Students and staff are settling nicely into the routines and rhythm of the new school year. Our student population as of the end of September when the official enrolment figures were submitted to the CBE was 521 students. This number includes 437 students in grades 1-4 and 87 students in kindergarten. We have 23 classes. Our class size ranges from 20- 26 students In K-4. During the first month of school the goal has been for teachers and students to get to know each other. At all grade levels, teachers focused on learning activities that were intended to build student self - awareness and understanding of others as a way to build classroom communities that foster a sense of belonging for every child.
At MTS we have considered the work of Dr. Jean Clinton, Pediatric Psychiatrist at McMaster University in Hamilton who focuses on the following guiding principles for the education of children:
- Development of the whole child
- The importance of belonging
- The first “R" relationships are central
We believe strongly in and are in support of Dr. Clinton's guiding principles. Development of the whole child is our focus including the academic, social-emotional, physical, musical, and artistic/creative aspects of growth and learning. Belonging is a central tenet of inclusionary education and as a school community, developing a sense of belonging is explicit within our wellness goal in our School Development Plan.
In order to personalize learning for students, it is important for teachers to know each child for the unique individual he/she is as well as to become familiar with how each child learns best. Your attendance at the first conference of the year has helped with this process as you have shared information about your child with his/her teacher.
We welcome two new teachers to our school. We were able to open an additional kindergarten class in September and welcomed Mrs. Meaghan Alle to teach the class. As well, with grade 3 teacher Mrs. Blake moving into the Resource role in the school with the departure of Mrs. Bitz, we were pleased to hire Mr. Kyle Kurtz to take over the grade 3 class. The students have adjusted well to this early change in teachers.
Three Left Feet Dance Residency
Students in K-2 have been enjoying their dance residency with Three Left Feet professional dance company. TLF offers an engaging and socially encouraged method of developing a student's Physical Literacy, Mindfulness and appreciation for the creative process through the exploration of Dance and Movement. TLF are in-school dance residency program specialists who create a safe environment for students to take risks and succeed. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, we are unable to have a final sharing performance in the school with parents. However, TLF are creating a video for each class which will be shared with parents after the completion of the residency. Please note that students for whom we did not receive a signed media release form from parents will not be included in the video.
Thank you to the Parent Council at MTS for their financial support of this amazing opportunity for our students. Through your dedicated fund-raising efforts, we are able to provide these curricular related exceptional experiences to our students. In November, grades 3 and 4 students will have the opportunity to participate in an inline skating residency program with Alien In-Line Skating.
We are so pleased that the Calgary Board of Education Covid guidelines have allowed our school to once again have these professional artists/athletes work with our students and teachers to provide excellence in programming.
Dogs on School Grounds
We would like to thank our dog owners who are walking their dogs to school on a leash and saying their goodbyes from the sidewalk or school ground boundaries. It is sometimes hard to understand that our beloved companions could be intimidating to anyone, but children who are not familiar with pets, often are fearful. As well, city bylaws exist that do not allow dogs on school grounds. Thank you so much for your cooperation.
Terry Fox Run
September 22 marked the day for our annual Terry Fox Run that is intended to raise awareness and funds in support of cancer research. Through the generosity of the community the school raised $1,915. As always, MTS families, showed their care and kindness for others in supporting this cause. The children were delighted to see that having surpassed our fund-raising goal, Mr. Van Sluys, our 6 ft. 4 inch P.E. teacher carried out his promise to wear a tutu for a full day at school. He demonstrated that he is a great sport as he had students chuckling and giggling at him all day!
I look forward to continuing to get to know our students and parents over the year. My greatest joy is to be able to be back in classrooms working with students and teachers. Please continue to check the Alberta Health Services and CBE websites for changing information related to Covid regulations and requirements. We will continue to message our parent community as we receive information on changes as well.
Hoping for a continuing safe and successful school year!
Dr. Lorraine Slater,