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April 15
April 2019

Teaching is the greatest of arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit”. -  John Steinbeck
The warmth has returned and brought that ever important sense of renewal and growth with it.  We have emerged from the darkest of days and are ready for the final few months of the school year. 
We are a culture of learning at Killarney and we take every opportunity to be curious and to create an environment that encourages risks, mistakes, and progress.  Every Friday afternoon, teachers meet to have conversations that foster their learning.  They share their vulnerability.  They give feedback for learning.  They ask questions that often can’t be answered.  They engage in a process that has great impact in the classroom.  They seek ways to develop the whole child and they care far deeper than anyone can really realize.  They are lifelong learners and are committed to the success of every child.  Every child, every day, no exceptions. 
We look forward to our April 22 professional learning day with our sister Montessori schools, Captain John Palliser and Lake Bonavista.  We will be engaging in learning from our land, each other, and connecting our Montessori practice to our curriculum.
Our students have many opportunities to shine and our Orff the Wall evening at the Jack Singer Concert Hall is one of the highlights of our year!  When we consider the real life applications to our curricular work it is events such as Orff the Wall that provide students with authentic learning.  These are truly the moments we remember.
This month we also bid our beloved Assistant Principal, Mrs. McCrory, farewell as she heads into a Principalship.  She has been a huge influence on our Killarney school community and will be greatly missed.  I think of all the times she could be found sitting and reading with a child in a quiet corner in the school. Her work with our Calgary Reads volunteers as well as our system resource supports has been a gift and will continue thanks to her diligence and organization.  Please be sure to stop by and wish her good luck before April 19th.
During our April Parent Council meeting we will share a bit about our budget and the process involved in allocating our funds to ensure the greatest opportunities for our students.  We will be asking for your feedback and wonders as we begin to make decisions for our 2019-20 school year. 
Our school community is strong because of the strength of our connections and we thank you for your belief and commitment to our Montessori program.  Wishing you all a warm, sunny April!
With gratitude,
February 19
Our Montessori Community

“The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction.”    

-       Maria Montessori

2019 at Killarney has begun in the best way possible; full of dreams, laughter, and learning.  It really is a special school and it is the people in it that make the difference.

We hope you had the opportunity to gain an understanding of who your child is in the classroom through the conferences and report cards.  We also hope you were able to celebrate the many highlights of your child’s school life as a leader, learner, performer, and friend.  There are so many pathways to success and each child follows a unique one. 

There are, as always, a plethora of activities and events in the months ahead.  We look forward to more clubs (parents are always welcome to help out or share a passion through a club), field trips, leadership opportunities, performances, and weekly celebrations of learning at our Killarney Connects Assemblies. 

We had an opportunity to showcase our school during our Open House/Discovery Night on Feb. 7th. Perspective families were invited to come out and hear what Killarney School is all about through the voices of parents, teachers, students and alumni.  They learned what makes Killarney different from other schools and how Montessori is not just a teaching methodology but a way of life for our school community. The highlight of the night is always the students who participated in the process by being our speakers, tour ambassadors, alumni, and classroom presenters.  It was a wonderful evening.

February also brings the Accountability Pillar Survey from Alberta Education.  Parents of Gr. 4,5,6 students, teachers and Gr. 4,5,6 students complete the survey which provides feedback to us so we can gain a greater awareness of our successes and our areas for growth.  We use the survey results to inform our next steps in how to improve the educational experience for our students. We encourage all Gr. 4,5,6 families to complete the survey by the deadline:  March 8th.  Students will do the survey at school. If you are a parent of a Gr. 4,5,6 student please email us if you have questions about the survey including how to access the parent questionnaire on line if you prefer this over the form mailed to you earlier this year.

A lottery for our incoming Kindergarten students was held on Feb. 13 and we look forward to welcoming new families to our school community.  We are also accepting registrations for students entering Gr. 1, 2, and 4 (new this year).

So as we move further into 2019 we hold great promise for the year ahead.  Our doors are always open for a visit whether it be to share a concern, ask a question, or just to say “Hi”.  Killarney School is our community and the beauty of our Montessori school is created by our sense of belonging, our care for each other, and the hope we hold for our future.

With gratitude,

           Bonnie Caldwell

           Christine McCrory​

December 07
The Gift of Generosity

Principals Message – December  2018

We have had a wonderful first term here at Killarney School!  Our days have been filled with so many learning experiences and we continue to make Joyful Connections.

Some upcoming highlights at Killarney include our Upper Elementary students attending the Nutcracker Ballet, A Gingerbread Holiday family night, and 2 spirit days:  Holiday Sweater Day and Pajama Day. 

Our focus virtue this month is Generosity and we felt it to be an appropriate one during this festive season.  We have a tremendously generous school community where parents, volunteers, and staff continually give the gift of their time which is the most valuable gift of all.  The many wonderful events, programs, and field trips would not be possible without the support of many and we are thankful.

We continually encourage a spirit of generosity in our Montessori classrooms through an understanding of others.  Children learn to think beyond themselves when they develop relationships with peers and adults. The joy of friendship fosters empathetic thinking as children recognize their own happiness can be grown through giving to someone else.  Generosity is not just a virtue but a way of being when a child exists in a community of care at home and school.

Ways we can support our children to grow as generous people include:

·        Allowing children to work through conflicts in a respectful, empathetic way  - how do you think the other person feels? What might be a good resolution that would be ok for both of you?

·        Setting limits - this is neither authoritarian or restrictive.  Being realistic and having children recognize there are boundaries is healthy and expected

·        Recognize when your child is generous with his/her time and feelings

·        Engage in conversations about how “giving to others” makes you feel inside

·        Be a model of a generosity

We want to wish you a very restful Winter break and hope you are able to enjoy the generous time with family and friends!

With Gratitude,

Bonnie Caldwell and Christine McCrory​

October 30
Attitude of Gratitude

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” – Melody Beattie


It is the wise person who understands the power of gratitude.  We have been encouraging students to look and live beyond themselves and recognize their responsibility to make a positive impact on the people and world around them.  It truly is big work for our young learners! Our children live in a world so vastly different than when we were young yet so many similarities remain.  It is our hope that Killarney students have opportunities to grow their capacity to learn through working with others and developing healthy relationships that support their progress.

Gratitude has a strong presence in our Montessori classrooms. Beginning in Kindergarten, children learn about Grace and Courtesy which supports a positive social behaviour and helps children to develop how to work with others.  The 5 Great Lessons in the Elementary program highlight that someone or something worked very hard in the past to give us what we have today.  Our Upper Elementary students have the privilege to experience service work each month.  It brings us great pride to hear of their experiences and how their connections to our community bring authentic joy to their learning. Gratitude also fosters empathy and compassion for others as well as an appreciation for what others do for you.  There is much research that indicates an attitude of gratitude positively impacts our emotions and neuropathways leading to a decrease in depression and anxiety.  We are reminded of a quote from Oprah, “be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” 

Ways to encourage gratitude at home:

·        Model being thankful to others:  notes of thanks, common courtesies, and knowing small gestures go a long way.

·        Keeping a Gratitude Journal to record something to be thankful for each day

·        Asking your children one thing they are thankful for each day.  This builds an awareness of all the good in their world

·        Encourage your child to help out with chores both at home and for others

·        And most importantly, remember the best things in life….aren’t things!

Thank you for continuing to stay informed by reading our weekly updates and teacher blogs!


With gratitude,

Bonnie Caldwell and Christine McCrory


October 01
Joyful Connections

“Everyone talks about peace, but no one educates for peace.  People educate for competition and this is the beginning of any war.  When we educate to cooperate and be in solidarity with one another, that day we will be educating for peace.”Dr. Maria Montessori

What a wonderful beginning to our 2018-19 school year!  We enjoyed many joyful connections through our welcome back events, field trips to Bar U Ranch and Weaselhead Flats, Killarney Connects assemblies, Parent/Teacher Conferences, Parent Council meetings, and our Terry Fox School run.  Learning at Killarney is rich and robust!

We will continue to connect with families in a variety of ways including teacher blogs, weekly updates, Twitter, and parent learning evenings as well as more family events and formal meetings.  We encourage you to stay informed and attend our monthly Killarney Parent Council meetings.  These meetings are a great way to know what is happening in the school and provide the opportunity for you to share your voice.  It is also a great way to meet other parents!  Each meeting includes what is happening in the featured classroom, and new this year will be a Montessori highlight as part of the Principals’ sharing. 

Our school focus is Joyful Connections as we hope to encourage a love of learning through meaningful connections.  For deep learning to happen we need  to connect with the work and with each other and understand the importance of cooperation and collaboration.  Learning can only happen when we are ready in mind, body, and soul and know that we can overcome the many challenges of learning by working together.  Learning is not easy but the rewards are immeasurable. What a gift it would be if all schools worldwide educated for peace!

We look forward to many joyful connections in the year ahead.

With gratitude,

Bonnie Caldwell and Christine McCrory


June 28
Year End Message

“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” – Maria Montessori

Our year at Killarney School has been focused on Connections.  Learning about, understanding, and making connections have been the central, guiding theme as we have navigated the past 10 months. As we reflect on the year, we are encouraged by the growth each student has demonstrated in ways beyond the academic realm. We have observed students become self-advocates for their needs, engage in building a community of care, and take on responsibilities as leaders of their classrooms and school. Our weekly Killarney Connects assemblies have showcased how students have made connections to their learning, to each other, and to the world around them. The assemblies were also a time we could connect as a school community to recognize and celebrate students. It is our hope that they will continue making connections as they grow next year and then beyond our beautiful Montessori school.

We have some staffing and classroom changes for our 2018-19 school year as noted below:

Room 1 –Mrs. Legat                               Grade  1,2,3
Room 2 – Mrs. Szeretva                         Grade  1,2,3
Room 3 – Mrs. Laing-Chan                     Grade  1,2,3
Room 4- Mrs. Bahl                                 Grade  1,2,3
Room 5 – Ms. Merritt                              Grade  1,2,3
Room 6 – Ms. Herold (soon to be known as Mrs. Potekal after her August nuptials) Grade  1,2,3
Room 8 am- Mrs. Greening                     kindergarten
Room 8 pm – Mrs. Squire                       kindergarten
Room 9 – Ms. Hubbard                           Grade  1,2,3
Room 10 – Ms. McBrien                          Grade  1,2,3
Room 11 – Mrs. Neitz                             Grade  4,5
Room 12- Ms. Tolton                              Grade  4,5,6
Room 13 – Mrs. Reinhardt/ Ms. Cuvelier   Grade  4,5,6
Room 14 – Ms. Thiessen                         Grade  4,5,6
Room 17 – Mrs. Lister                             Grade  4,5,6

Music/ELL – Mrs. Harvie
Learning Support/Early Literacy – Mrs. Honing
French (Grade  4,5,6) – Mrs. Reinhardt

Library – Mrs. Khan

We bid Mrs. Blenkhorne farewell as she moves to a school closer to home base as a P/T, Literacy and  music specialist. Ms. De Nato will be leaving us and we also bid Mrs. Baskin farewell as she enters a new stage of life in retirement.  They will all be greatly missed by our staff, students and families.

Our 2018-19 Killarney calendar is available on our website so please remember to take a look at all the dates that lay ahead.

If you ordered a yearbook, it will be distributed in the Fall.  This was to allow our June activities to be part of the yearbook. If your child is leaving Killarney, please ensure we have current information to contact you once the yearbooks have arrived.
On behalf of the Killarney staff, we would like to thank you for your continued support in the multitude of experiences we provide and participate in.  Your assistance through volunteering for field trips, clubs, reading programs, various class and school activities, as well as funding support through your direct donations and casino participation, are so greatly appreciated!  We could never do and offer the many opportunities without your help.  We would also like to thank you for choosing our Montessori Alternative Program.  Killarney School is truly an extraordinary place with extraordinary people!

Best wishes for a restful Summer Break and we will see you on September 4. 

Bonnie Caldwell and Christine McCrory

April 30
May 2018

“So in the child, besides the vital impulse to create himself, and to become perfect, there must yet be another purpose, a duty to fulfill in harmony, something he has to do in the service of a united whole.”  Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind.

We often hear of the need to foster empathy and resilience.  Maria Montessori believed that it is the duty of every person to work toward and be part of something great which not only serves individual interests but those of all humanity.  Montessori education teaches empathy and resilience in a variety of ways.  We model empathy to the students and provide opportunities for children to make and learn from mistakes.  When empathy is repeatedly demonstrated by a teacher or parent in the classroom or home setting it helps to set the culture of the learning environment and it sets an expectation for the way one treats others.  When children make mistakes and are taught and modeled how to problem solve, we help to build resilience.  The Montessori classroom allows children to develop self-reliance by making choices and dealing with the successes and consequences of their choices.  The Montessori classroom also encourages children to learn from mistakes and successes by allowing for independent decision-making.  Together, empathy and resilience grow a responsible, caring, and respectful citizen and that is our wish and hope for our Killarney students.

bake.jpgThe recent tragedy in Humboldt highlighted how a community could unite and work for the common good.  Our show of support through quiet conversations with children, Jersey Day, and the Bake Sale demonstrated just how special a place Killarney School is.  Many parents and students felt the emotions of the Humboldt community and when we saw the overwhelming amount of baked donations, we were so proud of and thankful to our school community.  We are comforted in knowing our children are both empathetic and resilient and will continue to find and fulfill their purpose in life.

As we begin planning for next year we recognize our good fortune to have multi-age, multi-year, cohorts of students. The children build trust relationships, grow their capacity as mentors, and develop skills which reach beyond the curriculum.  We work hard to ensure a good balance in each and every learning space and take many varying factors into consideration when we place children.  It takes a considerable amount of time and thought and we thank parents for understanding and having trust in our decisions. Sometimes part of a child’s learning is centred around that socialization-collaboration piece which is crucial in our global culture.

Thank you for continuing to read our weekly updates and teachers’ blogs for the latest and greatest happenings at school.

Enjoy a wonderful month!

Bonnie Caldwell and Christine McCrory

March 23
April 2018

​Excerpted from our April Newsletter​.

“The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.” – Maria Montessori

This quote is so appropriate particularly at this time of year. With the warming of the weather and longer days, children should be outdoors connecting with the environment. Living in harmony with the earth also extends to the animals, plants and people that are part of our planet. 

We can only understand and have empathy for concepts we experience so we try to provide our students with opportunities to learn and explore outside the school as often as possible. You are always welcome to be part of your child(ren)’s educational experiences through volunteering! Come connect with us on a field trip or in the classroom. It is our hope by making these important connections students will develop the skills and attitudes needed to succeed in our future world.

We are well into the homestretch of the school year but show no signs of slowing down. We have another Artist-In-Residence, Sound Kreations, field trips, performances including Orff the Wall, new clubs, as well as the regular day-to-day events in learning. Our school focus of Connections continues to be the overarching theme and the students have embraced showcasing and celebrating their learning in our Killarney Connects Assemblies each Friday. The assemblies have provided the time for us to connect as a school community and we continue to be inspired by the ways our students are connecting with their learning.

Grace, Gratitude, and Courtesy will be at the forefront of our work. We will refocus on being aware of our impact on those around us as well as fostering peace and calm through mindfulness. We encourage families to continue the work at home through practice in courteous behaviour and intentional observation of our surrounding environment.

We look forward to April bringing a renewed energy and many more wonderful connections!

With Gratitude,
Bonnie Caldwell and Christine McCrory

March 02
March 2018

​Excerpted from our March Newsletter​.

Our wonderful Montessori school continues to grow extraordinary people. Our Open House showcased some of the talent we have and continue to nurture with our students presenting and speaking to their Montessori lessons and our alumni returning to share how being a student at Killarney prepared them to move forward into their Jr. High experiences. 

What was most powerful were the moments when the students, parents and staff brought their stories to life through their connections with each other at Killarney School. We overheard many perspective parents comment on the community feel they had as they wandered through the school and chatted with our hosts. It is our belief in this sense of community that truly makes our Montessori school a special place to belong. 

We are half way through our school year and we continue to be busy looking to the months ahead. We look forward to welcoming our new Kindergarten families and will prepare to bid our Grade 6’s farewell. We thank those who have returned the planning sheet for next year and remind those who have yet to do so, to please get them in so we can make plans using the most accurate information available. 

Great thanks to our Killarney School Council​, for the support they offer in providing those memorable “extras” students will remember long past the day they graduate from our program. The Artists in Residence, Fun Lunches, Olympics Day, and the Spring Showcase are just a few recent happenings that KPC has supported and we look forward to the Spring family dance, Sound Kreations, and the year-end field trip! 

We would also like to extend a great amount of appreciation to our Montessori Alternative Public School Society (aka MAPSS) for giving us the resources to purchase new and replacement Montessori materials in our classrooms. Their dedication and support has allowed us to continue to keep our classes well-resourced with Montessori materials and provide students with a prepared learning environment. 

Our School Resource Officer, Constable Hartmann, has visited Killarney School on a number of occasions to help monitor the traffic at dismissal time. We would like to remind parents that our priority is to keep our students safe getting to and from school and that road safety is of concern. Please be sure to cross at corners, park a safe distance away from stop signs and intersections, and allow our Safety Patrols to do their job in a safe environment. We never want to endanger our children so we need to work together to guarantee their well-being. 

We are so very fortunate to have a school with exceptional students, staff, and families. As we head into warmth of the Spring (we are always optimistic!!) we know that our months will bring new growth, new challenges, new opportunities and new connections! We look forward to ‘March-ing’ forward! 

With Gratitude,
Bonnie Caldwell and Christine McCrory

January 30
February 2018

As we move into the second month of the New Year we have many wonderful learning opportunities ahead.  Maria Montessori was a huge advocate for taking learning beyond the classroom and at Killarney School, we align our practices with Dr. Montessori. We continue to provide students the chance to connect in many clubs currently being run by students, parents, and staff. Clubs are a wonderful way to encourage involvement in a fun and educational environment and offer students the chance to meet others with similar interests.  If you have a something you are passionate about and would like to organize a club but would like some guidance, please come see us! 

We greatly appreciate all the students who arrive for school on time.  It is important for them to start their day on a positive note as the teachers give them information about the day’s expectations and help them to organize their day for the work period.  When a child is 15 minutes late, every day, they are missing 2,745 minutes or 45.75 hours of instruction.  Even missing 5 minutes of instructional time every day adds up to a loss of 915 minutes or 15.25 hours over the course of the year.  That is a significant loss of learning time!  Alberta Education mandates all elementary students receive 950 hours of instruction and unfortunately, children are disadvantaged when they miss large amounts of time. Please help your child to ready themselves and get to school on time. We hope with your support, we can significantly decrease the number of students arriving late each morning.

We encourage outdoor experiences as part of our Montessori beliefs in connecting with our environment but we have to love Calgary weather and the fact we live in a climate notorious for unpredictable changes!  We would like to remind student to be prepared for the sudden changes in weather by having a warm coat, hat, mitts, and boots with them when they come to school.  When temperatures reach -20 Celsius or colder including the wind-chill factor, students will be kept inside for recess or lunch breaks. The -20 Celsius guideline is comparable to other school jurisdictions in Alberta and across Canada.  

This month brings an Olympic Spirit to Killarney!  With support from our Killarney Parent Council we will be learning about some of the participating countries and then hosting our own “Olympic day” on Feb. 14th.  The Olympics highlight not only excellence in sport but important values such as perseverance, resilience, and sportsmanship.  These key tenets of Olympians are what we encourage in our students and hope some important connections will be made as we celebrate this great event.

From January to the end of February, Alberta Education will be conducting the annual Accountability Pillar Survey.  In January, parents of students in grades 4, 7, and 10 will receive a survey from Alberta Education.  In February, students in grades 4, 7, and 10, and all teachers will be completing their surveys online at school. 

All surveys are anonymous and ask questions about experiences with the school.    If you would prefer to respond to the survey in another language, please let us know and a copy will be sent to you.

It is very important that parents/guardians of our Grade 4 students complete the survey and return it to Alberta Education.  Alberta Education and the public use the results of the Accountability Pillar Survey to assess satisfaction with the quality of education in our schools.  In addition, the Calgary Board of Education uses the information to improve teaching and learning for your children.

If you “Don’t Know” the answer to a particular question, please skip that question and go to the next one, unless you want your response to count as a negative one.

Your voice matters. Your participation in the survey helps provide important information on the quality of education your child is receiving. Alberta Education and the Calgary Board of Education thank you for returning the parent Accountability Pillar Survey promptly.  If you have questions, please contact us at the school.

We look forward to a month connecting kindness, Olympic spirit and values, and learning! You can keep up to date with our weekly updates sent via school messenger!

With kindness and gratitude,

Bonnie Caldwell and Christine McCrory​

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