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September 05
Welcome Back!
​​Welcome to all of our new students and families and welcome back to all returning!  A big thanks to students, parents and school staff for helping to make the first days of our school year smooth and organized. 

I have heard from families about many adventures during the summer and a great opportuinity to rrejuvenate.  Now w​e will refocus and work toward a successful school year.  Preliminary assessments have started as has the planning of the learning program for the new school year.

As a school staff we have worked together to establish our major focus of professional learning for the 2019-20 school year. We call this our Theory of Action. Our first draft of this statement:

If teachers create a culture of critical thinking and collaboration then students will develop an enriched vocabulary, represented in their written and oral compositions.

As is common for all CBE schools this year we will focus on language literacy, mathematics and personal wellness. We believe it is important to have an academic focus but equally important to understand ourselves and others well to successfully work together with them. Having a positive mindset is key!

We are excited about the team of staff members we have at our school this year. Please go to Our Staff page for a complete roster of staff members.

For most families, parents were contacted by their child’s teacher to welcome students to their classrooms. In some cases there were students who were not officially entered into our student information system (PowerSchool) who may not have received an email or phone call.  

We apologize for any confusion while we were working through the new processes of MyCBE/PowerSchool​. Parents will have a chance Sept. 19 and 20 when we host our first Parent Teacher conferences to meet classroom teachers. We will let you know soon when you will be able to sign up on-line in PowerSchool for conferences.

We look forward to working with families this year to make this a positive experience for all of our students.

Sincerely,
David Watson​​

April 08
The Final Three Months!

​​Spring Break has just past and there are only three months left of this school year.  Time has passed by so quickly and there is much to do!  

Following Spring Break our students are actively involved in gymnastics and dance.  We are happy to have Rachel Black join us in this activity as our physical education specialist for the remainder of the school year.  She will be in our gym from Tuesday to Thursday each week.  It is very clear in the Alberta Program of Studies that the goal of our “physical education program is to enable individuals to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.”

To further assist our physical literacy goals, we have an artist from SoundKreations joining us from April 23-26.  The artist will be teaching our students moves in hip hop dance.  This will give students plenty of moves to use for the Spring Fling Dance on April 26.  We are looking forward to seeing lots of families at the Spring Fling.

Just prior to Spring Break parents and teachers had an opportunity to attend parent - teacher conferences.  We hope that all questions, concerns and celebrations were covered in those meetings.  It was a pleasure to hear stories of success from families.  As well I was encouraged by the goals and plans made to further build on what has been learned so far this year.  If you have further questions or were not able to attend the conferences, please contact your child’s teacher to book an appointment.

At this time we are planning for next school year.  If you know your family will be moving and have not let us know, please contact the school at your earliest convenience so we can adjust as needed.  A smooth transition to a new school is important to your child’s success in the coming school year.  If we are aware of your child’s move, we can ensure that the new school has files and any pertinent information that is needed for a great start to a new school environment.

I have been asked recently about parent requests for their child’s teacher for next year.  Please note that at this time we are believe many of our staff members will remain the same, we are not certain all staff members will be staying and remain in the same grade at Marion Carson School in the fall.  Even though this may not be helpful in your decision making, I will be taking written requests for teachers until June 1.  After that date, we will be organizing classes and requests will not be accepted.  Please make sure that your request includes a positive educational reason along with your choice of teacher.  Be aware that requests are honoured if it is seen to be in the best educational interest of the child.  We do our best to balance the students in classes in terms of ability, motivation, needs and compatibility.  A request to have a child with another friend or having the same teacher as an older sibling had in the past is not adequate.  Academic reasons are most appreciated.  When making class lists, we do our best to make sure that each child is in a group that we feel they can successfully achieve both academically and socially.  Parents will know their child’s teacher for next year in August when teacher communicate with families by phone, email or letter.

On May 9 we will be hosting our Kindergarten Orientation at 7:00 p.m.  We ask that all families whose children will be kindergarten in 2019-20 have at least one parent attend the Orientation.  An email has been sent out to all families to inform them of the event.  We would request that children not join us for this meeting as it tends to be a lot of information over an extended period of time.

If you should know of a family whose child is ready for kindergarten and lives in Varsity but have yet to register, please remind them to come to the school as soon as possible to complete the registration process.  Please remember that all spots in the Mandarin Bilingual program are full and we are contacting families on the call-back list as spaces come available.

We would like to thank our parents for their volunteer support.  We have many events all year that would be difficult to hold if we did not have that involvement.  Coming up this month is the Spring Fling.  The Special Events Committee would love to have as many volunteers as possible join in the setup, organizing and cleanup of the event.  A note will be sent home soon to inform parents of the event and how they can help out.  Again, we would like to thank for all volunteers for their work in classrooms, for performances, in the office, at School Council Meetings, in the library and on field trips! Your help at swimming has been greatly appreciated! It is such a pleasure to have supportive parents. 

Sincerely,

David Watson

October 11
October 2018

​It has been a pleasure working with students and their families to begin another great school year.  Students have settled in and have had an opportunity to reconnect with their friends or make new friends this past month. Initial assessments have taken place and teachers are well into planning to meet their students’ needs.  It is great to see them actively learning so quickly.

Thanks to the Special Events Committee of School Council for providing coffee for parents on the very first day.  Staff really appreciated the opportunity to meet with parents at the Muffin Mixer and Parent-Teacher Conferences.  Thanks to parents for joining us at the Parent-Teacher Conferences. We learned a lot and have a better understanding of your children’s learning needs.  Please feel free to contact teachers at non-teaching times if you have further thoughts or requests.
 
Thanks to Ms. Hymers’ class for hosting the Terry Fox Run assembly. Even though the weather did not cooperate as planned we did manage to give all student’s the opportunity to run. We appreciated their message and their talents.  Their message that we all need to work together to carry on Terry’s Marathon of Hope was understood by all.  He ran for us and we need to be like Terry to help others.  Thanks also to the parents who joined us at the actual Run.
 
Our official enrollment for this year is 553 students which is very close to the CBE Planning projection of 550.  We are working on completing our staffing and will provide an update when this is complete.
 
You may have noticed that CBE Transportation has changed the bus routes to use funds more efficiently. They hope that they will come closer to recovering the cost of transporting students. This will be a work in progress over the next few years.
 
Please remember that in the morning, the “Kiss and Go” section of the street in front of our school is meant to accommodate drop off only in the early morning.  If you need to come into our school or would like to walk your child to the entry way of the school, we ask that you find parking on another street and not in the”Kiss and Go” or the staff parking lot.  Almost all spots in our portion of the parking lot are being used by our school staff and it is very inconvenient for staff members when they are trying to get into the school to prepare for their day and their spot is taken.
 
This week is a busy week. Our Grade 6 classes are at the Outdoor School. This is an exciting time for our oldest students and we look forward to hearing their stories from the outdoors. As well, our K – 4 students will be starting in-line skating.  What an exciting start to our school year!
 
Sincerely,
David Watson
September 12
Sept. 2018

Welcome to all of our new students and families and welcome back to all returning! After speaking to many students and their families it seems that it was a great summer break for our students. We hope that you and your family spent many restful moments and exciting activities together! Now it is time to refocus and get ourselves working toward a successful school year. Teachers are working on their preliminary assessments and building their learning program for the school year. This will be an ongoing process all year.

As a school staff we have worked together to establish our major focus of professional learning for the 2018-19 school year. We call this our Theory of Action.

If teachers create a culture of critical thinking and collaboration then students will demonstrate their understanding of problem solving across all curricular areas.

As you may guess this is a math focus but we will also be considering problem solving with our relationships and other academic areas. We believe it is important to understand others well to successfully work together with them. School staff list has been updated on the website. It is slightly different from the list published just prior to Summer Break. We welcome all of our new staff and look forward to a successful year with them.

For most families, parents were contacted by their child‟s teacher to welcome students to their classrooms. In some cases there were students who were not officially entered into our student information system (PowerSchool) who may not have received an email. In other cases families may have received a phone call. We apologize for any confusion while we were working through the new processes of PowerSchool. Parents will have a chance September 20 and 21 when we host our first Parent Teacher conferences to meet classroom teachers. We will let you know soon when you will be able to sign up on-line in PowerSchool for conferences.

Our school has had a change to the stair rail in the library over the summer. This change has been in the works for several months and is now almost finished. The East and West stair rails will also be changed in coming months. Bussing transportation has been changed slightly again this year. There are fewer stops but the number of buses has not changed. They are using “congregated stops” organization. If you have not yet registered your child and wish for them to take the school bus, please click the link below to start the process. We understand there will not be any changes to the routes until mid October. CBE Transportation has worked hard to figure out routes that would serve as many students as effectively as possible. Please go to the CBE website for more information about payment for transportation or for late registration.

https://cbe.ab.ca/schools/busing-and-transportation/Pages/default.aspx

We look forward to working with families this year to make this a positive experience for all of our students.

Sincerely,
David Watson

June 05
June 2018

May was such a beautiful month with warm weather and minimal wind for students to contend with while they played outside. We hope that June will be just as nice but some rain and cooler weather will help Marion’s Meadow grow. June is always an important month for our Grade 6 students who are preparing for the last 4 Provincial Achievement Tests. They have worked hard this year and we feel they will do well on these assessments.

Thanks to parents for your patience in finding more information about our teacher roster for next year. There have been some changes recently and we needed to confirm our placements before we share them with parents. As noted in the recent email, the list is as complete as it can be but there is a possibility for changes in the next few weeks. Please have all requests sent to the office by June 4. Be sure to follow the guidelines mentioned in the recent email.

On May 31 we had an opportunity to say thank you to our volunteers for all of their efforts this year. We were pleased to see so many volunteers come out to the Volunteer Tea. The student performers were so pleased to see so many parents, family members and friends of Marion Carson School be a part of the afternoon. Thank you again to all of our volunteers!

Along with all of the off-site trips our students will be attending this month, we have Sound Kreations coming to our school to teach students hip hop and Latin dance steps.

Over the summer we encourage parents to ensure their children have some recreational reading time on a regular basis. This will help students when they arrive back in September. They will be able to move forward from where they left off in June and not have to catch up instead. Some good examples are reading of signs as they travel, taking time for comics or much more casual text, sharing a summer novel together and writing and reading emails to relatives who live far away.

There have been messages sent out already about the need to register children for transportation. This will only affect children who live outside of our walk zones. Please make sure that if your child needs yellow bus transportation that you register by June 11 or your child may not have a stop in place at a closer location until mid-October. There is no fee until your child takes the bus in the fall. You will not be able to pay a fee until then. You will only be able to pre-register. If you intend to drive your own child and not use the bus system, you will not need to pre-register. Thanks if you have already pre-registered your child!

If you know that your child will be leaving Marion Carson School and have not informed the school yet, please do so at your earliest convenience.

In case we are not able to see you in the next month, we wish you all the best and hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer.

We have some long awaited updates for staffing and student events:

We would like to congratulate Mrs. Wilson on her appointment as Assistant Principal at Colonel Sanders School. She will assume her new role in August 2018. We are very excited for her but will truly miss her calm, engaged, and passionate teaching manner in our school. We thank Mrs. Wilson for the many years of service at Marion Carson School and wish her the best in the upcoming school year.

As noted in the Parent Association Meeting on May 15, Mrs. Gilbert and Mrs. Sutor will be retiring at the end of June. They are both looking forward to spending more time with their families and enjoying the time to catch up with other adventures in life. They have said they will miss their students just as we will miss these teachers! The CBE has benefitted a great deal from all of their work over the years.

As a result of the above changes, the staff roster is not complete but we will let you know of any further changes that may occur. Here is the staff list as we know it today:

Kindergarten - Mrs. Hoglund
Kindergarten Mandarin Bilingual - Ms. P. Wu
Grade 1 - Mrs. Sterling / Mrs. Stevenson and Mrs. Tolooei
Grade 1 - Mandarin Bilingual - Ms. Keller and Ms. L. Wu
Grade 2 - A teacher in for Mrs. Buller (On Leave) and Mrs. Sheppard
Grade 2 - Mandarin Bilingual - Mr. Wiskar and Ms. W. Zhang
Grade 3 - Mrs. Blair and Mrs. Lowe Synnott
Grade 3 - Mandarin Bilingual - Ms. Eastly and Ms. M. Zhang
Grade 4 - Ms. Hay and a Teacher To Be Announced
Grade 4 - Mandarin Bilingual - Mrs. Wilcock and a Teacher To Be Announced
Grade 5 - Ms. Hymers and Mr. Rodger
Grade 6 - Mrs. Campbell / Mrs. McGown and Mr. Wiedener Music - Mrs. McPhail French - Teacher To Be Announced
Assistant Principal - Ms. S. Li
Principal - Mr. Watson
Admin Secretary - Mrs. Cinnamon
School Secretary - Mrs. Gascoine
Library Assistant - Ms. Roth
School Assistants - Mrs. Bulley and Mrs. Schimpf
School Assistants Mandarin Bilingual - Ms. Guo, Ms. A. Li, Ms. Yuan and
School Assistant MB To Be Announced
Education Assistants - Mrs. Akbar, Ms. Barthelemy, Mrs. Boldt, Mrs. Keeler, Ms. Leask, Mrs. Proulx and Ms. Shellborn
English Language Assistants - Mrs. Keeler and Mrs. Wong
Lunch Supervisor - Mrs. Aubin, Mrs. Bulley, Mrs. Bryan, Mrs. Elefante, Mrs. Huang, Mrs. McDougal and Mrs. Siddiqui
Facility Operators - Mr. Hanson and Mr. Congo

Any staff members who have a probationary or temporary designation may return but we will only know at a later time during the staffing process.

We would like to thank the following staff members who have been an important part of our school this year and wish them all the best in the 2018-19 school year:

Teachers - Mrs. Enerson, Ms. Saretsky, Mr. Williams and Ms. Wang Education Assistants - Mrs. Davalos, Ms. Jamrozek, Ms. Xu and Ms. Roy

Lunchroom Supervisor – Mrs. Reid If parents have a request for next year's teacher for their child, we will be accepting your input until June 4. Please write a letter or email and have it forwarded to Mr. Watson. We require all requests be in a positive format giving reasons why the teacher will be a good fit for your child. Negative letters will be discarded. Be aware that we do our best to match students with peers they can work well with and will not distract them. If they have successfully worked well with their close friends, they may get an opportunity to be together, again. That will be a decision made by the present teacher. If an older child of yours has been with a teacher previously and you would like to have your younger child in that teacher's class, please give us a reason why that teacher will match the needs of your younger child. We often are in agreement with parents but we do reserve the right to make a decision based on our professional judgement of the child's work ethic, behaviour and social interactions. The class lists are compiled with great forethought and consideration. Thanks for your patience!

Sound Kreations will be joining us next week to teach our students hip hop and Latin dance. Our last experience with SK was lots of fun! Even students who felt they are not talented dancers have had a great time! There will not be a final performance following the three classes on June 5, 6 and 7 but we are sure there will be many stories to tell.

Next Year Daily Schedule

Grades 1-6
Monday – Thursday Entry - 9:10 AM
Monday – Thursday Dismissal - 3:50 PM
Friday Entry - 9:10 AM
Friday Dismissal - 1:20 PM

Kindergarten AM
Monday – Thursday Entry - 9:10 AM
Monday – Thursday Dismissal – 12:00 PM
Friday Entry – 9:10 AM every second week- See Calendar from Orientation
Friday Dismissal – 1:20 PM every second week - See Calendar from Orientation

Kindergarten PM
Monday – Thursday Entry – 1:00 PM
Monday – Thursday Dismissal - 3:50 PM
Friday Entry - 9:10 AM - every second week- See Calendar from Orientation
Friday Dismissal – 1:20 PM - every second week- See Calendar from Orientation

Monday to Thursday Grade 1-6 Recess and Lunch hours:
Morning recess – 10:40 – 10:55 AM
Lunch – 12:25 – 1:15 PM

Friday Kindergarten Grade 1-6 Lunch (No outdoor lunch recess)
Morning recess – 10:40 – 10:55 AM
Lunch
K – Gr 2 – 11:25 – 11:55 AM
Gr 3–6 – 12:00 – 12:30 PM

Sincerely,

David Watson

May 07
Physical Education, Climing Wall, Gr. 6 PATs and More
It looks like spring has arrived and our students will have plenty of opportunity and energy to enjoy warmer weather. With that, we will be having more physical education classes outside. Already there are more soccer games, lacrosse and various tag games being played. In April we enjoyed having swim lessons for our Kindergarten through grade 5 classes at Sir Winston Churchill Pool. We greatly appreciate the effort our volunteers have made to join us at the pool and the many other off-site and on-site activities that our students partake in. We look forward to taking time to celebrate our volunteers and show our appreciation for their efforts by hosting our Volunteer Tea on May 31, 2018. 

Something new for our school is the traverse climbing (rambling) wall in our gym. Teachers are being trained May 4 and 11 to understand safety and climbing techniques. We are hoping that students learn to love the wall in a short time. 

Just a reminder, we have the Grade 6 Provincial Achievement Test for Language Arts Writing on May 10. This Provincial Achievement Test is a summation of student’s writing ability up to the time of writing the test. Although this is a one-time test that evaluates what they can do on only one day, in general, it can be a good test of their ability. If your child is in Grade 6, please ensure they are well rested and eat a wholesome meal for breakfast that day.

We are well on our way to working to organize staff for next year. We have made strong considerations about the teaching roster and are now waiting for the staffing process to continue so that we have a final organized staff roster. Again we are hoping to have two classes of each grade in both the English and Mandarin Bilingual programs. We have thought out some exceptions to this possibility in the event that numbers of students change so that we can provide more where needed. The classes will be structured in as equitable a fashion as possible.

If parents wish to provide input into their choice of teacher for their child, a brief letter can be sent to me by June 1st stating your choice of teacher, and a positively worded reason for the selection. A staff roster will be sent out prior to the deadline for requests. Please give good educational reasons and avoid negative comments referring to staff and other students. In most cases the requests are already in place but in the event that there is a sound educational reason for not placing a student with a particular teacher, parents will be contacted and the request may not happen. Please remember that having a child with their friend is often a good reason to separate students because they may spend considerable time socializing and not focusing on their studies. Also keep in mind that the School Act makes clear reference to final placement of students in their classes as the responsibility of the principal. 

Sincerely,
David Watson
April 10
April 2018

Spring Break has just past and there are only three months left in this school year. Time has passed by so quickly. Following Spring Break our K – Grade 5 students are actively involved in swimming, as parents already know from the notice that was sent home in early March. So far classes have been very organized and children are enjoying themselves.

In March our parents had an opportunity to learn more about Youth Learning 2 Lead Leadership Academy. Judy Riege showed parents that students learn the importance of creating a mindset of Leadership “to be positive role models: individuals who serve as a good example and inspire others to imitate their positive behaviour. Role models demonstrate strong personal leadership in their words, actions and contributions to the world around them.” We believe by moving in this positive direction our students will be able to make wise choices when confronted with problems as well as opportunities. Thank you to Judy Riege for her work with our students, parents and teachers.

At this time we are still working through a solution for our classroom space needs for next school year. Our grade 4 Mandarin Bilingual class will have 2 classes instead of 1. For that reason we will have to use one of our 2 available class spaces: the computer room or room 217 where Pre-Kindergarten is presently located. Both are beneficial to our school: the computer room allows classes to work together to complete projects and inquiries and Pre-K provides parents with childcare and enhanced kindergarten although it is operated by a private organization. This has been a very positive relationship for the school and Pre-K. We have requested the support of CBE Transportation and Planning and hope to have a decision made in the near future. Losing either the computer room or Pre–K will present challenges. Thanks to all parents who have provided us with their input for space utilization.

I have been asked recently about parent requests for their child’s teacher for next year. Please note that at this time we are unsure of the staff that will be at Marion Carson School in the fall. I will be taking written requests until June 1. After that date, requests will not be accepted. Please make sure that your request includes a positive educational reason along with your choice. Be aware that requests are honoured if it is seen to be in the best educational interest of the child. We do our best to balance the students in classes in terms of ability, motivation, needs and gender. A request to have a child with another friend or having the same teacher as an older sibling had in the past is not adequate. When making class lists, we do our best to make sure that each child is in a group that we feel they can successfully achieve both academically and socially. We would like to thank our parents for their volunteer support. We have many events all year that would be difficult to hold if we did not have that involvement. Thanks for all your work in classrooms, for performances, in the office, at School Council Meetings, in the library and on field trips! Your help at swimming has been greatly appreciated! It is such a pleasure to have supportive parents.

Sincerely,

David Watson​

March 05
March 2018 Update

Excerpted from our March Newsletter​.

​As always, February was a short but busy month. Our off-site trips, Winter Walk and special visitors made learning even more enjoyable. Most memorable will be the Celebration of Learning. On the presentation day our K – Grade 5 Regular English program students showed off their learning in their classrooms, the K – Grade 4 Mandarin Bilingual students celebrated Chinese New Year and some Grades 5 and 6 showed off their science projects at the Science Fair. Our special guests as well as our families were very impressed with the results of their children’s dedicated work.

A warm thank you must go to the Special Events Committee of Parent Council for the amazing food provided for staff during the Staff Appreciation Days in February. The treats, warm beverages and meals were especially welcome at a very busy time of year.

Please remember that we are continuing to accept registrations for our Regular English Kindergarten program. The lottery for our Mandarin Bilingual program took place on February 14. All alternative program lotteries in the Calgary Board of Education took place on this day. All families who have had their child drawn to start in September 2018 have been contacted as have those who are now on the Call Back List. Let us know if you have not been contacted at all. There has been a very good turnout so far and we anticipate successful Regular English and Mandarin Bilingual Kindergarten classes next year at Marion Carson School. For our Regular English Kindergarten, please remind your neighbours to come in and register their child if they are 4 years old by March 1, 2018.

Alberta Education and Marion Carson School would like to thank all of the parents of Grade 4 children who were able to complete the Accountability Pillar Survey. It gives us a better understanding of how we as a school have succeeded and can make improvements in our learning community. If you have not been able to complete the survey, please use the information mailed to all parents of Grade 4 students to complete the survey at your earliest convenience. We also have paper copies in the office if needed.

Please remember that later in March we have our annual Spring Break. We hope you get an opportunity to take advantage of this time to enjoy some family activities.

Sincerely,
David Watson

January 08
January Update

After a cold Winter Break, it warmed up and our students came back with energy and enthusiasm.  They were ready to learn and have been working to show off their new knowledge and skill at the Celebration of Learning, Science Fair and Chinese New Year.  As I walked around the school I noticed many well thought out projects and had some very interesting explanations by students about their work or performances.  Thanks to the many volunteers who spent a great deal of their time working with students, providing resources, creating props and decorating.  Your support makes learning more enjoyable.

For our Science Fair, our Grade 6 students and some grade 5s as well have been working on their projects for months now.  Much of their work is completed at home. Our younger students enjoy the opportunity to view the projects and see what they might be able to do when they get older.  Thanks to our volunteer Scientists and Students from John G. Diefenbaker school who will be helping to judge the displays.

The Kindergarten Open House was well attended and many parents came to find out about the program and process at our school.  Registration itself was very smooth and we anticipate good numbers in our regular English program and Mandarin Bilingual program.  Please remember that all students who are registered in our community regular English program must live in Varsity.  Please remind your neighbours if they have kindergarten aged children about the beginning of registration which will be ongoing for the regular English community program.  All students whose name is in the lottery for the Mandarin Bilingual program must live in our designated area and have their forms into the office by February 13 at 12:00 p.m.  The lottery draw will be on February 14 at 12:00 p.m. and we will endeavour to contact parents of all children whose names were in the lottery, as soon as possible by email and a Canada Post letter. Please contact the school if you are not contacted within 10 days.

Parents should have received their child’s report cards on January 25 and teachers may have called to set up appointments for a Parent – Teacher conference.  Please remember that teachers contacted parents whose children they feel an extra conference is needed.  Not all families will need to attend a conference at this time but we look forward to the April conferences instead.  If parents were not contacted and feel they have important questions for the teachers to understand how their child(ren) are progressing, feel free to contact the teacher, to arrange a discussion by phone or in person.  We hope that parents get an opportunity to see how their child is doing when they attend the celebration of Learning / Science Fair and Chinese New Year.

We would like to thank the Special Events Committee of School Council for providing Staff Appreciation Treats and Special Lunch in mid-February!

Please remember that students will have extra days to enjoy with their families when Staff Convention and Family Day arrive.  Be sure to take advantage of these days to enjoy some family time!

Take care and stay warm!
David Watson

See more in our January Newsletter​.

 

 David Watson, Principal

 
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