Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kids pose with Santa and guns

(From the Calgary Sun website.)

Ah, Christmas. The season of giving, of goodwill toward men ... and of gun-toting children.
The Scottsdale Gun Club, in Arizona, has come up with a holiday card that offers more bang for the buck, reports KOLD News 13. It's letting members and their families pose with Santa along with their choice of machine guns.
"I think it's going to be all in fun from those who support the second amendment and those who don't," club member Richard Jones told the channel. "Whether you're a gun advocate or not, you should have a lot of fun with it."
Families can also try out the AK-47s, M-16s and other assault weapons while they're there, in case they're looking for that perfect gift.
(Anyone care to offer up a comment or two?)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Girls pulling ahead of boys in school, report shows

(an interesting article from the Calgary Herald site)

A new report shows that female Grade 8 students are outperforming their male counterparts in Canada on reading and science, with no discernable difference between the two genders in math skills.

The report, released Monday, outlines the results of the 2010 Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) from the Council of Ministers of Education in Canada.

It's based on test results from 32,000 Grade 8 students from more than 1,600 schools across the country, providing a national report card.

Girls scored better than boys in both science and reading, lending credence to the view that boys need a push in several subjects.

Break-down by province
Students in Quebec and Ontario scored above the national average on math. They scored near the national average in Alberta, and below the average in all other provinces and territories tested.

When it comes to science, students in Alberta and Ontario scored above the national average. They scored near the national average in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, and below the average in all other provinces and territories tested.

On the reading portion, students in Ontario and Alberta scored above the national average. They scored near the national average in British Columbia, and below the average in all other provinces and territories tested.

When it comes to reading and writing there is a problem with how boys view reading and writing, according to Denis Mildon, an independent consultant who helped ensure that CMEC collected the data properly and helped write the report.

Read the rest here.

Health ministers sound alarm on childhood obesity

Canada's health ministers issued separate but similar warnings Thursday that obesity — specifically childhood obesity — is now a critical national health concern and a major contributor to rising health-care costs.

Obesity is the "next epidemic," said federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, speaking in Ottawa to a Senate committee studying the health system. "Our children will not live to our age because of obesity."

Provincial and territorial health ministers, meeting in Halifax, were even more emphatic.

"It's not the next epidemic, it's the present epidemic," said Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc, a medical doctor, whose remark prompted a joint nodding of heads by his 12 provincial and territorial colleagues at a news conference here.

Read the full story here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

HOJA Success... Again

Another great session with the team from HOJA was enjoyed at the school earlier this month.  The popular performers sang (a cappella) a wide variety of tunes from singers including: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Alabama (see pic), Mrs. Karlson was regaled with 'Brown Eyed Girl', and the crowd joined in on 'YMCA' - Mr. Barkley's favourite.  The performance ended with a great message to follow your dreams, believe in yourself and never give up.

There was also an unidentified 'volunteer' performer from the audience who by all accounts was enthusiastic if a little perplexed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two Interesting Articles

These were sent in by Roxane: "How to raise an appreciative child" and "Pack those lunch bags with tasty inspiration".  (I guess the second answers the first). 

Thanks Roxane, if anyone else comes across a story they'd like to share please send it in - we'd be happy to post it.

Minister of Education Teleconference: Open to All

The Minister of Education is hosting a teleconference with parents and school councils at 7:45 pm on November 29th to discuss education.

  The Minister believes that parents play an important role in the education system, and is interested in hearing directly from them.

  Parents and School Council representatives are invited to participate in the conference call with the Honourable Thomas Lukaszuk, Minister of Education to discuss priorities for the next several months for Alberta's education system.

  Participants are encouraged to gather as a group to dial in where possible.

  The call will begin at 7:45 PM on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 and will take approximately 1 hour.
Please dial in at least 15 to 20 minutes ahead of time to the number listed below, as it will take time for all participants to be queued into the call and ensure participation.

Dial in information: 1-888-789-9572
Conference ID: # 5634664

  When participants dial in they will be greeted by a conference operator asking for the conference ID, the person's name, school and school authority. Participants will be able to ask a limited number of questions following the Minister's comments.

  All questions and responses will be heard by all participants and the Minister will answer as many questions as possible in the time allotted. If you experience any problems during the conference call, please stay on the line to speak to the operator.

  If participants have any questions in the days leading up to the teleconference, please contact Maureen Melnyk, Education Manager, Learning Supports & Information Management, at maureen.melnyk@gov.ab.ca or by telephone at 780-427-6272, or by calling toll free at 310-0000.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Calgarians homeschooling through board programs

(From the CBC website)

Home schooling programs through the Calgary Board of Education have seen a 30 per cent rise in the number of parents taking part.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembrance display at Deer Valley Co-op

Thanks to all who attended our Remembrance Day assembly. The event was a very respectful, student-generated honour to all of those who have served our country. I was extremely proud of the time, energy and ownership our students demonstrated. If it is at all possible, try to stop in at the Deer Valley Co-op this Remembrance Day. Co-op will be displaying art produced by Room 11's grade 5/6 students. Be sure to pop in and take a look.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Calgary public school board drops plan to build wind turbine at E.P. Scarlett High School

(From the Calgary Herald website)

The city's public school board is abandoning its plan to install a 42.7 metre-high wind turbine in a school ground because of public concerns.

When the Calgary Board of Education unveiled its proposal for the $290,000 machine at Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School during a public meeting last week, area residents complained they had not been adequately consulted.

While officials said the noise from the nine-metre-long blades would not be audible in homes that are as little as 130 metres away from the planned turbine site, CBE spokesman Richard Peter said in a phone message that the board listened to the feedback from neighbours in the nearby Canyon Meadows and Southwood subdivisions and decided not to proceed.

The full article can be read here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Not all children would thrive in all-day kindergaten

Michelle Bamford’s afternoon kindergarten students are sitting at her feet looking up at her in that open, starry-eyed kind of way that five-year-olds do.

These 19 students at West Springs Elementary School in southwest Calgary will spend about two and a half hours in her class this day and every week day, but that could change next year for kindergarten students, if Premier Alison Redford lives up to her leadership campaign promise to bring in full-day kindergarten across the province.

So the natural question is: Does full-day kindergarten make sense? Will it benefit children or just be an added convenience for parents who work outside the home — eliminating the need for additional daycare? Is the cost-benefit analysis of spending an additional $200 million worth it in the long run? Should full-day kindergarten be mandatory or optional?

Read the full story here.

Proposed wind turbine at E.P. Scarlett High School stirs stormy debate. What do you think?

(From the Calgary Herald website)

Community residents claim they weren’t ‘properly informed’

What began as a staid open house on a proposed 47-metre-tall wind turbine slated for a school ground turned stormy Wednesday when some southwest residents demanded to know why they weren’t “properly informed” of the Calgary Board of Education’s plan and questioned how such a project will benefit the community or even the environment.

While board officials defended the proposal as a superior learning tool for students, staff and residents, visitors to the open house at E.P. Scarlett High School accused the CBE of not being transparent.

“It really aggravates me that the board doesn’t bother to notify people of these things in a public way,” said Christine Ingham, who lives in Canyon Meadows and says she found out about the meeting by accident.

“And then, we get here and see there is no balanced information, just how great they think it is.”

Read more here.

Education Act put on hold

Alberta's new education act needs more work and has been pulled from this fall's legislative session, the province announced Thursday.

Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk said more consultation will be held on Bill 18 over the next few months. The move comes after school boards and other organizations identified some outstanding issues with the proposed act.

"I want to hear from as many individuals as I possibly can. What their view of the act as it is structured right now is and what the possibilities are to make this act even better," Lukaszuk said Thursday.

"I want to make sure that in this province for the sake of our kids and those entering our school system for many years to come, we have the best piece of legislation possible."

Bill 18 was tabled last spring by Dave Hancock, who was then Alberta's education minister.

Read the full article here.