Principal’s Messages > Posts > September 2018
August 27
September 2018

In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other…everything was on pause and yet everything is happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.”
Sarah Dessen

From the perspective of author Sarah Dessen, “In the summer ...everything was on pause and yet everything was happening…this collection of weeks when anything was possible.” The possibility of summer illuminates the delicious meandering of time and joy in summer. From the adult perspective I wonder what happened to summer. Do you? It always astonishes me at how quickly summer days vanish. I have spent my summer reflecting on the importance of our families and love. As our smoky end to summer days are drawing ever closer to autumn, we start to reflect and think about returning to our important work of learning at Royal Oak School. On behalf of the staff I would like to extend a sincere welcome to our returning families and a special greeting to our new families to our school. We hope that you have had a very enjoyable summer and that you are all comfortably adjusting to the new routines of autumn.

This year we will be working on Disciplinary Literacy and Non-Fiction as staff continues to design meaningful and deep inquiries and reading tasks for the students. If staff are true to our disciplinary reading of non-fiction, we will begin the process of ‘how do scientists’ read, ‘how do researchers’ read, ‘how do mathematicians’ read and so on. If we acknowledge the curiosity in each child and adult, then we contribute to the metamorphosis in our children’s lives. Our future and our focus on disciplinary literacy and non-fiction reading is very positive as the teachers’ design learning using rich questions, deep meaningful tasks, and powerful assessment. To help guide us through this solid inquiry we have your children’s imaginations, our teachers’ expertise and our Galileo Educational Network mentor, Kari Sirup. Therefore, we are committing to Disciplinary Literacy through reading non-fiction, the Alberta curriculum as well as change, growth and academic improvement.

While we are striving to improve academically, strong relationships define the positive school culture in our school. I am impressed with the regard that each member has for each other. When we care for each other, we create a strong community of students, parents and staff. The positive contributions from all members of our community make a demonstrable difference. These relationships and contributions reveal our values of creating a strong school community. Personally, I was especially impressed with the generosity and sense of belonging from our powerful school community that I felt from the students, staff and parents last June due to my family tragedies. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the wonderful efforts of the school community including meals for my family, donations to Big Brothers and Big Sisters, books, chocolates, flowers and thoughtful cards. I am so blessed to be in such a wonderful and caring community such as Royal Oak School. Thank you to all of you. I felt wrapped in your love. Because I was unable to say “goodbye to folks” at the end of the school year, I would like to host a Principal Tea to “Chat with the Principal” on Friday, September 28 from 9:30 – 10:30 AM. As a school, we will continue to concentrate on the Circle of Courage tenants of belonging, generosity, mastery and independence. It is in this transition from summer to fall that we

focus on change, growth and improvement as the students set their learning goals with the teachers in the exciting school year.

Just a reminder as we begin our year that our Student-Centred Conferences will take place:

  • Thursday, September 20 from 4:30 – 8:30 PM
  • Friday, September 21 from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • (Kindergarten only) Thursday, September 20 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM plus the times listed in the first two bullet points.

This conference is critical as teachers get to know your child as a learner. We will be sending home some pre-conference questions regarding your child as a learner. Please take some time to reflect on the questions, talk to your children and make a few notes so we can better get to know each child. If there is any additional information regarding your child’s learning that was not addressed by the questions, please let your child’s teacher know how we can best support him or her. Please note that the Calgary Board of Education has launched its new Student Information System entitled MyCBE/PowerSchool this summer. The My CBE/Powerschool replaces the OLD MY CBE Account and Homelogic applications. Your old password will no longer work. The CBE acknowledges that switching to a new technology can be difficult, but is confident that families will find the new system is more convenient to use. We appreciate your patience and support as we transition to MyCBE/ PowerSchool and embark on a new year of learning.

My CBE / PowerSchool is the new one-stop online resource to:

  • View academic information (attendance)
  • Register for transportation and noon supervision
  • Pay fees and request waivers
  • Book school conferences

To access the new MyCBE / PowerSchool applications, legal guardians will need to create a new Parent account. Families need to know the email on file at their child’s school, as well as their child’s CBE Student ID number and birthdate to begin. ***Please note that for FOIP reasons the school is not able to give the child’s CBE ID number over the phone. You must come into the school in person or get the number from an old CBE Report Card.
On the MyCBE /PowerSchool sign in page there will be instructions on how to request an access key for individual students. The access key(s) will be sent by email. The email address must match the email address on file at the school. Families can use it to create an account, and add their children.

To figure out the teacher’s availability for conferences create your MyCBE through the PowerSchool application. The Power School application can found through logging into MyCBE/PowerSchool and go to book school conferences tab. Details of how to do this will be sent out closer to the date of the conference.

We are celebrating with a Book Fair September 17 – 21. During conference time, you and your children will have the opportunity to purchase items. In order to make this a success we are in need of parent volunteers. All parent volunteers are welcome with or without experience. Please ensure that your security clearance paperwork is up-to-date. We also will need parent volunteers for starting in September. Please check with your child’s teacher’s letter or agenda blog for the exact dates.

Royal Oak School with William D. Pratt School will tentatively host the Terry Fox Run on the morning of Friday, September 14. More details will be posted on our website and notification will be sent home. Again, we will need some parent volunteers for this event.

Our Royal Oak School Safety Week is Monday, September 17 to Friday, September 21. Royal Oak School will launch safety week by discussing traffic safety as well as the drills for fire, lockdown, and a practice evacuation. These drills are necessary to ensure that all students, staff, and visitors are safe and secure while at Royal Oak School. Please review the loudness of the bell and the necessity to be cooperative and quiet with all staff members. Also, please ensure that the children are dressed appropriately for a walk on Wednesday, September 19. The outdoor drills will be weather dependent.

We are very excited to have William D. Pratt School as our neighbours. They will be opening their doors on August 27 for parents and September 4 for students. William D. Pratt’s school hours are Monday – Thursday 7:55 – 2:30 and Friday 7:55 – 12:00. Please note that William D. Pratt and Royal Oak School have a few PD Days/Non-Instructional Days that do not align.

William D. Pratt and Royal Oak School Shared PD/Non-Instructional Days

September 21
October 26
November 23
December 7
February 1
March 1
March 22
April 22
May 17
June 28

Royal Oak School PD/Non-Instructional Days (In addition to shared dates)

November 16
May 31
June 27

William D. Pratt PD/Non-Instructional Days (In addition to shared dates

November 22
January 14
March 21

Please note that our dismissal time on Fridays has changed to twenty minutes later from 12:50 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. This change is due to streamlining transportation and reducing costs for the CBE.

October 4, 2018 we will host our Parent Disciplinary Literacy Night – focusing on Non-Fiction. Again, more details will follow but please save the date. I would encourage everyone to come and understand the Alberta Education ELA (English Language Arts) curriculum, the CBE commitment to literacy and literacy teaching at Royal Oak School through intentional design. The Parent Literacy Night will also be interactive.

Please join us as we go on our journey with an intriguing year of curiosity in learning and we wish you and your children a wonderful beginning and school year!

Lynn Sparks, Principal

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