Jan 27
January Principals' Update

Principals’ Update – January 2020

Happy New Year and welcome back to school!

For many of us, the New Year is the opportunity to make resolutions for the upcoming year. We make them with sincerity and yet, hardly a day elapses, our good intentions go by the wayside. Fortunately, in a school setting, we avoid that by being very much focused on the goals of our School Development Plan, not on resolutions. We use the New Year as an opportunity to reflect on what we have accomplished over the past 4 months and centre our attention on what we need to do to ensure we are moving forward with meeting our goals.

In November, we posted our School Development Plan on our website and discussed it with parents at School Council. Based on data from last year’s report cards, observations of student learning, Provincial Achievement Tests, and our Accountability Pillar Survey, we determined three areas of focus:

 Literacy – students will improve functional writing skills to communicate ideas in an effective and organized manner. 

 Mathematics - students will develop their skills in communicating their mathematical understanding. 

 Well-Being - students will demonstrate acts of empathy and kindness throughout the year both formally and informally.

For more information, please see our website http://school.cbe.ab.ca/School/Repository/SBAttachments/c2d4ea23- 48c6-4989-ae2c-51a8f26bd22e_SchoolDevelopmentPlan2019-20.pdf

Just before the Winter Break, we were in the process of working with students in understanding themselves as learners and the importance of setting authentic and relevant goals for learning. In some cases, the students have set multiple goals. In almost every case, the students have set manageable goals and the strategies they have articulated demonstrate they understand what they need to do to achieve those goals. Our students have clearly been an integral part of their own learning. Their daily assignments/projects, their own reflections, and their teacher’s feedback make it abundantly clear students are being successful. In so many cases, the students have connected their goals to what they already know about themselves. They are achieving their goals and know where they need to go next for continuous improvement. Setting the goals for success for students’ right at the beginning and making them part of the process is critical.

The report cards will be issued on January 30, 2020 and June 26, 2020. You will notice some changes to the report cards this year. 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.

All K-9 schools will use a common numerical indicator scale, which has distinct levels to provide the most accurate way to communicate student achievement. K-9 Common Indicator Scale: 

 4 - Excellent – The student demonstrates a mastery level of understanding. 

■ The quality of work within the body of evidence may be perceptive and/or insightful. 

■ The student consistently demonstrates this level of achievement. 

■ Students achieving at this level have excellent demonstration of grade level outcomes and can be confident of being prepared for further learning in this area 

 3 - Good - The student demonstrates a well-developed level of understanding. 

■ The quality of work within the body of evidence may be clear and/or well reasoned. 

■ The student consistently demonstrates this level of achievement. 

■ Students achieving at this level can be confident of being prepared for further learning in this area. 

 2 – Basic - The student demonstrates a developing level of understanding. 

■ The quality of work within the body of evidence may be adequate and/or concrete. 

■ The student consistently demonstrates this level of achievement. 

■ Adjustments to planning and instruction may be necessary for further learning in this area. 

 1 – Not Meeting -The student demonstrates a beginning level of understanding. 

■ The quality of work within the body of evidence may be vague and/or undeveloped.

■ The student consistently demonstrates this level of achievement. 

■ Targeted adjustments to planning and instruction will be necessary for further learning in this area. 

For more information on Assessment and Reporting, please see the CBE website. https://www.cbe.ab.ca/programs/curriculum/assessment-andreporting/Pages/default.aspx 

We greatly appreciate all the students who arrive for school on time. It is critically important for them to start their day on a positive note as the teachers give them information about the day’s expectations and help them to organize their day for learning. When a child is 15 minutes late, every day, they are missing 2,745 minutes or 45.75 hours of instruction. Even missing 5 minutes of instructional time every day adds up to a loss of 915 minutes or 15.25 hours over the course of the year. That is a significant loss of learning time! Alberta Education mandates all elementary students receive 950 hours of instruction and unfortunately, children are disadvantaged when they miss large amounts of time. Please help your children to ready themselves and get to school on time. We hope with your support, we can significantly decrease the number of students arriving late each morning.

We have to love Calgary weather and the fact we live in a climate notorious for unpredictable changes! We would like to remind you to ensure your child is prepared for the sudden changes in weather by having a warm coat, hat, mitts, and boots with them when they come to school. When temperatures reach -20 Celsius or colder including the wind-chill factor, students will be kept inside for recess or lunch breaks. The -20 Celsius guideline is comparable to other school jurisdictions in Alberta and across Canada. However, we will run the “Polar Bear Club” for students who would like to brave the colder weather (max. -25 Celsius). This is voluntary, however they must be dressed for the cold with a warm jacket, snow pants, scarves, mitts, boots etc. We will go out for a short while (15 minutes), and at any time the students are cold, they will be able to come back into the school. Thank you to the Leadership Team and other staff members who are willing to supervise and join The Polar Bear Club! During the winter, roads may also be congested and slippery resulting in possible bus delays. Parents/guardians whose children take a yellow school bus can view the status of their bus on www.myschoolbusmonitor.com.

From January to the end of February, Alberta Education will be conducting the annual Accountability Pillar Survey. In January, parents of students in grades 4, 7, and 10 will receive a survey from Alberta Education. In February, students in grades 4, 7, and 10, and all teachers will be completing their surveys online at school.

All surveys are anonymous and ask questions about experiences with the school. All parents/guardians receive the English version of the survey in the mail, but Alberta Education also provides it in Arabic, Blackfoot, Chinese, Cree, French, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog and Urdu. If you would prefer to respond to the survey in one of these languages, please let us know and a copy will be sent to you. 

It is very important that parents/guardians complete the survey and return it to Alberta Education. Alberta Education and the public use the results of the Accountability Pillar Survey to assess satisfaction with the quality of education in our schools. In addition, the Calgary Board of Education uses the information to improve teaching and learning for your children.

If you “Don’t Know” the answer to a particular question, please skip that question and go to the next one, otherwise want your response will unintentionally count as a negative one.

Your voice matters. Your participation in the survey helps provide important information on the quality of education your child is receiving. Alberta Education and the Calgary Board of Education thank you for returning the parent Accountability Pillar Survey promptly. If you have questions, please contact us at the school.

The Accountability Pillar uses a set of 16 indicators consisting of surveys of students, parents and teachers on various aspects of quality; student outcomes such as dropout and high school completion rates; and provincial assessments of student learning. Interested in the results? Look for them in school and the CBE 3-Year Education Plans and Annual Education Results Reports, posted on the website.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon in and around the school, at School Council, or during school events.

Laine Mulholland, Principal

Kim Howden, Assistant Principal


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