Every year, CBE schools develop a School Development Plan (SDP). One of our two goals for our SDP at Alexander Ferguson School for 2020-2021 is a wellness goal. The SDP wellness goal reads, “Students will demonstrate an increase in resiliency by developing skills in mindfulness, self-regulation and feeling connected in school.”
Since the beginning of the year, our staff has been involved in professional development sessions with Anita Thomson, an educator in mindfulness, self-regulation and stress management in schools. Through virtual meetings, Anita has shared many strategies that will support our students and staff in these areas. Our learning key outcomes focus on what staff will do to support our students in this area. Some of those outcomes include integrating mindfulness and self-regulation activities into teacher’s weekly classroom lessons and developing a common language to support student resiliency. Through these outcomes, our students will have more tools in their toolbox for becoming more resilient through intentional mindfulness and self-regulation instruction. As we continue to work on this goal throughout the year, we will continue to share with you the various strategies that students are engaging in.
We would like to share one mindfulness video that Anita shared with us last week. Many of our teachers have already shared this with their classroom. Here is the link for Bulldog Finds His Quiet Place.
On Tuesday, November 10, Alex Ferguson School students and staff held our first virtual Remembrance Day Assembly. Each classroom either performed a song, read stories and poems, shared art and/or created videos for all to see. Two of our students, Adam and Alya from room 10, were amazing as our emcees. During the days leading up to Remembrance Day, our staff and students were involved in discussing the sacrifices our Canadian soldiers have made for all of us.
It is always heart warming to hear the children talking about peace and freedom and using many ways of describing what Remembrance Day means to them. Due to FOIP concerns, we were unable to share the presentation publically. We really missed the parents and guests that usually attend this particular assembly. I hope for next year's assembly, the school community as a whole will be able to honour the service of Canadians together, to commemorate this special time of year.
Sherry Goldenberg, Principal
Alex Ferguson School will be participating in an online school perception survey for students in grade 4 – 6 called the OurSCHOOL Student Survey. All CBE students from grades 4 – 9 will involved in this survey throughout the month of November. It is a tool to measure student engagement and increase student involvement and sense of belonging at school. It will give us a better understanding at the school level about how our students are feeling during the pandemic, and information will also be gathered at a system level.
This survey allows students to share their feedback anonymously on their experiences at Alex Ferguson School and their school environment. Participation in the survey is voluntary. We find most of our students are eager to participate.
CBE has designed a K-3 survey that we will be asking teachers to administer with their students as well during the month of November. The survey has language and icons appropriate for our young children.
On Thursday, October 29th, we had an announced lockdown practice at Alexander Ferguson School. Students and staff of the school were aware of the practice that occurred at 11:00 am and took approximately 20 minutes. Constable Gary Borrows, School Resource Officer, Elementary School Team was here with his partner to help us practice. The safety of all students and staff in our school is of great importance as we review and practice lockdown and fire drills throughout the year.
In keeping with CBE policy, we are required to practice lockdowns twice in a school year. The procedures all schools follow include closing and locking all doors and keeping staff and students in rooms. The role of everyone in the building is to remain quiet and calm until the lockdown is over. No one enters or leaves the building during a lockdown procedure. Constable Borrows shared with admin that the students and staff were excellent in following the guidelines for our first of two Lockdown practices this year.
October 16th, 2020
Dear AFS Families,
During our Professional Learning times on Thursday, October 8th and on Friday, October 9th, our staff took some time to really think about how to adapt our teaching to the circumstances we find ourselves in and how to make learning as engaging as possible this year. We will be continuing this journey throughout the year focusing on the mental health and wellness of all our students and staff. We have entered into a new learning environment with many new protocols to follow. We strongly believe that wellness for our school community is a priority this year. We will engage in professional readings and involve experts in implementing strategies that will support our students and all our staff.
As new information regarding COVID-19 is released, I know the information can be overwhelming for families. Here at Alex Ferguson School, we are working to ensure care and safety in our classrooms to eliminate as much risk as possible. Alberta Health has released a new AHS parent COVID guide. If you have any questions about the process, you can call Health Link at 811. We appreciate all the work families do to make our school a healthy environment.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
“The more one gives, the more on has." Chinese Proverb
As a school community, we will be practicing and learning about the spirit of generosity this year. Generosity is giving and sharing. It is giving freely because you want to, not with the idea of receiving a reward or a gift in return. Generosity is being aware that there is plenty for everyone. It is seeing a chance to give what you have and then giving just for the joy of giving. It is one of the best ways to show love and friendship. Our AFS community is a very giving, generous community. We have demonstrated generosity in numerous ways this fall including; support for one of our own families as the children heal from a car accident, Terry Fox donations, Orange Shirt Day recognition and supporting each other through Covid-19.
A huge thank you goes out to all of you who participated in our first virtual School Council meeting. Thank you for giving your time so generously in support of Alex Ferguson School. A special thank you goes out to our School Council co-chairman, Amy Maglio and Jaclyn St. Louis along with our School Society Chairman, Becky LeBaron who spent many hours with Ms. Melnyk and myself preparing for the Microsoft Teams virtual meeting.
- October 8 – Early dismissal for all students at 12:02 – No students for the afternoon
- October 9 – Professional Development Day – No students
- October 15 – Picture Day will include individual photos. Lifetouch will create class photos through digital technology.
- Parents, when you are dropping off your child at school, it is imperative to social distance from other students and families. This is a safety consideration requested by AHS.
Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Thank you to each of you who has taken time to share positive thoughts and words to our staff. Your encouragement means the world to us! Our inquiry theme for the year is “Generosity" and it is clear that the AFS community is an amazing generous community.
A huge shout out to our teaching and support staff who continue to ensure that students are safe at school. We are truly blessed to have a group of dedicated people caring for and inspiring the hearts and minds of our students. The constraints of our “new normal" at school have not stopped our staff from caring for and nurturing student's social, emotional and mental well-being.
School Council is an important part of our AFS community. All staff and parents are members of the AFS School Council. Please join us on Wednesday night at 6:30 for our first virtual online School Council Meeting of the year. You would have received information on Thursday evening through a school messenger message on how to log on to Team Meeting along with agendas for the meetings sent today. The students and staff benefit greatly from the financial support of School Council fundraising. One of the fundraisers that has been successful has been the grocery cards. Here is a message from our fundraising committee:
"Grocery card distribution for April cards will take place on Monday Sept 28th and Tuesday Sept 29th between 8:15am-8:45am and 3:15pm-3:45pm outside the main doors of the school. An AFS Board member will be available to provide you with your cards. We please ask that you socially distance yourself should you have to wait in line.
A few reminders:
- Parents, students, and school staff must review the self-screening questionnaire each day before entering the school.
- We will be continuing to go outside as much as possible for learning and for body breaks. Please make sure that your child dresses in layers and is prepared to go outside even when it is wet or cold. Remember, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing!
- Please remember that our playgrounds are not open immediately before or after school. During school hours students will be able to use the playground in their cohorts but limiting use after school will help us to also limit the number of contacts each student has with others outside their cohorts. We would appreciate if parents take their children directly home afterschool and do not stay to play.
- Terry Fox – please continue to support our Toonies for Terry initiative on the Terry Fox Foundation. You can look up Alexander Ferguson and make your donation directly to the Terry Fox Foundation website. Here is the link: https://secure.terryfox.ca/registrant/search.aspx?eventid=309088&langpref=en-CA&searchState=teamSearch&Referrer=https%3a%2f%2fterryfox.org%2f
- Sept. 30 – School Council Meeting at 6:30 – on Microsoft Teams
- Sept. 30 – Orange Shirt Day
- October 2 – Kindergarten Afternoon Class Attends
We know this year will bring us challenges. Within those challenges there will also be opportunities! We will embrace the possibilities for things to be done a little differently. I am certain that this will allow us to grow and evolve as a school and for us to model resilience for our students. Our school's focus will continue be on best practices in teaching and learning, with a strong emphasis on academic success.
Have a great weekend!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way." Edward De Bono
There were several highlights during this past week at AFS. First and foremost, the daily activities of teaching and learning have kept the building humming. It is good to see our students constantly engaged in purposeful activities that contribute to their learning.
Gully Day this year was a huge success with the students engaged in fine art activities with our own Mrs. Stoker and Mrs. Bannister along with artists; One World Drumming, Three Left Feet and Denise Miller. Although it was a little cool outside, the artists managed, the children were dressed warmly and everyone was physically distancing. Thank you so much to School Council for supporting our residencies.
On September 17th and September 18th our Parent Teacher Conferences were unique this year due to COVID-19. We appreciate and thank you so much for supporting your children's education in this way.
As you know, last week on Wednesday, September 9th, there was a car/pedestrian accident at the corner of 17th avenue and 25th street where a car travelling eastbound on 17th avenue struck two children. One child was a former student of AFS and her brother is currently in grade five in our school. Thank you to those of you who sent in cards and gifts for the children.
I have heard from many parents and community members about the traffic around our school, particularly on 17th avenue and the need for change. A neighbour of our school sent me a response that he received from Councillor Woolley's office after sharing an email to their office about witnessing the accident from last Wednesday. His email was passionate and concerning, requesting a better form of traffic and speed control on this section of 17th avenue. I wanted to share the response our neighbour received so we as a school community could be actively involved in making change.
The Constituent Assistant, Michael Mooney, wrote that their office will be reaching out to the Roads Department and to CPS to see what immediate action can be taken. He also encouraged anyone to fill out a traffic calming request: https://calgary-csrprodcwi.motorolasolutions.com/Public/ServiceRequest.mvc/SRintakeStep2/ROMIPRCO Mr. Mooney goes on to say that more people asking for it helps us get it done.
Enjoy your weekend and remember that next Friday is a non-instructional day for all students.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I would like to thank you all for being so responsive to the Covid-19 processes and policies of CBE and our school. As we completed our second week of school, we as a school community have been diligent in following the CBE guidelines, appreciating how difficult it is for many. However, the AHS guidelines are clear and we need to be following them. I would like to share two documents that may help you when your child may be symptomatic with either primary or secondary symptoms.
It is necessary that students be assessed by their parent or guardian using the self-screening questionnaire https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/edc-covid-19-screening-questionaire-english.pdf daily before school every morning (provided in the school package and attached to this message). Students showing symptoms as described on the self-screening questionnaire must remain home and must contact AHS by calling 811.
As it states in the Student illness document, your child should get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
If they have any of these symptoms they are legally required to isolate for at least 10 days from the start of the symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer.
- Cough (new or worsening chronic cough)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (new or worsening)
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
If your child has any of these other symptoms, stay home and minimize your contact with others until the symptoms resolve:
- Painful swallowing
- Stuffy nose
- Muscle or joint aches
- Feeling unwell, fatigue or severe exhaustion
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite)
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye
For your reference:
Here is your weekly update for upcoming week:
- Monday, Sept. 14
- Tuesday, Sept. 15
- “Gully Day" – This is our annual September event kicking off the year, involving many different fine art activities and focusing on our Inquiry focus of “Generosity" for the year. Artists will be situated outside our school and in the gully across from our school with individual class cohorts participating in song, dance, art, indigenous story telling and drumming. We will be following AHS and CBE guidelines for the day. As a result of these guidelines, we cannot include parent volunteers this year. We will take a lot of pictures and videos to share with you!
- Wednesday, Sept. 16
- Thursday, Sept. 17
- Parent/Teacher conferences in the evening 4:00 – 7:30
- Friday, Sept. 18 – No School for Students
- Parent/Teacher conferences 8:00 – 12:00
Have a wonderful weekend.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This week we started a new school year! We have been very excited to welcome students back into the school building and would like to thank all of you for supporting our teachers and our staff for making this unprecedented school opening a success. Students and staff alike were excited to see each other again. Welcome to our new families and especially to our new kindergarten families. You will soon find out that Alexander Ferguson School is a village of caring and generous people – young and old. Our inquiry topic this year is “Generosity". Throughout our year, we will be focusing on the many ways we can each demonstrate generosity and kindness in and out of our school.
Updates for the week of September 7 – 11
Monday, Sept. 7 – Labour Day – No School
Tuesday, Sept. 8
Wednesday, Sept. 9
Thursday, Sept. 10
Friday, Sept. 11
- Afternoon Kindergarten only in the am
- Early Dismissal for everyone at 12:02
Sept. 15 - Each year we have a special day called “Gully Day" where the students are exposed to different fine arts experts. We are pleased to announce that September 15 will be Gully Day. We are excited to share that under the Re-Entry guidelines for CBE we are allowed to have guest artists outside of the school as long as there are COVID precautions in place including physical distancing. Stay tuned for us to share the details and excitement of Gully Day.
Sept. 17 and Sept. 18 – Every September we hold parent/teacher conferences. We know meeting with your child's teacher is a vital part of the communication that supports success for students in school. On- line bookings will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 8:00 am. Please use My CBE to book your 15 minute online conference. Teachers will contact you prior to your conference to send you your google contact code.
Have a wonderful weekend,
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