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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

June 26
Year End Message

“One benefit of summer was that each day had more light to read by.”
-Jeanette Walls

Summer is a great time to slow down, rejuvenate and embark on new adventures that only the slow days of summer can offer.  This is also a wonderful time to spend time curled up with a book under your favourite tree or in your favourite spot at home.  Speaking of reading, teachers have sent home a list of grade-appropriate literacy activities to help support students and parents to keep reading skills fresh for the upcoming school year.  As well, they have provided ways of reinforcing numeracy through fun games and real-world experiences.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome two new teachers to our amazing school.  First, we are so excited to have Mrs. Connell join our team as our new kindergarten and music teacher.  Mrs. Connell brings with her significant experience, passion and energy to her work.  In addition, we would also like to welcome Ms. Masniuk to our teaching team.  Ms. Masniuk is also an experienced teacher who is highly skilled in designing engaging lessons through inquiry based learning and was also a part of the CBE lead teacher cohort.

In addition to taking a well-deserved break, teachers are catching up on professional readings, attending workshops, and planning for the upcoming year.  At the same time, our amazing custodial staff and support staff are making sure that everything is in running order and ready for September.    Also, as a reminder, the school will be undergoing renovations during the summer, which includes new siding and windows.  This work will be completed prior to the beginning of the new school year, and we expect our office will be open for new registrations at 10:00am on August 29, 2018.

I am honored to be your principal and am excited about this upcoming school year.   On behalf of the entire staff of Colonel Walker School, we hope everyone has a safe, fun and restful summer, and we look forward to seeing you all in the fall!

Chris Keuben
Principal, Colonel Walker School

June 01
June 2018

“Aaah, summer - that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It's a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.”
-Darell Hammond

After a long, cold winter it’s wonderful to experience an abbreviated spring and early 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.

May ended with artist in residence Darryl Pollock, who worked with all classrooms in developing their photography skills. We, of course, had an opportunity to share our work with parents and community members during our celebration of learning and potluck dinner on May 31. Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to an amazing night. Also, we welcomed many new families to our school at our kindergarten orientation in the evening of May 30, which was followed up with a kindergarten sneak-a-peek in the afternoon of Thursday, May 31.

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Teachers are also hard at work planning for events this June. On June 4, students involved in fish club will be saying farewell to the trout we have been raising through the FINS program. Also, teachers are busy planning our end of year sports day and BBQ on June 25 and our grade 6 farewell, which is scheduled for June 27 in the afternoon.

Planning for the 2018-2019 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 03
May 2018

“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…well…see the school field instead of snow. Students have begun 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.

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Speaking of bursting, our first community day was filled with a great deal of energy. Students truly appreciated the opportunity to learn through workshops and activities led by parents and community members, which included dance, food preparation, gardening, music, graphic design, yoga, and many more. This day ended with our annual volunteer tea, which allowed us to thank all the volunteers who have shared their time, energy and talents with our students throughout the school year.

The month of May promises to be a busy month full of new adventures, experiential learning, and opportunities to celebrate together. Colonel Walker School is, once again, participating in swimming lessons at the Inglewood Aquatic Centre. In addition, we will be welcoming Darryl Pollack, a local photographer, to our school to work with students in all grades to develop their photography skills. This will culminate with a fine art showcase, which is scheduled for the evening of May 31. We will be inviting families to join us for a potluck dinner surrounded by your children’s works of art.

I look forward to continuing our great work together!

Chris Keuben

March 21
March 2018

I find myself writing this message on the last official day of winter, and quite frankly, I am ready to put the season behind me! Don’t get me wrong, the winter season was filled with amazing learning as well as opportunities to come together as a community. For example, our Olympic-themed sports night and the plethora of clubs that welcomed the new year has kept students active and engaged in a variety of ways. Our Grade 5 and 6 students will be saying farewell to winter during their four-day trip to Camp Chief Hector where they will be involved in learning more about the environment and participating in a number of community building events. I know students will come back with memories they will always cherish. Of course, I would like to thank both Mr. Kearney and Ms. Lackie for taking time from their families and busy lives to make this happen. For the third year in a row, Colonel Walker School has been involved in the Fish in Schools (FinS) program with the Bow Habitat Station. The program provides an opportunity to raise trout and observe all the stages of development – from fish to fry – right in our school. Students involve in caring for our trout will be involved in releasing them at the beginning of June with experts at the Bow Habitat Station. I would like to thank Mrs. Hoban and Mr. Robertshaw for their outstanding leadership and commitment in promoting and supporting this program at our school. As we head into spring, we are looking forward to bringing the community back together in the morning on Thursday, April 26 for our first annual Community Learning Day. Teachers have sent out invites to all parents, encouraging individuals to share their passions and talents with our students. Students will have an opportunity to sign up for sessions they are most interest in. The morning will end with our annual volunteer tea. As we look further into the future, we are also looking forward to swimming at the Inglewood Aquatic Centre and welcoming Daryl Pollock, a photography artist in residence. Both of these will be taking place in the second half of May. I look forward to continuing our work together!

Chris Keuben

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January 31
February 2018

“I didn’t come this far, to only come this far.” Tom Brady

It has been a wonderful 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, our artist in residence Three Left Feet, 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 Olympic games night on February 8, grade 5/6 outdoor school, our photography residency with Darryl Pollack, as well as the many clubs that have just started or will be starting soon, including: computer programming, French, sports, crafts, and drama, 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.

Also on January 25th, 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 March 1 and 2, which will be an excellent opportunity for parents, students, and teachers to come together to examine progress a month after report cards and set goals as we head into the spring.

I look forward to continuing our work together!

Mr. Keuben

December 21
January 2018

I find myself writing this message as we head into the final week of classes. Students are busily creating cards that will be delivered to our neighbours later this week, and our classes are working with our artist in residence Three Left Feet to prepare for our winter celebration. Students are so excited, and I am looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labour later this week.

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School conferences were well attended at the beginning of December, which gave students, parents and teachers an opportunity to discuss progress, make adjustments and set goals before report cards are finalized at the end of January. During our conferences, we also held a math games exhibition in the gym focused on developing student fluency with basic math facts through engaging and fun ways using only dice and playing cards. All families walked away with a free set of dice, a pack of playing cards and the instructions. Our hope was to help support parents at home, and based on the feedback we have received, it is already paying dividends. If you were unable to come to conferences or didn’t have time to stop by the gym, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher; we have plenty of cards and dice left! In addition to these math games, you will see additional suggestions in this newsletter for activities you can do with your child during the break to keep reading and math skills fresh. Thank you so much to teachers for taking the extra time to provide these suggestions.

In December, our school continued the tradition of teaming up with the Alexandra Society for the annual holiday hamper collection. I would like to thank Mrs. Hoban for all her work in organizing and promoting this fundraiser.

As the calendar year comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to continuing to work together in the new year!

Mr. Keuben


December 01
December 2017

“The things that excite you are not random. They are connected to your purpose. Follow them.”

November was filled with a great deal of excitement. Indeed, the month was chock-full of moments students will be sure to remember for years to come, including We Day, a surprise visit by Canadian Olympic athlete and classroom champion Marsha Hudey, a visit by CTV meteorologist Warren Dean, a week-long field trip to Arts Commons, an overnight adventure to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and a field trip to explore the new exhibit at the Esker Foundation.

December promises to be just as exciting, filled with great opportunities for our students. For example, Miss Lemke’s class will be heading off for their Open Minds experience at Arts Commons, and Three Left Feet will be coming later in the month to work with the entire school to create a winter performance for the community, which is scheduled for Thursday, December 21 at 6:00pm.

There is also a great deal of excitement being generated through writers’ workshop, which started this month. Writers’ workshop provides opportunities for students to have voice and choice in their writing and receive ongoing, individualized, just-in-time feedback through teacher, peer and self-assessments based on clearly defined standards. With Miss Lackie joining our teaching team, we have been able to reduce the number of students in each writing group to further support student learning. Already we have seen this initiative produce tangible results for many of our students, which we are excited to share with you at school conferences this month.

Teachers have also been hard at work putting together a number of math games that you will be able to play with your child(ren) at home. All of these games are based on cards and dice and are designed to support you in helping your child to become confident and fluent in their basic math facts. We will be handing out free cards and dice to all families during conferences. These will be available in the gym, where Mr. Robertshaw and Miss Lackie will be to assist you in learning these games.

As you go through the newsletter, you will also discover a list of clubs teachers planning for students. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the teachers for all their hard work planning and implementing engaging lessons as well as going the extra mile in providing enrichment opportunities outside of the regular classroom.

The next few months are filled with adventure, and I am excited to continue to learn and grow together!

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

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