Sep 01
Greetings from Mr. McPhail and Mrs. Hillas

Greetings from Mr. McPhail and Mrs. Hillas 

We hope you've had a great summer break and are feeling refreshed and excited about returning to school. 

The first couple weeks of school have now passed and we are off to a great start.  We were very excited to welcome parents back into our building at our Meet the Teacher and Open House on Thursday August 25. The halls and classrooms were packed with smiling faces and lots of people took advantage of the food trucks that were parked outside the school for the event. We would like to welcome all of our new families to Grant MacEwan School and wish them a successful transition into our school community. New students are still registering and we are growing larger by the day.  We have more students than we have had in many years, pushing over 630 this year.

At Grant MacEwan School we strive to provide the best possible support for our students - ensuring that each student's academic, social and emotional needs are being met.  In order to do this effectively, it is crucial that open communication occurs between the school and the home.  To that end, we welcome and encourage you to be in regular communication with each of your child's teachers, as well as with administration.  If you have questions at any time, please do not hesitate to email your child’s teacher or contact the Assistant Principal Karen Hillas at or the Principal, Grant McPhail at   

SchoolMessenger messages and teacher email will be the primary tool of communication from the school. Please ensure that we have your correct email contact information and that you have a MyCBE account set up to receive these messages.

Health and safety of our students is on all of our minds and continues to be a top priority at Grant MacEwan School.  Daily high touch point cleaning duties will continue to be performed by permanent staff as part of their regularly assigned duties in accordance with Alberta Health Services recommendations as we return to normal operations. MERV 13 filters will continue to be used for quality air filtration.

It is important for your child’s learning to start the day on time. We start at 8:55 AM.

At the start of a new school year it can be challenging to return to a regular routine.  We remind all families of the importance of students arriving to school on time so that students don’t fall behind because of missing critical learning and instructions at the start of our learning blocks. Students arriving late are missing valuable learning time and those few minutes add up over the course of the school year.  The interruption of students arriving late also interferes with the learning of other students.  Please be aware of the start and end times to help ensure your child learns the importance and value of being on time. If students do happen to arrive late, they must check-in at the office so that we have accurate attendance for the students in the building.

How can parents play a role in student success?

Studies show that children’s academic achievement is directly influenced by their parents’ involvement in their education. Here are some tips that will help you work together with your child and your child’s teacher to form a winning team.

A teacher’s expectation of parents

Students, teachers and parents all share responsibility in the education of a child. Here’s a minimum level of involvement most teachers expect of parents:

  • Help your child by developing a routine or specific time for homework when you are available to help or listen if needed. You are vital to your child’s success.
  • Ensure your child is at school on time, everyday possible. Arrange for vacations, trips etc., during days off.
  • Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast each morning so they can function in class.
  • Make sure your child is getting 10-12 hours of sleep at night to support their growing body and mind.
  • Be a positive role model who shows interest in reading and learning new things.
  • Notify the teacher of any concerns or questions you have regarding their learning or treatment in school.
  • Limit screen time especially 1 hour before bedtime

Questions to ask your child about their day

Get a sense of your child’s life at school by asking questions that elicit more than a one-word response. Try one of these conversation starters:

  • Tell me what the best part of your day was.
  • What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  • Did any of your classmates do anything funny?
  • Tell me about what you read in class.
  • Who did you play with/hang out with today? What did you do?
  • What rules are different at school than they are at home? Do you think they are fair?
  • Who did you sit with at lunch?
  • Can you show me something you learned or did today?
  • What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?


This is the first newsletter of the 2022-2023 school year.  You are able to access our monthly newsletter on our website at . Our newsletter will be posted on the website.  Please take a few minutes to explore the Grant MacEwan website as it has been updated to be more user friendly with Google Translation and smartphone compatible.

Just a reminder that at Grant MacEwan School, anything that comes home on light yellow paper needs to be completed and returned to the teacher as soon as possible.

We are looking forward to the new school year, full of excitement, growth and new learning opportunities.


Mr. McPhail, Principal and Mrs. Hillas, Assistant Principal


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