What a great first week at Alex Ferguson! Thanks to each of you, and your children, for making me feel so welcome here. I have had an opportunity to meet a few of you, and many of your children; outside, in the hallways, taking picture, and when visiting classrooms. Each classroom has a teacher who is dedicated to engaging all their students in learning each and every day. I've witnessed all our support staff interacting positively with so many of our learners. I am so thankful to be a part of this learning community.
This Monday, October 18, staff will engage in the first annual CBE System Wide Professional Learning Day focused on Indigenous Education. We will have the opportunity to learn from Tomas Jirousak and Dr. Pamela Toulouse through keynote sessions pre-recorded for the CBE. In addition, we will be focusing on the Indigenous literacy resources we have recently purchased for our learning commons collection, generating purposeful tasks that we can implement in our classrooms to further all our learning.
Next week, on Tuesday, we will also have our second fire drill of the school year, the first for our kindergarten students! Kindergarten students practiced where to stand and how to exit the building safely today, they are prepared for the whole school event!
Dear Parents/ Guardians, students and community members,
What an amazing first day at AFS! Your children are so caring and welcoming, what a great place to be. I am truly honoured to be your “forever principal!" While it will take some time to do so, I am very much looking forward to meeting each and every one of you, through phone calls, emails, teams meets, and even in person.
I had the opportunity to be in all the classrooms today to meet all our students, start forming relationship, and begin to learn everyone's name, that too will take a while. The caring way they greeted me and included me in their learning was so welcoming.
Have a great night.
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Dear Staff and Parents/Guardians:
On behalf of the Calgary Board of Education, I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for the leadership and service that Principal Hildegard Bensler has provided at Alexander Ferguson School. I wish Principal Bensler all the best in her future endeavours. I also want to express my thanks to the school community for their support during her absence from the school these past two years.
I have valued Acting Principal Warmington's experience, leadership and insight as she has skillfully and strategically led the entire learning community forward at Alexander Ferguson School for the past few months. At this time, I am able to share that I am in the process of selecting a permanent principal for the school.
The CBE welcomes input from parents, students and staff and in order to inform the selection of a new principal for Alexander Ferguson School. I would be pleased to receive input from staff, students and parents regarding the programming and leadership attributes you value. Your input is taken into consideration as part of the hiring process of a new principal for Alexander Ferguson School. An online survey will be available on the Alexander Ferguson school website until Tuesday, September 28. Please provide your input using the following link: Alexander Ferguson Principal Survey
I will be interviewing candidates along with other Directors and will make a recommendation to our Chief Superintendent Chris Usih regarding a candidate. Your confidential input is shared directly with the successful candidate to inform their entry plan as they transition into the school.
Thank you for taking time to share your feedback through the survey.
Education Director, Area 7
Our staff is excited to welcome back our students as well as welcome our new students and their families to our school community. One of the joys of a small school is that we are able to know each student and build strong nurturing relationships that enhance the teaching and learning process. Alex Ferguson School has a talented and dedicated staff that is committed to student success for every student every day.
After months of responding to the pandemic last school year, we are hopeful that as this school year progresses we will see a return to more normal ways of being at school. That being said, CBE and Alex Ferguson School will continue with masking, cohorting, social distancing, and encouraging proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. These measures will be reviewed, demonstrated, and modelled with each group of students over the first few days of school.
Maintaining a safe school relies on everyone doing their part. Our Facilities staff will continue to engage in enhanced cleaning and sanitizing throughout the school day as well as before and after school. Students will need to come to school with their masks which they wear when not seated in desks. The good news is that we will be able to welcome scheduled visitors, such as artists in residence and volunteers. Students will also be able to go on field trips providing the venue meets CBE's protocols. These are small steps toward normalcy and will enhance the opportunities for our students. More information regarding Covid -19 protocols is available on the CBE website www.cbe.ab.ca .
Our 2021-2022 learning journey begins with a sense of excitement and hopefulness. We look forward to seeing all our students on September 1st.
Deb Warmington, Acting Principal
Dear Alex Ferguson School families,
2020-2021 was a challenging year for all schools in Alberta. Resilience has been demonstrated in the actions of many throughout our school community. Our Alex Ferguson School community remained strong and vibrant through the challenges of the past year.
Planning, organization and staffing occurred in the spring. We are looking forward to welcoming our students back in September 2021 as well as welcoming our new families and our Kindergarten students.
At Alexander Ferguson, our staff is committed to the personalization of student learning through the arts. Our teachers promote intellectual engagement in learning by designing intriguing inquiry tasks. Students are encouraged to develop self-advocacy and socialization skills are intentionally taught as well as through “teachable moments".
Our school is committed to continuous improvement. For 2021-2022, our School Development Plan will continue to focus on improving Literacy skills, specifically in writing, and student wellness (mindfulness, self regulation and resilience). We will also be adding a new goal to improve student learning in Mathematics. We look forward to sharing our plan with our school community in the fall.
A new school year brings excitement and enthusiasm. It is an opportunity to make some new friends and renew prior friendships. Our teachers work hard to plan for engaging learning experiences in every classroom and are looking forward to meeting their classes.
School Office Open
While our school is closed for the summer, please check out the Back-to-School information posted on our website. Our school office will re-open on Thursday August 26th at 9:00 AM.
First Day of School
The first day of school for students is Wednesday September 1st.
12:35 PM – 3:23 PM Monday – Thursday
8:35 AM – 11:30 AM Fridays
Grade 1 – 6 Morning
8:30 AM -12:02 PM Monday – Thursday
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM Fridays (Early Dismissal)
Grade 1-6 Afternoon
12:52 PM – 3:28 PM Monday – Thursday
No PM classes on Fridays
Enjoy the summer! See you in September!
Deb Warmington, Acting Principal
Happy New Year! Yes, I am taking liberties for stretching out a Happy New Year’s greeting. As much as we can, I believe in the power of positivity and with a happy greeting, I hope I can continue to share that positivity. I think we are all looking forward to a new year, a new start and new beginnings.
This New Year has started out with students engaged in online learning. As I watched the teachers and the children in their google meets, I noticed the excitement and enthusiasm that learning brings. It has been a very exciting week. I had many opportunities to watch many different online learning classrooms to see teaching and learning in a different environment. Some of these included; math lessons, joining in reading sessions, observing science experiments and of course the whole school story-time. Many staff took turns throughout the week to read one of their favourite picture books to students who logged on. The highlight for me was when I read two of my favourite books this morning to over 50 children! It was awesome to see so many excited faces and comments from the kids as I read. Don’t we all love a good Robert Munsch story every now and then!
It takes a lot of preparation and organization to develop appealing lessons for online learning. It goes without saying that our teachers are amazing and have gone over and above engaging our young learners. We could not be successful in doing what we do best without the ongoing support of all of you. Thank you so much to all of the families who supported their children – our students - during this past week’s online learning. We look forward to seeing all the children back in school on Monday, Jan. 11.
Acting Principal, Alex Ferguson School firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear parents and guardians,
The holiday season is a busy one for Alexander Ferguson School. The continuous theme of the season and for this year is “Generosity". I also would like to add one for the season that we can all relate to “Let There Be Light!" With all of the chaos that we have endured over this past year, we need to continue to be the light for others and ourselves during the holiday season. There is a clear sense of the value of light in our lives this year. Many of you have been the light for others over this year. Many continue to volunteer your time assisting in our community. Many of you have been the recipients of someone being the light for you and helping you and your family move forward during this trying time.
As a learning community, we continue to focus our full attention on all of our academic responsibilities but we also make time in a variety of ways to “share our light". We encourage you to watch our virtual winter concert and have some time to sing a few carols along the way. The Alexander Ferguson School Community continues to show a generous spirit. The community reaching out to make sure that the needs of our needier families are met always touches us. Thank you so much to our parent volunteers who spearheaded our Go Fund Me fundraiser this. We were able, with the assistance of many community members, to provide gift cards for more than a dozen of our families so that they will have a Merry Christmas.
Today we will say farewell to your children as they leave for winter break. On January 4th, we move to online learning. There are many opportunities for each one of us to be the light for others. As others see us being the light, it becomes contagious. We hope the holidays and Christmas vacation are a time of recreation and relaxation with family and friends – virtual if need be. Wishing you and your families all the best in 2021.
Thursday, December 3 - 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm Friday, December 4 – 8:30 – 12:30
Teachers are looking forward to sharing your child's progress over the fall term and to set learning goals for the next term. Parent conferences are our formal way to communicate student progress. This meeting informs parents about student learning in relation to the upcoming report card in January. This is an opportunity to share the learning that has taken place over the past few months focusing on students' strengths and next steps in learning. In addition, I have attached How is My Child Doing In School? - This document explains information on how your child's teacher assesses and reports on student progress.
Each conference time will be for 15 minutes only. The timing is very precise so teachers will need to leave your conversation in order to prepare and call the next family in a timely fashion. We thank you in advance for your understanding.
What do Parents Need to Do?
Starting on Thursday, November 25 Conference Booking Manager was open in your MyCBE/PowerSchool account to book a conference time. Once you have your account set up, you can then sign up/sign in for conferences. Conference booking will close on December 4 at noon. Please ensure that you enter your email address into the booking. Once you have booked a conference, you will receive a confirmation email. This email will contain a link that will allow you to access Microsoft Teams for this conference.
How to Join Microsoft Teams on the day of your Conference:
- (Please note: it is best to join your conference from a computer or other home device such as an iPad when connected to the internet using your home Wi-Fi.)
- Open your conference confirmation email.
- Scroll to the connection link and click on the link.
- If Microsoft Teams Application is installed on your device, you may select the option, 'Open Your Teams App', you can also join through the browser.
- Allow Teams to use your microphone and video.
- When you enter the conference, you will be admitted into the lobby. The teacher will invite you into the meeting once they are ready to meet with you.
- After you have finished your conference, you would click on 'leave the meeting'.
We are excited to bring this opportunity to you as a new method of conducting interviews virtually. While we do prefer to see you in person, we recognize this is necessary during our COVID health pandemic as we continue to focus on student learning.
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
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