Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Seasons Greetings from the Board of Trustees and the Chief Superintendent

From the CBE:

"The holiday season is upon us once again. It’s a time to celebrate and reflect on the year that is ending.

We can’t look back on 2013 without remembering the unprecedented flood that occurred in June. It was a difficult time for so many of our communities and caused disruption to our year-end exams and activities. Yet, our teachers, staff, students, parents and volunteers pulled together as a strong, supportive community to ensure our students, schools and facilities were safe – and to support each other and those impacted by the flood.

The dedication demonstrated at that time was inspiring and continues throughout the year. We value your commitment to our students and schools and we look forward to continuing to work together to support student learning.

Best wishes for a joyous holiday and for the coming new year."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

From the CBE: Check upcoming school open houses to see choices to personalize learning

"The CBE has a rich variety of programs to personalize learning for students. A great way to learn more about these programs is to visit the many open houses that take place throughout the year. To see our full calendar of open houses click here."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Grade 3 PAT's Being Replaced with New Assessment Tool

From the CBE:

"Recently, Alberta Education let us know that Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) will be replaced with Student Learning Assessments (SLAs). These new diagnostic assessments will be administered at the beginning of the school year rather than at the end of the school year.

Moving testing to the start of the school year provides students, parents and teachers with timely information about each Grade 3 student.  This information can be used throughout the school year to build on each student’s strengths and address challenges as needed.

Alberta Education is replacing all Grade 3 PATs with Student Learning Assessments (SLAs) in 2015. The plan is for PATs to be phased out gradually as SLAs are phased in. Grade 3 PATs will be phased out first, with SLAs being administered to incoming Grade 3 students as early as September 2014. We are excited to be a part of this pilot opportunity that will help shape this tool for the benefit of students, teachers and parents.

As the 2013-14 school year is a transition year, Alberta Education gave school boards the option of participating in the old PAT testing program for Grade 3.   We have decided CBE students in Grade 3 will not be writing PATs this June. To reach this decision, we worked with principals, school communities, our teacher advisory group, other school jurisdictions and the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

Moving to SLAs aligns with the vision outlined in Alberta Education’s Inspiring Education, where education systems are more responsive to the learning needs of individual students. This also aligns with our vision of personalized learning; to adjust learning to the needs of each student.

For more information about SLAs, visit Alberta Education."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Parent Council / Association Meeting 

Are you aware that the next Parent Council Meeting and Parent Association Meeting is just around the corner?
Mark your calendars to attend our next meeting it is at Haultain Memorial School in the Library on December 10th at 6:30pm.  They are open to all and we encourage you to attend.

The agenda for the meetings are as follows:

Agenda Council December 2013
Agenda PA December 2013

 Minutes to be ratified are as follows:
Minutes Council November 2013
Minutes PA November 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Urban Coyotes

Last week, I saw a coyote walking on a sidewalk in Queensland in the middle of the afternoon.  It was alarming to me, as the animal was deeply imbedded within the community during school hours.  As a precaution, I phoned the City of Calgary (3-1-1), as well as the two nearby schools (including Haultain).  Here is some information I found on the City of Calgary website regarding urban coyotes:

"Coyotes are common in Calgary. Keep your dog leashed at all times, and pick up children or small dogs if a coyote is spotted. If you are in a remote location and spot a coyote, leave the area immediately. Never leave food in your yard, even pet food, and avoid hanging bird feeders that contain lard or suet.
For more information on coyotes, call the Coyote Hotline at 403-297-7789 or visit the Living with coyotes website.

Who should you call regarding coyotes?

  • In an emergency situation where there is immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
  • For non-emergency situations and to report coyote sightings, please call 3-1-1 (from within Calgary) or 403-268-CITY (2489) (from outside Calgary).
  • Calgarians can also report coyote sightings or injured coyotes to the Calgary district office ofAlberta Fish and Wildlife at (403) 297-6423 or 1-80

    Urban coyotes

    Calgary's natural spaces are part of what makes our communities unique. Many of us appreciate the abundance of green spaces within the city limits where we can enjoy nature and for a little while, remove ourselves from the bustle of the city.
    Enjoying those special places brings a responsibility—we must realize we share these spaces with other creatures, some of which can be dangerous on occasion.
    Coyotes are one such species. They exist within Calgary and residents need to be aware of their presence and what to do if they are encountered. Because of several factors, coyotes are not necessarily staying in traditional natural areas—they are present in many urban areas within the city. This may be happening because they are finding food sources within the city and are not discouraged from utilizing those sources.
    Although coyotes mainly feed on small mammals such as mice and rats, they will attack domestic pets. Coyotes are generally no threat to people but should be treated with respect and never approached or fed. People with small children should be especially careful with their children around animals.
    While there have been reports of coyotes attacking people, these attacks are extremely rare.
    Coyotes are part of our urban wildlife and should be enjoyed, but from a safe distance.
  • The Alberta government is responsible for wildlife management. The City of Calgary is providing this information as a public service.​"

Canadian parents willing to go into debt to put children in hockey: Are you? (with poll)

From The Calgary Herald:

"A Leger survey commissioned by CST Consultants, an RESP provider, showed that 61 per cent of Canadians say they, or someone they know, have borrowed money or used their retirement savings to put a child through hockey or other extracurricular activities.
The survey said average household spends $1,500 on hockey-related expenses – less than the typical Canadian household invests in
savings ($1,455 per year). Fewer than half of Canadian households have a Registered Education Savings Plan or RESP (45 per cent)."

Read the article from The Calgary Herald here.

Police Charge Minor With Online Threats

From the CBE:

"The safety and security of our students and staff is of utmost importance to us at the Calgary Board of Education. To that end, we support the Calgary Police Service in its efforts to serve and protect young people and are circulating the following news media release which police released today, Nov. 25. "

Read the story here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Calgary education watchdog group falls silent

Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Calgary Schools (ARTICS) no longer speaking to media
CBC website

An education watchdog group that was highly critical of Calgary's public school board has gone silent.
The Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Calgary Schools (ARTICS) formed after the 2010 election.
The group was critical of the Calgary Board of Education, saying it lacked transparency and accountability, holding too many private meetings and allowing administration to make important decisions.
One of its key members, Trina Hurdman, was elected in the election last month.
Now the remaining members of ARTICS say they’re taking a breather and won't do interviews with CBC News.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Respect Program Demonstrates CBE's Commitment to Healthy, Respectful Workplace

To support its commitment to a healthy, respectful workplace for all employees, the Calgary Board of Education has acquired the Respect in the Workplace program from Respect Group Inc.
Respect Group is the abuse, bullying and harassment prevention organization founded by Wayne McNeil and former Calgary Flames player Sheldon Kennedy.

“This online tool is an excellent way for us to build on CBE policies and practices that are already in place to support a positive workplace,” said Naomi Johnson, CBE chief superintendent. “It increases awareness and understanding of workplace harassment and appropriate behaviour, while supporting our existing regulations.”

Read the details here.

From the Board of Trustees

Citizens of Calgary elect trustees to govern the Calgary Board of Education, one of the best education systems in the world. We are elected during the municipal election, which takes place every three years. The last election was held in Oct. 2013.

We govern the CBE by establishing expectations for Results and operational performance. These are our governance policies and they give us oversight on important matters that affect all aspects of Calgary’s public education system. The Results are our expected outcomes for all students.

It is our responsibility to monitor the progress toward the Results and the performance of the CBE against our stated expectations. This monitoring takes place at public board meetings.

Who is my trustee?

Wards 1 & 2 – Joy Bowen-Eyre
Wards 3 & 4 – Lynn Ferguson
Wards 5 & 10 – Pamela King
Wards 6 & 7 – Trina Hurdman
Wards 8 & 9 – Judy Hehr
Wards 11 & 13 – Sheila Taylor
Wards 12 & 14 – Amber Stewart

Contact us:Education Centre
1221 – 8 Street S.W.
Calgary AB T2R 0L4

Winter Advisory from the CBE

"Winter has arrived and with it comes cold temperatures, wind chill and snow. Such conditions can make getting to and from school challenging. This winter season the Calgary Board of Education is reminding parents / guardians of the following:
  • Children should be well prepared for the weather and not left unattended at bus stops for any period of time, under any circumstances.
  • Parents/guardians should provide alternate arrangements for their child(ren) that provide timely shelter, if required (i.e: a neighbour who will be at home during the day).
  • Roads may be congested and slippery resulting in possible traffic and bus delays.
  • All CBE schools will remain open to provide a safe, warm and secure environment for attending students."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Parent Council Meeting

Are you aware that the next Parent Council Meeting and Parent Association Meeting is just around the corner?
Mark your calendars to attend our next meeting it is at Haultain Memorial School in the Library on November 19th at 6:30pm.  They are open to all and we encourage you to attend.

The agenda for the meetings as follows will outline what we intend to talk about.
Council Agenda Nov 2013

PA Agenda Nov 2013

Minutes for our past meetings will be reviewed at these meetings - you are encouraged to read what we have discussed at our past meetings.
Council Minutes Sept 2013

PA Minutes Sept 2013

Council Minutes Oct 2013

PA Minutes Oct 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

CBE review of meeting procedures takes back seat to other issues

Trustees vote to revisit issue next spring


Calgary public school trustees punted a motion to form a committee to review board meeting procedures until next spring, to focus, in part, on finding a new chief superintendent. Rookie trustee Trina Hurdman introduced the motion Tuesday for an ad hoc committee to examine whether board meetings at the Calgary Board of Education are in keeping with the “principles of openness and transparency.”

  Read the full story here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Calgary Parent Upset with Teacher Arranges Secret Recording in Classroom

From Global Calgary:

"A Calgary mother who says her child has been the victim of a bullying teacher now says she has the evidence to prove it.

After raising the problem with the principal of Grant MacEwan Elementary, she felt there was no resolution. Her next step was to send her son to his Grade 5 classroom with a recording device.

'We went from having a son excited and happy, to very worried and not sleeping at night and not wanting to go to school in the morning,' the mother told Global News. 'That’s when I noticed there was something I needed to look into.'
The device caught the following exchange between the teacher and another student.

Teacher: 'Can you stop making excuses? Did you call the teacher’s attention to say I was trying to write this and ask your neighbour? Did you talk to your neighbour?'
Student: 'Yeah.'
Teacher: 'Which neighbour?'
Student: 'Her- she said she didn’t know and I asked, and then I didn’t get the rest of it' (student crying)
Teacher: 'Oh, so keep crying, Prince. After you ask, I asked everybody to put a red strip on the top of their table if they needed help. Did anybody hear me say that?'
Class responds: 'Yes.'
Teacher: 'Where is your red strip?'
Student: 'I don’t know.'
Teacher: 'How then would I know you needed help? I am not a magician. Stop making me one or I will make you vanish.'

In other portions of the recording, the teacher was soft-spoken and encouraging to students.

Officials with the Calgary Board of Education say they cannot comment on the case because it is a personnel issue. They add they are aware of the concerns and have taken action to 'ensure the safety of students.'"

The tone of the teacher's voice portrays a clearer description of how the conversation was carried out.

Listen to the recorded conversation here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

CBE Trustee Candidates Forum

This past Thursday, I attended Centennial High School Parents' Association Forum for the Board of Trustees Candidates in wards 12 & 14. The attending candidates were Amber Stewart, Christina Steed, Todd Newman, Helen Mowat, Malik Amery and current trustee, for wards 11 & 13, Sheila Taylor. The two hour forum included an opening and closing remark from each candidate, as well as, an open question period by audience members directed at the panel. The evening was informative and helpful in forming my decision on what CBE trustee candidate to vote for on October 21. Here is my summary of what each candidate presented:

Amber Stewart described herself to be "well rounded," "understanding parents in the thick of it," as she is a parent of school aged children herself. She advocates for transparency, communication, more detail and discussion within the board. Stewart expressed concern around mental health issues in students, particularly at the middle school level. She offered a unique idea for future board meetings, with a "we come to you" approach by using facets like Twitter, Facebook and holding board meetings at high schools. Stewart energetically jumped to answer audience questions promptly during the forum.

Christina Steed, who currently works for an MLA, spoke of her expertise in understanding "how government works, who to talk to, how to talk to them." Having a special needs youngster (and three other children), she feels strongly about early intervention in education. Christina struck me to be intelligent and methodical. She often took her time to answer audience questions and offered lengthy answers.

Todd Neuman, a software developer and small business owner, expressed his ability to "break apart complex issues." He is focused on getting the "attention of the CBE back on learning" and to "open the doors of communication" by connecting parents with the trustees. Neuman feels disconnected to the existing board and if elected, plans to engage open communication between the board and school councils. I appreciated his direct and 'to the point' approach. When the panel was asked a series of fact based questions like, "how many schools are currently within the CBE?" Neuman was the only candidate who knew the facts.

Helen Mowat passionately spoke about character, integrity, holistic learning and working/ speaking from the heart. As a former teacher of fifteen years, she spoke of the "hierarchy" that has caused "a lot of problems within the CBE." She stated that the top management at the CBE "does not want to listen." Mowat feels strongly about providing a sound foundation at the beginning of education for kindergarten and grade one students. At times, her answers got off track and confusing. 

Malik Amery introduced himself as a "product of the CBE." With his expertise in finance, Amery offers a business-like approach to the trustee role, expressing his commitment to "allocating resources." He feels that the current group of trustees has "failed to safeguard the image of the CBE" and spoke of offering more public forums like Peter Demong's 'Alder-talk.' Amery was the only candidate that touched on the diversity within wards 12 & 14, recognizing the range of needs from maintenance of schools to the "middle school issue."

Each attending candidate has a website you can visit to obtain more information. Check them out and plan to vote on Monday, October 21. Your child's education is worth the vote.

Amber Stewart: www.stewart4trustee.ca

Christina Steed: www.steed4trustee.ca

Todd Neuman: www.toddneuman.ca

Helen Mowat: www.helenmowat.com

Malik Amery: www.malikamery.com

Computers Available for Families with Limited Resources

The Calgary Board of Education has partnered with Alberta Computers for Schools to support a number of families who don’t have the financial resources to equip their child with a laptop for learning.

The CBE program has 100 refurbished computers available. In the event that there are more applicants than computers, students will be selected through a random lottery process.

The purpose of this program is to supplement teaching and learning activities, in and out of the classroom. Successful recipients will have a computer delivered to their school. Please note that as the computers are refurbished, they will be provided as is, and the CBE will not be providing a warranty or support on the hardware or software.


To receive a refurbished laptop from the Computer for Kids program, you must have had your school fees for the current academic year waived and be between grade 3 and 11.

Only one computer will be allowed per household.


Please fill out the application to apply. A teacher reference is also required. Teachers will be contacted during the year to gather data in order to determine the success of the program. The application is to be signed, scanned and submitted to Suhayl Patel in the CBE Learning & Innovation Department at supatel@cbe.ab.ca by Oct. 21, 2013.

CBE’s digital citizenship

All students must adhere to the CBE digital citizenship guidelines.

Computer specifications

All laptops will have the following specs:

  • 80GB hard drive
  • 2G RAM
  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Wireless Capability
  • And will be accompanied by a laptop bag

Download the Application for a Refurbished Computer.

Nominate a Great Kid Today

Nominations for the 2014 Great Kids Award have opened. 

Nominate a special young person whose generosity, leadership, courage, and compassion made a positive impact.

Every year, young leaders make outstanding contributions – at home, at school, and in their communities. 

Why not thank them for their great achievements and share their stories to inspire other Albertans to reach their full potential and build a better Alberta?

The Alberta government will honour all nominees and 16 great kids at an awards ceremony at the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton in April 2014. All winners will receive a trophy and a prize package from Fantasyland and IBM.  Investing in youth is one way the Alberta government is investing in families and communities to build a better Alberta.

How to nominate a great kid

Go to the website below, print off the nomination form; fill it out; and fax, mail or e-mail it to:

Alberta Human Services
Community Partnerships Branch
10th Floor, Sterling Place
9940 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2N2
f | 780-644-2671
e | HS.greatkids@gov.ab.ca

All nominations must be received by Dec. 9, 2013 at 4 p.m

For more information, please visit www.greatkids.alberta.ca, call 780-415-8150 (for toll-free access, dial 310-000) or email HS.greatkids@gov.ab.ca.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CBE Chief Superintendent Stepping Down

From the Calgary Herald:

"The hunt for a new chief superintendent for Calgary’s public school board unofficially began Tuesday with the surprise announcement that Naomi Johnson plans to retire next April.
Johnson, who joined the Calgary Board of Education 33 years ago, made her decision known at the last public board meeting before the Oct. 21 election.
She was contractually required to give the board six months’ notice, and her five-year term that was set to end July 2014.
Her resignation takes effect April 8."

Read the full story here.

From the CBE

"CBE celebrates another year of strong student achievement:

Calgary Board of Education students demonstrated another year of strong academic results on those 2012-13 Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma exams that were written. ... 'Alberta continues to be one of the highest achieving jurisdictions in the world,' says Naomi Johnson, chief superintendent of schools. 'Our objective is to exceed provincial targets and we have done so in almost every subject and grade level. For another straight year, our student results are outstanding.' "

Read the full post here.

News from CAPSC (Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils)

Upcoming Events!

CAPSC October Meeting
Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday October 16th, 7:00-9:00pm.  Along with the CBE, we will be co-hosting a development session for school councils, facilitated by the Alberta School Councils Association.  This workshop is designed to help school councils learn about what they can do and the resources available to them in addition to providing them with tools to work effectively with their school community.

Place: Multipurpose Room, Education Centre, 1221 – 8 Street S.W.
Parking: Free underground parking provided (access off 12 Avenue)
Topic: Tools for effective school councils

Public School Board Trustee Forums
Our president, Jeff Bowes, will be facilitating 3 city-wide forums for the upcoming school board trustee candidates.  Please join him at one of the following three locations to hear what the candidates have to say.  And don’t forget to check out the Uservoice service being offered by CivicCamp – a crowdsourcing tool where you can have a say in the questions the candidates will be asked.
Citizens’ Public School Board Trustee 12+14, 11+13 Forum

Monday, October 7, 2013

School Costume Bans

ST. CATHARINES - Thomas Puckett would have some choice words to say if told he couldn’t wear a costume to school on Halloween.
“I would just say, ‘That’s not fair, because I want to have some fun,’” the nine-year-old student said of a move by a select few Niagara schools to bar kids from wearing their Halloween costumes. Instead, those schools are going with variations on “Spirit Day,” asking kids to come not in costume but in orange and black clothes.
McKay public school in Port Colborne, and — for older students — Canadian Martyrs School have both instituted such days, but reaction has been broadly negative to the idea, and it was no different when The Standard took the question to the streets Sunday.

Read the full story here.

Let's talk about this.  Leave your comments in the comment box!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Peter Demong wins ex-opponent's backing for Ward 14

(From the CBC website)

Richard Dur, 2nd-place finisher in 2010 race, endorses incumbent council member

An incumbent alderman in the southeast has won the backing of his top opponent the last election. Peter Demong was endorsed on Thursday by Richard Dur, who placed second in the 2010 vote.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

From Karen Drummond, Communications Advisor, CBE

Attend Oct. 16 development session for CBE school councils
The Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils (CAPSC) and the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) are pleased to co-host a development session for CBE school councils.

This session will be delivered by Alberta School Councils’ Association as follows:
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 16
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
Place: Multipurpose Room, Education Centre, 1221 – 8 St. S.W.
Parking: free underground parking provided (access off 12 Avenue)
Topic: Tools for effective school councils
RSVP: kldrummond@cbe.ab.ca or 403-817-7951
This workshop will provide school councils with tools to work effectively with their school community. "It's very difficult to be an effective school council until the ground work is in place and everyone understands the council's purpose and possibilities. We found that the ASCA workshop completely changed our school...you will be so grateful for the time you spend at this ASCA workshop," says Karen Lloyd, Co-Vice Chair, Sam Livingston School Council and Second Vice-Chair, CAPSC.
This session will replace the “regular” CAPSC meeting scheduled for October.

Keep your school community informed
Parents often ask how they can stay informed about what is happening at the CBE. Many are not aware of the ways that information is shared. Here are some ways your community can stay informed.
RSS feed - This is the best way to stay on top of timely and important news from the CBE. The RSS feed sends system messages directly to subscribers. These messages can usually be found on the front page of the CBE website, and are also posted on all school websites. Subscribe today!
School websites and school newsletters - Check these out on a regular basis for information on school activities.
CBE school council information - On the CBE website, there is a section dedicated to school councils. Here you can find information about meetings, the CBE school council handbook, past issues of the Key Communique and many helpful resources for school councils.
Key Communique - This e-newsletter includes information and invitations relevant to school councils. Included on the circulation list are school council chairs and key communicators/other council contacts.
Public board meetings - Attend meetings held 3-6 p.m. on two Tuesdays a month September to June. Click here for specific dates.

Annual reports to be sent to Board of Trustees
CBE school councils are asked to provide a copy of their annual report to the Board of Trustees each year, in addition to providing the principal with a copy. Reports were to be submitted by Sept. 30.
If you have not submitted this report to the Board of Trustees yet, please do so by e-mailing to Boardoftrustees@cbe.ab.ca or mailing to: CBE Office of the Trustees, Education Centre, 1221 - 8 St. S.W. Calgary, AB T2R 0L4.

Your vote counts
What could be more important than helping Calgary children achieve their highest personal potential? And what can you do about it?
On Oct. 21, 2013, Calgarians will elect school board trustees for the Calgary Board of Education. Take the time to learn about the candidates running for trustee in your ward. Information about upcoming trustee forums is available on the CAPSC website.
Learn more about the election, including how and where to vote, on the City of Calgary website.

What is happening with key communicators?
The key communicator is not a required school council role. However, many school councils still find it helpful to have this role and can choose to include this member as part of their council. Typically, the person in this role helps keep the school community informed about CBE-wide system news and other relevant information.
The common and required school council roles are outlined in the 2013-14 CBE school council handbook.
Contact Karen Drummond if you have further questions.

Police offer community alert service for residents
Families are invited to consider signing up for a new system that Calgary Police Service (CPS) is using to provide community alerts, public warnings and missing persons notifications.
CPS has introduced The Hub Messaging System, a community automated notification system, that delivers information to residents and business owners within the City of Calgary. The Hub Messaging System sends information to residents and businesses who have signed up for the service.

How much power do Calgary school board trustees have?

... here's an excerpt from an interesting article found on the CBC website:

"Jacquie Hansen, president of the Alberta School Boards Association, believes the power of boards started to erode in the 1990s. That's when the province took education property taxes away from local school boards and the money was pooled. That allowed Alberta Education to make the financial decisions."

With the election approaching, it might be a good idea to bring some of the points made in this article up to candidates that visit your house. Everyone want to win your vote - make them earn it!

Click here to read the full story.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Resources for Families Affected by the Flooding

From the CBE:

"As a result of the devastating flood last June in southern Alberta  we have many students and families who have been affected. In addition to the resources available with the Calgary Board of Education , there are other resources available through Alberta Health Services."

Click here to find out the details.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Watch CAPSC School Traffic Safety Week Video

From the CBE:

"We all play a role in keeping Calgary’s streets safe as we walk, drive and play outdoors. Schools, school councils, communities, youth groups, families and kids can participate in contests and safety demonstrations during Calgary’s School Traffic Safety Week Sept. 23-27. Included in this initiative is a video that helps students, schools and families learn more about safe crossing practices. This video was produced on behalf of CAPSC for School Traffic Safety Week. We encourage everyone to take the time to watch it and play it for students. Together we can help keep students safe."

Show this video to your kids. It's cool!

Watch the video here.

School Traffic Safety Week

September 23 – 27, 2013
TRAFFIC TIP #3:  Distribute the School Traffic Safety TIps Handout  
Parents often unknowingly create safety issues in school and playground zones. The School Traffic Safety Tips handout targets that problem. It was created using guidelines from the Calgary Police Service, and explains safe behaviour in school and playground zones. Read the handout online.
Like this idea? Forward it to help spread this positive message across Calgary!
We want your feedback!  E-mail traffic@capsc.ca to let us know what events you will be participating in and how they work, and win an invitation to our upcoming reception.
The Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils (CAPSC)305 - 4625 Varsity Drive NW Suite #92 Calgary, AB T3A 0Z9
WEBSITE:  tsk.capsc.ca 
E-MAIL:  traffic@capsc.ca
Like our Facebook page to receive regular updates on School Traffic Safety.

Monday, September 23, 2013

CBE Report Card Processes

From the CBE:

"Our provincial programs of study are changing and like many other school divisions in Alberta, the CBE is re-designing assessment and reporting practices to reflect these changes.
The introduction of new reporting processes, including a new report card, will be an important part of our work moving forward. The direction of our province, as well as current research on assessment, evaluation and student learning, require us to work together to understand, recognize and communicate about student learning in new ways."

Read more details here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Calgary parents' group alarmed over CBE Palm Springs trip

... from the CBC website.
The chair of a local parents' group is alarmed over some of the Calgary Board of Education's spending after it came to light three trustees took a trip to Palm Springs.
Documents detailing the CBE's spending have been made public and reveal three trustees went to a two-day conference in Palm Springs. The trip cost roughly $1,500 per person but there is no record of what the trustees did during the trip.
Read the full story here, and feel free to comment with your thoughts below.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Key Communique

from Karen Drummond, CBE Communications Advisor

Welcome back!
The Calgary Board of Education is delighted to be starting an exciting new year of teaching and learning.
The start of a new school year is an exciting time—a fresh start for students and schools. Welcome back to all our returning students—and welcome to the many new students who are joining us this year.
We are also pleased to welcome back returning school council members and new members. We look forward to working together for the coming school year.

Update your school council information
Please confirm your 2013-14 school council contacts with us. Even if you haven't had any changes to your executive this year, please confirm the contacts for the upcoming year.
Please forward the following information for your chair and for your key communicator/communications liaison: name, school, position on school council, e-mail address and phone number. If you don't have a key communicator, please provide an alternate school council contact.

This information will be used to circulate this e-newsletter in addition to sharing information and invitations relevant to your school council and parent community.

2013-14 school council handbook available online
The updated school council handbook is now available on the CBE website. It includes valuable information on how to operate your school council effectively. You can learn about how school councils work, membership, roles and more. In addition, you can access school council checklists, templates and resources to help you in your work.

Learn more about the personalization of learning and Iris at Sept. 18 CAPSC meeting
Come hear from Naomi Johnson, chief superintendent of schools and other CBE learning leaders about some of the ways personalized learning is happening in schools. One important tool that will be discussed is Iris, an award-winning web-based innovation that connects students and teachers in a dynamic and purposeful digital environment.
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 18
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: A.E. Cross School, 3445 – 37 St. S.W.

CBE wins 2013 Intranet Innovation Award for Iris
Step Two Designs, a global thought leader on intranets, has selected the Calgary Board of Education as a Gold winner in the 2013 Innovation Awards.
The CBE received this honour for its innovative resource to personalize learning called Iris.
The CBE developed Iris in collaboration with Habanero Consulting to help teachers better connect with students in a dynamic and purposeful digital environment.

Explore healthy options at Sept. 17 event
Join the CBE and the Calgary Catholic School District for an informative afternoon to learn about a variety of student-friendly and healthy options for “Food Fun Days” or “School Celebrations.” This is an opportunity for parents (children welcome) and school staff to talk to and ask questions of a variety of food vendors and representatives from Alberta Health Services.

Participate in CAPSC traffic safety week Sept. 23-27

We all play a role in keeping Calgary’s streets safe as we walk, drive and play outdoors. Schools, school councils, communities, youth groups, families and kids can participate in contests and safety demonstrations during Calgary’s School Traffic Safety Week.

Planned activities include:
Point-Pause-Proceed – information about safe strategies for crossing the street

Positive Pointers
 – a simple reward campaign schools can use to teach kids and parents about traffic safety

On the Safe Side
 – a traffic safety poster contest for k-12 students

Crosswalk Champions
 – a commitment to protect children in traffic

School Traffic Tips
 – a brochure that can be easily printed to educate your community

Meeting dates set for Council of School Councils
Be sure to attend this year's COSC meetings. They will take place 6:45 - 9 p.m.at the Education Centre (1221 - 8 St. S.W.) on the following dates:
fall meeting
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013
spring meeting
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Reminders and full details will be sent closer to the meeting dates.

Check out Alberta Government's back-to-school toolkit
Prepare for a new school year with the Alberta Government's 2013 back-to-school toolkit, full of helpful tips and information. If you are a student, parent, teacher or administrator, check out: www.education.alberta.ca/backtoschool to explore all it has to offer.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Getting parents involved on school councils a challenge

(From the CBC website)

Shortage of parents who volunteer their time makes fundraising harder, one parent says 

Now that children are back in school, parents are getting back to their work behind the scenes.

But from school to school, parental participation levels vary. Sonia Aranda sits on councils at two schools in the northeast where her children are enrolled. But only a handful of parents are on the council with her, she said. “We don't have big groups of parents on our councils.

"We wish we had more.” Aranda said the shortage of parents volunteering their time for school councils can make fundraising a challenge. “We’ve always tried to get them on board but, there's not much I can say to that. It bothers us in a way that we wish, yeah, we’d more people involved, but also we understand the reasons why they're not.” Arand said getting involved can be quite rewarding.

“My favourite part of school councils personally is getting to know how the system works and how that can benefit my children going to school,” Aranda said. At schools where parental involvement and fundraising are a challenge, the Calgary Board of Education tries to step in and help, officials said.

Read the article here.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Welcome message from Mrs. O'Connor!

Welcome back to Haultain Memorial School. We hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday filled with their favorite summer pursuits. A warm and special welcome is extended to all the students and their families new to Haultain School. We look forward to getting to know all of you. You have chosen an amazing and caring community in which your children will learn and flourish and also one we are very proud and honoured to be part of. The quote above demonstrates the strength of mind and spirit that the citizens of Calgary demonstrated during and after the flood.

This spirit lies within our students and as educators we have an opportunity to provide them with the wonderful learning experiences that will draw out that potential within each child. Since August our staff has been eagerly preparing and planning for the return of our students. It is wonderful to see so much spirit and energy as teachers work together, supporting new members of staff and organizing materials in their classrooms. On that note the school looks gorgeous, sparkling and clean. Many thanks extended to Mr. Rochon who has worked hard to be ready for the first day. Please see the newsletter for a posting of the classrooms and their teachers.

 During the 2013- 2014 school year, we have many exciting learning events planned for our students, including a residency with Hip Hop dancing and presentations from Evergreen and Quest Theatre productions and Open Minds School at the Cross Conservatory. Many thanks to our School Council for their dedicated efforts in providing resources that allow us to embrace an incredible variety of activities that extend curriculum while engaging our children in creative and inspiring learning experiences. Please plan on attending the exciting events that are hosted for families as well. Our first Ice Cream Social will be September 11, starting at 6:30 pm.

 Our teachers will be scooping, serving and sprinkling toppings so please mark your calendars. Parent –Teacher Conferences will be held on Thursday, September 19, 4:00 pm to 8:00pm and Friday, September 20, 8:00am to 1:00pm. This first conference of the year provides parents with an opportunity to meet with their child’s teacher share information. Our newsletter is sent out via email at the beginning of each month and can be accessed through the school website. We are happy to announce we will be implementing an additional new form of communication to parents called SchoolConnects.

This communication system provides parents with immediate messages through their emails and their phone lines to keep our Haultain School community current with any announcements, reminders and messages. This will especially play an important role in our school home fan out system. We hope to have this system up and operating by the middle of the month and will be sending a letter to introduce this new communication tool. We will still be happy to provide paper copies of the newsletter for any families who do not have access to technology. We are greatly looking forward to an exciting year and wish you all the very best of experiences in your learning journey with us this year. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call or email me at the school.

 Best regards, Colleen O’Connor Principal, Haultain Memorial School

A 'Welcome Back' Video from the CBE

Watch the video here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Welcome Back

Another exciting new year begins! Check out the CBE's message to parents by clicking here.

Friday, August 30, 2013

How writing by hand makes kids smarter

With the ubiquity of keyboards large and small, neither children nor adults need to write much of anything by hand. That's a big problem, says Gwendolyn Bounds in The Wall Street Journal. Study after study suggests that handwriting is important for brain development and cognition — helping kids hone fine motor skills and learn to express and generate ideas. Yet the time devoted to teaching penmanship in most grade schools has shrunk to just one hour a week. Is it time to break out the legal pad?

Read the full story here.