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Important Updates and Reminders for the 2021-22 School Year
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  • Important Updates and Reminders for the 2021-22 School Year

  • CBE to Recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30

  • EducationMatters Back to School Essentials Fundraising Campaign

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Principal's Message

Sept 19

​Hello SJAMmers
There is a great deal to share with our entire school community this week as this is a very busy time with many events that require clear communication.  Please be patient with the length of this week’s WAG.COVID-19 updatesThis past week the Government of Alberta declared a public health emergency and announced new measures intended to protect the health care system, limit the spread of COVID-19 and increase vaccination rates in Alberta.The Calgary Board of Education has reviewed these new health measures. Our plan for the 2021-22 school year, already exceeds all the new government health measures, including: •   mandatory masking for all students K-12 and all staff •   co-horting for elementary students K-6 •   work from home direction for non-school based staff •   spectators attending extracurricular sports and activities at outdoor events onlyWe will continue to notify families of self-reported cases within schools and support AHS with outbreak notifications and investigations.We all play a role to ensure our schools are as safe as possible and that we minimize the spread of COVID-19. The CBE has and will continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated.  AHS will be at SJAM on Tuesday, Sept 21 to administer Covid-19 Vaccinations to those students whose parents have given written consent.​Thank you to all of our families for sending your student to school with a mask.  We do have some students arrive without a mask and although we provide them; supplies are limited. School Council​​​We would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new SJAM families and students, and encourage everyone to attend the School Council meetings.  All parents or guardians are welcome to attend.  They are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, with the exception of December and June where we do not meet.  At a council meeting, one can expect to hear updates from the extraordinary SJAM Admin team, report from a Learning Leader regarding what is going on in individual departments around curriculum, and updates from Student Council (events going on in school such as Dances, Sports, Fundraiser, etc – when applicable).  Meetings also include time for questions, concerns, and suggestions from parents – your voice is so important and we want you to be heard!  Parents can also expect to hear from School Council Executive Members on topics such as financials, fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, and news from COSC (Council of School Councils).It has been decided that we will hold a virtual School Council AGM meeting using the application Microsoft Teams as the online conference tool to facilitate this opportunity to gather. This virtual meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 21 at 6:30PM.We really need some executive positions filled.  Many of our executive have moved on to different schools.  We do NOT have enough parents to maintain the Parent Council/Fundraising Society executive.  To be able to continue working with and aiding the school at the same levels as the previous years we need people like you to volunteer.   All positions are available to be filled, but the one main position that is highly important is Treasurer.  We also need a Vice-Chairperson (or Co-Chair) and Secretary.  Thanks in advance for your support!To receive an invite to access the next meeting on Tuesday, Set 21 at 6:30PM, please send an email to sjam.council@gmail.com and you will be sent an invite to join the Teams conference tool. A membership or download is not required to use Teams; however, you will need to click on the link that will be sent to access the meeting.  We will send out the list of protocols in a later message, that we will ask everyone to follow during our school council meeting.From your School Council Executive
​​Fall Equinox (September 22)We are learning that acknowledging and celebrating each change in season is important to Indigenous peoples. Elder saa’kokoto (Randy Bottle) from Kainai teaches us that in fall (o’ko in Blackfoot) we are preparing for the next season and we get reminders from the land, the animals and the sky. The plants and berries remind us it’s time to harvest. The bears are fattening up for winter themselves. The Big Dipper also reminds us of the season by its position in the sky. The full moon in September is called deer moon (awakaasiiki’somm in Blackfoot). The deer are filling up on soon to be scarce food resources and preparing their coats and antlers for winter. All of these reminders to prepare, led to the of survival of First Nations, Métis and the Inuit. The fall has its own ceremonies and stories and is a part of the education system Elder saa’kokoto tells us.This upcoming week, the Grade 7 students will be walking to Nose Hill to learn on the land. They will observe the many changes occurring this season and hear stories about plants and learn about animals and their adaptations. Our goal is to have students return in winter and spring to notice the changes in each season.We encourage everyone to celebrate the Fall Equinox by getting outside to appreciate and celebrate the beauty this change in the season brings.Treaty DaySept 22nd is Treaty Day. This is a time of year that commemorates the signing of treaties with First Nations and the Government of Canada. Treaty 7 was signed on September 22, 1877 at what is now known as Blackfoot Crossing National Historic Site. Status First Nations members also receive their annual $5 annuity as per the treaty agreement. Our staff and students will be spending time learning about treaties and exploring the question what does “We are all treaty people” mean.You can read more about the site on the government website here. Blackfoot Crossing, just east of Calgary has a great museum to explore. The website is under construction, but you can find some information here.Next Week • AHS Vaccinations on Tuesday, Sept 21 • School Council at 6:30 Tuesday, Sept 21 • Fall Equinox & Treaty Day – Wednesday, Sept 22 • Meet the Teacher at 6:30 Thursday, Sept 23 • NID (no School for parents) Friday, Sept 24 Parking​Thank you to all of our parents and guardians who have chosen another safe place to drop off your students before school every morning.  The congestion has improved and the zone along 64 Ave. seems much safer for all our precious Mustangs.  Please remember the staff parking lot should not be used as a drop off zone as there are safety concerns for staff and students.OurSCHOOL Student SurveySir John A Macdonald School will be participating in an online school perception survey for students called the OurSCHOOL Student Survey. Please find the details of the survey implementation below.  ​Who: Grade 7,8,9 When: September 21-23, 2021 Where: at school Why: to measure student engagement, increase student involvement & sense of belonging at school About the OurSCHOOL Student Survey:  • Allows students to share their feedback anonymously on their experiences at school, school environment, and school improvement programs.    • Based on their feedback, students have the opportunity to be involved in action plans fostering increased student engagement  • Participation in the survey is voluntary, however, all students are encouraged to participate.   • The time required to complete the survey may vary, but it is designed to be completed in approximately 35-40 minutes. Survey measures include such topics as behaviours and attitudes linked to student success, emotional and social well-being and physical health. For more information about the OurSCHOOL Student Survey, please visit The Learning Bar’s website: www.thelearningbar.com.  If you have questions or would like to request more information about Sir John A Macdonald’s upcoming implementation of the OurSCHOOL Student Survey, please contact Catherine Gammell at crgammell@cbe.ab.ca. Community Survey from City of CalgaryCity of Calgary Community SurveyThe City of Calgary’s Community Social Work program is working on a community assessment in Huntington Hills. You are invited to participate in the survey to help them understand the community better from a resident perspective. Answering the questions is voluntary and your answers will be kept confidential. This means that what you share will not be connected to your name. The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. You can enter a draw to win a $25 Superstore gift card for participation in the survey once completed.  Survey link is https://huntingtonhillsresidentsurvey.questionpro.ca​  
We hope you are having a relaxing and safe weekend,Darren, Andrea & Cat​

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Sir John A. Macdonald School

6600 4 St NW Calgary, AB, T2K 1C2
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School Contacts

Principal
Darren Toews
Assistant Principal
Andrea Byrne
Assistant Principal
Catherine Gammell
Education Director
Teresa Martin
Trustee
Althea Adams

School Information

Grades
07-09
Enrolment
766
Programs
Regular
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School Hours

Morning Start
8:20 AM
Dismissal
3:15 PM
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