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November 15
Celebrating Learning at Parent/Teacher Conferences

Next week students, teachers and parents will meet to talk about how your child is progressing as a learner. Specific information about how to book a conference time has been sent out to each family through School Messenger. You can also register for a conference time through PowerSchool using this link. This is an important meeting that directly supports your child’s success at school. If you are unable to attend or need support to book a time, please contact your child’s teacher or call Mrs. Milkert in the office and she can assist you (403) 777-8500.

 

Conferences are 15 minute meetings where the teacher will communicate how your child is doing in relation to learning outcomes from Programs of Study. You can find out more information about what your child is learning this year through the ‘My Child’s Learning: A Parent Resource’. 


To prepare for a successful parent/teacher conference, we offer a couple of tips:

  • Please arrive on time. Conference schedules are tight and your time cannot be extended.
  • Before the conference, ask your child what they think is important to talk about with their teacher. Students are an important part of the conference process.
  • Bring any questions you might have about your child’s learning to the conference.

There are two important assessment and reporting updates your child’s teacher will be communicating at conferences. CBE has created the following documents to help parents understand the changes that will be in place for our January report cards:

At the heart of parent/teacher conferences is the opportunity for your child, their teacher and you as parents to celebrate the progress and achievements your child has made in these beginning school months. ​Thank you for continuing to be important partners in your child's learning journey!

November 08
We Remember

On Friday, November 8th we held our annual Remembrance Day assembly.  Our Remembrance Day assembly is one of the most important things that we do all year.  It is a somber gathering, where we have time to reflect on the incredible sacrifices that so many people have made over time, and continue to make on a daily basis.  It is a time to reflect on how truly lucky we are to have the level of freedom that we currently experience.  This freedom has not come without a cost, and it is important to appreciate the sacrifices that have been made for that freedom-not just for one day in the year-but everyday. We often worry about the small day to day things in our lives-while forgetting about what is truly important.  Remembrance Day gives us a chance to reframe our priorities, and think about the sacrifices that others have made ahead of us.  Remembrance Day is a time to reflect, but also a time to be thankful, and think about our own roles and responsibilities. 

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Our wall of honor located outside of the gym is an excellent memory of those that have served, and those we have lost-those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Our wall of honour gives a name and a face to our veterans.  They are not merely numbers, but rather parents, grandparents, and family members.  Real people that have dedicated their lives to peace.  Thanks to all of our families that have shared stories of their loved ones.  We need to honor the dead by treating the living well.

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WE NEED YOU!
Did you know that each year the Scholastic book fair earns funds towards adding books to our school library for all students to enjoy? We need volunteers for our Scholastic Book Fair, on December 12, 2019 (Winter Concert) to ensure this continues to happen. To sweaten the deal, if you volunteer at the December 12 (Winter Concert) Scholastic Book Fair you will get “A Gift For You!” - $5.00 off your Scholastic Book Fair purchase of $10 or more (to be used that night).  
 
If you are able to volunteer please email (cdbelisle@cbe.ab.ca) your name, contact information and when you can volunteer. Or, please let Ms. Milkert know in the office. We will need a minimum of three volunteers for the evening for each shift: 5:30 pm -6:30 pm, 6:30 pm-7:30 pm, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm and 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm). 
 
 
Important Dates:
Nov. 11 - NO SCHOOL for students and staff
Nov. 14 Grade 5 field trip to Glenbow Museum
Nov. 19 - School Council Meeting - ALL WELCOME - babysitting provided
Nov. 21 - Half day for students - dismissal at 12:15 pm
Nov. 21/22 - Parent Teacher Conferences
Nov. 22 - NO SCHOOL for students due to parent/teacher conferences
Nov. 25 to 28 - Grade 6 at Outdoor School
Nov. 28 - register/pay through Healthy Hunger (Little Caesars)
 
Dec. 5 - Family Gingerbread Evening
Dec. 9-12 Scholastic Book Fair
December 12 - Winter concert
December 16 - 18 Winter Market Open for Purchases

 


 

November 01
School Culture

​The culture of a school is an important part of every building.  Part of that culture is students feeling a sense of identity and belonging.  Last year, through the support of school council, we decided as a staff to rebrand the school by creating a new logo.  The existing school logo had been at the school for well over a decade, and it was time to modernize our visual logo.  The process with creating a new logo was lengthy, and all students, staff, and parents had an opportunity to have input during the creation process.  Last year, students submitted ideas for the logo (there were over 200 submissions in total).  We looked over each carefully, and there were a number of themes that were evident across many submissions.  We took the most common themes, and had a graphic artist submit a number of representations of student ideas.  We agreed on the chosen logo, and school council graciously provided shirts for each student in the school.  On Tuesday, we unveiled the new logo and handed out shirts to students.  Our students have been wearing them frequently and with graeat pride!

Additional shirts and hoodies are available to order for a fee-order forms went home last week, and are due by November 7th.

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With Halloween happening this past week, we looked at creative ways to tie the curriculum to pumpkin carving.  This included mathematical outcomes like counting and symmetry, and language arts connections like storytelling. We ended the week with a final assembly full of singing and celebration! 

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Important Dates:

Oct. 31 - Halloween 

Oct. 31 - Final day to order Cookie Dough

Nov. 1 - NO SCHOOL for students

Nov. 7 - Grade 3 field trip to Studio Bell; outdoor school meeting for grade 6 parents 6:00 pm

Nov. 8 - Remembrance Day Assembly 9:30 am

Nov. 11 - NO SCHOOL for students and staff

Nov. 14 Grade 5 field trip to Glenbow Museum

Nov. 14 - register/pay through Healthy Hunger (Edo)

Nov. 19 - School Council 6:30

Nov. 21 - Half day for students - dismissal at 12:15 pm

Nov. 21/22 - Parent Teacher Conferences

Nov. 22 - NO SCHOOL for students due to parent/teacher conferences

Nov. 25 to 28 - Grade 6 at Outdoor School

Nov. 28 - register/pay through Healthy Hunger (Little Caesars)






October 26
Planning for Success

Each school year we make a plan for how we will improve teaching and learning at EMJ. This is called our School Development Plan. We plan to continue our work on teacher clarity as one of our primary strategies this year. Teacher clarity means that both teachers and students understand what is being communicated. This is an important part of learning. As part of EMJ’s continual commitment to improving teaching and learning, we are focusing on making sure students understand what they are doing, why it is important and what success looks like.

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Why is this important? 
We know that “research says that both learning intentions and success criteria have a significant impact on student success. When students know what success looks like, they are more likely to plan and predict, set goals, and acquire a stronger sense of how to judge their own progress. They are able to recognize that they have something to learn, and what it looks like when they have learned it. When students do not know what they are expected to learn, the chance that they actually learn is reduced.  When students know what they are supposed to be learning, they are three times more likely to learn.”

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In our classrooms, this involves teachers working with students to make learning intentions clear and visible by creating statements such as “I can…” or “I am able to…” and posting them in places students can continually refer back to. These statements help students understand what they are expected to learn. Teachers also show students what success looks like through success criteria and examples of quality work. Success criteria describes how they will achieve the learning target.

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When you read through your child’s classroom blog this week, look for evidence of learning intentions and success criteria. Ask your child about their writing. What are they learning to do as writers? What does good writing mean? How will they know if they have created a good writing piece?

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As we continue to work on improving teaching and learning, we know the importance of students, teachers and you as parents working as partners in this work. Thank you for taking the time to read EMJ’s blog and talk with your child about their learning as another way we reinforce the strong bridge between school and home.​

October 20
The Event of the Year!

​This past Friday evening, our school hosted the annual Halloween Dance.  This has always been a well attended event at the school, but with the change to a Friday evening, we saw a record turnout!  We had 500 + staff, students, parents, and family members in attendance this year, and it was an incredible success!  

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As a school, we strongly believe in the importance of community building events such as the dance, and appreciate the support that all of our families show for all of our events.  

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A huge thanks to our school council, who dedicate a great deal of time and energy to make such events so successful, as well as all our volunteers that supported with set up, decorating, concessions, and clean up.  

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We wouldn't be able to have such great events without all of your support!  Our next community event will be the gingerbread house evening coming up in early December, and we look forward to seeing you all there.

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October 11
Let it Snow!

The blast of winter that hit us this week, although early and unexpected, has led to some exciting learning opportunities for our students.  Being out and experiencing learning in the environment is one of the best ways that students are able to learn and retain information and concepts.  This can include things like looking at the temperature and changes that occur, looking at the environment (trees, leaves, etc.), as well as physical activity.  Our students had a number of opportunities across the grade levels to experience the outdoors, both in directed instruction as well as for fun!  Our students also had some quality social learning opportunities while navigating through the fun of being outside.  This included collaborative play (students working together to build and create), as well as problem solving (learning that snow will melt over time, and working through various social situations).
With the change/shift in the weather, we would also like to remind our students to dress appropriately for various weather changes throughout the day.
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Oct. 14 - No School, Thanksgiving
Oct. 15 - School Council Meeting - ALL parents/guardians
welcome, 6:30 pm
Oct. 18 - Halloween Dance
Oct. 24 - register/pay
through Healthy Hunger
(Booster Juice)
Oct. 31 - Halloween
October 05
Display and Documentation: How are they different?

As parents toured EMJ’s hallways at our September Parent/Teacher conferences, a great question was posed: Why isn’t everyone’s work on the bulletin board? 

Thank you for noticing! Our hallway boards are intentionally different from the ones many of us saw when we went to school. Our hallway documentation boards are a deliberate part of our focus on ensuring learning is at the heart of all we do at EMJ.

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Teachers and students have been making their learning visible through classroom blogs, classroom bulletin boards and on the documentation boards in our school hallways. Our digital blogs are written by teachers as a way to share the learning outcomes and tasks with parents so that you are able to talk with your child about what they have been learning at school. 

Inside classrooms, the displays aim to decorate the space with each class member’s work and/or to act as a learning aid that students can refer to during classroom discussions.

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EMJ’s documentation boards are meant to be different from the displays we grew up with. These boards make the process of learning visible for students, families and the entire learning community. Next time you pause at one of our hallway boards, search for the questions students were asking and the ‘aha’ moments when they answered their own questions. Notice the learning outcomes and how multiple perspectives are represented to show both the process and products of learning.​

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Thank you to the parent who asked this great question and for those reading this post. We are honoured to partner with our curious parent community as we work together to ensure EMJ is a student-centered space where our learning is visible to all.

September 27
Every Child Matters!


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This Monday, September 30th, is an opportunity for our EMJ community and all Canadians to come together in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day began in 2013 when Phyllis Webstad, one of many survivors from the Canadian Residential School System, shared her story of how her orange shirt was taken from her on her first day of school. ​


Each classroom has been exploring stories of Truth and Reconciliation in developmentally appropriate ways. Some stories you might share at home are 'Stolen Words' by Melanie Florence or 'When I was Eight' by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margret Pokiak-Fenton.You can hear Phyllis' story in her own words, by clicking here


Honouring Phyllis’ story and those like hers, is an opportunity for our school community to participate in Truth and Reconciliation. Through sharing stories from history and our own lives, we commit to honouring all children and our collective commitment towards ensuring that every child matters. By wearing an orange shirt, or even just a favourite shirt like Phyllis did those many years ago, each person is showing their commitment towards every child feeling welcome, safe, respected and cared for in their learning community every day.


Upcoming Dates To Note:

Sept. 30 - Orange Shirt Day

Oct. 8 - School Photos

Oct. 10 - Fun Lunch - register/pay through Healthy Hunger (Subway)

Oct. 14 - No School, Thanksgiving

Oct. 15 - School Council Meeting - ALL parents/guardians welcome, 6:30 pm

Oct. 18 - Halloween Dance

Oct. 24 - register/pay through Healthy Hunger (Booster Juice)

​Oct. 31 - Halloween

September 20
Be Happy-Pass it on!

It has been an excellent start to the school year! Thank you to all of our families who met with teachers this week to share important information about your children. We value our relationships with students and families and know the home-school connections are essential to student success.
 
One way we have connected across the school this year is by participating in a school-wide focus on the book Ishi: Simple tips from a solid friend by Akiko Yabuki. This book not only promotes and celebrates a love of reading, it is part of our important work on student well-being for learning. The pages take us through many familiar feelings and ways we can respond to be our happiest and best selves.
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Click here​ to watch a video of the book.

Each classroom has taken up the book in personalized ways but what has been consistent is that every child has had an opportunity to think about how they are feeling and ways we can help ourselves and others when we are not feeling our best. We continue our commitment to ensuring EMJ is an inclusive, respectful safe and caring place to learn. Teachers continually engage in ongoing professional learning to ensure we put this commitment into action.

Ask your child to tell you all about Ishi and how they took up this book with their class!

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Dates to Note:

Sept. 26 - Fun Lunch - register/pay through Healthy Hunger (Coco Brooks)

Sept. 26 - Terry Fox Run, 8:30 am assembly, 9:00 am run

Sept. 30 - Orange Shirt Day

 Oct. 8 - School Photos

Oct. 10 - Fun Lunch - register/pay through Healthy Hunger (Subway)

Oct. 14 - No School, Thanksgiving

Oct. 15 - School Council Meeting - ALL parents/guardians welcome, 6:30 pm

Oct. 18 - Halloween Dance

Oct. 24 - register/pay through Healthy Hunger (Booster Juice)

Oct. 31 - Halloween 



September 13
School Council & Conferences

We have an important week ahead at EMJ.  On Tuesday evening at 6:30, we have our first School Council meeting of the year.  This is a great opportunity for parents to be involved!  These meetings are a chance for parents to hear about what is happening at the school, and to have input into the decisions that are made. During each meeting throughout the year, teachers and/or teams of teachers will be talking about the learning that is occurring in classrooms, giving a window into the exciting work happening at each grade level. 

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We also have conferences coming up this Thursday (4:00-7:30) and Friday (8-1).  The September conferences are a chance for teachers and parents to talk about the first couple of weeks of school, build the relationship between home and school, and discuss learning goals and share any other information that is pertinent.  The partnership between home and school is key to student success, and we look forward to meeting with all of our families next week.

Sept. 17 - School Council Meeting - ALL parents/guardians welcome, 6:30 pm

Sept. 14 - Conference Booking Opens

Sept. 19/20 - Parent/Teacher Conferences - Booking information will come closer to dates

Sept. 20 - No School for Students

Sept. 26 - Fun Lunch - register/pay through Healthy Hunger (Coco Brooks)

Sept. 26 - Terry Fox Run, 8:30 am assembly, 9:00 am run

Sept. 30 - Orange Shirt Day​

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Read the budget update from Chief Superintendent Usih about the budget assumptions report presented to the board today: https://t.co/tdRklmsbSG #yycbe https://t.co/aaNh9TPVSt

The Board of Trustees will reconvene this afternoon at 4 to discuss the Budget Assumptions Report – Fall 2019 Update. Join us at the Ed Centre or stream the meeting online https://t.co/7ySI0lMtIG #yycbe https://t.co/wYDXmCna6Q

Today we were at the kick-off event for the Mayor’s 31st Annual Christmas Food Drive, proudly supporting @CalgaryFoodBank! We’re thankful for their work to #FeedYYC & for making a positive impact in the lives of many of our students & their families. #WeAreCBE #MayorsFoodDrive https://t.co/IDNNdguReI

The Board of Trustees will reconvene on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 4 p.m. Watch for a report on the 2019-20 Budget Assumptions that will be available by noon tomorrow https://t.co/epdOfxurs1 #WeAreCBE #yycbe https://t.co/v7sYBMneRL