Conferences start tomorrow! If you are new to Escuela Eugene Coste, we welcome you to your first Parent-Teacher Conference of the year! Conferences will be taking place virtually though Microsoft Teams. After you login to our online portal https://sis.cbe.ab.ca and then select the MyCBE apps, you will be able to access “my School Conferences". Once you locate your child's teacher and select a time, you will be asked to provide your e-mail address. This will allow the system to send an e-mail with a link that will allow you to enter your scheduled conference. If you have still not booked your conference, there is still time. If you need support, call the school and we can help you.
Conferences typically run 15 minutes. The intention of this first meeting is to have a chance to connect with the teacher and provide your perspective on your child, including their strengths, interests and areas that will be important to monitor. Ongoing communication is very important to us and is critical to your child's success. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you require additional time, have questions or want to share a concern with us and need assistance.
Remember, in order to accommodate conference times and all families there will be no school for students on the following days:
Kindergarten: No School Thursday Sept 23
Kindergarten: Gr 5: No School Friday Sept 24
Picture Day!- September 27-28
In order to accommodate all of our homerooms, we have spread Picture Day across two days. On Monday, all students in our M/W kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2 and grade 3 will have their individual photos taken. On Tuesday, we will invite students in grade 4, grade 5 and our Tu/Th kindergarten for photos. If any students were away on Monday, they can have an opportunity to have their photo taken on Tuesday. Thank you in advance, to the parent volunteers who have agreed to help us with photos over the two days.
Unfortunately we will not be taking traditional group photos again this year due to ongoing health restrictions and CBE guidelines that respond to that direction.
Terry Fox Run: Oct 4( k-gr5) and Oct 5 (k only)
In a separate message shared with families earlier this week, we outline the process for our Terry Fox Run this year. We will not be accepting cash donations. To honour the legacy of Terry Fox and how his goals have funded decades of cancer research, please consider donating to: https://secure.terryfox.ca/registrant/search.aspx?EventID=353471&LangPref=en-CA&searchState=teamSearch
Sra. Andrea Riquelme
Principal, Escuela Eugene
Yet again our community and the entire province is
facing increasing pressure and challenges related to the ongoing Covid-19
pandemic. Our central purpose at Escuela Eugene Coste is to continue to provide
a safe, caring and welcoming environment that puts student learning and
well-being first. Since the beginning of this school year, the CBE has
committed to maintaining health guidelines that exceeded those mandated by the
provincial government. Enhanced hygiene, cohorting, staying home when sick and
masking work in combination to reduce the risk of spreading illness so that our
schools can remain open for students. I am grateful to all of you for working
with your children to understand why we continue to implement these practices.
While we cannot predict the future, our sights continue to be set on creating
phenomenal learning experiences for your children.
Student Code of Conduct: Last week we touched on our two primary rules: Play Safe and Be Kind. We are a school of young learners and we must ensure that we work with students using language and strategies that are appropriate for them. The CBE has a system-wide Student Code of Conduct and Progressive Discipline Policy that underpins this work. Both documents are available for viewing on our school website:https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/eugenecoste/culture-environment/conduct/pages/default.aspx
Sra. Andrea Riquelme
Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste
Students and teachers continue to settle into the routines of learning and being back to school. Our newest learners are becoming experts at remembering their teacher's names and remembering the way back to their classroom. These early weeks are critical for developing relationships and establishing routines that are the foundation for a positive learning environment in the months to come. Our learners in the higher grades slid into their routines and classes with ease, as many of them have “looped" with their classroom teacher from last year and are already well-versed in the culture and expectations at Escuela Eugene Coste.
This is a good time to remind everyone of our two primary rules: Play safe and Be Kind. When we take the time to work with students after a difficult situation or conflict, we always ask each child to reflect on their actions: Was I safe? Was I kind? We then work to determine what actions could have been chosen instead and what would be a good plan for next time.
Calgary Opera Residency- Update: Our goal to remain flexible and resilient continues this year. On Monday Sept 13, we will welcome guest artists from Calgary Opera to share a unique, private performance with our students. Plan A involves the artists setting up in our courtyard. Several homerooms will be invited to sit outside within their cohorts, while others will enjoy the performance from classrooms facing the compound. In order to respect our current guidelines, we will offer 2 performances in order to limit the size of the outdoor gathering to no more than 100 people. If weather is not cooperative, we will switch to Plan B in which the artists will perform in our Learning Commons which we will stream live to each classroom.
The intention of this experience is to welcome students to the residency by giving them a taste of professional performance. We will be working with professional artists including a storyteller, librettist and stage/production manager to make this project come alive over the course of the year.
Sra. Andrea Riquelme
Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste
Welcome back! We had a very busy and uneventful first day back with most of our students. We look forward to welcoming our Tues/Thurs Kindergarten students tomorrow.
Teachers spent much of the day working with students to remember routines and to get to know each other. All students had the opportunity to meet our lunch supervisors (Melanie, Kim, Alicia, Yasmin, Melina and Tami) who make up the backbone of our support staff team. Our Education Assistants, Doris, Angie and Monica as well as Sylvia and Yuri in the office, complete our team of caring adults who know and love each of your children.
On behalf of all our teachers and support staff, I would like to warmly welcome you back to Escuela Eugene Coste School. It is my sincere hope that your family enjoyed a restful (and fun!) summer and that you were able to find time to connect with those you care about. For those of you that have had the chance to get to know me, you would not be surprised to know that I spent most of my time close to home. I enjoyed hiking, biking, gardening, visiting with great friends and hanging out with my sons Javier (almost 17) and Joaquin (12) along with my husband Carlos. We did manage to sneak over to the West Coast and enjoy some fresh, smoke-free air in Vancouver, and taking our car for a ride in the ferry to spend a couple of days in Victoria. An additional local highlight for me was to finally explore Writing on Stone Provincial Park, a site that is sacred to the Blackfoot community.
Sra. Andrea Riquelme
Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste
Is it really the last full week of school? The start of this school year was like no other in our history. Teaching and learning during a global pandemic is a massive challenge. I am incredibly proud of all of our students, families and staff for believing in the work of public education and partnering with us over the course of this year.
A running joke among many
school-based staff is that June is the longest year of the month! Finalizing a
year of learning while at the same time, preparing for the new school year to
come creates a unique workload that can best be defined as intensive transition
planning. Transitions bring about change; a new grade level, new classmates,
new teachers. It is exciting and also brings about its own uncertainty. Many
families and students want to know who
will be teaching what in the year to come. Believe me, our teachers want
the same guarantee too! As we have shared previously, our planning is directly
dependant on anticipated enrollment for next year. Changes, often
unanticipated, can occur over the summer so it is difficult to promise exactly what the next year’s
organization will look like. We are ready to share some preliminary staffing
with you, which brings some changes:
- Sra. Julia Wolf will be moving to kindergarten
- Srta. Kelsie London will be moving to grade 1
- Sra. Paisley Newburn will be moving to grade 2/3
- Srta. Jennifer Kelsey will be our Music Specialist
- Srta. Paula Herrera will return from HUB to grade 2/3
- Srta. Monica Zarco will return from maternity leave to grade 4/5
All other teaching staff will remain with us at Eugene Coste. We look forward to welcoming back Sra. Elena Castro, Sr. Andrew Traxel, Sra. Magda Salamanca, Sra. Lais Rumel, Srta. Jordan Van Eerden, Sr. Boris Reyes, Sra. Jodi Schmidt, Sr. Andy Gossen and Srta. Micah Plomp who will remain on temporary contract until late March 2022 (Sra. Jordan Irwin).
Plans are already underway to formalize preparations for the year to come. As we have done in prior years, your child's teacher will call you personally at the end of August to welcome you back to school.
I would like to sincerely wish you all a wonderful summer and I do look forward to seeing you again in September!
Sra. Riquelme and Sra. Jackie
Today we welcomed back a crew of students from another round of quarantine and at-home learning. We are very appreciative of each family's patience and flexibility as we work to ensure quality learning continues whether students are at home or in the classroom. We know that we do best when we are together and we celebrate when our community is back in the building.
Our work with our Artist in Residence ended this week. By no means does it mean that the artistic process has been completed, simply that the instructional time with Ewa has ended. Teachers and students have learned many new techniques and have stretched their comfort level in drawing from observation, researching from nature and working with watercolours or fabric. On the next pages we have collected many photos of the learning process. I hope that these bring you joy knowing that your learner has participated in an exemplary learning opportunity.
Duckwatch 2021 has been a very exciting experience for our staff and students. This week, Felipa's 9 eggs hatched. The students in Srta. Kelsie's class predicted that the eggs would hatch on or after June 9th. It just so happens that we noticed a lot of activity on our livestream and yes, 9 little ducklings appeared on our screens on June 9. It surprised many of us to see that mom and babies jumped out of the planter box later in the day to march around the courtyard. There were some tense moments when Felipa realized that her babies could not enter the planter box as it was too high. Sra. Jackie and I tried to provide a ramp but Felipa used her instincts and found a safe place within the courtyard to rest. When we returned to school on June 10, Felipa and her ducklings had disappeared. We trust that she found another safe place to continue raising her young and feel fortunate that she deemed our courtyard a very safe location to lay her eggs and welcome her ducklings to the world.
Sra. Riquelme and Sra. Jackie
2021 Estimadas familias,
I can imagine
that many of you are deeply impacted
by the news of the 215 children’s remains at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. I join
you in this grief and questioning of what we can do as a nation to repair the
damage that has been caused by the years of intergenerational trauma inflicted on our Indigenous community. When major
reckonings like this occur, we
may feel compelled to connect with one another to ask questions or to simply
share and acknowledge one another’s feelings. We may also turn inwards
and reflect on our
own experiences and what we felt we knew we understood about our collective history.
In my case, the work of the initial phase of the Truth and
which concluded in 2015, has permeated my work as a teacher and leader. During that time, I felt the call to speak with my students about the history of residential schools, leaning on storybooks such as “Shi-shi-etko" by Nicola Campbell to guide my conversations with students. I looked upon that story as one of hope, as it shared how one little girl gained knowledge and memories from her family before going away to school. As a teacher, I attempted to explore with my grade 4 students the multiple perspectives of Alberta's history and how what was formally presented in text and media may only reflect the experiences of one group, often the dominant one. My goal was to approach history through a critical and thoughtful lens, building awareness along the way.
It is with this lens that I had a sad realization on one of my drives to school this week. Some of you may know that I live in a rural area SW of Calgary. On my many drives or bike rides around the countryside I have seen cute roadside markers, such as the one shown in the adjacent photo, marking the place where a one-room schoolhouse existed. These buildings were constructed to provide education to children living within a walkable (or rideable) distance to the school. Siblings and neighbours would come together for a day of learning and then return home. It struck me that at the same time in our history, Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes to unlearn their culture in imposing buildings far away from their homes and families. It took the uncovering of the awful truth over this weekend to make that connection.
As Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada stated, “Education is how we will heal, teaching our children that we are all equal is how we will stop racism and bring about reconciliation."
Over the coming days and weeks as we move closer to the end of the school year, we will formally identify a call to action as a school. We will lean on the voices of our students, staff and families in order to continue the work of reconciliation and healing. Resources have been shared with our school to guide teachers in conversations with their students. We will share more of this in the days to come.
Planning for Next Year: During our professional learning day last Friday, we spent time as a staff creating next year's class lists. We strive for balance in terms of dynamics and learning needs. To help us create lists that are as accurate as possible, please let our office know.
Feedback Updates: School Development Plan and Budget & Fees: Families, thank you for taking the time to provide valuable feedback on multiple school process over the last few months. Presentations and your feedback are now posted on our website for you to review. Please know that what you share with us matters and contributes to planning and decision making. If you have any questions or would like to chat, please do not hesitate to reach out.
School Development Plan: https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/eugenecoste/get- involved/community-engagement/pages/dev-plan-engagement.aspx
School Budget & Fees: https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/eugenecoste/get- involved/community-engagement/pages/budget-engagement.aspx
High School Engagement: The High School Proposed Plan is currently open for feedback from June 1 – June 13 through online surveys and idea boards. The proposed plan was informed by feedback gathered over the last two years along with CBE planning principles, available space and resources and financial stability. The final decision will be communicated by June 30, 2021, for implementation in September 2022. The plan does impact our Spanish Bilingual Program, by centralizing it at Crescent Heights High School. cbe.ab.ca/highschoolengagement
Child and Youth Well-being Review: Families and children are invited to complete a survey developed by the Province that is looking to uncover how the pandemic has impacted child and youth well-being. You can visit the following website for more information and to access this optional survey:
All of our staff were so pleased to welcome your children back to the classroom this week! I made sure to visit each class on Tuesday morning to personally say “bienvenidos" and to let the students know that we missed them so much! A quiet and empty school feels ok when summer is starting, but in not in May. Fingers and toes are all crossed for a smooth finish to the year. Being together in the same space has already created amazing learning opportunities which you may have heard about at home. From our virtual Artist in Residence to our new “duck in residence", there is a lot of activity at school!
We have received some very welcome news from our technology team. As you may recall, our school received loaner Chromebooks to supplement our inventory in order to help families connect, during periods of at-home learning. We now learned that we are able to keep our loaner devices! Over 4,000 Chromebooks were deployed temporarily to schools as part of the CBE's Pandemic Response to support ongoing at-home learning. As funding was made possible through specific Pandemic Response allocations, the decision has been made to leave the Chromebooks as currently deployed within the school. We will work to integrate these into our existing inventory and distribute them to where they are most needed: in classrooms.
SDP Engagement: Earlier this week (well, yesterday), you received an invitation to our School Council and Enrichment Society meetings. During the council portion of the meeting, I will be walking parents through our School Development Plan process. Your engagement and feedback contributes to ongoing student success and learning progress. This year, we have focused our efforts on bilingual literacy, with a particular emphasis on reading as well as social/emotional well-being for learning. I truly want to know if you are able to see your child benefitting from these areas of focus and if you can see their progress as learners being reflected within our goals.
Planning for Next Year: During our professional learning day last Friday, we spent time as a staff creating next year's class lists. We strive for balance in terms of dynamics and learning needs. To help us create lists that are as accurate as possible, please let our office know immediately if your plans have changed and you are no longer planning to return to Eugene Coste.
Again, we are absolutely thrilled to have our classrooms filled with students once again.
Sra. Riquelme and Sra. Jackie
Hopefully by now most of
the dust has settled and families have figured out a routine that works for you
and your child/ren as we continue to engage in at-home learning. I am very much looking forward to our anticipated return to learning together at school on May 25. While daily case rates seem to be trending downward, hospitalizations are increasing. The Calgary Board of Education works closely with the Province and Alberta Health Services to strategically plan for our re-entry to schools in order to reduce risk and protect the health of students and staff.
While learning at home, I know that many of you face challenges with regards to helping your child/ren manage time, remain motivated and to complete tasks. I'd like to share some ideas with you to help you work alongside your learner(s):
- Create a realistic, daily routine. Use pre-scheduled meet times as an anchor and work around those times. We really want to ensure that students check in with teachers during scheduled meets and the rest of the day is yours to organize in a way that suits your family. Attendance is taken during meets.
- Write the routine on a piece of paper/ white board and keep it visible. Here's my “routine":
- If your reality at home means that tasks can only be worked on in the evening, that is ok. Try your best to keep an up-to-date as possible.
- Take advantage of open drop-in times, e-mail your teacher if you need support understanding an instruction or need help with an assignment. Your teacher has your back!
If you require a laptop to support at-home learning, please contact our office directly and we will set a device aside for you.
A special project finally took shape in our hallways this week. This wall wrap is a lasting reminder of one of our students who sadly passed away on November 13, 2017 after a courageous journey living with a rare bone cancer diagnosis. The Thea Roelofsen Legacy Award is given to a student who embodies some of the “Superpowers" that made Thea so special. Students who receive the reward will have their names engraved on a plaque that will eventually be mounted on the wall. Sra. Jackie and I were lucky enough to be the first staff members to view the finished design.
Stay well and please reach out if you need help or support while learning at home.
Sra. Riquelme and Sra. Jackie
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