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October 16
October Updates

I hope all families had a wonderful long weekend with family and friends!

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences were held on September 19 and 20.  Thank you for meeting with teachers to share information about your child to ensure they are successful in school.  I enjoyed meeting many of you as you entered the school.

 

Cold Weather

As the weather gets colder, please send your child with warm clothing.  We continue to go outside for recess until the temperature reaches -20.

School Council

We need your help!

We are holding our casino on October 18 and 19 at Pure Casino.  We have run low on volunteers for the Vista Heights School Enhancement Society casino night. We are in desperate need of volunteers in order to hold our casino.  Casino Funds are used for a variety of things for our school which have included building our school playground, field trips, Artists in Residence.

Would you, your spouse, family or close friends be able to help out? 

The shifts are as follows:

Chip runner or Cashier: October 18 and or 19th 10:00am-6:00pm (day shift)

Chip runner or Cashier October 18 and or 19th 6:00p-2:00am (Evening shift)

Count room: October 18 and or 19th 11:00pm-3:00am (closing shift)

Last time this fundraiser brought in over $65,000! 

Please contact Justin Murray at justinm188@gmail.com if you are able to help out

School Council

Our next school council meeting will be held at 6:30 on November 12, 2019. 

Hallowe’en

Students are welcome to dress up for Hallowe’en in the afternoon only on October 31. 

Students must not bring any accessories for their costumes that are of a violent or scary nature (no weapons, knives etc), and no masks.

Safety Precautions

We are required to hold 6 fire drills, and 2 lockdowns each school year. We held our first fire drill on October 7, 2019.  The staff and students were able to exit the building in 1 min and 17 seconds.  We continue to refine our school safety procedures which include:

·         Locking all doors

·         A Fan-Out Procedure

·         Visitors – are expected to regiser at the office

·         Volunteers – must complete a Police Information Check (PIC) and wear nametags at all times

·         Substitute Teachers – are provided with emergency information upon entering the school

 Upcoming Events

 Nov 1 – Professional Development Day ( No school for students)

September 17
September News

 Dear Families of Vista Heights School,

 

It is my pleasure to welcome you back to Vista Heights for another exciting year of learning.  We are happy to have both returning and new students as part of our Vista Heights Community. This year we have welcomed a new program to Vista Heights.  The Literacy and Learning (L & L) program is now part of our Vista Heights School Community. We have also added new staff members as part of this program.

 

Please join me in welcoming the following new staff to our school:

 

Ms. Candice Pearsall – Grade 3/4

Ms. Margo Joe Kong – L & L Teacher

Ms. Janet Jonsson – L & L Teacher

Mrs. Lisa Mitchell – Lunchroom Supervisor

Mrs. Dallal Omar – Lunchroom Supervisor

 

Student Learning Conferences

 

I would like to invite you to the ‘Meet the Teacher’ and Student Learning Conferences.  This is a time to share information about your child to ensure student success.  These will take place on September 19 from 4:15-8:00 and Sept 20 from 8:00 am – 12:45 pm.  Please go into PowerSchool to book your child’s conferences.  If you require assistance, please contact the office.   

 

Noon Supervision

 

Please go onto PowerSchool to register for Noon Supervision.  If you need assistance, please contact the office.  Please send eating utensils with your child as we do not provide these.

 

School Council

 

Our first school council meeting of the year will be Tuesday, September 17 at 6:30 pm.

 

Parent Handbook

 

A link has been added to our school website and Teacher Blogs.  Please take some time to review the Parent Handbook as there is important information about school policies and procedures.

 

I am excited to get to know the Vista Heights Community, and embark on our learning journey together!  Please do not hesitate to stop by the office or give us a call if you need any assistance. 

 

Best regards,

 

Karen Bose, Principal

 ​

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August 30
Welcome Back

August 30, 2019

 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

I hope you have all had a restful summer!  I look forward to connecting with the Vista Heights community to build relationships with students and families.  This year, we are welcoming the Learning and Literacy program to Vista Heights.  Please note there will

be several buses parked on 24th Street.  This will be a designated bus zone. 

 

Grades 1-6

We are excited to meet students on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 for the first day of school. Class lists will be posted on the wall, and there will be signs with each teacher’s name to indicate where to meet the teacher.  It will be a regular day of school with the following hours:

 

Morning :  8:50-12:00

Lunch:      12:00-12:45

Afternoon: 12:45-3:09

Kindergarten Staggered Entry

Kindergarten classes begin on September 3, 2019.  Please meet your teacher at the West entrance.  For the first week of classes, we will have a staggered entry as follows: 

Please bring your child to the session you have signed up for.  Students will be in school for the week of September 3-6 in one of two sessions.

                 Session 1 -   8:50 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 

                                                OR

                 Session 2 - 1:00 p.m. – 3:09 p.m.

 

Please refer to the Vista Heights School website for additional information about Back to School.

 

I look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday, and have a wonderful long weekend.

 

 

Karen Bose, Principal

Vista Heights School

 ​

June 10
June Message

As the school year ends, we take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped make this an amazing and successful year at Vista Heights School.  As well, this is the time of year when we reflect on the past year with pride and accomplishment and look ahead to the coming school year with excitement and enthusiasm.  As we consider this past year, we think about all the people who work to make Vista Heights the great place of learning that it is.  Part of this involves preparing to say ‘good bye’, ‘so long’ or ‘see you soon’.  To staff members who will be starting on different adventures in the new school year, we wish you continued success and we thank you for all you have given to the Vista Heights School community.   To our Grade 6 students moving on to Junior High, our wish for you is that you look back on your elementary school experience fondly, as the solid foundation on which you continue to build your educational success.  All the best to you in Grade 7!  To students leaving Vista Heights School for other reasons, our wish is that our school community made you feel welcome and that you will carry a little piece of Vista Heights School in your heart to your new school.  Good luck!  Lastly, we say ‘see you soon’ to all staff and students who will be returning to Vista Heights School in September.  Our wish for you is that you return to our school ready to continue to be the mindful and engaged critical thinkers that you are and to continue making Vista Heights School the amazing school it is. 

 

This message is bittersweet for me in that it is my last school website message as principal of Vista Heights School.  I would like to thank you, the parent community, for your support during my time at Vista Heights School.  Your commitment to student learning and caring for the community greatly contributes to the positive learning environment at Vista Heights School.  It has been an honour to lead the learning of students in this school community.  I am proud to say that I know every student and I am grateful for being a part of each student’s learning journey.  Serving as the principal at Vista Heights School has been an incredible and memorable experience and I thank you for the opportunity to work with your children for the past three and a half years.  It has been my absolute pleasure working with the Vista Heights School staff – the most dedicated, passionate and capable educators I have had the opportunity of working with.  Your children are in wonderful hands under the care of the entire Vista Heights School staff.

 

To everyone, have a safe and happy summer break.  May you and your family have a summer that brings you peace, joy and love.

 

Yours in learning,

Michelle Harvey, Principal​

May 15
Newsletter

At Vista Heights School, we respond to student behaviour, discipline and bullying by following the guidelines set out in the School Act as well as several Calgary Board of Education Administrative Regulations.

 

We are intentional in creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments in our classrooms, our school and our outdoor learning spaces.  We do this through:

·         Creating positive learning environments

·         Demonstrating and helping students develop empathy and citizenship

·         Celebrating diversity and belonging

·         Making clear the roles and expectations of student conduct

·         Explaining the consequences and impact on learning

·         Creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments

 

Together, students, parents, staff and the school community at large share a responsibility for creating these welcoming, caring, respectful and safe spaces.  In the CBE, all students must adhere to the expectations as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.  This Code of Conduct can be found within our school handbook on the Vista Heights School website and on the CBE website.  The Code of Conduct focuses on promoting positive behaviour, identifies acceptable and unacceptable behaviours and identifies the consequences of unacceptable behaviour.

 

Bullying is addressed within the Code of Conduct and in the Progressive Student Discipline Administrative Regulation.  Bullying is defined as “repeated and hostile or demeaning behaviour by an individual in the school community where the behaviour is intended to cause harm, fear or distress to one or more other individuals in the school community,  including psychological harm or harm to an individual’s reputation.  It can take different forms including physical, verbal, threats, and cyber”.

 

At Vista Heights School, we affirm that students, parents and school staff share the responsibility of working collaboratively to support positive school environments.  Students and parents both contribute to welcoming, care, respectful and safe school communities.  Parents are responsible for supporting their children in complying with the Student Code of Conduct.

 

Students at Vista Heights School have access to a continuum of intervention, supports and consequences that address inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour and builds upon strategies that promote positive behaviours.  At Vista Heights School, our progressive response to student inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour includes:

·         Appropriate and restorative responses to students’ misconduct that

o   addresses the harm caused.

o   considers factors that may have contributed to the problem.

o   encourages students to take responsibility for changing their behaviour.

·         Defining clear expectations for student and adult behaviour.

Progressive student discipline is different from punishment in that the discipline is individualized and designed to shape behaviour and provide logical consequences that are connected to the behaviour, and given with empathy, in a respectful tone, and are reasonable based on the behaviour.  It is about teaching the student rather than punishing the student. 


                                              Is it Bullying.png.jpg

Our school response to student misconduct and reports of bullying are treated seriously and in a timely fashion.  When brought to a staff member’s attention, reports of misconduct or bullying are dealt with in a personalized manner.  As with many things, the issue of student progressive discipline is not black and white.  Depending on the nature of the misconduct, there may be a variety of responses and consequences provided.  All reports of bullying are documented by teaching staff and forwarded on to Administration to be reviewed.  You can help your child deal with bullying by encouraging them to report all cases of bullying to a school staff member as soon as the incident occurs.  It is also helpful to review the definition of bullying with your child and to talk about the difference between bullying, being rude and being mean – as in the illustration below:

 

 

 

I welcome any questions or comments you may have about the Student Code of Conduct, Progressive Student Discipline or our school’s response to reports of bullying. 

 

Yours in learning,

Michelle Harvey, Principal

April 10
April News

Each spring, our school prepares a school budget for the upcoming school year. As we prepare the school budget, engaging with staff, parents and students is an important part of the process.  At our April School Council meeting, I shared a budget presentation.  The presentation slides as well as some other information can be found on our school website under Get Involved > Community Engagement > School Budget Engagement.

 

Within the CBE, the entire organization supports student learning.  75% of the entire CBE budget is for salaries and benefits.  Of every dollar, 27 cents go to services and supports that directly support the work of schools.  Of this 27 cents,


§  6 cents fund centralized student supports

§  4 cents fund service unit instruction supports

§  10 cents go to plant, operations and maintenance

§  3 cents go to transportation

​​§  4 cents go to board and system administration

                                     ​April Principal News.png

 
The other 73 cents of every dollar go directly to schools through the Resource Allocation Model (RAM).  This is the school budget and includes teacher/staff salaries as well as instructional supplies and materials.  RAM is deployed to meet the needs of all students at the school.  RAM funds are based on school enrollment (number of students) and student population complexity (for example, number of students designated as English Language Learners or number of students with identified exceptional needs.

 

Each April/May, school principals receive their RAM allocation and work to create a budget for the coming school year that meets the needs of all students in the school.  Some things the school principal considers as he/she plans the school budget include:


§  Priority outcomes and strategies for students

§  Supplies, resources and equipment required to support learning goals

§  Professional development

§  School Development Plan goals

 

I hope you had an opportunity to attend our April 9th School Council meeting.  If not, the information is on the website for your convenience.  In addition, please feel welcome to have your voice heard.  To add your perspective on school budget planning, please complete the survey at http://tinyurl.com/yxef4psr.  Your feedback regarding the following three questions is valued:


§  As a school community, we should continue doing…

§  As a school community, we should stop doing/change how we do…

§  As a school community, we should start doing…

 

I welcome any questions or comments you may have about the budget process. 

 

Yours in learning,

Michelle Harvey, Principal

February 28
March News

Did you know that when our current kindergarten students graduate from high school it will be the year 2031?  Wow!  What will Calgary, or Canada or the world be like then?

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in their position paper The Future of Education and Skills | Education 2030, pose two essential questions:

·         What knowledge, skills, attitudes and values will today's students need to thrive and shape  their world?

·         How can instructional systems develop these knowledge, skills, attitudes and values effectively?

 

These questions are at the forefront of our professional learning and development at Vista Heights School.  We continue to strive to foster a strong learning community through:

·         Maintaining high, consistent and clear expectations for all students

·         Creating a safe and supportive school environment

·         Supporting a culture where learning is valued

·         Providing clear learning intentions for students

·         Ensuring task design is meaningful, intentional and based in the competencies outlined in our Program of Studies

·         Moving learning forward by providing timely and meaningful feedback and feedforward to students through a variety of formative and summative assessment

 

As we focus on this, it is critical that we also create a learning community where students are active participants in their learning, meaning that they learn and work in an environment where they can:

·         Pursue their passions

·         Make connections between ideas and experiences

·         Collaborate with others

·         Design their own learning tasks

·  ​       Add to a solid foundation of literacy and numeracy skills and understanding

 

Inherent in the list above is the notion of competencies.  Alberta Education defines competencies as “combinations of attitudes, skills and knowledge that students develop and apply for successful learning, living and working”.  The diagram below illustrates key competencies teachers and students explore through the Alberta Program of Studies.  

Website March.jpg 
An example of how this might be lived in an elementary school classroom is through a partner task of designing a structure that floats when placed in a liquid.  One key competency the teacher might create the task around in is one of collaboration, where students learn to work together to achieve a common goal.  Through flexibility and compromise, students can demonstrate a positive working relationship.  Students might practice respectfully disagreeing, compromising or negotiating as they work to cooperate on a common classroom task.  Woven into this example are also the knowledge, skills and attitudes students will be able to articulate and demonstrate based on the Alberta Program of Studies.

 

This is big, important and exciting work.  We know that our learners today are the leaders of tomorrow.  Our work at Vista Heights School centres on creating the conditions for the optimal development of caring, concerned and successful citizens of the future.

 

Yours in learning,

Michelle Harvey, Principal

January 31
February News

We are back in full swing at Vista Heights School and continue to work together to create rich tasks connected to our School Development Plan. Our teachers continue to work untiringly in ensuring learning tasks delivered to students are high quality and are connected to the Alberta Program of Studies.

 

On December 7 and 8, every parent had an opportunity to visit his/her child’s teacher. Assessment is happening all the time in a school. Formative assessment is the process in which timely and relevant feedback is given to students and students are able to act on feedback given. This is also the process in which peer assessment and self-assessment in and through learning are critical in moving student achievement forward.

 

Summative assessment is what our report card conveys. Summative assessment does not negate all the formative assessment teachers and students have been engaged in over the course of a term. In fact, it considers everything a student has done up to a certain point.

 

Recently, your child brought home his or her first formal report card of the 2018-19 school year. Principals, teachers and their school communities work together to determine a comprehensive and ongoing approach to communicating about student learning.  In the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), each student in kindergarten to grade nine will receive two report cards each school year.  The report cards will include written comments that will inform students and families about significant aspects of learning that may include areas of strength and next steps in learning.  Teachers will report on Citizenship, Personal Development and Character (Results 3, 4 and 5) during each reporting period. Each student will receive indicators on both report cards.  Ongoing communication of Results 3, 4 and 5 may or may not relate to a written comment on the report card.  Teachers may embed comments into the course comment section of the report card to communicate most recent progress with regards to Citizenship, Personal Development and Character that have not already been communicated through ongoing communication. 

 

At Vista Heights School, formal report cards go home on January 25, 2019 and again on June 26, 2019.  In addition to these formal reports, the families of all students in kindergarten to grade six will have three opportunities to meet face to face with teachers to discuss student progress. At Vista Heights School, parents and teachers meet formally for student learning conferences on:

​§  September 20/21, 2018

​§  December 6/7, 2018

§  ​​March 21/22, 2019

 

Individual Program Plans (IPPs) for students are developed collaboratively and shared at intervals in close proximity to the report card.  A copy of the IPP document was shared with students and families earlier in the school year and will be shared again between the start of December and the end of January and again in June.  Though IPP documents must be shared at specific points during the year, they are also reviewed and amended as the learner progresses throughout the year, as strategies and/or targets, goals or objectives change to support student learning.

 

Michelle Harvey, Principal​

December 19
January News

Each year, in September and October our school staff work very hard to create a School Development Plan. Throughout the school year, you will hear and see many references made to a 'School Development Plan'.  What exactly does that mean?

A School Development Plan (SDP) is a strategic plan for improvement. It makes clear the school's priorities (and the data used to determine these priorities), the main measures it will take to raise achievement, the resources dedicated to these, and the key outcomes and targets it intends to achieve.


Each year, as a staff, we reflect on where we were last year, how we did, what the data is telling us now and where are we going – setting goals and developing evidence cycles to know if we are meeting our goals through our measurable strategies.


The impact of leadership and teacher practice on student learning behaviours and achievement is our main goal.


During our after school meetings and professional development days throughout September and October we came together as a staff and analyzed our report card data and looked at what parents, students and staff reported on our Accountability Pillar Survey set out by Alberta Education.

 

This year the data showed us we needed to have a focus on writing and math. More specifically we are looking at students increasing achievement in the following areas:

 

  •         Writes to develop, organize, and express information and ideas   
  •          Develops and applies appropriate and efficient strategies for computation
  •          ​Reads to explore, construct and extend understanding

 

We will be focusing on refining our instructional strategies in the above areas during all of our after school staff meetings and professional days. All the work we do in our building when your children are not in attendance is directly related and connected to our School Development Plan. Should you wish to read more about our School Development Plan, please refer to this website under ‘about us’ and then click on ‘our school’. You will then find a link to our School Development Plan (SDP) on the right-hand side.

 

Michelle Harvey, Principal​

December 03
December News

​Are you wondering how you might find out even more about your child’s learning at Vista Heights School? Would you like to be more informed of school happenings and processes? We have many ways you can be an informed and involved participant in your child’s learning journey at Vista Heights School. Below are just some of the ways we share important learning and school information with our parents and guardians. I invite you to check them all out!

School Website

Our school website has a lot of information about our school including upcoming events and our school calendar. Some of the important documents on our school website include:

 2018-19 Vista Heights School Handbook

 2018-19 School Development Plan

 2017-18 School Results Report

 2017-18 Report to Parents on Fees

 2017-18 Provincial Achievement Test multi-year report

 School Council and Parent Enhancement Society meeting minutes and Principal Reports

These are just some of the important and informative documents you will find by visiting our school website at http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/vistaheights/Pages/default.aspx.

Teacher Blogs

Each classroom teacher or grade team of teachers has their own blog. These blogs share with you the specifics of what students are learning about and doing in each classroom. The blogs keep you up to date with classroom and school activities, as well as important daily reminders, and possibly some homework assignments. Blogs can be accessed via our school website at http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/vistaheights/teaching-learning/classes-departments/pages/default.aspx.

School Messenger

Be sure to sign up for school messenger. This is the way teachers and administration communicate with families. We don’t send home paper copies of many letters or news items. As in the previous school year, parents and guardians who want to receive all messages sent from the school need to subscribe and opt-in. Due to federal legislation (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, or CASL), parents need to subscribe online if you want to continue receiving electronic messages on “commercial” school topics such as school fees, field trip costs, book sales, picture days, fun lunches and more. If you have not subscribed online, you will not receive these types of messages from the school and the Calgary Board of Education. You will still receive messages on non-commercial topics such as class projects, parent-teacher conferences and student absences. To subscribe, go to www.cbe.ab.ca/subscribe.

PowerSchool

Please make sure you sign up for a PowerSchool Account. You can pay all fees and schedule parent teacher interviews through PowerSchool. Families need to go to www.cbe.ab.ca/myCBE to create an account. You will need to know the email you have on file at our school, as well as your child's CBE Student ID number and birthdate (please call the school office if you don’t know your child’s CBE Student ID number).

If you need help with any of the above applications or don’t have access to a computer or internet, we are happy to support you in the office.

Michelle Harvey, Principal​

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RT @6Yycbe: Beautiful sunrise at Haysboro School ⁦@haysboroschool⁩ ⁦⁦@yyCBEduhttps://t.co/AIR4Bj2HG0

Over the course of the 2019-20 school year, we will continue to have conversations with students, parents, and staff to learn from their experiences and to seek their input and suggestions for improvement https://t.co/1dxVU6AFky #yycbe

Earlier this afternoon Chief Superintendent Christopher Usih and Dr. Kent Donlevy presented the results of the independent bullying review https://t.co/eDEeG0t6tA #yycbe https://t.co/wtmXAfoF2c

There are no classes for students on Friday Oct 11 because it is a system-wide non-instructional day. All schools and offices are closed on Monday Oct 14 for Thanksgiving. Have a fun and safe long weekend! #WeAreCBE https://t.co/bDHlmyqQn6