Oki - (Hello) Chaparral Families,
The first Indian Residential School in Canada opened in 1831. Located in Brantford, Ontario and referred to as the Mohawk Institute, the school’s main purpose was to eliminate all aspects of Indigenous culture. Over the next 160 years, Indian Residential schools would be established across Canada. They would directly impact approximately 150 000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children, disconnecting them from their families and culture and subjecting them to feelings of loneliness, sadness, and fear.
Through the courageous and persistent efforts of survivors and their descendants, Residential School stories continue to unfold. We are becoming more informed and joining our Indigenous friends on a critical journey of healing and reconciliation. We are compelled to face the past, to listen and learn with empathy, and to strive for compassionate and respectful relationships.
This week, from September 27 to October 1, students and staff at Chaparral School will recognize Truth & Reconciliation Week. We will explore and respond to stories by Indigenous authors and participate in activities inspired by Indigenous ways of knowing and feeling. Thursday September 30 is designated Truth and Reconciliation Day, and the official Orange Shirt Day. The date was chosen because that was the time of year the trucks and buses would enter communities to gather the children and deliver them to their schools. Because there is no school for CBE students on September 30, we will observe Orange Shirt day on Wednesday September 29. Everyone is invited to wear something orange to school that day.
The importance of including this topic in our curriculum is expressed by Hereditary Chief and leading Indigenous relations trainer, Bob Joseph (2019) who suggests, “It’s the next generation that is really going to carry change forward in Canada. If you have children in your life, the most important thing you can do is to raise informed, compassionate citizens.”
Throughout this week, teachers will keep parents apprised of tasks and discussions with students relating to this topic. Please acknowledge and continue conversations at home. As always, connect with teachers should you have questions, concerns, and/or need for clarification.
We are looking forward to this week. Our hearts and minds will be joined as we explore Truth & Reconciliation and what it means to matter.
Chris Buhler, Principal
Joseph, B. and Joseph, C.F. (2019). Indigenous Relations: Insights, tips, & suggestions to make reconciliation a reality. Indigenous Relations Press Page Two Books.
Dear Chaparral Families
It always seems impossible, until it is done.
A year ago, we were challenged to envision how we could do school in a pandemic. This week, we can say we did school, and we did it very well. We have proven our resilience, creativity, persistence, and compassion. Thank you everyone!
Please take a moment to read through some updates and reminders:
We are very sorry that we had to make a prudent decision to cancel the activity days planned for Monday and Tuesday. Mr. Van Roekel had planned creative and COVID safe experiences for students with a contingency for the possibility or rain, which is a more typical concern of Calgarians at the end of June. Little did we know we would find ourselves in the midst of a crazy heat wave. With temperatures reaching the mid 30’s we agreed with our health advisors that we needed to limit our time outdoors. With the restrictions we are still operating under due to COVID 19, we simply could not run the events inside. This said, teachers have once again adapted and offered alternative activities to make the last days of school enjoyable and worthwhile.
Grade 6 Farewell
Our Grade 6 teachers have gone above and beyond to ensure their students a joyous and meaningful farewell. A grade 6 only assembly was held on Friday, where students received their certificates and had fun opportunities to take pictures in various photobooths set up in the gym. On Monday, the grade 6’s shared an absolutely amazing celebration video with all classes. In truth, this is the finest such presentation I have seen in my years as an educator. I am very proud of our students and the many people who have contributed to their experience at Chaparral School. Along with their many memories, the students are leaving with keepsakes including a year book, a custom T-shirt they designed themselves, and caricature portraits.
The Last Day of School
Just a reminder that the last day of school is Tuesday, June 29th. It would be very helpful if you could send a grocery bag with your student to facilitate the transfer of materials back home.
Reports Cards are now available to parents through MyCBE / PowerSchool. Unless you specifically request, there will be no printed copies of report cards sent home. It is VERY important that you take time with your student to review the report card and celebrate the strengths expressed therein.
We are open and available to respond to appeals, questions, etc. until noon on Wednesday, June 30.
As we close this year we are saying farewell to some of our staff members, all of whom are like family to us.
- Lisa Reynolds, Library Assistant (2016-2021) has resigned from the CBE and is on her way to starting a new chapter in her life living in Ontario.
- Bethany Dittman, Literacy Support Teacher (2020-2021) has provided invaluable support to students and teachers this year, working under a part time temporary contract.
- Laura Bosma, Grade 1 teacher (2015-2021) has resigned from the CBE to move with her family to Vancouver Island.
- Tania Sablatash, Music Teacher (2020-2021) has provided COVID safe music experiences at Chaparral this year, working under a temporary contract.
- Dineen Brace, Trailblazer (2020-2021) has provided online instruction to grade 4 students in her Hub classroom this year, working under a temporary contract.
On behalf of the staff at Chaparral School, I wish you all a safe and happy summer break. The first day back to school for students is September 1, 2021. Please watch for information regarding school opening and class placements, which will be sent via email in late August.
Chris Buhler, Principal
Dear Chaparral Families,
“Let’s give this school year the opportunity to be awesome. Don’t throw a label or judgement on it before it begins. It may just surprise us in big beautiful ways.”
It is with the mindset expressed in the quote above, that we welcome our school community to the 2020-21 school year! Naturally, as we come together this year we will do so with many new routines, rituals and ways of being. These changes come as a result of our commitment to do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our communities.
We continue to receive revised and new information as we finalize our Chaparral School Re-entry Plan, which will be emailed to families on Friday, August 28. On the morning of Monday, August 31, you will receive an introductory email from your classroom teacher(s).
Today’s message communicates an aspect of re-entry that is time sensitive in terms of providing adequate notice to families as you plan for the first week of school. Please carefully read the information below regarding the staggered entry process we will follow on the first two days of school, Tuesday, September 1 and Wednesday, September 2.
Staggered entry information
feelings of gratitude, appreciation, and hope, we close this year of learning
at Chaparral School. Amid great challenge, our
community persisted. We looked beyond the familiar
and learned new ways to interact, to celebrate, to grieve, and to learn. As we
close the school for the summer, let’s all be assured, we did our best.
Here are a few
At this time
of year, we celebrate a bittersweet milestone in the lives of Grade 6
students. As their career as elementary
students ends, and they look forward to Junior High School, we wish them our
very best and thank them for being a part of our community.
we send our best thoughts to other students who will not be returning to
Chaparral School next year. Thank you for being a part of our community. You will be missed.
We extend our
best wishes to Mark Agar who has accepted a learning leader position at MidSun
School. Mark has served as a teacher and
learning leader at Chaparral School for six years. During this time, Mr. Agar touched many
lives, helped advance the school’s vision for integration of technology in
teaching and learning, and completed a master's degree. Mark will truly be missed at Chaparral
thoughts also go to Lauren Smith who has been placed at Dr. Freda Miller
School, located in the community of Evergreen.
Lauren completed her student teaching at Chaparral School, working with
Mark Agar as her mentor teacher. Since
graduating, four years ago, Lauren has filled a variety of teaching positions
at Chaparral School. Lauren leaves a
very positive mark on our school community, reminding us that we all
belong. We wish Lauren great success as
she joins her new team and helps build the culture and community in one of the
CBE’s newest schools.
One behalf of
the school staff, thank you to our School Council and Parent Association for
the gift cards presented to us. We know that
parents appreciate us. The feeling is
Thank you also
to the number of parents who shared appreciation through email messages. Your words mean a great deal to us as we
serve from our hearts.
Return to Learning September 2020
We are currently
planning for the preferred scenario of school opening as announced by Education
Minister LaGrange on June 10. In her
announcement, the Minister suggested that this scenario would see in-school
classes with health and safety protocols and practices in place. A final
decision on school opening will be made on Aug. 1.
We are ever
hopeful and always committed to our learning community. Our school is staffed, classes are organized,
and much thought is being given to how we will welcome students back to learning.
Please stay apprised of school opening and return to learning procedures
through visiting the CBE public website and/or the Chaparral School
May you have a happy and
Chris Buhler, Principal
from Chaparral School
Hello Chaparral Families,
I hope this
message finds you well. It is hard to believe that eleven weeks have
passed since the cancellation of in-person classes.
We have learned a great deal through the pandemic situation, and
will continue to do so. From the perspective of schooling, one of the
things we have learned most keenly is to appreciate the importance of being
together. The contributors to an OECD article that I recently read expand on
this idea, imploring us to remember the power of the physical world.
They explain that, “Children need to move, play, and actively learn. Humans
are social, and thrive with face to face connection. A hug emoji is not
the same as a hug.” We look forward to a time when our school will once
again be filled with students. Yet, as always, I am grateful to our parents,
students, teachers, and Educational Assistants for their very strong and
committed efforts in making the best of the ongoing learning situation.
Please read the
important information below that explains procedures and dates for closing
the school year, and outlines considerations for re-opening in
September. This information is expressed in a question and answer
format. I hope that you will connect with me, or your child’s teacher to
address any further questions or need for clarification you might have.
When does the 2019-2020 school year end?
continue to offer ongoing learning activities, connecting with students
and/or families up until the last day of “classes” for ongoing learning, June 26. Learning opportunities will continue to focus on formative
assessment strategies that address the big ideas/key learnings students will
need when they move to the next level of a course and end-of-year routines.
How will Grade 6 students celebrate their
Grade 6 teachers are working with students and staff to create a virtual
celebration assembly. Families will tune-in on Wednesday, June 24 at 3:30 pm.
The program will be delivered through Google Meet. While different from
what we might have expected, this program promises to be very student focused
and meaningful. This past week, Grade 6 students have been joining
virtual meetings with a caricature artist who we have contracted to create
keepsake portraits for each individual. We recognize that moving on from
Grade 6 indicates an important milestone for students. Our hope is that each
family will take part in the assembly and then do something very special with
their wonderful Grade 6 student.
How will I access assessment and reporting information for my
ongoing communication about what is being learned and how students are doing
in their learning is expected.
Report Cards will be
available June 26
for online viewing only. Report cards will contain summative indicators
for all courses. Marks in some courses will be based on a body of
evidence spanning from the end of January until March 15. For courses
that continued in the ongoing learning period, marks will be based on a body
of evidence spanning from the end of January until March 15, and then from
March 15 until the end of June.
Appeals Day – Teachers are
available from 8:30 am until noon to meet virtually or on the phone, with
parents and students wishing to discuss final marks.
Individual Program Plans (IPPS)
will be shared with families prior
to June 26.
note: Requirements for Sharing IPPs with Students/Parents/Legal
Guardians Section 83(1) of the FOIP Act says that where any document needs to
be given to a person, it is to be given “in electronic form, other than
facsimile telecommunication, only if the person to whom the document is to be
given has consented to accept the document in that form”. This means the
school is required to have explicit consent from each parent or legal
guardian to send an IPP to that person via email.
interactions and reduce the instances of passing paper back and forth during
the current public health crisis, CBE will not require a parent or legal
guardian signature for IPP Reviews or the End-of-Year Review as found on the
Signatures page in the IPP. Working with students and families as much as
they are available for collaboration, teachers will update the IPP and review
the content with students and families virtually or over the phone.
In consideration of existing school practices, student/family
context and related risk factors for sharing student information, teachers
will choose one of the following four possible processes for sharing a copy
of the final IPP with the parent or legal guardian at the end of the year.
A hard copy of the IPP may be picked up by the parent or legal
guardian at the end of the year. We will follow best practices for social
distancing and limiting person-to-person contact.
A hard copy of the IPP may be mailed through Canada Post to the
parent or legal guardian at the end of the year.
If in conversation, the parent or legal guardian of the student
makes an unsolicited request to have the IPP emailed to them, the teacher may
ask for that request to be put in writing in the form of an email, and the
IPP may be shared back with them via email as an encrypted attachment. In
this case, password for the encrypted attachment will be provided verbally.
Parents or legal guardians may provide consent for the IPP to be
shared digitally. In order to access this option, the school requires the
completion of a consent to email information form.
include transition information that outlines future goals and/or
accommodations that should be continued into the following school year.
How can I collect the remainder of my
child(ren)’s personal and learning items?
Based on a
forthcoming schedule, parents will come to collect the remainder of student’s
belongings on June 24,
25, and 26. In addition to personal items, this will
also include notebooks, projects, etc. Please note that we will be
following AHS/CBE guidelines for social distancing and safe exchanges.
What is happening for Kindergarten 2020-2021?
At this time of
the year, we would be preparing to welcome you to the school and for our
Welcome to Kindergarten Night, which was originally scheduled for June
4. Sadly, this gathering is canceled. We are, however, putting some
information together to share with kindergarten families through digital
format. We will send this information on June 4.
have heard that some schools are considering a full-day kindergarten program,
where students attend every other day, as a way to manage changes to
noon-hour transportation. In the past three years, very few of our Chaparral
kindergarten families have used mid-day transportation services. To date, we
are not aware of any Chaparral parents who might consider the cancellation of
mid-day transportation an insurmountable obstacle to participating in our
half-day programs. Our intention is to continue offering half day,
daily kindergarten classes.
How can I take part in the Return to School dialogue?
With less than a month left in
the current school year, planning is well underway for what the 2020-21
school will look like for our students, staff and families.
month, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced that the provincial
government is considering three different scenarios when classes start again
in the fall:
A return to normal operations and routines in schools.
Schools are partially re-opened, with some level of restrictions.
Schools remain closed and students continue learning from home.
To help the CBE
consider how we would respond to these three possible scenarios, we have
launched surveys for families, students and staff. We encourage you to go online and
provide your feedback by June 11, 2020. There is a survey for
parents/guardians, as well as one for students. A summary of results will be
shared by June 30, 2020.
Parent Re-Entry Survey
Student Re-Entry Survey
Staff Re-Entry Survey
The CBE has
created an internal task force with representatives from every service unit
to lead the planning. All of our decisions will be guided by the advice of
the province’s chief medical officer of health and Alberta Education
guidelines. The safety and well-being of our students and staff will come
first in any decisions we make.
We will provide
more information in the coming weeks and over the summer to ensure all of our
students are ready to return to learning as we begin the new school year on
Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.
With my best
Principal Chaparral School
Education 2020 Spotlight © OECD
As we settle into a new norm, we want to encourage you to refer to the CBE website for a variety of resources available to you and your family. Your well-being - physical, mental, emotional or practical is still very important to us here at Chaparral.
We would like to add the following two websites which deal specifically with food needs
Registrations for the school year 2020-2021 are continuing. The process is slightly different and the informaiton is given below.
Registration Process During a Health Emergency for Canadian Citizens New to CBE.
note | students new to CBE who are not Canadian citizens, contact the Admissions and Assessment Office at Kingsland Centre 403-777-7373 ext. 1 for instructions.
1. The parent / legal guardian / independent student completes the Student Registration Form – Dependent Student or Student Registration Form – Independent Student prints, signs (resident/non-resident and declaration) then saves it as a PDF.
note | for parents / legal guardians / independent students without access to a printer, in the email please type:
one of these statements: “I declare that I am of the Roman Catholic faith” or “I declare that I am not of the Roman Catholic faith”
this statement; “I hereby represent that I have the legal authority to register the person named on the attached registration form. I declare the information that I have provided on this form is complete and accurate. I will immediately notify the school of any changes to the information on this form.”
2. The parent / legal guardian / independent student scans a copy or takes a photo of the student proof of age and legal name document. For a list of accepted proof of age and legal name documents see the last page of the registration form. Do not send a copy of a proof of address.
3. The parent / legal guardian / independent student emails the school and attaches the registration form and the proof of age and legal name document.
To find the email address of the school:
a. find the school in the School Directory (https://cbe.ab.ca/schools/school-directory/Pages/default.aspx);
b. click on the school name; and
c. copy the email address.
4. The school will conditionally register the student providing the address is within the school’s designated boundaries and the student is age appropriate for the school
5. Once the health emergency is over, the school will contact the parent/legal guardian via email and ask that they bring the following documents to the school for verificaiton purposes during school office hours.
- proof of address
- original proof of age and legal name document which the school will ocmpare with emailed document
Volunteer Week - We would like to say a huge thanks to our wonderful volunteers for all the support which you give to our students and staff. Thank you for the wonderful contribution which you make to our Chaparral community.
While we may have to be physically apart, please be aware that we are still maintaining a presence in the office and you are invited to call or email should you have any questions.
Chris Buhler, Principal
“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
Happy New Year, Chaparral Families and Friends! You are wished many
blessings in the year ahead.
As a school community, we are celebrating a very productive fall session. I
am very proud of the growth and success noted in both our students and
staff. Chaparral School is indeed a place of learning for all!
On January 21, students will receive their first of two official report cards. This
report card is considered a formal communication and documentation of a
student’s summative achievement at this point in the school year. It provides
teachers the opportunity to communicate to parents and students the most
significant aspects of student achievement. Report cards are based on
outcomes that describe what students are expected to know and be able
to do according to the Alberta Programs of Studies. In the Calgary Board of
Education, summative assessment indicators are also provided for
Citizenship, Character and Personal Development (Results 3, 4 and 5). While
the assessment of the results is separate from Academic Success, the way in
which they are demonstrated and lived is always through the learning
In the upcoming report cards, teachers will provide narrative comments to
augment summative indicators. The purpose of the comment is to
communicate additional information related to achievement, supports, and
next steps. Families will note specific attention to feedback provided in the
areas of literacy and mathematics. This focus is reflective of student
achievement goals identified in our School Development Plan for 2018-19.
At Chaparral School we also are very intent on nurturing virtues and traits
associated with Results 3, 4 and 5. This year, we adopted the Circle of
Courage as a model through which we can understand and practice
generosity, independence, mastery and belonging. It has been incredibly
exciting to note students, staff and families express these ideals, reaching out
to the broader community through donations to organizations like the Poppy
Fund, the Calgary Food Bank and Inn from the Cold. For more on these
initiatives please see, Generosity (pg. 3 & 4) and News from Grade 5 (pg. 14).
As a place of learning for all, we are also very proud to be mentoring five
pre-service teachers. These students come to us from St. Mary’s University,
the Werklund School of Education (University of Calgary), and Ambrose
University. We are pleased to welcome the following student teachers:
- Jessica Belanger – working with Andrea Buist Grade 2
- Tammy McLaren – working with Kelly LeBlanc Grade 1
- Ashley Bigelow – working with Lori Wilson Grade 1
- Cassidy Mueller – working with Katie Keil Grade 2
- Jeffrey Bennett – working with Tracy Behl Grade 4
With the start of the New Year, our school community is also very pleased to announce some
changes in staffing:
- Tammy Furgason – Lunch Supervisor
- Greg Morrell – Facility Operator
Change of assignment:
- Corinne Yee – Lead Lunch Supervisor
Each season at school brings unique highlights. At Chaparral, the period between Winter and Spring
Break is a time when students make great gains in learning, often grasping concepts and skills that
might have perplexed them just weeks before. The winter months are also a time when we intensify
our focus on community building through various special events, celebrations and initiatives.
Once again, this year, teachers will be offering a variety of lunch clubs. The purpose of clubs is to
provide students with an opportunity to work with different adults, meet new friends, and spend time
in activities that they find enjoyable. More information regarding lunch clubs will be shared at the
end of January. Clubs will run through February and into April.
On Monday February, 25, we will host the Quest Theatre group for We Are All Treaty People. Our
school community is extremely grateful to the Chaparral Parent Association for funding this immersive
and interactive experience that will inspire us to consider an enlightened and sustainable future for
everyone – together. Following this, we will recognize Pink Shirt Day, through focusing on kindness as
a way of mitigating cyberbullying. As stated on pinkshirtday.ca “Kindness requires no manipulation,
no focusing on the negatives, and no filtering of yourself. It’s simply, truly nice. For social media users,
we want them to THINK before the post. We want them to ask themselves if it is: True, Helpful,
Inspiring, Necessary and KIND.”
As always, we strive to involve parents in all aspects of our school. We welcome your involvement in
our learning and special events. Please connect with teachers, administrators, and our main office
at any time.
Yours most sincerely,
Chris Buhler, Principal
Dear Chaparral Families,
Each year, teaching teams and school council groups throughout the CBE
system contribute to and create a School Development Plan. This plan is to
be read and understood in correlation with the school’s annual results report.
Both documents focus on continuous improvement in student learning
through planned and intentional responses to evidence of achievement and
data about the learning conditions that support student success.
The various sources of assessment information and feedback that inform the
School Development Plan are unique to each school. At Chaparral, our
- Report card marks,
- Provincial assessments like Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs – Grade 6)
and Student Learning Assessments (SLA’s Grade 3),
- Observations of student learning patterns, accomplishments and needs,
- Accountability Pillar Survey, and
- School process goals – the impact of previously identified goals and
Through collective review of school results, we have determined that this
year teachers and students at Chaparral will continue to focus on improving
student achievement in written expression. In this process teachers will
implement high impact instructional strategies. Ultimately, we intend that
students at each level will understand what counts in writing and how they
can stretch their skills to the best of their abilities. The article in this newsletter
included under the heading, News from Grade Three, illustrates how this
approach is being taken up. As the year continues, we are looking forward
writing celebrations where students can commemorate their
accomplishments in the writing process and share their writing with an
In addition to our writing goal, we have identified a secondary focus for
2018-19 in the area mathematics. This goal will see students improve their
ability to apply appropriate and efficient strategies for mental math and
automaticity. These skills are key components to achieving the goals of
mathematics education. Our students will be well served through this focus
as they take part in daily practice through games, energizers, and oral
activities and apply self-assessment strategies to confirm mental math
calculations. Parents will note that at our recent conferences, teachers
shared two handouts that provide further explanation number fact fluency
and the developmental process students go through to develop number
fact fluency. Throughout the year, we will continue to share strategies for
For further information on our School Development Plan for 2018-19 and Results for 2017-18 please visit our Our School page. Please look under Resources, on the
right hand side of the screen to download PDF copies of the School Development Plan, the Annual Results and
Mulit-year Reports for Provincial Achievement Tests.
As always, yours truly,
Dear Chaparral Families:
At Chaparral School, we celebrate a safe, caring, inclusive, and
welcoming learning environment, whereby we work together to provide
opportunities for all students to thrive in learning and in life. This year, in
our continued efforts to help students develop important social–emotional attributes for learning, personal development and community
building we have introduced the strength-based Circle of Courage
Drs. Larry Bendtro, Steve Van Bockern, and Martin Brokenleg developed
the Circle of Courage. The model is based on indigenous wisdom and
research, and provides us with the language to empower students to
learn about personal growth, character development, and community.
The Circle of Courage medicine wheel represents the need for balance
and harmony within the sacred circle of life. The four points of the Circle
of Courage are the universal growth needs (i.e. developmental needs) of
children that must be considered together as one. The four points of the
Circle of Courage that we focus on are:
The Spirit of Belonging: All Chaparral students belong to the Chaparral
School family. Building relationships of trust and treating each other as
kin nurtures our community and helps us to feel valued and safe.
The Spirit of Generosity: Chaparral students develop and show care,
concern, and respect for others. Their purpose is to unselfishly help on
another, and to make our world a better place.
The Spirit of Mastery: Chaparral students develop competencies in many
areas including physical, social and intellectual. As they observe, listen,
practice, reflect and self assess they learn new skills in their daily lives
both in and out of school. Students learn that they can succeed and
can celebrate the success of others.
The Spirit of Independence: Chaparral students develop responsibility,
inner discipline, problem solving and critical thinking skills. They learn to
set and achieve goals, and to make good decisions.
I have been extremely encouraged by the ways in which staff and students have set a
positive tone for the school year through exploring facets of the Circle of Courage. Thus
far, most discussions and activities have focused on developing an understanding of
what it means and what it takes for us to feel a sense of belonging in ourselves and at
the same time to consider the needs of others as they seek a similar sense. This month’s
grade based news stories further detail explorations of the Circle of Courage.
Assemblies and other whole school activities help us further build community and
connectedness at Chaparral. During our first week back, all of us gathered in the
gymnasium to officially celebrate the opening of the school year. Ms. McCune and Mr.
Van Roekel worked with students to create multi-media presentations highlighting
students’ thoughts about what they were looking forward to this year, and their feelings
about belonging at Chaparral. We will post the videos on our website just as soon as we
can. Please watch for them. The students’ words provide the most authentic assessment
of our efforts at Chaparral.
Our second assembly was held in conjunction with the Chaparral Terry Fox celebration.
Once again, we enjoyed coming together as a “family” reflecting on the courageous
legacy of Terry Fox and doing our bit to support further research through our Toonies for
Terry campaign. We had a lot of fun in the process. As was previously shared, we
achieved our financial target of $1 070.00, raising a total of $ $1,935.38! Staff and
students celebrated this accomplishment a week later by wearing our PJs to school!
This month we also hosted our first round of Parent, Student, and Teacher Learning
Conferences. These meetings represent the first of three formal occasions for parents,
and students to connect with teachers to discuss individual needs, strengths, progress,
and goals. The next Learning Conferences will be held on November 22 and 23. Student
Led Conferences will take place on March 14 and 15, 2019. Learning Conferences
represent a very important venue through which families are able to better understand
and support students in their learning and development.
To close this message, I will provide some brief information on enrolment and staffing. In
April 2018 staffing at Chaparral was based on a projected enrolment of 486 students.
However, over the summer many new families moved into the community, resulting in an
increase to our student population. We are currently sitting at 505 students in K-6. We
are thrilled by this growth and the many opportunities it presents! In response to
increased enrolment, we have been able to open two additional classrooms and add
two new full – time teachers in grades 2 and 5. Please see below for a full listing of
classes and staff members.
Wishing you all a great month ahead!
Chris Buhler, Principal Chaparral School
(Hidden) Chris Buhler, Principal
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