Get to know our principal and what’s going on in our school.
January 06
January/February 2020 Newsletter

Hello Chris Akkerman Families!

Hard to believe that it is the year 2020! The time never stops flying by and we are excited about the great opportunities that await us over the next six months. We hope that everyone had a safe and memorable holiday spent with friends and family and that our students were able to get some rest. It is great to see their faces back at school!


January and February are going to be very busy months for us. Our Open House is on January 9 at 7:00 pm. This is an opportunity for families interested in TLC to come and get some information to see if their child would be successful in this program. If your child is currently attending Chris Akkerman, you do not need to attend the Open House. It is for new, interested families only. Registration begins on January 20 and ends on February 11 at noon. We are following the lottery process and all families will be informed regarding acceptance by March 3, 2020. Those families that are not accepted will be placed on the waitlist and may be contacted throughout the year.

Report cards are being sent home on January 30. Teachers are spending countless hours on these important documents to provide you with a clear picture of where your child is as a learner. Please send the envelopes back to the school with your child on February 3. If you have any questions about the report card after it is received, please contact the teacher.


We have some great field trips and other activities coming up within the next two months. Please refer to your master calendar with important dates. We will be completing our gymnastics unit and will continue to have virtue assemblies on the last Friday of each month. The virtue for January is commitment and for February it is compassion. We are also continuing with fun lunch on the 2nd Thursday of each lunch. Please remember that the purpose of these fun lunches is to raise money in order to provide deeper and richer learning experiences for our students. If you or your child chooses to not participate in the fun lunch, please just send them with a regular lunch and we’d ask you to not bring in fast food.


Parents often ask how they can support their child with learning and the best response is to always find time to read with them. Exposing them to many different types of literature and having conversations about what they read will always be beneficial for all students. Thank you for your support with this and with your child’s nightly homework. One of the best ways to help support the school is to attend and participate in our School Council Meetings. These fall on the last Monday of the month at 6:30 pm in our Learning Commons. Please come and join us.


Thank you again for all of your support and we look forward to a great 2020 together.


Derek Siakaluk, Principal

Debbie Bauman, Assistant Principal

October 28

Learning is in full swing here at Chris Akkerman! The past two months have been busy and we are excited to continue this business for the next two months. The focus is always on teaching and learning and we have established our goals for our School Development Plan for the 2019 – 2020 school year. We will be focusing on improving reading comprehension skills in ELA, problem-solving skills in Mathematics and building connections to improve student well-being. These goals will be the focus of our professional learning and the work done during our professional learning communities on Friday afternoons. As a staff, we will regularly reflect on our goals and student evidence of learning to track and monitor our progress.

Many important events are coming up prior to our winter break. Please refer to the school calendar to ensure you are aware of all these events. Parent/Teacher conferences are coming up on November 7 and 8. These are an excellent opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss their learning. Teachers will be prepared with evidence of learning to discuss and review with you. As in the past, appointments are booked using your MyCBEAccount. Please contact the office if you need support with this. Bookings begin on November 4.

We had our first school council meeting in September and were amazed by the turn out and success. We established a new council and are excited to work together this year. All meetings are on the last Monday of the month @ 6:30 pm. We meet in the Learning Commons and encourage all families to attend. The meeting will be on November 25 and there will not be a meeting in December.

Mrs. Costinak is busy preparing for our Grade 3 – 5 winter musical. The dates for these are December 4 and 5 and more information will continue to be shared throughout November. For your information, the following classes will perform on the following evenings: 

- Wednesday, December 4 – Mastin, Betcher, Depew, Cochlin, Bates, Vonka

- Thursday, December 5 – Szczepanski, Hockin, Korolis, Fensom, Peniuk, Fontanne

The last day of classes for students will be on December 19 and they return to school on January 6, 2020. While that seems far away, it’ll be here before we know it. We appreciate all of your support for our wonderful school community. It is our pleasure to work with your students each and every day.

Derek Siakaluk


September 04
September/October 2019
Welcome back to another great year at Chris Akkerman. I am excited to be the proud new Principal at this great school. I had the opportunity to work at Akkerman as Assistant Principal back in 2015 and I am very excited to return. We also have a new Assistant Principal, Debbie Bauman, and together with all of the staff we will work to ensure each child receives the best education they can each and every day.

For all information regarding Chris Akkerman and the TLC program, we’d ask you to read through your child’s agenda with them. The agenda outlines the expectations and requirements of the TLC program and can usually answer any questions you have. It’s also the best way to communicate with your child’s teacher. If there is any information you need to pass onto the teacher, please write it in the agenda. You can also email the teacher with any questions or concerns you may have.

We have an exciting two months coming up. The virtues for September and October are respect and thankfulness. We strive to ensure that we are helping shape individuals who not only learn the curriculum and important life skills, but who will be kind, conscientious and strong individuals. We celebrate each virtue at the end of the month through a learning assembly to recognize the importance of our learning.

UniformsPlease ensure that your child has the appropriate pieces to our school uniform. All expectations are outlined in the agenda and will be reinforced through the teacher. Mondays and assembly days are always formal days. If your child is not wearing the proper formal uniform on these days, the school will phone the parents who will be expected to bring the appropriate pieces.

Parking: As you know, the majority of students are bused each day to and from school. We require the use of the street in front of the school and the alley for these buses to park. Please do not park in these areas when you drop off and/or pick up your child. Also, please ensure you use the crosswalk when crossing the street to ensure the safety of everyone.

Thank you all for your support. We couldn’t have such a great learning community without the support of our Akkerman families.

Derek Siakaluk                                                                   Debbie Bauman

Principal                                                                             Assistant Principal

June 24
Grateful and Honoured to have been Part of this School Community

Once again this school year, I am so proud of our staff’s commitment and dedication which has resulted in student success. I am grateful and honoured to have been part of this school community for the past thirteen years knowing that our students succeed as a result of the partnership between our staff and our families. Special thanks to our parents who have contributed in ways small, large, and unimaginable! Thanks for getting your kids to school on time each day and helping your children in the learning process; the partnership between home and school is important.

This year we hosted approximately 80 parents at our Volunteer Tea. Our students and staff shared their appreciation and gratitude for the gift of time and talent that every volunteer brings to our school. I would like to thank every volunteer once again.

In September, we are expecting 625 students K-5 placed in 26 homeroom classes. We are committed to providing excellent teaching and learning in a positive character-focused environment for every child. Classes were configured by the students’ current teachers. Classroom teachers have the most valid and current knowledge about their students as learners and they work with the School Administration and Resource Team to ensure the most optimum learning environments are created. Every attempt is made to balance a wide variety of factors: matching student learning style with teacher’s style, group dynamics, gender balance and class size to create a strong learning environment in every classroom. It is very difficult to support requests to change classes. Any such requests must be given in writing to the principal, and changes will not occur until the end of the first week and only if there are truly exceptional circumstances related to academic success. Schools must always remember that our central purpose is student learning. We are charged with creating the conditions and culture which demonstrate that we value student learning and achievement. Education is critical to our children’s future success.

At the end of this school year, we are saying a fond farewell to many students. Most of our Grade 5 students will be attending Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Many of these students have been with us since Kindergarten or Grade 1 and we will miss them. We also have students who are leaving us due to family moves – we will miss them as well. We wish all the students leaving us the brightest of futures. You have enriched our lives!

I have enjoyed many happy years at our school. I believe that we have the best students and teachers and the most supportive families. As I leave Chris Akkerman School, thank you all for the wonderful memories. I am leaving a piece of my heart with you.

Deb Warmintgon, Principal

May 27
Grateful to our Volunteers

May was a busy month with our Spring Musicals, Field Trips and Kidney March. On Thursday May 3, we held a very successful Welcome to Kindergarten with 83 out of 104 Kindergarten students attending with their parents. Every student who attended received a bag of books and activities to assist with their preparation for Kindergarten. Our teachers shared ideas and suggestions for parents to prepare their child for the upcoming Kindergarten year. I would like to thank our School Council for providing the funds to cover the costs of the Welcome to Kindergarten activity bags.

As the end of the school year approaches, our staff and students are grateful for the support of the many volunteers who contribute their time and talents to our school. Parents take lead roles on our School Council and attend meetings throughout the school year to advise and provide feedback to our school administration. Our reading volunteers support individual students in developing their reading skills visiting the students weekly. Parents volunteer on class field trips, and come into the school to assist in classrooms. Your generosity enhances our school. All volunteers will receive an invitation to our Volunteer Tea and Assembly (Friday June 7th at 9:30 AM). I look forward to seeing all volunteers there.

At this time, I would like to thank and acknowledge our hardworking School Council. This year they have provided counsel and advice to our school staff and administration on school operations, organized fundraising activities, provided funds for buses for field trips and other activities, planned the fun lunches every month and in general made our school a better place for students and their families. Our staff appreciates their support. Members of this year’s Council and Society Executive were:

Vice Chair Mrs. Amanpreet Jatana
Treasurer Mrs. Marcy Ryan
Secretary Mrs. Primo
Fundraising Committee Marcy Ryan
Amanapreet Jatana
Kim Ridley

In addition, this year we were fortunate to have some new parents who are not on the Executive attend many of our School Council Meetings. Parents who attended 60% of our meetings were given reserved seating at our Winter and Spring Concerts. If you would like to guarantee a great seat at future concerts, consider attending School Council Meetings and volunteering at our next Casino.

The School Council advises the Principal and school staff on the organization and activities of the school as a whole. The Parent Society fund raises to provide enhancements to school programs. Elections for next year’s executive for both the Council and Society are scheduled for Monday September 23rd 2019 at 6:30 PM. All parents with children attending Chris Akkerman are members of the School Council and are eligible to hold a position on the executive. Please consider volunteering your time and expertise to support our school.

Deb Warmington

January 30
January 2019

As this is our first newsletter since the Winter Break, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Kindergarten through Grade 2 students and their teachers, especially Mrs. Costinak, on two wonderful Winter Concerts.  Concerts on both evenings were very well attended.

I would also like to thank the CAVA students and their leaders for yet another extremely successful Food Drive. Our students and their families always amaze me with their generosity and caring for others less fortunate. This year we collected 15 boxes of food! As a result of meeting our goal, our CAVA leadership students, have planned a special day to be held on Friday February 8. Students are invited to come to school on that day dressed as their favourite animal or their favourite superhero. It should be fun!

On January 14 we began accepting registrations for the upcoming school year. The timeline for the first round is January 14 through to February 12 (12:00 PM) 2019. On January 10, we held our Parent Information Evening for families considering TLC as an option for their children. It was very well attended and the parents asked many questions about the program, transportation and the registration and lottery processes. Thank you to our administrative team and our teaching staff who attended and provided advice and assistance.  The PowerPoint presentation from this meeting is posted on our school website.

An important way of supporting your child’s education and school is by attending School Council. School Council supports the creation of a sense of community and spirit of cooperation among teachers, students, parents and the community at large in addition to acting as an advisory group to the school administration. Our next meeting is Monday, February 25 at 6:30 PM. All parents of members of our School Council and are encouraged to attend the meetings.

Deb Warmington

November 27
December 2018/January 2019

Peacefulness was our virtue for November. Our Grade 4 students in Ms. Fensom and Mrs. Korolis’ classes did a wonderful job honouring and remembering those who sacrificed so much that we might enjoy the rights and freedom of our country at our Remembrance Day Assembly. It was wonderful to see the many parents who joined us for this very touching assembly.

Our Winter Celebration Concert is scheduled for Wednesday December 5th and Thursday December 6th at 7:00 PM. We will ask that families with young children sit near an exit and be prepared to exit into the hallway should their young child become disruptive. Please bring an item for the Food Drive when you come to the Concerts. Specific information regarding the concert is posted later in this newsletter.

December and January are very cold months with unpredictable weather. We ask parents to ensure that their children are dressed for the weather and the changes that can occur in the course of a school day. Winter boots, coats, mittens and hats are a must have for all students. Snow pants are highly recommended as well. Our students love to go outside and get some fresh air and exercise at recesses if they are dressed appropriately. Outside play gives them a chance to release excess energy and settle down again for learning. At Chris Akkerman students will only stay inside at recesses when temperatures drop below -20 Celsius including the wind chill. The Calgary Board of Education Cold Weather Guideline states, Outside activities are not recommended when the temperature is -20 Celsius or colder including the wind-chill factor.” Students will stay inside with supervision over recesses during very severe weather.

Parents are advised to check the weather forecast daily before sending their children to school to ensure they are dressed appropriately and that the bus is running on time. We ask that you check the Bus Monitor at http://www.myschoolbusmonitor.ca/. In the winter, as you know from your own experience, motor vehicles can break down, not start or be stuck in traffic for extended periods of time.

To ensure timely communication of school events to our families this newsletter covers the months of December and January. Please post the calendars in a safe and easily accessed location (your fridge is a good place) to ensure you are aware of the important dates for both months.

All parents are members of School Council and are encouraged to attend. At our November meeting there were only three parents, barely enough to engage with the agenda and make decisions. I urge parents to attend these meetings to advise our school administration, influence decisions, provide feedback, ask questions and keep up to date with our school activities. At every meeting, our teachers provide a summary of the ongoing instruction for each grade level. Please note that January’s School Council Meeting is on Monday January 21st at 6:30 PM.

The holiday season is fast approaching. I know that this is a time of celebration in many of our cultures. It is a time to spend with family and friends and a time of community. On behalf of the staff at Chris Akkerman School, I wish every family a joyous and safe holiday. The last day of school for our students is Friday December 21st. School resumes on Monday January 7th 2019.

Deb Warmington, Principal

October 29
November 2018

Our school resonated with music and laughter as our students participated in our Dance Residency from October 9 through October 25. The theme of this residency was “Dance around the World”. As dance is one of the five dimensions of Alberta Education’s Physical Education curriculum, one of the aims of this residency was to provide our students with the opportunity to participate in dance under the direction of an authentic dance instructor. A second goal of the program was to learn more about other cultures through cultural dance moves. The students enjoyed performing the dances they learned for their parents at the Showcases on October 25th. Thank you to our Parent Society for sponsoring this residency.

The home-school partnership is essential in the TLC Program. In addition to Parent Teacher Interviews, our Grades 1 and 2 teachers as well as Kindergarten held curriculum evenings for parents and students. All three curriculum evenings were well attended with parent attendance ranging between 73% – 83%. I know the parents who attended appreciated the support and information from our teaching staff. I believe, and research shows that parent participation in children’s education leads to increased academic success. We look forward to seeing all our Grades 3, 4, and 5 parents at the Curriculum Evenings in November.

Over the past couple of years, we have seen an increase in students bringing their lunches and/or water in glass containers. While we appreciate our families’ joining us to reduce waste, glass containers can injure students. We have had some break leaving glass on desks, chairs and tables which is hazardous for all our students. Also a glass container is much heavier than plastic and can cause a more severe injury should it fall on a student’s hand or foot. Therefore to increase student safety, we are asking parents to ensure they don’t send glass containers to school. School Council supports the creation of a sense of community and spirit of cooperation among teachers, students, parents and the community at large. In addition it acts as an advisory group to the school administration. At our October meeting, the school, administration shared the school development planning process as well as a draft of our school’s 2018-2019 School Development Plan. Parents who attended the meeting had the opportunity to ask questions and provide suggestions and feedback. Our next meeting is Monday November 19th at 6:30 PM in the Learning Commons. All parents of members of our School Council and are encouraged to attend the meetings.

Deb Warmington

September 28
October 2018

Students and staff are settling into routines and the sense of community and belonging continue to grow. As of today we have 632 students K-5 organized into 26 homeroom classes as listed below:

Kindergarten AM: 3 classes
Kindergarten PM: 3 classes
Grade 1: 4 classes
Grade 2: 4 classes
Grade 3: 4 classes
Grade 4: 4 classes
Grade 5: 4 classes

Due to student moves and transfers over the summer and the beginning of the school year, we were able this year to offer spots to students on the waitlist at every grade level. In Kindergarten through Grade 3 additional teachers have been assigned to reduce class size focusing on Literacy and Numeracy instruction. In Grades 4 and 5 additional support for students and teachers is provided through school assistants in every classroom.

Our Office staff were busy with registration information, distributing bus maps, processing student files, assisting families in setting up their online CBE accounts, assisting parents setting up their new MyCBE/PowerSchool accounts and with online booking of Parent-Teacher Conferences. The new MyCBE/PowerSchool program is amazing but has provided both our parents and staff with additional challenges at the beginning of the year. Thank you, parents and staff for patience and understanding as we adapt to the new system.

Teachers and students have been settling in and getting to know one another and building community in the classrooms. The Parent Teacher Conferences in September initiated the home-school partnership and provided our teachers with further insight into each of their students. The Conferences were well attended. We thank all the parents who attended with 96% of our students’ parents attending. This was an important first step in supporting your child and their teacher in the learning journey.

Once again this year students, teachers and parents, engaged in goal setting conversations. Goal setting is used by top-level athletes, successful business people and achievers in all fields. Setting goals provides vision and motivation. It focuses the acquisition of knowledge and helps to organize time and resources. By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, students are able to measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, as well as see forward progress. Students’ self-confidence will increase as they recognize their abilities and competence in achieving the goals that they’ve set.

Another important way of supporting your child’s education and our school is by attending School Council. School Council supports the creation of a sense of community and spirit of cooperation among teachers, students, parents and the community at large, in addition to acting as an advisory group to the school administration.

At the September School Council Meeting elections for the Executive Members were held. Congratulations and thank you to the following people who were elected:

Chair Atiya Ashna
Vice Chair Amanpreet Jatana
Secretary Michelle Primo
Treasurer Marcy Ryan
Key Communicator Gurdeep Dhaliwal
Fundraising Committee Marcy Ryan (Chair)
Amanpreet Jatana
Kim Ridley

At the September Parent Society Meeting the following people were elected to Executive positions. Congratulations and thank you to:

Chair Atiya Ashna
Vice Chair Gurdeep Dhaliwal
Secretary Michelle Primo
Treasurer Marcy Ryan
Casino/Fundraising Marcy Ryan

The meeting dates for this school year are:

October 22
November 19
December 17
January 21
February 25
March 18
April 15
May 27
June 17

They will be posted on the monthly calendar that goes home with students. All parents are members of our School Council and are encouraged to attend the meetings.

Deb Warmington

September 05
Welcome Back

​I'm looking forward to the laughter, smiles, hugs and excited chatter that signal the start of a new school year.  Welcome back to our returning students and a huge welcome to our new students and their families.

September is a time of renewal and excitement in schools. Students eagerly arrive on the first day to greet old friends and teachers and develop new relationships. The new school year arrives with hope, enthusiasm, excitement and anticipation. Our staff has been busy at work in August making plans for the year as well as organizing classrooms and hallways. Thank you to all of our staff who have worked so hard to prepare for our new year.

In September, we are expecting approximately 630 students K-5, made up of 26 classes. We are committed to providing excellent teaching and learning in a positive character-focused environment for every child. Classes were configured by the students’ last year teachers. Classroom teachers have the most valid and current knowledge about the students as learners and they worked with the School Administration and Resource Team to ensure the most optimum learning environments are created. Every attempt is made to balance a wide variety of factors: matching student learning style with teacher’s style, group dynamics, gender balance and class size to create a strong learning environment in every classroom.  With student learning as our central purpose, our school staff were thoughtful as we worked to create the conditions and culture at Chris Akkerman that demonstrated how much we value student learning and academic achievement.

It is very difficult to support requests for classroom moves. Any such requests must be given in writing to me, and changes will not occur until the end of the first week and only if there are truly exceptional circumstances related to academic success.

The virtue for September is Responsibility. We chose this as our first virtue as our students will be setting goals and committing to their studies at the start of the school year. Teachers and parents play an important role in helping students set achievable and relevant goals. An important piece of goal setting is making an action plan to achieve the goal. Parents are asked to take time to talk to their children about goals and actions in preparation for the September interviews.

Chris Akkerman School continues on its journey to excellence and living up to the trust that our students and their families place in our work. We have a wonderful staff consisting of returning members and welcoming new staff members. Each staff member is dedicated to creating a safe and positive environment focussed on student learning and achievement.

Student achievement and engagement improve when parents and school staff work together as partners in the children’s education. I encourage all parents to take an active role in their child’s education by volunteering, attending School Council, actively monitoring homework, attending special events and developing a relationship with their child’s teacher(s). Your participation demonstrates your interest in, and commitment to, your child’s education. Our first School Council Meeting is scheduled on Monday September 24th at 6:30 PM in the Learning Commons. At that time an election will take place for Executive positions. There are vacancies for Executive positions this year. Further information about School Council is posted on our website www.cbe.ab.ca/b339 under Parents. School Council meets on each month at 6:30 PM. At our first meeting, we will confirm the meeting dates for the remainder of the school year. School Council provides an opportunity for parents to learn about the school and its programs as well as provide feedback and advice to the school staff as decisions are made.

We are fortunate to be supported by our students’ parents in all we do. Our students are successful as a result of the partnership between home and school. Every school year students and their parents are asked to sign the Commitment Form at the front of the Student Agenda pledging their support of the work we do together. I ask once again for parents to review this document, sign and return it to your child’s teacher by the end of September.

Deb Warmington

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 Deb Warmington, Principal

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Hello families! Please stop by the front office and place a marker on the world map to indicate where your family originates from. We'd love to see you during Parent Conferences on Thursday night and Friday morning!

Thanks to all families and staff for a great first week of School! Please mark your calendar for our first parent council meeting on September 23rd at 6:30 pm. All parents are 😃welcome!

Kindergarten Orientation is tonight (June 13th) at 6:30pm. If your child has been accepted into Kindergarten at Chris Akkerman School for the 2019-20 school year, then you should attend this meeting. https://t.co/kFbpRuYxCs

The annual McCarthy's TLC Focus Week held at the Calgary McCarthy’s location (5911 3rd St S.E.) is from June 11 - 15th. This is where you purchase your Traditional Learning Centre uniform. Be uniform ready! See attached flyer for more information. https://t.co/Sq7RK7q4sx

Our School Council meeting is today, May 27th at 6:30 pm. This is one great way to have a voice in your child's education. Parents, please join us. https://t.co/OrUWAWe8ww