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June 05
May 2019

​“Education is the kindling of a flame. Not filling of a vessel.” ~ Socrates

Spring is here; however we wouldn’t have known it with the blizzardy end to April. May is starting off with a bang as each grade group will participate in their individual, annual Exhibition. Over the past few months, the students and their teachers have been working on interdisciplinary curricular studies including the arts. Each grade group has been collaborating with an artist in residence to formulate their understandings in a variety of representations to express what they have learned. The exhibition is more than a display of student work, but rather a documentation of the students’ learning processes and products that express their understanding. At the center of the exhibition are high quality learning products, processes and performances that reflect the content and skills the students have learned. Preparing work to be shared with the public, the authentic audience, motivates students and creates a purpose for them to care about the quality of their work. The students are featured as the key communicators about their learning experience. They are front and center, articulating their learning and the connections they are making.

This year, each exhibition has a performance component that the students have been developing over several weeks to share as a part of the exhibition. Due to the performance at the beginning of the evening, it is important that all students attend as they all play a significant role in the performance. We ask that each child be at school for the 6:00 p.m. start time. Once the performance is over, then the exhibition time is an open house format where each family can tour the hallways and classrooms to view student artifacts. As with each exhibition year, this continues to be an open house format where people flow freely. This is a time to celebrate your child as a learner. It is critical for all students to be here on time as they have prepared to share their work with you. The exhibition is a time for students to reflect on and articulate what they have learned, how they learned, questions they answered, research they conducted, and areas of strength and areas for growth. They are powerful opportunities for making the students learning visible and our way to celebrate with our community members and stakeholders all the wonderful learning that takes place at Capitol Hill School. Within each of the displays, information is presented about direct curricular connections and the learning criteria for the students’ task. During the walk through our hallways, please take the time to read the documentation and to have your child speak to their learning experiences by asking questions such as, “What were you most successful at and why? What did you do well in this assignment? What is your next step as a learner? If the display is interactive, work with your child to glean how they have come to understand the content.

Sincerely,
Benita Dalton
Principal

March 12
Parent-Teacher Conferences

“… this practice (Student-led conferences) is the biggest breakthrough in communicating about student achievement in the last century. When students are well prepared over an extended period to tell the story of their own success (or lack thereof), they seem to experience a fundamental shift in their internal sense of responsibility for that success. The pride in accomplishment that students feel when they have a positive story to tell and tell it well can be immensely motivational.”
Rick Stiggins

We are very excited to be hosting Student-Led conferences during our parent teacher interviews. In response to the parent survey from October 2018, 98% of parents stated that they “Understood and support the role that the Learning Conferences play to inform parents about their child’s achievement and progress.” Parents were also asked the question, “I would be interested in having my child participate more in the learning conferences by having a student-led format in which we have time to view and engage in a variety of learning tasks that can demonstrate my child’s understanding of concepts learned.” Of the 66 respondents who answered the question, 26% responded strongly agree, 35% responded agree, 33% responded disagree and 6% responded strongly disagree. As the November interviews were in the traditional parent teacher student learning conferences format of a formal sit-down interview with the teacher, we would like to

honour the voices of the 61% of parents who are in favor of Student-led conference format. With effective structure and support, student-led conferences build motivation, clarity, self-direction, and critical thinking in students; and they also connect families deeply to the growth of their child and the work of the school.

The purpose of student led conferences is to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on and demonstrate their learning. Student led conferences support all students to:

  • Reflect on learning
  • Extend learning
  • Deepen their understanding of self as a learner
  • Demonstrate independence in learning
  • Be empowered
  • Foster pride and development of ownership of personal learning goals and achievements.

The role of the parent is to be an observer, a questioner and to provide feedback about your child’s learning. Some suggested questions are:

  • Can you tell me more about …?
  • How did you learn that …?
  • What are you most proud of …?
  • I can see improvement in …
  • What did you find most challenging about …?
  • It makes me proud of you by seeing …?

How to Book Your Conference Time

  • The conference will be block booked on the hour so that 4 families will be in the classroom at the same time. For example, book from 4 PM to 5 PM for your first child and then 5 PM to 6 PM for your second child. And then 6 PM to 7 PM for the third child
  • During the conference, the role of the teacher is to connect with you and your child as you engage with your child in the various learning tasks that have been set up to share. If you have something of a sensitive nature you would like to discuss, we ask that you book a different time to meet with the teacher. Please email the teacher with information you would like to discuss in private.
  • Learning tasks/stations will be set up and it will take a minimum of 45 minutes per child. Parents can of course stay the entire hour.
  • More information coming out on Thursday, March 14 as a reminder before the booking system opens on Friday, March 15 at 10:00 AM.
Benita Dalton, Principal
February 07
February is Often Associated with Kindness, Caring and Love

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind work, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~Leo Buscaglia

February is often associated with kindness, caring and love. It is a month to pause to and reflect about how are we positioning ourselves to show others how we all belong. At the end of February, we will acknowledge “Pink Shirt” Day on Wednesday, February 27. Pink Shirt Day is an anti-bullying campaign with this year’s focus being cyberbullying. Teachers and students will be having conversations about Pink Shirt Day and ways to show caring and belonging towards others.

Even though it is the middle of the year, schools are beginning to think ahead to September. Soon we will be receiving our student projections count for the 2019–2020 school year. We hope to continue to maintain our enrollment to be over 320 students for next fall. We continue to have ongoing Kindergarten registration for next year and we anticipate enough students to have both a morning and an afternoon class. If you have a child who will turn 5 before March 1, 2020 they are eligible to register for kindergarten starting September 2019.

The last week in January has been a busy one as the school celebrated Family Literacy Day with several days of literacy activities. In “More Than Words: Why Reading Matters for Kids” by Devon Corneal, he states:

1. Reading improves parent-child relationships.
2. Reading improves concentration.
3. Reading builds neural pathways in the brain.
4. Reading teaches children about language.
5. Reading can make you smarter.
6. Reading can make kids more empathetic.
7. Reading encourages creativity.

Some Capitol Hill students recorded their ideas as to why reading matters to them over the past few days. Here are some of the things they wrote.

“Reading matters because if we were to not have reading then people would not be able to learn life lessons from different books.”
“Reading gives me imagination.”
“Reading makes me smarter.”
“Reading gives you information.”
“It can help you learn things.”
“Reading can entertain you and it can you away from your chores.”
“I like to read about real things that I am interested in.”
“Reading matters because it is educational and relaxing. … Reading make me happy.”

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Reminder for Grade 4 parents that we appreciate your feedback on the Alberta Accountability Pillar Survey that was mailed directly to homes. Parents can respond either through digital format or return their paper copy using the self-addressed stamped envelope. Students and teachers will also be participating in this survey in February.

School Council will be held on Monday, February 11 with a start time of 6:30 PM. The Grade 5/6 team will be presenting. Please see the update in the newsletter.

Sincerely,
Benita Dalton
Principal

January 17
January is an Important Time for Learning.

“The best preparation for tomorrow is by doing your best today.”
H.J. Brown Jr.

January in schools is such an important time for learning. As I have seen time and time again, the students return after the break ready for learning and the amount of growth that happens is remarkable. For many students, the connections to learning and the skills they are developing seem to fall into place. It is amazing to see how they are delving deeply into their learning. Classrooms continue to focus on reading comprehension and communicating their mathematical understanding by effectively and efficiently using their mathematical computational skills in a variety of ways.

The January mild weather has been a welcomed addition as many classes plan to spend additional time outside during the learning activities. We continue to ask that student dress appropriately for the weather conditions with the understanding that there can be drastic weather changes in either direction of the mercury rising or falling on the thermometer. Please have conversations with your child(ren) about the importance of being prepared for colder weather and dressing appropriately outside during these winter months. In December, students were repeatedly reminded that even though it is nice outside, they still need to have their coats on. Students go outside in all weather conditions up to minus 20 degrees Celsius and all students go outside regardless of their lack of appropriate clothing.

Kindergarten registration began on Monday, January 14, 2019. This is not a 'first-come, first-served' registration process because our school accepts ongoing registration for all families who are able to prove they live in the communities of Capitol Hill, Banff Trail, Collingwood or Charleswood. So, every Kindergarten student who registers and is eligible for Kindergarten registration is welcome to attend our school and there will be room for them. At this time, we anticipate having a morning and afternoon class
based on previous years enrollment numbers and will be able to finalize this in April once we know more about the number of families who have registered their child with us in Kindergarten. For those families interested in child care with Adventurers, the students are placed in our afternoon program. Please contact the Adventurers Program Director Sarah St. Martin at 403-284-5457 directly for additional information.

Thank you to families who have completed our volunteer survey on our school website. We are still desperately seeking more families to complete the survey so we have a new up to date data base for our teachers. We are looking to partner with our families and to build upon on parent volunteer base. Please take the time to fill out this very important survey. Here is the link: https://goo.gl/forms/wlDrzusVAqZ7tupt1

Family Literacy Day is on Sunday, January 27th. Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually on January 27th to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development. Even just 15 minutes a day can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically. In recognition of Family Literacy Day, Capitol Hill School is going to acknowledge this by having a series of events that will be celebrated by the whole school, cross graded and within grade teams based on various literacy activities that have been created by the teachers and students. Our kick off day as a whole school will be on Monday, January 28th. Look for more information and events coming forward in your child’s classroom blog. In addition, please read the article posted in this month’s newsletter about the importance of “sense making/developing meaning” and the approaches schools use to understand the reader.

Alien In-Line Skating starts the first week of February on February 4th. Students enjoy this opportunity to learn to skate and increase the skating abilities. We will be looking for volunteers who can support students in “lacing” up for their skating times to ensure that they are in the skates and rolling around the gym as quick as possible. Stay tuned to your child’s teacher blog to know which dates your child will be skating. It is important for all children to bring their own helmets. Helmets will be supplied if needed and students will be asked to wear hair nets to prevent any spread of head lice. Protective knee and elbow pads will also be provided.

Some parents may have noticed a few new faces around our school. Ms. Caughey is currently in a temporary position for Mrs. Vuong until her return in Grade 1/2, room 8. We are also pleased to officially welcome Mrs. Green and Ms. Colpitts who will be working in our lunchroom program starting in January.

Benita Dalton
Principal

December 18
Volunteers

“The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy. We can all sense a mysterious connection to each other."
Meryl Streep

Capitol Hill School Wants YOU!!

Important New Annual Volunteer Survey

This year, we designed a new survey as a way to share information about how parents can volunteer in our school. This also allows us to learn about ways parents would like to be part of our school community by supporting school events, volunteering for trips and in classrooms and even areas of expertise that can be shared in our learning community. We know many people are currently volunteering in a variety of capacities already which is wonderful. We are attempting to increase our volunteerism and community involvement at our school and there are numerous ways parents can partner in this work. The generosity of volunteering benefits our students in so many ways and builds a strong system of community support.

In an effort to continue to build upon our parent volunteer community, School Council created this parent survey to provide us with more information regarding volunteer needs, wishes and expertise. We could not do this work without you and know that your continued support will further enhance the vision of our school. This survey will replace all other information we have as it will be the most up to date. Please take a few moments to fill out the survey and provide us with your information. We look forward to partnering with you as a learning community.

Please follow the link to complete the survey below or it is also on the front page of our school website. https://goo.gl/forms/wlDrzusVAqZ7tupt1

Winter Celebration - Save The Date and Come and Join Us!

December is a time for giving and reflecting on all that has happened throughout the year. This month is our annual Winter Celebration on Thursday, December 13th @ 6:00 pm. Thank you to those who have already contributed to the family hampers and to CHEES for donating funds to cover the cost of Christmas dinners.

Through our generosity of this event, this is a time to connect as a community to celebrate each other and our diversity. We continue to need families to donate to our “cultural café” for the evening. Please respond to the school message sent out on Friday Dec. 7, 2018. We are looking forward to our evening together. Please refer to the article in our newsletter for more information and the school messenger messages we have sent over the past few weeks.

Student Learning Conferences and Report Cards

November and December are busy times in schools as teachers and students celebrate student learning through conferences and report cards. Thank you to all the families who participated in the Student Learning Conferences in November. It was wonderful to see so many students excitedly sharing their learning experiences with their families as they conversed about the learning documentation that was posted by their classroom on our bulletin boards. Another way to learn about what is happening in classrooms is to visit your child’s teacher blog on our school website. At any time, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s learning, feel free to connect with your child’s teacher. If parents did not have the opportunity to attend conferences, we would like to connect with you. Please call the school or email your child’s teacher to set up an interview time.

On December 19th, the first report card of the year will be coming home. Report cards are used to communicate student achievement against report card stems using achievement indicators of 1, 2, 3, and 4. In each subject area, the CBE report card stems represent a synthesis of the Alberta Program of Studies - the front matter, general learner outcomes and specific learner outcomes. Report card comments give the student and family a picture of what the student knows and can do, areas for growth, and next steps in learning.

In September, the CBE adopted a new Student Information System technology that also includes our student assessment report card information. In aligning our work, teachers will now be placing student comments at the end of the report card document rather than under individual content area. If the student is experiencing difficulty, and is receiving an indicator of ‘1’, a comment will be placed within the specific content area to as a way to provide information about the students’ current learning situation and strategies the teacher and student are using to help support student success. If you have any questions or concerns about your child(ren)’s report card, please contact the teacher directly to set up an appointment to review your concerns.

School Council Update

Thank you for all the parents who came to our November School Council Meeting and participated in providing us with feedback as a part of the School Development Planning Engagement Process. During the meeting, we presented information regarding Capitol Hill School’s student achievement and were able to celebrate many of our successes including the Grade 6 Provincial Achievement Test results. In addition, we shared information regarding our areas of growth in relation to our student achievement. We have many strengths to celebrate as a community and as the teachers and students continue to work on our new School Development Plan Goals we continue to make progress in our reading and mathematical achievement. Our School Development Plan and Annual Report have been posted on our website under the tab “About Us” – “Our School” for further information. In addition, the results from the parent survey are posted on the School Council section of the school website. Mrs. Demuth and Ms. Dalton created a bulletin board to show some of the math learning that has been happening in classrooms. We invite everyone to stop by and check out the display. Over the course of the year, we will be changing the documentation panels to reflect our work and to communicate information regarding our School Development Plan and the work connected to it. In addition, feedback from our meeting asked for information to be posted in our monthly newsletter. Please read the article related to mathematics in this month’s newsletter.

Benita Dalton,
Principal

December 18
Joy

“Joy isn’t about being happy all of the time. It isn’t a fleeting emotion that comes and goes… Creating a culture of joy applies to both the environment and the learning itself. As it relates to learning, it’s the outward manifestation of success, achievement, and being.”
D. Shareski, 2015

At Capitol Hill School, students and teachers have created and found many opportunities to find joy in their learning. As I have been in classrooms, I see students engaged in various learning tasks, where they are challenging themselves. As one student commented, “This makes my brain hurt. It is good because I know I am working hard.” Recently, as I was in a grade one/two classroom, students were engaged in various pumpkin math tasks actively working to count the seeds and to compare their estimates. The counting of seeds is an important math concept as student demonstrate conservation of number, counting on and organizational strategies of grouping objects especially when working with large numbers. In the grade 3/4 classrooms, students read the story, How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin by M. McMara. Teachers created math tasks using this book as a reference point to compare pumpkins sizes, weights and then using these numbers to create subtraction sentences using mathematical terminology.

On our Professional Development Day on October 26th, our staff focused on assessment and reading instruction. Alberta Learning states, “Literacy is the ability, confidence and willingness to engage with language to acquire, construct and communicate meaning in all aspects of daily living.” Literacy instruction does not just take place in the Language Arts classroom, but in all the disciplines as we learn to read and write; therefore, communicate in various ways. Every subject area has its own literacy demands and within that students need to be taught how to read different types of texts. In addition, literacy development doesn’t just happen at school, but in every aspect of daily life and, as we know, opens the doors to the world.

Home reading is well underway in grades one/two classrooms. Students are choosing books that are at “just right” levels to read independently. The teachers have sent home journals for students to engage in various responses to the books they are reading. Reading experiences at home start long before students arrive in their Kindergarten year. As parents, we connect and bond with our children over picture books and shared reading experiences. When children grow and become independent readers by engaging with books on their own, parents still have a critical role in supporting them as good readers. Richard Steele stated, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is the body.” There is an importance that children continue to engage in reading various types of literature and have conversations about them. We encourage families to pick up a good book and share the experience together. Together, we can build a love of literature with our children. This past weekend the new Central Library had its grand opening. We hope families take the opportunity to visit this well designed and innovative space. Library cards are free for all children and adults in Calgary.

Learning Conferences are on Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd. These conferences are focused on individual student learning and the teachers will have the opportunity to share student work samples. We value learning conferences as they “focus on the students’ strengths, areas of growth, learning strategies and next steps for improvement in relation to the learning outcomes and success criteria.” We invite the students to attend these conferences to be a part of the conversation about their learning with their families. The first report card will come home Wednesday, December 19th. This report card is a summative statement of your child’s learning to date. The November conferences are an opportunity where teachers and students collaborate to communicate the students’ progress and achievement. Parents can book their conference time using the PowerSchool Account. Please ensure you have created a PowerSchool Account in order to book these conferences.

Our Remembrance Day Assembly is on Friday, November 10th at 10:40 a.m. The grade 5/6’s will be hosting the Assembly this year to commemorate the 100th year of the ending of WWI. We would like to extend an invitation for parents to join us at our Assembly. We will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Veteran’s food bank.

A reminder that our parking lot on the east side of the school is reserved for Capitol Hill staff. When dropping off and picking up students we ask that parents do so on the side streets located by the entry gates into the school yard. It has come to my attention that some of our staffs’ vehicles have been damaged over the course of the past year while being parked in our lot requiring services to fix dents and scratches on their vehicles. In our attempt to narrow down reasoning for damaged vehicles, we ask that all parents stay out of the parking lot for drop off or for pick-up of students.

Benita Dalton,
Principal

October 10
Oct. 2018

“Education by its very nature, should help people to develop their best selves.”
– Nel Noddings

During the month of September students and teachers focused on developing a sense of community. We had the first of many whole school assemblies and celebrations. We gathered together during the first week of school to share an inspirational video that shared, “Your journey starts here for an incredible year.” You will work hard, have fun, never give up and always move forward.” In our assembly, we had many students participating by different groups of students delivering important messages such as information about our Circle of Courage.

Within classrooms, teachers have been working with their students delving into the concepts of community, belonging and caring. As Anthony J. D’Angelo stated, “Without a sense of caring, there is no community.” Students have shared ways they are unique, how they belong and ways they contribute to the community. As we develop our classroom communities, grade group communities and larger community as a school, we all act in caring ways that builds a sense of belonging. This sense of caring was observed as we learned about Terry Fox and ran in the cold weather just like he endured with courage and grace. We gathered together as a school community to learn about his perseverance even when he felt most challenged. Thank you for all the Toonies for Terry. We raised $683.00 in cash donations that were sent forward to the Terry Fox Foundation.

Home reading is about to start! We would like to send a special thank you to all the parent volunteers and staff that have helped to get this organized and ready to go out. We were able to purchase several books at various reading levels that are just right books for students to be reading independently. Thank you for all the countless hours of book taping, stamping, leveling that took place. Also, we received some book donations as well. We purchased three new book carts to house the home reading with two more on the way as we have more books at higher levels. The books that are at the higher reading levels will be used in classrooms to support students in their independent reading and instructional purposes. From the September Scholastic book fair, we also raised another $1800 that will be used to purchase more books at the beginning grade one level. These books have less text and students use many of them.

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In addition, we ended the month of September and entered into October with the acknowledgement of Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for all people to come together in the spirit of reconciliation. Orange Shirt day began in 2013 when residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad, shared how her orange shirt was taken away on her first day at a residential school. Many of our classrooms worked together to promote reconciliation in welcoming, caring, respectful, safe, and inclusive school communities by wearing an orange shirt. Many students wore their orange shirts as well as orange bracelets made by some of our students.

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We have our classroom blogs up and running. Teachers will be updating the blogs with information about the learning that is happening in the classroom and informational items for the classroom and the school on a regular basis. This will replace the monthly excerpt in the newsletter. To access teacher blogs, please visit our school website and under the tab Teaching and Learning click on the classes and departments tab. Below is an image from our school website about how to access your child’s teacher blogs.

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Our Capitol Hill School Safety Week is Monday, October 15 to Friday, October 19. Capitol Hill School will launch safety week by discussing traffic safety as well as the drills for fire, lockdown, and review our evacuation plan. These drills are necessary to ensure that all students, staff, and visitors are safe and secure while at Capitol Hill School. Please review the loudness of the bell and the necessity to be cooperative and quiet with all staff members during these drills with your children. All outdoor drills will be weather dependent.

Thank you for all those who took the time to provide feedback on the Capitol Hill Parent Survey. We will be sharing the results of this survey at our next School Council Meeting. This survey will be open until Monday, October 8th, 2018. More information is located within the newsletter. School Council is an opportunity to share information about what is happening at the school. We look forward to seeing many parents at these meetings. Our next meeting will be held on Monday, October 15th at 6:30. We look forward to seeing everyone there.

We also had some staffing changes during the month of September. Mrs. Javed, educational assistant who supported our TASC program for several years left our program due to a declined enrollment in our TASC class. She was a wonderful addition to our program and is now working at Hugh A. Bennett School in the TASC program. Ms. Jolanta, one of our lunch supervisors resigned from the Calgary Board of Education and is now working as an office assistant in the private sector. We wish them wonderful success in their new endeavors. We are currently in the process of staffing two new lunch supervisors.

Benita Dalton
Principal

September 05
Sept. 2018

“When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world--the world of fixed traits--success is about proving you're smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other--the world of changing qualities--it's about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.” Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Summer is fleeting and the students and staff have made a smooth transition into the new school year. Children came to school with bright smiles and full of energy, exchanging holiday stories and ready to begin a year of learning.

Through Carol Dweck’s research, we have learned that students with a growth mindset take charge of their learning and motivation. As we work with the students this year, we will be focusing on developing students’ resiliency, persistence and ownership of their own learning and to partner with teachers in their learning. Our hope for our students is that they are able to work through challenging learning tasks, to know themselves as learners and to be able to persist in the face of the unknown. As teachers, we are working with our students being able to look to their potential, to be the best they can be. According to Carol Dweck, “No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.” Students and teachers are actively engaging in learning tasks where everyone is involved in the learning process, understands what they know and can identify the next steps in learning journey.

Capitol Hill is working again with a math coach who will be at the school half time working alongside teachers in their classrooms during math time. Mr. Hassett is joining the Capitol Hill staff and he brings a wealth of expertise in mathematical teaching. In mid-September, all Grade 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 students will be completing a short Math assessment. The entire Calgary Board of Education System is taking part in this assessment to give each school a clear picture of where the students are as far as math understanding and computation are concerned. The information will also assist the teachers in meeting the needs of students.

We have had a few changes to our daily routine this year. We have a staggered recess where individual grade groups designate their own recess break according to the natural flow of their classroom schedules. Our lunch hour has shifted as we have a 50-minute lunch starting at 11:40 until 12:30. During this time we have 2 lunch shifts, which means we have children outside using our playground for the entire time. Please read our September newsletter to learn more about our new lunchroom routines.

The playground is a wonderful place to gather as a community. During the school day, classes will be using our playground at different times throughout the day as we have a staggered recess and lunch time. During school hours, our children’s ability to access the playground is important. Please be mindful that if the older children are using the playground or if there is a large number of students using the playground, it may become quite overwhelming for young children. We invite families to enjoy our playground after school hours.

In late September, early October, we will be conducting our annual safety week. During this week, we conduct many safety procedures in order for students to be familiar with what to do in an emergency. We discuss how to be safe, silent and serious throughout the drills and teachers support students through this process. Many of the drills are familiar to the students in the grades and an important new routine for Kindergarten students to learn.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year of learning together.

Benita Dalton
Principal

July 09
Year End Message

Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that the year is coming to an end.  I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the students, staff and parents.  This year has been a year of intense focus and we have grown closer as a community.  I know that many are excited about the summer months and all the adventures that holidays bring.  With the end in mind, we also are looking forward to the new school year in September.  As mentioned in my Principal’s message, we are still in the staffing process for many positions in our school. Due to this reason, we will not be sending home the name of classroom teachers in the June report cards as this has been the practice at Capitol Hill School for the last few years.  Teachers will be sending out a letter of introduction in late August to each family.  Please ensure we have your updated email addresses.  The Calgary Board of Education has excellent staff members and with any year, there are also changes as many staff transition from one school setting to another.  At this time, I would like to announce the following changes to our teaching staff:

Mr. Bryan Allen will be transitioning to Balmoral Junior High School as a Learning Leader, teaching grade 6 ELA and PE. Ms. Daina McCowan will be transitioning to Cambrian Heights School as a Learning Leader responsible for the Resource role and Learning Commons teacher.  Both Mr. Allen and Ms. McCowan have been instrumental in enlivening the Reggio practices and pedagogies. They have been at Capitol Hill School for several years and have the opportunity to share their wealth of knowledge in their new settings.  Also, Mrs. Manpreet Gill, who is currently on temporary contract will not returning in fall.  She has been a wonderful addition to the grade 1/2 learning community.  Mrs. Sophie Pelton has welcomed her new beautiful daughter to their family and will be on maternity leave for the 2018 – 2019 school year. We will miss them all. 

In September, we will be having Mrs. Darci Evans and Ms. Debra Seaman who are both experienced teachers join our staff.  Ms. Seaman brings experience and expertise with technology and design thinking. Mrs. Evans  is well versed in Inquiry and Reggio practices. We are looking forward to working with them in the 2018 – 2019 school year.  We are still in the process of staff for Administrative Assistant who is an integral part of the running of a school. We hope to secure someone in the position by mid July.  

On behalf of the Capitol Hill Staff, I would like to wish everyone a safe and memorable summer holiday. We look forward to seeing everyone back in September 2019!

Sincerely,

Benita Dalton​

June 05
June 2018

The stories we tell about each other matter very much. The stories we tell ourselves about our own lives matter. And most of all, I think the way that we participate in each other’s stories is of deep importance.

– Jessica Jackley

The story of our year as a school community is coming to a close as June is upon us. This year, the students, staff and parents at Capitol Hill have participated in each other’s stories that have created a closer, more cohesive learning community. Each member of our community contributes value and importance. June is a time to celebrate the story of our year, starting with the celebration of the students’ learning as our annual exhibition: The Power of Story, Place and Tradition. It was wonderful to see the students share their powerful stories of learning with their families and our school community. I am proud of the work and learning the students and the teachers have engaged in. The documentation presented in the exhibition is an opportunity to have a window inside the intricate social learning process that the students engage in as their curricular knowledge is socially constructed. This exhibit was a celebration of their learning journey that highlights certain portions of their year.

This week we will be celebrating our volunteers at the volunteer tea on Friday, June 8th starting at 9:45. The volunteer tea is our opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to our school community in so many different ways. Volunteers allow us to do so much more than we would be able to do alone. Thank you for your time of working alongside children, taking time to go on field trips, working at special events and supporting the work of our school as a part of school council.

As June as underway, we are in the process of finishing of the year and the planning for the next year. As we have looked at the budget and staffing for next year, the staff has been an integral part of several decisions regarding the operation of next year. Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to some of the staff who have all made important contributions and been a part of our school’s story. First of all, Janet Mossfeldt, Kim Kearl and Anja McIlwrick are all looking forward to creating new life stories as they move onto the next phase of their life journey as they are retiring from the Calgary Board of Education. Janet Mossfeldt started her career at Capitol Hill School as an elementary student and life came full circle in her story as a learner and professional as she is celebrating almost 20 years and the end of a wonderful teaching career. During this time, Janet has touched the lives of so many students. Her passion for the history and understanding of the Alberta’s land is a living legacy in the hearts and minds of her students. Ms. Mossfeldt has had many roles over the years including teaching grades three to grade six and Physical Education to the entire student body. The connection she has made with the students as she supports them to grow as learners is felt by all those who come in contact with her. Kim Kearl has been the face of Capitol Hill School as she greets visitors and families daily in the office. Kim has a wonderful friendly manner and care for the students and families of Capitol Hill School. She readily lends a helping hand tending to many facets of the operations of the school. Kim multi-tasks many things; whether she is answering the telephone, the front door, working with children and supporting teachers. Anja McIlwrick has worked at Capitol Hill School for several years. During this time, Anja has worked as a School Assistant and Lunchroom Supervisor. Her gentle manner with students will be missed. All three have been an invaluable and integral part of our school community and their stories will live on with us. We wish them well on their retirement.

The Bridges Program, which is one of our special education settings is going to be transitioning to Rosemont School. The Bridges program has been a part of Capitol Hill’s learning community for 13 years and has provided programming supports for many young learners. The move was determined by the CBE’s Planning and Transportation department in order to accommodate more space for more classrooms at Capitol Hill School. The Bridges teacher, Melissa Edwards and the Behaviour Support worker, Jocelyn Brewington will be moving with the program over the summer. Melissa and Jocelyn have expertise in working with students who are developing their ability to regulate their social and emotional responses. They have worked well as a team and have had many successes with the students within our program at Capitol Hill School. They will be a welcomed addition and Rosemont is fortunate to have such talent in support of students and their learning.

In addition, we have to say goodbye to several of our support staff. June is the time for staffing in schools to occur in preparation for the following year. At this time, we have to say goodbye to some of our support staff. Jane Cary, our inclusion Educational Assistant has supported many students in a variety of classrooms over the years. This year, Ms. Cary has been supporting students in grades three to grade six. Ms. Cary brings a passion for the environment and has a close connection to many of our students. Monika Beck is an educational assistant who has supported the Kindergarten students alongside Mrs. Dreyer and Ms. Moll. She readily lends a hand and has established wonderful relationships with our youngest learners. Jiebieni Nyajwok, is our School Assistant who supports the TASC program and our regular lunchroom program. Jiebieni who is soft spoken works well and takes such care of our students. Alicia Santos who is currently temporarily covering an Educational Assistant position in TASC will be moving on in the fall. She has quickly developed positive working relationships with the staff and students. Miss Santos flexibly worked with a variety of students in TASC and division one. Margie Pickering, a TASC Educational Assistant is also moving on. Margie worked with our TASC students alongside two other assistants and Ms. Lim. We wish all of them the best in their new positions in CBE and know that they will continue to add to their stories as they move to different locations.

As the month continues, there will also be an opportunity for teacher staff to apply for new teaching positions. This occurs each year, as many positions become available across our system. Even though, we find change difficult, the CBE is a wonderful organization that provides many opportunities for its staff. Teacher staffing is occurring during the 3rd week of this month, which may impact our teaching community when teachers are successful in securing new positions. Please read the insert regarding our school organization for next year in our newsletter.

Sincerely,

Benita Dalton,
Principal

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 Benita Dalton, Principal

 
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