Dec 10
Principal's Update - December 2019

December is such an exciting month for students and staff at Dr. Roberta Bondar School. We recognize December is a time to share in the spirit of the season, and embrace our School Development Goal of Kindness and Empathy. To do that, we are participating in the Annual Mayor’s Christmas Challenge Food Drive supporting the Calgary Food Bank. Students are welcome to bring in food or cash donations until December 16th. We are hoping to have our boxes filled to the brim! When you come into the school, you will see a couple of Festive Trees waiting to be decorated with new hats, mittens, scarves, and socks. We would ask, if you were able, to please consider contributing to our trees. We will send all of our donations to the Inn from the Cold.

December is also the time when we celebrate the hard work of the past twelve weeks, and examine the gains the students are making in all aspects of their learning. It is wonderful to walk into classrooms and see the connections the students are making as they work independently, in small groups, or with the whole class. They are immersed in asking important questions, and using their experiences to understand new information. It is a time when the students move towards setting more innovative and challenging goals. Our students are embarking on a personal understanding of our inquiry question of “How will our curiosities inspire our path?” They are in a position to see how it connects to the curriculum as a whole, and the Competency of Social, Cultural, Global and Environmental Responsibility. A competency, as defined by Alberta Education is “an interrelated set of attitudes, skills, and knowledge that is drawn upon and applied to a particular context for successful learning and living. Competencies are developed over time and through a set of related learner outcomes that contribute to students becoming engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit.”

As the students focus on their objectives, engage in the activities of the classroom, believe in their abilities, and construct new understandings of the world around them, we know they will be successful in reaching their personal highest potential.

Assessment and Reporting

The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Our provincial Programs of Study are in the process of changing and like many other school divisions in Alberta, the CBE is re-designing assessment and reporting practices. Across Alberta and the CBE, students will continue to develop strong foundations in literacy and numeracy, as well as important competencies such as critical thinking, problem-solving, global understanding and creativity, and the subject/discipline areas that are essential for students to become engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit.

When teachers examine student learning, they are focusing on assessment “for” learning, and assessment “of” learning. What goes on in a classroom, on a daily basis, is the teacher’s assessment “for” learning. It is a broad-based assessment that promotes continuous learning, and involves the student understanding how they can improve. It is the kind of assessment that informs the teacher of what he/she needs to do to ensure the student understands. It is also an opportunity for the student to be involved in the assessment, and see it as part of the learning process. Examples of this “formative” assessment may be the teacher’s observations, anecdotal records, journals, learning logs, performances, projects, portfolios, and conferences with the student. The gift of formative assessment is that it is directly connected to the learning of the student and the teaching that ensues. Assessment “of” learning is evaluative and “summative”. This is where pencil and paper tests come in, including teacher-made quizzes, commercially produced tests, and standardized exams. This process of assessment “as” learning is ongoing and is a reflection of the interrelationship of the student, the teacher, and the curriculum. The report card marks and anecdotal comments are indicators of both “formative” and “summative” assessments.

One of the ways we communicate the progress of student learning is through the conferences with parents and the students, and the formal report cards.

In K-9, the achievement indicators (Excellent-4, Good-3, Basic-2, Not Meeting-1) signify the extent to which a student has demonstrated achievement of Alberta Programs of Study outcomes organized by report card stem. Please see the attachment “Report Card Indicators” for more information as the achievement criteria for each indicator.

Report card stems are categories used to organize Program of Studies outcomes and assessment information for communication to students and families. The mathematics report card stems have changed in order to make the report card clearer to students and families, and to connect report card information directly to the content of the program of studies. Mathematics teaching and learning will continue to provide a balance of building conceptual understanding, developing procedural skills, and problem solving. Mathematics teaching and learning will continue to draw connections within the study of mathematics and between mathematics, other disciplines, and student experiences.

The report cards will be coming home on January 30th, 2020.


Thank you to all of the families who were able to come to the school and meet with the teachers to discuss the learning of their child. The staff was also most appreciative of all of the families who provided dinner for Thursday evening, and breakfast for Friday morning. The food was delicious!

Book Fair

The Scholastic Book Fair was a huge success. There was approximately $9 000 worth of materials sold, which means our school will receive around $4 200 in credit towards the purchase of books for our Learning Commons. We greatly appreciate your support of the Book Fair. We would also like to thank Mrs. Andriano for organizing the Fair, and all of the volunteers who spend hours setting it up, running the event and packing it up. Our Learning Commons Committee is looking forward to purchasing all the new resources.

Three Left Feet Dance Residency

Our students are having a wonderful opportunity to participate in the Three Left Feet Dance Residency. Along with their instructors, Allara, Ingrid, and Jillian, the students use the movement to become physically active and aware of how their body is able to move. The students are developing competencies of creativity, innovation, personal well-being, collaboration, and problem solving as they work together to learn new dance movements. It is such an exciting program! This experience is allowing our students to meet the outcomes of understanding and appreciating the art of dance, movement, music, performance, and physical activity. We greatly appreciate the Alberta Foundation of the Arts and the Dr. Roberta Bondar School Development Association for funding this residency. Please join us for the Performances on December 10th and 11th.

We anticipate that seating may be limited due the space required for the dancers. We would ask you to attend only those performances where your child is dancing. To honour the work of all the dancers would also ask you to stay for the whole performance.

Cold Weather

With the advent of winter, we are working hard to remind our students to dress properly for the weather. We are encouraging them to wear their coats, hats, mittens and boots. We have also noticed that our “lost and found” bins are full. If your child is missing an article of clothing, he/she should be checking the “lost and found” by the Launch Pad. It is important that the students dress warmly, as they are expected to be outside until the entry bells ring (8:30 and 12:35). We will post signs for a “Blue Day” when the temperature is below -20 or (-18 with a wind-chill); they may come into the school and wait in the hallways until the bell rings. If it is necessary to close the schools because of weather, it will be announced through the local media.

Have a wonderful Winter Break!

Laine Mulholland, Principal

Kim Howden, Assistant Principal


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