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Alert:  All Classes Cancelled - Do Not Send Your Student to School

On Sunday, March 15 the government announced that all classes are cancelled immediately and indefinitely due to COVID-19. We thank the government for ... View Full Details

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Information for Parents about On-going Learning March 31st
  • Student Resources and Supports for Ongoing Learning in a New Environment

  • Connect Monday for April 6, 2020

  • Update | Fee Refund Process for Families

  • Information for Parents about On-going Learning March 31st

EHS - Letter to Parents March 30, 2020
Suggestions for Learning at Home | Grades K-9
EHS Families Letter From Principal March 29, 2020

EHS Message from the Principal March 16, 2020

Message for Parents March 16/20:Hello to all our EHS Families!We hope you are all well and safe this first unprecedented day of school closures across Alberta. Teachers and school staff are at work this week, trying to make sense of this shared new reality and beginning to explore options for continued learning support for our students – your children – as we go forward in the coming weeks.Details are not confirmed as yet so we encourage [...]

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Principal's Message

Embrace the Power of the Read-Aloud as a Parent Co-Teacher with Young Readers During a Pandemic...

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"In contrast to experiences that are planned from the beginning and designed to be online, emergency remote teaching (ERT) is a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis circumstances. It involves the use of fully remote teaching solutions for instruction or education that would otherwise be delivered face-to-face.." 

"The primary objective in these circumstances is not to re-create a robust educational ecosystem but rather to provide temporary access to instruction and instructional supports in a manner that is quick to set up and is reliably available during an emergency or crisis."  (Hodges, Moore, Lockee, Trust & Bond, 2020)

This is the 20th blog post entry of the 2019-20 school year. Last entry blended information about teaching reading and learning from home in an introductory manner - this entry picks up the same theme, looking at the work of teaching reading remotely from both the perspective of the parent co-teacher and the responsibility teacher who no longer has daily access to the learning-to-read child. 


The students in our school range in age from 5 to 9 years of age, up to and including grade 4.  Many of our students are fairly competent readers for whatever level they are currently at; all are working extremely hard to improve as readers. As teachers, we know this about the children because we work with them every day on improving reading skills and strategies, as well as comprehension capacities and how to choose and share books until they are well-loved and children find joy in reading. Yet, even with all this daily support, each child learns to read at their own pace and with their own peculiarities. Usually, teachers would adjust and tailor teaching to reflect and make the most of these idiosyncratic learning pieces associated with each student. 

In the face of a pandemic such as we are embroiled in at the moment, all this dedicated work focused on each individual child and the relationships they build with their teachers to be reciprocally trustworthy, flies out the window and boom! we are in an 'emergency remote teaching' model (ERT) that we have never experienced before and parents are now our new co-teaching partners...

Well, we've always been partners in the learning-to-read journey, to be honest. At school we have just had the opportunity to work with students in intentional ways every day. And now, the roles are somewhat reversed. We can offer suggestions and resources, set up live feeds with the children and offer loads of encouragement.  But the reality is, parents are now the ones who are in close contact with the students every day, not the teachers. In this reverse tables model, teachers must rely on parents to be our eyes and ears and 'nudgers' extraordinaire!

First thing to remember is: this is emergency response teaching and should not be considered as the very best, most effective reading instruction ever offered to a student. Nor should expectations for outrageous success because the children are learning at home become an expectation either. From my perspective, our goal in all of this should be to continue to nurture enjoyment in reading, make practicing reading as much fun as possible and try to at least maintain where your child is in the learning to read process - maybe make a few gains here and there, but mostly not slide too much. I think, as an emergency response, this is a realistic stand to take when teaching young children to read in an emergency-riddled world!

Second thing to remember is: if a child doesn't become a fabulous reader by the end of grade 1 or grade 2 or grade 3, the world does not end for them. Learning to read well is an ongoing, continuous process and every person continues to learn throughout their whole life. Yes, we'd like them reading to be ready to move forward with curricula in school. But EVERY child is going through this pandemic and all of them are going to come back to school at some point and we will continue teaching them from wherever they are - teachers will not be skipping over missed skills and hurry on with new teaching - we all know there will be ground to regain with every student - if not in reading, then in another area - including in the area of social skills development. That's what school does all the time - understand where a child is in learning, figure out how best to support those learning needs and then work to encourage and nurture growth in learning. We may spend many weeks in emergency teaching but we will not lose sight of any child when we return. Promise!

Third thing to remember is: learning to read can and should be fun :) Especially during a pandemic! Especially when your teacher can't read with you every day and notice all the little things that say 'be attentive there', 'a little more focus here', 'try this little strategy when' - which is what 'in the moment' teaching offers every child who is learning to read. That is okay - this is an emergency, not a forever or never situation at all - we are all struggling to cope with the strangeness of this emergency and reading will not die out as a human skill if we don't all advance a full grade level (whatever that really means!) when the 2019-2020 school year draws to a close. Keep breathing - that is all that is truly required!

The very best thing any co-teaching parent can do during a pandemic where the teachers are emergency teaching using strategies not usually part of either the teacher's or the child's learning repertoire is focus on reading aloud. Read aloud to your child at least once a day. Let them listen to stories being read aloud by their teacher (if possible) every day. Let them listen to stories online being read by other people (if possible) every day. Encourage your older children to read to your younger children every day. Literally 'book' end every activity with a read aloud - the more words a child hears, the greater their vocabulary, sense of story, language rhythm awareness, ability to predict, identify sounds and phonemes, learn language inflection. And the fun part is that no one has to work at any of this - these are the easily transferable learnings that are inherent in reading. Use reading to calm, to inform, to pique curiosity, to encourage empathy, to tell a good story and prompt the telling of a shared experience. If you do nothing else except read to your child through the pandemic two or three times a day, this will be an awesome way to be an emergency co-teacher :)

Right now, I am reading with my 8-year-old granddaughter every night at 8:00 pm on FaceTime. This is a beautiful way for Ellery and I to stay connected when we cannot see each other; I am reading her one of my favourite novels from my childhood, "Anne of Green Gables". She is learning new words and learning to ask me what they mean because I ask her when we come to one I am pretty sure she doesn't know. But mostly, we are talking about the story. Why I loved it, why she is enjoying it. Yesterday evening she told my daughter she was going to dress and act like 'Anne' for the next 3 days and she immediately went to her closet (and her mother's!) to get clothes to do just that. This morning she got up at 6:30 am and made her bed, brushed her hair and teeth and then went to the kitchen to make everyone tea.  I am not sure that was a welcome experience at 6:30 am on a Sunday during a pandemic for every member of her family, but it demonstrates quite clearly the power of story in a child's life, I think. They can respond with imagination, with trying things on, with being someone else during a time when they really don't know who they are anyway because everything is so different.  This is an excellent way to bring children to the joy of reading!
And, just as an aside, reading with Nana every evening gives everyone else in the house a break from an active 8-year-old for about 30 minutes just before bedtime -  FaceTime is magical for this!

We are posting read-alouds by teachers on our blogs every day through this crisis teaching situation. We, of course, encourage all our students to listen to their teachers' read alouds posted on their own Pod blogs each day - but students are also able to see read alouds on other blogs as well, and on our EHS school youtube channel. We are a school that believes in and celebrates the power of the read aloud in every possible situation - it is our go-to strategy for building joy in reading when school is in session just as much as it is our go-to when classes are unexpectedly and suddenly cancelled. Read alouds are simply the most amazing experience a child can have in their lives and it is perfectly okay (for the children anyway!) to read the same story repeatedly until they ask for a different one :)

As time progresses, teachers will be offering other ideas for supporting reading development at home - word games, rhyming games, strategies for students to make predictions, ask questions, clarify, make connections, make up new stories using drama or puppets or stop motion video - there is no end to the many ways reading can be taught, enjoyed and experienced. But we are in the early days - the first step is to continue to make the most of the read aloud whenever possible. Try and capture a loved one to help out where you can with FaceTime or Skype, encourage your children to read a story together and then act it out for you - whatever it takes to get through the days while making reading the fun experience of the day will absolutely foster the love of reading that will carry every child joyously into learning, even in the most topsy-turvy world imaginable!  And you will enjoy being a most amazing co-teacher of reading :)



Lorraine Kinsman, Principal









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In light of Alberta Government Covid-19 guidelines that gatherings should not exceed 15 people, today's Public Board meeting will be held online only. The meeting begins at noon and will be live streamed. https://t.co/LXNIydA7w1

Our "classrooms" look different, but we continue to support student learning. Check out this video for more info. #wearecbe https://t.co/z6XBq4mA3Q

Learn more about what students and families can expect to hear from their schools next week. Classes are cancelled and students will not be returning to their schools, but learning is ongoing. https://t.co/2k2t0CUwTV #wearecbe

Yesterday we sent a message to all Gr. 10, 11 and 12 families about diploma exams. Diploma exams are cancelled, but under special circumstances, students can request to write a diploma exam. For more info, see info on our website https://t.co/Vt8kke9SuE

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Eric Harvie School

357 Tuscany Drive NW Calgary, AB, T3L 3C9
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School Contacts

Principal
Ms Lorraine Kinsman
Assistant Principal
Mr Benjamin Strand
Education Director
Mrs Prem Randhawa
Trustee
Ms Trina Hurdman

School Information

Grades
K-04
Enrolment
433
Programs
Regular
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School Hours

Morning Start
8:20 AM
Dismissal
3:05 PM
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