Apr 06
April Message

​I have been reflecting back on the month of April 2020 and I simply cannot believe that we are in April 2021, still worried about COVID-19, meeting virtually, using copious amounts of hand sanitizer, and trying to begin planning for a new school year in a pandemic.  The good news though, green grass is sprouting, there are more sunny days than snowy ones, and we are rested from a relaxing spring break. 


COVID-19 Update and Reminders

The office has received many calls about families and/or students who are isolation due to being a close contact of a positive case.  If your child is in isolation for being a close contact OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL, teachers are not responsible for providing “learning from home" resources or materials.  Students can access what is posted in their Google Classroom.  However, Google Classroom is not the full extent of what students are learning or working on in school for Face to Face learning.  The Alberta Government continues to mandate that we are in Scenario 1 (Face to Face learning) and anything provided in Google Classroom is a snapshot of the work being done in school. 


If an entire classroom is in isolation because of a positive case at school, then the class is transitioned to Scenario 3 (Learning from Home).  At that point, Google Classroom is used for all teaching and learning.


We understand that many of you have many questions and concerns about the increasing number of cases due to the variant in Alberta.  We continue to be in Scenario 1 (Face to Face learning) as mandated by Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education, therefore, students are expected to attend school.


At this time, we feel that it is necessary to remind everyone of the protocols that are in place to keep students and staff safe and healthy in their learning environments. Every parent is required to review the COVID-19 symptom checklist each day before sending students to school.  We would ask you to review it daily.  This is best way to keep us all healthy at school each day.


Attention all Grade Four Parents!

Each year Alberta Education sends an important survey to all parents and legal guardians of students in Grades 4, 7 and 10. In schools with fewer than 120 students, surveys are sent to parents/legal guardians of all students. The 2020-21 school year is the first year of the Alberta Education Assurance (AEA) survey, which replaces the former Accountability Pillar (AP) survey. This year's survey will be available for parents/legal guardians March 25 to April 23, 2021.


Families have received survey packages mailed from Alberta Education. The survey package includes:

  • a copy of the Education Minister's letter to parents;
  • a letter containing a Random Access Code (RAC) for accessing the survey online; and
  • instructions for accessing the survey in other languages.

Completing the survey online is the quickest way for Alberta Education to receive a completed response. For more information, please click here.

Last year we only had 18 parents respond to the survey.  We want your feedback!  We encourage all grade four parents to respond to the survey.  Thank you in advance!


Planning for the New School Year!

We have started gathering data and information for planning for the 2021/22 school year!  The next three months will be focused on enrollment, staffing, and preparing for September.  If you have not yet informed the school that your child(ren) will NOT be returning to JJ for next year, please inform the school ASAP.  Grade Four students are automatically enrolled in their designated school for grade five (Sam W. Shaw for English students and Woodman for French Immersion students).  If your grade four child is NOT attending one of these designated schools or is switching to English for grade five, please inform the school ASAP.  The receiving schools need accurate numbers in order to staff accordingly.


Please contact the school the following ways:

·      School email JanetJohnstone@cbe.ab.ca

·      Office phone 403-777-8670 (our office hours are M-Th 7:45am-3:00pm and Fridays 7:45am-12:30pm).


Class Lists for 21/22 

In May and June, teachers and administration will be meeting multiple times to assign students to classes for next year.  This is not a task taken lightly at Janet Johnstone School.  Professionals who have worked with these children will engage in discussions to determine the best possible placements.  We will revisit our class lists multiple times. We kindly request our families trust and respect the professional judgment of our staff.  Placement considerations will include multiple factors. Each class will consist of a heterogeneous mix of students.  The achievement and ability level, as well as the independent work habits of each student will be reviewed. 

  • Classrooms will be balanced in terms of numbers of children with special learning needs, social/emotional concerns, English Language Learners, and gender 
  • Children's needs will be considered in terms of their working relationships with peers as well as their individual strengths 
  • Children's learning style 
  • Chemistry of the classroom dynamics  

Please understand that these are important decisions that need to be made by the educators in our school. Through your ongoing conversations with your current child's teacher, Janet Johnstone staff are aware of unique circumstances.  Through personalization of learning and our focus on building relationships with our students, staff have a thorough understanding of the students that they work with.  Class placements will reflect our sincere effort to create balanced classrooms where each child is valued, challenged and successful.  Tentative class lists will be created in early June, with the final adjustments being completed in August.  Staffing is often not finalized until August- the final staff list plays a key role in completing our class lists.   

Due to the nature of our enrollment numbers, we are unable to confirm if there will be combined grades for the next school year.  When planning, administration will make every effort to avoid having single classes of combined grades, however, it is not guaranteed.  Once we know more about our enrollment and projections for next year, we will share our initial plans at our School Council meetings. 


If a parent has a specific or extenuating request about student placement for the upcoming school year, a specific process must be followed.   

1.     Parent requests must be sent in the form of a letter to the principal, Mrs. Kivi, by email (blkivi@cbe.ab.ca).  Please do not send your requests to teachers.  Verbal requests will not be considered.  The administrative team plays a key role in the creation of each class list, so please know that your letter to the principal will be considered in a professional and thoughtful manner. 

2.     Please indicate in your letter a specific learning need/ learning style for your child.   

3.     We will place students together that have good working relationships.  Friendship requests will not be considered.   Students are given many opportunities to engage with their peers from their cohorts at recess, lunch recess, and gym/music.

4.     Your letter should only talk about your own child's needs. 

5.     Please note: requests are only requests.  They will be considered (within the reasoning listed above) but are not guaranteed. 

6.     Requests will need to be made by May 31, 2021.  Requests made after the deadline will not be considered. 

We are very much looking forward to the next school year- it's hard to believe that we are already starting to think about it!  Thank you in advance for your understanding of the complex processes that we need to adhere to and honor in order to ensure that our students are set up for success for September. 


Spring Weather

As you know, students are outside multiple times a day.  It's very important that they are dressed for the weather.  In Calgary, that means that all four seasons can happen in one day!  Please always send your child with a jacket, hat, mitts, proper outdoor footwear (not sandals or flip flops) and dry socks. 


Garden Project

Administration has been working with our School Council on a large garden project.  The good news is that it's moving along much faster than we anticipated!  The garden area will be on the grassy area between the Kindergarten doors and the creative playground.  Our goal is to have large planter areas for each grade to take ownership of each year, based on their inquiry question and the graded curriculum.  We hope to involve members of the community to also help support the project, especially during the summer months.  You will see progress over the next few weeks on the west side of the school.  Thank you to Jacqueline Strom and our amazing School Council for the funding for this project!  Please stay tuned on the progress!


If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the information shared with you or any other matters, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly by email blkivi@cbe.ab.ca.​


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