Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Resiliency Workshop for Parents of Tweens

The South Calgary Primary Care Network is hosting a free parent workshop at Wilma Hansen School on May 5, 2011. All parents of kids between the ages of 9 and 15 are welcome to attend. Click on the picture for more information.

Parents Slam School Staff Cuts

From the Calgary Sun:
Parents of special needs students are appealing the decision to cut almost 300 teaching and support staff position due to a $61.7 million funding shortfall.
Read more and see the video here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Author Visits Haultain!

Famous children's author, Hazel Hutchins, visited Haultain Memorial last week. Hazel entertained and enlightened classes with readings and discussions from a number of her books. Grade groupings met with Ms. Hutchins and were treated to readings of books such as One Duck, The T.J. Series, Tess, And You Can Be the Cat, and her latest book, Monster Manners. Thanks once again to the Parent Association for funding this opportunity.

School board to slash 172 positions


Calgary's public school board are losing 172 positions next year in an effort to close a $61.7 million budget gap created by the provincial budget.

The employees of the Calgary Board of Education who will be affected, including principals, were told about the impending position loses Tuesday.

Naomi Johnson, chief superintendent, said to balance the budget, district officials are redesigning central services to reduce the direct impact on schools and students.

“Sadly, we cannot absorb a $61.7 million shortfall without cutting positions,” she said.

“The best we could do today is care for the people involved by communicating the impact as soon as we have a plan.”

(If you have an opinion on the budget, or feel strongly about these cuts - contact your MLA and let them know.)

Residents try to save school’s English program

By Jamie Komarnicki, Calgary Herald

Parents in a northeast Calgary community are gearing up to fight to keep their school’s regular English program — and perhaps the entire facility — open.

The Calgary Board of Education is holding a public meeting for parents today to discuss trustees’ recent move to consider the closure of the kindergarten to Grade 6 regular English program at Mayland Heights Elementary.

Read the full story here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Are stay-at-home moms any happier?

According to writer Katy Read - who blogs at What I Should Be Doing Instead - being a stay-at-home mother isn't all roses. Here, she describes the highs and lows and offers some advice for any women considering a similar choice.

Read her full story here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Your Student Led Conference on Monday!

Starting Monday morning (March 21) at 8am go here, enter your child's first name and last initial and your email address. You will need to know your child's teacher's name, a schedule will be shown with available times on March 24th or 25th. Pick the time you want, first come first served, and an email will be sent to the address you provided confirming your details and then a reminder will be sent closer to the time and day. If you have any troubles call the school at 403-777-6860.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Award of Service

Haultain Memorial received a very special and timely award on March 16, from the Terry Fox Foundation. Presented at out "Footprints" assembly, students Scott K., Zolin L., and Lyric A. accepted limited edition posters honouring 5, 10, and 15 years of involvement with the Terry Fox campaign. Spokesperson Wendy Pratt presented the posters and offered an endearing personal story of how Haultain's involvement and actions have "mattered" in her own struggles with cancer. The presentation tied in beautifully to our whole-school inquiry of "How do our actions matter?" and "How do our footprints leave an impression?" and also to our virtue in focus, service. The "award" capped off a wonderful assembly, filled with examples and celebrations of how what we do at Haultain, and in our daily lives, can make a difference. Thanks to all who were able to attend with us, and to the Terry Fox Foundation for this great honour.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Projections for September

The CBE has provided administration with the initial projections for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year. While these numbers are preliminary, historically they have been fairly accurate. In an attempt to be prepared, and transparent, we have started to plan for some possible scenarios at Haultain Memorial. Please know that these “plans” are extremely tentative, and a few extra (or fewer) students in one grade can have a significant impact on the entire plan. Please also know that recent announcements, made by the Province of Alberta, have put considerable strain on the Calgary Board of Education’s ability to maintain all levels of service, small class sizes, and infrastructure maintenance and upgrading. By providing our projections, and a few possible scenarios, we are demonstrating the complexities involved in planning for next year, and inviting feedback and alternative suggestions from readers. No final decisions will be made concerning class configurations until the summer, and even then, the situation could change, with moves or new registrations, in September.

Click HERE to view sample configurations, and to see your projections for 2011-2012.

Feeling less than perfect?

Is your parenthood a picture-perfect joyride, filled with constant sunshine, never-ending ice cream sundaes and breathtaking double rainbows - with the occasional unicorn trotting by?

Don't click here then.

Making the Grade

Testing is complete and the results are tallied. Find out how Calgary and southern Alberta schools compare in the key measures that reveal the quality of education our children are receiving.

Click here to see how Haultain fared!

This information was compliled by The Fraser Institute and provided to The Calgary Herald.

Monday, March 14, 2011

CAPSC Annual General Meeting . . .What is CAPSC anyway?

I am learning so much in the role as Key Communicator for Haultain Parent Council. The biggest thing I have learned is that I need to learn to communicate. The problem for me is that there is so much information, I get overwhelmed when I have to relay this information.

As of 3 meetings ago, I had only a very, very basic understanding of what CAPSC is. It is the Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils. Basically it is you and your council's representation and advocate in matters being discussed amongst parents at the Calgary Board of Education and in the media. They host many forums, speakers, and committees relevant to you and your children. The most recent meeting was the CAPSC Annual General Meeting.

The first half of the meeting was an update on the Action on Inclusion plan, presented by (Director, Action on Inclusion) and Anne Davidson (Project Manager, Action on Inclusion) Alberta Education. My understanding of this plan is basic, here's a rundown. In 2007, a review of the processes and funding for students with disabilities began. A steering committee surveyed over 6000 Albertans which resulted in a Direction Framework. Although originally focusing on students with disabilities, the vision shifted to "One inclusive system, where each student is successful." This means changing the curriculum and how it is delivered. It will effect such things as how students are assessed and coded, how teachers are educated and technical support in school and classrooms. Pretty important things effecting pretty important people.

Check out the links above and post your comments and questions, especially your questions! This would really improve my communication skills and sorting through this information overload! You may think that many of the topics don't relate to you, but the one topic that does may be significant.

Posted by Shona!

Next Blog: Why is there a LAWN in the library and do I really have to buy my kid a laptop?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Now That I Know What CAPSC is. . . .

Next event coming up for CAPSC should be a great one considering the recent budget announcements. Naomi Johnson, superintendent, will be speaking to this and has scheduled time for questions and concerns. It's at A.E. Cross Jr. High (Richmond Road and Sarcee Trail) Wednesday at 7-9pm upstairs in the library. Hopefully it will be a lively one, and I will bring the Timmy's!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Last Night's Meetings

We had our Council and Parent Association meetings last night. A quick synopsis:

The PA:
We had a short discussion on whether or not to pursue advertising revenue on this blog - it was felt that if we were able to generate some income this way and could keep reasonable guidelines for the ads that there wouldn't be a problem with it.

Mr. Barkley asked if there was interest in t-shirts and/or hoodies with the school logo and name on them this year.

We discussed next year's choices for an artist-in-residence, those present expressed interest in continuing with a music, painting/drawing, dance, or writing. So I guess the floor is wide open - Mr. Barkley will discuss with staff as well.

The Council:
We reviewed the ASCA resolutions and had some good discussions about how we want to represent ourselves there. Here is a link to the resolutions, start on page 11.

We welcomed Mrs. Kerr who talked about the success of inline skating this year and how much the students learned. She was surprised at how fast they picked it up and at how good the instructors were.

Mr. Barkley gave his student numbers and classroom projections for next year. The preliminary numbers are hard to juggle to make as few classes as possible (to save money) and have fewer than 30 kids in each one. He has asked for input into possibilities.

The Terry Fox foundation is recognizing Haultain's long standing history of support - they will present a gift of recognition on Tuesday March 16th at 9:45, please come to the school if you can make it.

Our guest speaker, Trustee Carol Bazinet, brought some very dire information about the budget for the CBE (click here for the talking points). The process is complicated and the breakdown confusing but the bottom line is that the Ministry of Education is not giving school boards enough money to keep up with the demands of inflation, salary, special programming, and infrastructure. This will affect all aspects of education and it will affect us directly. We will see larger classrooms and fewer teachers - it can't be avoided with the lack of funding available. What can you do? Click on this link and send a letter/email to our MLA (Heather Forsythe - Calgary, Fish Creek), let her know that we feel education is a top priority for us.

Add your comments about any of the above.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Don't forget Skate Night!

Just a reminder that our Family Skate Night runs tomorrow, Wednesday, March 9, from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. You can arrive for a skate with your child between these times and skates and equipment are available! We ask that all students are accompanied by an adult. This event is made possible through the support and generosity of your HMSPA. We hope to see you there!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Council Meeting: Special Guest

Don't forget to join us on Thursday evening in the library for our next Council and PA meeting (March 10th, 6:30 - 7:30 for the PA, and 7:30 - 8:30 for the Council meeting).

We have a special guest joining us for the Council meeting: Carol Bazinet, our Trustee for Wards 12 and 14 will be in attendance and will talk for a short time about budget, infrastructure and blogging. Hopefully we'll have enough time for questions as well.

See you there.

Having returned from a fabulous week at Outdoor School, some of our grade five six students reflected on their experience ala David Letterman's Top Ten list. Have a read! And don't be shy about commenting!

The Top 10 Outdoor School – By Noah S.

10. ECOnomy game because it is good to learn about the economy for when you are older.

9. Star gazing because we saw an amazing flash of light and we saw a plethora of constellations.

8. Raising the flag because it is a respectful way to be proud and show pride to our country.

7. Drama because it’s a good way to work together and think up ideas.

6. Campfire was a really good way to wind down the day, just to chill out and listen.

5. The hike was a very interesting way to learn about nature. We learned all about moss and trees and we played many games.

4. Gaga ball was a fantastically fun game for all the students because it was like dodge ball in a confined space.

3. Food; nutritious and tasty and it is a very good way to start the day.

2. Cluster ball was really fun because it lets you interact with friends and it was a good way to wake up and get the blood pumping in the morning.

And finally...

1. Animal game (Predator Prey) because were outside interacting with nature and students. It was a great way to learn about the food chain of the animals.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In-line Insights, by Daisy B

I wonder… about inline skating; will it be fun? How long will it take? Last time I did it I fell down a couple of times but I still felt glad!

I fell down only one time! We do inline skating in the gym! I was not a poor sport! I wonder how many times my friends fell? I helped Kira! We all had fun.


Zujey V's views

In-line skating

Yesterday I helped Alyssa go to the black line because she was too scared to skate. Today I was faster and I passed Ms. Lougheed. I was catching up to Mason he was to fast from me. I helped Ms. Lougheed put her equipment on. I was helping Kiana skate. Today I was helping Sam with his equipment.

Zujey V.

Ashley M. with sone In-line Instructions

The easiest thing is to bend your knees. The second is to never give up. The third is to have fun. The fifth is to be brave. And is there going to have music? Don’t be scared and how long are we going to be there? Don’t cry. Make sure you have your elbow pads on. Be your best. Who’s going to be the fastest? Yesterday I fell a lot of times but that’s how you learn. I jumped but I don’t know if I was supposed to jump. I was the third to in-line skate. Make sure you fall on your knees and hands. Mike was my instructor. I was speeding fast. I was helping others. Use your brakes if you are going too fast. Your in-line skates have wheels on them. I had a race with Sophia, Jaheim and Elijah and me.

Ashley M.

Sophia S. on In-line

Yesterday it was our first day of in-line skating lessons. First we had to put on our helmets and then our elbow pads and then knee pads and then our hand pads. Mike had to look if everything is tight then he will give us some roller skates. I only got 1 minute to skate but that is OK.

Today I took 20 seconds to get my equipment on. I skated in 5 minutes and then we learned how to fall and stop. Mike said we skated 3 times around the gym! Then he said stop and we went around the gym again and Mike said stop.

Sophia S.

Hayden B. on In-line skating

In-line skating is scary. I do not want to do it but I will try it. I know I will fall.

Yesterday I got one second of skating but today I had a blast! That means I had a lot of fun. I fell about 20 times today. We put on our equipment. Mike showed us how to use the brakes. To skate we had wheels.

Hayden B.

Grade one/twos reflect on in-line skating

In-line skating instruction is well underway and students are quickly developing some serious skating skills. As this is one of the many activities sponsored and subsidised by our Parent Association, I thought it would be nice to gain some insight into the activity, through the eyes of some of our grade one/two students. The following six blog entries are authored (with slight spelling revisions) by students in Ms. Lougheed's grade one two class.


I wonder… In-line skating

How do you stop? Will it be fun? Will you fall in the gym? Are there brakes? I have been to in-line skating. I like in-line skating. Mike was our coach. I feel really good. I was excited. I hope I get more time.

Aaron H.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

School board starts move into new building

Staff members at the Calgary Board of Education have started moving into the school division's new headquarters.

The school board gave the media a tour Tuesday of the Beltline building, which features a new office tower and an annex built onto a renovated school.

The facility at 1221 Eighth Street S.W. has space for the CBE to possibly grow into, with two floors of the office tower currently being leased out to other tenants.

Click here for the full story.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Boy Addresses the United Nations at Age 13

It's not every day that a 13-year-old boy gets a chance to address the United Nations General Assembly. But Felix Finkbeiner is no ordinary teenager.

Finkbeiner had one item on his agenda: taking adults to task for their lack of action on planting trees.

The boy is already the head of his own organization, Plant for the Planet, dedicated to planting millions of trees all around the world.

Click here to read the full story.