Each spring at Robert Thirsk mirrors Calgary and Alberta: constant energy and dynamic growth with many emerging and yet to be determined changes – with less time to adjust to those changes. Registration for next year’s courses has been completed, for both current Robert Thirsk students and those who will join us next year. In September, we will have over 1200 students, representing a decrease in total enrolment over the past several years, as with other Calgary Board of Education high schools. We welcome many other students who come to Robert Thirsk from across the city and international students, thriving in specific programs offered here such as Grade Ten Communities, Natural Sciences, Leadership, Career & Technology Studies, Academics, Athletics and our Fine and Performing Arts program. Each new school year finds us stronger, richer, and ever more successful.
As a result, our school will continue to be very busy and complex. There will be increasing and constant pressures on space, course offerings, timetabling and, of course, student choice. We will also have several changes in staff, as some of our fine people change schools and others come to work at Robert Thirsk. Other staff will be on leave, to spend time with their families, return to university, college or training schools, or make changes in their employment, including retirement. The staffing process continues throughout the final three months of school, and more often, into the summer, creating additional changes in staff members and student timetables. This upcoming year is very challenging, as noted in many public documents and media sources, with the significant levels of unknown aspects of provincial level decisions, impacting staffing and programs at the school level. We fill positions, we do not replace people – making the work complex for all staff and ultimately for the learning of students as we will have fewer staff.
We have several upcoming exciting events in the next several weeks, as noted through the many forms of communication from the school to families and students. We have many wonderful, positive and exciting projects, events, and people profiled on our excellent (updated and recently migrated) website. I invite you to visit this site for the latest information, profiles and highlights of the learning, partnership and excellence to be found at Robert Thirsk High School, and thank you for your patience as this new version is added to throughout the spring and into the fall of 2019.
Students find the second half of semester two very full and often stressful. The competing demands of school, the (hopefully) wonderful weather, employment and plans for summer and next year can be overwhelming at times. Should you find that to be the case with your daughter(s) or son(s), please contact us (through Connect teachers Student Success Centre or the Main Office) such that we may assist you or connect you to supports, suggestions or direction of a helpful nature for your child(ren).
On behalf of our staff, my thanks for your continued support of, kind words for and trust in the work we do with your children.
Matt Christison, EdD