Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Intersting Article

Are computers really the teaching tool we've been led to believe?

Click hear to read an interesting article on the subject.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yearbook Survey

Time for another quick survey. Please answer the following. We will use this input to help decide whether we should create another Haultain yearbook for 2010-2011. Don't forget to click on the 'submit' button after making your choices.

Last year the yearbooks were $20.00. You can see examples of the possibilities here, click on the button labeled 'View Yearbook Galleries'.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quaker Canada recalls granola bars

Quaker Canada is voluntarily recalling granola bars after two packages were found to wrongly contain bars that could cause problems for consumers with peanut or tree nut allergies.

The food company, a Canadian unit of U.S.-based Pepsico Inc , said no illnesses had been reported due to the mislabeled packages.

Click here to read the full story.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

228 Thank Yous!

Thank you to everyone who made the casino fund raiser a big success this year. Although we won't have our final numbers until early next year, I can safely say that the 33 people who donated a combined 140 hours of volunteers work made about $450.00 per hour for Haultain's children.

This money, as most of you know, goes to field trips, library books, programming, clubs, presenters, residencies, art and music supplies, gym equipment, computers, etc. Many of these things would represent an increased financial burden on families or we would have to do without them entirely if it weren't for the unselfish and dedicated volunteers who graciously committed their time. So the 228 students at Haultain will all benefit from their contribution.

Laughs were shared, and elastic band artillery techniques were improved. The munchies were great and the company second to none. Steve did another fabulous job of organizing the whole thing and a good time was had by all. If you didn't get a chance to join us - I recommend getting involved next time, no skills necessary (as proven by some more than others), training supplied and it can actually be a lot of fun.

Thank you especially to Haultain staff (Mr. and Mrs. Kipp, Mr. Barkley, and Mr. Fero) and those of our group who helped us but have no children in our school. That is a very special contribution - you get a gold star!

We will announce the final numbers when we get them. Thanks again everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Interview Time: Online Booking Now Open

A reminder that you are now able to book your parent/teacher conferences for this week online - as opposed to phoning to book.

Simply visit our Haultain homepage (http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b362/) and click the conference booking link. This will take you to a secure site at pickatime.com.

Once there, create an account by entering your email address and creating a password. Email addresses will be used to send your conference confirmation only.

Once you have logged in, select your student's teacher. If you wish a Thursday interview, scroll down and select an available time slot. Should you wish Friday, you should not need to scroll. Simply click the appointment box you desire. Be sure the colour matches the teacher legend.

Now that you have selected the time slot, enter your child's FIRST NAME and LAST INITIAL so it can be recorded on the teacher's schedule. If you would like a reminder email, enter that information as well.

By the way, let us know what you think of this process. We realize it isn't communicating with a person, but we also hope the convenience, ease, and reduced office stress will balance things out. Comments are welcome!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Meetings Last Night

Thank you to everyone who showed up for the meetings last night. Braving the cold and miserable weather to attend shows some real dedication.

We accomplished a lot and spent some money at the PA. A decision was made regarding the sign, we will be going with new letters/rails and a complete refinish on the wooden part - thank you for everyone's input on the survey and especially at the meeting last night. We are funding a great looking field trip for grades 3 and 4 to the Bow Habitat/Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery. We are also funding a visit from Hazel Hutchins, author and presenter (the timing details are still to be worked out), and Mrs. Austin has sought and received funding for Moving Up With Literacy.

The council discussion was dominated by the presentation of the new policy of network access school wide for any device the students bring in. This was presented on the blog here a few days ago and was talked about again last night. Mr. Barkley and Mr. Fero are looking for input from parents for how this will be monitored and controlled. The hardware and technology is in place but isn't turned on yet pending our input. Please revisit the post to learn what this is all about. This additional technology has the potential for enormous change at the school and parents need to be engaged and ready on this issue. Some instant questions that may come to mind:

  • How will internet access be monitored?
  • Will students be allowed to access the network any time they wish?
  • What if they are in the playground - can they access the internet from there unsupervised?
  • Is the network robust enough to protect my child's laptop from a virus that another child's laptop my have?
  • What sorts of devices can the students use, laptops, iPods, netbooks...?
  • How will the school ensure that student's devices remain secure at recess and lunch time?
Please add your own questions and concerns - send me an email or write a comment and I will add it to the list as we help create the policy for the use and control of this new technology.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Queensland Diamond Cove Community Association

The Queensland Diamond Cove Community Association wants to remind you to renew your membership. The benefits are numerous, see the poster on the left for the top ten, and its not expensive: $20.00 per family.

Join up today.

Meal Time Struggles

I came across an interesting article this morning that points to an even more interesting web site. The focus of both is the family interactions around meal time.

According to this article:

"Research shows that eating together, whether as a family or a group, offers many health and social benefits to both children and adults--including better nutrition, school performance and social adjustment. But the reality is, many families struggle to find the time to share meals."

Quite a claim; but it does seem that meal time, and the challenges it presents to today's modern family, isn't what it used to be. "Good old days" syndrome aside, it seems like a generation ago, family meal times were sacrosanct and full of tradition, expectations, social interaction, reinforced manner lessons, a chance to speak the diaries of our days.

Now, for better or worse, 'supper times' can often be rushed, disjointed affairs that cause stress and disorder, filled with distractions. Busy life styles, working parents, and just plain old bad habits can often lead to unfulfilling family time at the table.

To help families rectify some of this and as a promotion for good eating habits, the BC Dairy Foundation and the BC Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport have created a great website called BetterTogetherBC.ca. It presents solutions to many of the common challenges faced by today's busy families.

It would be interesting to hear what you think? Post your thoughts by clicking on the blue 'comments' below.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


As always, you are encouraged to attend this week's Council and PA meetings on Thursday at 6:30 in the library.

One of the highlights at this meeting will be a presentation and discussion of Haultain's Digital Citizenship Plan. The CBE has installed a wireless environment (LAWN) which will allow students to use their own wireless devices (laptops, handhelds) to access the network. As part of the rollout process, the school would like parental feedback on how to best utilize the LAWN and help determine governing principles of use. This feedback will help with the final edits of Haultain's own Digital Citizenship Plan and our Admirable Use Policy.

Please see the following links for more detailed information and watch the movies that explain the importance of computer devices in the education process. We are looking for your feedback at the meetings to help inform administration in the creation of the above two documents. If you want more information, please contact Mr. Fero at the school.

Alberta Education: Internet Safety

Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship

Friday, November 12, 2010

Survey Results

Thank you to everyone who answered the survey regarding the sign. You can still answer the survey here.

Here is the breakdown so far:

38% want to replace rails/letters/refurbish wood
32% want a new steel sign
14% want the letters and rails only
8% want the wood refinished only
8% chose "other" with suggestions as follows:

"does it really need doing? it looks fine to me?", "replace only the letters that need to be replaced and replace the rails", and "sign is fine. the playground needs upgrading we need to save for that"

As I said, you can still answer the survey and the final results will be presented to the PA as part of the agenda just before we vote.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Library books moved to make way for pupils at one Calgary school

By Sean Myers, Calgary Herald

One school's answer to rising enrolment is to clear books out of the library to make room for a new classroom.

The entire fiction section has been moved out of the David Thompson Middle School library and spread throughout at least three classrooms used for teaching English Language Arts.

The Calgary Board of Education says the relocation of the books is part of a so-called learning commons initiative, but some students don't like the new arrangement.

"It's annoying," said Grade 7 student Ashton Maguire.

Click here to read the full story.

Friday, November 5, 2010

November Newsletter

Click here or on the title above to view November's newsletter.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Micro Survey: School Sign Options

Don't forget to click SUBMIT!