“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s
eyes for an instant?” – Henry David thoreau
While Calgary’s weather in February was the coldest on record since 1979, the
climate at Chaparral School remained very warm! Taking the month to focus
on community building through a variety of initiatives including lunch clubs and intramurals, helped us conquer cabin fever!
Our wide range of club offerings included activities like drawing, chess and
Rubik’s Cube. Taking part in club activities not only helped us manage a long
string of indoor recesses, but it also allowed us to meet new friends and work
with different teachers. We still have a few more clubs coming up in April and
In addition to our extra-curricular offerings, the month of February was also
warmed through our experience with Quest Theatre. On February 25, the
Quest team shared its performance of We are All Treaty People, with our
Chaparral School Community. Through music, drama, and puppetry we
explored the shared history of our ancestors. At the end of the performance we
all did a Round Dance. Curt, the singer and drummer was in the middle. The
beating of his drum was like the heartbeat of our community as we moved as
one in friendship and peace. Thank you to our Chaparral School Association for
providing funding for this excellent presentation.
February’s focus on community building was also taken up in classroom based learning as
teachers and students pursued a variety of tasks and held many conversations exploring the
concepts of empathy and kindness. Our walls are adorned with artifacts representing the
students’ thoughts and intentions for a compassionate school climate where everyone finds a -
sense of belonging.
On February 27, Pink Shirt Day, we made a visible commitment to stand up for a compassionate
future. Students and teachers continued their conversations by thinking pink as they read stories,
watched videos and had conversations that invited us to “enter for a brief time the wholly
different perspective of another person's consciousness,” (Maryanne Wolf, 2008). Perspective
and social consciousness are motivators for empathy, a key driver to human kindness.
We see our school as a great place to learn about, practice, and embrace qualities of
character and citizenship that we can carry with us into the world. As one of our Grade 2
students explains, “The time to be kind is at school, at home, anywhere is the time to be kind to
yourself and to your family… be kind to everyone anytime, anywhere.”
So far, our March events have included Student Led Conferences. Students and teachers put a
great deal of effort into preparing for meaningful and informative sharing sessions. We are very
grateful to the parents and guardians who joined us, showing invaluable support to their children
and our learning community as a whole.
Coming up, we are looking forward to our Teachers vs. Grade 6 Students versus Teachers
Basketball Tournament which will take place on March 20, and then of course our week-long
Spring Break! Please remember that Thursday March 21 is the last day of school for students.
Our return to school date is April 1.
March also marks the time when we initiate planning for 2019-2020. In the next few weeks, we
will send a survey request through email asking parents to let us know if they are anticipating a
change in school registration for their children going into K-6.
In April, we will design our staffing scenario for 2018-19. Staffing is intricately connected to
student enrollment; thus, it is extremely helpful for us to know ahead of time which students will
continue at our school and which ones might be moving or accessing alternative placements.
This month’s newsletter includes our regular features such as grade and subject based updates in
learning, as well as reminders and news from our School Council.
Wishing you all a Happy Spring,
Chris Buhler, Principal