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School Council | Casino

A Message from School Council

We hope your first week at school is off to a happy start!

We are reaching out to ask for help from our parents, grandparents and friends! We seriously need an influx of volunteers for the "night shifts" for our upcoming casino at Elbow River Casino on Tues. Oct. 8th and Wed. Oct. 9th. Every 18-24 months our school council is eligible to provide volunteers for a casino which can raise $60,000-$80,000 for the [...]

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School Council | September Message

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year!

Welcome back to school! We hope that everyone had a wonderful vacation and are fully rested and ready for the new school year. We are looking forward to this coming year and the changes that it brings, it really is an exciting time for us all. We would love for all current students, new Kindergarten students and French immersion students and families to join us for the back to school 'Welcome'!To kick off the [...]

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Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year!

Dates to Remember

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Principal's Message

June Message

Here we are in June celebrating the conclusion of another great year at Tuscany School. I am breathless.
Last spring we started with a conversation with Stephanie Bartlett through our work with the Conoco Phillips grant that Mrs. Gainor received due to her incredible work with the staff and students around design thinking. If you recall this was last year’s project around redesigning the Gathering Space and turning it into what we have now. Ms. Bartlett approached us on behalf of our Elder Saa’kokoto to see if we would be interested in engaging in a writing project together. Without hesitation, we accepted. We were so honored to be asked​ to engage in this work. At the same time we had been chosen as one of Calgary Opera schools for the 2018-2019 school year.  Elder Saa’kokoto and I wondered if it would be possible to bring the Blackfoot culture and story telling into the process of designing an opera. We both had twinkles in our eyes as we said, “yes let’s”. Of course, we were surrounded by the extraordinary staff and students of Tuscany School along with the support of Ms. Bartlett so we were encouraged to realize our dream.
We began this year with our Elder Saa’kokoto in the coulee. During these beautiful moments, we were taught how to breathe in the fresh air and connect with the land throughout three seasons. We learned the importance of bringing our minds to a calmness and listening to the sounds of the coulee. We heard hawks calling to each other and witnessed chickadees flying in to surround us during story time and then fly away to new spaces. We watched as a deer “spronked” through the bushes with a golden retriever hot on her heels. And, low and behold, we saw our moose grazing in the coulee with her yearling by her side. This was the first time I had ever seen the moose and it was memorable as I stood with our Elder, Saa’kokoto, the children and staff. It seemed from that moment on we would be surrounded with this beautiful creature over and over again.
Our time with Elder Saa’kokoto took us from the coulee listening to his beautiful stories that had been shared with him over the years by his family to recordings and retellings. Children were able to revisit the sound of Saa’kokoto’s voice teaching them the Blackfoot terms for the plants and animals of the coulee. He taught them to count and to use greetings. It didn’t take very long before everyone was greeting each other with “Oki!” and when Saa’kokoto would arrive at our school students would run to give him hugs in greeting and tell him their stories. They took his hand to show him their work or putting his stories to print and accented his words with their drawings and representations of the land. They were so excited to share the writing process and receive his feedback. He helped them with their pronunciation of Blackfoot terms and taught them additional words as they became ready for new challenges. Saa’kokoto’s impact of staff and student learning was awe inspiring.
Children became so excited to deeply dig into the writing process and spent endless hours adding details. They reflected on their work and found this to be so engaging to learn about the Blackfoot culture through the stories of Saa’kokoto. They became attached to the characters and made references to them in other areas of their learning. They became so connected to the oral tradition of storytelling and connected easily with the script of the opera, which, so beautifully captured their journey into the Blackfoot Culture and the coulee through Elder Saa’kokoto.
The opera was the natural next step.
The children were introduced to Kris Demeanor and Darcy Turning Robe, musicians that had come together for the first time to compose the music and create lyrics for the opera. They worked with students through January and February teaching them the beauty of the collaboration of the Blackfoot culture with western style. Kris and Darcy played with lyrics, rhythms and the power of merging drums and guitars. The children were able to work with their recordings to practice and rehearse all of the music for the opera. Their joy was heartwarming. When the moose appeared on the playground, students in grade 2 began singing “Oki!” spontaneously. The teacher captured it on the iPad to share with me upon my return from a Principal’s meeting. 
The introduction of Lauren Woods, our director, to our team was such an amazing feat. Her incredible skill and talent were evident as students learned how to create the perfect stage movements and visual affects to showcase the script. She brought their skills to a whole new level of performance that surprised even the children.
Rebecca Reese was an exceptional find as our music teacher for the final three months of school. She was able to jump into the role and assist with the children learning the music and fine-tuning their skills. We are so grateful Ms. Reese was able to join us during this great time of need.
Winston Wadsworth and his family came to join us during the week of performances to provide the drumming. Winston and his son Thunder worked seamlessly through the performance bringing the Blackfoot sounds and sounds to an incredible new height. We are so grateful for their generous gift and hope to work with them in the future.
Our 4 performances were all full houses and we reached audiences of schools, CBE Senior Leaders, University of Calgary, Arts Foundation, Calgary Opera, Enbridge and our wonderful parents and extended family members. The word spread and we have so many people interested in our work with Saa’kokoto, Stephanie, Kris, Darcy, Winston, Thunder and Lauren. We are so proud of our students and the incredible journey we have taken through the wisdom and guidance of our Elder Saa’kokoto.
Our books have been published and shared out with schools, CBE Area Office and our students and families. You will find a complete set in the Calgary Public Library downtown so check them out the next time you visit that location.
We will be sharing out a video of the opera “Na’a’s Heartbeat” when it becomes available. We hired a company to video tape the performance in its entirety to make it available for those interested in seeing our work. 
We have so much respect for the all those who have supported, shared in and helped us to realize our dream. This includes all the parent volunteers who gave so much time and energy in creating costumes and set designs for our opera. The costumes were breathtaking and students became the characters so easily when they donned headpieces and wings, hard hats and suits, backpacks and vests. Everyone celebrates with us in the creation of this extraordinary story. The stories and songs continue to play in our minds.
What shall we do next?
First we need to share some staffing information with you.
As many of you may know we have “temporary” teachers on staff that joined us later in the year and each year they are let go off our staffing roster. So, at this time I wish to thank Rebecca Reese who came to join us for the last three months of the school year in the role of music teacher. Ms. Reese has done an exceptional job filling in for Ms. Miller and we want to thank her for all of her extraordinary work.
Ms. Arcure also joined us, or should I say “rejoined” us, for this year when our grade 3 numbers continued to grow during the month of September. Ms. Arcure is considered family around Tuscany School so we hope to see her back with us if possible.
Ms. Coggins, one of our ECPs or Early Childhood Practitioners will be leaving us at the end of the year. Ms. Coggins worked diligently in the EDC supporting student learning and was an essential person in the lives of our youngest and most vulnerable learners. Her talents are tremendous and we will miss her so much. We know she will be successful wherever she goes within EDC and wish her all the best.
Thanks goes to Bobbi Carde for her incredible support in the library during Yoshimi Mansey’s absence. Her knowledge and support helped us navigate the waters of our Learning Commons with such skill and ease. We are so grateful!
We have two retirements this year.
First, we are saying goodbye to Mr. Hansen in grade 1. Mr. Hansen has been such a valued member of the Tuscany family and it is difficult to say goodbye. We hope he will follow Mrs. Grose’s footsteps and get on the sub roster so we can continue to have him come back and support us but we know his heart may be focused on his beautiful grandchildren in the future.
Our second retirement is Mr. Zielke. Mr. Zielke has been the heart and soul of Tuscany School for so many years. He is known by so many and has had such a powerful impact on students and staff in such positive ways. We are not sure how we will be able to get along without him as he is such a valued member of our Tuscany family. We are going to miss him very, very much.
We will be adding 5 new teachers coming into the Early French Immersion program. You will be getting to know them once they begin their work. We welcome Chelsey Pynn from Sam Livingstone School, Kelley Ireland from Varsity Acres School, Genevieve Clarke from King George School, and Janet Meulenbroek from Mayland Heights School. We have 1.5 teachers to be placed in our program during the staffing process and will announce names later in August.
We have enough registrations to have 6 Kindergarten classes: 3 in the community and 3 for Early French Immersion. We have 4 classes of grades 1-4 inclusive of the Early French Immersion and Community. Our design will have them all together to share in the work and will have the school ready to go for September 3rd start.
Our Early Childhood Centre (EDC) is full for the start of September and we are eager to have the little ones start their journey with us. This successful program has provided such a rich foundational start to their journey. The staff is so amazing and work so hard to support students in their educational journey.
We are so excited to be looking forward. We have so much to be grateful for and so happy we are embarking on a new journey with our growth in multiple languages at Tuscany School. We are grateful to Ruth Radetzky, our Assistant Principal, for helping us grow into our new identity adding Early French Immersion to our profile. Her incredible hard work has made it so easy to build this expansion for Tuscany School and we look forward to continuing our work into September.
Thank you goes to Ed Bevans our cleaner for his endless efforts to help Alfred and all of us to maintain the beauty of our building and grounds, to Kathy Krause for being our front line voice and face in the office, to Yoshimi Mansey for her dedication to the Learning Commons and the Lead in our lunchroom program.
Thanks goes to our Lunchroom staff of Rasheeda, Maryam, Katarina, Chloe, Michelle, Bev for their continued support looking after our children over the lunch hour as well as reading with our students and supporting in in so many ways.
Thanks goes to Sheri, Cathy, Ana, and Karin for your love of children and serving their needs every day. You are such a tremendous help to us all and we cannot do without you supporting children in the way you do.
Thank you to an amazing teaching team who are never afraid of hard work and leaning in. You continue to lift children into their best selves.
Thank you to 3 people who lift me: Colleen Gainor, Keri Glowacki and Grant Jorgensen. This administrative team continue to inspire, encourage, support, calm, and care for everyone in this building and beyond. There are no words to express my gratitude for the heavy lifting you all do, every day.
Thank you to the incredible School Council and their dedication to the children of Tuscany. They come to meetings and take on roles. They show up to events and constantly cheer everyone on. They support each other and all the parents in the community. They offer guidance and wisdom through their endless devoted hours to ensure this school is the best possible environment for all children. You are an inspiration to all Councils everywhere. I am so looking forward to seeing you all again in September.
So, wherever you go, safe travels. Go with open eyes, open minds, loving hearts.  Let the children teach you their Blackfoot songs and share their Blackfoot stories and when you get the chance, give thanks to Na’a for her heartbeat. She is in all of us and guides our way.​

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Tuscany School

990 Tuscany Dr NW Calgary, AB, T3L 2T4
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School Contacts

Principal
Ms Cindy White
Assistant Principal
Mr Grant Jorgensen
Education Director
Mrs Prem Randhawa
Trustee
Ms Trina Hurdman

School Information

Grades
K-04
Enrolment
376
Programs
Early French Immersion Regular
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School Hours

Morning Start
8:30 AM
Dismissal
2:55 PM
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