Monday, May 31, 2010

Webinar Recording

"Here is the link to the recorded webinar/meeting at Sir Winston Churchill High School last Wednesday night.

The session was on Personalized Learning in the CBE, and was very informative. There are a few audio glitches in the first few seconds at the very beginning of the recording, but they are corrected quickly. I invite you to listen to the session and please feel free to share this link with your parent communities. I will work at getting answers to the questions asked during the session and will post them online, and send you the link. "

- Katie Young, Communications Advisor with the CBE

(Thanks, Katie!)

All Boys School?

Following up a story that we pointed to a while ago regarding all boys schools; this article quotes a staff review of same sex schools as saying that there is little research complete on the subject and that the CBE shouldn't jump in without more homework.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One From Roxane

Thanks for the fantastic photo, Roxane - yet another excellent entry in our recent "Haultain Families" photo contest.

Don't forget to check the calendar at the bottom of this page from time to time - and feel free to comment or submit your thoughts and questions using the 'comments' section beneath each post, or the 'feedback' email link located at the top right hand of this page.

Your input is valued and welcome!

Nut allergies may be on the rise in children: U.S. study

Schools may have a good reason for banning nuts from the classroom and canteen with a U.S. study finding the number of children allergic to peanuts and tree-nuts may be rising.

Researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that between one and two per cent of children in the United States may have allergies to peanuts or tree nuts, with rates seemingly tripling since 1997.

Read the full story here.

Playing in dirt good for kids: Study

By Sharon Kirkey, Canwest News Service

Parents, here's another reason for your kids to play outdoors in the dirt: It may make them smarter.

And, as a side benefit, dirt appears to be a natural anti-anxiety drug, but without the side-effects.

Mice exposed to a bacterium in soil navigated a maze twice as fast, and with less anxiety, as control mice, in studies presented Monday at the 110th general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego.

Read the full story here.

PD Friday - Geocaching

Last Friday I had the opportunity to 'hang out' with the staff at Haultain during a part of their Professional Development day. Mrs. Kipp had asked if I could take them 'geocaching' for a couple of hours in the morning. Mr. Barkley was able to tie this activity in to the Digital Learner or some such educational equivalent... I was just along for the fun. The staff really seemed to enjoy it and a lot of interest was generated because this can clearly be a great way for families to spend quality time together.

Some of the teachers wanted me to follow up with more information regarding this great outdoor activity so I thought

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Casino Dates Announced

Every two years or so, the Haultain Memorial Parent Association gets a chance to raise a lot of money by participating in a Casino. These funds just about cover the Association’s entire budget for 2 years, so it is of ultimate importance that we gather enough volunteers.

In the past the casino program have covered:
• Busing costs for trips
• Science fair costs
• In school presentations
• Inline skating program
• Classroom spending allowances
• Educational and physical education gear
• Art Supplies
• ... and a WHOLE LOT MORE!

We hope to raise close to $80,000 this time, but we need help.

Our casino dates are NOVEMBER 19th and NOVEMBER 20th, 2010 (so you can’t say we didn’t give you any notice) and we need almost 40 people!

So mark your calendars and imagine the excitement of working at Deerfoot Casino! You can even rent a good gangster/gambling flick to get in the mood. Of course, the actual work is nothing like that, it’s mostly counting money and eating free food... but the idea is the same... right?

So, if you have any questions, or if you just can’t wait to sign up, email me at

Many more opportunities to sign up will be coming.

Steve Antonchuk

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Amazing Lunch!

The staff at Haultain were treated to a spectacular lunch on Thursday, May 20. Generously prepared by a group of caring culinary parents, staff feasted on succulent salads, sumptuous soups, delightful drinks, enticing entrees and delectable desserts. Undertaken as an Appreciation Lunch, it was the Haultain staff who were truly appreciative of this gourmet treat. Not only did parents prepare lunch, the "redecorated" the staffroom, set up, cleaned up, provided table cloths AND take away containers, AND covered noon hour supervision so our lunchroom staff could enjoy the feast as well. Deep and sincere thanks to ALL who contributed to this wonderful treat!

School zones should start earlier, committee says

From the CBC website

A Calgary city council committee is recommending school zone speed limits of 30 km/h come into effect at 7:30 a.m. instead of the current start time of 8 a.m.

The public and Catholic school boards both asked for the change since many schools begin earlier than they used to.

"Often times we see that kids arrive at school before the start of school zone times. And often times school will actually start before eight o'clock," said Calgary Catholic School District spokeswoman Janet Corsten.

The proposed change would leave 5 p.m. as the end time for school zone speeds.

System Meeting - Webinar Information

Katie Young from the CBE has just sent out some information regarding the next system meeting. It will be viewable via 'Webinar' - click here for more information.

Meeting Minutes

They've just arrived, though a bit late - here are the minutes from the March 19 Key Communicator Steering Committee Meeting, held at the CBE during lunch hour.

Parents should stop being paranoid

By Miral Fahmy, Reuters

Here's some advice for all those stressed-out, overwhelmed parents trying raise their kids according to the experts, from an expert: you're going to mess up, so get over it, relax and enjoy the process.

Clinical psychologist Nigel Latta's words of wisdom are the basis of a new book, "Politically Incorrect Parenting", which starts out saying there are way too many parenting books, and even more advice, out there, most of which parents should ignore.

Click here to read the full story.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Money Woes Continue

For the first time in its 125 year history the Catholic School Board will run a deficit and it blames the Stelmach government for not supporting education in Alberta. This news comes after a similar release from the CBE last week.

Read/watch more here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Don't Forget!

Class photos are being taken tomorrow! Remember to brush your children's hair, and get the kids dressed up in that fantastic outfit they received from their "Special Aunt" at Christmas!

Also, it's the 'Staff Appreciation' Lunch on Thursday of this week - the same lunch hour is modified for the kids. If you're interested in helping out during the staff lunch - or making food to be consumed, please use the email link above and to the right, and the Council will pass it on to the event organizers. You can also email Tammy directly at

Friday, May 14, 2010

New measles cases detected in Calgary

From the CBC website

Four new cases of measles have been confirmed in the Calgary area, Alberta Health Services reported Friday.

AHS had previously announced one case in the region, making the total five in the past two weeks. In 2009, only one case of measles was confirmed province-wide.

AHS said Friday it is following up directly with individuals who may have been in close contact with the confirmed cases.

Read more here.

Quality child care linked to kids' well-being

(From the CBC website)

Two studies prepared by the Society for Research in Child Development underscore the value of quality parenting and child care in the early life of a child.

One study followed 1,300 children from their births in 1991 till the time they turned 15.

It found teens that attended child-care centres with higher-quality programs scored better on tests of cognitive and academic achievement than those who attended programs with lower-quality care.

Read the full story here.

Exploring the Dusty Hoodoos

Over the next little while, we'll post a pictures that were submitted for the "Haultain Family" photo contest. This entry was from the Jewitt family.

Thanks again to everyone who participated!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Congratulations, Ramona!

During the Association meeting last night, the prize of the Haultain "Families" photo contest was awarded to Ramona, who had the winning entry. Thanks again to everyone who submitted their fantastic work - I'll make a slideshow of all the pictures submitted, and have it available for viewing soon.

(In the photo, L-R, is Council/Association chair Shane Campsall, contest winner Ramona Lind, and Key Communicator Nick Newton. Click to enlarge!)

If you want kids to succeed, get them started young on household chores

(found on

Your three-year-old is not too young to match the socks in the family laundry basket; your five-year-old can make his bed by pulling up the comforter. Your eight-year-old can make her own lunch and your 10-year-old can do all of the above, plus put away the groceries and do the family laundry -- sorting it by colours first.

Is this happening in your home?

There's no reason why it shouldn't, says California psychologist Michele Borba, author of 23 books on child-rearing, who recently was in Nanaimo addressing about 250 parents on childhood behaviour and parental solutions.

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Interesting Article

A lack of confidence, bullying and depression are the things Canadian parents fear most for their children, according to a new national survey.

Sixty-two per cent of parents see a lack of confidence as a threat to the long-term success of their children, says the survey, conducted by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't Forget!

The Parent Council/Association is meeting tomorrow night in the Haultain library, starting at 6:30pm.

Now's the time to submit questions or concerns you'd like brought up on your behalf, if you can't make it to the meeting - or to schedule this in your day-timer, so you don't forget to come!

Please use the email link at the top, right-hand area of this page to send the council/association your thoughts. You can follow the discussion of your topic as it's discussed in the meeting in the meeting minutes when they're posted.

As always, your input and suggestions are valued and welcome.

Coco Brooks Survey Result

Thank you to everyone who answered our survey regarding this fund raiser. You can still fill in the feedback form or any other from the past by clicking here. The results are continuously tabulated and will help inform our decisions in the future.

The Latest Key Communiqué

Click here to read May's Key Communiqué, provided by Katie Young, CBE Communications specialist.

Haultain Parents Blog Recognized by CAPSC

Click here to read an article written by Laura Shutiak, detailing the Haultain Parent Association blog. It was written a while back, but I just found it while browsing the CAPSC website - and thought it worthwhile to post.

Written portion erased from student tests

(From the CBC website)

Alberta Education has decided against adding a written portion to some provincial achievement tests.

The department had planned to bring in a written portion for social studies in Grades 6 and 9, and for math in Grades 3,6 and 9.

Erica McDonald, a spokeswoman for Alberta Education, said the department decided not to make any changes until it is finished conducting public consultations.

Read the full story here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Staff Appreciation Lunch

Volunteers Needed

It’s that time of year when we pay homage to our staff. Thursday, May 20th is the date set for our Staff Appreciation Luncheon. In the past, parents have contributed their “family favourites” to create a hearty & sumptuous repast. If you haven’t time to cook or bake perhaps you could volunteer for set up or clean up duty. Please let me know what you would like to prepare. I can be reached by email at

Ontario Enforcing Youth Curfew

Ontario Provincial Police in Essex County are now enforcing a provincial curfew, which states that children under the age of 16 found in public between midnight and 6 a.m. without an adult will be picked up by police and held until a parent can retrieve them.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

May Newsletter

Our May newsletter is now online. Click HERE (or on the image) to see May's curricular updates, extra-curricular information, achievement test dates, student writing, spectacular artwork and one of the most riveting principal's messages imaginable. Don't take my word for it. See for yourself.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Measles case confirmed in Calgary area

CBC News

Health officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated against measles after a case of the virus was confirmed in the Calgary area.

Medical officer of health, Dr. Judy MacDonald, is expected to release more details at a news conference on Friday afternoon.

Measles, one of the most serious childhood diseases, is highly contagious and spreads through the air. It causes a rash, high fever, and flu-like symptoms.

Parents use secret languages, text, IM


Parents who want a way to talk so little ears can’t hear have moved beyond s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g in favour of a new kid-proof system: the text message.

Email, text and instant messaging have become the go-to technology for parents on family outings or at the end of a long day, when mom’s chilling on the couch in front of the TV and dad’s reading in the bedroom more than a whisper away.

“There was a time when I would get really upset if I was IMed from another room in the house. Now it’s a complete parental survival tool,” says KellyAnn Bonnell, whose kids are 10 and 15.

Click here to read the full story

Education Minister Hancock urges school boards to avoid layoffs

Minister unable to offer more money
By Sarah McGinnis, Calgary Herald

Education Minister Dave Hancock continues to call on school districts to refrain from mass layoffs, but the Calgary Board of Education and others are bracing for an increase in class sizes next year.

CBE staff confirmed this week the district could eliminate up to 165 full-time positions, largely through attrition.

The Calgary Catholic School Division has announced up to 150 full-time jobs could be lost to make up for a $15.3-million budget shortfall.

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Calgary public school board faces up to 165 job cuts

Layoffs would still leave public district $10.4M short
By Sarah McGinnis, Calgary Herald

The Calgary Board of Education is considering cutting up to 165 full-time jobs to reduce its estimated shortfall in next year's budget down to $29.5 million.

Even after the possible cuts and a plan to use up $19.1 million in operating reserves, Calgary's public school board will still face a $10.4-million deficit for the coming school year, according to an early spring staffing document presented to trustees on Tuesday.

"We need to consider (reducing) between 125 and 165 positions," acknowledged chief superintendent Naomi Johnson.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Celebration of Learning

Thanks to EVERYONE who attended our Celebration of Learning on May 4th. We had a fantastic turnout, despite our always questionable Calgary weather, with MANY present AND future Haultain families in attendance. It was great to see all of the familiar faces, taking time out of busy schedules to share in their child(ren)'s learning. It was also great to see many parents from Queensland Downs stop by for a visit. With performances by our Junior Singers and Hand Bell Club, as well as classroom activities, sport stacking challenges, Science Fair displays, SMART Board presentations, and art walks, there appeared to be something for everyone. As a school, we truly believe that when parents celebrate learning, children value learning. Thanks again for being partners in the process!

Don't forget!

That Haultain's "Celebration of Learning" takes place tonight. From 6:30pm until 8:30pm, join your student for an exploration into their world - there will be student-led tours throughout the school.

Toddler TV linked to low math scores: study

Too much time in front of the tube as a two-year-old can predict some negative consequences at the age of 10, a new study suggests.

Researchers studied more than 1,300 children in Quebec and found that higher TV exposure as toddlers corresponded to less achievement in math, an increase in being victimized by classmates and less physical activity at age 10.

The children also had a higher likelihood of consuming more junk food and soft drinks and of having a higher body mass index, according to the study published Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Read more here.