May 14
May Updates

Thank you so much for your ongoing support for students and staff as we edge closer to the end of the year.  Pivoting to Scenario 3 (learning from home) has been a challenge but everyone took it in stride- staff, students, and parents!  This week, as I arrived at school each day, nothing could prepare me for the empty hallways and classrooms.  Working in the school with only a handful of staff present has made for the days to feel very long and quiet.  Turns out, we like the noise and the chaos that our students bring to the school! 

 

Chromebooks

We are hopeful that students will return on May 25.  If you borrowed a Chromebook, we would ask that it be returned the day students come back to school.  The charging chords need to be accounted for, along with the computer.  Thank you to Mrs. Schmitt for ensuring that students who required a Chromebook with such short notice, got them out to families in such a timely manner!  We are so grateful that the school has such a good selection of technology so that we could loan them out to families.  Thank you to our very, very incredible School Council for supporting technology use at JJ- it's because of this active group of parents that we have all of our technology!

 

Transportation- Yellow School Bus Pre-registration

Yellow school bus service levels and proposed fees for the 2021-22 school year are now available. Service levels will remain the same as the current school year. The proposed fees are lower than last year and have been subsidized by the transportation surplus from the current school year. As part of our long-term, sustainable transportation system we no longer subsidize the costs of transportation from the larger CBE budget. We continue to ensure the delivery of safe and efficient transportation for students.

Pre-registration is available using MyCBE / PowerSchool. Families must register by June 6 for students to be added to routes for the start of the school year. Transportation continues to accept registrations after the deadline; however, students are added to the closest existing stop with available space. Processing times could be up to six weeks at the beginning of the school year due to volume.

For any Transportation inquiries, please contact: 

t | 403-817-7433 or e | transportation@cbe.ab.ca

 

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. 

 

Start up in September

We are very excited to announce that we will have staggered entry for Grades 1-4 on September 1 and 2.  Information will be provided at the end of June.  Kindergarten will have Staggered entry the entire first week back.  More information will be provided to Kindergarten parents mid-June. 

 

Grade 1-4 Teachers will call students and families to inform them of their class placement at the end of August.  They will share with you on the call where the classroom entry and exit will be as well as their classroom location.  This process worked really well this year and thought we would continue this process for the fall.  We had a lot of positive parent feedback about start up this year!  We look forward to another smooth start up in September. 

 

Please expect the year to start with many of the same COVID-19 protocols in place.  Students are familiar with them so adjusting in the fall will be easier this year.  Closer to the first day of school, we will have more information about what protocols will remain.  We will communicate that with you as it becomes available. 

 

We will also publish our bell times once they have been approved.  You can expect very similar bell times to this year, give or take a couple of minutes here and there.  Our calendar for next year will be coming soon, as well.  Once we have final approval from our Education Director, we will share all of this important information with you.  Please watch your email in the coming weeks.

 

Kindergarten Orientation

We had a very successful virtual Kindergarten Orientation on May 13.  We had about 35 parents attend with some very adorable and eager looking future Kindergarten students!  We were very excited to welcome the newest batch of JJ students. We look forward to welcoming them in September!

 

School Council Meeting with the MLA

We had a very good meeting with our MLA Rebecca Schulz on May 11. Rebecca attended the meeting for about 40 minutes.  She answered a variety of questions about the new curriculum, childcare, and support for Education.  Thank you to the parents that attended and represented our school and learning community.  We are very lucky to have such strong advocates for our school!

 

I look forward to having everyone back at school with me soon!  We really are Better Together on so many levels!  Please don't hesitate to reach out to me by email to say HELLO!​


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