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Principal's Message

Briar Hill Update - September 8, 2023

And here we are, already 2 weeks into school! Coming back to work after a summer of bliss can feel like a bittersweet transition. But once we open our doors to our students, the work and purpose here all makes sense once again. As a staff, we are so excited for this school year and hope the first two weeks for families have been filled with more excitement than nerves or frenzy. We so appreciate all the warmth we have felt from our families as we started the 2023-2024 school year.
We all have stories within us. Sometimes we hold them gingerly, sometimes desperately, sometimes as gently as an infant. it is only by sharing our stories, by being strong enough to take a risk - both in the telling and in the asking - that we make it possible to know, recognize and understand each other. 
~ Wagamese
We finished last year and started this year thinking about this quote and asking ourselves how do we build a sense of belonging for all at Briar Hill school. How does each unique person find their place in our community? How do we get to know each other so we can connect and better understand one another?
These wonders and setting our priorities, helped us as a staff decide to ground our work around the question, “Who are we?”. This question will allow us to consider ourselves as learners, who are we as a collaborative community, and to further investigate who we are as explorers, mathematicians, writers and so on.
As part of our beginning this year and to launch our work with this question, we, including staff are all working with loose parts to create a self-portrait and consider one word to describe ourselves. Having a task from Kindergarten, all the way to us adults is a concrete and tangible way for us to show students how we are all connected and what makes each one of us unique. Loose parts are small items such as buttons, bolts & screws, small pieces of wood that you use to create an image or idea. Our staff portraits have been shared on our school Instagram @briarhillschool but you will also see our entire schools’ portraits displayed in our school for our Open House on September 21st.
Open House & Welcome Back BBQ & Briar Hill School Council AGM
Please join us for an evening at Briar Hill where you have an opportunity to reconnect with familiar faces, and to welcome our new families to our school. With thanks to our school council, there will be a BBQ on our school compound from 5 to 7 pm. We also welcome families to pop into the school to say hi to their child’s teacher and see their classroom space. The school will be open for families from 4 to 7 pm.
For Kindergarten families, we will be scheduling a time to connect with the kindergarten team as your child is new to school and this provides an important opportunity to learn about your child. An email will be sent early next week with how to book this time.
For all families needing to sit down one-on-one with your child’s teacher, we will be booking times on the Friday, September 22 from 8 to 1 pm. An email will be sent early next week with information on how to book this time. Please note there is no school for all students on Friday, September 22.
Communication to Families from the School
We value open communication and hope to keep you informed around whole school information and any upcoming dates through a biweekly Briar Hill update. Most often this is sent out on a Friday afternoon. We also invite families to follow us on Instagram at @briarhillschool for updates, week ahead and school highlights.
If you have any wonders or worries about your child and their classroom, please reach out to your child’s teacher. During the day, they are busy in the classroom so it may take 24 hours before they can respond.
If it is urgent around a pick up, being absent or late, please call the attendance line at 403-777-6140 or email
Additionally, please do not ever hesitate to reach out to myself should you have any wonders or worries. Email is a great way to reach out (, scheduling a time to connect by phone works too, or I am also always happy to chat before or after school if convenient and/or can set up a time to meet in person.
Mrs. Bachert – Our music specialist
We are thrilled to have Mrs. Bachert continue as our music specialist this year. Mrs. Ali Bachert works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays at Briar Hill school. Students in grade 1 to 6 each get an hour and a half of music each week, and Kindergarten have 30 minutes of music every week. Please see Mrs. Bachert’s letter of introduction:Welcome Letter - Bachert.docx 
Volunteers Needed
We could use some extra support organizing our newly purchased (from Casino dollars) loose parts containers for each class. If you are available and love to organize, this job is for you!! Please email to sign on up.
We also are hoping for some support in re-wiring our computer cart. If Maria Kondo is your favourite person, then this would absolutely be a great job for you, and we would be ever so grateful. Again, email to sign up.
Upcoming Dates
Friday September 15              PM Kindergarten
September 18 to 21                Elder Shirley Hill Blackfoot/Hoop Dancing Residency – whole school
September 18 to 21                Scholastic Book Fair – Library/Learning Commons
Thursday, Sept 21                   Kindergarten Conferences/Open House 4 to 7 pm
Thursday, Sept 21                   School Council Welome Back BBQ 5 to 7 pm
Thursday, Sept 21                   School Council AGM – School Gym 7:15 pm
Friday, Sept 22                        No school for students
Friday, Sept 22                        Scheduled Conferences K to Grade 6 *email to come
Tuesday, Sept. 26                   Picture Day
Thursday, Sept. 28                  Orange Shirt Day
Thursday, Sept. 28                  Pizza Lunch – information to come
Friday, Sept. 29                       No school – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Wednesday, Oct 4                  Grade 6 vaccinations
Friday, October 6                    Terry Fox Run​

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Briar Hill School

1233 21 St NW Calgary, AB, T2N 2L8
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Elan La Montagne
Education Director
David Dyck
Patricia Bolger

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Morning Start
8:40 AM
3:30 PM
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