Nov 23
Celebrate Success

Dear Altadore Families,

Thank you so much to all of the families who participated in School Conferences this week!  It is so nice to be able to see you to work together to celebrate successes, and to figure out next steps to address challenges.  The fact that we are not able to invite you into the school nearly as often makes us appreciate the times we can collaborate even more.  Our teachers are always open to phone calls and video conferences throughout the year.  If you have questions or concerns, please do not wait - it is almost always better to address issues before they fester.

It was a real treat to have 60 families attend our online School Council meeting on Wednesday.  We anticipated that there would be many of you who would like to have more information about how the school and the CBE have responded to the pandemic and in particular what actions have been taken in response to the positive cases linked to our school.  I felt it was a very positive discussion with thoughtful questions.  The outpouring of support for the teachers and the staff at the school was very appreciated.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Kelly Christopher
Principal, Altadore School
kdchristophe@cbe.ab.ca


Nov 16
Take All Precautions to Limit the Spread

Dear Altadore Families,

First off, I would like to thank everyone for the way we all pulled together as we worked through the first cases of having individuals at school while infectious with COVID-19.  I know that it can be quite disconcerting to know some of our students may have been exposed and disruptive to figure out the logistics of having your child isolate at home.  Nevertheless, as a community, we figured it out and did some learning along the way.

More than ever, it is important for us to take all precautions to limit the spread!

At our School Council meeting on Wednesday, I hope to be able to speak to the process of how decisions are made when there is a positive case of COVID - 19 at school, how it has evolved - even in the last week, and to be able to answer questions.  If you are interested, please plan to attend.  The link is below and I will send it out again on Wednesday just before the meeting.

Tuesday is the last day for donations to the Direct Donation Campaign - please contribute if you can.  Any amount makes a difference!  As we are having fewer field trips and residencies, we hope to shift some of the funds raised to purchase new technology, make a significant investment in literacy resources, and update some aging equipment.

We will have our Conferences on Thursday evening and Friday.  These conferences are even more important this year when we cannot have a Sharing Night or invite families into the school on a regular basis.  It continues to be our hope to provide you with as much information as we can about how your child is doing at school.  Please see below how to arrange for a video conference via Microsoft Teams.

As a result of the Conferences, there will be no school for students on Friday. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Kelly Christopher
Principal, Altadore School
kdchristophe@cbe.ab.ca


Nov 09
Remembrance Day

Dear Altadore Families,

As I reflect upon Remembrance Day coming up this week, I think about the ugliness and devastation of war and the sacrifices so many soldiers and their families made for the greater good. As teachers, we often work to help our students understand that these people were real, that they had hopes and dreams, that they were often scared, and that it was so very hard. At the same time they made good friends, laughed, loved, and worked together. In short, they were just like us.

Somehow, that seems even closer and more relevant this year, as we live through our own historic time. One day, others will study the COVID - 19 Pandemic and our response to it. I hope that when they do they will be able to see that we made sacrifices for the greater good, and did what needed to be done - just as we do when we remember our veterans and their loved ones made. I hope that our children better understand that many who have gone before us had hard times and that things did get better - just as they will for us. We will do this. We will do it better if we do it together.

This year we will not have a Remembrance Day assembly. All classes will be taking time to commemorate the importance of the day. Students will all receive a poppy and share in a moment of silence at 11:00 on Tuesday. We are happy to accept and pass on any donations for the poppies.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Kelly

Kelly Christopher
Principal, Altadore School
kdchristophe@cbe.ab.ca


Nov 02
What a Wonderful Halloween

Dear Altadore Families,

What a wonderful Hallowe’en Day we had on Thursday!  The students were so excited to be able to dress up and have fun.  They were proud of their costumes and eager to guess what all of the adults were.  For me, the highlight was to go into classrooms and see how hard they were working on their Hallowe’en activities.  There was so much learning going on!

On Friday, the teachers had the opportunity to attend several online professional development sessions related to best practices for teaching online and/or during a pandemic.  Talk about learning that is appropriate to the moment!

On Thursday, the provincial government provided a new daily COVID-19 symptoms checklist to guide when children can attend school.  We will send home a hard copy for your easy reference this week.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Kelly


Oct 26
Altadore Gear

Dear Altadore Families,

The first of the Altadore gear has arrived and many students were very excited to wear their new hoodies and t-shirts on Friday!  If you have not received your order - don’t worry.  The gear is arriving at the school as it is ready and it is only the first batch that has arrived so far.  Anyone who has Altadore branded gear is encouraged to wear it to school for our Altadore Fridays!  If you still want to order, don’t worry - the information and links can be found below.

On the advice of Alberta Health Services and the CBE, we will be reducing our outside cohorts to single classes effective Monday.  The purpose of this is to keep our classroom cohorts fully intact and to further reduce the chance of transmission within the school.  This means that at recess and lunch, students will only be able to play with children who are in their class.  We understand this will be difficult for a number of our students.  If this is the case for your child, please have them talk to their teacher and we will do whatever we can to ensure everyone is included and having fun outside.

As we work to limit contacts during the school day, we ask that you consider doing the same thing outside of school.  Our goal is to remain operational.  We know that suspending in-school classes has far more devastating consequences to our emotional and  psychological well being than the measures we are taking within the school context.  It is going to take all of us working together to get through this.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Kelly


Oct 19
Don't Let Your Guard Down
Last week was our first week of significantly cooler weather - and some changes to our school routines.  It is now the time of year when students will need to have a pair of shoes they can wear inside when they wear boots to school.  We continue to be committed to spending as much time as possible outside during the day, and ask for your help in ensuring your child brings winter clothing that will allow them to be comfortable outside as it gets colder.

We also know that the risk of transmission of COVID - 19 increases as we spend more time inside.  As Dr. Hinshaw says, this is not the time to let your guard down.  At school, we continue to work together to help each other remain vigilant, to continue to take precautions, and to limit the number of contacts each of us has throughout the day.  We ask that you do the same to help us limit the spread that seems to be gaining momentum in Alberta right now.  Thank you for everything you are already doing and for each decision you make to reduce the risk for us all.

Kelly

Kelly Christopher
Principal, Altadore School
kdchristophe@cbe.ab.ca


Oct 09
Thanskgiving

Dear Altadore Families,

As we head into this Thanksgiving weekend, all of the staff would like to let you know how happy we are to be able to work at Altadore School!  We are so thankful to be able to be back at work and to be able to see students every day.  The support and encouragement that comes to us every day means a lot as we navigate a new way of being at school.

On that note, during our Professional Learning Day on Friday, we were able to take time to really think about how to adapt our teaching to the circumstances we find ourselves in and how to make learning as engaging as possible this year.  Before in-school learning came to an end last March, there was a buzz in the school around the concept of “Embrace the Challenge.”  This is something we will continue to build upon this year and we look forward to sharing more with you over the coming months via our Weekly Update and at School Council meetings.

Kelly

Kelly Christopher
Principal, Altadore School
kdchristophe@cbe.ab.ca 


Oct 05
Welcome to October!

Teachers had a busy Professional Development Day on Friday. We spent some time ensuring Google Classrooms have been set up for each class in the event a child needs to be home isolating for a couple of weeks, a case occurs at school and a class needs to isolate, or in the event the provincial government decides to close schools to in person learning. Our goal is to be able to transition to an online environment smoothly.

If you have not yet heard from your child or their teacher about how to access their Google Classroom, that information should be coming to you shortly. Teachers may have added in some activities related to what they are doing in school. It is important to understand that this does not replace in-school learning. Unless a student needs to be at home for a significant amount of time, what you will find in a Google Classroom represents only a small part of what happens throughout the day at school.

In addition to the Google Classroom work, teachers also worked on Individual Program Plans for students who require them and started to look at data regarding the teaching and learning at our school. We will be using this data to inform our School Development Plan to address gaps and build upon our successes.

Kelly Christopher
Principal, Altadore School
kdchristophe@cbe.ab.ca


Sep 29
Google Classroom

Dear Altadore Families,

Thank you so much for all of the families who participated in our Conferences Thursday and Friday. We were so happy that using a(nother) platform worked so well and that we were able to meet and see so many of you! The teachers were extremely pleased to hear more about your insights about your children. They will be using this information to plan and refine their approaches for each of their students with the intent of maximizing their learning.

Regardless of the pandemic, and having more limited opportunities for face to face contact, we want parents to be informed about what is happening at school. We work hard to communicate with you in a number of ways including emails, phone calls, video conferencing, Iris, and Google Docs.

By the end of this week, each of the teachers will have set up a Google (online) Classroom, just as they did during at home learning last spring. The intent of these classrooms is to support students who must isolate at home for a few weeks, classes that must move to an online environment due to a possible exposure to COVID - 19 at school, or if the government decides we need to move to online learning in Scenario 2 or Scenario 3. To support online learning, teachers are now permitted to record short video clips of themselves teaching for use in Google Classroom. These videos may not portray any students in an identifiable way (i.e. backs of heads are okay - faces are not). A letter with more information is attached along with this School Messenger.

Have a great week! Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help in any way!

Kelly



Sep 15
What's New this Year?

Soft Entry 8:20-8:30

This year we will begin each day with what we call a soft entry. The goal of the soft entry is to ensure that students are able to come into the school with proper distancing and to ensure they are ready to begin the day at 8:30. We ask that students arrive at school no earlier than 8:20 and that they arrive in time to be at their spot in their classroom by 8:30. When they get to school, students should immediately come inside through their classroom door as there is no supervision outside. Different children need different amounts of time to get ready for the day, and you can use your knowledge of your child to judge when you need to arrive or you can ask your classroom teacher how it is going.

Students who arrive after 8:30 will need to come in through the main doors and they will be marked as late. If you escort your child to school, please be aware of others and ensure you are allowing for physical distancing.

Masking

As we began the school year, many, if not all of us wondered how our students would do with masking inside. One of our best surprises has been how well it has gone! Frankly, students have been keeping them on, and fidgeting with them much less than we had anticipated. In fact, many of them have been

Much has been made of masking policies from the CBE and the provincial government. In the end, our goal has been to establish a culture of mask wearing at Altadore School. In general, students and staff are wearing their masks inside except for when they are eating, drinking, or when phys. ed. is inside. This has been for a number of reasons.

Primarily, in our classrooms we are not able to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres, regardless of whether students are in classrooms with tables or desks. We also believed it would be easier to relax expectations than ramp them up should changes be required later on in the school year. Finally, we are also cognisant of the fact many families and some of

our staff chose in-school learning based on the understanding masks would be worn most of the time. Teachers are using their discretion and professional judgement to make individual accommodations as required. We will also continue to review and adjust our practice as we move forward and as we have more information.

Outside Learning

At Altadore, we have always had quite a focus on outside learning, accessing our gardens, and connecting to nature. Learning that COVID - 19 is transmitted less readily outside has prompted us to increase that focus. Right now, teachers are working to have students outside about four times a day - recess, lunch, physical education, as well as one other time. Sometimes it will happen more often, and sometimes less. All of the work that has been done over the summer to make our school grounds great places for learning is already appreciated. We are also in the process of buying things such as more clipboards and stools that students will be able to use outside.

As parents you can help! Please send your child to school dressed for the weather! We want to be able to be outside even when it is not as beautiful as it was last week! Layers are a good idea! If it looks like rain, don’t assume they will be inside all day. Drizzle and steady showers will not automatically mean there is an inside recess. Putting names on outside gear is essential. It won’t be long before a thin pair of gloves will be welcomed in the morning.​


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Kelly Christopher, Principal

Email |
kdchristophe@cbe.ab.ca​


Karen Pope, Assistant Principal

Email |
kjpope@cbe.ab.ca​​

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RT @KiddleCBE: Grade 1 students have been discussing - What makes a great community? Here are their super citizens. We can all learn a lot from our youngest citizens. #supercitizens #WeAreCBE https://t.co/hZuCYFmvSQ

RT @cranston_school: Staying connected across the school! We are all part of an invisible web! @patricekarst #WeAreCBE https://t.co/zKtzaAbVXJ

At the Nov 25 regular board meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to approve the closure of the National Sport School effective June 30, 2021. https://t.co/M0PHbcRRFS #yycbe https://t.co/C3ABwJE2aV

There will be a Board of Trustees public meeting today at noon for the consideration of closure of the National Sport School. Due to current COVID-19 guidelines this meeting will be held virtually. We invite you to stream the meeting online https://t.co/nvCl1fNgoJ #yycbe https://t.co/7HjNLpzKg8

The province announced important new health measures for all K-12 students in the province. We have shared this information with our families and more details will be provided in the coming days https://t.co/KTRPfzudvI #yycbe #WeAreCBE https://t.co/VTSdrZYg7L