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May 31
It’s wonderful to experience the arrival of summer weather!

“Then followed that beautiful season…summer...filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

After a long, cold winter it’s wonderful to experience the arrival of summer weather! It seems Mother Nature has been working hard to catch up for lost time. And while it may be tempting with such beautiful weather to ease into the summer break, we find ourselves still hard at work.

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May began with our artist in working with students on creating our new mural, which is in the final steps of being prepared for installation on our building. We were also excited to bring back Community Day in May. Community Day occurred in the morning of May 16, and was an opportunity for parents and community members to share their knowledge and skills with students. This included small business owners, computer programmers, musicians, artists, non-profit organizations, yogis, actors, accountants, and more. Our community is filled with individuals passionate about the activities and jobs they do, and we wanted to provide opportunities for students to explore and experience the diversity our community has to offer. Later that day, we celebrated and thanked our community and parent volunteers at our annual volunteer tea. There were musical presentations by all our students and a special flag club presentation. I would like to extend a special thank you to Miss Lemke and Mrs. Connell for their hard work and dedication in working with our students to put on such an exceptional performance! Finally, we also welcomed the Rideau Park senior band to our school near the end of May for a special outdoor concert. Thanks Mr. Siemens for visiting us!

Teachers are also hard at work planning for events this June. On June 5, we will be welcoming next year kindergarten families to our school at our sneak-a-peek event, which provides an opportunity for next year students to meet each other, meet their teacher and get a taste of what kindergarten is all about. Also, teachers are busy planning our end of year sports day and BBQ on June 24 and our grade 6 farewell, which is scheduled for June 26 in the afternoon.

Planning for the 2019-2020 school year is also well underway. Teachers have been collaborating to develop next year class lists and planning transitions for students who will be changing teachers or moving to other schools. We have also been hard at work scheduling artists in residence and exploring possible field trips for next year.

I look forward to continuing our great work together this month and next year!

-Chris Keuben​

May 01
It's Wonderful to see Students Outside

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
― Margaret Atwood


It is so wonderful to step out onto the school field and see students digging in the dirt and gravel, building with sticks and mulch, catching ladybugs and simply discovering the emerging green shoots bursting through the thawing soil. We were fortunate to have great weather for our annual Earth Day activities. The assembly brought our school together with Piitoayis Family School, where we celebrated our successes in diverting waste from the landfill, increasing the amount we composted, and sharing our respect and love for Mother Earth Na’a. Thanks to all the parents who joined us, and to all the students and staff for their efforts in cleaning up our school field! I would also like to give a special thanks to Mrs. Connell and the “compost crew” for their passion and time in planning the day and helping us to move forward in meeting our recycling and composting targets.

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The month of May promises to be a busy month full of new adventures, experiential learning, and opportunities to celebrate and work together. This week we have started our work on the school mural with our artist in residence Rebecca Ellison. It’s mazing to see how quickly things are coming together. On May 1, students and teachers are encouraged to wear a hat to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health. Teachers are planning a number of related activities in their classrooms. In addition, Colonel Walker School is, once again, participating in swimming lessons at the Inglewood Aquatic Centre. Finally, we are looking forward to our annual Community Day where students get the opportunity to learn through workshops and activities led by parents and community members, which will include dance, gardening, music, computer programming, yoga, and much more. This day will end with our annual volunteer tea, which allows us to thank all the volunteers who have shared their time, energy and talents with our students throughout the school year. An RSVP will be sent out shortly via email.

I look forward to continuing our great work together!

Chris Keuben

March 21
March was Filled with Many Opportunities

March was filled with many opportunities for students, teachers, support staff, parents and community organizations to collaborate and learn together.

Newsletter-Apr-2019-3.jpgOur literacy night, which was held in the evening on March 14, was a powerful example of how we can come together as a community. The student-led presentation and activities focused on exploring the many ways we use literacy in our daily lives, providing ideas for how parents may help support their child, and sharing the joy of learning together. I was delighted to see the energy, engagement and enthusiasm that was present throughout the school that evening. Thank you to all the families for contributing to the potluck dinner. Also, I would like to extend a special thanks to all the students involved in hosting the evening and to our staff for their efforts in making the night such a success.

Student reflection is an important part of effective self-assessment; it occurs “when students think about how their work meets established criteria; they analyze the effectiveness of their efforts, and plan for improvement” (Rolheiser, Bower, & Stevahn, 2000, p. 31). In our ongoing effort to engage students in self-assessment, we will be having student led conferences in the evening of April 11, providing students with an opportunity to reflect on their learning, select samples of their work that reflect their progress, and articulate to their parents what they know and can do, how they know this, and what their next steps are. Parents will be able to schedule a time through My CBE. Teacher led conferences are also available on Friday, April 12 and can be booked in the same fashion as above.

At the end of April, we are excited to welcome Rebecca Ellison, an artist in residence, who will be working with our entire student body over an entire week in creating a mural, which will be installed outside near our school’s main entrance. The theme of the project is working together from the past and into the future. I would like to extend my many thanks to parents, students, teachers and community members for contributing their ideas and making this project a truly collaborative endeavour.

I look forward to continuing our work together!

Chris Keuben

February 28
Thank Yous

“Keep your mind open to opportunities. Try a couple of good ones then focus on the best!”
-Ariston P Awitan

As we head toward spring break, I would like to take this opportunity to thank teachers for all of their hard work in planning engaging tasks and spending countless hours assessing student progress, making adjustments, and embedding regular feedback into classroom activities. Much of this preparation happens behind the scenes and well beyond the defined school hours. I cannot say enough about their dedication and passion for the work they do with students and for students!

I would also like to thank our staff for planning our schoolwide trip to Studio Bell. The trip gave all students an opportunity to explore the science of music through a variety of hands-on activities. Students wore their new Colonel Walker School t-shirts on the trip. We hope to see the wave of blue continue, with students wearing their shirts on future field trips, special event days at the school, and on Fridays. We’ll be sure to send out some reminders through Class Dojo.​

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I am looking forward to our literacy night, which is scheduled for the evening of March 14. The evening will begin with a potluck dinner and will be followed by a presentation and activities in the gym designed to provide parents with strategies that they can use at home with their children. Please contact Tammy in the office to let us know how many will be attending and what dish you will be bringing.

Finally, I would like to thank all the students and staff for their participation in the annual Pink Shirt Day. Students and staff wore pink on February 27 to show that our school community strives to be an inclusive environment where bullying and unkind behaviour are not tolerated. Teachers took the time in their classrooms to discuss the history and meaning of this day and participate in a number of activities designed to promote our caring community.

I look forward to continuing our work together!

Chris Keuben

February 01
Great First Half of the School Year

It has been a great first half to the school year! In fact, while discussing the year with my student advisory group, kids enthusiastically shared all of the things that make Colonel Walker such an incredible place to learn, which included field trips, Alien Inline Skating, the opening barbeque, as well as opportunities to work with their peers and learn through hands-on, project-based learning. They also spoke at length about the positive relationships they have developed in our tight-knit community. With that said, we have more work to do. Indeed, the second half of the year will provide further opportunities for our learning community to grow together. I am looking forward to our whole school trip to Studio Bell, as well as the many clubs that have just started or will be starting soon, including: chess, art, STEM, and flag club, just to name a few. As always, I would like to thank the parent association for continuing to support the amazing field trip opportunities and residencies our students enjoy, and of course, teachers for the energy and passion they bring to this work.

Please also be aware that Alberta Education will be conducting the annual Accountability Pillar Survey. As an annual check-up on the education system, the Accountability Pillar provides an opportunity for Alberta Education and school authorities to ensure that we are equipping students for success. Parents of students in Grades 4 to 6 should have already received information regarding this survey. Your participation in the survey helps provide important information on the quality of education your child is receiving, so we encourage you to return your survey promptly. Students in grades 4 to 6 will also be completing the survey at school.

On January 23, School Council met. A large portion of the meeting was dedicated to discussing our legacy mural project. We welcomed visual artist Rebecca Ellison to facilitate our conversation. I must say, I was overwhelmed by the passion parents expressed in our community and our school! We will be look for your feedback very soon through an online survey, so keep your eyes open for it!

We were happy with the turnout for our kindergarten open house, which was held on Thursday, January 24. Mrs. Connell, parent representatives, and I had an opportunity to share information and answer questions with prospective families. Thank you to all those who attended!

Also on January 25, students took home their first formal report card for the school year. I am very proud of the students’ accomplishments and of our teachers for their exceptional work in conveying information about student learning to families. Our next set of school conferences are scheduled for April 11 and 12, which will be an excellent opportunity for parents, students, and teachers to come together to examine progress and make adjustments well before the final report card goes home.

I look forward to continuing our work together!

Mr. Keuben

December 20
Celebrating Successes

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something.” –Neil Gaiman

As we approach the end of the calendar year, it’s a great opportunity to reflect, celebrate our many successes and make plans for the new year.

First, I would like to take the opportunity to thank our teachers for all of the careful and thoughtful planning they have put in to create engaging and meaningful tasks on a daily basis and provide opportunities for students to work with community members and organizations. In the new year, we will continue to work with our community partners, including: Studio Bell, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Inglewood Aquatic Centre, the Bow Habitat Station, artist in residence Rebecca Ellison, and others.

I would also like to give a special thanks to our support staff. Our school would not run so smoothly without them. Watching how they interact with students on a daily basis, it is clear they have a passion for working with our students.

I would like to give a special thank you to our music teacher extrodinaire Mrs. Connell for all of her work and preparation to make our winter celebration such a success. Also, thanks to teachers for their flexibility and support in designing and creating the costumes and setting. Finally, I would like to thank students for bringing A Bugz Christmas to life with all their enthusiasm and energy!

School conferences took place at the beginning of December, which provided an excellent opportunity for parents, students and teachers to meet formally to discuss progress and make adjustments prior to report cards going home on January 25. With that said, it is important to remember that assessment is ongoing. You will continue to receive ongoing feedback through student work that is sent home, agendas, emails, telephone conversations and in-person meetings as needed.

Enjoy the holidays, and I look forward to continuing our work together in the new year!

Chris Keuben
Principal, Colonel Walker School
403-777-6780
cjkeuben@cbe.ab.ca

November 30
Dec. 2018

​“Successful schools not only embrace but also actively solicit the engagement of student families.” –Debbie Silver

Throughout the year, teachers have been communicating student progress and sharing learning experiences through a variety of methods including: Class Dojo, emails, telephone conversations, agendas and communication folders, face to face meetings, student work that is sent home, and newsletters. On December 6 and 7, we have scheduled our second set of school conferences to provide a formal opportunity for parents, students and teachers to sit down and discuss strengths and areas for improvement so we can make adjustments prior to report cards at the end of January. I encourage all families to schedule a time by logging in to MyCBE/Powerschool (www.cbe.ab.ca/mycbe). If you do not have an account, follow the Create a MyCBE Account instructions. If you are unable to attend either day, please contact your child’s teacher to set up an appointment at another time. I am also available to meet with you. Feel free to book a time through the online conference manager, call me to set up a time, or come by the office on a day that is convenient for you.

Our winter celebration is quickly approaching. Read more in A Bugz Christmas Winter Celebration.

Our school development plan (SDP) was shared at our school council meeting. Based on last years’ results and feedback from parents, we have developed targeted goals to make further improvements in numeracy as well as literacy. To view our SDP and our school’s results, please visit Our School.

In addition to performing in their own theatrical productions, students in grade 1-6 are also looking forward to attending a student matinee of Zorro: Family Code on Tuesday, December 11 at Alberta Theatre Projects. As always, we are so appreciative of the parent association for providing the funds for this worthwhile experience. More information (including the itinerary, acknowledgement of risk forms and volunteer forms) will be sent home in the near future.

I look forward to an amazing month as we continue to grow together!

Chris Keuben
Principal, Colonel Walker School
403-777-6780
cjkeuben@cbe.ab.ca

November 02
Nov. 2018

​“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” –Henry Ford 

I often find myself coming back to and reflecting on Henry Ford’s words.  Success, indeed, come from working together, which is an idea that is also reflected in our school mantra “together we grow”.  This was certainly the case in the month of October.   For example, we invited Alien In-Line to work with our staff and students in supplementing our physical education curriculum.  This four-day residency was wildly popular with our students, which was evidenced by the number of students rollerblading to school and throughout the community!  The residency was capped off with a family skate night, where students were able to show off their skills and celebrate their learning with other members of our school community.  I was very impressed by the number of parents who donned inline skates, particularly those who were not as skilled.  It’s important for kids to see adults literally and figuratively falling down, dusting themselves off and getting right back up to try again! School council was once again well attended in October.  Mrs. Connell was on hand to talk about her kindergarten program as well as her vision for creating an outstanding music program at our school.  We also had the opportunity to share our school’s results based on assessment data and surveys conducted last year.  Parents in attendance engaged in an in-depth discussion regarding this year’s school development plan.  Thank you to everyone for your feedback!  The school development plan and school results will be posted next month on our website. 

As we look ahead to the coming months, there will be plenty of opportunities to also work with our community partners.  In November, the grade 3/4 classes will be travelling to the Leighton Centre, where students will be engaged in art lessons that promote visual literacy, thoughtful observation, critical thinking and discuss how we gain inspiration from the landscape around us.   Teachers are also in the final stages of booking a matinee performance at Alberta Theatre Projects for students in grades 1- 6.  Also, we will be taking the entire school to Bell Studio to supplement our burgeoning music program.  We will communicate dates once they have been finalized, and of course, be inviting parents to volunteer for these exciting, experiential learning opportunities.   I look forward to continuing our work together!

Chris Keuben Principal,
Colonel Walker School
403-777-6780
cjkeuben@cbe.ab.ca ​

October 02
Oct. 2018
“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
-William Cullen Bryant

While the summer months are filled with exploration and adventure, I find autumn offers an opportunity to reconnect with the people and places that anchor us to our community.

Through September, we focused a great deal on providing an opportunity to say “hi” to friends and welcome new families. In addition to our annual first day muffin mixer and assembly, we held our second annual community barbeque, which was very well attended. I was also very pleased to see such a large turnout for our first school council meeting of the year, which was held on Wednesday, September 19. I hope our next school council meeting will be as well attended; the more opportunities we have to meet and talk, the greater the impact we can have.

School conferences, which were held on September 20 and 21, were also well attended and provided further opportunities to touch base, set goals, open lines of communication, and further enhance our understanding of our students’ passions, strengths and opportunities for growth. These discussions, in combination with the careful transition planning teachers undertook prior to the first day of classes, has helped us to hit the ground running.

Speaking of running, our Terry Fox run took place on Thursday, September 27. Staff, students and parents from Colonel Walker School were joined by our friends from the Piitoayis Family School for an assembly. This was a great opportunity to raise awareness about cancer and cancer research, show our support in finding a cure, and work together for a common cause. We were equally proud to join Piitoayis Family School the following day for Orange Shirt Day. It was moving to learn from our indigenous friends what Orange Shirt Day means to them. I am excited to find more opportunities to work together in the near future.

Looking forward to the month of October, we are pleased to invite Alien Inline to our school. This group teaches students inline skating skills and safety during the week of October 15. It will be capped off with an evening family skate in our gym on Thursday, October 18. We will be sending out specific details regarding this as we get closer to the date.

I look forward to continuing our work together!

Chris Keuben
Principal, Colonel Walker School
403-777-6780
cjkeuben@cbe.ab.ca

​​
August 30
Sept. 2018

Hello Colonel Walker Families!

On behalf of all of the staff at Colonel Walker School, it is my pleasure to welcome you to 2018-2019 school year. For those of you whose children have attended our school last year, we are so glad to have you returning. And for those of you whose children are joining us this year, we are pleased to have you as a part of our school community.

September provides us with an opportunity to reconnect with students, families and colleagues, as well as share stories of a summer well spent. It also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on past successes, set new and ambitious goals, and build new relationships.

This September, we will have a number of opportunities to come together as a community. In addition to our open day events, families are invited to join us for a welcome back barbeque on September 12 as well as for our annual Terry Fox Run Friday, September 15. Also, school conferences are scheduled the following week on September 21 and 22.

It is my pleasure to introduce new members to our teaching team for this year. Ms. Masniuk will be joining us as our new grade 5/6 teacher. Ms. Masniuk is an experienced teacher coming from Glendale Elementary. I am also pleased to announce that Mrs. Connell will also be joining our team this year as our new kindergarten and music teacher. Mrs. Connell is a master teacher with a wealth of experience from kindergarten to grade 6 as an elementary generalist and as a music specialist. Finally, Mrs. Al Sharbati has accepted a part time teaching position to help support our numeracy initiatives this year. Mrs. Al Sharbati’s specialization and passion is math and will be working with students in Grades 1-6.

I am eager to meet our new families to Colonel Walker School and look forward to seeing returning students and parents on the first day of classes on Tuesday, September 4. On this day, parents/caregivers and students are invited to join on the school compound at 8:20 am for a Muffin Mixer - coffee and muffins will be provided by the Colonel Walker School Council and Parent Association. This mixer offers a wonderful opportunity for families and teachers to mingle, to reacquaint with one another and to welcome new people into the community.

At 8:40 am our entry bell will ring. Students (and parents who wish), will come into the gymnasium for a brief gathering, and then students will head off to their classes with their teachers. There will also be a brief presentation for parents highlighting important information regarding the school year.

Our lunchroom is open the first day of school. If students are accessing Colonel Walker’s lunch supervision program, please ensure that they bring their lunch to school.

The lunch break is from 12:12 PM - 1:00 PM.

A reminder to Kindergarten families: all kindergarten students are attending school on September 4 and will be dismissed at their regular time of 11:20 AM.

Basic supplies that students will need include:

  • backpack
  • morning snack
  • lunch (if the student is staying at school for lunch)
  • well-fitting indoor runners for use in physical education classes

Please contact the school office at 403-777-6780 with any further questions or clarification.

We all look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,
Chris Keuben
Principal Colonel Walker School
403-777-6780
cjkeuben@cbe.ab.ca

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