Principal’s Messages > Posts > April Update
April 01
April Update

​In the January/February 2017 edition of our newsletter, I wrote about the kind of school community we aspire to be at Chaparral. I explained that we strive to be a place where children and adults care about, look after, and root for one another; a place where people work together for the good of the whole, in times of need and in times of celebration. I am heartened to see evidence of these ideals in action.

Caring about, looking after and rooting for one another in times of need

Approximately three weeks ago Alex, one of our grade 5 students was diagnosed with cancer. He is now receiving treatment, and his doctors are offering a promising prognosis. As Alex and his family navigate this news and its implications many friends, including those at Chaparral School, send healing thoughts, and help muster courage and strength through actions motivated by love. Please note that a Go Fund Me page has been established for those who wish to offer financial support to the family. This kind of assistance is extremely practical and helps with some of the unforeseen costs associated with accessing treatment.​​

Caring about, looking after and rooting for one another in times of celebration

We have much to celebrate at Chaparral School. Our congratulations are extended to the Chaparral Students who presented four innovative projects at the Calgary Youth Science Fair. Students shared their work with judges on Friday, April 21 and the award ceremony took place on Saturday, April 22. Two gold medals, and two bronzes were awarded to our projects.

Projects included:

  • Garrett B. and Connor B.: studied the impact of flex in a hockey stick.
  • Ella D. and Cami S.: - studied the effects and ability of advertising to influence our food choices.
  • Avalon R. and Holly E.: studied which insulation would provide the most effective choice in your home.
  • Nolan P. and Carter R.: studied the effectiveness of various moisturizers and their ability to maintain moist surfaces.
Another point of celebration at Chaparral is the growth students are demonstrating in the area of written expression. Over the course of the school year, teachers at our school have applied concerted effort in helping students broaden their ability to effectively communicate in writing. Our work in this area is grounded in beliefs that align with those of internationally respected educator and author, Regie Routman (2014) who states, “Writing has the power to quickly change a child’s life …Writing requires thinking, taking an idea and communicating it effectively.

It is through writing that we figure out what we want to say. A student’s abilities to think rationally, argue with credible evidence, and speak eloquently to defend a position … are enhanced through thoughtful writing.” We are proud of our students and their gains. Their writing accounts for much of the work featured in this edition of our newsletter.

During the week of April 17-20, students at Chaparral joined others around the world in celebrating Earth Day. This year, the Earth Day Canada organization prompted us to focus our activities on outdoor play and environmental stewardship. Of particular note is grade 6 student, Serena W.’s leadership in our grade 2 classrooms, where she helped students learn more about the importance of bees and assisted them in starting seedlings. The students hope transplant their seedlings into the garden later this spring. Serena also spearheaded a school wide art initiative, challenging classes to represent their appreciation of the natural environment and their commitment to caring for it.

This week, the spirit of celebration will persist as we acknowledge the contributions of the many volunteers who help make our school the wonderful place it is. Our Volunteer Appreciation Tea will take place on Thursday, April 28th from 1:30 – 2:30 pm in the school gymnasium. 

In addition to celebrating our volunteers, we will also recognize Administrative Professionals week by acknowledging the important contributions that our administrative secretary, Ms. Kathy Tolman makes to our school. Please join us in offering an extra thank you to Kathy when you are in the school or happen to call.

We are a thriving learning community at Chaparral School. May we continue to nurture our strong relationships and focus on learning as we pursue the last leg of our 2016-17 school-year.​

Thoughtfully yours – Chris

Reference: Routman, R. (2014). Read write lead: Breakthrough strategies for schoolwide literacy success.P. 107.


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RT @UsihChristopher: Proud of this significant work on assessment and reporting at the CBE. Parents/Guardians can expect greater clarity on K-9 reporting going forward. Thanks to #WeAreCBE teachers and system leaders for their commitment to student success!

CBE Night with the Hitmen is coming up on Friday, Jan. 31. Use the code FUEL and $5 from every CBE ticket sold helps students receive nutritious breakfasts through Fuel for School #WeAreCBE

RT @ABSchoolBoards: The nomination deadline for the Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards is Feb. 1, 2020! Sponsored by ASBA, and co-hosted by the Ministry of Indigenous Relations @Richard4Alberta and @AlbertaEd. Nominate an exceptional student today! #ABed

Join us for the Board of Trustees public meeting today at noon at the Ed Centre or stream the meeting online #yycbe #WeAreCBE

Kindergarten registration starts on Monday, Jan 20. New age requirements for this year: Children can register to start kindergarten in the fall of 2020 if they turn 5 years old on or before Dec. 31, 2020 #yycbe #WeAreCBE

We respect the right of parents/guardians to make their own decisions about sending their children to school. If your child will not be attending classes please ensure you contact your school's attendance line to report the absence #yycbe #WeAreCBE

We are planning for all schools to be open as usual during the cold snap. If this changes for any reason, an update will be posted on our website, and parents should watch their email for any updates #yycbe #WeAreCBE

Very cold temperatures are forecast for Calgary in the coming days that can make getting to and from school more challenging. Families are encouraged to ensure their children are prepared for the weather and are dressed appropriately #yycbe #WeAreCBE

We were saddened to learn that one of our international students was among the 176 passengers aboard the Ukrainian International Airlines flight. Our sincere condolences are extended to his family and friends, both in Iran as well as in Canada.

Congratulations to Dr. Freda Miller, our latest Legacy Award winner! She has made significant contributions to science over the course of her career and is a supporter of public education #WeAreCBE