Get to know our principal and what’s going on in our school.
September 10
September 6, 2019

Good afternoon,

We want to welcome all our families to the 2019-2020 school year.  Although very busy, we have had a great start to the school year and we have survived the first week.  All students, including kindergarten, are now settled into their classes and beginning to thrive.  We look forward to an exciting year of learning and growing together.  

This year we will be communicating with families each week through weekly messenger emails.  We will NO longer be publishing a monthly newsletter.  We feel weekly communication allows for more up to date information.  We will also be updating our website calendar on a regular basis.  Please refer to the website frequently to keep informed about DDS activities and important dates. It will be updated weekly.  If you would still like a paper copy of the calendar we invite you to create this, using the tool on the DDS website that says “calendar print out”.

Informational Items:

Welcome Back Family Picnic – Please join us from 5:30-7:00 on Thursday September 12, 2019. You are welcome to bring your own picnic food or order from the food trucks that will be on site.

Picture Day is coming on Friday, September 13th, 2019.  After picture day, order your pictures on mylifetouch.ca using your Portrait ID and Access Code which can be found on your Picture Day order form.

Parking – please note that the DDS “Kiss and Ride” drop of area will go into effect on Monday September 9th.  The “Kiss and Ride” area is located directly in front of the school, and will be well marked with signs.  We ask that you do not park in this area when the signs are out (8:30am-9:15am). This area is designed for parents to pull in and let their kids out on curb. Please do not exit your vehicle. Students need to be able to get out of their vehicle and independently

Healthy Hunger – we will continue to offer special lunch days for students in grades 1-4. All ordering will be done through www.healthyhunger.ca.  We are working to finalize our vendors and dates. We will send additional information once we have finalized the details.

“Admazing” Coupon Books – we once again have a limited number of coupon books for sale for $25.00. See Karin in the office if you are interested.

Embrace Dental Care is offering free dental exams/check ups for grade one students from September 1- October 31. They are  located at #12, 20 Douglas Woods Dr. SE 403-723-2273.

Edie and Shawna

June 26
Happy Summer

June 2019

Thank you for another successful year at Douglasdale School. It is a privilege to work with such a committed and talented school community all pulling together to serve our wonderful students.  Edie Reichardt, your new principal, has been spending a lot of time at DDS and is looking forward to the upcoming school year. 

Staffing for next year is set but may change once provincial funding decisions are clarified in the upcoming budget. Several staff members will be leaving Douglasdale School at the conclusion of this school year. Departing staff include John Kershaw, Lisa MacGillivray, Lindsay Johnson, Teodora Toth and Karen Duquette. We thank them for their contributions and wish them all the best. Farewell to all of the families who are leaving DDS. We wish you happiness and continued success.  For those of you arriving at DDS for the first time, welcome to our amazing school!

One change next year includes having early dismissal on the last day of each week. The bell time will be 2:00PM.

Class lists are thoughtfully done by teachers who take a lot into consideration including gender, social groupings, past history, special needs and parent input. On the first day of school please respect their decisions; teachers have the big picture in mind and do their best for all students and one move can cause a domino effect. 

Thanks to the staff for their fine work this year and to all of you for your support and involvement. Please check your email in late August as teachers will be sending out welcome back emails to students. Kindergarten students will have staggered entry, please refer to the last page of your welcome to kindergarten package. Students who would benefit from a classroom visit before the first day of school (Sneak a Peek) can come in from 11:00 a.m. to noon on August 30. Have a fabulous summer and we will see you on September 3.

Edie Reichardt, Principal, Chris Aylesworth, Acting Principal and Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal

June 05
June 2019

​Thank you for the warm welcome to Douglasdale School. It has been a steep learning curve getting to know the staff, students and parents but I feel quite at home here. Douglasdale School has a culture that clearly focusses on student achievement and success. The physical spaces are designed with students in mind and the staff is nurturing, hardworking and committed to providing quality experiences for your children. Diane Kamitakahara, although retired, is still on speed-dial to help answer questions and offer guidance and Mrs. Weir has been invaluable. For that I am thankful. Edie Reichardt, your new principal, has been by on several occasions to meet with staff and plan for the 2019/20 school year. She has an excellent reputation and is thrilled to be joining this wonderful school community.

All of us DDS loved being pampered by school council during staff appreciation week. The treats, kind words and gifts are much appreciated. Thanks to the DDS school council executive and to all of you for your contributions to our school. Your passion and commitment to public education makes a big difference. Special thanks to David’s Tea for their donations. 

The preliminary school budget for the upcoming school year will be leaner due to funding reductions across the CBE. The good news is that each class will have a talented teacher, our music program is intact, and we still have two educational assistants. Unfortunately, we did have to reduce the hours of teachers who provide extra classroom support as well as educational assistant and library support. Things may change in the fall once the provincial budget is released. 

Several staff members will be moving on at the end of the school year. Farewell to Teodora Toth and Karen Duquette who may return under the EA retention program, John Kershaw is moving to a teaching position in Saskatchewan and Lisa MacGillivray and Rachel Oke will be pursuing other teaching opportunities within the CBE. All are valued employees who will be missed. We wish them well. 

Once approved, the DDS school calendar for 2019/20 will be sent out. The last day of classes this year is June 26.

From all of us at DDS, have a safe and memorable summer. 

Chris Aylesworth, Acting Principal     caaylesworth@cbe.ab.ca 

Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal, Darryl Fidler, Learning Leader       

Shannon Salomons, Learning Leader, Michelle Webster, Learning Leader​

May 21
May 21, 2019

It is my pleasure to introduce myself, Edie Reichardt, as the new principal of Douglasdale Elementary School and I am honored to be replacing Diane Kamitakahara. I will be working closely with Ms. Weir along with Mr. Aylesworth as I transition into my new role.  I am coming to Douglasdale as previous principal at Mount View Elementary School. Prior to that, I was the assistant principal at Catherine Nichols Gunn and MacKenzie Towne School. Douglasdale is a school with high achieving students, an extremely dedicated staff, and a supportive school community.   I feel fortunate to be joining Ms. Weir as we work together to support the students and the families in the school. 

I began my career working in an Aboriginal group home where I taught students in special education from grades 3-12 before joining the CBE as a classroom teacher. I taught elementary school for 16 years and then moved into system work in curriculum design with Innovative Learning. During this time, I worked with schools across the CBE as an elementary social studies and science specialist. This also involved work with Alberta Education as well as publishers in resource development before I moved into school administration in 2012.

The students are at the center of all of my school-related decisions and I am looking forward to getting to know all of them. I am excited to unite my experience, my openness to learn, and my child-centered approach to support your children.  I believe the relationships between families and the school are vital to the success of our students and I encourage you to become involved in every way possible.  

I look forward to a wonderful year ahead and am excited to meet all of you.  Please remember that my door is always open and I welcome your conversation and input during the year.

Have a wonderful summer and please stop by to say hello in September,

Warm regards,


April 30
May 2019

I would like to thank everyone for such wonderful support of my work here at Douglasdale School over these past three years.  Douglasdale School is an incredible learning environment and I have been extremely privileged to have served as Principal.  I have appreciated your involvement in the school, and your commitment to public education.  Your children are amazing!  Our staff is amazing!  It IS very hard to leave, but after 38 years of teaching for the CBE, it is time I spend some energy on other things.  I will take with me what I have learned from all of you and your children, and a part of all of you will be with me always.  I am truly grateful.      

                                                                        Diane Kamitakahara  (Ms. Kami)


I am Chris Aylesworth and I will be your acting principal for May and June.  I retired as a principal in March from Jennie Elliott School in Lakeview and before that I was principal of Sunalta School in Scarboro.  During the last week I have visited Douglasdale School several times and I am looking forward to getting to know your wonderful school community. Ms. Kamitakahara and I have been colleagues for many years and I have appreciated her support during the transition. Since your assistant principal, Ms. Weir, knows the lay of the land, I will be working closely with her to keep the school running smoothly. Behind the scenes, the CBE will be looking at finding the best person to lead Douglasdale School for the 2019/2020 school year.

I am looking forward to our work together.                    Chris Aylesworth



May News

Thank you to everyone who attended our Spring Fling Family Dance and Marketplace on April 18th.  Many thanks to our School Council for providing the DJ and organizing all the ticket sales and clean-up.  Thank you to our Douglasdale families and staff for supporting our students in their endeavour to raise funds for both “Operation Spirit” - working to raise funds for training and providing service dogs— and our new school playground.  The evening was an overwhelming success.


Our Strategy Family Games Nights have also been a great success this year.  Thank you to Mr. Minken, one of our dads, for providing the games and the expertise.  We’re looking forward to our last evening for Grade 1 on May 8th.


We would also like to thank Mr. Anderson, and our Grade 4 students and their teachers, for a wonderful Orff the Wall performance at Jack Singer Concert Hall.  It was amazing. 

 RAM—Resource Allocation Method—is the process CBE uses for preliminary planning for the next school year.  Schools are allotted a specific amount of funds, out of which come teaching and support staff, with a certain percentage left for the general running of the school.  We make our “best plan” now and have the opportunity in both August and then again at the end of September when we get our “final count” of students, to adjust accordingly.  Douglasdale School is projected for approximately 20 students less next year as we are accommodating for fewer students from McKenzie Towne as years go by.  As a staff we will work at deciding on the best class configuration to meet the needs of students in our building.   As teacher staffing is not occurring until early June, we cannot confirm what grades teachers will be teaching.   If you have important information which will affect your child’s placement for next year, please email it to Ms. Weir.  Teachers know your children extremely well and spend a huge amount of time and deliberation planning where their students would achieve best, while maintaining well balanced classrooms.  

Our School Council Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 30 at 6:30 PM.  We hope you can attend.  

Thank you for your support of student learning at Douglasdale School!​

April 02
April 2019

We hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating Spring Break!  We’ve hit the ground running, coming back to Alien In-Line Skating, our Read-a-Thon, and Aggie Days on Friday.  


Thank you to everyone who attended Student Led Conferences.  Parents always comment on how impressed they are with their children’s ability to explain their own learning with such clarity and with a critical eye.  We believe that from a very young age, students can take responsibility for themselves, set goals and be reflective.  Many thanks to our School Council who covered the cost of our staff meal from Costa Vida on Conference Day/Evening.  It is such a treat and so nice not to have to worry about our dinner.


Thank you for returning the forms regarding attendance for the next school year.  This always helps us plan our organization.  We receive a certain amount of funds per student and we then look at student needs, program, and staff expertise in order to best allocate these available resources.  


We would like to welcome Ms. Kim Gjerdrum, our new Educational Assistant in CSSI.  


We’re trying a new arrangement for lunch time.  Grades 1 and 4 are eating in the first shift from 12:15 – 12:40 and Grades 2 and 3 from 12:45 – 1:10. This allows us to free up the piazza area for alternate activities, makes the playground less crowded and reduces the set up/clean up time for our lunchroom supervisors, which leaves more time that they can help in classrooms. We will be monitoring and adjusting as we try this new set up.  


We’ve started our DDS Read-a-Thon!   Please encourage your child to read – in any form – and track their reading times.  We are starting our fundraising for a new playground!  We will be having book draws, “Celebrity” readers, STOP, DROP AND READ special days and much more!


We look forward to seeing you at the Family Dance and Market on April 18th!  This will be the wrap up to our Read-a-Thon and you are invited to “Dress Like a Book Character” if you’d like.


Thank you for your ongoing support of Douglasdale School.



Diane Kamitakahara, Principal              Darryl Fidler, Learning Leader               

Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal         Shannon Salomons, Learning Leader

                                                              Michelle Webster, Learning Leader​

March 05
March 2019

February is always a quick month.  We thank Christine and Erin from High Fitness for leading our Phys-Ed classes in a day of high energy and fun.  Teachers came back from Teachers’ Convention rested, invigorated and full of new ideas and inspiration.  All students enjoyed a presentation by Calgary Opera, and Scientists in Schools visited Grade 1.  Grade 3 visited Studio Bell for a day and also hosted a well-attended Strategy Games Night.  Many thanks to David Minken for his expertise and games.  Our Grade 2 Strategy Games Night will be on March 13.  Our Grade 4s took a neighbourhood walk to Mountain Park School just to get the “lay of the land”.  


February 27 was Pink Shirt Day.  Pink Shirt Day was started in 2007 by two Nova Scotia teens, David Shepherd and Travis Price, who organized their friends to wear pink to support another grade 9 student who had been bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. The movement continues and we wear pink to encourage everyone to practice kindness.  


School Council is meeting this Thursday evening at 6:30 in the Area 5 meeting room at Douglasdale School.  All parents/guardians are welcome to attend.  Stay tuned for fundraising information for our new playground.  Mark your calendars for our Family Dance and Market on April 18. 


We hope all families can attend our Student Led Conferences.  Previously scheduled for April, we have moved them forward to March 21.  It seemed a long time between the January report card and the end of April.  We are sorry if we’ve inconvenienced families with this change.  March 21st is an Early Dismissal Day and we will be holding Student Led Conferences from 1 PM to 8 PM.  March 22 is a PD Day and this will begin Spring Break for students. School resumes on Monday, April 1, 2019.


Thank you for your ongoing support of Douglasdale School.​

January 31
February 2019

​January has passed by in a flash!  We’ve had Scientists in School for Grade 4, Gymnastics and Mission Impossible for Phys-Ed classes, a visit from the Garrison Woods Seniors to Rooms 3 and 4, Grade 1s to the zoo and Kindergartens to the Glenbow Museum.  We've had two Fun Lunches as we are testing out twice a month this new year.  Let us know what you think!
We’ve had a few staffing changes.  We wish Mr. Greg Morrell, our Facility Operator, best of luck at his new position at Chaparral School.  We’d like to welcome Mr. Mike Joong, our new Facility Operator, who will begin work at DDS on February 4th.  Some of you might remember him as he helped out in the school a year ago.  We welcome Mr. Devon Spare, our new CSSI Educational Assistant, who is joining us from Monterey Park School, and Ms. Christina Melanson, our new Lunchroom Supervisor.
Thank you to families for reviewing street crossing safety with their children.  We appeal to families to please park safely – 5 metres from a crosswalk – please do not do U-turns in front of the building, and please abide by safety rules when picking up and dropping off your children.  Please do not sacrifice safety for convenience.  Please consider the importance of taking your time and doing the right thing to help keep everyone safe. 
Our playground and surrounding areas are extremely icy due to the melting/freezing weather patterns.  We are gravelling and salting as best we can, but the pattern keeps repeating.  We ask you to be very, very careful and as we tell the students, “Walk like a penguin”. 
We are finding dog droppings on our playground and around the building.  According to CBE Policy and signage, dogs are not allowed on CBE property.  We do realize that there is a logistics issue when we are encouraging walking to school, but we would request that dogs be on short leashes and to also “pick up after their dogs” when on the city areas of the field.  It would be appreciated if you pass this message on to neighbours.
February 27th is Pink Shirt Day – a day to bring attention to the issue of bullying and how to promote kindness and empathy.  We will be spending time at school discussing personal responsibility and how individuals can make a difference.  
Thank you for your continuing support of learning at Douglasdale School.  We are indeed grateful for our DDS Family.
Diane Kamitakahara, Principal              Darryl Fidler, Learning Leader              
Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal         Shannon Salomons, Learning Leader
                                                                    Michelle Webster, Learning Leader
Administrative Team, Douglasdale School

December 21
December 21, 2019 - January Newsletter

​So many people contribute to helping make Douglasdale School such an amazing school community.  We’d like to thank:
-  Everyone who brought in toiletry items for our charity Christmas tree. We filled 10 storage boxes of items and delivered them to the Mustard Seed
-  All who attended our Christmas Celebrations and our staff, particularly Mr. Anderson, our music teacher, and Mr. Fidler, who worked with our cast.  Thanks also for the classrooms who lit our walkway with such ambiance!
-  Everyone who brought in food items for the Veteran’s Food Drive in November.  We collected a record amount.  Thanks to the grade 3s who coordinated
-  All room parents, parents and others who have volunteered for field trips, classrooms, and other school events and activities and Morgan, who organizes them all.
-  Our School Council Executive for working on behalf of all the staff, students and parents of Douglasdale School.
-  All who worked our Casino Fundraiser in October.  Each individual shift earns over $1000+ for the school
-  Douglasdale Loves Literacy Tutors for sharing their time and Suzanne for all her organizing
-  Candice and Chantal who organized our successful beef jerky fundraiser and all who bought the jerky.  
-   Parents who provided dinner and treats for staff on conference evenings, as well as providing all the generous holiday treats
-   David who helped organize our grade 4 Strategy Games Night – we have more nights to come!
-   Krista who helps keep our “living wall” and fish tank healthy
-   Mrs. Dodd who organizes and maintains our recycling and compost teams
-   Mr. Reddick who donated clothing for us to use in case of emergency. Thanks, too, for the Value Village pencils
There are so many who offer support in so many ways!  If we have forgotten to thank you, our apologies.  We are truly grateful for everyone’s contribution.
Finally, we would like to thank our amazing staff who demonstrate excellence and incredible commitment to our students every day. We appreciate all their hard work and dedication that makes learning at Douglasdale School exceptional. 
We are saying “goodbye” to some staff members.  We’d like to congratulate Mrs. Codner, our CSSI Educational Assistant, on her retirement and we wish her all the best and thank her for making such a difference supporting students and teachers over the past 20 years. We’d like to thank Mrs. Publow, our Lunchroom Supervisor for all her work with students, both in lunchroom and in classrooms.  We wish her good luck as she pursues other adventures.  We’d like to welcome Ms. Lindsay Johnson who will be teaching Grade 3 as Ms. Kucher begins her maternity leave.
May peace, joy, love and hope surround you and your loved ones all year and especially during this Christmas season.  Happy New Year!
Diane Kamitakahara, Principal               Darryl Fidler, Learning Leader              
Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal           Shannon Salomons, Learning Leader
                                                          Michelle Webster, Learning Leader
Administrative Team, Douglasdale School

December 04

​Thank you to everyone who helped support our Veterans Food Bank Drive lead by our Grade 3s.  The gentleman from the Poppy Fund, who picked up the food items, said that it was the largest donation he had collected in a long time!  We’d also like to thank our local Fire Department who helped load up the van. 

Many thanks to those who braved the blizzard and came to Indigo Books for our evening fundraiser on November 5 and 6.  We made close to $1700 which our School Council will use to start our “Build a New Playground” fund. 

Our Grade 4 Strategy Games Night was a success.  Stay tuned as we will have Games Night for other grades in the new year.  Thank you to Mr. Minkin, who provides the games and expertise for these evenings.  As a “thank you” his family will get front row seats at our Christmas Concert.
Another thank you to those who supported our Beef Jerky Fundraiser.  Thank you to Candice Dokkebakken and Chantal Blouin for all their hard work in organizing this fund raiser.  Mrs. Gulewicz’s classroom won the pizza party and Aubrey C. in Grade 2 won the draw for front row seats at the winter concert.  Brook MV in Grade 4 won the draw for front row seats for her family at the Year End Celebration.

As we approach the holiday season, we’d like to have an “Attitude of Gratitude”!  Douglasdale School is an amazing community and we are grateful for the families and staff that make it so.  We’d like to support those less fortunate and again will have a “Toile-Tree” in the piazza until the break.  Students may bring a toiletry item such as small travel shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer or perhaps even wash cloths or pairs of socks.  We will deliver them to the Mustard Seed. 

We have an early dismissal day on Friday, December 21 at 12:15.  School will resume on Monday, January 7, 2019.

We hope you will join us for carolling or for a concert over our holiday season.


Diane Kamitakahara, Principal              Darryl Fidler, Learning Leader              
Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal          Shannon Salomons, Learning Leader
                                                         Michelle Webster, Learning Leader             

Administrative Team, Douglasdale School

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