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September 12
Principal's Update

Welcome to Kenneth D. Taylor School!  

We had a wonderful start to the year.  It was great to see many new families arrive at our school and returning families as well.  The first few days are always busy, but the students have settled into their classrooms very quickly and appear to be enjoying the first few days. 

Every year, schools in the Calgary Board of Education create school development plans.  The creation of the SDP will involve a systematic analysis of data and targeted actions to meet the needs of every student, with a particular focus on increasing achievement and reducing gaps for students who have been identified as not progressing as expected.  School development plans must include a literacy goal plus another Program of Study goal as well as a well-being for learning goal.     

This year, teachers will continue to focus on literacy and numeracy building on the professional development that was a part of last year’s school development plan.  Staff have already started to look at achievement data from last year to inform their practice in these areas.  A new focus for this year’s school development plan will be creating a well-being for learning goal.  This year, every school in the CBE will be creating a goal that could focus on areas such as resilience, student connection or mental health to enhance the well-being of students in the classroom.  The staff at Ken Taylor have already begun this work in their professional learning committees and look forward to continuing this work with our students.              ​

June 04
Principal Update

​Dear Parents/Guardians:

“There is nothing permanent except change.” Heraclitus

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

“Some of our important choices have a time line. If we delay a decision, the opportunity is gone forever. Sometimes our doubts keep us from making a choice that involves change. Thus an opportunity may be missed.” James E. Faust

With these quotes as a context, I want to let you know that I will be transitioning to the role of Education Director in Area 7 for the Fall.

Working with you to establish a growing and thriving learning community at Ken Taylor has been, without question, an amazing and positive journey. I often refer to our school community as ‘the jewel of the North’ because of the wonderful, collaborative, and positive parents, students, and staff that make this work so rewarding. I have so enjoyed working alongside you, getting to know you, and seeing the growth in the learning and character of our students.

I look forward to continuing our work together until the end of the school year.

In order to inform the selection of a new principal at Kenneth D. Taylor School, Area 2 Director, Darlene Unruh, would be pleased to receive input from staff, students and parents of Kenneth D. Taylor School regarding the programming and leadership attributes you value. Please provide your input using the following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/328G7F3

The survey will be open from June 3rd to June 14th, 2019.

Director Unruh will be interviewing candidates along with another Director and will make a recommendation to the Chief Superintendent regarding a candidate. Your input is taken into consideration as part of the hiring process. Your input is also shared directly with the successful candidate.

With heartfelt gratitude,

David Dyck

Principal​

November 29
Sharing Initiatives

I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to our School Council/Fundraising Association for organizing another very successful Christmas Market this past weekend!  Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the music, food, shopping and positive energy of a market.

In the coming weeks, we have two opportunities to support other people, which come around in December:  our Christmas Hampers and, this year, a Christmas Store.

The Christmas Hamper Project:

This is a collection of gift cards or monetary donation, which is divided equally and shared with some of our Ken Taylor families who would benefit from this initiative at this time of year.  If you would like to participate in this project, please drop off your donations/gift cards at the office between now and Friday, December 14th.

The Christmas Store:

          This is an initiative to support the students and families at another CBE school, Catherine Nichols Gunn.  We are asking interested families to donate new or gently used items, which are then used to create a ‘Store’ where the students at C.N. Gunn can then bring some small change (loonies and toonies) and purchase gifts for their parents.  These children do not have the opportunity to buy a gift at Christmas for their parents.  The ‘Store’ is run by the grade 5-6 leaders who also giftwrap the items for the students.  Any money ‘raised’ by students purchasing the gifts is then used to help off-set the cost of these students’ Outdoor School learning experiences.  Please see a letter from Principal, Steve Wigglesworth which has more information:  Christmas Store info 2018.pdf 

On another note:  We also raised $1760 through the Indigo Adopt A School book campaign!  We will be able to use these funds to purchase books for our Learning Commons at an additional 30% discount J  Thank you to everyone who supported us through this campaign.

Warm Regards,

David​
September 28
October 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Our third year has had a very smooth start this first month!  I want to express my sincere thanks to all of our staff for their hard work prior to the first day of school which made a significant contribution to such a successful start.  I see students who have settled into their classes and feeling comfortable with the organization of the classrooms as there have been some changes from last year.  A key factor to student success is parental support, I would also like to express my gratitude for your involvement and support of your child(ren). 

We were very pleased to see you at the conferences/parent information sessions last week!  Thank you for taking this time to connect with your child’s teacher around their learning thus far and for your commitment to partnering with us for your child’s continued progress.  We are also grateful for your support with our first book fair.  Our total sales were $4923.60!  This means we will have $2594.69 to invest in our book collection in the Learning Commons.  Thank you to Mrs. Brock and our parent volunteer Kathryn Toupin who worked to make this a great experience for our students.

Last Friday we had our first PD day of the year, and we continued our learning in the area of Literacy.  Our School Development Plan will continue our focus on literacy from the past two years and this year we will also be adding a math goal.  We will be sharing more with you about our School Development Plan throughout the year.

Please continue to be vigilant about driving safely around the school at drop-off and pick-up times.  We appreciate those students who can walk/bike to school which helps to alleviate our traffic concerns.  Thank you for adjusting to our newly signed Hug & Go and No Stopping signs (although the times are wrong – they will soon read ‘Hug & Go – 7:30 – 8:00 J).    If you need to park (i.e. get out of your car – this is the City’s definition of a park vs. remaining in your car), please consider taking a few extra minutes to park a bit further away which would make a difference. 

The City of Calgary Parking Authority and the Calgary Police Service continue to support everyone’s safety be re-enforcing the rules of the road.  Please be mindful of our neighbours across the street and near to the school – do not block their driveways for any length of time.  We all need to practice empathy (how would we feel if that was our house) and patience (if the Hug & Go is full, slowly drive another lap; even if your child is late, safety still comes first, before convenience). 

***Please pull all the way up into the empty spaces in the Hug & Go instead of stopping right across from the door – which then causes traffic congestion behind you.  When the bell goes at 8:00, the teacher at the door will let the door close as they must attend to their class.  If you are late dropping your child off, please bring them into the office (remember you can park in the Hug & Go from 8:00 onwards) and sign them in. 

Our first School Council/Fundraising Association meeting in September was well attended and many great ideas were shared and talked about which will benefit our students (keep reading for the Council updates J).

Thank you for being on the Ken Taylor Team!

David​

April 26
May 2018

It has been wonderful to see the snow…in full retreat these past few weeks! We look forward to celebrating our wonderful volunteers on May 4! Our success depends on us working together, with you, in support of our students. There have been so many ways that you have supported your children and the activities at the school. We are always appreciative of the ways you share your time and talents to support and enhance the school culture.

May 11 is our Stampede Breakfast and we hope to see you there - in your Western look! We look forward to this great community building opportunity at the school. A huge thank you to our School Council and all the volunteers needed to make this event special. Your wonderful support for all the Councils fundraisers have resulted in the school having the opportunity to order more books for the Learning Commons (we have focussed on building out our Science and Social Studies collection); more materials for students to use in the Makerspace and more Physical Education equipment; and support for some of our guest assemblies (Michael Mitchell/Steve Harmer). Thank you for your amazing, ongoing, support!

As you begin to think of next year, you may have questions about how we determine student placements. Having worked throughout the year so closely with your children, our teachers have good insight into creating the class lists for next year and setting up each student for success. This is a thorough and thoughtful process and we work towards creating balanced class lists; taking into consideration such factors as student learning style and gender. If you have information that you think we may not know which would assist in this placement process, please feel free to share that information in an email or conversation to administration, myself, Christina, or Deb, prior to May 11. This information should be focussed on your child’s learning style or be information reflecting any changes at home or in your child’s life which you feel your child’s teacher may not be aware of and would be helpful for us to know (e.g. medical information, divorce/separation, etc.). Requests for specific friends in classes or specific teachers are not considered ‘additional information’ as we have created an inclusive learning environment which we will maintain and continue to embrace.

We are looking forward to our Kindergarten Orientation Night, May 31 at 6:30 p.m., and to welcoming new families to our learning community!

Sincerely,
David​

March 23
April 2018

​Excerpted from our April Newsletter​.

Today our Professional Development focus will involve sharing the implementation of math strategies in the classroom, and the sharing of how students have continued to progress and achieve around our School Development Plan goals connected to literacy. Specifically, we will be focusing on writing and developing rubrics and strategies to support the development of our students progress in this area.

In early April, we will be sending out a link to an electronic form where you can confirm your plans for your child to return to Ken Taylor School. If your plans change prior to September, please let us know in the office as we have already begun the planning process for next year and knowing which students are returning is very helpful in this regard.

At our upcoming April School Council meeting we have invited Principal Bruce Johnston, from Simon Fraser, to come and speak to us about learning at the middle school level and he will share some of their school culture and philosophy with us. Please plan to join us, April 11 at 6:30 pm.

After we return from Spring Break, we are looking forward to our upcoming Student-Led Conferences. These conferences will occur on

  • Thursday, April 19 (Kindergarten – no school due to conferences all day; Grades 1-4 conferences from 3:30 – 7:30 pm) and 
  • Friday, April 20 (K-4; 8:00-12:00 pm). 

This is a great opportunity to have your child show you their work and explain their understanding. Conference bookings will be available online beginning Tuesday, April 10 at 6:00 a.m. A reminder email with the link will be sent to you prior to the online booking opening.

Swimming is part of our Physical Education program at Ken Taylor and this year we have two swimming times – one in April and one in June. Some of our Grade 1 and 2 classes will be going swimming in April and the forms will be coming home just after Spring Break. Our CSSI students, will be going swimming on Mondays beginning in April and the forms and dates will be sent home after the Break as well. The remaining classes will be going swimming in June.

We look forward to hosting Simon Fraser’s Concert Band; Magician Steve Harmer’s ‘Friendship Factor’ show; and, Darcy Turningrobe (Indigenous Knowledge Keeper). Darcy’s time with classes came about as a result of our successful grant from Education Matters (submitted by Mrs. Buonomo and Mrs. Fraser) which will include our making 30 authentic drums which will become part of our music program.

We wish you a safe and happy Spring Break.

David, on behalf of all the Ken Taylor Staff

October 27
November 2017

Thank you for your generous response to our Jacket Racket campaign! These items will be appreciated and well used in the upcoming winter months. Our Grade 4 student leaders were a great help in moving the many bags of clothes out to the vehicle!

Our School Development Plan continues to focus on Literacy this year as well. We will be publishing this report to our website at the beginning of November. In the SDP process, teachers consider report card data and assessment information that they have gathered from their daily work with students in the classrooms. Based on this information teachers set an achievement goal which in the coming few months they will focus strategically on in the learning tasks. Instructional strategies are planned and implemented during this time and then the students’ learning progress is measured again to check for improvement. Last year we employed a model that involved three short-term iterative cycles for this process to be repeated – with a new goal being set in each cycle. It was very rewarding to see the students’ progress over the course of the year.

We have been very fortunate with the one-time education funds provided through the Classroom Initiative Program (CIP) and have been able to hire an additional half-time teacher for our grade three students. Our class sizes in grade 3 are currently 27/28, and while this is very typical across our system, we have the opportunity to lower these class sizes in the afternoon to 21 students by creating an additional homeroom class.

Please welcome Mrs. Amanda D’Appolonia who will be teaching the language arts portion of the curriculum, along with some math.

We have also been fortunate to have Mrs. Walz’s as our Literacy Learning Leader who specializes in early literacy development. In order to maximize her expertise for our school population, we have hired an additional half-time teacher, Mrs. Kelty Lacey, who will teach Mrs. Walz’s AM Kindergarten class. This will allow Mrs. Walz to work with teachers and students in each grade to support our SDP focus on literacy in the morning, and continue teaching her PM Kindergarten class for the second half of the day.

Thank you for being mindful as you walk or drive to school, use the Hug & Go, park safely and legally, and use the crosswalks and corners (Point/Pause/Proceed) when you drop off and pick up your child(ren). Our school resource officer, Cst. Wil Johnson, has been working with us the past few weeks in several ways: presented at our October Council meeting; and shared a Safety Message at our assembly last week. Thank you to our grade 4 Leadership students who were also a big help in handing out positive ‘tickets’ last Friday to continue to raise our awareness of safety and what we can do to keep everyone safe.

Sincerely,

David​

October 02
First Month of Learning

​What a wonderful first month of learning at Ken Taylor School! The students are really engaged in the learning tasks teachers are providing as well as settling into the classroom and lunchtime routines. 

We were very pleased to see you at the parent/student/teacher conferences last week! Thank you for taking this time to connect with your child’s teacher around their learning thus far and for your commitment to partnering with us for your child’s continued progress. Thank you for your support with the book fair during this first conference time. Our total sales were $6316.80 and as a result we have $3569.18 in credit to spend on books for our Learning Commons. Thank you to Mrs. Brock and the parent volunteers who worked to make this a great experience for our students.

On Monday, our first PD day of the year, we spent the day working with our English Langue Learning strategists and looking at ways we can continue to improve our literacy expertise in each of our classrooms. Our School Development Plan is focused, like last year, around the area of literacy and this priority is reflected in our shared decision making processes throughout the year. On the 16th of October we will continue our work from last year with literacy specialist, Miriam Trehearne. She will be challenging us and sharing with us some researched-based methods of improving student’s reading comprehension. We will be sharing more with you about our School Development Plan throughout the year.

Please continue to be vigilant about driving safely around the school at drop-off and pick-up times. With the fantastic weather, maybe it would be possible for more students to walk with their parents to school and ease the traffic congestion around the school at these busy times. Even taking a few extra minutes to park a bit further away would make a difference. The City of Calgary Parking Authority and the Calgary Police Service continue to support everyone’s safety by re-enforcing the rules of the road. Please be mindful of our neighbours across the street and near to the school – do not block their driveways for any length of time…we all need to practice empathy (how would we feel if that was our house) and patience (if the Hug & Go is full, slowly drive another lap; even if your child is late, safety still comes first, before convenience).

Thank you for your attention to the City of Calgary bylaw regarding no dogs on CBE property. Our students, staff and parents have noticed and appreciated the difference.

Our first School Council/Fundraising Association meeting in September was well attended and many great ideas were shared and talked about which will benefit our students (keep reading for the Council updates.

Sincerely,

David

June 01
Everyone Came Together in Amazing First Year

​It has been such an exciting year to be part of Ken Taylor’s first year team! We are so fortunate to have such wonderful, supportive and involved parents… whose children come to school eager and ready to learn each day. Thank you for being so supportive at home and at school for your child’s progress throughout the year. We know that developing a strong team serves the best interests of our children.

When we look back over the year we have had an amazing year of learning new things; getting to know each other, building a community of learners, developing a sense of identity as Ken Taylor students, parents and staff, going on field trips, and having special events like pancake breakfast, fun lunch and popcorn days.

If it has worked out for you to volunteer in some way we hope to see you, and express our sincere appreciation for all the work and energy you have shared with us, at our Volunteer Appreciation afternoon this Friday, June 2nd at 1:30 in the Learning Commons.

With the changes to our school hours, as per the letter emailed to you on May 23rd, I wanted to let you know that as we move to Friday early dismissals as a system, and considering the number ofPD/Organizational days, the number of instructional hours for our students will not be diminished. Alberta Education, through the School Act, requires us to have a minimum of 950 hours of instruction over the course of the year. Both this year and next year we have exceeded that total with 955.5 hours this year and 959.5 hours for 2017-18.

Thank you for connecting with your child’s learning experiences by reading their classroom blogs and for volunteering both in the school, for special Fundraising Association events, and for staying in touch with us throughout the year by reading all of the email, following us on Facebook, calling, stopping by the office or sending an email. These have been pivotal to our success as a team and, together, we really are better…for the sake of our children.

I am very grateful for all the wonderful learning opportunities we have experienced together as a community and look forward to continuing our work together in the 2017-18 school year. On behalf of all the staff at Ken Taylor School, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation of our work together, and wish you and your family a safe, relaxing and wonderful summer.

Be well and safe.

Sincerely,
David 

February 09
Kindergarten Registration is  underway

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Kindergarten registration started on January 9th and is ongoing. Please note: if you have a child who will attend our kindergarten program September 2017, please stop by to register them at your earliest convenience as knowing our numbers is key to our staffing and planning for next year. We will take a photocopy of their birth certificate as part of the application process.

We are very much looking forward to the official Grand Opening Ceremony on February 10th! Our students have been preparing for this special occasion in many ways. We will be extending an invitation to you via email and online ticket bookings, as we are unable to accommodate everyone. Due to limited seating for the ceremony, we will also open up seating for the dress rehearsal on February 9th (1:00 – 1:45 pm on both the 9th and 10th).

As you know, our School Development Plan centres on literacy. As a staff we have been very intentional with our literacy strategies, targets and task design for our students. To support our ongoing professional development in this area we have had three workshops in January with literacy expert Miriam Trehearne. She has provided us with strategic, high-yield, research-based literacy strategies which will support our work across the grades from Kindergarten to grade three. Our staff has been amazing in their work together as professional learning communities both in their focus on the support of each student and in their flexibility to staying extra late on these three days with Miriam. We will be having Miriam continue her work with us on one of our PD days in March.

One of the core CBE values states, “Learning is our central purpose” and to that end, we are very much looking forward to seeing you at our Student-Led conferences next week. This will be a great opportunity for you to have your child share with you and show you their work as they make their learning visible during your time in their classroom. Please continue to support your child’s learning at home by viewing the class blog and engaging your child in conversation about the learning that happens each day. If you have any problems booking your time online please give us a call at 403-817-3504 and we would be happy to assist you.

We will be hosting another Scholastic Book Fair next week which will be running during the Student-Led conferences - please come through our Learning Commons to see the great titles which will be available. 60% of our total sales comes back to the school for us to extend our book selection for students.

We also look forward to the conventions in February, as this provides additional professional development opportunities for both our teachers and our support staff.

Sincerely,

David

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RT @robynjacobi: It is an honour to have @UsihChristopher and @marilyndyyc address the students at the My World Conference this year #WeAreCBE @robynjacobi @kmalayko https://t.co/lqgrW01IM5

RT @DHSRiebot: Amazing performance from @ForestLawnHigh Competitive Dance Team today at My World Conference! #WeAreCBE https://t.co/kyNR4ZwLxp

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RT @DHSRiebot: “Do what makes you incredible!” 800+ incredible students sharing their voices at My World Conference. Thank you, @Stormshadowsong for sharing your story of resilience and courage. #WeAreCBE https://t.co/XXX5tL3Y6i