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June 24
Closing the School Year

Good Day Families of Annie Foote School,

It seems like it was just yesterday that I wrote to introduce myself and we had just moved into ongoing learning. Here we are now, closing the school year with a feeling of hope. Thank you to all the students and community members who have welcomed me into this new role. It is an honour to serve as your school principal.

Over the past nine weeks I have seen teachers, support staff and office staff work harder than they ever have. Even though, they themselves were living through this pandemic never once did they forget that our number one priority is our students and families, who they often put ahead of themselves. I am so proud of how our staff has risen to this challenge and I am full of gratitude because they make Annie Foote the caring and welcoming place it is.

I would also like to thank our School Council for their ongoing support through this transitional time. I encourage all our families to consider joining this group in the fall. We welcome your voice and support. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

One of the highlights the past two months, in a school with no students, has been joining online classes. Seeing the students faces brought me so much joy. We are anticipating welcoming students back to school on September 1, 2020. The Alberta government will share its final decision in August. Once we have been given our directions, we will be in touch with further information.

I’d like to remind you to please register for transportation through your MyCBE/PowerSchool account. This is vital to support the planning of bus routes for our students. There is no requirement to pay at this time.

Report cards will be available for viewing online, through your MyCBE/PowerSchool account June 25, 2020. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your child’s teacher directly.

Here are some staffing updates to inform you about:

  • Mrs. Berg retired this year. We wish her all the happiness in her future.
  • Mrs. McAndrews, Mrs. Chandra and Mrs. Tahir will also being leaving Annie Foote School. They all have been a gift to our students and we wish them the very best as they continue their careers with the CBE.
  • Mrs. Tanner, currently is on maternity leave and will not be returning to Annie Foote as she pursues a school closer to her home.
  • Ms. De Jong is also leaving us as she will be moving to Lethbridge, taking on a music specialist role.

We wish all our staff who are not returning the very best.

On behalf of all our staff, we wish you and your families the most wonderful summer. Please take good care of yourself and each other. We will see you soon!

Kindest wishes,

Ms. Brown

March 31
March 30, 2020: Farewell

Today is a very unusual day for me. It is my last as an educator. I know that in these challenging and unusual times, many of our families are living with much uncertainty and fear. Yet even in these times of doubt, staff were greeted by messages of support and love when we arrived at the school yesterday morning. Thank you!

I feel honoured to have been able to serve a school community filled with such incredible and generous people. I have loved working with your children and have so many fond memories of them - their joyful love towards me has been the very best part of working at Annie Foote School.

I am confident that I have left students in good hands. The staff at Annie Foote is highly capable and even yesterday teachers were working hard to re-connect with families and students and get things planned and set up for meaningful learning. Support staff have been busy providing help to teachers and admin with the many tasks related to organizing for the new learning environment as well as doing some very important work in the school to make sure that when students return to the building, environments like the library are even better places for learning.

I encourage you to make sure you connect with your children's teachers consistently and support your children in doing their school work. We are all now counting on families to pick up some of the background work of providing time, space and structure for students to continue with the important work of learning.

I wish you all the very best, it has been a joy and a deep privilege finishing my career as an educator serving this very special school community.

Susanne Zilkie

March 17
Important Message to Parents

Please read the special message that is being sent out today for pick up of student personal belongings. It is important that families follow the schedule.​

February 27
February 27, 2020

​I find myself marking off "lasts" these days. Yesterday, I attended my last System Principals' meeting, last week I was at my last school council meeting... all of them carry a sense of both happiness and sadness to them.

I've just finished updating the March calendar, which is coming home tomorrow and is also online. Though it's maybe not quite as busy as it was last year, there's still a lot going on. We have trips, athletics, student-led conferences (DON'T FORGET TO BOOK A TIME) and a book fair added to our daily routines of classes and clubs. On March 20, though our families will have started their spring break, teachers will be at school doing some professional development and planning. They will be working on our three school development plan goals related to reading comprehension, conceptual understanding and regulation/perseverance in learning. 

March 30 will be my last day of school as a principal. I will be saying farewell to Annie Foote, a school that has been a very special place for me. I have felt the entire range of emotion from great joy to deep sadness while here and working with students, families and staff. We have come a long way together and I am so very proud of what we have accomplished. Families, you send us your precious children and I know how hard the staff here works on their behalf - in fact, I've lost count of the number of times I've seen teachers fret about your children and wanting to make sure that they are learning and achieving.

People have been asking me if I'm happy to be retiring and my answer has actually been, "No." I'm at peace with my decision and know that I have done all that I can in this role. I will miss the people of this place more than you will ever know and will carry my time as the principal of Annie Foote School as one of the best in my career.


Thank you,

Susanne Zilkie

February 10
Retirement Announcement

​It is with mixed feelings that I am sharing my intention to retire at the end of March. My last day of work at the school will be March 30, the first day after spring break.

I have been privileged to be able to finish my career in a school filled with wonderful children and staff. I am so very grateful to have known your children and worked with their teachers. We have shared laughter, frustration, joy, tears and many celebrations around learning. I have also had the honour of working with a dedicated staff that cares very deeply about students and their learning. Each year when we reflect on successes and challenges in the classroom, teachers speak to individual students - those with whom they have had success and those with whom they continue to seek that learning connection.

Moving forward, the CBE will be hiring a new principal into my position and would like your feedback. The paragraph below explains the process and how to participate. Participation in this survey is open to parents, students and staff.

Again, I am so deeply thankful for having been able to bring my career to a close in this special, wonderful school.

Susanne Zilkie

The Calgary Board of Education welcomes input from parents, students and staff regarding the programming and leadership attributes you value.  Your input is taken into consideration as part of the hiring process and will be shared directly with the successful candidate to inform their entry plan into the school.  An online survey is available from today until February 18, 2020.  Please click on the following link and thank you for participating: 

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=hxMW71old0evNoC4_OTuc8nZRyfyEKNNkKkWGH0Xz-pUOUUxTVZYSkhITlZUSFpOSkRTUEJaQjhGVS4u​

January 30
January 30, 2020

​It's hard to believe that the month of January has flown by already! Although January is typically a bit  slower - I suspect that we all move a bit slower because of the cold - this has been a busy month. Students are ending their Mission Impossible practice in physical education, we watched Alberta Opera present its interpretation of Sleeping Beauty, there were several in-school presentations, a special visit by Chris Usih - CBE Chief Superintendent, kindergarten report cards and a half-way through the year professional development day for teachers tomorrow. We also spent a week enduring some of the coldest temperatures on record! Although attendance was down that week, we still had many students (and their families) who praved the frigid temperatures to get to school. On a positive note, the bus service actually ran on time for the most part.

I am attaching a link to a letter created by the CBE Communications department regarding the coronavirus. If you have questions, please read it as it's a good place to gain an understanding of how our board  responds to health events like this. The letter can be found in the Cluture & Environment and health & Wellness section of the website. 

The month of February, though short (not as short as most years), will be busy too! Many cycle three clubs are underway, we have several off-site trips and special activities planned for the month. On February 24, we will kick off our annual Reading Give It A Shot program with a Reading Builds Character Day and assembly. I can't stress how important regular focused reading is for students in elementary school, even into junior high.

Another special activity this month is our fifth year of participating in Global School Playday. I know I have spoken and written frequently about the benefits of free - from screens and formal structures - play. It builds social, problem solving and creative skills in students. It's also really good mental exercise because students have to figure out what to do without staring at a screen. Solving the problem of boredom, is an excellent mental activity and life skill. I have noted over the past several years how teachers are able to see a unique rhythm of engagement in their classes as students move from one play activity to another. We will also be heading outside for some fresh air and exercise that day for our annual winter walk!

Finally, please keep your eyes open for a Valentine cookie order form from our school council this week and next. We are raising funds to help out the family that suffered in the house fire in Temple a couple of weeks ago. Even though the children from this family do not attend our school, they are part of our community and play with students from Annie Foote.

January 06
January 6, 2020

I would like to welcome everyone back to school today. Students seemed happy to be back in school and ready to learn. The weather was pretty brisk, but I did notice that the days are already noticeably longer than they were in December!

I would like to share the following information with families from an article I received recently about sleep. When students have attendance trouble, Mrs. Sughrue typically finds out from families that they start with poor sleep habits. I'm hopeful that the science behind the importance of sleep for students, provides you with some good information as you support your children's learning. The article, Surprise! Exam scores benefit from months of regular sleep, comes from ASCD.

You’ve probably heard it a dozen times by now. But here it goes again: Sleep is important. Just how important? Scientists know that our weight, mental health and immune system are connected to our sleep habits. So are your grades — to a surprising degree, a new study finds. 

Sleep accounted for nearly one-fourth of the difference among students’ grades in a class, it showed. So even if you spend hours studying for a test but get too little and inconsistent sleep, you might still do poorly. And boys with poor sleep habits appeared to suffer most.​

Jeffrey Grossman is a materials scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. He wanted to test sleep in a way that better captured reality. Typically, people’s sleep schedules are messy and unpredictable. He wanted to see if the sleep links to performance held even when a study was done with people who kept such true-to-life schedules at home.

To find out, his team turned to Fitbits. These wristbands can track how long people sleep and how frequently they wake up.

The researchers recruited 100 students from Grossman’s chemical engineering class. Almost all were around 18 years old. Each got a Fitbit to wear all semester long (and to keep when the testing was over). At the semester’s end, the scientists looked at the students’ sleep data. They focused on patterns in the days and weeks before quizzes and exams. They then compared those patterns to the students’ test scores. The results confirmed sleep’s importance for students — but included some surprises. 

Let’s be consistent

As expected, teens who stirred a lot during the night tended to perform poorly. The same went for those who didn’t get enough sleep. But how much someone slept the night before an exam didn’t affect that person’s grade, Grossman’s team found. 

So is pulling an all-nighter before the big test okay? No, it turns out. That’s because there was a third crucial factor: consistency of sleep a week — and even a month — before an exam. 

That means “a student who sleeps seven hours at night, every night, will do better than a student who sleeps 7.5 hours one night and 6.5 another night,” Grossman says.  That was true even when both students got the same amount and quality of sleep. 

This surprised Grossman. 

The data now suggest “you should have been sleeping regularly before [the exam], because that’s going to be what really matters,” he says. This seems to touch “on the way that the brain processes information,” he concludes.

Why sleeping in on the weekend won’t work

Sleep length, quality and consistency together accounted for 24.4 percent of the difference among the students’ test grades. And these factors appeared especially important for boys. Grossman’s team is not sure why. But boys who didn’t get enough sleep or regular sleep were likely to do worse on an exam than were girls who had similar sleep patterns.

“You don’t snooze, you lose,” quips Michael Scullin. He’s a sleep scientist at Baylor University. That’s in Waco, Texas. He wasn’t involved in the study but does investigate links between sleep and learning.

Few studies, as here, have been able to monitor students’ sleep for an entire semester , Scullin says. And few have tried to link changes in a person’s sleep to grades.

Though this study involved college students, “there is no age group that sleep doesn’t affect,” he adds.

Scullin thinks the biggest flaw in the study was the Fitbits themselves. “It’s important for individuals to know that if their wristband, watch or app tells them that they have terrible sleep, that may not actually be so,” he says. 

The study authors also raised this point. Fitbit, Inc. made the sleep-trackers. It wouldn’t share precisely how its devices worked. This leaves questions about how accurately the device tracked a student’s sleep.

Even so, Scullin emphasizes that there are ample data supporting ties between sleep and how well someone performs. They have linked sleep with everything from excelling at sports to being friendlier. “Heck, there’s even something scientifically accurate about the notion of getting your ‘beauty’ sleep,” he notes.  

Helping students get more sleep depends in part on schools starting their days later, Scullin says. But it also comes down to students making sleep a higher priority. That may require getting more sleep and limiting late evening use of phones and other screens.

Grossman agrees. Even with extracurricular activities, schoolwork and a social life, you need to “get your sleep,” he says.​


I hope you found this information helpful!

December 16
December 16, 2019

I am writing this post as we begin the last week of school for the 2019 calendar year. December has been an incredibly busy month with concerts, report cards, clubs and a few off-site trips - all in a short three-week period!

Students have been happily engaged in learning in their classes, while being really excited about the concerts we held last week. The gym was full on Thursday evening and for the first time, parents actually heard their children because of the new microphone system our parent society paid for last spring. We tried something different this year and had all the classes practicing in the gym on the stage starting last Tuesday. It made a huge difference in student confidence and how smoothly the concerts ran. On Friday, the kindergarten children wowed their families with the help of their grade six buddies. Students were so excited to see their families in the audience and will cherish that memory for a lifetime. Many thanks to parents for joining us and supporting your children - the Division Two concert will be in May.

Teachers and school administration have been working hard on preparing the semester one report cards, which will be going home on Wednesday, December 18. Having attended the parent-teacher interviews in November, parents will have a clear idea of what these important learning documents say about their children so far this year.

We have some enjoyable activities planned this week, starting with ugly Christmas sweater day tomorrow and then on Thursday, it will be pajama day with a movie. I figure by Thursday, most of the school will be ready for a day in pajamas, especially the adults! Students do not attend school on Friday to give teachers a chance to get things cleaned up from the last four months and get organized for the coming six. Students and staff return to school on Monday, January 6, 2020.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in our school community; students, staff, and families; a wonder-full, joy-full, rest-full and peace-full holiday. May your time with friends and family build many happy memories for you.

November 25
November 25, 2019

​The past several weeks have gone by in a bit of a blur. I am pleased to share that the interviews we held last week were the best attended at Annie Foote School in many years, The school was busy right from the start through to the end of the evenings in both the kindergarten E.Y.E. reviews and the grade one to six progress updates.

On Friday, November 22, teachers and support staff learned about planning for conceptual understanding and making academic vocabulary mearningful and accessible for our English Language Learners (and for all students in fact). Then we moved into our professional learning cycle process this year - Teaching Sprints. This is a process designed for teacher learning and improvement in practice that originates in Australia as a result of the work of Simon Breakspear. 

Parents of students in grade six received a letter today sharing that Mr. Sealy has gone on an unexpected short term leave until after Christmas. We are very fortunate to welcome Ms. Leigh-Ann O'Brien to the school for the next four weeks. In room 15, we are sad that Ms. Rich has also had to go on an unexpected leave and we welcome Ms. Julia Ireland to the school until after the Christmas break as well. Letters are coming home with the impacted students today.

Teachers are madly preparing report cards for submission to administration (that's Mrs. Sughrue and Mrs. Zilkie) by December 6. The report cards will be coming home with students on December 18. We are looking towards having parents access their children's report cards online through PowerSchool in the near future - possibly as early as next year.

Please keep your eyes open for information about the concerts coming in December - please note that the numbers are finally small enough that we don't need tickets this year!


November 07
November 7, 2019

​I have a few quiet moments in my office and will make good use of them by creating a post! I have noticed that teachers have gotten their classes settled into good learning routines and are now beginning to plan for off-site trips. So far in the past two weeks, I have reviewed trip proposals to Fort Calgary, The Glenbow Museum, Telus Spark, The National Music Centre, and a trip to watch the Hitmen at the Calgary Saddledome. Parents, please make sure that you check your children's backpacks for the all important paperwork. New this year, all fees, including our field trip fees of $3.00 (inside Calgary) and $10.00 (outisde Calgary) are paid online.

It is also clear that winter has basically arrived and the snow is likely here to stay. That means parents need to make sure that you send you children with proper cold weather clothing including coats, snowpants, mittens, hats and good boots. If you are in need of support to have your children properly dressed for our winter weather, please contact Miss Gwen. We are able to support families in need through partnerships and the generosity of several Calgary charities.

Check the post on interviews and the calendar as well - hopefully the information is clear enough for families. Basically, during the week of November 18, kindergarten students will attend school on Monday and Tuesday ONLY. Their teachers will be meeting with parents on Wednesday and Thursday to review the Early Years Evaluations for their children. Grade 1 to 6 students will attend school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Their parents are invited to meet with teachers on Thursday either during the morning session of interviews or the late afternoon early evening session. NO STUDENTS will be in attendance on Friday so that we can do some serious learning about teaching for conceptual understanding in English Language Learners and improving teaching of reading comprehension using Teaching Sprints.

Tomorrow morning at 10:30, our grade five and six students are hosting this year's Remembrance Day Assembly. Parents are welcome to join us for this, our most formal and sombre assembly of the year. I confess, I am impressed by the imagination, thoughtfulness and respect that our students bring to this assembly each year. In case parents are wondering, we have two grades host this assembly each year and rotate through grade 1 & 2; 3 & 4; 5 & 6 from year to year. This means that students who attend Annie Foote School from grade one to grade six will be responsible for the Remembrance Day Assembly two times in their elementary years. Don't forget that there is no school on Monday for Remembrance Day.

I will conclude this post with my heartfelt thanks to the people who make up our school community. Parents, you send us your precious children, hoping that we will teach them and care about them. Our staff is dedicated and truly, they do care about the students and want them to learn to the best of their ability. Students come to school each day, seeking to do their best and wanting the adults in their world to be proud of them. I see many children each day and notice how they care for one another and want to make their teachers proud of them. Are we always free of problems and conflict?  NO! BUT, we work to respond to and resolve the day to day interpersonal challenges that our students face in a way that respects our community and the dignity of its members. I have never had students that have been sent to the office, not do their best to resolve the problem and make it right. Sometimes it takes a bit of coaxing, digging and truth-finding to get to that place, but we always get there. I believe that is due to the amazing support that our students have from the adults in their lives at home and at school.  

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Today we sent a year end message to families about our planning for school re-entry this fall. Re-entry survey results and a transportation reminder. Check your email to read it online: https://t.co/qFKMVzfIHS #yycbe #WeAreCBE https://t.co/2V4iqs1Xqo

Due to increased traffic, we’re experiencing issues with the online report card feature of PowerSchool. Check out these instructions on how to view your report card marks/indicators. Sorry for the inconvenience! https://t.co/8FwiAq3JGW #yycbe #WeAreCBE https://t.co/luTVdQ5J6M