Nov 27
The Best of Health and Fortune for 2021

Hello Alternative High School Families,

On behalf of the staff of Alternative High School we want to extend our hope that your family is healthy and able to isolate at this time. We appreciate the thoughtfulness and patience you have shown as we provide programming that supports the safety, health and growth of students during the time we are all dealing with the Covid Pandemic. Although things have certainly looked different, Alternative High School and the Calgary Board of Education have remained focused on ensuring quality learning opportunities have continued for students. Alternative High School’s approach to supporting students aligns with the expectations set out by the Calgary Board of Education as mandated by the Province of Alberta.

This period of students accessing school programming from home will be interrupted by the winter vacation and the holiday season. I hope that your family will be able to spend some time together and appreciate the value of your relationships with each other. I wish for all members of the Alternative High School Community the best of health and fortune as we turn the corner to 2021.

I am aware that this situation has been a new experience for all of us. It is our priority to support our students in any way that we can. Please maintain clear, consistent communication with your student, their mentor and teachers. It is a pleasure to be the Principal of Alternative High School, as such please do not hesitate to connect with me should you have questions or comments. I feel fully confident the relationships established within the community of Alternative High School are strong enough that we will all get through this together. Living within the Circle of Courage; trying our very best given the skills and support available (Mastery), recognize we have the capacity to make choices that are good for us in the context of our obligations to others (Independence), use our compassion and empathy to support others (Belonging) and have the courage to ask for the help of those close to us and our community (Generosity) will be significant in keeping each person safe, healthy and our community strong.


Dr. Donald Barbor
Principal, Alternative High School

Mar 12
The School Year is Quickly Passing

The school year is quickly passing. As we move into March we should start seeing the first signs of spring. The end of March marks the mid-point of the second semester. Teachers will report to parents/guardians on achievement to this point through our Interim Reports. Please review these documents with the students you support. Re-enforce efforts and achievement that indicate success, challenge and plan for areas that success seems more difficult to come by.

One sure sign of spring is the annual school break. It is important that students come back from break caught up in their courses and feeling confident as they move closer to the end of semester. Often second semester goes far too quickly for some students, and they find them-selves out of time or not having enough time for course completion and exam preparation.

I appreciate meeting and having conversations with the families of students that attend Alternative. A group of caring people supporting our young people is a great recipe for success. A special acknowl-edgement to our Parent Association and School Council Members for their tremendous support. Their efforts make for a far richer school experience for our students. These groups can certainly use more support. The commitment is not significant but the value to students invaluable. Please see the newsletter and/or website for the next As-sociation and Council meeting and contribute to the experiences of your student through your participation. Very soon you will get a noti-fication of the upcoming Casino that raises funds to support programming at Alternative High School. Individuals over the age of 18 are eligible to volunteer in support of the casino fund raiser.

As always it is a pleasure to be the Principal of Alternative High School. Please do not hesitate to connect with me with questions or comments.


Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School

Feb 10
Semester 2

Semester Two marks the mid-point of the school year. It is important as a student to reflect upon the learning and growth of semester one and look at what went well and things that could be different as we endeavor to support our best personal effort each day. I was impressed with the dedication and diligence of many students in completing their first semester courses. Often we start with good intentions to remain current with our studies but over time find ourselves falling behind. I would encourage students to develop the habits of mind and behavior that allows them to attend school consistently and prioritize the complexities of life in a manner that gives school sufficient focus so that students are achieving their personal best.

I want to thank the members of our Parent Association and School Council. The work that is done by this group certainly makes a significant difference in the experiences we are able to offer students. This group is always looking for members to full specific duties as well as members at large. Please if you can find an hour of your time once a month to attend these meetings your efforts will be well greatly appreciated and will be reflected in valuable experiences being provided for students. The next meeting is Wednesday March 18, 2020 at 6:00 pm.

I am looking forward to our continued work together on behalf of our students. I appreciate the support our community continues to provide for the staff of Alternative High School. Should you have comments or questions please do not hesitate to connect with the school.


Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School/AARC

Jan 06
The Beginning of a New Year

January marks the beginning of a new year for us all. For a student in high school it is significant as well. Semester One classes are coming to an end and exams are imminent. Please support your student in completing the semester with enthusiasm, confidence and suffi-cient effort to do their very best. Organization of material, project completion, review and rest are all important aspects of an academic life of a student. Please support the student you are connected with to use their time wisely, consider their priorities and stay healthy in what is often a stressful time in their lives.

Please visit our Exam Schedule page. Within the schedule you will be aware of student tutorial opportunities. If the student you are connected to has a passing grade that reflects a comprehen-sive understanding of the course and their ability to demonstrate this understanding then we would encourage students to attend these tu-torial opportunities for continued support. If the student you are con-nected to is not meeting the requirements of the course then these tutorial times are mandatory.

Teachers will inform students of their requirement to be in attendance on these tutorial times. A student not fulfilling their obligation to attend tutorial times and maintain their studies can impact further programming for that student at Alternative High School.

It is my hope this new year brings you and your family the best of fortunes and good health. I appreciate the continued support the community demonstrates for the staff and programming at Alternative High School. Should you have comments or questions please do not hesitate to connect with the school.


Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School/AARC

Dec 09
Winter Break Arriving Shortlyl

December has come and with it the cold temperatures of an Alberta winter. With the winter break arriving shortly and a new year to follow, December tends to be a month of reflection and anticipation. Success in school for students is supported by a similar cycle of understanding where we are currently and using this understanding to plan next steps. Although there are a limited number of class days remaining in the first semester, it is important that students remain diligent in their studies. Completing work, organizing and preparing for semester exams are all very helpful for promoting the very best outcomes. If students can find sometime over break for these activities, they will find the deadlines of semester end much less stressful. A reminder to students and families that the exam timetable attached to this newsletter has significant tutorial time. These tutorial sessions are mandatory for students that have not completed all work to the best of their ability as evaluated by the student and teacher. Students and families will know if a young person does not need to attend these days as the students mentor will con-nect with you and indicate this. Without this contact, all students should be attending these tutorial days.

Contained in this newsletter is the date of our next Parent Association/ School Council Meeting. We have a very active group of parents on the as-sociation/council. They are looking for your input as to how we can continue to support the school community of Alternative High. Please consider attending our next Parent Association/School Council Meeting. The Parent Association/School Council plans to send a form home with your student in the near future. This form will allow them to connect with the parent group directly to share information.

I hope that families are able to have some relaxing time together over the holidays. My wish for students is to have fun during their time away from school and that their choices always reflect the importance of their own safety and the safety of others. We have a few events in December that will have students and their families coming into the school. I hope to see many of you at these events. If by chance I do not, I wanted to extend my appreci-ation for your support of our school program, and wish you and your family the best of fortune into the New Year.

Dr. Don Barbor

Nov 01
November 2019

​Principal’s Message

The month of November marks the quarter point in our school year. At this time the school year is well underway, students are settling in to their course work and staff know their students and are programming specifically for the students they support. Students need to hold themselves accounta-ble to their best efforts every day. When we expect great things for our-selves we tend to put in the efforts necessary to accomplish these high ex-pectations. Students and their supports will see evidence of student en-gagement and effort in school through the Report Cards and the Confer-ences that are held on November 21. Please spend time with your student celebrating successes and making a plan for the next steps in learning.

As we reflect on the Circle of Courage belonging plays a significant role in how students are able to perform and succeed at school. A significant as-pect of belonging is us being present in the community of which we speak. Currently we have a large number of students that are not attending school consistently. It is impossible to teach if a student is not present to learn, Mastery. It is impossible to include if a student is not in attendance, Belonging. It is impossible to understand self in the context of our community if we are not present in our community, Independence. It is im-possible to interact with others in caring and kind ways if we do not make ourselves available, Generosity. We want to support students in their growth and achievement, we need them to attend in order to be this sup-port. Remember all absences must be communicated to the school by a legal guardian.

I wanted to extend a thank you to the past leadership of both the Parent As-sociation and the School Council. Your efforts on behalf of students, fami-lies, staff and the community of Alternative High School are highly valued and appreciated. As a result of folks moving on from these positions I want to extend my thanks for those that have stepped up to take on leadership roles. I look forward to working with you this year. We always welcome members at large so please come to our meeting on November 20, 2019.

Thank you once again for working with the school on behalf of the student you are supporting. Please do not hesitate to connect with me at the school should you have a comment or question.


Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School/AARC

Sep 27
October 2019

September can be a time of transition for students, new schools, new teachers, a different group of friends, among other complexities individual to each of us as we navigate our lives. The patience and support that folks have afforded each other during this time is a true example of us living, through our actions, the Circle of Courage particularly in the Spirits of Generosity and Belonging. It is of great value that opportunities presented throughout our lives offer us continued growth and build on our previous knowledge. It is the welcoming of these opportunities in our lives, as opposed to shying away from these opportunities, that we develop our self-confidence.  In the spirits of Mastery and Independence, this is an aspect of school that we all should embrace as we strive to develop our capacities as lifelong learners. 

There will be plenty of opportunity for students to explore the Circle of Courage Spirits; Generosity, Belonging, Independence & Mastery throughout programming at Alternative High School. It is important for students and families to remember that there is a direct relationship between student success and school attendance, if students are not at school it becomes difficult to support them with their learning. Our school celebration day at Cobb’s Corn Maze was fantastic. Students and staff were able to reconnect with each other and welcome new students to Alternative High School. These days are so important in developing and maintaining the safe, supportive caring community of Alternative High School.

It was nice to see so many families attend “Meet the Teacher Night”. As indicated Parent/Guardian involvement on School Council/Parent Association is very much appreciated.  I sincerely appreciate parents/guardians that came to our introductory meeting and have expressed an interest in supporting the school through their participation on School Council/Parent Association.  School Council/Parent Association meetings are posted on our school website.  

As we now move forward into the school year there is much to look forward to and much work to be done. I look forward to our continued work together. Please do not hesitate to connect with me at the school at any time.

Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School/AARC

Jun 17
The end of the school year is right around the corner.

The end of the school year is right around the corner. Students are busy finishing up coursework and preparing for exams. Although the end is near, stu-dents’ diligence and effort need to remain consistent supporting the highest achievement and success that is possible.

I would like to extend my congratulations to all students in their growth and achievements this year. In particular, I would like to acknowledge our Gradu-ates in the Class of 2018-2019. We wish you all the best of fortune and health as you moved beyond Alternative High School. To our returning students I look forward to our continued work together. I am looking forward as well to getting to know our new students and families for the next school year. There are still spaces available. Please check our website and connect with the school for registration information.

As we have students leave Alternative High School due to graduation, we have parents that leave school council and parent association as well. We require parents to contribute to this group to fill the open spaces. It does not take specific training or experience just a minimal commitment of time. Our first meeting for the next school year is September 24/2019. Please come out as your participation is valued and appreciated.

I appreciate the positive relationships that exist within the community of Alter-native High School. I feel fortunate to represent a hard working staff compli-ment. It is with my sincerest gratitude that I express my appreciation to stu-dents and their families. The faith and trust you afford us in working with you and your family is very much appreciated and never taken for granted. Please do not hesitate to connect with you students mentor, teacher or school admin-istration should you need clarification or have a comment you

Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School

May 16
Remaining Focused on Studies

As the weather changes, and the leaves bud on the trees, it is hard to resist the temptation to ease into summer vacation mode. It is important that students remain focused on their studies so that they are able to complete courses in a manner that supports success and achievement reflective of their best efforts.

Our Parent Association and School Council could always use more members. Our final meeting of the year is Tuesday, May 28 at 6:00 PM at the school. This is a great opportunity to come, observe and partici-pate, as you considering committing to supporting the Association and Council next school year. As well the School Council is organizing an Alternative High School Staff Appreciation Luncheon. Please pay atten-tion for more information on how you can support this initiative and show your gratitude for the hard work of classroom staff at Alternative High School.

I appreciate the positive relationships that exist within the community of Alternative High School. Please do not hesitate to connect with your student’s mentor, teacher or school administration should you need clarifi-cation or have a comment you would like to share.


Dr. Don Barbor

Apr 23
Spring Has Welcomed Us

It seems safe to say that spring has welcomed us with sunshine and nice temperatures. Spring with its warmer weather, budding trees and blossoming flowers offers many distractions and much to look forward to. In my years of experience as an educator, if the school year has moved quickly to this point it moves at double time approaching June. Many students believe that passing courses occurs at semester end. It is this thinking that allows for procrastination at the beginning of a semester and cramming toward the end of a semester. Neither of these strategies supports progressive/sequential student growth and achievement over the course of a semester and as lifelong learner. We know students do their best, engage most in their learning, and develop and retain knowledge and skills when they do their best each and every day. It is our desire to have students achieving at their highest possible potential and support this daily in our programming at Alternative High School. So although looking ahead with hope and optimism motivates us, taking care of our obligations and responsibilities daily holds us in good stead moving forward.

Some define luck in the following terms, when preparation and hard work meets opportunity. As a community of learners; students, families, school staff, administration, we want all indi-viduals within our community to have the best of luck, and challenge each to hold themselves responsible to their best effort, each day in making the most of each opportunity.

I appreciate the positive relationships that exist within the community of Alternative High School. Please do not hesitate to connect with you students mentor, teacher or school admin-istration should you need clarification or have a comment you would like to share.


Don Barbor

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