Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Students wear pink tomorrow!

Tomorrow is wear pink day! In support of the 2012 Pink Shirt Day, we are asking students to wear pink in support of the “Bullying Stops Here” initiative. If possible, please support this day as we help to promote a bully-free life.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

School Fees Review


The CBE is in the process of conducting a school fees review. This work provides parents with a valuable opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas regarding fees.

Some of you may have already participated in parent focus groups, but there are some additional opportunities coming up to share your views. We would really appreciate your active involvement. This is a chance for you to be heard.

How can you participate?

1. Complete this 10-minute online survey by March 5 at the following link: http://www.cbeparentsurvey.com/
2. Attend a parent focus group to discuss fees 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the Education Centre (1221 – 8 Street SW). Full details and to RSVP: http://www.cbe.ab.ca/New/spotlights11-12/120210-parents-share.asp. All parents are welcome to attend.

Thank you for taking the time to ensure the parents of our school community are represented in this process. It will have an important influence on decision-making for the coming year.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


By Dahlia Kurtz, Special to QMI Agency - found on the canoe.ca website.

Little boy: "Can I get this gum? It has 0% fat."

Mom: "Sweetie, you don't have to worry about fat for another year or two."

Why does this child care about fat? And why does mom reinforce that this should be a "worry" in his near future?

February marks the time of year for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week in Canada, but this is something we should be aware of year-long.

Click here to read the full-fat article.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

‘Scrooge of Valentine’s Day’ backs down: Md. school can celebrate holiday again

By Michael S. Rosenwald

Thanks for the article, Roxane!

The hammer on Valentine’s Day came down swiftly and achingly last year at Walkersville Elementary School near Frederick.

Because of what she called “inappropriate interactions between boys and girls in the classroom,” Principal Stephanie Brown canceled Valentine’s Day inside the corridors of her otherwise agreeable educational institution.

No cards. No decorations. No party.

“The Scrooge of Valentine’s Day is alive in Walkersville,” a parent wrote in a letter to the Frederick News-Post.

Click here for the full article

Monday, February 13, 2012

New website rounds up student performance, school board funding data for Alberta parents

By Matt McClure, Calgary Herald

The province has created one-stop shopping on the Internet where parents can scrutinize the student performance and provincial funding of Alberta school boards.

And Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk said in the coming months, his department will post reports with unprecedented specifics on how trustees and administrators spend the $6.2 billion they receive from taxpayers.

Interested? Read more of this story here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Explore the Rockies on a budget

Family fun doesn't need to break the bank
By Sarah Deveau, Calgary Herald

The Rockies really are our back-yard playground. But the price to play can be steep if you're interested in embarking on a canyon tour, skiing the slopes or staying in a luxury resort.

What's a family on a budget to do if they'd like to take advantage of the winter wonderland just an hour's drive away?

Tanya Koob, who blogs at familyadventuresinthecanadianrockies.blogspot.com, has the answer.

Read all about it here

Interesting article submitted by a parent

(From the Today's Parent website) 
By Randi Chapnik Myers, Originally published in Today's Parent February 2012

When parents cheat

Infidelity has become almost commonplace—and when parents do it, much more than their marriage is on the line

Marcie Katz* knew her marriage was shaky, but she had no intention of breaking up the family over it. “We have two kids and I had so much guilt about feeling unhappy in my marriage,” she recalls. “Leaving is not easy.”

Read the full article here.

T.O. full-day kindergarten on chopping block

(From the Canoe.ca website)

Parents love it. Critics call it free all-day babysitting.

Love it or hate it, the government’s costly new full-day kindergarten program is on the chopping block.
Don Drummond will propose axing the all-day school program for tots in his much anticipated report on ways to control government spending, a senior Queen’s Park source says.

Read about Toronto's kindergarten concerns here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Parent Focus Group

The following message was sent out by Karen Drummond, Communications Advisor with the CBE:

"The CBE is holding a parent focus group to get input from parents with children in high school regarding fees, as follows: Thursday, Feb. 96:30 – 8:30 p.m.Library, Lord Beaverbrook High School9019 Fairmount Drive SE If you would be interested in participating, please RSVP by responding to this e-mail  (email link inserted for your convenience - Nick) so we can plan appropriately. Or if you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you, Karen."

Monday, February 6, 2012

CBE begins hearings on $30 million in school fees

By Matt McClure, Calgary Herald

The city’s public school board is starting its promised public consultation on the $30.3 million it charges for supplies, busing and lunch hour supervision.

Parents who had previously expressed an interest in Calgary Board of Education “engagement initiatives” were sent an invitation Friday to a series of focus groups on school fees that are being held across the city over this coming week.

Read more here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

"I Don't Know"


    • Why is water wet?
    • How do aeroplanes stay in the air?
    • How do I do long division?
    • How much does the earth weigh?
    Do these questions stress you out? If so, you aren't the only one. I read this great article about parent's reluctance to say "I don't know" to their kids in the Huffington Post today by David Suzuki and thought you might like it. 
    Many parents ... believe they must appear infallible in the eyes of their children. A U.K. survey found that some moms and dads fear questions such as "Why is the sky blue?" and "Why is the moon out during the day?" Math and science queries were the biggest stumpers. - D. Suzuki
     Beware though: this is David Suzuki, so it naturally leads to political and environmental issues... the linked article from the UK sticks better to the point of the story with some great examples.

    Showcase success

    Our school showcase was well attended last night with parents and students touring the school to experience many of the accomplishments of the year-to-date. From student "docents" leading visitors through learning, to fabulous displays of artwork, to trying out recently purchased musical instruments (funded by the HMSPA), to signing up for Public Library cards or viewing presentations by Alberta Health services, an informative time seemed to be had by all.

    As much time and preparation goes into such an evening, we certainly value feedback and comments to help make the experience even better. Please let us know your thoughts!

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Children at Home Alone

    Often a contentious and guilt-inducing decision.  Is my child mature and savvy enough to be left alone at home?  Some parents agonize over this question, some are blase, some don't even consider it, some have no choice.  There is hope...

    Child Safe Canada gives a short course/seminar to kids aged 7 - 16 called Home Alone Safety and First Aid.  It provides an interactive safety program that prepares our kids for being alone at home safely.  Its two hours long and cost $30.00 - follow the above link for the schedule.  Our 11 year old went last week and by his account  it was very worthwhile (to be honest what he said was *shrug* "it was alright I guess").  But judging by the work book he brought home, it did look like they covered a lot of important things that parents might not think about.

    I've heard various beliefs about the lawfulness of leaving children alone so did a quick Google search and found the provincial guidelines here. There is no law but 'many Albertans expect families to arrange care or supervision for children left alone under the age of 12' - sounds pretty wishy-washy to me but I guess its a good guideline.  What do you think?  Is under 12 too young to be left alone?  What about under 10? Or 8?

    Meeting Parents at the School

    Illustrated by Clare Mallsion

    Interesting article sent in by Roxane - thanks.

    Six Ways to Meet Other Parents at Your Kid's School

    “Knowing other school parents is important for the safety and well-being of your child,” says Karen Acton, a principal in Guelph, Ont. “You want to feel comfortable sending your child to someone else’s house to play. Plus, you’re more aware of homework, assignments and classroom happenings.”

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Using the Outdoor Rinks? Read This!

    This is a post to thank the talented and very dedicated volunteers who make and maintain our outdoor ice.  The QCA ice is among the best in the city; skaters come from other neighbourhoods because they know how superior the Queensland ice crew is at making a great sheet.

    I've spent more time on the outdoor rink this year than ever before and the Floor Hockey group has been taking advantage of the rink as well so I wanted to use this forum to thank Panger and his 'posse' of talented volunteers for working so hard.

    The outdoor facility gives many kids (and kids-at-heart) a safe and friendly environment to skate, play hockey, improve, visit, practice, meet, gossip, watch, help, teach, compete, congregate and be a community.  So if you see any of the volunteers who make it possible, say 'thanks - good job' because they deserve it.  Let the Community Association know how much you appreciate it too - it takes funding to keep the whole thing going so they need to know how much it means to us.  Let us know on the blog too - if you use the ice, click on 'comment' below and let the volunteers know what it means to you.

    Some tidbits:
    • Three 'senior' volunteers get up early each morning and spend about three hours sweeping, edging and flooding the ice - thanks Ken, Steve, and Wayne.
    • Aaron (Panger), Stephan, Ryan, Michael, Jesse, and Tyler are the night crew who make sure the ice, boards, nets, lights, walkways, benches, dressing room are ready for the morning guys.
    • Panger is always looking for help.  You don't need to necessarily commit to a huge amount of time but if you have an hour or two a week to spare; come by and ask how you can help or call the QCA @ 403-278-3366 and leave a message.
    • Donations of hockey gear of any sort are always welcome, many kids come to play but not all of them have all they need, help them out with anything you have.
    • The facility just had a huge upgrade with the installation of the fencing over the boards to keep errant pucks where they belong.
    • The next big step will be the acquisition of a full size ice-resurfacer and shed to keep it in.  Look for future fund raising activity for that.

    School Showcase Evening!

    Haultain Memorial will be hosting a "School Showcase" evening tomorrow, February 2nd from 6:30 to 8:00pm. This will be a great opportunity to visit classes and see many of the exciting things occurring at HMS. The "open house" format will allow you to move from classroom to classroom, view art, try some activities, and see presentations from our school nurse and other presenters. We hope to see you all there!

    Ten Most Educated Countries in the World

    Interesting finance article on Yahoo this morning.  Not a big surprise that there is a link between money spent on education and having large numbers of educated people in your country, but there's also a link between the highest numbers of educated people among the richest countries by GDP.  Look who's number 1!