Wednesday, October 31, 2012

No zeros, mandatory school fees don’t belong in Education Act, MLAs say

By Sarah O'Donnell, Calgary Herald
Alberta MLAs have rejected attempts to rejig the Progressive Conservatives proposed Education Act to include a ban on mandatory school fees, enshrine a teacher’s right to assign a grade of “zero” or to reference to the province’s human rights laws.Opposition parties introduced several amendments to Bill 3, the Education Act, during a debate that started Tuesday morning and lasted until about 1 a.m. Wednesday.
The act, which will replace the School Act that has governed Alberta’s K-12 education system for more than two decades, is the third version of the proposed changes to be introduced in the legislature in the last two year.

Monday, October 29, 2012


As you know, Halloween is on Wednesday and Haultain will be celebrating it!  Please remember that the school is accepting donations this week for the Coins for the Cauldron campaign.  Also, your child can bring in their decorated pumpkin on Wednesday morning to display for the school. Don't forget to bring them home at the end of the day! Students can change into costumes at lunch and will be able to show them off in the assembly in the afternoon.  Costumes portraying gore or violence are not permitted.  Mrs. O'Connor would like families to keep nutrition in mind if snacks are being sent to school that day, as well as to continue to pack good food for recess snacks and lunches this week.  Keep those kids' bodies fueled for learning!

Today's Parent magazine offers helpful tips for an easy, fun, healthy and safe Halloween this year.  Everything from recipes, costume ideas and simple pumpkin carving tips, to more serious issues such as safety on Halloween night and the maximum age children should be to still trick or treat.

Check out the stories here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Alberta's New Education Act

On Tuesday, Alberta's new Education Act was introduced in the legislature.  The new bill contains anti-bullying measures, acknowledging that all education partners, including parents, students, teachers, administrators and trustees, need to work together to ensure a safe learning environment. Bill 3 formally recognizes the role of parents as a child's most important teacher.  In the new act, the mandatory age a child must stay in school was raised from sixteen years to seventeen.

Read all the details here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Excercise Programs in Schools

In his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr. John Ratey reveals how exercise improves brain performance.  According to Ratey, research proves that rigorous movement before learning helps create optimal brain function.  In response to Ratey's research, five Canadian cities have implemented exercise programs to improve academic performance, behavior and concentration of students.  Read the full story here

Ratey's website,, focuses on transforming America's sedentary lifestyle.  The goal of the website is to improve children's capacity to learn by helping bring movement back into their schools and lives. The website claims that exercise reduces the negative effects of stress, manages mental health issues such as ADD, anxiety, depression and maintains cognitive ability.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CBE Privacy Breach

A Calgary Board of Education employee's laptop, containing over 2,000 student report cards from kindergarten to grade 9, was stolen from a vehicle this month.  The report cards contained students' photographs, identification numbers and high school students' phone numbers and home addresses.  The full story from the Calgary Herald is here.

Calgary teacher saves choking student's life

from the CBC website

Girl choked on sandwich during a science class at William Aberhart High School

A Calgary teacher is being credited with saving a student’s life after she started to choke on a sandwich during class.

Gerry Doak, a Grade 10 science teacher at William Aberhart High School, is crediting some lifesaving training for how the situation played out.

Two weeks ago, a student started choking during Doak’s morning class.

“It's sort of like sort of hollow gulp and you're aware that there's no breath getting through,” said Doak.

Read the full story here.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Council and Association Meeting

Hi, Parents - just a quick note to remind everyone that the Haultain Parent Council/Association meeting is this Thursday at 6:30 in the library. The agendas for the meeting are being made today and tomorrow. If you'd like to attend the meeting and present an issue in person, let me know and I can schedule some speaking time to interested parties. Please use the 'Let Parent Council Have Your Feedback!' link to the right of the page to email me with requests.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

No-zero policy given failing mark by parents

About 50 parents attended a parent council meeting last night to review the ban on giving zeros for assignments not handed in or missed exams.

Parents leaving the meeting, which was closed to the media, told CBC News the policy was vigourously opposed.

Read the full story here. 

CBE classrooms could be named after donors. What do you think?

By Richard Cuthbertson, Calgary Herald

CALGARY — Calgary public school students in future years could be learning carpentry in school workshops named after, say, a home improvement store, or mixing fluids in a science lab bearing the title of an engineering giant.

The Calgary Board of Education has opened the door to classrooms and other school spaces being named after corporate donors and individuals who donate to school programs.

CBE administration changed two of its regulations last month, departing from a 2004 board decision that refused to entertain any part of a school being named for a contributor.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bullying Myths and Facts is a website designed to increase the awareness of bullying and to prevent, resolve and eliminate bullying in our society.  There is valuable information available on this site, including a list of myths and facts about bullying.  For example, the site addresses the fact that bullying is a learned behaviour and can be changed.  Furthermore, the informative list explains that bullying can be stopped when adults in authority and peers get involved.  Check out the website for more information and click here to read the "myths and facts" list.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Key Communiqué

(This Key Communiqué comes from Karen Drummond of the CBE)

Council of school councils created
This school year the Board of Trustees is establishing a "council of school councils." This committee will be comprised of school council chairs (or an appropriate designate), members of the Board of Trustees and representatives from administration. The purpose of this committee is for trustees and parents to have an opportunity to work together, to share information, to discuss concerns and to plan for the future.
Meetings will be scheduled a minimum of two times in the school year. For 2012-13 there are two meetings currently scheduled. Both are 6:45 – 9 p.m. at the Education Centre (1221 – 8 Street SW) with free underground parking provided.

The meeting dates are:
  • Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Smaller trustee-hosted meetings to be held
During the 2012-13 school year, the Board of Trustees will be hosting small meetings and inviting school council chairs (or designates) from the same geographic area to discuss ideas, concerns and plans for the future. Dates and times will be announced later.

New 2012-2013 school council handbook available online
We wish to provide you with tools and resources that will be helpful to you as you do your work. One of those resources is the 2012-13 School Council Handbook. There are two versions of the handbook.
1.    A 16-page handbook with the most important information you need about CBE school councils. 
2.    A more comprehensive online handbook with templates, checklists and additional information relevant to school councils. When printed, it is also helpful for parents who don’t have computers.
Both versions are available online in the resources section at:

Share your ideas about school councils at the CBE
As the CBE explores new ways to work with school councils, we'd like to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please take five to 10 minutes to complete this survey. Your input will help us plan for the year ahead and beyond. It will also help us to communicate as effectively as possible with our school councils.
This survey closes Oct. 8.

Update your 2012-13 school council contacts
Please be sure your school council stays informed and up-to-date in the coming year. Please e-mail with the name, phone number and e-mail address of your school council chair and key communicator or another school council member. We like to have two contacts on our circulation list in the event school council members change throughout the year.

ASCA district membership for all CBE school councils
The CBE Board of Trustees is pleased to provide all its school councils with membership in the Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) for 2012-13 and 2013-14.

CAPSC calendar of events to be finalized soon
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 CBE. Monthly meetings offer a forum for discussion of important topics in education. Sign up for the monthly e-newsletter to stay informed.

New administrative regulation on use of social media

School councils will want to be familiar with a new administrative regulation, AR1067, on
the use of social media.
AR1067: Use of Social Media

If you have any questions about this policy, please email

Public invited to tour award-winning historic building
The CBE is participating in Doors Open YYC Naked on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You are invited to visit the award-winning historic Dr. Carl Safran Centre to experience a historical classroom and a future of learning lab that demonstrate how far education has come and where it may be going in the future. Trustees along with CBE employees will be onsite to talk with visitors.Doors Open YYC is a city-wide event that invites people to see and experience public buildings. The public is granted access—free of charge—to 35 premier sites that allow them to get to know Calgary in a way that has never been possible before. Check out the full list of participating sites at

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

CBE trustees raise red flags about their own conduct

By Richard Cuthbertson, Calgary Herald

After taking a hard look at themselves, Calgary Board of Education trustees have flagged a series of concerns about their own conduct, touching on everything from honesty to meeting preparation.

An annual self-evaluation report finds trustees worry a series of issues are “hindering” their performance as a board.

They range from trustees undermining board decisions in public, to individual trustees making unreasonable requests of the chief superintendent.

The seven trustees and Chief Superintendent Naomi Johnson gathered a month ago for a self-evaluation.

Of the group of eight, seven identified concerns about trustees embarrassing each other.

Read the full story here.

CBE says students scoring well in tests and exams

(From the CBC Website) 

The Calgary Board of Education says its students measure up well in achievement tests and diploma exams. It says students in grades three, six and nine outperformed the provincial numbers both in acceptable and excellence standards.

 In addition, marks improved for Grade 12 diploma tests over last year. The CBE says the marks for biology, chemistry and physics 30 were exceptional. But students in science 30 aren't doing as well as expected. The board is now trying to find out why.