Aug 23
Principal Message | August 2021

Principal Message | August 2021

​​​​We are eager to greet our new and returning students for the 2021-2022 school year at John G. Diefenbaker High School (JGD).  As a staff, we are honored to be part of your education journey and to continue the Diefenbaker legacy of excellence in education. A special welcome to our new grade 10 students as we celebrate the JGD 50th Anniversary this school year. 

We have prepared the school for a safe return of our students while still dealing with the implications of Covid-19. Students will still be required to wear masks, sanitize hands and social distance were possible. A change for this year, is that Alberta Education is allowing for student activities, clubs and athletics to occur with health and safety protocols in mind.  We encourage all of our students to get double vaccinated after consulting with their health professional. 

At the “Home of the Chiefs", we encourage all of our students to create a positive and safe school culture that supports excellence in academics, citizenship and the pursuit of personal goals.  In order to accomplish this, we invite the student body to get actively involved in all constructive aspects of school life. Students who actively participate in their academics, school activities, clubs, the arts and/or athletics throughout the year will gain an advantage from their high school experience that will benefit them throughout their life. Chiefs Be Involved! 

At the start of the school year, our staff and student leaders will be hosting various school wide orientation experiences to build community and support you in your new transitions.  We want you to get connected and be successful. A key contact will be your teachers, guidance counsellor and assistant principal.  They will work to advocate for your programming needs and connect you to various partner services found at Diefenbaker.  

Success in high school requires a desire to learn new things, collaborate and to develop a strong work ethic.  This begins with a commitment to attending all classes and being active in learning and building effective study habits. It is important for you to understand how you learn and to set goals.  Teachers will be providing course outlines to you that contain curriculum topics, assessment procedures and academic expectations. Students please familiarize yourself with your course outcomes and communicate with teachers if you have questions. It is vital to set aside 1 to 2 hours a day for homework, study, review and/or planning.

Student Programming and Timetable Information (See Also JGD Back to School Link)

High School years pass quickly and there is much to accomplish in a short time.  It has been our experience that successful students carry appropriate course loads each year and set smart goals.  This helps make sure that students are:

  • working towards long term goals and life-long learning;
  • on track to complete the Alberta High School Diploma in six semesters with 100+ credits of the right courses.

 ​​Student Timetable Information - You will receive a hardcopy of your timetable on the first day at school - Wednesday, September 1st for grade 10 students; Thursday, September 2nd for grade 11 and 12 students.  On August 23rd electronic copies of student timetables will be available online through the Power School Portal.

 Considerable work has gone into the creation of the 2021-22 timetables for all students.  This process of course selection and program planning began formally in February with Jr. High Schools, parents, students and teacher advisors as a vital process for the Diefenbaker community.  Every effort was made to ensure that student timetables are accurate and personalized based on requests.  In 95% of cases students received their course requests.  

With the complex nature of the timetable and in striving to meet student request there is little room to make changes to timetables at this time.  There are exceptions that will need to be looked at based on a priority list.  Students with any of the following issues will be given first priority for timetable adjustments:
  • no courses or courses missing
  • missing the prerequisite course to a scheduled course (i.e. did not complete Social Studies 20 scheduled for Social Studies 30)
  • courses in wrong order, e.g. Science 30 1st semester, Science 20 2nd semester
  • students took and passed prerequisite course at Summer School
  • student has “See Counsellor" on timetable

If you have questions, we will be pleased to welcome your inquiries or further evaluate what we can do to meet your academic goals.

Concluding Remarks

We will continue to provide update information about school startup throughout the week.  We always send out a week in advance perspective on Fridays. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any questions.

​On behalf of Assistant Principals Megan Adams, Krista Demassi, Cat Turner and Administrative Secretary Carrie Hubbard and me, we are looking forward to an exceptional year with the students, parents and staff of John G. Diefenbaker High School.  Go Chiefs Go!


Mike Bester - ​Principal


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