It is hard to believe that November is upon us, and winter break will be right around the corner. As we look forward to December and winter break, I know it is a lovely time to rest and rejuvenate, spend time with loved ones, and to take time to recognize the many celebrations that take place such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Winter (Ipákssaisstoyi) Solstice, and Omisoka.
It has been amazing to reflect and witness the growth in the students since August, and to see how well they have adjusted to the routines that support them to engage in meaningful learning each day. Staff appreciated the opportunity to meet with families to address IPP's (Individual Program Plans) goals and to learn more about our students in September. This year staff will continue to focus their attention on supporting students to develop their expressive communication skills, to enhance each student's ability to regulate to promote and support individual well-being, and to support the early exploration and development of mathematical reasoning and thinking as addressed through our School Development Plan. For more information, please reference our School Development Plan available on the Emily Follensbee School website or we encourage you to attend our upcoming School Council meetings to learn more.
In addition, to all the great learning in the last few months Emily Follensbee has been busy as we have welcomed visitors and volunteers back into the school to support programming, hosted in-person Give-a-Cheer assemblies and celebrated Halloween with trick or treating and fun choice-making activities. We are also looking forward to our Remembrance Day assembly on November 10.
I want to welcome all new members to the Emily Follensbee School Children's Society who were voted in during the Annual General Meeting held in October. Your contribution is appreciated and supports the entire school. We also wish to thank all outgoing members for their service and the contribution they made. We could not have done this work without you! We also want to remind and encourage all parents/guardians to attend School Council and Society meetings to learn what is happening within our school and to have input in decision-making. In closing, a special thank you to School Council & the EFS Children's Society for organizing our recent Sipology Fundraiser, and for each one of you that supported this initiative by placing an order. The funds raised will support all students within our school!
I hope that everyone has a wonderful November and December, and I look forward to connecting with you.
Jennifer Hart, Principal
I am so excited to welcome all returning and new students and families to the 2022-2023 school year at Emily Follensbee School. Emily Follensbee is such a wonderful place for students to learn and grow. I know the year ahead will be an incredible learning journey for each of our students and am excited to see the great learning opportunities that students will engage in. This summer was a busy one at EFS. Thanks to a generous contribution from the Emily Follensbee Children's Society and the Calgary Board of Education work commenced on having all our student bathrooms updated with new electrical and lift and tracks systems. This project is a substantial one, and will make a significant difference for students and staff at EFS. Installation will continue in after-school hours through the month of September. Once again, I want to thank the Society and the CBE for their generous support in making this project a reality.
A reminder that many forms were sent home with your student in the first week of school. These forms are important, and we ask that they be completed and returned as soon as possible so that we have the most up-to-date student information. If you need any support or have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your child's classroom teacher or call the office at 403-777-6980.
I am so excited about the year ahead and look forward to welcoming all of you!
Jennifer Hart, Principal
As always, it is so hard to believe that we are already at the end of our 2021-2022 school year. It has been an amazing year filled with incredible learning, laughter, smiles and opportunities for students to make strong connections to their peers, classroom teams, and all the other professionals who make learning a reality at Follensbee. I want to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who works at Emily Follensbee as each day your professionalism, knowledge, support, and commitment to well-being has been tremendous and ensured that all students continue to thrive, be safe and engage in meaningful learning at school. I also want to take this opportunity to personally thank all the parents and guardians who continue to support us and their children every day. We applaud all of you!
June is also the time when we have to say goodbye to each of our amazing graduates. Each graduate holds such a special place in our hearts, and we are sad for you to go but excited for all the new possibilities that await. This year we have 12 graduates that will be attending Christine Meikle School and we know each of you will delight in the opportunity to make new friends, connect with past graduates, and engage in new learning. In addition, we have two graduates that will be attending alternate programs and are so excited for them to meet new friends and engage in great learning in an exciting new environment.
June has also been an exciting time as we have had the opportunity to welcome new students and families to the Follensbee community during intake meetings. We are so excited to welcome each of you to EFS and know that next year is going to be amazing.
To all the staff and students have a wonderful well deserved summer break. My hope is that each of you has time to relax, rejuvenate, laugh and have lots of opportunity to connect with friends and family over the break. Take care and we look forward to seeing all students on the Monday, August 15 for the first day of classes.
Have a wonderful summer everyone!
It is hard to believe that we will welcome spring this month, and that families, students, and staff will be looking ahead to spring break. Spring is always an exciting time to explore our outdoor environment and witness firsthand through each of our senses the many changes that will take place. To support exploration of the outdoors at this time of year there is an abundance of great literature that delves into the concept of spring. Two great reads you may want to explore with your child are When Spring Comes and Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring. When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes and painter Laura Dronzek looks at the ways in which the world transforms when spring comes while Kenard Pak's Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring is a cheerful conversation that a young boy has with nature as he observes how the season changes from winter to spring.
January and February saw us engage in many great learning opportunities and continue the work of our school development plan. January highlights included the opportunity to meet with families during our parent teacher conferences. Teachers always look forward to having the opportunity to share and celebrate the progress that each of the students has made and to engage in conversation about the next steps in learning progressions for each of the students. While one of the many highlights of February included many classes learning about the Olympics and a culminating activity that saw us partake in a friendly competitive biathlon event organized by Colleen's class. This fun event saw us cheering one another on in a socially distanced outdoor event.
We currently have two surveys for families to participate in and we encourage you to share your feedback. Please submit your thoughts to the School Planning Survey | Unique/Special Settings and the 2021-22 Assurance Survey.
I also want to say thank you to everyone who placed an order for Emily Follensbee branded t-shirts, sweatshirts and masks. These orders not only contribute to fundraising at Emily Follensbee but also promote school spirit and pride. It was great to see so many people wearing Emily Follensbee branded clothing. We hope students and their families have a wonderful Spring Break!
Jennifer Hart, Principal
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie ~
It is hard to believe that December is upon us, and winter break is right around the corner. December is always a lovely time to rest and rejuvenate, spend time with loved ones, and to take time to recognize the many celebrations that take place such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Winter (Ipákssaisstoyi) Solstice, and Omisoka.
It has been amazing to reflect and witness the growth in the students since August, and to see how well they have adjusted to routines that support them to engage in meaningful learning each day. Staff have been focused on supporting students to develop their expressive communication skills, to enhance each students' ability to self or co-regulate which promotes well-being, and to support the early exploration and development of number and spatial sense as highlighted in our School Development Plan. For more information, please reference our School Development Plan that is available on the Emily Follensbee School website.
In addition, to all the great learning the last two months has seen us celebrate Halloween, partake in a moving virtual Remembrance Day assembly, as well as a virtual retirement celebration for our caretaker, Terry, who spent over 20 years taking care of Emily Follensbee School. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the School Council for organizing our Purdy's Fall Fundraiser and for each one of you that supported this initiative by placing an order. The support we received far exceeded our expectations! At this time, we are also excited to announce that are next fundraiser will start in January. We will be posting an online store that will offer for sale Emily Follensbee branded t-shirts, sweatshirts and masks in an array of colors.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful December and a winter break full of amazing family moments.
Jennifer Hart, Principal
“I shall find out thousands and thousands of things!"
—The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I have always found the start of the school year to be an exciting time of year. I know that this excitement comes from the opportunity of being able to connect with students, families, and colleagues. I also get excited when I think of the endless opportunities for learning that will happen and all the things that students will discover or learn about over the course of the year. Just like the quote from The Secret Garden I know that each student “shall find out thousands and thousands of things" as the year progresses.
We truly have had a wonderful start to this school year and I can attest that the halls, classrooms, and outdoor learning spaces have really come alive with laughter and learning. We have been delighted to see how quickly our new students have adjusted this year and how quickly they have made connections with staff and peers. As a school, we look forward to continue to utilize our outdoor learning space Cliffside throughout September and October and are pleased that the whole school will take part in the Terry Fox Run or Roll on September 29. We also look forward to engaging in meaningful and reflective learnings about Indigenous teachings, culture and history and encourage everyone to wear Orange on September 30, to honor and bring awareness to the experiences of residential school students. Additional highlights coming up include meeting with parents and guardians on September 23 and 24 at meet the teacher and classroom team conferences and highlighting what we are thankful for closer to fall break. Thank you to all the parents and guardians for supporting us though what has been an amazing start to the 2021/2022 school year.
It is so hard to believe that we are fast approaching the end of the 2020/2021 school year. It has been a year filled with amazing learning, laughter, and smiles, and at times challenges and worries as we have continued to learn how to navigate teaching and learning during a global pandemic. I want to extend a sincere thank you to all the staff at Follensbee as your professionalism, knowledge, support and commitment to health and safety has been tremendous and ensured that all students continued to thrive, be safe and engage in meaningful learning at school. I want to also take this opportunity to personally thank all the parents and guardians who have supported us, and their children during this extraordinary year of learning.
June is also the time when we have to say goodbye to each of our amazing graduates. Each one of you holds such a special place in our hearts and we are sad for you to go but excited for all the new possibilities that await you. All 10 of this year's graduates will be attending Christine Meikle School and we know each of you will delight in the opportunity to make new friends, connect with past graduates and engage in new learning. We also had the opportunity to welcome new students and families to the Follensbee community during intake meetings this month. We are so excited to welcome each of you to EFS and know that next year is going to be amazing. You may find our 2021-22 calendars on our website.To all the staff and students have a wonderful well deserved summer break. My hope is that each of you has time to relax, rejuvenate, laugh, and have lots of opportunity to connect with friends and family over the break. Take care and we look forward to seeing all students on the August 17 for the first day of school.
Spring has finally sprung and it is hard to believe that we are starting the final two months of this school year. With more sunshine and warmer weather, students and staff have been engaging in outdoor learning and community activities. Nature scavenger hunts, community walks and experiencing the first signs of spring are regularly enjoyed by everyone. We are so lucky to have our Cliffside learning space and local pathways as it enables us to extend our learning beyond the school's walls.
We are thankful for the feedback that we will be receiving based on the recently released Alberta Government Assurance Survey and the 2021-22 School Budget & Fees Survey to parents/guardians. The information that we receive helps guide us in continuing to develop a strong and supportive program at Emily Follensbee School.
This time of the year also brings the excitement of planning for the new 2020-21 school year ahead. We will be finalizing year-end student transitions, program calendars, classroom organization and staffing in the upcoming weeks. In addition, the Calgary Board of Education will start to announce important information for year-end as well for next school year including details of 2021-22 busing registration. We continue to encourage you to take time to read your child's Daily Agenda Book, as well as our “Weekly Reminder" emails and/or visit our school website as updates become available.
We also wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge and extend our deep gratitude to two amazing team members, Colleen and Diana. Colleen bravely stepped into the role of Acting Assistant Principal and has provided invaluable support to our team and in assisting me with the daily planning, organizing and decision making for the school. Her leadership and willingness to expand her comfort zone and skills is greatly appreciated. We also thank Diana for taking the lead in Colleen's classroom. We have been lucky to keep Diana as part of the EFS Teaching Team for the better part of this year. She has been filling in for Colleen since mid-February and her enthusiasm, creativity and dedication to our student community is both admired and appreciated.
We look forward to officially welcoming Lanna Myers, our new Assistant Principal, through the school doors on June 1, 2021. Many changes have happened during the 2020-21 school year and I look forward to seeing what excitement a new school year will bring! Enjoy the month of May everyone!
March was another great month here at Emily Follensbee and we returned from spring break after a well-deserved rest! Earlier this month we were delighted to announce that Lanna Myers will be our new Assistant Principal and will start with us on June 1. Lanna has an amazing skill set and will be a wonderful addition to the Emily Follensbee Family. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Colleen Russell, Acting Assistant Principal, Darcy Allen, Acting Learning Leader, and Diana Kurila, our temporary Classroom Teacher for being willing to step up and support the school through this transition.
It has been amazing to see the many signs of spring and students engaged in so many wonderful learning opportunities both indoors and out. Our classroom displays are alive and a testament to the amazing learning that is happening.
April also sees Parents/Guardians receiving the Assurance Survey (formerly Accountability Pillar Survey) to provide feedback on your child's education. This year, we are asking Parents/Guardians of children who are in grades 4, 5, 6 & 7 at Emily Follensbee to participate in the survey. This year's survey is a pilot that will include questions measuring both the required Alberta Education Assurance Measures and the Accountability Pillar survey measures. Considering the unique circumstances of this school year, several items related to COVID-19 have been added to the end of the survey for the Ministry of Education to collect basic information about the student, parent, and teacher experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to encourage all parents to complete this survey as it provides the school with valuable information, please note that the survey closes on Friday, April 23. If you have questions about the survey, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Enjoy the warmer weather,
What a privilege it is to be writing my first Principal message to you as the newly appointed Principal of Emily Follensbee School. Having had the opportunity to get to know our students, staff, and families over the last four years as the Assistant Principal has certainly been a highlight of my career. I am so honored and filled with gratitude to continue this work as the Principal of this amazing school. I want to take the time to thank everyone for their kind words, well wishes and congratulatory messages. As I transition into my new role, please know how much I look forward to being able to continue to support and serve the students, families and staff of Emily Follensbee. If you ever have questions, comments or concerns please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the school phone at 403-777-6980.
Staff and students are excited for the month of March with the promise of warmer weather and the glimpses of Spring that will be coming our way. All classrooms have been utilizing our outdoor space “Cliffside" and will be looking for more opportunities to explore outside as the month progresses. To support this exploration with their students and engage in their own learning opportunities teachers will participate in a professional learning opportunity with Christina Pickles. Christina is the owner and founder of Get Outside and Play, and has already supported staff to better understand children's development and learning in an outdoor setting. Our professional learning opportunity is scheduled for March 12 which is a non-instructional day for students. We also welcome Spring Break this month which takes place March 27 to April 5.
We are excited to welcome Colleen Russell, Learning Leader & Teacher, into the role of Acting Assistant Principal as we go through the process of hiring a permanent candidate. Colleen's willingness to step out of the classroom and into this leadership role has been a tremendous asset to supporting a smooth transition.
Again, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for the opportunity to serve as Principal of this amazing school. I look forward to what I know will be a wonderful and exciting journey with all of you.
(Hidden) Fred Bulloch, Principal
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