Nov 29
Wednesday November 24, 2021

​Winter is comming...

During my outdoor supervision rounds I notice a range of outdoor wear from bare arms to full snow-suits. As the weather becomes consistently colder, it is important that all students come prepared for the weather. We send children outside for recess or PE activities up to -20C (including windchill). Exposed skin freezes quickly and we want to ensure that your child is protected and safe. Please ensure that your child comes to school with a coat, mitts/gloves, toque and appropriate outdoor footwear.

If students are not dressed appropriately for the weather, we may not let them outside to play. If you need assistance with accessing winter clothing, please let us know. We can find ways to support you. ​

Nov 25
November 10, 2021

Eugene Coste Observes Remembrance Day  

If you are a regular reader of our weekly newsletters, you may have noticed that I am predictably proud of our staff and students every, single, day. I am especially thrilled when our team is called upon to demonstrate learning even when we are faced with obstacles that require innovation and creativity.  
Our longer-term Eugene Coste families might remember the “good old days” when we would invite parents, grandparents and war veteran guests within our families to join us in respectful observance of Remembrance Day. This important Canadian tradition serves to remind us not only of the sacrifices of our service personnel over the last century but also to reinforce the importance of living in a peaceful community.  

This year, our talented staff and students put together a virtual service that was recorded and edited into a high-quality video. Here’s a brief program summary: 

  • Our talented grade 5 student Logan C started the service by playing O Canada on piano.  
  • Grade 1 students in Sra. Salamanca’s class shared a special Acknowledgment of the land, delivered en español and paired with American Sign Language.
  • Students walked us through a read-aloud of the storybook “What Does Peace Feel Like?” and shared images of student artwork accompanied by a piano rendition of “Imagine” by John Lennon. 
  • This was followed by a reading of “In Flander’s Fields”
  • Grade 4/5 students then interviewed acclaimed athlete, veteran, double-amputee and friend of Srta. Jenn, Corporal Mark Fuchko. To learn more about this incredible Canadian, you can check out his profile in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame: 
  • Our service concluded with one minute of silence followed by The Last Post.  

If technology cooperates with us, we will post this video to our website so that it can be viewed at home. We’ll follow up with a separate note if it works (fingers crossed!).  

Sincerely, ​

Nov 25
Wednesday October 21, 2021

Indigenous Education Professional Learning Day – October 18, 2021 

Our entire staff (teachers and support staff) enjoyed a meaningful day of learning. We deeply appreciate the gift of time together. 
The keynote speakers -Tomas Jirousek- Kainai and Dr. Pam Toulouse- Cree/Anishinaabe-kwe – stimulated subsequent discussions amongst our staff. Key highlights included: 
  • Cultural sensitivity –being careful not to single out our indigenous learners​ 
  • Value of western and traditional forms of education – each has their own gifts and resonates differently for each learner​ 
  • Setting high expectations for all students – the narrative of difficult experiences and history is very real. We should not let this weigh down student potential.
  • Indigenous people know Indigenous issues. Non-Indigenous people can participate in reconciliation by being allies or accomplices- not saviours. ​ 
  • Avoiding truths or repeating misconceptions is a reflection of privilege. Do not be a "perfect strangers" or "perfect trolls".  ​ 
  • Mistakes will be made; this is a learning process for everyone 

Land-based learning provides opportunities for all learners to achieve success and teaches children how to notice, ask questions and form observations. This not only helps to develop the practice of mindfulness, but also leads students through the beginning of scientific inquiry and critical thinking. Our staff members spent the balance of the day at Votier’s Flats in Fish Creek Park, with teaching led by Sr. Andy Gossen, Sra. Jackie and myself! 


Sra. Andrea Riquelme 
Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste  ​

Nov 25
Wednesday October 13, 2021

Our entire staff (teachers and support staff) are looking forward to a special day of community building through learning as together, we work to improve outcomes for Indigenous students and foster Reconciliation through education. As your principal, my role is to facilitate this day of learning in a way that is reflective of our unique context. All schools will have the opportunity to view keynote messages from Tomas Jirousek and Dr. Pamela Toulouse followed by time for reflection and discussion. Our staff will then take our learning outside to Fish Creek Park and we will model land-based learning and teaching to deepen our collective understanding of this process.

Land-based learning provides opportunities for all learners to achieve success and teaches children how to notice, ask questions and form observations. This not only helps to develop the practice of mindfulness, but also leads students through the beginning of scientific inquiry and critical thinking.


The Holistic Lifelong Learning Framework is a flexible tool that teachers and leaders have been using to reflect on our own practices and to plan mindfully for next steps. At Escuela Eugene Coste, I have invited our team to consider how we can use this framework to enhance our Bilingual Program. A simple entry point for our students is to invite them into personal reflection about their learning beginning in the east and then moving clockwise with the sun: 

Spirit-  Espíritu    Yo soy …  

Heart- Corazón   Yo pertenezco… Mi comunidad … 

Body- Cuerpo     Yo puedo ….  

Mind-  Mente       Yo pienso …. Yo sé … 


Chief Justice Murray Sinclair offered the following reflective questions to help guide this process further. 

East – Where do I come from? 

South- Where am I going? 

West- Why am I hear? 

North- Who am I?  


This is a long-term process that will enable community and systemic change. We are honored to facilitate this learning for our staff and students. If you are able, I invite you to take your children out on the land on Monday. Take some time to sit and observe. Walk together and notice changes in the season and how this impacts plants, animals, water, light and shadows in the environment.  


Sra. Andrea Riquelme 

Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste  
Nov 25
Thursday October 7, 2021

​Estimadas familias,

Let's Create an Opera-Update

On Monday our students and teachers had the opportunity to work with a professional storyteller, Mera, who will support our school in putting together our ideas and vision into a cohesive story. All classes rotated through mini-lessons in our Learning Commons. Mera led the group through a collaborative story-telling session which she enhanced with drumming and song. Our intention is to write a long-form Acknowledgement of the Land that students will be able to share through storytelling, singing and movement. This is a generative project, which means, we are designing it collaboratively, leaning heavily on student voice, with adult guidance. In the coming weeks, Mera will continue to work with each class and alongside our teachers. Mera is originally from Mexico, so this also provides our students with another opportunity to practice their oral language skills within an authentic experience. 

 I find it so important that our students, even at a young age, understand the amount of preparation that goes into creating a final product. This is authentic, real-life work! We will continue to keep you posted on our progress. 


Sra. Andrea Riquelme 
Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste  

Oct 04
Friday October 1, 2021

Truth and Reconciliation Week draws to a close today. Our students have engaged in thoughtful learning experiences with their teachers this week, in ways that are developmentally appropriate. I was particularly moved by the work in our Kindergarten classrooms. After listening to pictue books (an example is “Phyllis’ Orange Shirt)  read aloud by teachers, students were invited to think about what schools should feel like. Children identified words such as loved, happy and safe. 


This underscores what drives us in our work and that the erroneous actions of the past must be acknowledged and remembered, so that they are not repeated today, or in the future. Yesterday schools across the city were closed so that families and children could take time to reflect on the meaning of reconciliation and actions that we can all take. The intent is to move towards better outcomes for our indigenous students and families through recognition and education. Many of our teachers participated in public ceremonies or took individual action such as listening to/viewing broadcasts and taking up professional reading to further their own development.

I carved out a little bit of time to go for a walk in Brown Lowery Provincial Park. Families were out with their children and many of these children were wearing orange shirts. My sons and I had a conversation about what they discussed in their classes at school. My eldest asked if this was even going to make a difference. I told him that the simple fact that he and other students can engage in conversations about residential schools and know that they existed is evidence of change. I reminded him that as a young student here in Alberta, it was not something that I understood or was directly taught. Change and improvement take time, and it is encouraging to see that greater awareness is being achieved in our society.



Sra. Andrea Riquelme

Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste    

Sep 17
Thursday September 16, 2021

Estimadas familias,

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:


Sra. Andrea Riquelme

Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste    

Sep 10
Wednesday September 8, 2021

Estimadas familias, 

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    

Sep 03
Wednesday September 1, 2021

Estimadas familias​,

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. 

Sep 01
Friday, August 27, 2021

Estimadas familias,

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   


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