Get to know our principal and what’s going on in our school.
September 14
September 14 Weekly Update

​We had our first School Council meeting of the new school year this week.  These meetings are an opportunity for parents to hear about what is happening at the school, and to have input into the decisions that are made. During each meething throughout the year, teachers and/or teams of teachers will be talking about the learning that is occuring into classrooms, giving a window into the exciting work that is happening at each grade level.  This week, our Math Coach, Ms. Julia Hillier, spoke about her role in the building this year. We are excited to have the oppportunity to work with Ms. Hillier throughout the year, as our school focus will be on supporting the teaching and learning of mathematics. Ms. Hillier will be working with all teachers and students over the course of the year.  

Looking ahead:

  • Conferences are next Thursday and Friday. Remember to book through your Power School account
  • Our next School Council meeting is October 9th
  • Fun lunch September 27th.  The deadline to order Healthy Hunger is next Friday
  • Terry Fox assembly and run is September 28th at 9 am
  • There is no school for students October 5 and 8
  • Photo day is October 9th

September 07
September 7 Weekly Update

​What a great first week at EMJ!  We welcomed many new students and families to the school (approximately 40 in total), and celebrated a new year with returning students.  In classrooms, students spent time talking about learning spaces and how how best to use areas to optimize their learning success.  As a school, we started with the book "What Do You Do With a Chance", with each class focusing on what it means to take a chance on something.  This will be an overarching theme over the course of the year school-wide.  

We finished the week on a celebratory note with our first pancake breakfast.  It was so wonderful to see community members, family members, current, and past students in attendance. Overall we served breakfast to over 500!  Thanks to everyone that came out, and a huge thank you to school council and volunteers for organizing and running the event.  It was a great success!pancake.jpg

Looking ahe​ad:

  • Starting Tuesday we will have Club Run in the morning.  It will happen every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:45 am for the month of September.  If you are interested in participating please meet us Tuesday morning near the flag pole. Bring your running shoes and get ready to move!​
  • ​Our first School Council meeting is Tuesday, September 11.  Our math coach, Ms. Julia Hillier, will be in attendance to talk about her role in the school this year.  All parents are welcome to attend. This is a great opportunity to get involved in what is happening at the school
  • Parent-Student-Teacher interviews will take place on September 20 and 21. More information will be coming out next week

June 28
A Look Back and a Look Ahead

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, such as the Quest Theatre residency, Jump Rope for Heart, swimming, outdoor school, the gingerbread house building evening, family movie night, numerous extracurricular opportunities, and multiple field trips throughout the year.

I would like to thank our School Council for their incredible work over the course of the year. Through various fundraising activities, council has funded many activities for EMJ School students for this school year (including most of the activities listed above). 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.

Going forward for next year, we are working on making class lists and determining grade configurations. This is work that we put a great deal of time and effort into, and is not typically finalized until September when we have a definite number of students. If you are aware of students that might be coming to EMJ in the future, please encourage parents to register as soon as possible so that we can make sure our class lists are up to date.

The process is thoughtfully completed by staff and designed to set students up for success while keeping the big picture in mind. Teachers may not be teaching the same grade next year and some may take advantage of opportunities provided by the CBE teacher transfer process.

We have some staffing changes at EMJ for the upcoming year:

Ms. Warbeck will be taking a year away from teaching, while Ms. Somers, Ms. Hill, Ms. Leishman, Ms. Ruberto, and Ms. Thompson are all heading to new locations. I want to thank each of these individuals for their hard work at EMJ, and I wish them each the best in the future.

After 33 years with the CBE (13 of which were here at EMJ), Dan Jones is retiring. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Dan over the past year, and I wish him all the best in his retirement. He has had a huge impact on EMJ over the years.

I would like to wish our Grade 6 students and those of you that may be moving all the best in the upcoming school year. We are always happy to see visitors in the Fall!

All the best this summer, and I am looking forward to another great year together!

Chris Radu
Principal, Ethel M Johnson School

March 05
March Update

Excerpted from our March Newsletter​.

​The Importance of the Arts

". . . the arts have been an inseparable part of the human journey; indeed, we depend on the arts to carry us toward the fullness of our humanity. We value them for themselves, and because we do, we believe knowing and practicing them is fundamental to the healthy development of our children's minds and spirits. That is why, in any civilization - ours included - the arts are inseparable from the very meaning of the term 'education.' We know from long experience that no one can claim to be truly educated who lacks basic knowledge and skills in the arts."

–National Standards for Arts Education

The arts are a crucial piece of the curriculum, often taught both as standalone subjects as well as being embedded in all of the other subject areas, such as language arts, science, and social studies. Art gives our students an opportunity to explore the curriculum in different ways, as well as providing an alternate way to demonstrate learning. The arts can have many different forms, including but not limited to things like painting, dancing, sculptures, music, and drama. The arts provide our students an opportunity to express creativity, passion, or even emotion.

The students of Ethel M Johnson School have an amazing opportunity coming up in the month of March. Quest Theatre, a group that works with students in schools, will be working with the students of EMJ from March 5-9. Each class will have multiple opportunities over the course of the week to work with this theatre group, creating, writing, and developing a theatrical performance. 

Students will spend the first four days of this residency working directly with artitsts and classmates to come up with a message that they feel strongly about, creating a performance that will be presented in front of the school on Friday morning. This performance is truly student-generated, created, and performed. We will be having two performances on Friday, March 9 to display our learning. Half the school will perform at 9:15 am and the other half at 11:00 am (classroom teachers will be providing further information next week about when they will be performing). We hope you are able to come and join us! Thank you to the Alberta Foundation of the Arts Grant Program for helping us make this happen, as well as the support of our School Council.

The benefits of arts exposure and experiences cannot be over stated. I am looking forward to seeing what kind of amazing endeavors our students will be undertaking in the upcoming months.

Chris Radu
Ethel M Johnson School


January 08
January Update

​Excerpted from our January Newsletter​

As we wound down the month of December en route to 2018, our school community was left with many fond memories. December felt very much like a celebration, and seasonal themes were evident throughout our work. Art, drama, and music, and community events took centre stage. On December 7, the gym was buzzing with activity for EMJ’s first annual Gingerbread Night. Families had the opportunity to build houses together, and there was a real sense of community in the air. It was a wonderful night, and a tradition to continue for many years to come!

The winter celebration at Ethel M Johnson was on December 14th, with many of our youngest students performing. It was an amazing performance by all standards. Special thanks to Ms. Dafoe for her hard work and countless hours that went into this production.

As always, our school events would not be as successful without the support of our parent community, who helped out immensely with all events over the course of the month. Thanks to all of our parents that attended our events, and a special thanks to our school council for their continued support. We wish all of our families a Happy New Year. We look forward to working with you in 2018! 

Chris Radu​
Ethel M Johnson School  

December 01
December Update

December is looking to be an incredibly busy and exciting month here at Ethel M Johnson School, with events for both students and families. We started the month with a breakfast kick-off to the Mayor’s Food Drive, where we will be collecting donations to the Food Bank. It was a great school community event eating breakfast together in the gym in our pyjamas. 

Huge thanks to the Superstore in Shawnessy for donating our breakfast food! There are also some performances in December for a number of our students. The choir will be performing off-site twice this month – Dec. 5 at the Core downtown, and Dec. 12 at Southcentre Mall. Both will be great experiences for our students, and these experiences provide our students with an opportunity to give back to the community. 

We also have the gingerbread house building night on Dec. 7. This is a chance for students and their families to come and enjoy a social evening at the school. It should be a fun-filled night! We have the winter celebration performance on Thursday, Dec. 14. Many hours of practice and preparation have gone into this event, and it will be truly amazing! There will be both a morning and an evening performance. I look forward to seeing the final result of all of the hard work that has gone into this event! More information can be found further in our December newsletter​

Please note: classes that are not performing during the winter celebration will have a separate performance in the spring. Finally, we look forward to meeting with parents on Dec. 21 and 22 for Parent-Student-Teacher interviews. Booking information will be coming out shortly. We will also be running our Scholastic Book Fair from Dec. 18 to 21. Of course, without our amazing parent community support many of these events would not be possible. 

We appreciate the partnership with you, the parents of Ethel M Johnson School, because without you we would not be able to do nearly as much as we do. From volunteering in classrooms, counting money, checking forms, working casinos, attending school council meetings, fun lunches, fundraising initiatives… and of course most importantly working with and supporting your children, it is this partnership that continues to make EMJ the awesome place that it is. 

I look forward to seeing many of you throughout the month at our various events! 

Chris Radu
Ethel M Johnson School


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