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April 27
Coming Together Virtually

Dear MPS Families,

 

We have completed our third week of online learning!  There has been a tremendous amount of learning for students, staff and parents and it has been amazing how each group has risen to the occasion.  As a school, we have connected with nearly 100% of our families.  Thank you to each of you for engaging with us, offering your appreciation, suggestions for improvement and thoughts in general regarding this process.  Your feedback is valued!

 

Many students are engaged in learning, connecting with teachers daily or weekly.  Families are sharing learning through Google Classroom, or via email to teachers.  Classroom Meets have been very joyful, offering face-to-face, real-time connections for students and teachers.  We all miss the daily interactions with your children and it is so nice to see and be able to speak with them!  Teachers have been able to identify increasingly more effective ways to engage in online learning and have been very thoughtful and creative in their efforts.  We hope their ongoing reflection and revising helps to make learning more approachable for everyone.

 

A reminder to families that all learning is presented at the beginning of the week, but left to families to determine when, if, and how much of the learning will fit into each family’s personal schedule.  We are here for you if you require assistance.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher or the school if you have questions or need support.

 

With the continued closure of school for students, traditional experiences for MPS students have been impacted.  Outdoor School for Grade 5 students, the annual government focused trip(s) for our Grade 6 students, along with our year-end farewell assembly to celebrate our Grade 6 students as they transition to Jr. High/Middle School all, understandably, are not able to happen.  We are grateful for the continued opportunities to connect with our students through Google Meet.

 

Here is an invitation for our MPS families to come together in song.  Monday, May 4 is Music Monday.  Every year, Monterey Park School participates with schools across the country singing and moving to a common song at a common time.  This year the song is, Hymn to Freedom, by Oscar Peterson.  We would love to continue this tradition with our MPS families.  Here is how you and your family can participate!

 

On Monday, May 4, grab a brightly covered scarf/ribbon, your cell phone/iPad and YOUR FAMILY!   At 11:00 AM, take your family outside into your front yard or on your driveway, click on this link, sing, and move to the song as we celebrate Music Monday as a community!  Take a photo/selfie of your family participating and email it to your child’s teacher.  We will be compiling all of the family photos submitted into a presentation with the Music Monday selection to create a music video of our own, Monterey Park Community celebrates Music Monday.  We will then post on our website for all to enjoy! We hope you will join us.

 

The school is open from 9:10 AM – 3:50 PM to receive phone calls and inquires.  A reminder that registration for Kindergarten continues online.  More information is located online at Registration.

 

Stay safe and stay well!  We miss you and continue to be here for you.  Please reach out to the school or your child’s teacher if we can help in any way.

 

Respectfully,

Lynette Zapp​

April 02
Continuity of Learning

Greetings!

It has been an interesting week being in a building typically filled with the voices, energy and spirit of each or your children.  A school is only a building without them.  We miss our daily interactions with your child and you.  As such, we are excited to reconnect later today with children and their families in learning!

We have all been working together…at a distance… designing learning to support our students in this new world of online learning. It is not learning as usual.  Things will look different.  Teachers have been intentional around meeting the requirements set out by Alberta Learning.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we enter into this platform beginning tomorrow! 

Later today, you will receive an email from your child’s teacher.  In this email, you will find all the information required to help your child into the new digital learning environments, called Google Classroom and Google Meet.  Please be sure to open and read ALL documents teachers have posted.  If parents do not want their child to engage in learning using these platforms, they must contact their child’s teacher directly to inform them. Each grade team has created its own ‘classroom’.  Each student will receive a grade specific code to enter.  On Friday, April 3, we will post a video to guide you through an exploration of the classroom.

On Monday, April 6, teachers will post learning for the week.  Learning is presented in five lessons, or progressions, for Literacy and Numeracy (math).  It is up to families how and when they will engage with the learning provided to best suit their family schedules.  At some point next week, your child will also have the opportunity to enter Google Meet, where they will have an opportunity to hear from their teacher live, in real time.  Teachers will communicate that information to families separately from the information provided on Monday.

This is a learning curve for many of us!  Teachers are exploring all the possibilities that are open to them to communicate learning.  If you require our help in any way to navigate through, we are here to help.  Email your teacher with any questions or wonderings you have.  As well, you may call the school during our open hours, 9:10 am - 3:50 pm, at any time if you require our assistance. 

We understand that this is a stressful time for families, and that becoming your child’s teacher is not exactly what you had hoped.  I had read a posting by a colleague, reminding families that being a provider, a parent and a teacher all at the same time IS hard work.  You will do the best you can.  When you have to choose between having your child do school work, or help as part of the family, choose what works for you.  Invite them in!  Have them help!  Play games, laugh, and share.  Be together.  Margaret Wheatley talks about the joy we discover….when we are together.  The potential for joy is always present.  Take time with your family to find it. 

We are in this together and we are here for you.  Please contact us at any time if you need us.

Stay calm.  Stay well.  Stay Kind.

Respectfully

Lynette Zapp

March 19
Online Support for Families

Dear Monterey Park Families,

 

It was so nice to see the many students and families at the school today to pick up personal belongings.  As mentioned in the communication you received yesterday from CBE, these are unusual and challenging times.  We have all appreciated the privilege to get to know and work with your children, and celebrate their achievements.   As a community, we now look to support each other by staying safe and healthy. 

 

Families and students have been reaching out to teachers for resources and ideas.  In addition to the webpage information provided by CBE, MPS teachers have updated their Grade Team Blog to include suggestions for resources and websites and ideas, your child(ren) and you to access over the next week or so.

 

http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/montereypark/teaching-learning/classes-departments/teacher-pages-blogs/pages/default.aspx

 

These are additional opportunities for families to engage in literacy, numeracy and wellness at home over the next week!

 

As teachers move into a well-deserved spring break, they will be away from email.  I encourage you to keep accessing the CBE homepage for updated information and the AHS website for health updates. 

 

Our Monterey Park School family wish you and your family time together shared in ways that bring joy and families together.  Stay healthy and safe.  

 

 “Let us offer each other happiness and establish ourselves in the present moment .”

​Tich Nhat Hahn

 

Respectfully,

Lynette Zapp

March 12
CBE Response to COVID-19

March 12, 2020

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

Based on the changing provincial and local response to COVID-19, the CBE has given us direction to postpone the following scheduled events:

 

Grade One Celebration of Learning – March 13, 2020 12:00-1:10 pm


Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • Kindergarten – All day Thursday (March 19, 2020)
  • Kindergarten to Grade 6 – Thursday evening – 5:00 – 7:30 pm (March 19, 2020)
  • Friday – 8:30 – 1:30 pm (March 20, 2020)

 

Scholastic Book Fair – Students may bring money to school to purchase books during school hours, Monday March 16 – Thursday, March 19. We ask parent to please not attend to make purchases with their children at this time. If your child needs assistance, please contact their teacher who will be happy to help.


A reminder there will continue to be no classes on the following days:

  • All Kindergarten students on Thursday, March 19
  • No classes for all students K-6 on Friday, March 20


All CBE schools have been given direction to postpone or cancel events that include populations from other schools and/or parents or other community members, such as Parent-Teacher Interviews, celebrations of learning, drama/musical performances, dances, athletic competitions, etc. This decision is effective from March 12 until the end of March break. This decision will be revisited during March break to determine whether events should be rescheduled.


Events outside of school hours that include the regular student and staff population of the school (school clubs, practices, etc) and scheduled field trips may continue at this time.  

 

I know this may be disappointing news. Students and staff have spent a significant amount of time preparing for these events, but the health of our community is our priority.

 

Classes will resume after spring break on Monday, March 30 at 9:10 am.

 

For the most up to date information about the CBE’s approach to COVID-19 and the actions we are taking, please visit our website. Answers to frequently asked questions will continue to be posted as information becomes available.


Thank you,

 

Lynette Zapp

Principal

September 03
September 2019 Year Start

Welcome back to the 2019-20 school year!  We hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful summer break with those you love to spend time with, doing the things you love, including reading and enjoying the outdoors!

Our school office opened on August 28 and school begins for students on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 9:10 am.  Teachers will be calling students to welcome them to their classroom from August 28 to August 30.   Be sure to take our call!

Our early dismissal Friday hours have been modified.   Our hours on Fridays are 9:10 AM – 1:10 PM.  Students are encouraged to bring a more substantial snack on this day for their nutrition break.

As mentioned in June, we had a number of staff move on to new opportunities.  We are pleased to welcome the following staff to Monterey Park School:

  • Kathryn Conway - CSSI
  • Gabrielle Gilbert-Murray – Grade 1
  • Cheryl Hayward – Grade 5
  • Stephanie McFarlane – Grade 5
  • Ashely Green – Grade 6
  • Mursal Mohammad – Grade 4
  • Karin Wall – Grade 1
Beginning a new year is always inspiring, and this year is no exception. We will continue our journey to deepen our mathematical understanding with the guidance and expertise of Dr. Sharon Friesen from the U of C.  Joyful literacy learning is at the forefront as well.  We are excited to savour our collection of new books for the Learning Commons with students.  Sharing them throughout the year as they connect to concepts we are developing, and, just for the sheer enjoyment of the stories, will surely inspire a love or reading! 

Please mark your calendars to join us for our annual community pancake breakfast and Terry Fox Run, which will take place on Friday, September 13.  Watch our website for further information.  We look forward to welcoming new and previous families to school!

Sincerely,

Lynette and Jasdish
June 28
June 2019 Year End

Another year has come and gone.  September seems so long ago, when we began our year.  Yet, in the blink of an eye, it is June and we have ended our school year.  Each day of this year was graced with a gift of one kind or another.  Excitement about new learning, laughter of students in the hallway, engaging conversations, unexpected hugs, random acts of kindness.  Monterey Park School has received many gifts in the form of the support of our School Council, our many volunteers, workshops, fieldtrips, in-line skating, and the generosity of our families to support other members or our community who are in need.  We have much to be grateful for and to celebrate!

On June 21 we celebrated our grade 6 students as they move on to the next chapter of their educational journey.  They have grown throughout the year as individuals, learners, leaders and community members.  Students explored the question ‘How do we live together?’ throughout the year.  The Legacy Trip this year was comprised of 3 excursions to support this learning.  Students invited Mr. Hal Eagletail to the school to address how the Tsui T'ina Nation governs, they then toured Clagary's East Village to come to understand how decisions are made in an urban environment, and completed their research by visiting the hamlet of Rosebud.  In Rosebud they met with local governing officials and town historians. 

We spent the later half of our school year dwelling in story.  First with Bob Barton and then a number of different grades with Jeff Stockton.  Both Bob and Jeff brought the power of oral stories to our students and our work.  We were all inspired!  We all know ‘that moment, when literature becomes accessible and a door of the world opens.’(Jane Yolen)  That moment is what we aspired to for each of our students this year.

Teachers shared the joy of reading daily through picture books, fiction, poetry and non-fiction, offering the joy of reading as just that, a joyful, precious gift. Volunteers and lunch supervisors read daily with our Kindergartens and our Grade Ones throughout the year to expand their experience with story.  As author Jane Yolen also states, “Stories pour into the hearts of children and help make them what they become.”

Monterey Park students are readers!  Take time this summer to share the love of reading with your child.  Let them choose the book they most love to read to you.  Pick your favorite childhood book to read to them.  Visit the public library.  Celebrate your child as a reader and share the love of reading in any language you choose! 

It is with fondness and appreciation that we say farewell to some staff members.  Each has contributed greatly to the learning environment and to the Monterey Park School community.  We send them off with all our very best wishes.

  • Ms. Hodgson announced her retirement
  • Ms. Braaten will be taking a year off to travel and spend time in different places in our beautiful country
  • Ms. Ashby has accepted a position at Auburn Bay School
  • Ms. Roger is moving into a System role as Indigenous Learning Leader
  • Ms. Retallack is the new teacher coordinator for City Hall School – Chevron Open Minds
  • Ms. McQueen, Ms. Scott, Ms. Wall, Ms. Innes, Ms. Murray and Ms. Bohnert all joined us on temporary assignments.  We know they will find success within CBE

Families will be contacted in late August by the school to advise students of their new teacher or their teacher to welcome them to the new school year. 

Thank you to all our families for your continued support of your children in learning.  For following up on homework, reading nightly, communicating with teachers and the school, participating in conferences, parent evenings, School Council, fundraising and fun lunches.  We couldn’t do it without you.  You, your children and your efforts on our community’s behalf are appreciated.  We look forward to our upcoming year with great excitement and anticipation of all the possibilities yet imagined.  Have a wonderful and safe summer break and we will see you again on September 3, 2019.

Respectfully,

Lynette Zapp

February 05
February 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians,


We are half way through our school year!  On January 31 we sent home our first set of report cards sharing with families their child’s achievement in relation to the Alberta Program of Studies.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher.  Our next face to face conferences will be in March. 

 

As we move into February, we welcome Alien In-Line skating to our school, who will be providing in-line skating to all students as part of our Phys. Ed programming. We welcome back Canadian award-winning storyteller, Bob Barton to the school.  Bob is known for his contribution to Arts Education, his work supporting literacy as well as his literacy work with teachers at OISE-University of Toronto.  Bob will spend a week working with students in each classroom continuing to support their literacy learning as they write, read and linger in the world of poetry.  For both these gifts, we gratefully acknowledge the generosity of our Parent Society. 

 

Grades 4, 5 and 6 students have the opportunity to join us at the Young Writers Conference on Saturday, April 27.  Students who attended last year made presentations to each of our Division 2 classrooms sharing their experiences from last years conference.  Students who are interested in attending will be joining Ms. Retallack and Ms. Markle in a weekly writing club as a precursor to the conference.

 

Each year Alberta Education surveys Grade 4 students, parents and teachers on various aspects of education quality.  Parents of Grade 4 students are able to complete the survey online or on paper, as they receive a copy of the survey in the mail.  All surveys are anonymous and ask questions about experiences with your school.  Your participation in the survey helps provide important information on the quality of education your child is receiving, so we encourage you to return your survey promptly. 

 

This year on Monday, February 11 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm., we are offering an Open House for Grade 4 parents to complete the survey either online or on paper, providing support and clarification as needed. At 7:00, parents are invited to stay and join us for our monthly School Council meeting.

 

Grade 6 students begin to think ahead to middle school this month with a visit from the Administration of Clarence Sansom School when then share the opportunities that await them!  Later in the month, students will have an opportunity to see first hand what the school and the programs look like when they do an onsite visit.  Students will gain an understanding of options and extra curricular experiences that may be available.    Clarence Sansom will host an Open House for students and their parents on March 6, 2019 at 6:45-8:15 pm.

 

And, as one group of students look forward to moving on, we are currently welcoming our youngest learners for the class of 2019-20 Kindergarten.  Kindergarten registration opened on January 14 and continues throughout the year.  If you have a child who is eligible or you know someone in our community who does, please remind them to register as soon as possible.  All registered Kindergarten students will be invited to our Welcome to Kindergarten event on Friday, May 24 from 2:00-3:00.  Families attending this event will receive a Welcome to Kindergarten bag for their child filled with ideas, books and resources to begin readying for the fall!

 

Respectfully,


Lynette Zapp                  Jasdish Shahi

Principal                         Assistant Principal​

 ​

December 07
December 2018

“When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness... all the good things.”

Maya Angelou


Dear Parents and Guardians,

Each year students in all grades consider what it means to belong.  To live in community, be it our home and family, our school, our neighbourhood or our city.  December is a season of giving, family, and the desire for joy, peace and happiness.

 

Students and their families gave very generously to The Veterans Food Bank of Calgary providing 1,773 food items!  This year was a school challenge to see which grade could contribute the most.  Congratulations to our youngest students!  Kindergarten students contributed just over 400 items.  The Veterans Food Bank of Calgary was overjoyed at our support.  Thank you to all our families for your support.

 

In the spirit of giving, the staff and families at Monterey Park School will be supporting families in our own community.  Leadership students have been visiting classrooms to share how, as a community we can support families.  Notices have gone home asking for donations to help us create a joyful and happy holiday season for others.  We invite you to consider making a donation and fill out a leaf for our giving tree, sharing what you are grateful for, at the school or when you attend our Winter Solstice Concert.  Funds collected will be used to purchase food and wish list items for families.

 

Mrs. Crisfield and our senior choir and handbells have been out to share the love of music with the Monterey Park Senior’s Home and Village Square Leisure Center.  Audiences at both venues were delighted by their performances.  A big thank you to all of the volunteers who supported both of these events by accompanying students, loading and unloading equipment, tying skates, fitting helmets and serving hot chocolate!  We cannot do these events without your support. 

 

Our division two students have been practicing daily to perfect their performances for the Winter Solstice Concert. Thursday, December 13 students will be performing at 6:30 (doors open at 6:15pm), with an afternoon rehearsal that parents are welcome to attend on the same day at 1:30 pm.  Please mark this date on your calendar.

 

In this season, we wish you and your family joy, and peace, love, prosperity, happiness...all the good things. 

 

We thank you in advance for your generosity to our community and the larger community of the city of Calgary.  We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the start of a new year on Monday, January 7, 2019.

 

Happy New Year and best wishes for all the good things,

 

Lynette Zapp and Jasdish Shahi

October 10
October 2018

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”


​ —Henri Frederic Amiel

October is upon us and with that Thanksgiving, reminding us of to take time to be thankful, and grateful. At Monterey Park School, we have much to be grateful for.  In the short weeks of school:

  • We have welcomed volunteers who have helped in classrooms and on field trips.
  • Our Grade 6 students were gifted the opportunity to attend Culture Days held at the Alberta College of Art on September 28.
  • Calgary Girls’ Choir is gifting a performance on October 4
  • School Council has funded new benches for our hallways – they look amazing!
  • An opportunity to learn and practice English for our parents and community members begins this Wednesday with Dr. Gail Jardine.

Over the past months, a number of Monterey Park families have lost their homes to fire.  These families shared, that in the midst of losing their home and their belongings, they were so grateful that all of their family members remained safe, that they had friends and family they were able to turn to for support, and that they were members of other communities who supported them.  The students of these families have also shared comments such as; “I am happy my family is safe.  We have each other and that is what is really important.  Buying new clothes sounds fun, but not so much.  I liked my stuff.  I love my family and I am happy we are safe together.  Lots of people helped us by giving us things and sending us money.”

The events that our School families have endured encourage us to take time throughout this month to stop and consider, on our own and with our children, what we are grateful for.  How do our actions demonstrate gratitude?

Maybe even take it a step further and write it down.  Collect all those moments throughout the month to reflect on.  Or, if someone has been instrumental in your happiness, let them know!  Tell them.  Write to them.  Share.  Get in the habit of talking about what makes you happy.  And, once it becomes a habit, gratitude follows naturally. 

Respectfully,

​Lynette Zapp and Jasdish Shahi

September 17
September 2018

A warm welcome to our Monterey Park students and families, both old and new. Our Kindergarten has exploded with new registrations. Presently we have 78 four and five year olds excitedly attending their first year of school.  We are privileged to share in another year of learning with your children. 

As well this year we are welcoming a number of new staff to Monterey Park School.  Each staff brings with them varied gifts, talents and passions, ensuring our students are in the presence of rich, intellectually engaging tasks each day. 

  •        Jasdish Shahi – Assistant Principal
  •        Stefanie Markle – Kindergarten
  •        Shaylene Toews – Kindergarten
  •        Laura Harrison – Grade One
  •        Carly McQueen – Grade Four
  •        Erin Retallack – Grade Six
  •        Jonathan Chin – Grade Six
  •        Jody Shpur – Curriculum Support
  •        Ele Davis – Art
  •        Michelle Geib – CSSI
  •        Laurel Eyk – CSSI


We began our year as a teaching staff taking time to become acquainted with our neighborhood and the community of Monterey Park, stopping along the way to meet community members.  We had the pleasure of meeting new and long-time residents of Monterey Park.  We heard what people value in our community, what keeps them here and what drew them to the community.  A number of staff were invited into families homes to share tea or a snack, demonstrating the hospitality of our families and providing a small glimpse of our student’s home lives!  Taking this opportunity at the beginning of the year helps us as a staff to become better informed about our students and how we might present curriculum to them throughout this year through the question, “How do we live in community?”

    Community 1.jpg community 2.jpg Community 3.jpg Community 4.jpg

Teachers in each grade operate as a team to ensure that all students have similar experiences in learning.  On our school website, each grade team will have a page communicating learning on an ongoing basis as well as providing opportunities for conversations with students at home. Teachers will be sharing these pages during our upcoming Learning Conversations on September 20 and 21.  

Our annual Community Pancake Breakfast and Terry Fox fun on September 14 was another resounding success!  We served breakfast to just over 500 students and their families.  We would like to thank all the parents and community members who took time to join us for this event.  As well, a big thank you to the Bowness Lions Club volunteers who braved our cold weather to cook for us! After pancakes, Monterey Park students ‘ran for Terry’ and other friends and family touched by Cancer.  The cold weather did not deter our students from pushing themselves to do their best out on our course.  All donations on this day will go to the Terry Fox Foundation in support of cancer research.

Beginning in October we will be offering parents, grandparents and community members the opportunity to learn and practice English.  Wednesdays, each week, Dr. Gail Jardine will be offering ELL classes at Monterey Park School.  Dr. Jardine will structure each class around the needs and requests of the participants.  From how to fill out forms, use the bus, grocery shop, read report cards, or learn basic English to communicate, Dr. Jardine welcomes everyone.  Our hope is this is an opportunity to build friendships within the community as well.  Parents are welcome to bring younger siblings.  An area will be set up with Early Learning materials offering learning opportunities for them as well, supporting adults who might not have child care to attend the classes. 

We look forward this year to considering how we can more fully live within our communities…school, neighborhood, city, province, country and our global world. 

Parents are most welcome to connect with me or Ms. Shahi, our Assistant Principal, for any questions at any time. 

Respectfully,

Lynette Zapp and Jasdish Shahi

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