Principal’s Messages > Posts > May 2018
May 04
May 2018

Excerpted from our May Newsletter​.

​“The clouds in May give shape to your inspiration.” Anthony T. Hincks

Just as “the clouds in May shape [our] inspiration” we are looking for the sun for inspiration as well. With the month of May arriving, the budget has been worked on and submitted by administration to CBE Finance and Human Resources. We will do our best to inspire students with the resources we have at Royal Oak School. I will deploy space and staff in the best interest of learning and what is best for children. In an effort to engage the stakeholders of the school we have asked opinions of parents attending School Council and staff members. In addition, we asked for opinions of all parents in the last newsletter. 

We have worked diligently to use the budget resources to support the students with the best environment and class sizes possible. Please join us at the Parent Fundraising Society and School Council meetings at 7:00 p.m. on Monday May 14, where we will have the chance to share more about the organizational structure for the 2018-2019 school year. All parents are welcome and we hope that you can join us.

It is difficult to believe that there is two months of the school year left. With that being said, we know that the last two months of school are very busy times filled with rich learning opportunities and important celebrations. Currently, there is huge excitement around the Celebrations of Learning in March, April and May. In the last month and a half we have had the following Celebrations of Learning in Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2. It is such a special evening with each grade showing the amazing learning through an inquiry approach with a cross-curricular focus that the students have engaged in. Hopefully, you were able to attend the evening and spend time with your child or children in discussion and understanding of their learning. We are looking forward to the Grade 3 Celebration of Learning on Thursday, May 24.

We kick off May with Arbour Day on Thursday, May 3 where all Grade 1 students in the province receive tree seedlings to teacher the value of trees and their contribution to the Alberta way of life. We are distributing the trees on Wednesday, May 2 and hoping that Grade One students and parents will have a chance to plant the trees on Arbour Day.

There are many, many opportunities for volunteers as classes are going on several field trips. These field trips and volunteer opportunities will come to you directly from the classroom teacher’s blogs, the teachers or (Parent and School Council Volunteer Co-ordinator) - Ms. Kari Blakeney. Currently, we have Alien Inline Skating in the school for the next three weeks. The students are truly joyful about the inline skating experience. We need several parent volunteers per class to get students organized and laces tightened on their inline skates. I would like to thank all the parent and grandparent volunteers as this makes our school successful and learning becomes so much more dynamic. 

We value our volunteers who work so hard to make this a wonderful school and we would like to express our gratitude for all the support and services that you provide for ROS. We will be honouring the efforts of our volunteers at our annual Volunteer Tea on Friday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. The students and staff will be preparing and organizing some delicious treats and entertainment that only 5 – 8 years children can provide. Please come and experience our appreciation of all your volunteer efforts.

On May 2 we wore hats to support strong mental health for “Hats Off for Mental Health.” The Grade 3 students will be attending the Opera of Jack and the Beanstalk on Monday, May 7. Also, there is a welcoming invitation to the WD Pratt OPEN HOUSE FOR GRADE THREE STUDENTS 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. All Grade 3 Students and their parents are encouraged to attend the event to assist with the transition to the middle school.

In addition, we are celebrating Canadian Children’s Book Week from May 7 to May 11. Royal Oak School is hosting Local author, Lauren Himmelreich (and parent of one of our Kindergarten students) will be reading to the students and answering.

On Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. we will be hosting the Kindergarten Orientation for parents only. Please come and meet the Kindergarten teachers and let us share novel and practical ways to get students ready for Kindergarten as well as the opportunity to meet members of School Council and Fundraising, teachers and administration. We will be welcoming our new and current parents and presenting dates, structural organization, inquiry and the academic and “play” focused curriculum to get children ready at the completion of Kindergarten to grade 1. Also, we will have information on volunteering and police security checks which take some time to process so we like to start the process in May. The Kindergarten teachers will present information regarding our Welcome to Kindergarten afternoons on May 25 and June 1. The students will be invited to get their first “taste” of Kindergarten and parents will have a tour of the school.

The students at Pratt are putting on a Production of Willy Wonka at 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. on Monday, May 14 for Kindergarten and Grade 1, Tuesday, May 15 Wednesday, May 16 for Grade 3.

All families with students in Royal Oak School are invited to get their Stampede gear on and celebrate the Stampede Breakfast on Friday, May 25 @ 7:30 – 9:20 a.m. Please hitch up yer hawse and come join in the family fun.

We are also hosting the Royal Oak School Circle of Sports Day on Wednesday, May 30 at 1:00 p.m. This is our sports day and parents are welcome to come and volunteer for various events.

Royal Oak School will be participating in the BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. We are one of many schools participating in this active event. Parents are encouraged to ride with their children. We will be storing all bikes in the gymnasium and the bikes will be tagged with the student’s name and grouped by class. Also, we are going to meet at 8:30 a.m. for orange slices, water and time to mingle. We are going to start school at 9:20 p.m. that day. Ms. Hennick will have more information regarding this event closer to the date. Furthermore, yet another activity at the school is that the students are engaging in Circle of Courage Fridays Clubs which started on April 6 and run through until May 25. We thank School Council for supporting this initiative.

The staff is passionate about the opportunity to work with Galileo Education Network. This year we have focused on reading and intellectual engagement through inquiry, designing rich tasks for students, assessment and improving our literacy practice. Throughout the year each grade team teacher has worked to improve their work and student achievement. Galileo Educational Network is supporting students by supporting teachers through cycles of collaborative design, teaching, assessment and designing anew. The students and how they respond to reading and learning is what drives the next steps in teaching. Also, Galileo Educational Network does collaboratively design and support teachers and their students through inquiry-based studies. This kind of personalized, responsive professional learning is based on research (Flint, Lenters and Burwell) that supports the impact on reading and student learning.

In fact, with this professional learning, we are hoping to impact students more directly. This kind of investment in our teachers is a powerful way to increase student achievement. Galileo Educational Networks’ work through mentor teacher, Kari Sirup has supported the teachers improving practice over time, so the impacts last long after Galileo Educational Network (GEN) is gone. Most importantly, the impact on students’ learning is measurable and researched. According to John Hattie, “the teacher contributes more than any other factor to student achievement. But it is the expert teacher, not simply the experienced teacher who makes the greatest difference! Expert teachers engage students in learning and develop the students’ self-esteem as learners.”

As we come closer to the conclusion of the school year, a student spot at Royal Oak School is very precious. We do have a waiting list of students wanting to register and attend the school. If you know that you are moving or leaving the school, could you please contact the office at 403-777-6279 to advise us of your plans so that we can admit students who are currently on the waiting list.

Lastly, if parents have requests for next year for their child’s learning, could you please submit requests to Ms. Sparks in an email.

Thank you and Happy May to you and your family.

Lynn Sparks


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RT @CitadelParkCBE: Supporting the Calgary Veterans Association Food Bank @vafbyyc and feeling grateful for the wonderful contributions from the Calgary Police Pipe Band - @CPSPipeBand during our Remembrance Day Assembly last week! #veteransday2019