Excerpted from our March Newsletter.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold; when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
While the wintery weather persists, our calendars remind us that it is, after all, March! This month we mark the official start to spring and we begin the process of ushering in the final faze of our school year. In March, we look forward to events like meeting for our last round of student learning conferences, taking our weeklong spring break and then returning in April with goals and strategies to help us finish our year well.
This newsletter includes previously communicated information regarding the student led format for conferences. The intent of sharing this news again is to reach those who might have missed seeing it when it was originally distributed through School Messenger. Student led conferences are a celebratory event at Chaparral. We have observed that this approach brings forth joy and confidence in students, as they take the lead sharing what they have learned, the tasks through which their learning has taken place, and the level of proficiency to which concepts, skills, and competencies have been developed. Teachers and students are working diligently to deliver an informative and enjoyable student led conference experience. We intend that parents and guardians leave the conferences with a keen understanding of how their children are doing at school.
March also marks the time when we initiate planning for the 2018-19 school year. During conferences, families will be asked to complete a feedback form, which will provide us with important information regarding school enrolment. In April we will design our staffing scenario for 2018-19. Staffing is intricately connected to student enrolment, thus it is extremely helpful to 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, news from our Parent Council, the Leadership Link and a few other information items. We have also included a very timely article by our assistant principal, Colleen Bratko, entitled Technology and Screen Time: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Indeed, as educators we recognize and value the ways in which technology can make learning possible and in many cases vastly enhance what we are able to do in the school environment.
At the same time, we realize that too much of a good thing, can result in negative consequences. At Chaparral, we are noticing more and more of our young students carrying mobile devices. Some of our students are spending far too much of their unstructured after school time playing online games, or using social media in ways that compromise their safety, confidence and opportunities to develop healthy and real relationships.
Please enjoy reading Colleen’s article and note that on April 5th, representatives from the Calgary City Police will host seminars at our school for students and parents on the topic of Online Safety. The student seminar will take place in the morning from 10:30 – 11:30 for students in Grades 3-6, and the parent seminar will occur in the evening from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in our school gymnasium.
Wishing my best and looking forward to seeing you all at conferences,