We hope you are well and have enjoyed the sunny summer we have been having!
To help families prepare for the first week of school, please visit our school website regularly for current information. In addition to posting information on our website, we will continue to use School Messenger to share timely information and updates.
Back to School Information
September is one of the most exciting times in a school year. It is where we bring together new classroom communities and connect as a whole school community again. Through our School Development Plan we will continue to prioritize a sense of belonging as a community, develop excellence in communication through writing and oral language, and improve our fluency in mathematics. We are also committed to a focus on reading through staff professional learning in partnership with implementing new curriculum, collaboration through home literacy, and resetting our learning commons as an active learning hub.
There are many exciting pieces of this upcoming school year that our staff have been preparing for. You can expect an email introduction to your child’s classroom teacher on August 30, including information about what they will need to bring and where your child will meet their teacher on the first day of school.
We are excited for a September packed with lots of learning and new student experiences. Teaching teams have thoughtfully designed learning spaces and planned ways to welcome each student into the classroom and school community. Thanks to our active School Council, we also have a new playground coming this year, a schoolwide SOGO Adventure Running residency and a Storytelling residency planned.
If you have any questions or require assistance please do not hesitate to reach out to our team in the office. I look forward to getting to know families in person and working together towards a fantastic learning year. Thank you for trusting us with your child(ren) and being an important part of DDS!
DDS Students, Staff and Families,
The end of the 2021-22 school year brings us much to celebrate! It has been a year of resiliency for all. While COVID presented many challenges, throughout it all our learning community showed flexibility and a commitment to learning. Students continue to grow as authors, mathematicians and citizens that come together as a community that genuinely cares for each other.
With restrictions now lifted, we have been excited to return to normal school activities such as Activity Day, field trips, assemblies, and family events such as our open house and Welcome to Kindergarten. Next year, we already have some exciting opportunities planned, starting in September with an adventure running residency, a Meet the Teacher evening with food trucks, and a storytelling residency with Jeff Stockton in late Fall. A big thank you to School Council and parents for supporting DDS.
The only thing in life we can count on is change and thus, we expect change at the end of each school year with students and staff. Luckily, we get to keep our grade four students next year as DDS will be adding grade five to our learning community!
We said some good-byes to our EES students and staff today as they are moving to McKenzie Towne School for 2022-23 with Veronika Havkin and Liz Hrycan as their teachers. We also said good-bye to a handful of other staff members at our year-end assembly today. We wish them well in their new adventures!
- Goodbye and happy retirement to Lorna Addison (grade two) and Mrs. A (lunchroom).
- Best of luck to Shannon Salomons (grade two), Ellie Hrynuik (EES) and Darryl Fidler (grade two) as they move on to new schools and new learning journeys.
- Thank you to Mrs. Hunter for helping us in the office for the past couple of months and we wish the best of luck to our educational assistants - Ms. Rowe, Ms. Taylor, Ms. Marina.
We are excited to welcome new and returning staff for the 2022-23 school year. Class lists will be finalized when teachers return in August. Families can expect a welcome email from their child’s classroom teacher on August 31st, introducing themselves and explaining the first day procedures. We plan to start 2022-23 with the following staff:
- Kindergarten – Kathleen Garneau, New Hire TBD
- Grade One – Anna Vilaysane/Kitty Chan, Faye Waldren, Laura Bielefeld, Hope Mack (EA)
- Grade Two – Lindsay Otterson, Kim Christensen, Maree Koehler, Danielle Self (EA)
- Grade Three – Regan Krieger, Michelle Blais, Jill Shaw, Karen Duquette (EA)
- Grade Four – Kendra Audette, Sarah Kesler
- Grade Five – Justine Stone, Michelle Kurchak, Naomi Nagai
- Music – Bruce Anderson
- Office – Heather McKay, Monique Koleyak, Sue Naylor
We hope all our DDS students, staff and families have a wonderful summer filled with activities and people that bring you joy. Thank you for an excellent school year together. We know next year will be even better!
DDS staff spent time together on our last professional learning day, reflecting on our current school year and planning next steps. Using the Holistic Learning Framework, we celebrated the learning that we have all engaged in, in support of Truth and Reconciliation:
Spirit – To Be: DDS students and staff committed to deepening our understanding of and practice of Acknowledging the Land. These first steps were reflective of committing to a Call to Action that was a part of our way of learning and being together on a regular basis, and not something we do only on special occasions. We believe that each person needed to see themselves in this commitment, and for personal connection to be at the heart of our shared Call to Action.
Heart – To Belong: Learning and activities DDS engaged in to work towards achieving our TRC Commitment to Action included:
- Staff sharing personal land acknowledgments and students writing their own connect statements about how they connect to the land, through Gratitude Journals, morning announcements and at gatherings
- Staff and students using the Holistic Learning Framework to deepen understanding of how our Spirit, Heart, Body and Mind are connected to our learning across all subject areas
- Classes engaged in Ridge Walks and Sharing Circles
- Inquiry into story and reciprocity through music, art, science, history, and literature
Body – To Do: This work has impacted our whole school community. Students’ shared language has transformed into a natural deepened understanding of what it feels like to connect to their Spirit, Heart, Body and Mind. Parents have shared stories where their children have expressed their connections at home using the same language. Staff are more aware of and purposeful in our shared intentions. This is evident within Google Classrooms, Gratitude Journals, shared stories and listening when DDS staff and students speak.
Mind – To Know: As we considered renewal of our Truth and Reconciliation and our Commitment to Action for the 2022-23 school year, our next step is to take up Call To Action #63, committing to building student capacity for intellectual understanding, empathy and mutual respect. We will do this through Indigenous Storywork, to educate our spirit, heart, mind and bodies. Stories will act as our windows, mirrors and sliding glass doors. We will continue to reflect through connect statements across the curriculum, use gratitude journals, join in circle, learning on and from the Land, as well as seek public and private stories we can learn in and through, to make meaning of and act in pursuit of Truth and Reconciliation.
We know we have much more to learn and do around The Truth and Reconcilation of Canada's Calls to Action. For 2022-23, we plan to:
Dear Douglasdale Students, Staff and Families,
My name is Heather McKay and it is a privilege to be able to introduce myself to the students, staff and families of Douglasdale School as your newly appointed Principal starting on April 11, 2022.
I am honored to follow in Ms. Reichardt's footsteps and look forward to working closely with Ms.Koleyak to ensure a smooth transition. I am aware of the anticipation that accompanies new leadership in any school. I believe that collaborative relationships, built between students, staff and families, are fundamental to student progress, achievement and well-being. I am committed to listening and learning to continue to build a vibrant and inclusive school culture and strong learning community at Douglasdale School.
A little about me…
I am deeply committed to student-centered joyful learning. Over the past 26 years, I have been lucky to work with all kinds of students, staff and families as a junior high teacher, kindergarten teacher, system-wide Literacy Specialist and most recently Assistant Principal at Ethel M Johnson School.
At the core of who I am as an educator is the importance of knowing each student - their strengths, passions, interests and areas for growth. Learning happens through relationships. As a parent myself, I want to let you know I will be your child's advocate. I will celebrate your child's successes, small and large, encourage them every day and make them feel known and valued.
Providing a safe, nurturing and inclusive learning environment where students are engaged in authentic, relevant learning experiences is another of my core beliefs. When students are able to take risks in their learning, make mistakes and build meaningful connections, they develop the attitudes, skills, knowledge and competencies required for life-long learning, well-being and success.
Education is a shared responsibility and collaborative partnerships with families is essential for students to develop social, emotional and academic competencies, achieve their potential and feel successful.
You are an integral part of the Douglasdale School Community and I look forward to working with you to continue the rich and meaningful work that is on-going at Douglasdale School. I am excited to partner with the students, staff and families at Douglasdale School to continue to build a learning culture that honours the whole-child and fosters exploration, imagination and creativity.
I look forward to learning from and with you and cannot wait to meet you all.
I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that we have all reimagined school this year; from our kindergarten students all the way to university professors! Learning and teaching has undergone a revolution of sorts. We have relied upon parents and students to trust us more than ever. And our teachers have risen to the challenge! I have learned so much from our beautiful community this year. One of the most important things I learned was that our students share their brilliance whether they are on line or at school. They are capable and resilient and will always rise to the challenge. It has shown me that being able to adjust to outside forces is a remarkable strength which will see them through many obstacles in their lives. Another beautiful learning for me has been the realization that our students and staff have come to know deeper and richer relationships with each other. The shine and colour in our lives comes not just from work together but in the value we place on our relationships with each other. The pandemic hyper focused our awareness on the gift of companionship. Students and staff became more attuned to each other’s needs through their frequent contacts albeit through masks. Children developed a greater variety of relationships with staff members from teachers, educational assistants to lunchroom staff. As we have walked this strange path together, I long to begin anew in September and welcome our students back to a bold and exciting new year. I look forward to a year filled with the laughter of students and the music of our work together. A year where we can hopefully join into events such as assemblies and clubs, visits from experts and theatre groups, and more than anything to welcome parents back into the school to join us volunteers and guests! As we start out our post pandemic life may I wish you a happy and safe summer where the sounds of lawn mowers on grass, buzz saws building sheds, conversation flowing from you to your friends and squeals and laughter of children fill your day. As the normalcy sets in may we be reminded of a thought from Sam Cooke, “Roll out those Hazy, Lazy, Crazy days of summer!”
Dear Douglasdale School Families,
I am looking forward to welcoming our school community to the 2020-21 school year. I want to assure you we are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of all our community members.
As you are aware on July 21, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced that all schools across the province will return to classes under Scenario 1 – in-school classes resume (near normal with health measures). In response, plans are well underway in our school to welcome our community of students as we adhere to current health guidelines.
CBE's Scenario 1 Information can be found on our website and outlines the measures we are taking to provide for the health and safety of our students. Please refer to this document for detailed information on health measures, physical set-up of schools, cleaning of schools, daily operation of schools and transportation. The actions described in the document follow the guidelines provided by Alberta Education's K-12 School Re-entry COVID-19 information: Guidance for schools re-entry Scenario 1. We continue to refine information in our re-entry planning based on provincial and CBE guidance.
Please visit our school website for information on the actions and processes that are being applied to the specific context of our school.
To access the re-entry plan, click on "Registration" then "Back to School Information" and you will see it on the right hand side under "Resources".
It is hard to believe that the school year is coming to a close. My first year at Douglasdale has brought me incredible joy as I got to know all of your amazing children and meet all of you families. It is a dynamic school community and I am proud to say that I work with an exceptional staff who are highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals. I thank them for their dedication and work with students this year. We have truly joined together as educators and parents to support student success in a way that is unprecedented. With classes being cancelled in March you became the stewards of your children’s learning at home. Together we have navigated through challenging times and collaborated to support each other. Continue to ask questions of all of us as we build shared understanding about our vision for teaching and learning and for student success and achievement.
The month of June is significant in terms of celebrating our students. For our grade 4 students it will be the time to say farewell to the school they know and love as they move on to new schools and adventures in learning. The grade four team has special events planned as they meet virtually this month. For the rest of our students, we are celebrating their learning and sending them off to enjoy their summer before we gather in the fall. Teachers have year-end activities planned as well as the year draws to a close. Although there is still uncertainty on what the start-up will look like at Douglasdale in the fall, we are certain that we will all be here to welcome you into our learning community with passion, commitment and care.
School Council has made a huge difference in the learning opportunities that have been offered to our students throughout this school year. In addition to the events that were planned and hosted by School Council such as the family picnic and the many fundraisers, the funds provided by council have undoubtedly enriched the learning for all of the students in our school. We thank you for your support of the fundraising initiatives which have enabled us to provide enhanced learning experiences for our students this year including bussing for fieldtrips, student activities, purchasing art supplies, repairing our drums for the music program, and build our technology to support student learning.
As the month of June comes to a close we are sadly saying goodbye to two of our outstanding staff members. We would like to say farewell to Rachel Oke, our grade 4 teacher and Lorna Dodd, our school assistant. Rachel has been surplussed from our school (based on HR guidelines) due to a decrease in our school budget. She will be placed in another school. We and wish her all the best in her new position and will share her new placement once it is confirmed. Lorna is off to retirement and we are grateful for her time here with us at Douglasdale. We will miss her positive attitude, friendly smile and willingness to always go the extra mile.
Edie Reichardt and Shawna Weir
Having survived the deep chill of January and with the winter holidays a distant memory, we are busy planning and looking forward to the rest of the school year. The month of February marks the half-way point in the school year. We are excited about the possibilities of what is yet to come as we reflect on all that has been accomplished. We hope that you feel that same excitement and see and feel the energy as you talk with your children about school.
The month of February is busy with many school activities. Information on these events is contained in in our weekly messages from the office as well as from your child’s teacher. This week we have Elev8 Lacrosse in our school providing a residency for grades 2-4. Our kindergarten and grade 1 students will be participating in the swim program later in the Spring. Supporting students to build self-awareness and understanding about who they are through these experiences enables them to become confident, self-motivated, independent and engaged learners. We invite you to join us at the school as you continue to volunteer in classrooms, field trips, and our DDS Loves Literacy program. We truly appreciate how all of you support the school in a variety of ways.
It was wonderful to have so many of you join us for our parent evening with Dr. Allan "Understanding and Responding to Anxiety: Getting Closer to the Life We All Want”. Please see our website for a copy of his PowerPoint.
With our School Development Plan, we continue to focus on designing rich learning tasks to develop student’s written expression across the disciplines and their procedural fluency in math. Our well-being for learning goal “to increase a sense of belonging within the school community” continues to underpin everything we do at Douglasdale School. Teachers meet on a weekly basis to purposefully share student work and ensure assessment practices are aligned. This practice is known as calibrating with colleagues, and is grounded in Schimmer’s (2016) work “Grading from the Inside Out: Bringing Accuracy to Student Assessment Through a Standards-Based Mindset”. At our last professional learning day, we reviewed the strategies and actions in our School Development Plan to ensure we are making progress and on track to meeting our goals.
Edie Reichardt and Shawna Rabey-Weir
We want to welcome all our families to the 2019-2020 school year. Although very busy, we have had a great start to the school year and we have survived the first week. All students, including kindergarten, are now settled into their classes and beginning to thrive. We look forward to an exciting year of learning and growing together.
This year we will be communicating with families each week through weekly messenger emails. We will NO longer be publishing a monthly newsletter. We feel weekly communication allows for more up to date information. We will also be updating our website calendar on a regular basis. Please refer to the website frequently to keep informed about DDS activities and important dates. It will be updated weekly. If you would still like a paper copy of the calendar we invite you to create this, using the tool on the DDS website that says “calendar print out”.
• Welcome Back Family Picnic – Please join us from 5:30-7:00 on Thursday September 12, 2019. You are welcome to bring your own picnic food or order from the food trucks that will be on site.
• Picture Day is coming on Friday, September 13th, 2019. After picture day, order your pictures on mylifetouch.ca using your Portrait ID and Access Code which can be found on your Picture Day order form.
• Parking – please note that the DDS “Kiss and Ride” drop of area will go into effect on Monday September 9th. The “Kiss and Ride” area is located directly in front of the school, and will be well marked with signs. We ask that you do not park in this area when the signs are out (8:30am-9:15am). This area is designed for parents to pull in and let their kids out on curb. Please do not exit your vehicle. Students need to be able to get out of their vehicle and independently
• Healthy Hunger – we will continue to offer special lunch days for students in grades 1-4. All ordering will be done through www.healthyhunger.ca. We are working to finalize our vendors and dates. We will send additional information once we have finalized the details.
• “Admazing” Coupon Books – we once again have a limited number of coupon books for sale for $25.00. See Karin in the office if you are interested.
• Embrace Dental Care is offering free dental exams/check ups for grade one students from September 1- October 31. They are located at #12, 20 Douglas Woods Dr. SE 403-723-2273.
Edie and Shawna
Thank you for another successful year at Douglasdale School. It is a privilege to work with such a committed and talented school community all pulling together to serve our wonderful students. Edie Reichardt, your new principal, has been spending a lot of time at DDS and is looking forward to the upcoming school year.
Staffing for next year is set but may change once provincial funding decisions are clarified in the upcoming budget. Several staff members will be leaving Douglasdale School at the conclusion of this school year. Departing staff include John Kershaw, Lisa MacGillivray, Lindsay Johnson, Teodora Toth and Karen Duquette. We thank them for their contributions and wish them all the best. Farewell to all of the families who are leaving DDS. We wish you happiness and continued success. For those of you arriving at DDS for the first time, welcome to our amazing school!
One change next year includes having early dismissal on the last day of each week. The bell time will be 2:00PM.
Class lists are thoughtfully done by teachers who take a lot into consideration including gender, social groupings, past history, special needs and parent input. On the first day of school please respect their decisions; teachers have the big picture in mind and do their best for all students and one move can cause a domino effect.
Thanks to the staff for their fine work this year and to all of you for your support and involvement. Please check your email in late August as teachers will be sending out welcome back emails to students. Kindergarten students will have staggered entry, please refer to the last page of your welcome to kindergarten package. Students who would benefit from a classroom visit before the first day of school (Sneak a Peek) can come in from 11:00 a.m. to noon on August 30. Have a fabulous summer and we will see you on September 3.
Edie Reichardt, Principal, Chris Aylesworth, Acting Principal and Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal
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