Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Community Clean-up Day Saturday, June 16th

Do you take pride in your home, yard, or community? Do you cringe at the sight of garbage piles left in the alley? Do you have a pile of junk you'd love to get rid of? Would you and your family like to help keep the community clean? If you've answered yes to any of those questions, keep Saturday, June 16th open. (If you answered "no" to all of them, keep playing them online video games). There will be free "junk disposal" available at the Queensland Community Centre from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and while some items are NOT permitted, many items are. Volunteers will also meet to address park litter and some local graffiti. Students at HMS will be pitching in with a school yard clean up during the week prior, and if the kids are willing to do their part... how about you? Help us show care for our community. Click HERE for more details on the Community Clean-up Day, (or HERE for help with that video game addiction).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CBE Parent Meeting About Fees

Calgary Board of Education held the final of 8 division meetings in the last two weeks tonight, to solicit parent input on fee structures for the 2012-2013 school year.  It was a well represented and lively meeting, consisting of  board staff, trustees, students and well over 50 parents.  The bottom line of this meeting was to find out if  you think fees should be user based, meaning fees will only be paid for the services you use.  If you choose to send your child to an alternate program (eg. Willow Park, French Immersion, Spanish Immersion, etc.)  then you pay for the bus service or if you choose to use the lunch program then you will pay for that service.  Some great concerns and ideas were generated out of this meeting, here are a few ideas and comments:
 - many areas have no schools but will still be charged for bussing should they choose an alternative program.
-  promises made by the CBE in the past have not been honoured, therefore how can we trust what they say this time.
-  the user pay system is the begining of a two tier education system.
-  what about the families that would like to choose an alternative program, but now could not afford it.
-  many wondered how the fees are being calculated.
-  french is an official language therefore should not be considered an alternative program.
-  there will no longer be a family fee cap, meaning it doesnt matter how many children in a family, each child will have to pay the same
-  public education is exactly that, public education and all programs and services provided by the CBE should remain equal.
-  could there be a deal worked out with Calgary Transit to help reduce costs.
-  are there any ideas about how to generate money to help subsidize the "gap".

These are just a few highlights, there was a lot more passionate discussion.  The Calgary Board of Education also stressed the fact that this was a very time sensitive issue, and a decision will have to be made very quickly in order to prepare fees for the upcoming school year.  There will be a final opportunity to shsare your views at a system wide meeting meaning Thursday May 31st, 7:00-9:30 in the Western Canada High School (641 - 17th Ave SW).  CBE has asked for your opinion and this would be an excellent platform for you to give it!  See you there.


Monday, May 28, 2012

#bully PROOF

This week on CBC news network, Mark Kelley looks into the reality of bullying in Canada. The documentary series, called #bully PROOF, airs every night this week from 6pm- 7pm.  To watch the You Tube trailer, click here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Technology enhances, but doesn't replace great teaching

With everything from smartphones, and tablets to iPods and SMARTBoards, technology's role and potential in teaching and learning changes almost as fast as the products themselves. While technology certainly can impact learning and change schools, it can't replace great teaching, writes Brandon Busteed in this blog post about The Atlantic's recent Technologies in Education forum. Like technology, which often engages, inspires and individualizes instruction, the best teachers consistently establish relationships, inspire students, and get to know students individually, Busteed writes. "Simply put, great teaching is about emotionally engaging the learner in a way that is individualized." Click HERE for the full article.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Raising an Honest Child

Raising a child to always tell the truth should be straight forward.  Yet children (and adults) can fall short of the truth at times.  This article from Yahoo! Voices offers helpful steps to raise an honest child.  Click here and let's keep them honest!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Labour leader worried CBE is becoming ‘dysfunctional’

CALGARY — A cadre of union leaders say they have growing concerns about the conduct of Calgary public school trustees, pointing to the debate over a five-month-old tweet as a symptom of worrisome discord.

On Tuesday night Calgary Board of Education trustees deliberated three hours behind closed doors about a tweet linking to incorrect information trustee Sheila Taylor made in December, and a related dispute over who should sign a letter requesting a newspaper correction.

They came to no conclusion, and a decision on whether Taylor will be stripped of her role as audit committee chair has now been bumped to May 22.

Calgary public school employees to take strike vote today

By Richard Cuthbertson, Calgary Herald

Nearly 5,000 employees of Calgary's public school system are headed for a strike vote today, frustrated they have been working without a contract for 18 months.
CBE staff association chair Lois Robb said union members - who include everyone from lunch supervisors, educational assistants to psychologists - have been without a deal with the Calgary Board of Education since their agreements expired in August 2010.
A CBE spokesman said the school board won't be commenting on contract negotiations.

Choosing a Campsite

May long weekend is almost here!  Going camping? 
Check out this short article on tips for choosing the right campsite. 

Click here to read!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Haultain's Biggest Fund Raiser of the Year!

We've got the dates of the casino - Friday, November 2nd and Saturday, November 3rd.

Please save the date, and come out to volunteer! Casino funds are what gives your Haultain Parent Association the funds to pay for busing, inline skating, artists in residence, gym equipment, field trips, iPods, laptops, smartboards... the list is long. This is the Association's biggest fund raising event for the year - please consider donating your time to come out and help!

Ask Martine Myrthu for a volunteer form by email (click here for her email link) or call 403-254-4788 to let her know you're interested in helping out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Child Safe Canada

Child Safe Canada is a great organization partnered with the Canadian Red Cross, Alberta Safety Council, Alberta Poison Centre, and  College of First Aid Training.  Together they offer some fabulous classes and training for our kids at a very reasonable price.  Whether its a quick 2 hour course for kids aged 6-11 or the 10 hour babysitting with CPR program, consider empowering your children with some life skills and street smarts at Child Safe Canada.  A small step toward making our community a little bit safer for everyone. Here is a link to the programs available. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

CAPSC Notice

Please join the Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils for our last meeting of the school year.  Our meeting will be held this Wednesday May 16th 7:00pm AE Cross School library.  We welcome all to attend and would like to encourage our members to bring along other parents from your schools.

- This month we welcome Lois Robb president of the Staff Association

- Jenny Regal, current president of the ATA Local 38, will be speaking

- Following the presentations we will be presenting questions to our membership regarding school fees.  The executive would like to gather recommendations from school council representatives that can be shared with senior administration at the CBE to improve dialogue and help minimize complaints.

The Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils is an incorporated not-for-profit association that provides relevant and ongoing information and support to parents and school councils in the Calgary Board of Education. Our monthly meetings offer a forum for discussion of important education issues amongst parents and with key education stakeholders such as trustees, CBE administration and Alberta Education.  Check out our website at and make sure to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.  Please feel free to forward this information to any interested parents.

Leanne Long
Communications Coordinator
Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils

Friday, May 11, 2012

And now... we nap!

Staff at HMS enjoyed a sumptuous and spectacular spread today, provided by our wonderful parent group. Parents organised a "staff appreciation" luncheon and went all out to pamper us, transforming our staffroom into a stylish and beautiful eating area, complete with restaurant style seating and orchid and bamboo center pieces. Some of the MANY extraordinary treats included amazing appetizers, a wide array of salads, a Thai soup, dip, chili, lasagne, ribs, BBQ shredded beef, cedar plank mashed potatoes, Moroccan chicken, pop and punch, and numerous delectable deserts, including a very special cake in honour of Mrs. Kipp. The food was so amazing (and plentiful) that images of a particular scene from the movie The Meaning of Life leapt to mind. A particularly touching moment came when Mrs. Kipp was presented with a scrapbook of memories, written by students and compiled by Tracey Thompson. Together, the staff shared the first of many special moments, honouring Mrs. Kipp and her work at HMS.

Many thanks to all of the volunteers who came together to put on this tremendous feast. Your appreciation was (and is) deeply appreciated!

Alternative Program Participants Protest

A few weeks ago, parents of kids in the CBE were asked to fill out a questionnaire about school fees to give the CBE an idea of how we felt and what would be fair.

One of the questions pertained to bus fees for students in alternative programs. Another asked about lunch fees for kids who can walk to school and those who are forced to take the bus.  Presumably the answers to these questions helped inform the decisions that were made by the CBE about the fees.  The new structure has raised the ire of some parents who will be paying almost double the cost for a bus ride and lunch supervision:
"Under the new model, fees are scheduled to jump to $430 next school year for students bused to alternative programs. Those in regular programs will pay just $215, but all bused students will now be charged an additional lunch supervision fee." - source.
Naomi Johnson, Chief Superintendent at the CBE has heard the complaints and is holding 5 more community input meetings to address all concerns. The dates: May 14, May 22, May 23, May 28, and May 31.  All meeting details here.  

What do you think?  Should families who opt for alternative programs (like Montessori, an all girls school, or the science school at Langevin for example) get subsidized busing so their kids can take advantage of a program offered outside of their jurisdiction? Or should they foot the bill for the choice they make?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reflections of Motherhood

With Mother's Day being on Sunday, this YouTube video offers a unique reflection on motherhood.  Created by UnMarketing, the four minute video is worth watching, as it provides thoughtful advice for moms-to-be by women who are already moms.  Please click on the link to watch it and comment below if it strikes your emotions!  Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Parents invited to learn and share ideas about 2012-13 school fees

More than 4,000 Calgarians told us what they expected regarding the setting, managing and communicating of student fees. From that input, a new fee framework has been established for the 2012-13 school year.

A system parent meeting and upcoming Area meetings will provide parents with opportunities to learn more about the process for determining 2012-13 school fees. Parents will also have the chance to ask questions and share ideas.

Please RSVP to or 403-817-7951 for the following meetings.
May 9
Area II
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Area II office, 2004 - 4 Street N.E.
May 14
Area III
6-8 p.m.
Area III office, 3743 Dover Ridge Drive S.E.
May 22
Area IV
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Area IV office, 2336 - 53 Avenue S.W.
May 23
Area I
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Area I office, 728 - 32 Street N.W.
May 28
Area V
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Area V office, 1123 - 87 Avenue S.W.
May 31
System parent meeting
7-9 p.m.
Location to be determined

Area V meeting
Parents are invited to attend the following meeting:
May 9
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Area V Office
Haysboro Centre
123 - 87 Avenue S.W.

Topic: Lord Beaverbrook Presentation - Focus on Student Assessment to Improve Achievement


System parent meeting
We regret that we had to cancel the April 11 system parent meeting on short notice and apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced by this change. Everyone who RSVP'd for the meeting received a direct e-mail communicating the change. For all others, a group e-mail was sent out but it appears that there may have been some technical issues as not everyone received it.
The meeting was cancelled due to low confirmed attendance. It is important for people to RSVP if they plan to attend so we have an accurate representation of how many people are expected and so that we can be sure to communicate directly with you about any changes. There were six parents confirmed to attend at the time the decision was made to reschedule the meeting. The new date for the meeting is May 31 and the topic will be 2012-13 school fees (noted as part of top item).

Provide input on personalized learning to assist schools in planning AISI initiatives

Many parents participated in the community engagement process for the CBE's Alberta Initiative for School Improvement  (AISI) initiative recently. This input helped in the design of the CBE's AISI proposal for Alberta Education.

Part of the engagement process included an online survey. This survey has been re-opened to allow schools the opportunity to use this tool in gathering input from their school communities about school-specific initiatives.

If you have ideas you would like to share, please complete the survey posted on the AISI Cycle 5 website.

Five Things You Shouldn't Say to Your Kids

Here is a short article on "things you shouldn't say to your kids" from Team Mom on Yahoo. 

Click on the link below to read!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Staff Appreciation Luncheon

It’s that time of year when we pay homage to our staff.

Friday, May 11th is the date set for our Staff Appreciation Luncheon. In the past, parents have contributed their “family favourites” to create a hearty & sumptuous repast. If you haven’t time to cook or bake perhaps you could volunteer for set up or clean up duty. Please let me know what you would like to prepare. And remember no peanuts. I can be reached by email at

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Is your family thinking about adopting a dog this summer?  Check out TLC's list of ten best dog breeds for a family, by clicking on the link below.