabilitation sciences at UBC, DCD often leads to struggles in school, partly because the kids find it physically difficult to print or write.

Click here to read the full article.