Dear Parents and Guardians,
As this school begins, we would like to express our gratitude for the trust you placed in us every day to care for and educate your children. It is a privilege to partner with you in helping students explore, learn and grow every day. Thursday, August 31 is the first day of school. Kindergarten students will have staggered entry on the Thursday and Friday
If you need to speak to the school the office will be open starting Tuesday August 30 between 9:00am and 4:00pm.
We are incredibly grateful for each of you and the time we will spend with you, and your children, over the coming school year. We are excited about all the new opportunities this next year will bring.
See you soon,
Your AFS Administrative Team
Helen Sharpe and Matthew Littel
Thursday was a beautiful example of our amazing school culture at Alexander Ferguson School. We have gone for so many years without welcoming families into schools that these opportunities continue to fill my heart and overwhelm my sense of joy and pride for our families, our students and our education team. Thank you for participating in our Celebration of Learning! It is beautiful to see our students take pride and leardership in their school as they show their parents what they have been learning and why this learning is important.Thank you for taking the time to listen to and engage with your child and allow them to direct you through the learning opportunities. Thank you for your generous praise and wise interactions with your learner. Thank you for providing your child with feedback and for making this process a great learning opportunity for our students. Thank you for sharing your feedback on the first drafts of our Learning Commons Redesign.
Parents, you truly are our partners in educating our students. When you participate and take up the work, as you did on Thursday, everyone in our community benefits. Thank you for all you have done to make our celebration of learning so successful!
Ms. Sharpe and Mr. Littel
AFS Administrative Team
Good morning Parents and Guardians,
This weekend was one of reflection at my home. As we know, Friday was National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Our classes discussed the meaning and importance of the day on Thursday. Each teacher led discussions, with age appropriate content, prompting discussion and conversation. We wore orange shirts to show our support and acknowledge past actions. What I noticed, while driving to work on Thursday, shopping at Costco on Friday, and in my weekend interactions, was children wearing their orange shirts, children talking about the day, children leading the way forward. My observations do not mean that adults did not acknowledge the day. In fact, I saw thousands of adults participating in the evening pow wow hosted by the Siksika Nation and Calgary Hitmen. My observations did make me reflect on the messages we, as adults, send to our children. What am I telling my child when I wear my orange shirt? What am I telling my child when I don’t? What messages do I want my child to receive? It reminded me of a statement shared with me last October, “Privilege is being able to take off the orange shirt and put it in the closet till next year.” Our children are leading the way, they can have meaningful conversations about our National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Can you? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjx2zDvyzsU
As you prepare to celebrate and be thankful this coming weekend I invite you to join me in thinking more about, “How can I make a difference?” However small, we all have impact, all day, every day. Let’s make our impact positive. Thank you for sharing your amazing children with me each day. Thank you for being a part of this amazing community. There are many days throughout the calendar year of great importance. Some connected to our beliefs (e.g. Diwali), some to medical issues (e.g. Epilepsy awareness), others to social interactions (e.g. anti-bullying day). As individuals we all place differing emphasis on each of these days. Presumably based on our upbringing, values, and understanding. As a mother, and educator, I am challenging myself to be more aware of the messages I am sending, explicit and implicit, to those around me. How can I make a difference? I agree with The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who points to education as the key to reconciliation, stating, “Education got us into this mess and education will get us out of it.”
Yours in Education, Helen Sharpe AFS Principal
Thank you to all our AFS families for a great year of learning. It has, once again, been a year of change. We look forward to returning in September when, we plan, to be able to invite parents into the building more often, go on more field trips, make new buddy groupings, the list goes on.
We have already started planning a great year of learning for your child. We have a 3 month school wide art residency booked for the fall, 2 week long physical education residencies, as well as 1 day with Fit Set Ninja! Mark your calendars now for September 21, our annual Gully Day. September 22 is our Meet the Teacher event. October 13 is our first evening Celebration of Learning, with a literacy focus.
The school calendar will be available on the website soon, please check regularly for updates.
We wish you all a safe and happy summer. See you on September 1.
Kindergarten to grade 4 students with outstanding fees came home with notices today. Grades 5 and 6 will receive theirs tomorrow. Some families will notice that there are fees from past years. These fees now stay with students throughout their CBE career. Please review the fees listed. If you have any questions please call the office. If you have financial concerns and need assistance to pay these fees please call the office to talk about your options.
Thank you for attending to these fees to assist us in wrapping up our 2021-2022 school year.
On that note, school dismisses for the year at 3:28 on Tuesday, June 28 (no half days this year!).
We look forward to welcoming everyone to the school council picnic tomorrow at noon. See you then.
FAMILY TRIPS & EXTENDED ABSENCE FORMS As Travel Restrictions are easing, we are seeing more families wishing to travel, bon voyage! If choosing to travel during the school year when school is in session, please be aware of the following: • Schools are not mandated to, nor do we, provide schoolwork for extended absences. • It is parents/guardians’ responsibilities to review and support their child’s learning during the extended absence.• The CBE believes there is a strong positive correlation between attendance and effective education. • The Education Act excuses students from attending school due to illness or other unavoidable cause, religious holidays, suspension/expulsion, or permission from the Board. An absence outside of these exemptions, including those reported by parents, will be recorded as an unexcused absence. • Absences may affect a child’s academic progress, and peer relationships, at school. • The cumulative effect of multiple extended school absences could result in significant gaps in a child’s learning and achievement. • Make sure to notify our school office and your child’s teachers of leave of absence by completing The Extended Leave of Absence Form. This form can be picked up at the main office. We trust you will continue to follow travel guidelines pertaining to Covid, thank you. These guidelines may change dependent on area visited, and upon return to Alberta.
PARKING & SAFETY
We continue to ask that all safety and traffic rules are adhered to in and around the school.
The safety of our students and staff is essential and our number one priority.
We would prefer that you arrive late, and safely, than on time while breaking traffic rules.
We are all a community and it is our collective responsibility to keep each other safe.
- Please do not park on the crosswalks.
- Please do not pull U-Turns where prohibited.
- Please do not drive through a crosswalk with people in it.
- Please do not pull into the staff parking lot at any time.
So many of you follow all of the rules and encourage others to do so. We see you. We appreciate you.
Alexander Ferguson’s School Council and Society are parent organizations that support AFS staff in offering excellent programming for our students. There are so many ways for parents to participate, and, whether you have a little or a lot of time to share, we hope that you will be involved in our school community.
Looking to get involved? Join a meeting. Anytime. Check out volunteer opportunities https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/alexanderferguson/get-involved/school-council/pages/default.aspx . Find position descriptions in the document located along the right hand side of the page.
All parents are very welcome to attend Council and Society meetings to learn more about what is happening in our school and share ideas. Please watch for highlights about Council and Society happenings and volunteer opportunities on our website.
Hello AFS parents and guardians,
As we embark on another long weekend full of Ramandan observance, Passover, Easter, and other celebrations, we wanted to draw your attention to a few items on our website.
Did you know? When your child participates in the monthly fun lunches they are supporting other school initiatives at the same time? Through the fun lunches we build school spirit, foster a greater sense of community, and raise funds to support artistic programming at AFS. To learn more check out the AFS website: https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/AlexanderFerguson/about-us/news-centre/_layouts/15/ci/post.aspx?oaid=83812eea-9db0-4ec1-9aaf-3635e08c0745&oact=20001 Our next fun lunch is scheduled for Thursday, April 28. Deadline to order is before midnight next Friday, April 22. We will be enjoying Opa! We look forward to the joy and excitement this day brings to our classrooms. Thanks for your support.
Did you happen to see the results of the pruning that occurred at the front doors last Friday? Check out pictures at https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/AlexanderFerguson/about-us/news-centre/_layouts/15/ci/post.aspx?oaid=e1b96bd9-bc64-45a5-9874-5f44bdf59de5&oact=20001
We were thankful that Ms. Novak, our CBE OT, was able to meet with parents last Wednesday night to share some strategies and insight to assist our students with regulation, both at home and school. The ppt is available to view on our website, hhttps://school.cbe.ab.ca/School/Repository/SBAttachments/0d9d54a1-dc08-4733-a4b8-e90efaa5c845_SupportingRegulationParentNightApr2022AlexFerg.pdf as are the handouts that were provided. The large majority of parents choose to attend online rather than in person to our first hybrid event. As such we have extra handouts already printed. If you'd like a copy of one or all please respond to this email and copies will be sent home with your child (please provide child's name and room number).
In addition there are some amazing sketches, created by our room 4 students, available to be viewed online. https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/AlexanderFerguson/about-us/news-centre/_layouts/15/ci/post.aspx?oaid=93af0277-0956-46f2-848b-d030a1a57d7b&oact=20001 Check out previous newscentre stories for work from other classes. This years free family Stampede Breakfast event, as organised by school council, will be held on Friday June 10, mark your calendars now, we are hopeful all students and families will be able to join us for this tradition. Food's up at 8am! Check out the council page of the AFS website - part of the Get Involved tab. https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/alexanderferguson/get-involved/school-council/pages/default.aspx There are many ways to get involved. Please let us know how you're able to our support initiatives by responding to this email. Have a wonderful weekend. Your AFS administrative team,
Helen Sharpe and Matthew Littel
It's that time of year again, conferences! We look forward to spending time with all our families this week. If you have no already done so, please sign up for. a virtual conference using your CBE parent powerschool account. For more information you can access the CBE website.
Also this week you will be hearing that survey season is upon us. Students starting the Assurance Survey last week, other classes will be participating this week. We invite, and encourage, ALL grades 4, 5, 6, parents to please complete this survey and provide feedback for our school.
There is also our engagement survey, please take 5-10 minutes to provide us some feedback. This engagement forms the basis of our parent feedback on planning and financing for our next school year. By framing our SDP (School Development Plan) as the gateway to all our learning, we are able to establish a throughline from kindergarten to grade 6, across all grades and classrooms.
We look forward to examining the data and reporting back to parents soon.
Thank you for your time and attention to completing the feedback form.
Your AFS Administrative Team
Helen Sharpe and Matthew Littel
Good morning parents and guardians,
As you might have heard, we are no longer required to maintain single classroom cohorts, yippee!!! Starting this morning we have adjusted our entry plans. All grades 1 and 2 students came in their door in quick succession, immediately followed by the grades 3 and 4 classroom that uses the same door. It made the entry process faster, it made the hallways busier, it was a great morning. For morning and lunch recesses we have changed to grade cohorts. Grades 3-6 are outside from 10-10:15 and the first part of lunch, grades 1 and 2 are outside from 10:15 - 10:30 and the second part of lunch. We are "opening up" gradually, by going to grade group cohorts to allow students, and staff, time to adjust to groupings three times the size of what they have recently experienced, to apply social skills in a larger group setting, and to set everybody up for success in sharing spaces. Thanks for your understanding and support as we adjust to our "new/returning normal." If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please plan to join us for our council meeting tomorrow night, 6:30, online, the link is on our website, and will be shared via email tomorrow night as well. See you then. Your AFS Administrative Team Helen Sharpe and Matthew Littel
Thank you to our parent volunteers today who helped label and distribute all our rapid test kits and masks. As before, when you need/want more masks please let us know. The teachers have extras in their classes and will sent them home on request. As per the government and CBE announcements, mask wearing will no longer be required for our students starting on Monday. Families are encouraged to have conversations with their children to discuss their choices and the reasons behind how they will be moving forward. If you could please reinforce that some families will be choosing to continue to wear masks, while others will not. All choices will be honoured in our classrooms. Teachers will be reinforcing tolerance, kindness, and understanding. How appropriate that the first day of these new regulations coincidences with Valentine's Day! Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
As you know, further changes will continue to be implemented as the month continues. We will continue to follow guidelines as outlined by the provincial government and the CBE. We are very hopeful that our single classroom cohorts will be able to grow on March 1! Watch your email for further information from the CBE.
This week we also welcomed Mr. Littel to our building. He has had the opportunity to meet a great number of our students and is working to get to know more about each one of them. Both he and I are outside most mornings, please come and say good morning, tell us who your child is, help us learn a little bit more about each of our students and what's important to them.
Next week is a short one, only 3 days for students. There will be lots of changes and excitement. Sometimes those short weeks are especially hard for our young learners. With our own children we have used some of the strategies referenced here: https://www.ace.edu/blog/post/2018/04/20/5-simple-steps-to-build-empathy-in-students replace the word teacher with parent and you're set!
Enjoy some beautiful time together with your families.
Your AFS Administrative Team,
Helen Sharpe and Matthew Littel
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