Feb 19
Welcome to the 2nd semester Diefenbaker Chiefs!

Welcome to the 2nd semester Diefenbaker Chiefs! We are very pleased with the work of our students during January and for their dedication in preparing for final assessments and exams. The building was humming throughout the month with incredible learning taking place and students showing how much they value and are building towards their own success. On any given day, we had over 600 students in our building either writing their final exams, working on completing course material or preparing for second semester. The IB students were also busy completing Internal Assessments and extra science labs. Of the 859 students who took diploma level courses, 98.1% passed all school level course requirements. That is an exceptional accomplishment and one of the best in the province of Alberta. Way to Go Chiefs!

Academic Success

We had an exceptionally smooth start up for the 2nd semester and the majority of students have been accommodated for their class choices. It will be important for students to get off to a great start with their studies and use their time well. One significant change to further support students this semester is to move the JGD Flex instructional time from Friday to Wednesday. This will provide more opportunities for students to connect with their teachers on a weekly basis and to complete assignments. We have told all students to be in the school engaged in learning during this time. We recommend 1 to 2 hours of study, planning or review be set aside each night to help promote academic success. Students who take advantage of tutorial classes, FLEX, the RBC Youth Empowerment Program, extended library access or other academic supports have greater success and are eligible for scholarships.

Career Planning

This is the last semester for Grade 12! They should be double-checking with their teacher advisor and counsellor that they have the right courses / credits for post-secondary and graduation. The Student Services team has been thoroughly reviewing the graduation lists, helping with scholarships and post-secondary registration.

Grade 10 / 11 students will be looking at selecting their courses for next year. Our Program Planning meeting with students and parents is scheduled for Thursday March 7 from 4-8pm and Friday March 8, 2019 during the day by appointment. This is a critical meeting to plan for successful attainment of a High School Diploma. Information will be forthcoming from Teacher Advisors. Parents, we look forward to seeing you!

School Improvements

We will be meeting with engineers, architects and school teams this month to look at potential upgrades and renovations to our building. We want to take a moment to thank the Friesen Family for their incredible memorial donation in support of our science program to honor their daughter Chelsea Beddoes, a beloved former teacher at Diefenbaker who passed away several years ago. The Friesen Family have helped to purchase new science equipment, subsidised student off-campus science trips, provided scholarships and are continuing to work with our school community.


During the month of January athletic competitions and practises slowed down with the focus on final assessments. As soon as exams were over basketball and wrestling teams were back competing in tournament and league play. The teams have done extremely well and are preparing for playoffs with potential births to the City Championships. We have been and will continue to host many games at JGD and we want to thank the JGD community for being a respectful and classy audience. Badminton tryouts will begin soon…watch for details! A reminder that the fitness centre is available for all of our students from Monday to Thursday after school. Get FIT JGD!

Building a Caring Community

The Diefenbaker school community will be raising money to help support the “Alberta Children’s Hospital” by having a 24 Hour Team Bike-A-Thon on Friday April 26th, 2019 at the school. Registration packages can be picked up at the school. Get your team of 6-10 friends / athletes / musicians / IB’ers etc. The parents on the School Council are welcome to be part of a team.

Thank you and Welcome Back

We would like to extend our appreciation to all Grade 10 parents who participated in Alberta Education’s Accountability Survey since January. All of our grade 10 students and teaching staff also completed the survey. Hearing the voice of parents, students and staff through the survey provides important data that helps inform decisions for the School Development Plan and on how to improve our school for students’ success.

We welcome back Assistant Principal, Megan Adams, who has been on maternity leave since last May. As well, we would like to welcome our new “All In For Youth Success Coach”, Jasmine Monton. Jasmine will be at our school to help students remove barriers to learning and find supports for students with outside agencies.

Thank you to Sir John A. MacDonald School for providing a warm place for us to gather when the exceptionally cold weather triggered the fire alarm on our first day back. Thank you students and staff for responding in a calm, controlled and safe manner.

A reminder that the school will be closed from February 14 to 18 as teachers take time to engage in their learning at Teachers’ Convention. We also want to wish all a wonderful and safe Family Day. On behalf of the staff we wish all of our students the best in their new classes. Have a great 2nd semester Chiefs and get involved in the Ride of the Chiefs Bike-A-Thon.

Mike Bester


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