Get to know our principal and what’s going on in our school.
June 21
A Look Back

As the school year winds to a close, I would like to thank all of the staff, students, and parents for the amazing work that has been accomplished over the course of the year.  It has been an incredible year, and I am honoured to be a part of the Ethel M Johnson School community.  We had many successes throughout the year, and gave students many enriching experiences.
I would like to thank our School Council for their incredible work over the course of the year. Through various fundraising endeavors, council has funded numerous activities for Ethel M Johnson School students for this school year. This is a truly incredible support for students, and without the support of council we would not be able to do the many things that we do. 
Finally, I would like to thank both the volunteers as well as the many contributions from parents for the staff appreciation lunch that took place today.  It was so amazing to feel so supported by the community. 
June 14
Opportunities for Student Agency

download.jpgStudent agency results when are students are engaged in meaningful and relevant learning activities that matter to them. Often these activities are student-led, allowing students to explore the curriculum through personal interests or passions. 

At EMJ, our amazing learners have been extending their learning and begun to share their voices with a larger audience through a school YouTube channel.​ We know students LOVE YouTube and by linking this platform with their learning at school, it becomes an opportunity to learn how platforms such as this can be used for learning, to develope digital literacies and create positive digital footprints.

Our first podcast has been produced by a couple of our grade three students. During their weekly guided reading lessons with Ms. Tucker, they came up with the idea to create a podcast about the wildfires in Alberta. To create this podcast, they applied and developed their literacy skills by researching, writing and practicing reading their script. We invite you to listen and learn more about local wildfires from Ashton and Rawleigh.

While you are checking out EMJ's YouTube channel, you can also take a moment to listen to an example of a math talk in action. As part of our School Development Plan, students have been learning 'talk moves' to help them make their thinking visible to others and to deepen their thinking about mathematics. Keegan’s video explains his mathematical thinking around patterns.

Many EMJ students are passionate readers and writers. Amberlin and Kaelyn have been writing their own book series and first debuted their collection in their classroom and our school library.​ Finally finding out what happens to those missing socks is a question I am sure we have all asked at some point in our lives! 

As our world changes, so do the competencies that our students will need to be future ready. EMJ's students are primed to share their voices, creativity and brilliance with the world. We look forward to growing our YouTube channel content together as an authentic opportunity for student agency and another way to make our learning at EMJ visible to our familiy and community members.
June 07
The Importance of Volunteers

This past Thursday, we celebrated our volunteers with the annual volunteer tea.  Volunteers are the heart and soul of a school.  A school such as ours that is lucky enough to have such a dedicated, hardworking group of volunteers behind it is so much stronger as a result.  Our volunteers do countless things for us that would not be done otherwise, including volunteering for field trips, swimming, fundraising, school council, cutting, pasting, gluing, organizing volunteers, organizing casinos, fun lunches, reading, and working with students-as well as countless other things that our volunteers do.  It is the students of Ethel M Johnson School that are most impacted by the work that our volunteers do.


Every 18 months, our school runs a casino. As many of you know, the shifts can run well into the early morning hours. During our previous casino, there were many of our volunteers that took time off work, or went to work with very little sleep, in order to support our school and our students. Those 2 days of volunteer work provide us as a school with approximately $65 000.  This gift of time supports everyone in the building. It pays for field trips,  it pays for all of our residencies, our library books, as well as supporting the school in other ways, such as purchasing technology, musical instruments, and so on.  Every dollar that is raised through the casino goes directly to supporting students.  We have our next casino coming up this summer, and I know many of you will again support the school with your time.
From all of us here at EMJ, thank you to our volunteers for what you do for us.  We couldn’t be the amazing place that we are without the support of each and every one of you! 



June 02
Physical Education

Physical education is an important area of the curriculum in Alberta.  At EMJ, students participate in daily physical activity as part of the curriculum, but there are also many ways that physical education is supplemented throughout the year.  Over the course of May, our students participated in Jump Rope for Heart.  This initiative supports students in learning about the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle, while also educating students about the signs and symptoms to be aware of in relation to a stroke or heart attack.  The awareness raised has saved the lives of family members across Canada. We ended the month with a school-wide skip-off outside. More information about Jump Rope for Heart can be found here: Jump Rope For Heart Info



This past week, our grade 4 and 5 students had the opportunity to rollerblade in the gym with Alien In-Line.  Staff at Alien taught students about safety, skills, and some fun and games.  This was a great experience for all of our students, whether they were experienced skaters or brand new to the sport.
Tuesday, June 4th is Ride to School Day. This year over 84 schools across Calgary will participate in riding their bikes, skateboards, scooters, and rollerblades to school. Ride to School Day started in 2014 as a way to promote healthy living and a love of the outdoors. Each year, more and more schools join in the initiative, and we are so excited to be part of the fun for 2019!  On Tuesday morning students will be asked to bring their wheels to the side gym door of the school, and we will park everyones bikes, scooters, etc in the gym for the day. Please ensure the students name is on both their bike/scooter/skateboard AND their helmet (masking tape works best). We can't wait to see everyone on Tuesday! RIDE SAFE AND REMEMBER YOUR HELMET!!!

Pokemon Cards
Many students have been enjoying bringing and sharing their Pokemon cards. To support positive peer interactions and maintain instructional time in classrooms, please review the following considerations with your child if they choose to bring Pokemon cards to school:

  1. Students bring toys (ex. Pokemon cards) at their own risk. EMJ is not responsible for any lost or stolen cards.
  2. Pokemon cards should not be visible in the classroom during instructional time. If a teacher sees cards out during class time, they will take the cards and keep them until a parent can pick them up at the office.
  3. Due to cross-grade play between younger and older students, no trading of cards will be allowed during school hours.
June 4 - Wheel Week - Ride your bike/scooter/skateboard to school!
June 6 - Volunteer Tea
June 10 & 11 - Lacrosse Residency
June 11 - Grade 5 - Weaselhead
June 11 - Grade 6 PAT - Social Studies
June 12 - Grade 6 PAT- Math Part B
June 13 - Grade 6 PAT - ELA Part B
June 13 - Farrell, Vanderwel, Stringer field trip to the Zoo
June 14 - Grade 6 PAT - Math Part A
June 17 - Grade 6 PAT - Science
June 21 - Sports Day


May 24
Welcome to Kindergarten!

On Thursday, May 23 we welcomed our new kindergarten students to EMJ.  This is an exciting time for students and parents, and we were thrilled to see such a great turn out of students and families.  We saw many familiar faces, with a number of families that have younger siblings that will begin attending in September, as well as a number of new families that will be joining the EMJ community for the first time. 



Our incoming students had an opportunity to experience some different types of play in the gym, socialize with each other and staff, see the kindergarten classroom, as well as have a book read to them by Ms. McKay.  It was such a great night, and the excitement from the kids was palpable!  Based on last night, it is clear that our new students are definitely ready and willing to start their journey at EMJ in September!
May 24 – Jump Rope for Heart
May 27-31 – Inline skating gr ⅘
May 29 - Kindergarten to the Zoo
June 7-Volunteer Tea
June 10-11 - Lacrosse Residency
June 11 - Grade 6 PAT - Social Studies
June 12 - Grade 6 PAT- Math Part B
June 13 - Grade 6 PAT - ELA Part B
June 13 - Farrell, Vanderwel, Stringer field trip to the Zoo
June 14 - Grade 6 PAT - Math Part A
June 17 - Grade 6 PAT - Science
June 21 - Sports Day
June 25 - Grade 6 goes bowling June 26 - Last day of classes


May 10
Communicating mathematical understanding

Part of our collective work around improving student learning in 2018-2019 is in the area of mathematics. Specifically, we have been focusing on improving student achievement around how students model, represent and communicate mathematical ideas. 

Teachers in all grades have been teaching students how to speak, read, write and create as mathematicians. This week our grade three students used white boards and snap cubes to create orginial increasing patterns. A video example of this work can be seen here.​ When students learn how to use a variety of tools to express their understanding they develop confidence and flexibility in thinking.

At home you can support your child's math development by inviting them to notice and talk about math in the world around them. For example, when at the grocery store you could compare prices and ask your child which item is the better deal and why. Helping your child be aware of time in relation to their own routines (ex. Half an hour to bed time is how many minutes?") is another way to build their mathematical understanding. More ideas about how to encouarge math talk at home can be found here.​

May 03
Behind the Scenes

Over 200 EMJ students presented their original ‘Springtime Diaries’ production this week. It was a full house where students proudly demonstrated a variety of performance skills. Over the past couple of months students worked with Ms. Dafoe, supported by Ms. Mercier and Ms. Higgs, to develop a story that was told through the arts. This involved students co-writing the script which added their unique voices and interests to the seasonal plot. Our school community came together as artists, dancers, actors, backstage technicians and musicians to tell their story. Preparing for and participating in a large production such as this is often something students remember into adulthood. It was heartwarming to see so many students shine in different ways. Thank you to all of our families who attended the performance!


We would also like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the families who were able to visit our Book Fair. Scholastic returns a portion of the funds raised from Book Fairs to our school, which goes directly into purchasing books for your child’s classroom and school library. The money from our December Book Fair, paired with funds donated from our School Council, have already added quality books to the classroom collections that your child can access on a daily basis. We plan to work with students across all grade to determine which books they would like to add to our school collection from this Book Fair fundraiser. Thanks for helping us put quality books, that kids want to read, in EMJ student’s hands!

April 26
Spring Carnival

On Thursday, April 25th in the evening we hosted our first School Carnival at EMJ.  It was a fun-filled night of games, prizes, raffles, and even reptiles!  Thanks to all of our families that attended, as it was a great community-centered event. 
A big thanks to School Council for all of their work, as well as all families who donated baked goods for the bake sale.  A huge thanks to Ms. Vanessa S for all of her work coordinating, planning, and executing this amazing event!  It was a huge success, and all funds raised will go directly to supporting students at EMJ.

April 18
Upcoming Events

​We have lots coming up in the next few weeks for our families and students!  Next Thursday, April 25th is our first ever Spring Carnival.  This will be a great opportunity for families to have an exciting evening together at the school, full of fun, food, and prizes.  There will be a concession, a bake sale, games and prizes, Calgary reptile booth, a photo booth, and face painting.  There are also a number of amazing door prizes, including restaurant gift cards, movie passes, and lots more. We are looking forward to a great night with our families!

We hope to see you on Thursday, May 2nd for "The Springtime Diaries", starring

Grade 4 (Rm 6, Rm 8), Grade 5 (Rm 13), Grade 5&6 (Rm 16, Rm 18), PLP (Rm 4, Rm 5), Kindergarten, and the Spring Choir!

There will be a morning performance at 9:00 AM, and an evening performance at 6:30 PM (Students who are involved in the show need to arrive at 6:00).

Our 2nd book fair of the year will also be running the first week of May, and will be open before and after the concert.

  • May 2 - Spring Concert
  • May 3 – Jump Rope for Heart Kick Off Assembly 11:15am
  • May 14 – Grade 5/6 to Aerospace Museum
  • May 14 – School council 6:30pm
  • May 17 – Non Instructional Day
  • May 20 – Victoria Day – no school
  • May 23 - Welcome to Kindergarten (evening)
  • May 24 – Jump Rope for Heart
  • May 27-31 – Inline skating gr 4/5​

April 12
Beyond the Classroom Walls

​​We had a very busy and active week at EMJ!  Our division 1 (grades K-3) and PLP students had the opportunity to go swimming at Canyon Meadows Pool as part of the physical education program.  Students attended lessons all week long to further their learning with an important life skill.  Whether students were experienced swimmers or in the pool for the first time, there was great learning for everyone! A huge thanks to all who were able to help out and volunteer this week.  It was much appreciated!


In our grade 6 classrooms, students have been highly engaged in learning about the election process and government party platforms, looking at key local issues.  This is a great chance for real-life, connected learning based on curriculum outcomes.  Students were able to not only learn about the roles and responsibilities of the different levels of government, but also able to explore the different perspectives from each party, as well as the election process itself. 


Don’t forget to check out Ms. Dafoe’s blog for more information regarding the upcoming Spring Concert!

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Welcome back to our modified calendar school students! Hope you and your teachers a great first day of classes. We wish you a wonderful school year full of learning! #WeAreCBE https://t.co/S3u5xdyIIa

Yellow school bus route maps have been posted! We’ve also posted information about yellow school bus transportation and Calgary Transit for next year on our website https://t.co/MiiFWpDFUt #WeAreCBE #yycbe https://t.co/f4UuXLGGE6

Yellow school bus route maps for the 2019-20 school year are now posted on the CBE website: https://t.co/OvY7HRyW0M #WeAreCBE #yycbe https://t.co/88H91IiWTQ

Niitsatapi Learning Centre needs new play equipment. @EdMattersYYC is raising money for replacement equipment. Learn more at: https://t.co/qzuMtkr1Ps #WeAreCBE #yycbe

Most CBE traditional calendar school offices open on Wednesday, Aug 28 and classes begin on Monday, Sept 3. Check your school calendar for details #WeAreCBE #yycbe https://t.co/SrAzrvHPzx