Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scary costume ban at Calgary schools dampens Halloween spirit

(From the Calgary Sun website)

Darth Vader has been forced out. Thor has fallen under the hammer of political correctness.

Any sign of blood, gore or death is likely to be met with a groan at the school doors, where costumes deemed violent are headed for the crypt.

At least that’s the fear of some kids and parents at two southeast elementary schools, as yet another fun childhood holiday is sent through the wringer of social sanitation, to emerge flat and boring.

Read the full, horrific story here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Is Halloween Too Scary for Kids?

(Thanks for submitting this article, Roxane! This is from 'The Faster Times')

We take Halloween deadly serious at my house. In our front yard, heaps of fresh dirt cover new graves, a bloody brain roasts on a hibachi, femurs litter the ground. Standing amid all this store-bought devastation, 9-year-old Ethan inserts a severed arm into his own sweater sleeve, then gravely offers to shake my hand.

Is it really healthy to allow kids to feel the chill of good old fashioned terror this season? Or am I setting up my son for sleepless nights and future therapy? On the web, discussions of this parental concern are as plentiful as leftover candy corn.

Psychologists note that children younger than ten may be most vulnerable to Halloween’s horrors as they often have a hard time distinguishing the real and the not real: A kindergartner may be truly terrified of the zombie lurching at her, even if beneath the undead trappings it’s only jolly Uncle Fred.

Click here to read more. Click the 'comments' link beneath this article to leave yours.

No boo for you, say Calgary schools

It’s care, not scare this Halloween.

The holiday coming up Monday won’t be the fright fest it usually is for students at Colonel Walker and Ramsay Schools, which this year decided to ban scary, violent costumes.

Instead, the schools are making Halloween a celebration about caring and have asked students to wear non-violent costumes to reflect that, said Calgary Board of Education spokeswoman Karen Drummond.

“They decided to make Halloween a celebration of caring that aligns with the culture of their schools,” she said.

(Have comments? Please leave them below!)

Read the full article here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween candy plan

... we're almost there. "That" day is one week away. This article, submitted by Roxane and found on 'Today's Parent', offers up some helpful hints to parents on how to make sure their children still eat properly during the looming candy fest - click here, have a read, and feel free to post your comments using the link below!

Big business is bad for kids, author says

Multinational corporations are corroding children's rights on several fronts, according to a new book by Canadian legal scholar Joel Bakan.

In "Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children," Bakan argues that over the past three decades, governments have bestowed greater freedoms on multinationals, allowing them to boost profits by drugging, poisoning and brainwashing kids from a very young age.

Read more here - and if you have comments or thoughts, please click the 'comments'  link below, and let us know what they are.

(Thanks again, Roxane!)

Schools open lockers to advertising

(Thanks to Roxane for finding this article)

School lockers are becoming the latest venue for bombarding kids with advertising.
Just what that will look like is on display at the north suburban Centennial school administration building: four lockers wrapped in a bubblegum pink ad for the Mall of America's "Underwater Adventures" aquarium.
On Nov. 1, the school board is slated to decide whether it will allow the ads on up to 10 percent of the available surfaces in all of the district's seven schools. That includes lockers, walls and floors. The take for the district? $184,000 a year.
Click here to read the full article.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Haultain Parent Committee Meeting Dates

The following is a list of dates schedules for the Haultain Parent Council meetings:
November 17, 2011
December 8, 2011
January 19, 2012
March 15, 2012
April 19, 2012
May 10, 2012
Meetings are at 6:30pm-8:30pm in the school library. The meetings are run in a casual, friendly and efficient format and everyone is welcome. It is great opportunity to as questions, present ideas and meet people. Also, see the Essential Links list on this page for other relevant meeting times and dates

Friday, October 14, 2011

Provincial education funding should pay for more teachers, aides

(From the Calgary Herald website)

Additional provincial funding should be used to hire more teachers, pay for educational aides and provide supports for special needs students, according to the results of an online survey by the city’s public school board.

But strings attached to the $19.2 million in additional funding the Calgary Board of Education will receive mean that not all of the money can go directly to classrooms.

Read the full story here. 

Council and Association meetings next week

Our October meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, October 20th, in the library at Haultain. As always, it's a great venue for parents to see what the Council and Association does, and offers parents an opportunity to present opinions or concerns.

There was a suggestion at the last meeting that an Association offered babysitting service might help parents with young children attend - please take the time to answer the poll shown below.  Don't forget to click 'Submit' after you check Yes or No.

We welcome any and all input - parent engagement is crucial to our childrens' schooling.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Second Ontario school removes Wi-Fi

(From the website)

The principal of an Ontario private school says he realizes the evidence linking Wi-Fi and cancer is less than certain, but he's "erred on the side of caution" by unplugging the system.

The school Adam Parker runs, Wayside Academy in Peterborough, Ont., is the second private school in Ontario in recent months to have removed its Wi-Fi Internet system, citing health concerns.

Parker said parents of students at the private Catholic school, which teaches kindergarten to Grade 12, drove the change.

Click here to read the full article.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Calgary school grades top provincial average


While a snapshot of Calgary students’ academic success shows positive strides, questions have been raised about literacy levels and the pressures of provincial exams.
Both the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) Wednesday released the results of their students’ 2010-2011 provincial achievement and diploma exams.

The CBE reports students in Grades 3, 6 and 9 outperformed the province at the acceptable standard in 12 of 13 subjects on their achievement tests and at the standard of excellence in 11 of 13.

Grade 12 diploma exam students outperformed the province in nine of 11 subjects at the acceptable standard and in all 11 subjects at the standard of excellence.
Chief Superintendent Naomi Johnson says the outcomes are the result of “continuous improvement over time” and recognizing the “unique learning needs of each student.”

The CCSD, which didn’t release its Grade 3 French Language Arts and French math (the latter is grouped in the Grade 3 math category at the CBE) achievement test results, outperformed the province in 11 of 12 subjects at the acceptable standard and in all 12 at the standard of excellence.

Read the full story here.

Alberta students get provincial test results back

(From the website)

It was a nervous day for school boards across Alberta as the province released the results of achievement tests and diploma exams.

The achievement tests are done each year for students in grades 3, 6 and 9, with diploma exams for those in Grade 12. The Grade 9 achievement test is posted at the bottom of this story.

The tests are meant to measure how much students comprehend the curriculum.

Click here to read the full story.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What to do with the money...?

The CBE is looking for input about what to do if education funding is restored. As you may know, Premier-designate Alison Redford promised to restore funding if elected.  Please click this link and answer the two questions about how you want the money spent, assuming it is "unfettered" cash and that Premiere Redford will come through with the promise.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Desperate Alberta teachers await $107M infusion promised by Premier Redford

(Found on the Calgary Herald website.)

New premier vows to restore funding

Thrilled with the promise of $100 million in cuts returned to provincial education coffers, Calgary teachers are watching closely how premier-designate Alison Redford unrolls the funding plan.

Jenny Regal, president of the Local 38 of the Alberta Teachers' Association, said she was first "flabbergasted, then excited," to see Redford's surprise Tory victory.

Click here to read the full story.