Nov 06
Remembrance Day

“Why do we wear a poppy today?”
The lady smiled in her wistful way,
And Answered, “This is Remembrance Day, and the poppy there is the symbol for the gallant ones who died in war,
And, because they did, you and I are free,
That’s why we wear a poppy, you see.”

-Don Crawford


I remember reciting this poem “Why Do We Wear a Poppy” as part of a Remembrance Day Ceremony when I was in school.

My commute to school takes me past the temporary monument set up along Memorial Drive with over 3000 markers symbolizing each resident of Calgary who died protecting our country as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is a stunning visual reminder that causes me to reflect on the poem’s message. Perhaps it was the fact that it was a young boy asking the question of the older woman that helped me relate to the situation. We all have memories of Remembrance Day and what it means to us, whether it is a grandparent who served in the war or most recently, speaking with a refugee family from Syria who are so grateful to be living in Canada. 

November is a time for us to reflect on the importance of citizenship in our community both locally and globally. The Calgary Board of Education Citizenship Results Policy states that each student will be a responsible citizen and students will participate in developing and maintaining our Canadian civil democratic society and understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in local, national and international contexts. Our students and staff have worked towards this Citizenship Result with our Terry Fox Run in September that raised over $945.00 for cancer research. As a community, our next effort will be to support Connaught School with a Grocery Card Fundraiser.  More information about this initiative will be coming out shortly.

Because of our pandemic safety measures, our Remembrance Day Ceremony will be done virtually in the classrooms on Tuesday, November 10 at 10:00 a.m.  All students presently members of the Girl Guides, Scouts or Cadets are invited to wear their uniforms for the day. All Earl Grey students will receive a poppy to wear and if families wish, they may make a donation online to the Poppy Fund at: https://legion.ca/home

Matthew Lowe, Principal


Oct 08
Gratitude and Resiliency

Hello Earl Grey Families,

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life; it turns what we have into enough and more. It turns a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today and creates vision for tomorrow.” Author: Melody Beattie

Being grateful has many of the similarities to the concept of resiliency:

Over the past twenty years as an educator, the stories that have fascinated me the most were about students who overcame tremendous odds to become successful in life. The reality that some students who experience family conflict, problems with friendships, bullying, and learning concerns manage to thrive; while others encounter great difficulty has fascinated researchers for some time. The ability for children to succeed in spite of challenges is called resiliency. Researchers have found the following five areas in a child’s life can make the difference whether they are resilient children or continually struggle:

  1. Autonomy - Students who are able to see that they have the power to learn and make age appropriate decisions about their lives tend to fair better than those who don’t.
  2. Sense of Purpose – Students who have goals and see the positive side of life where the glass is half full, not half empty tend to be more successful than those who have lost a sense of hope.
  3. Social Competence – Students who develop skills associated with cooperative learning and friendships tend to be more resilient than those who lack these skills.
  4. Problem Solving – Students who learn to think before acting are more likely to develop resiliency.
  5. Achievement Motivation – Students who don’t give up, but keep on trying no matter what, are in good shape to face the challenges that life will bring their way.

Morrison, G., Allen, R. (2005). Promoting Student Resilience. Theory Into Practise, 46(2), 162-169.

This pandemic has shown us how resilient our students are. Children have been coming to school ready to learn each and every day. Students follow our established safety guidelines without complaint. Even though classrooms look and function differently and many of our special events and extra curricular activities need to be curtailed, children are excited to be at school. The children are demonstrating gratitude, the staff feels this gratitude and all of us are very grateful to our families and community for your continued support.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Matthew Lowe, Principal


Sep 09
Welcome Back!

​Hello Earl Grey Families,

Thank you for helping us make our staggered start a success.  It was a huge help to our staff as we were able to focus on smaller groups of students to set our expectations around wearing masks, physical distancing, sanitation, lunch and recess routines.

Soft Entry

Students are welcome to enter the school from 7:45 to 8:00 a.m.  This eliminates lining up outside and increases the physical distance of everyone in and out the school.  Students in Grades K to 3 enter via the upper compound door, students in grades 4 to 6 enter by the lower playground doors and students dropped off at the Kiss and Ride may enter the school by the front door.  In class learning begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. sharp!  As we have an earlier start this year, please make the necessary adjustments to your families routines to ensure students are on time.

Masks

It is amazing how resilient kids are!  We have not had any issues with our students following the mask guidelines at the school.  In fact, we are reminding students that they can take their masks off while in class and seated at their individual desks.  Students do not need to wear masks outside the school or when they are engaging in physical activity in the gym.

Parking

Parents dropping off students for our Little Steps: Before and After School program can park in the staff parking lot prior to 7:45 a.m.  Students may not be dropped off in the staff parking lot after 7:45 a.m.  When dropping student off at school, we suggest using Hillcrest Avenue (please note posted no parking signs) Dorchester Ave. and Earl Grey Crescent.

School start up packages including demographic verification documentation will be sent out early next week.

Reminder: Friday’s are early dismissal.  Grades 1 to 6 dismiss at 12:00 p.m. 

Matthew Lowe
Principal, Earl Grey School

Jun 30
Have a Wonderful Summer!

All of us deserve a well earned summer break!

I wish to express my gratitude to our incredible students, staff and parents for your willingness, creativity and skill in pivoting to online learning during this challenging time.  I especially want to thank our students for their commitment to learning.  I am proud of each and every one of you! 

Parents, please know that re-entry planning for the 2020-2021 school year is significant and thorough.  At Earl Grey, we know that the safety of our students and staff is paramount. Throughout the summer, the CBE Communications Team will be communicating directly with all parents & guardians. As you are aware, Aug. 1 is when the Alberta government will announce which scenario will be in place for the beginning of the school year on Sept. 1. As a staff, we hope that your child receiving a postcard from their teacher in the summer welcoming them to their new class will help to support the transition into the next school year. As we set off for the summer, we know that Earl Grey is nimble and we will adapt to any scenario we come back to.

The school office will be open on Thursday, Aug. 27.  We look forward to seeing all of our students and families back on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, for our first day of class.  Please have a look at this website for back to school information located on the Registration tab​. 

Earl Grey is truly a caring community, thank you for all the support and generosity you have given us through this truly remarkable year.  It will be a time in history that our children will be talking about with their grandchildren generations from now. 

Have a wonderful summer,
Matt

Apr 03
Emotional Literacy

Hello Earl Grey Families,

Now that we are all safe at home, practicing social distancing and have begun our transition to an online learning environment, the importance of wellbeing for you and your children has never been greater.

As a school staff, we continue to work with Anita Thomson from Insight Education to support our school’s Well Being for Learning Goal which focuses on lowering students ’anxiety when confronted with academic and social challenges. Emotional Literacy has been our current focus. Thank you Anita for sharing these strategies to support Emotional Literacy with the Earl Grey community.

Emotional Literacy

Developing emotional literacy aids a child’s mental wellness and physical well-being. Teaching moments abound in our current situation! There are so many unknowns, and the information we do have right now is a little scary and daunting. Having to adjust to so many changes and challenges can also press hard on our emotions.

One of the most important things parents and caregivers can do is be honest, open and vocal about their own emotional experiences; both pleasant and unpleasant. Frame the information and emotions you share age appropriate, but don’t try to seem heroic, stoic or unfazed if that’s not how you really feel.
Stability and change ebb and flow. Feelings and emotions come and go too, and teaching our children to surf those emotion waves can help them manage emotional, social and environmental challenges as they grow.

Strategies - What Can Parents Do?

Parents, teachers and other care-giving adults can play a major role in children’s ability to identify, understand, and express emotions in a healthy way. The following strategies are effective in promoting emotional literacy in children.

1. Express Your Own Feelings. One way to help children learn to label their emotions is to have healthy emotional expression modelled for them by the adults in their lives. For example, if the wi-fi is slow when you’re trying to work you could say, “Oh man, this is so frustrating!! I’d better take a couple of deep breaths and figure out another way to get my presentation working.” Parents can make a point to talk out loud about their feelings as they experience them throughout the day. It may seem a little awkward at first, but keep in mind that children can't read your thoughts. It’s helpful for them to hear out loud how you feel, and how you plan to resolve uncomfortable feelings.

2. Label Children’s Feelings. As parents provide feeling names for children’s emotional expressions, a child’s feeling vocabulary grows. Throughout the day, parents can attend to their children’s emotional moments and attempt to help label their feelings. For example as your child runs for the playground, she sees it is taped up and off limits. Your child begins to frown and tense up. You can say, “You seem disappointed that we can’t climb on the bars again today. Sometimes it’s really frustrating when things don’t go the way we wanted.” Then offer a hug, and see if you can think up some other ways to have fun. Let you child take the lead in finding creative solutions.

3. Play Games, Sing Songs and Read Stories Together. Parents can enhance children’s feeling vocabularies by introducing games, songs, and storybooks featuring feeling words. Teachers and parents can adapt songs such as “If you’re happy and you know it” with verses such as “If you’re frustrated and you know it, take a breath”; “If you’re disappointed and you know it, tell a friend”; or “If you’re proud and you know it, say ‘I did it!’”. Taking time to read together and discuss the character’s feelings or behaviours and motivations is another powerful way to increase empathy, self-validation and emotional literacy for kids. In the pre-teen years, try asking questions about characters, plot lines and emotional scenes in shows. Not only will you get to know what they are watching, but it will help you observe how they decipher emotions and relate to the content.

Emotions are everywhere. And, emotions are an integral and unavoidable part of the human experience. We are all being put to the test of our limits right now during isolation, and for some, quarantine. It’s an intense juggle with work at home, kids, maintaining school from home or even lay-offs or new income stresses.

Remember to breathe.

Remember to laugh and spend quality time together in whatever way works best, and is most realistic for your family. We are truly all in this together.

For more information and resources

https://www.parentkind.org.uk/blog/8719/Helping-children-develop-emotional-literacy

https://www.thoughtco.com/activities-to-increase-emotional-vocabulary-2086623

https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=emotion+books+for+kids&i=stripbooks&crid=1FF8M1V3G1XUQ&sprefix=e motion+book%2Cstripbooks%2C204&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_12

Remember, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, safe at home and try not to worry!!

Earl Grey School

Jan 10
Everyday Mindfulness at Home

Welcome back to a very busy January at Earl Grey!  ​

As part of our School Development Plan, we have partnered with Briar Hill school and Anita Thomson from Insight Education to help support our schools Well Being for Learning Goal which focuses on lowering students anxiety when confronted with academic and social challenges.  Mindfulness was the focus of our first professional development session.  Thank you Anita for sharing this mindfulness strategy with our schools.

Everyday Mindfulness At Home 

At Earl Grey School, teachers have been learning more about mindfulness. Teachers who practice mindfulness, naturally bring those concepts to life in the classroom. Our goal is to build a culture of mindfulness with our students, giving them the tools to understand and manage anxiety through proven skills and healthy behaviours – starting at a young age.  

There are a lot of pressures in modern daily life. Parents and Caregivers are often stressed themselves; grownups need encouragement to find a moment or two throughout the day to check-in, slow down and act wisely.

Here’s a Mindful skill presented in an acronym to get you started. 

When you sense you are overwhelmed, frustrated or “tuned out” you can…STOP! 

- Stop what you are doing (ie. take a physical step back, put your device down)
- Take a slow, deep breath
O - Observe what’s happening, without judgement or assumptions
P - Proceed with kindness and curiosity

Taking a moment to use the STOP skill, can make a significant difference in your state of mind, and your interactions with others, especially your loved ones.

Children just need to know that you are genuinely interested in who they are, what they think and feel. Being able to fully concentrate on connectedness during your time together is invaluable.

To learn more, check out this article:
https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/mindfulness-for-children

Happy New Year!
Matt Lowe​

Dec 02
December is shaping up to be a very busy and exciting month

December is shaping up to be a very busy and exciting month. The school is starting to be decorated in festive artwork and you can feel the anticipation of the holiday. As I am writing this message, I have the pleasure of listening to the student’s voices echoing down the hall from gym as they practice for our upcoming Christmas concerts: Jingle Bell Hill and North Pole Musical.  Our division one concert (Grades K to 3) will be on Tuesday, December 10 and our division two concert (Grades 4 to 6) will be on Wednesday, December 11.  More information about our concerts will be sent out as a separate message.    

December is the season of giving.  Our Christmas Stars are available to be picked up from the office wall.  This year, rather than a donation of a toy, we are asking for Walmart Gift Cards.  Gift Cards will allow families the flexibility to purchase what they require to make their own Christmas brighter.  If you can support, it would be greatly appreciated.

For the month of December, we will also be collecting for the Mayor’s 31st Annual Christmas Food Drive.  Boxes will be located in the front hallway of the school.  Non-perishable items can be dropped off for the next two weeks or on the evening of our concerts.  Our food drive for Connaught School was also a success! Thank you to our grade 2/3 classrooms for your leadership in organizing this effort.

 We are very fortunate as a school to have as many parent and community members who have given us the gift of time through numerous volunteer hours.  Our school council is comprised of an amazing group of parents.  As a council they wish to grow and are asking for more parents to join them. Our next council meeting will be on January 14 at 6:30 p.m. Please join us!   

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to extend our hope that the gift of the season warms your heart and brings you happiness.  May all the joys of Christmas and of the holiday season be yours now and throughout the New Year! 

Matt Lowe, Linda Dann, Sandi Metz 

Sep 10
Welcome Back!

Our washroom renovations are nearing completion and our custodial team has done an amazing job in getting the school ready for our first day of classes.  It’s hard to believe that just two weeks ago we had no water service and not one working toilet!

Thanks to our staff for their flexibility in working around these renovations and the extra time they spent ensuring our school was well prepared for our first week.  Mrs. Dann even commented that this has been the smoothest start-up she has seen!

The support and teaching staff we have assembled will be outstanding.  We would like to welcome Mrs. Adiwibawa as our new kindergarten teacher and Mrs. Metz our new Learning Leader and lead teacher for our Learning and Literacy program.

This year, we will be implementing a new math program called JUMP Math.  Our staff had the opportunity to attend an in depth training session last week on this new program and we will be engaging in a number of professional development sessions throughout the year. More information about JUMP Math will be sent by your child’s teacher next week.

Please keep the following dates in mind:

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Thursday and Friday, September 19 and 20. On-line registration will open on Friday, September 14.
  • Terry Fox Run Week will be from September 23rd to the 27th with our School run being held on the afternoon on Thursday, September 26
  • Our Orange Shirt Day assembly in recognition of First Nations reconciliation will be on the morning of Thursday, September 26.

We have an exciting school year planned and there is much to look forward in the months ahead.  Helping children grow into healthy, capable and caring individuals is rewarding work and the entire Earl Grey School staff is delighted to be working with your children. 

Welcome back everyone!

Matt Lowe

Jun 05
June

​We are very proud of the accomplishment of our students and school and this would not be possible without the support of our Earl Grey community.  What a wonderful journey we are all on.  


Thank You….


Parents

For being involved in your child’s learning 

For all you volunteer hours supporting the school

For your tireless fundraising to support our programs and students

For joining School Council.   What a fantastic group of parents we have!

For all the extras that show you care

Students

For doing your best

For living the Seven Habits

For taking care of our environment

For being a good friend

For sharing your curiosity and excitement of learning

Staff

For your commitment to our students and school

For the long hours you work for the betterment of our students

For running clubs and extra-curricular activities

For the outstanding concerts and assemblies you create and lead

For commitment to our shared values that every child is a gift and each one of them WILL be successful learners.


A special meeting of council was held on Monday, June 3rd. to discuss the Calgary Board of Education budget and how this affects our staffing at Earl Grey for the 2019/2020 school year.  Minutes from this meeting are posted on the Earl Grey School Website > Get Involved > School Council: http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/earlgrey/get-involved/school-council/pages/default.aspx


Class Organization:

  

School organization is complex with a number of criteria that we need to address in order to best meet the needs of all of our students.   Final staffing decisions and class list will be completed over the summer.  As in past years, students will be mailed out a postcard from their classroom teacher in late July welcoming them to their class. 


The school office will be open on Wednesday, August 28th.  We look forward to seeing all of our students and families back on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, for our first day of class.


Have a wonderful summer! 


May 02
May Principal Message

​“Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless.” -Sherry Anderson

THANK YOU!! To our parents and community for the numerous hours you have donated to us. We will be having our Volunteer Tea on Wednesday, May 23, at 2:00 p.m. Invitations will be sent out shortly. We look forward to visiting with you and celebrating your continued commitment to our school.

Once again it is time to enter the season of grade 6 Provincial Achievement Tests. While these tests provide useful data for school growth and development, they can be a source of stress for children. It is very normal for all children to experience some anxiety just before taking a test, but this anxiety usually fades once they actually start writing the test. For a small group of children the experience of preparing for and taking a test is a serious source of worry and stress that continues while they are writing the exam. If your child is showing signs of stress such as sleep problems and serious anxiety, please give us a call. We would love to help you support your child.

Children should be encouraged by the fact that Provincial Achievement Tests are important but do not affect report card marks or next year’s grade placement. Students are encouraged to study for provincial tests in small chunks rather than cramming the night before. Research shows that cramming is a less effective study technique than studying a little at a time for a number of weeks. Children writing tests will probably benefit more from a good night’s rest prior to the exam than by staying up late studying. A good breakfast will also go a long way toward helping them feel at their best during the test. Parents of grade six students can be aware of upcoming exams by checking the calendars included in the newsletters.

As a staff, we have been meeting to create an organizational structure for the 2019/2020 school year. Classroom placement is based upon the learning needs of all children. If you have a specific placement request for your child, please provide your educational rationale in writing addressed to administration.​ 

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Friday, Dec. 4 is a system-wide non-instructional day. There are no classes for CBE students – this includes in-person, at-home and Hub online learning. Enjoy the beautiful weather and please continue to follow all public health measures #WeAreCBE https://t.co/72tgopR1dr

RT @mckenzie_lake: Our Gr 1Ss have been promoting the Mayor’s food drive and we are off to a rocking start. Gr1s are promoting using videos and announcements. Gr 2s are graphing our progress. ⁦@nenshi⁩ ⁦@dmmccomish#yycbe #wearecbe https://t.co/7lEd0BHkRq

Earlier today we shared an update with CBE families with some important system information https://t.co/I4ROzvbQ3E #yycbe #WeAreCBE https://t.co/QYcLZRzma2

RT @RobertThirskCBE: When you compress the 12 Days of Giving into 1, the Comets really come through! #awesomekids #justthestart #WeAreCBE https://t.co/eQyELYT5s3

Calgary Transit is waiving the administration fee for the return of December adult and youth monthly passes. Learn more on their website. #yycbe #WeAreCBE https://t.co/BHhgLrZZqk