Dear A.E. Cross Families,
I have had a very interesting year as we have had to navigate the pandemic. Our staff have had to pivot with only a moment's notice to at-home and in-person learning. They have done an amazing job connecting with students and their families and learning new ways to provide ongoing learning. Despite the challenges this year our students continued to be engaged in the learning and showed resiliency and perseverance. I would like to thank our staff, students, and A.E. Cross families for all their ongoing support throughout this year.
Our School Council also deserves a big thank-you for helping to lift the spirits of our staff throughout the pandemic by bringing in monthly treats, providing a snack cupboard for our students, and supporting learning opportunities for staff and students throughout the year.
I want to celebrate two of our amazing staff members who are retiring: Mrs. Petrowitsch and Ms. Kryluk and I wish them all the best in the next chapter of their lives. I want to send a special thank you to staff members who are leaving A.E. Cross and will continue their journey elsewhere in the fall; Mr. Moskaluk, Ms. Kapeller, Mrs. Shumay, Mrs. McBride, Mrs. Verigin-Josza, Srta. Moranta (HUB – Spanish visiting teacher), Mr. Rodriquez (Spanish visiting teacher), Mr. Valdebenito (HUB), and Mr. Pihlainen (HUB). Each of these staff members were a huge part of our staff and school community, and I wish them all the best in their educational futures! I would also like to welcome back Carolyn Fehr and Kari Mandin. We also have added two staff members to our community. Jesse Rattan who will be our new instrumental music teacher and Ms. Klaire Smith will be joining our Paced Learning Program.
With only a few weeks left in the school year and I would like to remind everyone that June 23rd and June 24th is early dismissal at 1:00 pm. Report cards will be available on June 26th through PowerSchool. The last day of school for students is June 28th and the morning of June 29th is for appeals. I am looking forward to next year and I would like to send my best wishes to the grade 9’s as they prepare to go to high school and any students who will be leaving A.E Cross School. I would also like to welcome new students joining the A.E. Cross family next year.
I wish you an excellent and safe summer!
A.E. Cross School
Dear A.E. Cross Families
We are pleased to announce that Mr. Erin Bennett has been appointed to the role of Principal for A.E Cross commencing August 27, 2021. The current Acting Principal Dr. Rhonda Williams will remain at A.E. Cross in the role of Assistant Principal for the 2021-22 school year. Rhonda has worked with Erin at another CBE Junior High School for two years and they are excited to work together again. He will be a fantastic addition to the school community. Erin will be meeting virtually with parents at the next School Council meeting on June 8th and via Microsoft Teams on June 4th. We are hoping that he can meet us all in person before year-end. Erin is looking forward to meeting the staff, students, and families at A.E. Cross School.
Welcome, Mr. Erin Bennett to A.E. Cross!
Hello A.E. Cross Students, Staff and Families,
I am very excited and honored to be the new Principal of A.E Cross beginning in August 2021. I am currently completing my 4th year as Principal of Cappy Smart School in Marlborough Park and while it has been an incredible experience, I am excited about this new opportunity. I am a born and raised Calgarian with 17 years of experience with the Calgary Board of Education as a Teacher, Curriculum Leader/Learning Leader, Senior Education Specialist, Assistant Principal, and Principal. While I have taught various subjects K-12, I have spent the bulk of my time in Elementary, Middle, and Junior High Schools in many parts of the city. I also have experience with multiple specialized setting classes including PLP and I look forward to reconnecting with the PLP program at A.E. Cross next year. I am also very excited to be reuniting with Dr. Williams who I enjoyed a highly effective relationship for two years in a previous school. I would like to thank her and this year’s staff for the time and care that they have undoubtedly given to supporting the community during a very challenging time.
On a personal note, my wife Melanie and I have both been administrators with the CBE for several years. We have two children who are CBE students, one in Elementary and the other in Middle School. During the winter months, we are all involved with Ringette and during the summer, we enjoy obstacle racing and time in the mountains. As COVID restrictions have impacted our ability to get involved in most of our usual activities, I have taken the opportunity to work on my decidedly average golf game.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise when I say that this has been an unusual school year that has brought many challenges for students, staff, and families. However, I must also say how impressed I’ve been with the efforts that everyone at home and at school have gone to in supporting health, wellness, and learning around our city. I have always held the belief that a school community will be strongest when students, staff, and families feel valued as partners in the community. I am looking forward to connecting with everyone over the coming months to learn more about how I can be of service to the A.E. Cross community in support of success for our students.
Best wishes for a successful wrap-up to the school year and a fantastic summer. I look forward to meeting everyone soon.
Mr. Erin Bennett
May 6, 2021
We would like to share that the position of Principal of A.E. Cross will be posted this spring. We look forward to working with the new principal and to share the amazing attributes of our learning community. The Calgary Board of Education welcomes input from parents, students and staff regarding the programming and leadership attributes you value. Your input will be shared directly with the successful candidate to assist with their entry plan into the school. Please share your thoughts in the following survey:
Dear A.E. Cross Families:
It is almost a year into the pandemic, making it a great time of year for us to reflect on the positive contributions made in our school community. Since semester two began on Feb 1st, we have been working on building school spirit by spreading kindness during the month of February, celebrating Pink Shirt Day, hosting a virtual goodbye assembly for our Acting Principal, Mr. Chris Aylesworth, and welcoming our new Acting Assistant Principal, Jan Shantz. As we step into the second half of the school year, I am honored to have accepted the role of Acting Principal. Having worked alongside Mr. Aylesworth over the last year as co-principals and I am excited to continue the work of the administrative team.
A.E. Cross School
Welcome back to the 2020/21 school year! After months of virtual learning due to the pandemic, we are doing our best to provide a safe and meaningful in-school experience for our students. Our protocols for school re-entry have been guided by Alberta Health, Alberta Education and the CBE. Maintaining a safe school relies on everyone to do their part. Our facility operators have a strict cleaning regime to follow and staff have taken Covid-19 training. All of the sorts of safety measures taking place in retail environments and Calgary businesses are now visible in schools. More information regarding Covid -19 preparation is available on the CBE website www.cbe.ab.ca
During the first few days of school the safety protocols will be discussed, modelled and rolled out. Cohorts, frequent handwashing, masks, hallway travel, seating arrangements, lunchtime routines and seating arrangements are all part of the mix. We also want to provide our students with engaging learning opportunities despite the more restrictive environment.
The last few months have shone a light on the benefits of everyday school life verses the online learning environment. School life is all about relationships, flexible approaches to learning, socialization, extra-curricular offerings and camaraderie. We missed being with our students and are looking forward to seeing everyone. Friendships, learning from each other, the human touch, memorable experiences, honouring diversity and supporting one another are all important hallmarks of our school. Also, bringing the curriculum to life is paramount.
Some of our students are participating in Hub learning because it works better for them. We wish them continued success and happiness.
Classes were thoughtfully organized in the spring and revisited in August. Teachers take into consideration gender balance, academic diversity, special needs and the social dynamic when crafting class lists. Thank you for honouring their work.
We value your trust and support as we navigate this uncharted territory. School changes based on feedback, new information, observations and system directives will continue to occur. We will keep you in the loop.
We are looking forward to our work together.
Chris Aylesworth, Acting Principal
A.E. Cross Staff
Families of A. E. Cross Students,
I would like to ask for your assistance and
support as a whole school community to address something my staff and I feel is
impacting the school experience of our adolescent learners.
Please know this is not something isolated to
the A. E.
Cross school community. It is something that we, as Calgary Board of Education principals, discuss
daily. It is also an issue that my principal
colleagues in schools around the world are facing. In CBE we have developed "digital citizen" guidelines that we make sure students and
parents aware of. But, it should come as no surprise that often adolescent use of mobile devices may not always
fall into what we would all deem good digital citizenship.
While at school, my staff and I do our utmost to monitor students’ use of technology (be it student-owned or school-owned devices) to ensure students are using the technology effectively and
appropriately. This is the reason I have
asked for students to keep their cell phones in their lockers during class
time, unless otherwise directed by their teachers. However, we also realize
that sometimes students bring their devices with them to
class when they should not or they engage in online
behaviour at school that is inappropriate. We really need your support in reminding your
children of our school policy related to cell phone use--and the subsequent
consequences, if they make poor choices with regards to the acceptable use of cell phones or other digital devices.
Students’ use of digital devices outside of school time is very complicated
matter. While what happens outside of
the designated school day is in most cases not an area of school jurisdiction,
under Alberta School Act Legislation, it becomes the responsibility of the school principal to intervene
when outside of school actions by students impact the
proceedings of the school. Constable Boyko, my School
Resource Officer, has asked me to remind all families that although students
may believe their cell phones are owned by the student, cell phone contracts cannot be issued
to anyone under the age of 18. If
CPS or other law enforcement agencies become involved and deem it necessary to “ticket” or lay charges,
those offences will be levied against parents/guardians. Students need to be very aware
that their inappropriate use of digital devices place their families in very difficult
The intent of this message to you as parents is
perhaps a "call to action"--a return to the belief that it does take a "watchful and caring village"
to raise our children well in our ever-changing digital society. While we certainly celebrate the many wonderful things our
students demonstrate each and every day, we also remind them of the values of
ethical citizenship as outlined in Alberta Education’s "Ministerial Order
on Student Learning." There is truly NO anonymity while using CBE
or other networks. Actions such making hurtful or threatening comments via
digital messaging or through social media or sending
anonymous letters filled with inaccurate information and venomous language are not acceptable
conduct in our Canadian civil society. Even though it may seem second nature to us as adults (and we would never
consider conducting ourselves in such ways) the images and messages our students are
exposed to every day through various forms of media present them with other
Our students often laugh at me when I say to them that there were no
cell phones when I was in junior
high school--and if I had something to say to someone, it had to be done face-to-face. I tell them that talking directly with someone often improves the
conversation, not being able to hide behind the "perceived anonymity" of the methods
of communication they have access to today. The filter I remind our students of is, “Would you say this
directly to someone’s face?” Most of the time their answer would be "No," and, therefore they realize it is not
behaviour befitting of the respectful, kind and caring students I know them to be.
At A. E. Cross, my staff and I are very
appreciative of your ongoing support as we all work to
support students in navigating our
complicated even further by social media and all too easy to access
Dr. Brandy Yee
We are now just three short months away from the end of the 2017/18 school year. Numerous events and activities will be taking place between now and the end of June: Grade 7 band camp, Grade 7 Journey 2050 at Stampede Park, track and field meet, badminton team try-outs, practices and tournaments, Grade 9 Farewell, Grades 9 PAT’s, Disneyland California band trip, performing arts production, and the year-end band concert. In the midst of all these opportunities, there is still a lot of teaching and learning that needs to be accomplished in the classroom. To help support a successful three months, we will be reinforcing the school rules and expectations with students. It should be emphasized that these are not new expectations, just a reminder of the high expectations we have of our students.
We would like to also remind all students about their digital citizenship responsibilities at A.E. Cross School. Digital citizenship is having the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to demonstrate responsible and respectful behavior when using technology or participating in digital environments. This goes beyond email etiquette and avoiding plagiarism to encompass all elements of digital engagement, in particular, protecting private information, staying safe online, and knowing how to deal with bullying in the digital world, whether you’re a target or a bystander. The reality of cyberbullying is that 2 out 3 youth have faced bullying over their cell phones or online. Parents are encouraged to check their children’s accounts, review their devices and examine their social media connections. This will ensure that our children are not victims of bullying, being targeted by predators, or that they are behaving inappropriately on social media.
Digital citizenship is key to helping our students learn to use available technology responsibly in the classroom and throughout the school to build a community where we live and work together as ethical responsible digital citizens. Visit the CBE website to learn more on how we support students develop online safety skills and learn to be good digital citizens.
Excerpted from our March Newsletter.
Welcome March! How did that happen so quickly? It is hard to believe we are into the second semester of learning together! During the months of February and March, the students and staff were very busy. We have begun planning and scheduling for the 2018-2019 school year and we are excited about what is yet to come!
During our last staff professional development day and during the health and wellness day the focus of our sessions included: Mental Health Literacy. Topics include:
- The Teenage Brain -- How is it different from adults?
- What is adolescence? Common myths about mental illness
- What are the causes?
- What are the risks? Teenage stress
- How much is too much?
- How can we manage stress? Promoting positive mental health in children
- What are some self-care basics?
- How can I support students at A.E. Cross?
We have had students out of the building attending field trips such as the Grade 8 and 9 Band students attending Band Camp at River’s Edge and the Grade 8 students attending Telus Spark. We also had a small group of Grade 7 students who attended the My World Conference on February 22. Our students and staff also participated in Pink Shirt Day held on February 28.
Within the school the Grade 7’s are working diligently on their AEC Convention Projects and we welcome all parents to the school to see these amazing inventions on March 20 from 2-3 pm in the main gymnasium.
As a school community we are focused on promoting positive mental health as a result we have booked a “Live Different” presentation on March 12, this presentation, encourages students to consider compassion as a compelling alternative to what society sometimes presents as being “great” or “successful”.
We also want to recognize the ongoing athletics program at A.E Cross. Both our girls’ and boys’ basketball teams have begun their season with very strong starts. Congratulations to all the players on our junior and senior teams. Basketball club for Grade 7 students have also started.
We also want to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of our performing arts students who are preparing for “The Chocolate Factory” Performance from March 12-16 at A.E. Cross School.
Thank you to our School Council and to our parent volunteers who continue to support our staff and students at A.E. Cross. Thank you for giving your time to attend sporting events, provide Friday snacks, volunteer for field trips, helping with school fundraisers and other school activities. I want to thank our parent community and community neighbours who continue to support our work and our commitment to your children. I want to thank each one of our support staff and teaching staff for the truly exceptional work they do each and every day with A.E. Cross students. Have a wonderful Christmas Holiday and Winter Break! See you back in school on January 8, 2018!
Health & Life Skills
This year our school has prioritized positive mental health and wellness as a whole school initiative. Our mission is to bring awareness to mental health issues and to help students build positive mental health strategies. One of the strategies that we have exposed all of our students and staff to is the MindShift App from AnxietyBC. Please have a look at the App with your child. We are also very fortunate to have had a guest presenter, Natalie St. Hillaire who spoke about meditation, mindfulness and the importance of being present in your own lives, in the moment. Throughout the year we will continue to have ongoing dialogue with the staff and students to promote wellness and life-long strategies. We also have some guest presenters booked for the new year, including, MADD, Live Different and Anne Daniel’s to support these ongoing conversations.
Mrs. Rhonda Williams
Assistant Principal – A.E. Cross School
As I mentioned in last Friday’s message, my good friend David Bouchard was here to speak
with the students last week. I hope your children came home and spoke to you about
some of the stories David shared with them. His message is always a good one, focusing on
the importance of literacy, the impact of culture on education and schooling, and also the
significance of the mental health issues facing our adolescents in Canada.
Recent Canadian studies show almost a third of our adolescents are battling some form of
mental health issue. The data for our particular learning community is no different. This
will become one of the areas of focus for this year in our school development plan. We will
also be looking at how we support students in the development of their mathematical
analysis and problem-solving skills, how we can give students authentic opportunities for
voice and choice in meaningful aspects of their learning, along with how students are
supported as they explore within the disciplines they are studying. Our school
development plan will be available on the school website mid-November and we will be
discussing the plan in more detail during our November school council meeting.
After reviewing available school data and engaging in conversations with staff about
specific resources needed to support student success, I have made the decision to hire a
math intervention specialist for our school. I would like to welcome Mr. Nick Moskaluk to
the A. E. Cross Community. I have worked with Nick for several years and am excited to
have him join our team here. He will be offering intensive math intervention in 8 week
segments for students who teachers have identified would benefit from this kind of
support. He will also be teaming with Ms. Simmons in our guidance department/student
We look forward to meeting more of our families during the upcoming learning
conferences in November.
Dr. Brandy Yee
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