|Briar Hill First Day Information |
We hope everyone had a wonderful Summer Break. This week is very exciting for our Briar Hill School community as we are thrilled to welcome students back to the building!! You should have received your child's welcome email from their teacher. Please know teachers have been busy planning and preparing for Wednesday, September 1st and cannot wait to meet your child. If your child is with a teacher they were not expecting, please give your child time and the opportunity to meet new children. Usually after a week, they have settled right in and met some amazing new friends.
All staff will be outside on the field and compound starting at 8:30 am, ready to greet your child. We want to honour this day for our students, and follow CBE re-entry protocols and therefore we kindly request all parents say good bye to their child(ren) outside of the building.
If your child is in Kindergarten, you will be meeting at the front of the school on your staggered entry day.
New Music Teacher – Ms. Komori
My name is Tanya Komori and I am excited to teach your child music this year and be a part of the Briar Hill Community. My hope this year is to create space for your children where they will learn the rudiments of music, grow in appreciation of all forms of music and become composers and creators of music. I believe music allows us to connect what is going on in the outside of our lives to the inside of our lives and vice versa. If you have any questions or need to contact me, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at the school. I look forward to meeting you and your children!
Please read the following information to ensure we have a calm and successful first few days of the 2021/2022 school year.
Thank you for supporting your child's return to school by sending them with a mask, backpack, water bottle, healthy snack and lunch, if they stay at school. It is helpful to send a few extra masks in their backpack.
Similar to last year, students will have designated doors to enter and exit the building. They will learn and practice these doors during the first few days back so it is familiar. Students and staff will practice hand hygiene by washing their hands and/or using hand sanitizer when they enter into a new space, as well as before and after eating. Lunch will be eaten in their own classroom and students will remain with their classroom cohorts.
All CBE schools will continue with enhanced cleaning, with a particular focus on the high touch points areas.
At this time, Parent/Teacher conferences and School Council will remain virtual. Our first School Council meeting is September 15th at 7 pm. An agenda with a meeting link will be sent out closer to that date.
You will receive a back to school package on the first day with important information and forms to be completed. We apologize ahead of time for all the paperwork. You will need to return the demographic form regardless of changes, and the media consent form. The Student Health Plan form should only be completed if required.
We remind you to keep your child at home if they are unwell, and to follow the Health Checklist as attached:
We ask that parents please call (403-777-6140) or email (email@example.com) the school if they have questions rather than coming into the office. If your child is going to be absent, late or leaving early for an appointment, please inform your classroom teacher and the office. Please hit extension 1 for the absentee line. If you are picking up a child during the day please call the office ahead and we will have them ready to go. Thank you in advance for your on-going support.
Upcoming September Dates
|Wednesday, September 1st|
First day back for Gr 1 to 6 students.
Kindergarten – staggered entry Weds & Thurs
|Monday, September 6th||No School – Labour Day|
|Wednesday, September 15th||School Council AGM 7 pm|
|Thursday, September 23rd||Parent/Teacher conferences - evening|
|Friday, September 24th||Parent/Teacher conferences|
|Thursday, September 30th||National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – no school|
We look forward to a wonderful school year!!
Briar Hill Staff
June 9, 2021
Dear Briar Hill Community,
I am thrilled to introduce myself as the new Principal of Briar Hill school starting in September. I am honoured to be joining the vibrant, beautiful and caring community of Briar Hill. I look forward to working closely with Stephen Hart and Danny Cooper to ensure a smooth transition for the community.
During my career in the CBE, I have many diverse school experiences from Kindergarten to grade 9 settings with a strong background in early childhood education. Currently, I am the Assistant Principal at Griffith Woods, a K to 9 school in the SW and previously the Assistant Principal at Hillhurst School. My teaching experience included Riverside Science School (formerly Langevin), Captain John Palliser and Elbow Park.
I bring a strong passion for teaching and learning, along with a willingness to listen carefully in order to maintain the integrity of the great work already being done. In my own practice as an educator and leader, the rights of the child, are at the core of every decision. I believe in a highly collaborative approach, involving students, staff and the parent community and therefore my beginnings will be to understand who you are and how I can best support and enhance the work at Briar Hill.
I will be meeting with David Dyck, our Education Director, next week to review the input provided by families to ensure I am responsive to the needs of the community.
I look forward to meeting all of you and being part of the very special community of Briar Hill. In the meantime, if you have questions or would just like to reach out and say hello, you can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elan La Montagne
Dear Parents & Guardians,
It is with mixed emotions that I inform you that the 2020-2021 school year will be my last as Principal of Briar Hill School. June 29 will be my final day with students. This was not an easy decision, but I have ultimately decided to refocus my time and energy in order to pursue new professional and academic opportunities. The timing of this announcement provides ample time for the CBE to recruit a successor and support a smooth transition at the end of the school year. I will start connecting with students about this change as early as next week.
As I reflect on my last four school years with Briar Hill School, I will remember the amazing students, the incredibly supportive parents, and the exceedingly talented staff that I have had the privilege of working alongside. Please know that I am extremely honoured and humbled to have served as the leader of such a remarkable school community. I look forward to working with each of you over the next several months as we celebrate our shared journey and continue with our collective commitment to student success.
As we commence our holiday and look toward the new year, it is an opportunity to reflect on the year that is ending. Although the year 2020 has brought many challenges and a change to many of our normal activities, it has also presented many opportunities. I want to express my sincere appreciation to the Briar Hill School community for your ongoing commitment to student success and for your steadfast support during challenging times. Your ongoing patience and perseverance throughout our shared Covid-19 journey has meant that we have been able to continue to learn and grow together. Thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do, to help keep our school healthy and safe. We are impressed with how students, staff and parents have adapted to changes in routines and health protocols. I want to thank our entire school community for what has been truly amazing assistance and support.
We are exceptionally proud that our school has managed to continue with charitable acts and seasonal celebrations this year. We want to acknowledge all of the giving that has happened, and continues to happen, at Briar Hill School this school year. To date, students and families have donated to the Canadian Cancer Fund through the Terry Fox Run, supported our veterans through the Poppy Fund, and collected winter clothing for families in need through our annual Jacket Racket campaign. As part of our ongoing commitment to our “We Care" motto, families are being invited to support the Calgary Food Bank during the month of January. More details about this initiative will be shared in early January.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have leveraged technology to continue our tradition of gathering as a school community to welcome winter with music and song. Special thanks to Ms. Gerla and Ms. Jordan for organizing our December caroling sessions. We would also like to thank everyone who joined the whole-school virtual winter gathering this past Thursday evening. It was wonderful to have so many students and families attend this special online event to share music and enjoy the company of others. Mr. Cooper was thrilled to have so many active participants.
As indicated on our 2020-21 school calendar, January 4 is a non-instruction day for students at our school. Our students will participate in at-home learning when classes resume on January 5. It is important to remember that at-home learning will look different from what your child may have experienced last spring. Please expect communication from your classroom teacher with specific information about learning expectations for your child during this time. Schools are scheduled to return to in-person classes on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.
From all of Briar Hill staff, we wish you a warm and relaxing holiday season, in the company of family and friends.
Stephen Hart Danny Cooper
Principal Assistant Principal
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As we arrive at the end of June, I would like to thank you once again for your continued understanding and support at Briar Hill School. Please accept our sincere appreciation for your patience and perseverance over the last few months of the 2019-2020 school year. We know that each of your challenges and triumphs during this unprecedented time have been unique and we commend you for embracing opportunities to learn and grow together.
We wish we were able to share more definitive plans for the fall. However, given our current context, we must add layers of flexibility in all areas of our planning. We continue to work on the details of what the next school year will look like for students and staff. More information will be shared in August after the Minister of Education announces which re-entry scenario schools will follow.
It is important to note that our classes are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Our 2020-2021 instructional calendar is now available on our website. As was the case this year, we anticipate having eleven (11) classes at our school in the fall. The following is our tentative grade/class configuration for 2020/2021:
This configuration may change by September depending on enrollment numbers at that time. We will share more detailed information about our configuration, including teacher assignments, in late August. You can anticipate a welcome email from your classroom teacher(s) prior to the first day of classes.
Again, we thank you for your ongoing support. We deeply value your contributions to our community of learners. On behalf of the entire Briar Hill School, we wish you all a safe, joyful, and healthy summer.
Briar Hill School
I hope that this message finds you and your family managing these challenging times as best as possible. Please know that the Briar Hill School teaching team is incredibly grateful for the support you have been providing your children as they learn at home. Please accept my sincere appreciation for the time, energy and patience you have offered your children over the last seven weeks.
In addition to helping teachers provide ongoing learning in the areas of literacy and numeracy, we acknowledge that supporting wellness is a fundamental component of parenting at this time. The Briar Hill School team is passionate about sharing meaningful learning experiences, but are also trying to be mindful that parents have a lot on their plate. We don’t want to overwhelm you or add to any stress you may already be experiencing. We are all coping with a way of life that necessitates more than ever that we take care of ourselves and our families. We know that everyone’s situation is unique and we want to be respectful of that. This is precisely why I have been, and will continue to be, cautious about my communication with you. When it comes to structured learning, do what works in the context of your home and always make health and wellness a priority. Learning should be enjoyable. That means for parents too. As we work to deliver education content within the parameters set by our province, we aim to support and guide you, not overwhelm you.
Whatever your situation, it is important to recognize and acknowledge your circumstances. Remember to take care of yourself so you can take care of those around you. COVID-19 has upended the world for all of us. Remember to pause, and breathe, and let yourself notice the exquisite gifts that can be found in the midst of this global pandemic. Maybe now is the time to think about those things that are most essential, and to think small. Sometimes the magic lies in the tiny, subtle moments that make up the fabric of our days. Be sure to stop and find joy in the time you have with your children. These individual moments, strung together, will become a strand of special memories from this unique time in our history.
As you know, information about the COVID-19 situation changes daily and it impacts our lives greatly. Please stay connected and visit our jurisdictional homepage
regularly for updates pertaining to all CBE schools. If time permits, I encourage you to read our May 2020 Newsletter
to familiarize yourself with some of the recent happenings at Briar Hill School.
This month, it is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Mr. Danny Cooper to the position of Assistant Principal (AP) effective May 25, 2020. Mr. Cooper is currently the acting AP at McKenzie Highlands School, where he has also served as Learning Leader. He brings with him a portfolio of diverse experiences within the CBE. This includes various teaching and leadership placements at elementary, middle and junior high schools. Please join me in offering a warm welcome to Mr. Cooper. Click here
to learn more about Mr. Cooper.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please let me know and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Dear Parents & Guardians,
I hope this email finds you and your family healthy and in good spirits. We greatly appreciate your patience, support and understanding as we work out the details and determine what a continuation of learning will look like for our students.
It is important for learning to continue during this time away from school and Alberta Education has been clear with its expectations about where we must focus our efforts. They have shared guidelines
to direct student learning while in-school classes are cancelled. Consequently, our teachers have been busy determining what content will need to be covered based on remaining curricular outcomes and have started planning tasks that are reasonable to do from home.
Beginning today, your child's teacher will connect with you to discuss technology access in your home, including access to a computer and the internet. We are also making a plan to address the needs of students without these resources. In addition to collecting this information, teachers will also start the process of sharing plans for your child's ongoing learning at home. This will include establishing an ongoing communication schedule and a feasible content delivery strategy. For the most part, we expect that students will be engaging with their teacher regarding next steps in their learning by the middle of this week. By next week we will work towards establishing more predictable routines in terms of communication and content delivery (use of email, blogs, Google tools, etc.).
We recognize that learning at home presents many challenges for our families. We do not expect parents to deliver the same learning that students receive at school, but to do whatever they can to encourage and support learning for their children while classes are cancelled. We do not intend for this to be a stressful undertaking for students or parents but we want to stay connected to our students and create some daily routines that will provide some continuity and stability. First and foremost, take care of your family to ensure they stay healthy and safe. If necessary, we encourage you to connect with wellness supports and resources available within our city.
We understand there has been plenty of uncertainty about what learning is going to look like moving forward. I can assure you that we are going to continue to work on key learning outcomes at-home within the parameters established by the province and CBE. As always, we will strive to work together to support your child's learning.
It is with mixed emotion we announce that Ms. Robin Halbert
will be leaving Briar Hill School at the end of December. Although we are sad to say goodbye, we are
filled with gratitude for having had the opportunity to share in a journey of
learning with such a remarkable educator. In her position as our Assistant
Principal, and throughout her teaching career, Robin has inspired and supported
students and colleagues to reach their best selves. Her unwavering belief in children as
curious, capable and wondrous citizens has been central to all of Robin’s
teaching and leadership roles. We know her love for education will continue as
she embarks on new adventures on the west coast. Please join me in
congratulating Robin on her 33 years of remarkable service to the Calgary Board
of Education. Robin, you leave an indelible mark on all of our hearts.
As we commence our holiday celebrations and look
toward the new year, it’s important to remember that the need for charitable
donations is constant, not seasonal. Consequently, I want to acknowledge all of
the giving that has happened, and continues to happen, at Briar Hill School
this year. To date, students and families have donated to the Canadian Cancer
Fund through the Terry Fox Run, supported our veterans through the Poppy Fund,
and collected winter clothing for families in need through our annual Jacket
Racket campaign. As part of our ongoing commitment to our “We Care” motto,
families are being invited to support the Calgary Food Bank during the months of December and
January. For the next two months, non-perishable food items and essential
baby/infant supplies will be collected inside the front entrance of our school.
In early February 2020 we will donate all items to the food bank.
Parents and guardians are reminded that our
first term report cards will be sent home this week. You will notice a few changes on your child's first report card, including
changes to the way in which Mathematics is reported. These changes are intended to more clearly
define student achievement in mathematics. A new parent resource called How is My Child
Doing in School provides detailed information about the many ways schools
communicate how and what your child is learning, and how student achievement is
communicated to you on report cards.
Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled for the evening
afternoon/evening of December 12 and the morning of December 13. As was
previously communicated, conferences can be booked online through MyCBE/PowerSchool.
On December 17, all
children in grades K–6 will be attending the Alberta Theatre Project’s
performance of The Lion, the
Witch and the Wardrobe. Consent forms for
this trip were sent home the first week of December. Thanks go out to Briar
Hill School Council for generously funding this excursion.
As indicated on our 2019-20 school calendar, December
13, December 20 and January 6 are non-instruction days for students.
From all of Briar Hill
staff, we wish you a warm and relaxing holiday season, in the company of family
After two months, staff and students of Briar Hill have settled nicely into routines and engaging learning and community opportunities. The end of September brought the Terry Fox Run, with students surpassing our fundraising goal. It is wonderful to see the way in which our school community comes together to contribute to events of common concern such as this. In October, we welcomed Poet Miranda Krogstad, who presented at a whole school assembly, enticing our students with the world of poetry. Students are eager to being working with Miranda, who will be in our school for ten days between November and January.
Prior to Thanksgiving Day, teachers and students reflected on the things that they are thankful and grateful for; family and friends consistently topped the lists for all. As a school, we are thankful for our engaged and supportive parent community and our kind and compassionate students. Our kindergarten children captured and shared what they are grateful for in a large format mural that graced our front entrance in October.
Hallowe’en Hey Day is always an October highlight for students, and this year’s pumpkin carving contest generated a great deal of interest. The results were announced on Friday, October 25. Sincere thanks go to our many parent coordinators and volunteers, as well as the Grade 6 students who designed the Haunted House.
As we enter November, we continue to feel thankful as we take time to honour and remember the men and women who have served, and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace. Our annual Remembrance Day assembly will be held on Friday, November 8 at 10:40 a.m.
The month of December will be a busy one at Briar Hill School, beginning with a day of storytelling by Jeff Stockton. Jeff will be telling stories and playing the harp to one or two classes at a time throughout the day on Wednesday, December 4. Jeff Stockton is an award- winning storyteller, Celtic harpist and recording artist. To learn more about Jeff, visit his website at http://www.jeffstockton.ca/.
Finally, all students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 will be attending Alberta Theatre Project’s production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on Tuesday, December 17. This trip is generously funded by the Briar Hill School Council; details will be sent home closer to the date.
Stephen Hart, Principal
Robin Halbert, Assistant Principal
Dear Parents & Guardians,
We hope that you had a wonderful summer and were able to spend quality time with family and friends. Our first week of school has been busy, exciting and fun. We are absolutely thrilled about the positive climate of learning that has been created in our building by students, teachers and parents. Please know that it has been a pleasure to welcome new and returning families to our Briar Hill School community for the 2019-20 school year.
Due to an unfavourable weather forecast, the Welcome Back BBQ, originally planned for September 10, has been cancelled. At this time, an alternate date has not been set. The first council meeting of the year will start at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10. All parents/guardians are welcome to attend this meeting. Please be aware that our Meet the Teacher conference sessions will take place after school on Thursday, September 19 and during the day on Friday, September 20. These scheduled conferences will be an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and learn about the upcoming school year. The online booking system will open one week prior to our conferences. In preparation, it is important that you create a MyCBE / PowerSchool account as this platform will be used for all conference bookings. Please see the following instructions: https://www.cbe.ab.ca/support/Pages/MyCBE-PowerSchool.aspx
On Friday, September 6, we held our first whole-school assembly. The purpose of our gathering was to build school community and to establish a tone that emphasizes kindness, respect and understanding. We look forward to supporting students as we work together to promote an inclusive and caring atmosphere in our school. Thank you for your contributions and ongoing commitment to our learning community.
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