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September 12
September 2018

As students have settled into their classrooms and teachers are busy building those ever-so important relationships with their students, it gives me a moment to pause and reflect on where we’ve come since this time last school year. 

2017-18 was an amazing year for our learning community with building new and re-establishing some old traditions at our school. We hosted many family-oriented events including: Fall Fair, Halloween Dance, Winter concert, James Short Memorial School Wrap-Up, Stampede Breakfast, and the Bermuda Shorts Day Dad’s BBQ. Thank you so much to the Parent Society and Parent Council members and committee volunteers for their countless hours and valued donations in supporting those events through the year.

Since returning to our building in February 2017, we have continued to make improvements to our lovely facility. With an increase in student enrolment by about 20 students since last school year, we needed to make our atrium outside of our gymnasium into a proper classroom. We added walls with sliding doors on each end of the space to enclose what is now our kindergarten room. With donations from parents and Parent Society, we have prioritized an outdoor improvement plan to revitalize our learning spaces surrounding the school. We planted a number of trees and shrubs that were sourced and planted by Bow Point Nursery. They include two cherry trees out front, and pear, larch, pussy willow and poplar trees around our outdoor classroom. On the south side of the school to offer shade in our gymnasium, we planted poplar trees that were propagated from the original trees along Memorial Drive - a unique piece of Calgary’s history now at our school. We will be expanding our existing asphalt compound by the end of September to include a basketball court and other compound games. Again, thank you parents for enhancing our learning spaces. 

The theme for our whole school inquiry this year is: The impact of the Elbow River over time on our land and people. This focus on “impact” will offer many cross-curricular opportunities for learning and will also be supported by a theatre residency in February, 2019. We secured funding both through Parent Society and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for this and many other residencies. We believe that residencies, such as the ones from last year that included Nordic Skiing and Sound Kreations dance studio, are excellent ways to supplement our curricular learning experiences with experts from our extended community. 

We are excited for what this school year has to bring, and we want to thank all of our families, new and old, for supporting us through a very busy time of year.  If you would like to be involved in supporting many of the initiatives that happen at our school, please attend our parent council meetings. The first one is on Wednesday, September 19th at 2:00 p.m. See the posted agenda on our School Council​ page.


February 15
February 2018

A return to school in the New Year after our winter break has come with an energy to take our learning community in a direction of providing new opportunities for our students. We have had a number of extra-curricular clubs start up over the lunch hour, providing our students with unique opportunities to express themselves and or learn new skills. This includes the use of our school's 3D printer generously donated by our School Council (see our Clubs page under the Extracurricular menu on our website for more detailed information).

A recent example of the generosity of our parent community comes with our most recent Artist Residency with Chlan Grant (http://wallcandyartstudio.com/). Chlan generously donated her time and artistic ability to provide our students with an opportunity to produce authentic paintings that students were able to contribute to. The themes of the paintings were grounded in curricular content by grade level, and then in class, students studied the artist whose work they replicated. These paintings will make up the works that parents can purchase through an auction at a fundraising event for our school in the spring. We had many parent volunteers in the school for two days working alongside Chlan to ensure that every student was able to paint a part of their class' piece. A huge thankyou goes out to Chlan and all of the parents who were able to assist in making this activity for our students such a success.

Another residency for our students will begin at the end of February, when Nick Johnson (http://www.nicksoup.com/) will be working with all of our classes (K-6) to use cartooning and visualization to enhance their writing and reading comprehension skills. Financial support for this residency comes from Classroom Improvement Funding provided by Alberta Education that was applied for to support our reading comprehension goals in our School Development Plan.

As a staff, we often refer to how generous our parent community is with their time donated to support various initiatives in our school. This includes the many charitable acts directed towards the learning communities at James Short Memorial School (K-2) and G. W. Skeene School (grades 3-5). Our school community has traditionally supported these learning communities over many years. We know that our students have the same drive and desire to make a difference as their parents do, and so we are exploring ways in which we can bring these opportunities into the classroom. We want our students to see the difference the generosity of this community makes through authentic learning experiences with students at other schools. We know that students learn best and are highly engaged when their learning experiences engage them in purposeful collaboration to solve real problems and that teacher practice also improves with collaboration among colleagues as they design tasks and share instructional and assessment strategies with one another. Our school has participated in two such planning days with the staffs of both of our partner schools this year and we have some exciting learning opportunities coming up for all of the students through the spring.

Our School Board this year is highly focused on assessment calibration between teachers across our System and much of our professional development and conversations have been on that topic. Our hope is to be more consistent with our grading practices as we report on student achievement using achievement indicators (1-4) on our report cards. These assessment conversations are grounded in our school's focus on improving the depth of our students' reading comprehension skills and their working knowledge with rational numbers in mathematics. Our professional development days at the school have used assessment as an over-arching theme throughout our intentional work to improve literacy and math instruction for our students.

We are looking forward to our fundraising event with families in the spring as we auction off the student-created paintings and the exciting learning opportunities coming for our students.

November 15
November 2017

Winter has arrived and we would like to thank our students for helping take care of our lovely building by removing their wet footwear at the door. It sure makes a difference in keeping our school clean. Students are coming appropriately dressed for the weather – thank you parents! On days when the temperature outside goes below -20 C (including wind chill), students will be kept inside for recess. If that is the temperature prior to our 8:15 a.m. entry bell, we will be allowing students inside at 8:05 a.m. to coincide with our regular outdoor supervision. Students arriving prior to 8:05 a.m. are to be supervised by their parent/guardian.

We are excited to welcome Miss Sydney Lee to our staff as of October 30. She is currently working as a half-time teacher with funding provided by the Alberta Education Classroom Improvement Fund initiative. She will be working in our grade 3-6 classrooms to support our homeroom teachers in applying many of the teaching strategies that we have identified in our School Development Plan (to be posted to our website shortly) to improve our results with reading comprehension and understanding of rational numbers.

Parents/Guardians play a major role in supporting their child’s learning. Thank you for encouraging your child to keep up with their school work, read daily, follow classroom blogs (Twitter accounts), and to reinforce school expectations that develop citizenship and character. With the home and the school working together, we will continue to see growth in student achievement and engagement.

Please watch for our conference manager to open for bookings at 6 AM on Monday, November 13. The format for these conferences are a 15 minute conversation that are to include the student, where teachers will provide feedback about numeracy, literacy and an area of either personal development, character or citizenship.

Conferences and Reporting Periods

November 15 & 16, 2017 - Kindergarten Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 16 & 17, 2017 - Gr. 1-6 Parent/Teacher Conferences
December 21, 2017 - First Report Card sent home
March 22 & 23, 2018 - Student Led Conferences
June 27, 2018 - Second Report Card sent home

In addition to these above opportunities, teachers will communicate throughout the year about your child’s learning. This may happen through personal correspondence, face-to-face meetings, curricular updates, agendas, blogs, Twitter and Iris. If at any time you wish to initiate communication about your child’s progress, please make an appointment with your child’s teacher.

We would like to thank our School Council and many volunteers for making our Halloween Family Dance a huge success. A special thank you goes out to a few of our past students that volunteered to create a haunted classroom for the event. It even had me scared when I walked through it at the end of the night.

Our Terry Fox Run raised $257 in our “Twoonies for Terry” collection. Thank you for your support.

We have an upcoming School Council Meeting on November 15, 2017 at 2:00 PM. Please attend!​

October 23
October 2017

Our school start-up here at Elbow Park School has been busy to say the least. As a staff, we have been having many conversations around student success through varied and authentic learning opportunities. Our School Council has been an integral part of our exciting school culture in providing opportunities for our staff and entire learning community (including parents/guardians) to interact and build relationships outside of the classroom. The mission of the CBE is to graduate students with a foundation of learning necessary to thrive in life, work and continued learning. Our students have already had many field trips and unique learning opportunities this year that help achieve that goal.

In regards to our teacher staffing, we had to say good-bye to Ms. Sandy McNeil (Grade 5/6 teacher) on October 1 as she accepted a specialist position to support the CBE’s mathematics strategy. She will be supporting teachers throughout the CBE as our Board works to improve student performance in mathematics. We welcomed Mrs. Kardash to take Ms. McNeil’s place in Homeroom 210. Mrs. Kardash has ten years of experience teaching in the CBE and she was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the mathematics professional learning series with our math specialists.

Our Grade 5/6s had a presence at Olympic Plaza in September with a public art installation, and our school just hosted a counsellor's forum for the municipal election that included all candidates from Ward 11. Thank you to our Grade 5/6 Learning Community for hosting this event and for asking our candidates some tough campaign related questions. Our Grade 3/4s were an excellent audience and used the opportunity to reflect on leadership qualities in people.

Thank you to all the parents/guardians who attended Parent-Teacher conferences. The purpose of the September conferences was to provide an opportunity for parents/guardians to inform their teacher about their child’s interests, strengths and areas for growth. This in turn, assisted teachers in gaining a holistic picture of their new learners. In this school year, there will be two reporting periods and three formal opportunities to meet with teachers.

Conferences and Reporting Periods

September 21 & 22, 2017 - Meet the Teacher
November 16 & 17, 2017 - Booked Parent/Teacher Conferences
December 21, 2017 - First Report Card sent home
March 22 & 23, 2018 - Student Led Conferences
June 27, 2018 - Second Report Card sent home

In addition to these above opportunities, teachers will communicate throughout the year about your child’s learning. This may happen through personal correspondence, face-to-face meetings, curricular updates, agendas, blogs, Twitter and Iris. If at any time you wish to initiate communication about your child’s progress, please make an appointment with your child’s teacher.

The CBE's Three-Year Education Plan serves as a framework to personalize learning for all students. It identifies a focus on literacy, mathematics, indigenous education and high school success. Our School Development Plan, to be published in November, continues the great work that began last year with a focus on improving reading comprehension. This year we are adding a second achievement goal which is to better understand mathematical concepts, specifically rational numbers. Our teachers are participating in a variety of yearlong professional development sessions including reading assessment strategies, a math research series in partnership with the Galileo Educational Network, and Learning Leader sessions focussed on improving task-design and assessment of student work.

We would like to thank our School Council and many volunteers for their hard work in bringing back many traditions to our school. The Fall Fair was a huge success that included a petting zoo, pony rides, bouncy castles and some great food! As well, our teachers were treated to a lovely pulled pork dinner during Meet the Teacher night and we are looking forward to our Halloween Family Dance that will include a haunted house at the school. Thank you to all who donated to the Mountain of Warmth and a special thanks to the committee for organizing this generous event.

We have an upcoming School Council Meeting on November 15, 2017 at 2:00 PM. Please attend!​

June 02
Honored and Excited to be at Elbow Park

I am both honored and excited to be the newly appointed Principal of Elbow Park School. I have 21 years of teaching experience, 18 of which have been with the CBE. In that time, I have had a variety of teaching and leadership experiences that include Classroom Teacher, Learning Leader, Assistant Principal and Acting Principal. For this school year, I have been the Assistant Principal at Olympic Heights School and prior to that, I was the Assistant Principal at R. T. Alderman Middle School for seven years. For the six months prior to leaving RT Alderman and going to Olympic Heights I was the Acting Principal. I have taught grades K-9 in various capacities, with a passion for hands-on authentic learning experiences, grounded in critical thinking and collaborative learning tasks.

I am married and we have three boys aged six, nine and eleven, who all attend a CBE school. As a parent I understand the importance of your child’s success and happiness at school, and the importance that parent involvement makes to a learning community. As an educator I believe that every child is unique and that we have a responsibility to ensure that learning is personalized for each student, and are supported with meaningful relationships. As a leader, I am a strong advocate for student voice and choice in learning, and that school is a safe, inclusive and caring place for everyone.

Effective learning happens when students are engaged and supported by the home and school working together as a team. Students also need encouragement and support to develop a sense of responsibility towards their own learning. I am dedicated to learner excellence and high achievement and I want to continue to ensure that each student is nurtured in the richest, safest and most stimulating learning environment possible. I am committed to working closely with parents/guardians, staff, students and community partners to continue to build an engaging learning environment focused on student achievement and engagement.

In closing, I want to thank Carrie Dayman for her commitment and hard work in making Elbow Park School a great place to learn. I have been informed that this school has an excellent staff, an active student body and highly engaged and caring parents. I look forward to meeting everyone and continuing to build upon the wonderful things that have happened at Elbow Park School.

Sincerely,

Jason Fech
New Principal of Elbow Park School

 

 Jason Fech

 
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 Twitter

@fechjason

Stampede pancake breakfast @ElbowParkSchool for our families. Tues., June 18, 7:45 am. Wear your hats & boots! Bring a blanket for the Front lawn & East Patio. Hosted by The Batter Boys @calgarystampede https://t.co/hgLI6wmB7G

Bermuda Shorts Day Dad’s BBQ tomorrow @ElbowParkSchool. Dads are cooking hotdogs - kindergarten served at 11:15, Gr. 5/6 11:45 and Gr. 1-4 at noon. East side. https://t.co/o9P4Irwa0J

An iPhone was found on our field last week. It has no SIM card and does not connect to our WiFi. If you know of someone who’s lost a phone lately, have them contact @ElbowParkSchool

Reduce congestion. Improve road safety. Ride to @ElbowParkSchool #WeAreCBE https://t.co/lTKHApW8Dl

RT @yycbike2school: Be safe and have some fun today, it’s Calgary Bike to School Day! Thanks to all the student, parents and teachers who make this day amazing every year!!!!!