Jun 03
Principal Announcement

​Dear CN Gunn Families, 

I wanted you to know that I have been offered, and I have accepted a position as Principal of Dr. Gordon Higgins School, a Junior High School within the Calgary Board of Education.  The position begins on August 1, 2022.  Over the last three years, together we have overcome difficult circumstances, and I believe our school is more vibrant than ever.   I have loved my time at CN Gunn, and that's largely because of the outstanding commuity of students, parents,and school staff.   

In the next couple of days you will receive a survey asking your feedback on the selection of a a new principal, and I encourage you to participate in that process.  When a new principal is selected I will work hard to ensure the transition is smooth to the benefit of all students.



Colin McCracken


Jan 31
Principal Update: Monday, January 31, 2022

Dear Families of Catherine Nichols Gunn School,

This school year, like last school year, has not been what I would call usual or typical.   I do thank you for your patience with the various restrictions in place to make schools safer.   I do realize the limiting of field trip experiences does drastically change the school experience for our students.   The other part of school that drastically changes the experience is seeing parents in our schools, volunteering, dropping in, and attending in person at Student Learning Conferences. 


Field Trips

The Calgary Board of Education has recently made changes to their off-site policy regarding the vaccine exemption program, which means that more field trips have opened up to schools.   The school council, made up of parents in our school community, has fundraised, and given money to classrooms to fund field trips this year.  The only field trip not covered this year by the School Council, will be swimming (if we are able to attend).   The Grade 5 and 6 classes have now participated in two field trips this year, and I have asked the other grades to present me with field trip options for their students in the next week or so.   It is my intention to move forward with off-site activities that enhance student learning. 



As it has been almost two years since we've been able to welcome volunteers into the school I feel that many volunteer clearances that were once active have expired.  If you would like to volunteer with the school, but not sure if your clearance is still active, please contact the school to check.   Also, if you would like to volunteer, but know you do not have a clearance, please contact the school to find out more about the process.


School Council – Thursday, February 24th.

Over the last two years, all school council meetings have been online.   Though this has made it easier for some families to attend, by and large, the amount of engagement from the community has dropped.  School Council meetings occur on the last Thursday of the month, at 7pm.  Starting on February 24th, School Council will revert to in person meetings in the school's learning commons.   We are excited to welcome parents back into the school.  We have missed you, and really want your feedback on a variety of topics.    Please note, until such time as the health restrictions end, we will be asking that fully vaccinated community members attend, and we will be checking QR codes at the door. 


As mentioned above, your feedback is needed.  It's important to take the opportunity to get feedback on the various initiatives the CBE is putting forward, as well as initiatives that come from Catherine Nichols Gunn school.   At the February School Council Meeting we will be presenting information that will kick off our School Engagement Survey.  This presentation will cover a wide variety of areas that will allow us to get feedback on the priorities of our community.  


Student Learning Conferences – March 10th and 11th

Student Learning Conferences will take place on Thursday, March 10th from 4pm – 7:30, and March 11th from 8:30am – 12Noon.  These conferences will be in person with online appointments available for families who don't meet the minimum vaccination requirement, or for families who are not quite ready to return to the school.   


Upcoming Dates​

February 17th and 18th – Teacher's Convention (No School For Students)

February 21st – Family Day (No School)

February 24th – School Council at 7pm (Learning Commons)

March 10th – Student Learning Conferences (4:00pm – 7:30pm)

March 11th – Student Learning Conferenes (8:30am – Noon) – No School for Students

March 17th – Spring Concert

March 18th – Last Day of School Before Spring Break

March 19th – April 3rd – Spring Break

April 4th – School Resumes


Colin McCracken, Principal

Dec 14
Winter Weather, Report Cards, Winter Break

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This week the weather seems to have taken a turn towards colder temperatures.  We ask that you send your children to school prepared for any weather event that may occur.  Boots, mitts/gloves and hats are definitely needed, and for younger children you may want to send your child in a comfy pair of snow pants as well.  

When the weather reaches -20 degrees Celsius (with wind chill) or colder the school takes the following steps:

·      Teachers will be at the doors in the morning starting at 8:08am to welcome students in as they arrive, which means students will not be standing outside and lining up in the cold. 

·      If the weather continues to be -20 or colder (with wind chill) throughout the door, students will remain inside for recess and lunch recess. 

·      If the weather warms up, students will go outside for recess and lunch recess, which means they will need to put on winter accessories to be comfortable outside. 

·      If your child comes to school without proper winter attire, we will do our best to help them out 


It's Report Card Time!

 Report cards will be sent home with your children on Thursday, December 16th.  In addition to the paper copy, you may view a digital copy on your My CBE/Powerschool account.  


Winter Break

 We thank you for sending your kids to school each day healthy and happy, and we hope that they have fully enjoyed the first half of the school year.   Students will be on winter break from Saturday, December 18th thru to Wednesday, January 5th, with a return to school on Thursday, January 6th.


We would like to wish each and every one of you a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.


Colin McCracken


Jun 30
Happy Summer Everyone!

​On behalf of the entire staff of Catherine Nichols Gunn School I would like to thank you for your continued support through this past year in keeping our community safe.   I hope everyone has a restful, safe, and happy summer.

Return from Summer Break – Office Open and First Day of School: August 17, 2021

The school will be closed during the summer break, and the office will be open again on August 12th from 8am – 3:45pm.

The first day of school for the 2021-22 school year will be August 17th.  As mentioned before we will be returning to the modified calendar.  For the current school year, we had two entrance times as we managed Covid-19 restrictions.   We know this was challenging for some families, and we thank you for your perseverance and helping us keep the school safe.   Next year we will be having only one entry and exit time, we will maintain our three lunch breaks, and grade teams will have a shared recess time.   The times are as follows:


Monday thru Thursday

Entry Time:                 8:18am

School Start:                8:20am

Lunch 1:                       11:10am – 11:55am

Lunch 2:                      11:55am – 12:40pm

Lunch 3:                      12:40pm – 1:25pm

Dismissal:                    3:04pm



Entry Time:                 8:18am

School Start:               8:20am

Nutrition Break:          10:00am – 10:10am

Dismissal:                   12:05pm

You will be notified of which lunch break your child has after August 12th

Kindergarten Start of School

We are very excited to welcome our new Kindergarten families to the 2021-22 school year.  Mr. Hefler and Mrs. Way will be contacting families when they are back on August 12thregarding your specific schedule, but the general schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, August 17th:  This day is reserved for the teachers to have one on one interviews with parents and children.  This is your opportunity to share everything you know about your child's learning, to ask questions, and to meet the teachers.


Wednesday, August 18th:  Half of the students will attend a full day

Thursday, August 19th: The other half of the students will attend a full day.

Friday, August 20th:  All Students will attend the full day (which is an early dismissal Friday)


We hope you all have a relaxing break, and we look forward to seeing you all in August.


Mr. McCracken


Jan 07
January 11th Return to In Person Learning

Dear Parents and Guardians of Catherine Nichols Gunn School,

To start, thank you so much for all your support this week with Scenario 3 (At Home Learning).  We definitely prefer to see your children in person, but I know everyone has had a good week of learning at home.   As you know, the government has made the decision that students will return to in person learning on Monday, January 11th.    Please find attached here an updated version of our School Re-Entry Plan  that was originally sent out at the beginninig of the school year.  I encourage you to have a read.   All previous measures will continue to be in effect, and it's a good idea to have a reminder.

Some important information includes:

  • Every morning please complete the health checklist with your child.  We ask that students and staff do not come to school if they have symptoms or are sick. Please communicate with the school all absences and we can discuss the processes with you.
  • Masks are mandatory while at school.   Please see the mask guidelines listed in the re-entry plan.
  • To limit congestion at the beginning and end of day, we do have staggered entry and exit times.   Please make note of your child's entry/exit time, and the door in which they enter.  It is listed in the entry plan, and has not changed from December. 
  • We ask that students arrive just before their entry time, and that once they arrive they line up, wearing a mask, and are 1 metre apart.  
  • Each homeroom is considered it's own Cohort.  Cohorts learn together, and do not mix with other cohorts for the learning day, including recess and lunch. 
  • Playground Structures:  To ensure that cohorts do not mix while at school, the playground structures on the north and south side fo the school are closed before school, and after school until 3:30pm.  The playground structures are part of the rotation of outside spaces during the day. 
  • Hand hygiene is very important.  Hand sanitizer stations are in every room, and at every entrance.  Sinks with hand soap are in every room, except for the learning commons.  We ask that all staff and students clean their hands when entering the building, when leaving any area, and when returning to the classroom.
  • When possible, and if weather permits, Physed will occur outside, so students should be prepared for this. 
  • Touchpoints in the school are cleaned and sanitized throughout the day, and processes are in place to ensure learning materials within classrooms are cleaned.

Return to School After International Travel

If you have travelled outside the country during the holdiay, we have been asked to remind you of these policies.

Students and families who have travelled outside of Canada are legally required to follow all provincial and federal travel restrictions upon arrival.

If your family is participating in the International Border Testing Pilot Program, your child may not return to school until they have tested negative on a second test 6 or 7 days after your arrival. 

If you are not enrolled in the pilot program, your child must:

This means nyour child is unable to return to school for a minimum of 14 days after your return. 

We look forward to seeing everyone on January 11th, and would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Safe, Healthy, and Happy New Year. 

Colin McCracken, Principal​

Aug 26
Staggered Entry - School is Back

First Day Back

To assist in adjusting to new rules, practices and procedures our school will welcome students back on a staggered schedule.  The purpose of the schedule is:

  • To ease the transition of students into school,
  • To spend time with smaller groups familiarizing them with our school health measures,
  • To facilitate physical distancing while teaching the protocols of our health measures.

We are sharing the schedule with you now to aid in the planning all families engage in as the start of the school year approaches.  More details will be provided to you around our specific measures on August 28th.

During staggered entry, students will follow the same routines as they would on a day when everyone is attending, just fewer students. 

September 1:  Those with last names beginning A-K will attend.  If there are younger siblings with a different last name, they should attend with their older siblings. 

September 2:  Those with last names beginning L-Z will attend.  If there are younger siblings with a different last name, they should attend with their older siblings. 

To decrease congestion during entry and exits, bell times are slightly staggered for the duration of the school year.  

Schedule 1:  Kindergarten, Grades 2, 3, 4

  • 8:08am:  Soft Entry
  • 8:10am:  School Start
  • 2:53pm:  End of School Day

Schedule 2:  Grades 1, 5, 6

  • 8:18am:  Soft Entry
  • 8:20am:  School Start
  • 3:03pm:  End of School Day

Students will be exiting through the doors in which they arrived. Siblings should pick a suitable meeting area outisde the school.

We undertstand that first days of school are an exciting and sometimes nervous time.  We ask that parents say their goodbyes outside, and wish their children a great. day.  Parents should plan on meeting their children at the end of the day outside, and not plan on meeting students inside the school. 

Lunch:  More information will be coming out on August 28th around lunch, but please note that students will have lunch in their homerooms within their cohorts.  There will be three lunch periods to accommodate social distancing and sanitzing.  A more detailed explanation is coming on August 28th. 

September 3:  All students, as per the schedule above. 

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact me.


Colin McCracken, Principal​

Jun 03
Congratulations to Mrs. Chastko

Dear Parents and Guardians,
I am pleased to announce that Michelle Chastko, has been offered the Principal position at Rosemont School.  The position will begin for the start of the 2020-21 School Year.  Though we are very happy for Mrs. Chastko and this well-deserved opportunity, she will definitely be missed at Catherine Nichols Gunn School.   Over the last 4 years Mrs. Chastko has worked very hard to support students, families and staff.  The families, students and staff of Rosemont School are very fortunate to have such a caring and hard working individual as their Principal.
This of course means that Catherine Nichols Gunn School has an Assistant Principal vacancy.  As we know more about this process, we will be happy to communicate with you.
Colin McCracken
May 22
Move to Traditional Calendar 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,
Due  to the ongoing health risk of COVID-19, the Calgary Board of Education has made the decision to move all modified calendar schools and programs to the traditional calendar next year.  This means our first scheduled day of classes will be Tuesday, September 1, 2020.   Catherine Nichols Gunn School has operated on the modified schedule for many years.  Please know the decision that was made for the 2020-21 school year was not based on the merits of the modified calendar, and is only made due to the ongoing health risk.
The safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance, and we look forward to welcoming back our students as soon as it is safe to do so.  More information about the re-entry plans for next school year will be provided later this summer.
If you would like to see a template for the traditional calendar, you may see it here. Traditional Calendar.  Please note that the specific school calendar will have slight variations, and in the next week you can expect to receive an updated school instructional calendar based on the traditional schedule, as well as updated bell times.   This means, due to a later start, that we will follow the shorter winter and spring breaks of the traditional calendar, and the usual fall break following Thanksgiving will not be a part of the school year.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.  Please see our school website for more information, including some frequently asked questions.
Colin McCracken, Princpal
Apr 24
Missing You

​Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,

We have now reached the end of the third week of Ongoing Learning as per the order from the Minister of Education.  Teachers and students are gathering via Google Classroom and Google Meet to ensure the essential learning outcomes are met to ensure that students are as prepared as possible for the next school year.  We understand that everyone's access to materials, and context at home is different, and we wanted to let you know that we thank you for all you are doing at home to support learning.  We know that your main contact during this time has been your child's teacher, but we wanted to let you know that the school is open should you require support.  We are happy to support you with technology concerns, accessing programming, and where possible can assist and direct you to needed community supports. 
If you have a child who will abe attending Kindergarten next year, and are unsure of the registration process, please call the school or visit the link at https://www.cbe.ab.ca/registration/registration/Pages/default.aspx
A few weeks ago we sent families a list of possible supports, and wanted to send it again in case your family situation has changed.  We also recognize that you are receiving a ton of emails, and wanted to make sure this information was present and available.
Alberta 211 |can be accessed via the telephone (dial 211) or by the website
The Calgary Food Bank | will be temporarily closed for part of the week of March 16-20. Families needing urgent food support are to access help via Alberta 211. Food hampers can be requested from the Calgary Food Bank by calling 403-253-2055.
Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids | is offering a $30 grocery gift card for any child who has recently received a free lunch at school through Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids.  Visit https://bb4ck.org/help/ or https://bb4ck.org/ and click the green "Need Food Support" button at the top.  This will require families to complete information online so that the gift card can be mailed to you.  
Calgary Co-Op | is offering Care Packages containing non-perishable food essentials, free of charge, to anyone required to be quarantined as directed by a public health agency.  These care packages are available until April 15 and will be delivered to those affected in the Calgary-area.  To request a care package, please contact memberengagement@calgarycoop.com or by calling 403-219-6064.  You will need to provide your name, address, phone number and the start date of your quarantine, as well as your closest Calgary Co-op Store.  This offer will only extend as long as inventory permits.
Additional food supports can also be found at  Meals for Individuals in Need and Food Banks and Hampers.
If none of the above options are working for you, please do call the school and we can see if we can assist or direct you.  
Please know that your children are missed, and that your family is on our mind. 
Colin McCracken, Principal
Apr 02
Ongoing Learning - Parent Update

Good Day to all Parents and Guardians of Catherine Nichols Gunn School,
Being a modified calendar school, our first day back from spring break will be Monday, April 6.  As you know from emails prior to the break, and from emails from Chief Superintendent of Schools Chris Usih, we know that learning and “school” are going to look just a different than they have in the past as we move to  primarily an online format.   For some of our students, this will be an easy transition, and for others it will be more of a challenge.  Even though we will not be face to face or in the same space together, we will do our best to come together to create the best  possible learning environment within an  ever-changing situation.
As this is a stressful time for our community, we will try to make communication as clear and timely as possible.  We understand that access to technology may be an issue for some families.  The Calgary Board of Education is looking at ways to ease the burden on families.  Once I have that information I will forward it to you.  This may include the loaning of devices, or may include a scheduled pick up of print resources. 
On April 6th, while the school is technically open, the majority of teachers will be working from home, collaborating with colleagues and planning for a new learning experience for the students.  To be clear, no families should be coming into the school unless they have made a prior  appointment with the school office to pick up belongings or other materials for learning from home.  Office hours at the school remain the same as our regular school day hours, 8:30am – 3:00pm.  If you do require some learning resources, we can do our best to gather these for you.
What I Do Know Moving Forward.
Based on the directive form the Minister of Education, learning will be focused in the following ways:
Kindergarten to Grade 3:  Language/Literacy and mathematics/numeracy curriculum outcomes.
·         An average of five (5) hours of work per student per week.
Grades 4 – 6:  Language/Literacy and mathematics/numeracy outcomes, with opportunity to incorporate science and social studies outcomes through cross-curricular learning.
·         An average of five (5) hours of work per student per week.
Kindergarten to Grade 5:  Online Platform
-          The school has decided to utilize the Google Suite of Apps, which also includes Google Meet and Google Classroom.   Information regarding these platforms will be coming out early next week so that you as a parent can be ready for it. 
Grade 6: Online Platform
-          Teachers will be using course shells located within Brightspace by D2L, but will be presenting that information through the Google Suite of Apps, and Google Meet and Google Classroom.  Grade 6 Provincial Achievement Tests for this school year have been canceled by Alberta Education.
Here is what can be expected in the coming days:
Monday, April 6:  Teachers will be extremely busy, learning about the online platform and collaborating with colleagues.  We want to make sure we have uniformity and consistency among teachers when it comes to delivering content the way that Alberta Education has outlined.  Teachers will also begin to contact families, by email and by phone to clarify your situation in terms of technology, checking on your child’s well being and learning of any other concerns you may have, that we may be able to assist with.
Tuesday, April 7:  Teachers will continue to contact families, plan within their grade teams, and put forward plans to ensure a continuity of learning based on the requirements of Alberta Education.   On this day, teachers will also be reaching out as to what their online environments look like, providing you the parent, along with your child, the needed information to log onto the platforms, along with a schedule for learning.
Wednesday, April 8th and Thursday, April 9th:  You can expect that teachers will begin to engage your child in online learning opportunities through Google Classroom and Google Meet.  
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s learning, please contact your child’s teachers.  The majority of them will be working from home, but will be accessible to communicate with you through email.
Myself, and sometimes Mrs. Chastko, along with a small office staff will be here at the school.  Feel free to call the school office, and leave a message.  If we are unable to answer, we will get back to you as soon as we can. 
As is our motto:  Be Brave. Be Kind. Be Strong.  We will continue working within the spirit of this motto to provide ongoing learning to our community.
Colin McCracken – Principal, Michelle Chastko – Assistant Principal, and all the Staff of Catherine Nichols Gunn School.
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