Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hitmen/CBE Hockey Night

The CBE is getting together with the Calgary Hitmen to help raise funds for 'Fuel for School' breakfast program.  See a game for $10.00 and help out a worthy cause at the same time.  Click here or on the picture for more information.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Homework Discussion

The following post from the blog at "Parents of Wilma Hansen" has been generating a lot of feedback, although the K-6 homework situation is different, the same principles apply - what's your thought?


During the last parent association meeting there was a discussion about homework.  Homework is always a bit of a hot button topic and stances and attitudes seem to go in cycles.  But always the basic question is asked - how much is too much?  To answer that question, I did some very basic research a la Google.

According to Duke University psychologist Harris Cooper, homework amount should be guided by the '10 minute rule'.  This guideline has been endorsed by National PTA and the National Education Association.  The rule is essentially 10 minutes per grade.  So, a student in Grade 8 should expect no more than 80 minutes of homework a night, 90 for Grade 9, 100 for grade 10, etc. For another interesting and thorough review of the homework topic, read Alfie Kohn: here he discusses rethinking homework as a principal.  I also came across this unfortunate case study from Psychology Today in which Dr. Guy Winch says:
"... study after study has shown that homework has little to do with achievement in elementary school and is only marginally related to achievement in middle school."
At the last PA meeting, the general rule that was discussed for Wilma students was 30 minutes per subject.  That could mean up to 3.5 hours of homework per night!  That plus a 6 hour school day is 9.5 hours. That's a long work day for anyone let alone a young teen.  For parents who are encouraging their children to lead well rounded lives with sports, music, social circles, quiet time (reading for enjoyment, movies, video games), and family events; that kind of time commitment for school is simply too much.

To be fair, not all teachers at Wilma will give 30 minutes of homework per day as a rule and will often only assign homework for special projects or even not at all.  But some classes/teachers are definitely pushing that 30 minute guideline on a daily basis.

What has been your experience?  Do you feel your child is getting enough to do at home? Or too much?  Fill in the comment or send an email - the PA and the school appreciate your feedback.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Parenting with Love and Logic

 During Teacher Convention this year, there will be a special Keynote Speaking event that is open to the public.  Parenting expert Jim Fay, will be speaking on Thursday, February 16 from 6:45-8:45 PM.  You can reserve your $10 tickets here.  Mr. Fay will introduce the crowd to funny, simple, and effective parenting techniques; part of the Parenting with Love and Logic program.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Message From Karen Drummond, CBE Communications Advisor

Hello everyone,

You are invited to attend the next system parent meeting, to be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, Feb. 2

Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Place: Multipurpose Room, Education Centre, 1221 – 8 Street S.W.

Parking: Free underground parking will be provided (access parkade from 12 Avenue)

Topic: How the Board of Trustees helps students succeed

: 1) attend in person or 2) participate via webinar

RSVP: kldrummond@cbe.ab.ca or 403-817-7951 (please note if attending in person or via webinar)

This meeting will provide opportunities to meet the Board of Trustees, hear presentations, engage in small group discussions and participate in a question and answer session.

Please RSVP by Jan. 31. Feel free to extend this invitation to other interested parents.

Thank you,

Karen Drummond

Communications Advisor

Calgary Board of Education | www.cbe.ab.ca

t | 403-817-7951

Ready or Not, Here I Come? Gauging Your Child's Kindergarten Readiness

From the Calgary's Child website.

Your child may be turning five before your school's deadline, but chronological age should not be the sole determinant of whether he is ready for Kindergarten. It's a huge leap from preschool, day care or the home setting to Kindergarten, with its longer, more structured day, larger class or group size and focus shift from play to academics.

If your child exhibits developmental delays, you may be wondering if he or she is ready for Kindergarten. Might he or she benefit more from an additional year of play-focused growth and maturity before facing the more difficult social and academic requirements of school?

Find out here.

Help Your Children Cope With the Winter Blues

The holidays are a whirlwind of fun and activity for children. The lights, mysterious packages, parties, new toys - it’s certainly the most wonderful time of year. But starting in January, children often feel let-down as life returns to a routine of school, homework, ordinary family life, and the winter blahs. The following suggestions from Silvana Clark, author of “Parent-Tested Ways to Grow Your Child’s Confidence” (Meadowbrook Press), are ways to help your child cope with the winter blues.

Click here to read!

Public school board boss defends ‘integrity’ of trustees

‘We haven’t handed anything off to anybody’

By Matthew McClure, Calgary Herald

The city’s public school board is poised to adopt a new policy Tuesday night that would no longer require trustees to approve hikes in busing fees, annual allocations to schools or expenditures over $500,000.

But the chairwoman of the Calgary Board of Education says that under the new policy — slated for final reading at Tuesday’s meeting — elected representatives will still have the capacity to be informed of and deal with problems.

“Our board has integrity,” Pat Cochrane told last week’s meeting of the Calgary Association of Parent and School Councils. “We haven’t handed anything off to anybody.”

Read more here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

School Zone Changes

There has been a lot of discussion in the community in regards to the playground and school zones in our area. After a chat with Peter Demong's assistant, it has been confirmed that there will a "generic" zone change to cover all times and places. The change will take place at the start of the school year, September 2012.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CBE puts off spending decision

By Katie Schneider, Calgary Sun

Parents will have to wait to see whether big spending decisions for Calgary’s public school board will be put in the hands of unelected bureaucrats.

At their regular meeting Tuesday night, trustees did not unanimously pass third reading of a motion to adopt a new governance model that would defer financial decisions worth more than $500,000 to administrators.

As a result, final approval will be postponed to another meeting on Jan. 24.

Under the Coherent Governance Model, board members would no longer vote on expenditures exceeding $500,000, transportation fees and schools’ budgets, instead deferring those decisions to unelected officials.

Read the full story here.

CBE passes new governance policy, but vote not unanimous

Trustee Taylor wants to hear back from public

By Matt McClure, Calgary Herald

The city’s public school board voted 5-1 Tuesday to adopt a policy that would no longer require trustees to approve hikes in busing fees, annual allocations to schools and expenditures over $500,000.

But with trustee Sheila Taylor refusing to make it unanimous, the Calgary Board of Education will have to wait at least a week to formally pass the new governance policy.

Taylor said she wanted a longer delay to provide for an opportunity for public feedback about the changes and to allow CBE officials to report on their impact.

“These are big changes we are contemplating. There will be big impacts,” Taylor told the meeting.

“Take some time to hear from Calgarians.”

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Public school trustees reveal secret plan to revamp their duties

(From the Calgary Herald website)

The city’s public school board plans to abandon rules that now require trustees to approve hikes in busing fees, annual allocations to schools and expenditures over $500,000.

New policies hammered out behind closed doors and unveiled Monday would instead see the Calgary Board of Education monitor its top bureaucrat once a year to ensure she “avoids long-term fiscal jeopardy” when making those decisions.

Read the full story here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

When parental protection goes into overdrive

Let’s talk about balls.

Balls and sticks and rocks and holes and puddles and pills.

Also scissors, and matches and strangers and stairs and the sun and the night and cliffs and cellphones.

And don’t forget hockey pucks and horses and loud bangs and bugs and bacon and stoves and sugar and fish hooks and Facebook.

Yes, they’re all potential dangers for children. And yes, browsing the web will yield true stories, I’m sure, of catastrophes involving a child and any one of these things. Search engines are cruel; not only do they remind us of our lack of originality, they fuel our fears of the perils everywhere, anywhere: the front yard, the frying pan, the fish bowl, every crevice our foolish forebears once thought innocuous. Thank you, Google, for making parents’ protective instincts go berserk. So much for what you don’t know won’t hurt you.

Read the full story here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Excellence in Teaching Awards

Since 1989 the Excellence in Teaching Awards Program has recognized the innovative and outstanding teaching that takes place every day in classrooms across Alberta. This program provides Albertans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the many contributions teachers make to student learning.

Parents, teacher-colleagues, principals, superintendents and all Albertans are encouraged to show their appreciation by nominating an outstanding teacher or principal for an Excellence in Teaching Award.

Interested in nominating a teacher at Haultain? Click here!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Junk food ban in Calgary schools starts today. What do you think?

(From the Calgary Herald website)

When students who attend Calgary’s public schools resume classes today after the winter holidays, they’ll notice the potato chips, chocolate bars and other sodium- and sugar-laden treats missing from the vending machines and cafeterias.

Under the Calgary Board of Education’s new nutrition policy, which took effect Jan. 1, schools will no longer sell or serve junk food to students.

“We know this is something that’s important to our schools and our learning agenda and we’ve been working toward this for some time so we’re very pleased that we’re at a place where we can bring it forward,” said Cathy Faber, superintendent for learning innovations at the Calgary Board of Education.

Click here to read the full story.