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



Dec 20
Thank you to students, staff and parents for their contributions to our school community

As we begin the Winter Break, I would like to express my gratitude to the students, staff, parents and partners for their exceptional contributions to our school community. I greatly appreciate all the remarkable accomplishments of both students and staff since the start of the school year. We have had a semester full of highs and lows and have come through these experiences with greater strength, new perspectives and brighter hope for our future!

Through the high and lows of this year, students have been actively engaged, learning and giving. One of those lows was the passing of our colleague Mr. Dave McLeod. This was a great loss for his family, his church community and our Diefenbaker family. We were uplifted by how students, parents and community members reached out to embrace our school with comfort at a time of great need. Words are hard to find that would adequately express the depth of compassion shown towards our students, staff and the McLeod family. We are also aware that other students and staff have been dealing with incredible personal challenges. Our thoughts are with them as well as we head into the holiday season.

The highs of school life were many and varied throughout the first four months. Yesterday students and teachers alike worked to finish up final course assignments and then collectively engaged in some festive activities during the Annual JGD Christmas Grade Assemblies. They were celebrations of all that is good about youth and learning.

The JGD Athletic department outperformed much of the competition these past months. The Jr. Boys Volleyball and Sr. Football teams both won the City Championship banner and three of our other fall athletic teams came 2nd in their respective leagues (Girls Soccer, Sr. / Jr. Girls Volleyball). Many swimmers and cross country runners also medaled in their respective championships and one of our students received a scholarship as the top academic athlete in football for the city. Way to go Chiefs!

In October, our students made the namesake of Diefenbaker proud when we hosted an “All Candidates Forum” and 1200 of our students participated in the “Canadian Students Vote” as the political scene of Canada and the World were very active. As well, our students have engaged in a number of incredible field trips to places such as the Calgary Zoo, Banff, and the Tyrell Museum in Drumheller. Both Winter Concerts, one held here and the other at Centre Street church, highlighted the incredible musical and vocal talents of our students. The music department has tapped into a range of human emotions felt by their audiences as they performed at events such the “Field of Crosses”, school assemblies and just this week on the Departure level of the YYC International Airport. We have also enjoyed Leadership in the Arts (LITA) Lunchbox Performances of our Fine Arts’ students who presented their works in progress to full cafeteria audiences. On November 13th we celebrated over 45% of our current Grade 11 and 12s who achieved Honour Roll last year, and then on December 18th we held our Annual Honour Roll Awards Event to celebrate the achievements of last year’s Grade 12 Students, with special recognition of Patience E., who received the Governor General’s Award for highest average – hers was 99% average! Overall, 185 students received honour marks (80% and above), which constitutes 43% of this year’s graduating class. We are exceptionally proud of all our amazing students! As well, it was great to see how well our newest Alumni group are doing in their new endeavors at post-secondary and career development.

What better represents the commitment and passion of our Diefenbaker community than the incredible volunteering that helps support our school, local city and global community! A huge shout out to all our parents and adult volunteers who advocate for our students and school! Our community has also been involved in Blood Donations, Food Bank Donations and donations to our local Seniors Centre, as well the Ride of the Chiefs is also revving up for our major Spring Event.

Our two-week Winter Break allows us time to rest, visit with friends and family, and to review our previous four months of school work in preparation for our upcoming final exams beginning in January. Our teachers are also providing tutorials throughout the month of January to support students who require extra assistance to complete their first semester courses successfully. Our exam schedule has been posted on our website since November and we encourage everyone to review those exams dates and exam expectations. We wish our students every success on their exams!

We look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday, January 7 2020. On behalf of all staff and students at John G. Diefenbaker High School, we wish you and your family a joyous and peaceful Winter Break.

Mike Bester, Principal

Aug 21
We are eager to greet our new and returning students for the 2019-2020 school year

We are eager to greet our new and returning students for the 2019-2020 school year at John G. Diefenbaker High School (JGD). As a staff, we are honoured 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.

Here is some information to get you started with school learning resources and key contacts, behavior expectations, opening procedures and school calendars. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any questions. The main office will be open on Wednesday August 21, 2019.

At the “Home of the Chiefs”, we expect all of our students and school community 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. This is demonstrated in recent research from MIT and Harvard. There are over 22 athletic teams, 16 various clubs and numerous other events that you can join and have fun in, make friends and build new skills to provide you with an advantage in the future. 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 Teacher Advisor (TA), Guidance Counsellor and Assistant Principal. They will work to advocate for your programming needs and connect you to the partners and services found in the Diefenbaker “Circle of Success​”. Always know you can ask questions and get help from any staff member.

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.

Academic Supports and Resources: For your convenience, the Learning Commons (Library) is open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday. We also have tutoring available to you from 4 pm to 6 pm each day through our partners “The Bridge Foundation and RBC”. In addition “All in For Youth” work with students to help remove barriers that may be impacting their learning. The Student Learning Centre, Career Centre and Student Services along with the Teacher Advisory Program provide strong supports and resources for high school success and post-secondary preparation. Accessing these supports will provide you with opportunities to achieve your goals.

Student Programming and Timetable Information

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 - Tuesday, September 3 for grade 10 students; Wednesday, September 4 for grade 11 and 12 students. On Wednesday August 21, electronic copies of student timetables may be available online pending the availability of the Power School Portal. Teachers and room allocations may not be accurate at this time.

Considerable work has gone into the creation of the 2019-2020 timetables for all students. This process of course selection and program planning began formally in January with junior 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 requests, there is little room to make changes to timetables at this time. 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 first semester, Science 20 second semester
  • students took and passed prerequisite course at Summer School
  • student has “See Counsellor” on timetable

If you are unable to access an electronic copy of your timetable on August 21 through the Power School Portal, or you did not receive a hardcopy of your timetable on your first day of school, please contact the office. If you have questions, we will be pleased to welcome your inquiries or further evaluate what we can do to meet your academic goals.

Students who require a course change appointment may call the Student Service Office at 403-274-2240 ext. 2407 to book an appointment with a counsellor. To book an appointment with the IB Coordinator (Mrs. Sceviour) call 403-274-2240 extension 0.

Music Parents Association and Parents of Music (band/choir) students

On Wednesday, September 11, at 7:00 pm in the music room, we will be holding a planning meeting for the AGM. This is for returning music parents to review information and procedures for the AGM. Any parents of a returning music student are welcome to join us and find out more about how you can participate in the Diefenbaker's Music Parents' Association.

JGD Music Parents Association AGM will be held immediately following “Parent as Partners” on Thursday, September 19th at (8:15pm) in the main gym. This is a mandatory meeting for parent/guardian(s) of music students as required by CBE for the off-site music camps. We have consolidated these meetings so parents can avoid having to come in again at another time - parent attendance signatures will be required. We appreciate your time.

School Council

We would like to welcome our new John G. Diefenbaker School Council Executive. We appreciate the time and dedication of our parents in supporting students, staff and the JGD school community. The School Council is very active and provides and important valued voice in the decision making processes of the school. We encourage all parents to be involved in some capacity throughout the year.

All parents/guardians are members of the School Council and are invited to attend our monthly meetings, which are normally held the first Tuesday of each month (except Sept, Jan and Jun) at 6:30 PM in the school library. Food is provided.

School Council Meeting Dates (2019-20):

October 1, November 5, December 10, February 4, March 3, April 7 and May 12.

School Council Executive:

Chair: Kathy Rwamuningi
Vice-Chair Anita Gee
Secretary: Amanda Trudel
Treasurer: Ellen Leong
Casino Chair: Amanda Trudel
Key Communicator: Elaine Cohen and Robert Brooks
Alumni: Mimi Mah
Volunteer Coordinator: open

Staff News

Some familiar faces will be missing this fall. Ms. Hilko and Mr. Wilberg have retired from the Calgary Board of Education after distinguished careers. Dr. Hickey and Ms. Miller have new leadership position in other schools this fall. We wish them all the best and we are grateful for their service to the JGD Family.

We are pleased to welcome the following new staff members to our school this year: Ms. Kwan (Math/Science), Ms. Beisel (Special Education), and Mr. Coutts (PE/Pre-Engineering). These professionals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Diefenbaker.

At this time, we also want to congratulate Ms. Abusow, Ms. L’Hirondelle, Ms. Wilson, and Mr. Masikewich on receiving their continuous contracts and permanent teaching certificates. We are thankful for these teachers’ services to the students and for their extensive commitment to the school community.

Concluding Remarks

Please take the time to review the dates and student information included in the rest of this newsletter. If you have any questions please feel free to call, email or drop by the main office. On behalf of Assistant Principals Ms. Adams and Ms. Turner and our Student Services team Mr. Reitbauer, Ms. Macdonald and Mr. Wylie, we are looking forward to an exceptional year with the students, parents and staff of John G. Diefenbaker High School. Go Chiefs Go!

Sincerely,

Mike Bester
Principal

Jul 02
Success and Wind Up 2018-19

Academic Successes

We have had an outstanding wind up to this school year. On May 31, 2019, we celebrated the academic and personal accomplishments of an amazing group of grade 12 students at the annual JGD Graduation Ceremonies. What a great celebration honoring these students. Congratulations to all of our IB students who successfully wrote their external International Baccalaureate Exams in May. We also celebrated our students’ academic achievements during our Annual Spring Awards on June 3rd in which 40% of our students received honors in their course work. In addition we celebrated the accomplishments of students in the Fine and Performing Arts with a number of events. What an fantastic year these students have had performing and sharing their talents with our school community. These celebrations helped to reinforce what an outstanding student population we have here at John G. Diefenbaker. We are so proud of all our students accomplishments this year!

Extracurricular Successes

Over 30 students and a few staff spent 11 days experiencing Italy. The stories and photos are worth the four days they missed of classes – we call it the international classroom and they were all excellent learners. Mr. Wilberg who was on the trip humbly mentioned that he spoke Italian which was an absolute asset on the trip for the students. He is retiring after an illustrious career in the CBE and at Diefenbaker and we wish him all the best!

Our spring athletic teams worked incredibly hard and made us proud with their successes and even their almost successes! Our Girls’ Rugby Team brought home the City Championship! Congratulations! We were able to celebrate all our outstanding athletes at the annual Night of the Chiefs! The coaches also took a moment to honour our Diefenbaker Chief, Coach Diane Hilko, who is retiring this June! We wish her congratulations on her incredibly impactful career.

Wind-up of 2018-2019

We are very fortunate to have such a caring, respectful and engaged community! Just yesterday, we completed the final diploma exam and the students in Physics and Science 30 cheered. For our Class of 2019, we wish them every success in their next endeavours and thank them for the three years they helped to enrich our learning community. We appreciate our Grade 10 and 11 students as well who finished all their exams last Friday and began their summer holidays one week earlier! We are looking forward to welcoming our new Diefenbaker Chiefs in the fall.

We would like to extend our thanks to our Area Director Darlene Unruh, who will be leaving us to move to Area 6. At this time we welcome Chris Meaden and Teresa Martins, who will be our new Education Directors for Area 2.

On behalf of the entire staff at John G. Diefenbaker we wish you and your family a restful and revitalizing summer break. Our school will be closed to the public from Friday June 28, 2019 at 4:00 PM until Wednesday August 21, 2019 at 1:00 PM.

Although the school will be closed for the summer; you can reach us by emailing johngdiefenbaker@cbe.ab.ca or leave a phone message at 403-274-2240 ext. 0. Messages will be checked periodically throughout the summer.

We look forward to seeing you again in the fall. All the best to our Diefenbaker Family. Have a great summer Diefenbaker Chiefs!!

Mike Bester, Principal

Apr 08
Academic Success, Extracurricular Success and Ride of the Chiefs

We hope and trust that all our Diefenbaker Chiefs have had a wonderful week of rest during Spring Break! With the bright skies and the earlier sunrises, it might make it more difficult for our students to get to school on time, and tempting to be outdoors instead of studying. We have little over two months left of school, and much to do before we finish up this academic year.

Academic Success

We hope that you were able to see your child’s updated marks and teachers’ comments in PowerSchool in March. We had an outstanding turnout for our Parent/Teacher Interviews on March 21 and we very much appreciate all the important conversations about our students’ success that occurred during those meetings. These open and collaborative dialogues around your child’s academic abilities are most informative and help guide us all to the next steps in your child’s success. We also want to reinforce that with one final week in Term 3 and almost 10 weeks until final exams, attendance in the tutorials offered each morning from 8:10-8:50 am.; the free tutoring with RBC in Room 220 from 3:45pm., FLEX on Wednesdays from 10:16-11:00 am., all serve as extra opportunities for students to get extra help in their learning above and beyond during class-time.

Extracurricular Successes

Please take a moment to browse through the celebratory photos we have included in this newsletter as they highlight some of our exciting successes from February and March. Many of our Dief Chiefs go beyond academics to represent our school with their outstanding talents! Our choirs and bands have done exceptionally well as they competed with other high schools from around the city – their news is on pages 6-7. We also had two of our students compete in the Old’s College Fashion Institute’s Annual Paper Dress Competition where they placed 1st! Please find photos and more details on page 11. Our winter athletics finished up and our basketball teams and our wrestling students fought hard to make it to City Championships – we are very proud of all our athletes and recognize what endurance and commitment they gave! Congratulations to all of you!

Ride of the Chiefs’ Bike 4 Tykes Event

John G. Diefenbaker’s event in April is our 4th annual fundraising event Ride of the Chiefs Bike-A-Thon. Last year our community of Dief Chiefs raised close to $40,000 which was then donated to the worthy cause of Calgary’s Children’s Hospital. The Calgary Children’s has taken great care with many of our students over the years. Please take a moment and click on the link on page 9 of this newsletter to donate to this very worthy cause that benefits our entire community.

Happy Easter and let’s hope for few April showers!

Mike Bester

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.

Athletics

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

Dec 21
Winter Break Message

​As our Diefenbaker Community knows there is always something special going on at our amazing school!  On our last day prior to Winter Break and students and teachers alike are working to finish up their current learning and to begin reviewing the entire course’s curriculum. We have already finished with Cross Country, Volleyball, Girls’ Soccer and Swimming and are in the beginning stages of Wrestling and Basketball seasons.  We have hosted two tournaments to date, one for Volleyball and one for Basketball. We also celebrated some amazing wins and showed incredible sportsmanship throughout!   

We have had guest speakers such as Wayne Dyer and the Minister of Indigenous Relations for Alberta, his Honourable Richard Feehan come break “bannock” and to speak with our students. Our students have engaged in some incredible field trips to the Calgary Zoo, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, to Vertigo Theatre’s performance of Dracula, and also to Blackfoot Crossing. We have enjoyed our dramatic performances of Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror and also welcomed the holiday season with our annual Winter Concert, which both showcased the incredible talented students. We have also enjoyed two Lunchbox Performances of other Fine Arts students who presented their works in progress to full cafeteria audiences. On December 20th we held our Awards evening to celebrate the achievements of last year’s Grade 12 Honour Roll Students. 

What better represents the commitment and passion of our Diefenbaker community than the incredible volunteering that helps support our school.  A huge shout out to all our parents and adult volunteers who helped with our Casino fundraiser!  Our community has also been involved in Blood Donations, Food Bank Donations and donations to our local Seniors Centre.  We come together often to celebrate our good works finishing with three special grade assemblies today, to share our most recent learnings and collectively engage in some festive activities. 

Our two-week Winter Break allows us time to rest, visit with family and friends, and review our previous four months of school work in preparation for our upcoming final exams in January. Our teachers are also providing tutorials during the second and third week of January to support students who require extra assistance to complete their first semester courses successfully. These session times will be published in our weekly updates in January.  Our exam schedule is posted on our website and we encourage everyone to be familiar with those exams date and exam expectations. We wish our students every success on their exams!  

We look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday, January 7th, 2019. On behalf of all staff and students at John G. Diefenbaker High School, we wish you and your family a joyous and peaceful Winter Break. 

Mike Bester 

Principal


Oct 05
October Update

As we craft this newsletter the snow is falling and it is only October 1st, 2018. Winter has come early and although September was not truly a fall month, the students here at John G. Diefenbaker still made it a fabulous and exciting month! We would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new Grade 10 families as well as other new families to the “Home of the Chiefs”! 

Our Community Building started off strong this September. We began with our welcome to Dief BBQ for our Grade 10 students on September 4th. On our Dief Pride Spirit Day, September 13, Orlando Bowen gave a highly motivational speech to our student body about empowerment, resilience and teamwork! After the assembly, students were invited to do a Mall Walk that showcased all our amazing Clubs and upcoming major events, such as our upcoming theatre production auditions of Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror. We hosted a whole school Welcome Back Dief Chief’s BBQ on September 19th and built points for our TAs. Then last Friday, September 28, we all met in the gym during FLEX for a motivational presentation after which we all completed the school based Terry Fox Run! 

We are always happy to welcome our families to our first gathering of Parents as Partners Evening! Thank you all for your attendance and for taking the opportunity to familiarize yourself with your child’s classes and teachers. We believe in open and receptive conversations with our parents and are glad to have many new faces on our Parent Council this year. If this is something of interest, please join us on the first Tuesday of most months for our School Council Meeting at 6:30 p.m.in our Learning Commons. 

We are very appreciative of your cooperation as we work towards making JGD a safe environment for all our students and staff! One new process to help with this goal is to keep the north door locked at all times, which means students now need to come into the school either through the front doors or the doors in the students’ parking lot. We ask all drivers to slow down in the school parking lots and be aware of how and where they are dropping off their student. This helps us move 1500 students / staff in and out safely during the start and end of the school day. Other safety procedures were to hold our first fire drill and one practice lockdown as per CBE protocol and both were very successful. The students showed how astute and cooperative, they are when responding to emergency situations! 

Congratulations to all of our students who are participating in clubs and/or athletic teams this fall. Let’s have a great October of learning! Go Chiefs Go!

Mike Bester Principal


Jul 12
August 2018

We are eager to greet our new and returning students for the 2018- 2019 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 who will graduate in three years during the JGD 50th Anniversary Celebration.

This newsletter provides information to get you started with the school learning and behavior expectations, opening procedures and school calendars. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any questions. The main office will be open on Wednesday August 22.

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. There are over 22 athletic teams, 16 various clubs and numerous other events that you can join and have fun in, make friends and build new skills. 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 teacher advisor, guidance counsellor and assistant principal. They will work to advocate for your programming needs and connect you to the partners and services found in the Diefenbaker “Circle of Success”. Always know you can ask questions and get help from any staff member.

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. For your convenience, the Learning Commons (Library) is open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday.

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RT @UsihChristopher: Happy to share CBE journey at the 12th CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL EDTECH SUMMIT 2021 OPENING KEYNOTE (Christopher Usih) - YouTube https://t.co/aTu9Q6i8Vd

There are no classes for CBE students on Friday, Nov 26 because it’s a system-wide non-instructional day. Have a safe long weekend and please continue to follow all public health measures. #WeAreCBE https://t.co/cAWIKT8nVR

Today’s Board of Trustees public meeting starts at noon at the Ed Centre. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person audience capacity is limited. We invite you to stream the meeting online https://t.co/nvCl1fNgoJ #yycbe https://t.co/e13SAs1TMm

We’re updating our Sustainability Framework. Help us prioritize our sustainable actions by completing our survey and participating on our idea boards: https://t.co/D0bikjmEV5 #yycbe #WeAreCBE https://t.co/LkFOPwbBMP

National Child Day is celebrated annually on November 20 to raise awareness of the rights of children in Alberta, and contributing to a healthy environment where children can grow and prosper with adequate resources. #WeAreCBE https://t.co/foUzgL5XLv