The carefree days of summer are coming to a close and the excitement and anticipation of a new school year is upon us. I very excited to be the new principal of Valley Creek School and I look forward to welcoming you to the 2023-2024 school year. The staff and I have been busy preparing the school and we are all anxiously waiting to fill the halls and classrooms with laughter and learning. This year we have many seasoned Valley Creek staff and a significant number of “new to Valley Creek School” staff. New this year include:
- Lana Babkirk
- Christine Beard
- Daniel Berday
- Janey Chan
- Madison Demers
- Jason Harding-Doherty
- Wendy Ho
- Brad Hughes
- Ryan Morck
- Eve Smiley
- Nicole Sommerfeld
- Shane Vopicka
- Shannon Ricard
- Shirel Balaciano
- Christina Cameron
- Joanne Burns
- Madison Millard
- Mariam Syed
- Ross Abraham
All are fabulous and ready to serve the students and families of the Valley Creek Community. Staff are planning several activities and athletics will be starting very soon. Thank you for your patience as we update our school calendar.
Two calendar items to note:
- PHOTO Day is Tuesday, September 12.
- Meet the Teacher is Thursday, September 21. More details will be coming out soon.
It is my honour and privilege to serve at Valley Creek School. This school community is filled with dedicated teachers, support staff and parents who strive to create a school where students feel they belong and learning is fun!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As the school year comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to express our heartfelt appreciation for your support and partnership throughout this school year. It has been a year filled with learning achievements, growth, and many moments of celebration, and we are grateful for your commitment to supporting your student to achieve.
As we close our school year, we are sadly saying goodbye to several of our teachers. Each of these talented staff are off to begin a new adventure in another school setting. The following teachers have been integral members of our Creeker Family and we are grateful for their unwavering commitment and dedication to our students' growth and development. They will be truly missed.
With deep gratitude ~ thank you to a fabulous team:
As well, we are saying goodbye to Educational Assistants, Heather Mallett, Claudia Saenz and Zeenat Fahima and Behaviour Support Worker, Larisa McIntyre. These ladies have worked tirelessly to support students academically and emotionally this year. We wish Heather every happiness as she moves into her retirement chapter.
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation to Rick Petrowitsch who has been Acting Principal for me during my absences this spring. We have been so fortunate to have his calm presence, positive attitude and wise experience at Valley Creek. He has been a very busy retired principal! Thank you very much, Rick!
Next year brings, your new Principal, Helen Colbourne as well as many new faces on staff. Without a doubt, it will be a wonderful new chapter for the Valley Creek community!
As we approach the well-deserved summer break, we encourage you to take this time to relax, recharge, and enjoy precious moments with your family. Reflect on the achievements and milestones your student has accomplished this year and celebrate their growth and progress.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for entrusting us with your child's education. It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of their journey, and we wish them continued success in the coming year.
Wishing you a safe, enjoyable, and rejuvenating summer break. Valley Creek School looks forward to welcoming you all back for another incredible year filled with learning, discovery, and shared successes August 31!
Proud to have been the Principal of Valley Creek!
Welcome June ~ the final month of the school year!
It is the time of year life speeds up, and timelines rush toward us whether we are ready or not. However, many important dates remain on your calendar. Please take note.
Thank you Coaches!
We have just finished our basketball season! We are proud of the commitment and dedication of our players. They played hard and represented Valley Creek well. Thank you to the coaches of our four teams, especially our parents, Mr. Hornberger and Mr. Bromley; we couldn't have run all teams without your unwavering support. Thank you for your time and dedicated commitment. You are appreciated.
June 5, Vaccinations
Gr 6 Vaccinations, and catch ups
June 6, Thermopylae
We are proud our Thermopylae race is returning to its pre-COVID glory, with seventeen schools participating this year.
Thermopylae is a 5.07 km, 20 obstacles, two mud pit course built to challenge middle school students. Our Thermopylae teams have trained throughout the year to prepare for this gruelling event. As the creator and founder, Mike Maher, is moving on from Valley Creek next year, this is an even more unique historical event. This event will begin in our backfield at 4:00 pm, Tuesday, June 6. If you would like to volunteer, please get in touch with Mr. Maher – at email@example.com.
June 8, Grade 9 Farewell
Our Grade 9 Farewell celebration will occur on Thursday, June 8, at 10:30 am in the gymnasium. Due to limited seating, this is a ticketed event. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Christie Rattee – at firstname.lastname@example.org. An Important Note: Due to the ceremony running through lunchtime, the cafeteria will be closed for food purchases on Thursday, June 8, for all students.
June 9, Non-Instructional Day
No school for Students.
By June 11, 2023/2024 Bus Registration
Please go into your PowerSchool account and complete your registration for bussing for the 2023/2024 school year by June 11.
June 12, Track Meet
Divisional, 7 schools participating at Foothills Athletic Park.
June 13 (Evening), Athletic Celebration
Celebrating our amazing athletes on various Charger teams! A formal evening of food, fun, and featured (former athletes) speakers.
June 14, Last day to Purchase Punch Lunch Cards / June 22, Cafeteria Closing
The last day our cafeteria will be open this year is Thursday, June 22.
The last day to purchase Punch Lunch Cards is Wednesday, June 14.
Punch Lunch Cards do not carry to next year, be sure to use up by June 22. Thank you for being so supportive of our cafeteria. Ms. Viv works very hard to prepare a variety of food choices for students and does her best to keep prices as reasonable as possible, which is a challenge these days, as you know.
June 15, Band Information Night, 6:00 pm
If your next year Grade 7 to 9 student is interested in taking Band next year, join Ms. Sheedy Thursday, June 15 at 6:00 pm in the Band Room. A key part of the session will be information about renting instruments and we will be joined by representatives from St. John's Music who will have a selection of instruments available for students to try.
June 16, Library Books Due
Any library books borrowed by students are due by Friday, June 16. Thank you for helping us keep our readers on the shelves and not lost in closets or under beds.
June 16 – 27, Provincial Achievement Exam Dates
Friday, June 16 Grade 6 FLA Part B
Grade 9 FLA Part B 9:00 - 10:15 am
Tuesday, June 20 Grade 6 ELA Part B
Grade 9 ELA Part B 9:00 – 10:15 am
Thursday, June 22 Grade 6 Math Part A
Grade 9 Math Part A 9:00 – 9:30 am
Friday, June 23 Grade 6 Math Part B
Grade 9 Math Part B 9:00 – 10:20 am
Monday, June 26 Grade 6 Social
Grade 9 Social 9:00 – 10:20 am
Tuesday, June 27 Grade 6 Science
Grade 9 Science 9:00 – 10:15 am
June 29, Last Day of School!
Report Cards go live and are available to be viewed on PowerSchool June 29.
Appeals Morning June 30 ~ onwards to summer holidays!
As we head into the final stretch of the school year, we want to remind everyone of the importance of staying focused and positive. Challenges and obstacles may be ahead, but we know we can overcome them together. We are working hard to support everyone and finish the school year on a high note. May is a time of renewal and growth, and we hope to cultivate these qualities in all our students, parents, and staff.
Important Dates in May:
May 1 - 5 – West Coast Sailing Trip
We have 13 students and 2 staff aboard a sailboat exploring the West Coast. These students will be able to learn about the flora and fauna, the area's tide pools, sailing, and kayaking.
Professional Learning Day May 5
This Friday, teachers will spend the day working with and understanding the CBE's Student Well-Being Framework to advance student well-being. Thank you to our Parent Council for allowing us to bring guest speaker Jessica Janzen. Jessica is a renowned speaker who addresses resiliency, wellness and mental health of ourselves so we can care for others. Our day will focus on creating: School Connectedness and a Sense of Belonging and Resilience and Mental Health.
Basketball Season Continues
Our junior and senior girls' and boys' teams continue to play hard and compete as strong athletes in our basketball season. We thank the parents who come out to watch and support our players. Our next at-home games are on May 2 and May 17. A reminder, as per the Basketball Association, all student spectators must be under the direct supervision of an adult to attend an evening basketball game.
Provincial Achievement Tests
Our students in grades six and nine will write their PATs over two days.
Gr 6 French Language Arts Part A
Gr 9 English Language Arts Part A
Gr 6 English Language Arts Part A
Gr 9 French Language Arts Part A
Our final 2022/23 school year meeting is May 16 at 7:00 pm in the Learning Commons. Please join us as we say goodbye to many amazing parents who have served on our parent council for many years. We are most appreciative of their commitment and contributions to our school community.
Fine Arts Evening May 18
Please join us to celebrate the student who shines through the Arts beginning at 6:30 pm. This evening is an opportunity for our band students to perform and share their growth as musicians. In addition, this evening will be an opportunity for our drama students to shine. We have had many students regularly attend our lunchtime Drama club this year. Students will be performing on a schedule of short plays and skits they have rehearsed for some time. We are proud of our performers and hope you will join us to enjoy their performances.
Victoria Day – May 22 – No School
May 29 is Election Day/Professional Learning Day – No School.
IMPORTANT CAFETERIA JUNE DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR
- Due to the Grade 9 Farewell on June 8, the cafeteria will be closed for lunch for all students.
- The final day to buy lunch cards will be June 14.
- The cafeteria will close on June 22. In addition, all cards will expire on June 22, as no cards will be carried over to the 2023/24 school year.
We also want to acknowledge our parents and staff for their unwavering support and commitment to our school community. We appreciate all the time and effort you put in to make our school a welcoming and inspiring place for our students.
Thank you for being a part of our fantastic school community. We couldn't do it without you!
April marks the month of the return of mud puddles, tulips, and the downhill slide to June. It is always remarkable how fast the next three months pass. We have many important events, deadlines and activities ahead.
April 11, 5:00-7:00 pm
We are hosting our grade three parent orientation evening to allow families to come tour the school and learn about our middle school expectations and schedules. Leadership students will welcome families at the front door to informally tour them in small groups around the different areas of the school. Then, we will begin our formal presentation at 6:00 pm in the gymnasium. This opportunity is open to any of your new families who are joining us in the fall and who are not in grade four as well.
Option Selections - Grades 7- 9
During the week of April 17, students will select their options for next year. Student interest, available staff and resources dictate our option offerings. We will send a messenger home when students can make option selections online.
Provincial Achievement Tests - Grades 6 and 9
Students will begin preparing for their written language arts provincial test in the coming weeks. Alberta Education chooses Test dates, and are as follows;
May 15 - Gr 6 French LA and Gr 9 LA
May 17 - Gr 6 ELA and Gr 9 French LA
Field Trip Fees
All upcoming field trip fees will be added to your CBE account; please regularly check for new additions. There are many upcoming field trips in the coming months.
A Reminder of School Expectations
AWAY FOR THE DAY - our policy remains in place—no phones are allowed in the gathering area, classrooms, or gym. Phones should be locked in lockers unless a teacher makes an exception. Cell phones can be used outside of the school at lunchtime.
Hoods - We are seeing more students wearing their hoods up. All hoods should be down as it is a safety issue if we can't identify someone with a hood.
Basketball Reminder - there are no spectators at basketball practices.
Basketball games - all spectators must be with an adult/parent. Thank you for assistance supporting our athletes and keeping the focus on the game and not spectator behaviour.
Many Thanks Are in Order
Thank you to parents for participating in our open format Parent Teacher Conferences. We saw many smiling faces, and know parents had an opportunity to speak with a variety of teachers that they may not have had a chance to see, booking only with a homeroom teacher. We know that every interview format has pros and cons and that this format only works for some families. Next year, we will gather your feedback and re-evaluate to find the best approach for our families.
Thank you to Parent Council and the many parents who dropped off food and goodies for staff to enjoy during the interviews. Your thoughtfulness and generosity were greatly appreciated!
Thank you to everyone who attended our Equity and Diversity in Leadership evening on March 14. Mr. Maher and Ms. Mechlese did a fabulous job lining up various exciting speakers for the evening. It was a memorable and inspiring opportunity.
Students enjoyed our La Semaine De La Francophonie week before the break. It was a fabulous opportunity for our students to enjoy many fun aspects of French culture, from games and music to food. Thank you for your support of our activities.
Next Fall Intentions
We are asking for your feedback to help us plan for next year. Please let us know if your family will not be returning to Valley Creek next fall by emailing your child's teacher or the main office at email@example.com by mid-April. It is important to know how many students we should anticipate so we are able to program and timetable effectively.
There is no school, Good Friday, April 7 and Easter Monday, April 10.
We hope you and your family have a wonderful long weekend and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.
Hang on tight; spring is coming! It is wonderful to see the return of longer hours of daylight and to know this weekend; we "spring forward" onto daylight savings time. This month we are looking forward to many events and activities at Valley Creek.
Our Parent Teacher Conferences will be held this week, Thursday, March 9, 3:00 - 7:30 pm and Friday morning, between 8:00 am -12:00 pm. This round of conferences will be in an open format. Teachers will be seated at tables in their grade groups around the gym with chairs for waiting parents. We ask conversations to be kept to a maximum of 10 mins to respect everyone's time. If you require more time to speak with a teacher, please book an alternative day and time directly with your teacher.
March 14 is Pi Day
This fun competition is open to all students in grades 4-9. There are two categories – Grades 4-6 and 7-9. To compete, students memorize the first 100 or more digits of pi. Round 1 ~ (gr 4-6) will take place on March 9 in room 209 at lunch over the entire lunch break. Round 2 ~ (gr 7-9) will occur in room 209 on March 13. The finals will be on stage during lunch on March 14. The winning student from each grade will get to throw a pie in the face of one of the sacrificial teacher volunteers.
March 14 - Equity and Diversity in Leadership
On Tuesday, March 14, we will host our second annual Equality and Diversity: Gender in Leadership night. This special event will take place in the gym from 6:00-7:30 pm. Our guest speakers will be speaking about their journey to where they are now, obstacles and successes that they encountered, and the changing landscape of gender in the workplace. Our MC's for the evening are representatives from our grade 8 and grade 9 community.Seating is limited to 150-200 participants. Refreshments will be cake, fruit trays and water provided by Sobey's Nolan Hill. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Mr. Maher firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share Your Feedback ~ 2023 Valley Creek School Planning Survey
We have launched our School Planning Survey to gather your feedback around how we can build understanding and work together to support student learning. The survey is open March 6-17 to all parents and only takes approximately 8 minutes. Please take time to share your thoughts with us.
La Semaine De La Francophonie A Valley Creek!
March 20-24, we will be celebrating all things French! We encourage all students to participate and enjoy French culture. This week: Monday – Toque Day; Tuesday – French Culture Day (dress as a chef, in an artists beret, be a tourist in France); Wednesday – Franco Albertan Day (wear red, blue, and pink to represent the Franco-Alberta Flag); Friday – celebrate Metis Culture Day. The BeaverTails – Food Truck will be out front of the school serving poutines and Beavertails (watch for pre-order information email tomorrow). Bon Appetite!
Parent Council Meeting
Please join us for our next Parent Council Meeting Tuesday, March 21, at 7:00 pm in the Learning Commons. We appreciate the support and important feedback our parents provide. Thank you to the parents who make time to come out and support Valley Creek school community. We look forward to seeing new faces this month!
Welcome February ~ the short month with longer hours of daylight!
Our report cards went live at 8:00 am January 30. As you may be aware, the PowerSchool application was overwhelmed and shut down access to everyone across the system. We appreciate this may have caused frustration and confusion for families. Please let us know if you still need help accessing your student's report card.
Wednesday, February 1 - our grade nines will be receiving their vaccinations.
There is no school this Friday, February 3, as it is a System Non-Instructional Day.
February 7, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, we are showcasing several student dance performances for families to enjoy. Phys. Ed. students have created and rehearsed their dances over the past two weeks. All parents/guardians, families, and friends are welcome to attend. Students have put great effort and time into perfecting their performances for this special night.
February 16 and 17 is the Teachers' Convention, followed by Family Day on February 20. Enjoy this lovely long weekend!
You are welcome to join us for our next School Council Meeting Tuesday, February 21, in the Learning Commons.
We are looking for volunteer readers who would like to read with students across the grades. Volunteers need a current, valid CBE police clearance. If you are interested, please reach out to our Student Services Learning Leader, Laura Yip (email@example.com). We welcome readers in both French and English.
We encourage all parents to reach out to teachers at any point throughout the school year if they have questions or concerns surrounding their son/daughter's learning. We are all working together to support student success.
It is exciting to welcome December and the countdown to our winter break. This week has been incredibly cold, and I am sure we all have cabin fever from being stuck inside all day. We look forward to a break in the weather next week.
We are happy to see our absentee rate has dropped significantly, and we are no longer in an outbreak status. Thank you for keeping your student home when they are sick, as this has made a difference in keeping everyone healthy.
Parents Dropping Off Students
Please do not enter the parking lot to drop off or pick up students unless it is outside our regular start or dismissal times. Parents are welcome to "Kiss and Drop" students on Hidden Valley Drive or the east side of the school on the side street. Thank you for keeping the parking lot open for school buses and staff parking.
Winter Wonderland Dance
Our grade eight Leadership students are hosting a Winter Wonderland dance on Thursday, December 8, in the afternoon. Students will choose their location for the afternoon. They can attend the dance, play board games, or watch a movie. The dance will run from 12:10-1:00 pm for grades 4-6 and 1:10-2:25 for grades 7-9.
Lost and Found
Our lost and found is overflowing with boots, water bottles and clothing. During our Fine Arts & CTF Celebration evening, we will display all lost items on tables in the main foyer. Please take a moment on your way out to see if you recognize any items that belong to your family.
Fine Arts & CTF Celebration Evening
All families are welcome to attend this event Wednesday, December 14 5:30-7:00 pm. During this informal evening, students will showcase various projects and talents.
Hoping your family is keeping toasty and warm.
Mother Nature has been very kind to us this fall, and we appreciate our opportunities to learn outdoors in our beautiful community. Teachers have been busy building connections to the land and community as we learn together in a new school year – community pride is evident in every corner and conversation.
It is terrific to see athletics up and running ~ Our Cross Country team was fantastic this year and the volleyball season is well underway. In addition, it is refreshing to see extracurricular activities running, including clubs, intramurals and field trips. Please read the Weekly PE Update from Jenna Hunt, Phys Ed Learning Leader, for detailed athletic information.
Our grade sixes had the first field trip of the year to the Youth Link Calgary Police Interpretive Center. Students spent the day learning about forensic science and the important role police play in community safety. Our sincere thanks and appreciation to all the parents who volunteered their time to supervise. We greatly appreciated your support.
Thank you to the parents who could attend our Meet the Teacher evening and BBQ on September 22! Seeing our hallways filled with smiling families touring the building was very special. We look forward to seeing you in November at our parent conferences. We will share more information in November. Please do not wait until November to contact your student’s teacher if you have concerns. It is always best to reach out immediately to seek clarification and ensure we are all on the same page. Ongoing communication between home and school is essential.
Friday, October 7, is our System Wide Indigenous Education Professional Learning Day. No School for Students. All schools will engage in this critical work to build our collective understanding and commitment to work together as a community in laying the foundation for reconciliation through education. The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, points to education as the key to reconciliation, stating “Education got us into this mess and education will get us out of it.”
Our photo re-take day is Thursday, October 20, for students who may require a re-take or missed our first photo day.
Our virtual VCS School Council will be held on Tuesday, October 18, at 7:00 pm. Parent Council will share an invitation to parents with a link to the meeting through a School Messenger closer to October 18. Your participation and input are valued and appreciated.
Thanksgiving is a particular time of year to give thanks for our blessings. At Valley Creek, we have many reasons to be thankful for our families, friends and the community where we live. May your Thanksgiving weekend be delicious and filled with the love of family and friends.
We were happy to have our students and their energy back in the building for the first day of school. Although many were sleepy, we could still see the excitement and anticipation in their eyes. This will be a wonderful new year of learning for our students, and we look forward to seeing parents inside the building again.
We welcome many new faces to our Creeker family this year. As announced in June, we have a new Assistant Principal, Cathy Johnson. Ms. Johnson is a Francophone who brings a wealth of leadership and Indigenous education experience to Valley Creek. We also have several new teachers this year.
- Hailey Cyr, French Hum Grade 4 & English Hum Grade 9
- Grace Chambers, French Math/Sci Grade 4
- Nally Souraya, English Hum Grade 6 (with Ms. Healy)
We have a team of staff working with our new special education classes, TASC (Teaching Attitude, Social Skills and Communication) and CSSI (Communication, Sensory, Social Interaction).
- Victoria Kehler, CSSI Teacher
- Rachel Ewurum – TASC Teacher
- Michelle Ladouceur, EA TASC
- Claudia Saenz, EA TASC
- Andreanna Polson, EA CSSI
- William Belhomme, EA CSSI
- Zeenat Fahima – EA TASC/CSSI
Finally, working with our mental health class, we welcome,
- Larisa McIntyre, Behaviour Support Worker
Next Friday, September 9 we are very excited to be able to partner with Hidden Valley for our Colour Run. More information will be coming soon from Jenna Hunt.
Tuesday, September 13 will be our photo day. Photo re-take day is October 20.
Thank you for your patience as we update our school website.
It is a privilege to work with a team of dedicated teachers, support staff and parents who work together to create a positive school community of learning, belonging and fun.
(Hidden) Jason Arrel, Principal
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