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Principal's Message

Principal's Message - Back to School

Welcome back to McKenzie Towne School!  We were thrilled to see our students again in school.  Thank you for your patience and support throughout our entry planning and messaging to you. We had a smooth and calm return to school with our staggered entry and are working to learn new protocols to keep us all safe and healthy.
The first few days with students are crucial in setting the tone for the rest of the year. As a staff we spent time before students started discussing how as a group of teachers we can continue to build a classroom and school community that is grounded in the McKenzie Towne School core values of Relationships, Respect, Belonging, Caring and Learning. In particular, as a staff our conversation has included the challenges of building relationships with students and each other while maintaining physical distance and masks.
We welcome Mrs. Tracey Burch to MTS. Tracey is an experienced teacher who joins the grade 2 team. Sarah Lambert continues on maternity/parental leave and we are fortunate to have Kal Geraghty remain in the grade one position in her absence. As well, our front office “face" this year includes Office Assistant Karen Perry who joins Tara Robinson who last spring moved into the Administrative Secretary role in the office.
Soft Entry
To minimize the number of students entering the building at one time, we have a soft entry process. Doors are opened at 7:45 and locked at 8:00. During this 15 minute interval, students will be greeted at the entrance door by a teacher in the grade team who will supervise students to maintain physical distance, don masks, sanitize hands, and direct students to their classrooms.  The bell will ring outside at 8:00. If your child arrives at school past that time, please have them enter through the front door.  We are trying very hard to keep everyone safe. Please make an effort to arrive on time to avoid large numbers entering through the front door in the morning. Use of the front door is only for students who arrive at school after the bell. A reminder that the Hug 'n Go zone is a drop off area for parents and not a parking zone. Please obey the signage at the zone to facilitate all parents who want to use the zone to drop off their children. A reminder that there is no stopping in the bus zone in front of the school. The zone is monitored by the Calgary Police who will be issuing tickets for violation within the zone.
It is also very important to have a designated meeting spot for 2:36 pick up times Monday – Thursday and 12:00 on Fridays. All students in grades 1-4 will be dismissed from their exit doors and are to go immediately to the meeting spots that they have identified with their families. Please ensure you have not chosen a meeting place in the school parking lot. Kindergarten is the only age group where teachers will wait for a parent to arrive before dismissing students. All students have been taught in class, that if they get to their meeting spot and there is no one there to pick them up, after waiting a few minutes, they are to come to the office through the front entrance of the school for help. Please note that parents are requested to remain in the outer foyer of the office NOT to enter the front office to drop off items or pick up with their child. The staff will ensure that your child enters/exits safely and is taken to his/her classroom.
HUB Online Learning
Our school has over 50 students who are registered in the HUB online learning. In order to accommodate the HUB online learning at our school we were required to have one teacher transition to the online environment in order to meet the needs of students registered in that program. Mrs. Braun, our Technology Learning Leader will move to an assignment as the grade 2 HUB teacher. Mrs. Braun brings her expertise and strong skill-set in technology to this assignment while maintaining her placement at and connection to MTS. Accordingly her reassignment to HUB teaching has required a reorganization of our six grade 2 classes into five in-person classes at the school. This has meant a change of teacher for some of the grade 2 students. Families and children impacted by the change in classroom teachers have been notified.  The class size in grade 2 remains at 22/23 in each class.  We are pleased that the overall in-school enrolment number in grade 2 enabled us to complete the required reorganization of classes without a significant increase in class size and in a manner that is least disruptive to students at this early start-up time of the school year.
Communication Methods
Open, continuous communication is of utmost importance throughout the school year.  Classroom teachers will use the following methods to communicate learning, updates:
· Classroom Blogs – (classroom teachers will provide blog posts every Friday beginning September 11/20)
· Email
· Phone Calls
Communication from the school will include:
· School Website – will highlight events occurring at the school
· Administration Monthly Message on website
· Email, phone calls, School messenger
· In person meetings, previously arranged with administration
Over the last several weeks there has been considerable information that has been provided to parents both through the CBE and MTS website as well as through School Messenger. The information can be overwhelming to process. If you require clarification, please do not hesitate to call the school and speak to the office staff regarding questions that you may have related to operations within the school. Please address concerns you may have about your child and his/her learning to their classroom teacher through email of phone call. When additional support is required in a situation the administration will be involved.
Thank you for holding fast in your support of our school community through this challenging time. We appreciate your positive comments and feedback as well as your suggestions and questions for improvement.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the McKenzie Towne Church for providing our school staff with a delicious pizza lunch on the first full day back at school, September 8. What a treat for staff – including not having to pack a lunch on that first busy day. McKenzie Towne is such a caring community which our school is proud to be a part of and contribute to!
Wishing all of us a healthy and happy month of September!
Dr. Lorraine Slater

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McKenzie Towne School

679 Prestwick Cir SE Calgary, AB, T2Z 0V3
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School Contacts

Susan Westgate
Education Director
Michael Nelson
Michael Bradshaw

School Information

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School Hours

Morning Start
8:00 AM
2:35 PM
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