Dear Parents and Students,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the past nine years. It has been an honour to serve as Beddington Heights' principal. I would like to inform you that I have made the decision to return to the classroom for the 2022 – 2023 school year and as a result, the school will have a new principal in the fall. It has always been part of my long-term plan to return to the classroom and I am making the move as my career continues to march toward retirement. It is now or never. I am looking forward to being in a classroom again and connecting with students in a more frequent way, supporting their learning and growth. It is an exciting prospect to return to where I started after spending the majority of my career in administrative roles.
Parent support in the Beddington community has been unparalleled, and it has truly been a pleasure to work with members of this community. I have appreciated the connections made over the years and am grateful for how open and approachable the parents have been in support of students. In addition to the support of the general parent community, I am thankful for the support of my parent council members past and present. In particular, I would like to thank the present Parent Council Chair Leisa Kwan and Co-chair Stefanie Steele.
I can honestly say every student has brought me joy during my time at Beddington. I enjoy the student daily greetings and interactions. The halls at Beddington have been a place of connection with students. The students give their best each and every day, and it has been a bright spot to support them as I have seen them grow academically and socially. Their potential is noticeable, and I am pleased to have been part of their journey.
I am leaving Beddington Heights with a very capable staff in place for next year. Our staff here is committed to student learning and to professional development in order to move practice forward. Students are their first priority. This is evidenced every day in the work I observe in classrooms. It has been a pleasure to be part of this amazing group of professionals. I would like to thank my administrative staff: Ms. Austin (Assistant Principal), Mrs. Cumming (Administrative Secretary) and Mrs. Potter (School Secretary) for their loyalty and support.
In order to inform the selection of a new principal at Beddington Heights School, Area 2 Education Director, Tori Healing, will be seeking input from staff, students and parents of Beddington Heights School regarding the leadership attributes you value in a school principal. A survey will be conducted by the Area 2 Office through a link that will be sent out sometime in the next couple of weeks. It will be shared via School Messenger and posted on the website. This feedback will be considered in the selection of a candidate and your input will then be shared directly with the successful candidate.
I look forward to our continued work together during the last few weeks of May and June.
Proud Principal, Beddington Heights
Feedback on the school Survey Regarding Planning and Budgeting.
The Calgary Board of Education conducts a spring survey to determine community perception regarding each school's budgeting and planning. This information is used to determine the school's next steps and is an indication of how we have responded to community need through the school year. Beddington Height's School Budgeting and Planning Survey provided us with the information below. The link to this survey was sent to you in March. It remained open for approximately 10 days.
This feedback is the result of 74 individuals who started the survey, and 25 individuals who completed the survey. 110 questions were answered in total and there was a 34% completion rate. Below you will see the information that was shared by the parents who either partially or fully responded to the survey.
The School Development Plan
The community found out about the School Development Plan in the following ways: 42.86% stated they learned about it from the school website, 39.29% were informed of the document through school messenger, 14.29% at parent council meeting. 17.86% heard in other ways. Of these 17.86%, four individuals responded they heard from an e-mail from the principal and one stated this was the first time they had heard about the School Development Plan.
Most individuals who responded felt that their child benefitted from the goals of the School Development Plan. 28.57 % strongly agreed and 64.29 % agreed. There were zero who disagreed, while 7.14 strongly disagreed, which equates to two respondents.
When asked if the learning of all students was reflected through the plan, 10.71 of respondents strongly agreed, while 75% agreed. Of those who disagreed, we saw 7.14% disagree, with 7.14% disagreeing strongly.
Comments that were related to the SDP and its effectiveness spoke about the vocabulary of the SDP, bringing to our attention that it appeared technical and that acronyms were not helpful for parent comprehension. Another comment related to a number of the x's not being filled in the percentage comments. This may related to the data being collected over a period of time, but does speak to our need to update our posted copy regularly with the information we have on the working copy.
Budgeting and offering of school activities
The second part of the survey related to the community's opinion of activities they wish to see continue and community support for those activities. Field trips were considered the most important in school offerings. Curricular enhancements and supplies were deemed the second most important item, followed by music supplies and transportation for field trips. The areas with lower response rates included Artist in Residence programs, guest speakers and clubs.
With regard to the activities that the school provides 74% of people strongly agree with the school's choices, 24 percent agree and 4% (1 respondent) strongly disagreed.
Parents felt overall that school fees were reasonable. Less than 10 percent of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that fees charged were reasonable. Comments associated with the question stated 1) it was difficult to determine based upon COVID restrictions. 2) Budgets should not rely on fundraising but should be based on funds coming from the government.
School surveys related to the school's Budgeting and Planning come out every spring.
Spring Literacy Celebration
For those who may have missed it, our Spring Literacy Celebration videos are posted on our website.
Principal, Beddington Heights
It is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of our friend and colleague Mrs. Gayle Paolini. Gayle worked at Beddington in excess of 15 years as our Library Assistant, and had been an employee of the Calgary Board of education for 25 years. Gayle had been experiencing health issues for sometime and was scheduled to return to work after a leave when complications occurred. She passed on March 11, 2022. Below you will find some ways Gayle shared the gift of her time at Beddington with us.
- She shared her passion for reading with children and staff.
- Read to the kids during on-line learning, so they would still have access to stories.
- She would buy books for students with her own money during the Scholastic book fair.
- Contributed to Christmas Hampers for families in need.
- Often brought items for students who required something “special."
- Was always willing to share words of wisdom and advice.
- Kept a positive attitude in spite of all the issues with her health
- Loved fashion, good food, wine, and a good laugh.
- She was very family oriented and spoke proudly of her kids and grandkids.
- She held firm to her religious and spiritual beliefs.
- Always available to help out students who needed an alternate space to work.
We are asking that parents share the news of Gayle's passing with their children according to each families beliefs and practices. The school will honor Gayle's contributions to the school later in the spring and we will keep families informed of our plans.
Principal, Beddington Heights
Thank you for your continued cooperation around COVID protocols and practices. The process has been hard for all of us. The pandemic continues to impact student and teacher absences, and is certainly keeping us on our toes. Substitute shortages are often being handled internally and this is impacting resource work with students that was previously planned. Our new teacher, Miss Scharlach, who was to begin in grade 5 this week, has had to fill in in another grade due to a teacher absence. This was to allow our resource teachers to get back to their important work after covering in classrooms. We will continue to look at scheduling within the school and try to maximize additional supports when and where possible.
Please note that we continue to follow AHS recommendations and I have attached the latest update to this message. If you have been called during the school day due to your child’s health, it may have been because of these guiding recommendations. I have attached a copy of the latest guidelines to this message.
Yesterday report cards went live electronically. We are no longer printing hardcopies to send home. These reports are located on your “My CBE Account.” For families who have not activated your account, please check your child’s back pack for instructions. These were sent home at the end of last week Please let your child’s teacher know if you are experiencing difficulty or have any questions regarding report cards specifics. Please know that Ms. Austin and I are here to support you once you have spoken with your child’s teacher.
We recently had our Pillars of Care assembly and introduced February’s pillar. The pillar for February is love. In the Seven Sacred Teachings, our Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers tell us that love is represented by the Great Eagle. Love is given by the Great Spirit, and is expressed through love of oneself. If we cannot love oneself, we cannot love others. In the Sacred Teachings to know love is to know peace. Our Pillars of Care assembly for February will be celebrated February 25, 2022.
Similar to last year, and in order to keep Valentine’s day an enjoyable day for everyone, we are asking that no Valentines cards or gifts be sent to school for distribution. This will also help with observing safety around COVID practices. Each teacher will plan a Valentine’s day activity in the classroom to celebrate the day. This will also hep to make sure that all students in the class are able to celebrate Valentine’s day equally.
February 23, is Pink Shirt day. Students and staff are encouraged to wear pink on that day to support anti-bullying. Please continue to look for CBE Cares messaging on the CBE website for updates related to initiatives supporting diversity. We will try to forward those to you, or include important information regarding this initiative in principal messages whenever we can.
Principal, Beddington Heights School
Pillar of the month – Humility
Congratulations to our Pillars of Care winners for November. In addition to our winners for Care for Self, Others, Place and Learning, we also celebrated our winners who exemplified courage. This was our fifth pillar. In the month ahead, we will be focusing on the virtue of humility. When we honor our winners, their names, accomplishments and photographs are posted in the school as examples of students who deserve and receive our recognition.
For me, humility is one of the most difficult of all pillars. As an adult, I am still learning about humility daily and trying to make it a regular part of my character. I wish when I was young that someone had impressed upon me the importance of this virtue. Humility can make life simpler, relationships better and can make individuals better leaders.
Humility is symbolized in the Seven Sacred Teachings by the wolf. Our Indigenous Elders and knowledge keepers tell us that wolves live in packs of three to seven. They must often give way to others to understand the needs of the pack may be more important than their individual need. It is symbolized in the sacred teachings as an important imparting of knowledge that occurs when there is an understanding that the reality of our actions has an impact on other humans or on the land. The following examples were shared with students at our pillars of care assembly:
- Humility is the loss of ego
- Humility is being humble and not arrogant
- Humility is a modest view of our own importance. It is shown by those that know the difference between self confidence and pride.
- Humility is shown by others that seek to add value to others and elevate them.
- Humility is shown by those individual who take responsibility for their actions and accept feedback
- It is shown by those that understand the limits of success and are filled with gratitude for what they have.
Students were given examples of how they might demonstrate humility
- Letting someone in line in front of you
- Letting someone else have the last piece of cake
- It is an athlete who credits her success to her teammates even though they themselves have a great skill set.
- It is someone who when they win an award credits their success to their relationships and their learning from others.
In the month of December we are looking forward to how humility will be modelled by staff and students at Beddington. Teachers and students will think about and share specific examples of humility in what they do themselves and in their classrooms. I look forward to hearing classrooms share examples of humility at our Pillars of Care assembly at the end of December.
Principal, Beddington Heights
Parents/Guardians, Nov 25, 2021
We have now received provincial Learning Disruption Funding in response to the COVID pandemic. This funding is meant to address learning gaps encountered by students related to absences and changes to learning that occurred during the 2020 -2021 school year. The distribution of funds was based on assessment information conducted during fall of this year and is focused on grade 2 and grade 3. We anticipate additional funding based upon the further assessment of grade 1 students in December and January of this year, which will see additional support for these students.
Beddington has now been able to add two additional teachers to our staff to specifically support grade 2 and grade 3 students. Please help me in welcoming the following staff members to Beddington Heights;
- Ms. Amanda Bankebabone who will be providing mathematics resource support.
- Mr. Kai Hsueh will be providing coverage for Mrs. Pokolinski's grade three class in order for her to provide literacy support to the grade 2 and grade 3 students.
These staff members will begin with us on November 29, 2021 and will continue with us until April 8, 2022. We will keep you informed of additional funding information as it becomes available.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.
Brian Hebert B. Ed. M.Ed
Principal, Beddington Heights
Good Afternoon Parents/Guardians.
Today we observed Remembrance Day from 10:00 am - 11:00 am here at Beddington Heights. Moments for reflection included the laying of wreaths by each grade in the Learning Commons; the Acknowlegement of the Land by Ms. Austin, honoring and recognizing the contributions of indigenous soldiers; the Last Post and the Call to Arms by Mr. Wiens. Mrs. Anderson also read the 11th Hour by Canadian author, Jacques Goldstyn. and a minute of silence was observed by staff and students. The school flag was flown at half-mast. We missed your presence today at our virtual assembly and are still looking forward to a post Covid welcome back for parents and the community. Due to your absence today, I have asked teachers to include a picture or two in their classroom blog, so that you will be able to observe students remembering this important day.
I have included my message to students from today's assembly:
Brenne Brown Educational leader and author stated, " choose courage over comfort, choose to be brave and scared at the same time."
Today we speak about courage. It is our fifth pillar this month, and we can easily see how it is connected to Remembrance Day and the courage that was needed and displayed in the face of fear. It must have been hard to do what was right. To stand up for what was right when it would have been easier to comply or walk away.
It takes courage to do the right thing. To be virtuous, truthful, and respectful. To pick up the gauntlet and say, "I'm not perfect, but together or apart, I need to do the right thing. To look for inspiration to have courage when it is needed.
Reflect and remember those who have gone before us tomorrow on Remembrance Day. Think about the courage you may have to call upon from deep inside yourself when facing adversity. Be brave and courageous enough to do the right thing when it is necessary. Tomorrow take some time to reflect together with your family or by yourself to remember this day above all others.
Principal, Beddington Heights
Please note: There will be no school on Thursday or Friday. Teachers will be participating in professional learning on Friday November 12, 2021
Re: Safety precautions at Beddington Heights School
The safety of all students and staff of Beddington Heights is of great importance. To that end, we have been working to establish appropriate safety measures for the various situations that may occur and affect our staff and students.
Fire drills are a long-standing expectation of everyone who congregates in a setting such as a school. We are required to have a minimum of six fire drills each school year. Our students and staff treat each drill as though it was the real thing and we are very proud of their performance during those drills. Teachers keep class lists with them during all drills and attendance is always taken. Parents or other visitors are expected to evacuate the building when the fire alarm is sounded.
It is a reflection of the changes in our society that we must add variations to our safety drills. We are going to practice a drill known as a “lockdown" on Monday, November 1, 2021 at 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.. The teachers will be instructing students regarding their role during a drill of this kind. No one is allowed to enter or leave the building during a lockdown procedure.
Our staff will be providing students with the following directions for our lockdown drill:
- There will be an announcement from the office to notify students and staff of internal lockdown
- All students will come in to a classroom with a locked door
- Staff and students wait quietly until the drill is over
As we continue to refine our school safety procedures, other safety precautions we now have in place include:
- Locking Exterior Doors, with access to the main office through a buzzer at the front door.
- Walkie-Talkies – have been purchased for communication when children are out in the school field
- A Fan Out Procedure – has been established to ensure clear and swift communication with parents in the event of an emergency.
- Visitors – are expected to register at the office
- Volunteers – must complete a security clearance and wear nametags at all times
- Substitute Teachers – are provided with emergency information upon entering the school.
- Teachers are trained in first aid and have thoroughly reviewed emergency plans with the children.
Please note: this lockdown practice will be in preparation for an unannounced lockdown drill to take place somethime after winter break.
If you feel that your child might become anxious or nervous during this drill, please provide them with the reassurance that lockdown drills and fire drills are regular parts of increasing safety for students in all schools. We appreciate your support in these very important matters. If you have any questions, please give me a call.
This past month at Beddington we have celebrated “respect" as our fifth pillar. This was the first pillar of the seven sacred teachings we have chosen to honour throughout the school year. In response to Beddington Heights commitment to truth and reconciliation, we pledge to acknowledge these teachings that many of our indigenous communities have adopted as important aspects of cultural growth. These are considered moral touchstones that can provide for admiration and understanding for all. Students received recognition of for their ability to show evidence of respect, as well as care for self, others place and learning at our first Pillars of Care assembly on Oct 1, 2021. This year students will be receiving new awards. Instead of ribbons, students will receive key fobs identifying the pillar they have excelled at. Look for these new awards as they begin arriving home.
Respect is symbolized by the buffalo. Respect is the first and foremost of the sacred teachings. This is particularly important as we celebrated Orange Shirt Day before the national Truth and Reconciliation day on September 30, 2021. Gloria Manitopyes, a CBE Diversity and Support Strategist was here to conduct a Smudge along with her colleague Deandra Nuefeld who performed a morning song, and read a story related to the meaning of orange shirt day at our outdoor assembly. Students continued their learning related to indigenous ways of knowing throughout the day.
In October we will celebrate honesty. In Indigenous culture, honesty is symbolized by the Sasquatch. Honesty comes from within and centers on being honest with ourselves. As we move through the year, it is our hope that students will continue to integrate these virtues into their repertoire and build upon their knowledge and skill sets for problem solving. We are very excited to see students practicing these virtues and we are very proud of the amazing individuals we see them continue to develop into. We have had a very successful month and start up in September and we look forward to your continue support in discussing these virtues at home with your child.
Unfortunately, due to enrollment changes in the school we have had to reorganize some classes. Mrs. Diduch's grade 5 glass will now be divided between Mr. Berry and the classroom shared by Ms. Sterne and Mr. Wiens. Students will remain in a grade 5 classroom but will be with new teachers. There may be a change to schedule. Teachers will inform you of different start, lunch and dismissal times. Changes will begin on Monday September 20, 2021. You should be receiving a message from your child's new teacher informing you of their placement by Wednesday September 15th, 2021. Please note that Ms. Diduch will remain in the school and will be teaching in grade 1/2 and will be available to provide support with your child's transition if required.
Thanks for your continued support of the important work we do for our students at Beddington Heights.
Principal, Beddington Heights
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