Dear Balmoral families and community members,
We are nearing the end of another wonderful school year with our students and families. Through the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, significant absentee rates, and changes in leadership, we are emerging stronger than before. We are a dynamic middle school that strives to be an academically excellent, developmental responsive and highly inclusive community. We have a dedicated staff of teachers and support staff who work to accomplish this each day. As with our colleagues around the Calgary Board of Education, our goal is to provide the best possible environment for all students to develop academically, personally, in citizenship and their own character - key results identified by our Board of Trustees. We thank our families for their continued support of our students as we work together to offer the best educational programming possible at Balmoral School.
As a professional staff, our teachers work hard individually and collectively to remain current in educational research and practice. As middle school educators, we also understand and respond to the unique characteristics of middle school students. We meet in small and large groups regularly for professional development and learning, and to actively support one another in reaching our goal of meeting the needs of all learners.
The past few months have included great learning opportunities for our students, including:
- Math contests (ongoing)
- Calgary Youth Science Fair
- Band clinics at Mount Royal University and with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
- Field trips to Ralph Klein Park, the Calgary Zoo, Calgary Youth Police Interpretive Centre, Escape Rooms, and more
- Walking field trips around the Balmoral community
- Cultural celebrations such as Lunar New Year and Eid
We have more events and in-person opportunities planned for May and June this year, including:
- Parent/family shopping at our book fair on Wednesday, May 18 from 4-6pm
- Celebrations of Learning on May 25 (Grades 7/8/9) and May 26 (Grades 5/6)
- Grade 9 Farewell Ceremony on June 27
We look forward to welcoming our community back into our school within the next few months!
If you have any questions, please contact us here at the school. We'd be happy to speak with you.
Acting Principal, Balmoral School
Dear Balmoral families,
September is both an exciting and busy time at Balmoral School as we focus on the start of the new school year. I just wanted to take a moment to touch base and let you know that we are looking forward to a great year of learning with our students. We are excited to welcome our new Grade 5 students and those returning students joining us in Grades 6-9. We also welcome our Hub returning students and transfers from other schools/jurisdictions.
I can ensure that the staff at Balmoral are working with the CBE protocols and the AHS protocols to the best of our ability to make Balmoral a safe place. We appreciate the patience and understanding of our families as we continue to flex with the times. At this time, we are required to keep students in their cohorts indoors, with mandatory masking and increased sanitization. Outdoors, students are free to interact with their friends from other classes with recommended physical distancing.
This year, teachers will be offering a modified version of our co-curricular and extra-curricular based activities and clubs, from athletics to a variety of other clubs. These activities will happen but may be modified slightly due to current COVID-19 restrictions. Whether students are new to Balmoral or are returning from last year, I encourage all students to get involved in their school community and become involved in as many activities as possible. Students, we challenge you this year to make new friends, help others whenever possible and enjoy learning with your fellow students in as many ways as you can.
If you have not had an opportunity to purchase uniforms, please do so at your earliest opportunity to avoid delays and ensure students have the required attire for TLC. We hope by then students will have the required attire for TLC, which includes an all black pair of runners or dress shoes. This year our TLC students may also wear a Balmoral hoodie over top their uniform if they wish to wear a hoodie during the colder months of the school year.
We will be communicating regularly with families through SchoolMessenger. Please ensure that your email and MyCBE/PowerSchool account are up-to-date and ensure that you have subscribed to SchoolMessenger.
Mr. Guenther and I are looking forward to an amazing school year watching your children grow academically and socially. As always if you have any questions please feel free to contact the main office and one of us will be happy to get back to you as soon as we are available.
We look forward to working with students and their families for the 2021-22 school year.
Rakhee Vijairaghavan, Acting Principal
Dear Balmoral families,
The 2020-21 school year was a whirlwind, and now we are excited for 2021-22.
It is amazing how adaptable we can be when faced with challenges and barriers. This year, we have been locked down, bubbled, hand sanitised, isolated, socially distanced, masked, quarantined, contact traced, and tested. We found ways to unite and work together. With technology and creativity, we were able to maintain our sense of community. Students found ways to connect, have fun, be supportive, while continuing to access education. How we respond to life’s challenges makes us stronger and builds our confidence. That experience could not occur without the endless energy, skills and devotion of the Balmoral staff. Thanks and well done to an incredible group of professionals.
Despite everything, 2020-21 has been a successful year. To those who have directly or indirectly enriched the lives of our students this year; school council members, our Balmoral community, and parents and caregivers, we extend our sincere thanks and best wishes.
To our students, we are grateful for your joy, astute insights and amazing talents. For those returning next year, we look forward to seeing you back in September, refreshed and ready to tackle another year of opportunities and challenges. Returning families will receive a welcome email in August with information about the 2021-22 school year, including any relevant health and safety measures based on government guidelines at that time.
The first day back to school for returning students is Wednesday, September 1, 2021.
We pay special tribute to those who are leaving our school and the TLC program. We hope you feel you have been guided through Balmoral School, that you have attained the potential you were capable of and that you needed, and that you developed the personal qualities and confidence to choose your best pathways in life. We hope you will remember with pride and affection the security, support, shelter, and strength of your middle years. To you all, we extend our very best wishes for the future.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
Rakhee Vijairaghavan, Acting Principal
Hello Balmoral Families,
Please check your email weekly for our school newsletters and grade level Balmoral Buzz.
Dear Balmoral Families,
Welcome to the New Year at Balmoral TLC! Thank you for ensuring
students arrived on time for classes after having some well-deserved
rest and rejuvenation time over the last two weeks. It was a chilly start with
some of our students arriving dressed for warmer weather. Please make note
of the colder weather in the coming weeks and make sure students
are prepared for outdoor activities in weather above -20 degrees C (the CBE
standard for outdoor activities).
A reminder to parents to confirm that they have their MyCBE
account set up and functioning as we will not be printing report cards at
the end of January. Assessments continue throughout the school year and a
summative Report Card will be generated for January 30th, which will
be visible through the parent portal of PowerSchool. Marks that are
normally visible in PowerSchool have currently been turned off as
teachers are beginning to finalize report cards, adding comments to be
available for viewing on January 30th.
If you know of anyone interested in enrolling their children in Balmoral
School’s TLC program, please have them join us for an information evening,
January 15th @ 6:00 pm at the school. We will use the
Lottery system to decide which children are able to attend should
registration numbers be over capacity for our school. The lottery
is held on the 12th in February.
As we begin to prepare for High School transitions, Grade 9 students
often find themselves under some pressure. I would encourage everyone to
continue to strive to achieve their best, keeping their goals in sight. We
will be working with our designated High Schools to ensure that students are as
prepared as possible for transitioning. I want to remind
families that the upcoming report card will guide our recommendations for
programs and placements. All of our Grade 9 students have been given the
opportunity to attend High School tours, and information about alternative
programs such as IB/AP are available directly through the high
school. Please check which high school you are designated to by
visiting CBE.AB.CA, find a school: https://www.cbe.ab.ca/schools/find-a-school/Pages/default.aspx
Thanks to all parents who generously gifted teachers/staff with treats
and offerings before the holidays. Although not necessary, your gestures are an
appreciated recognition of the rewarding work that our staff do every day, here
at Balmoral TLC.
Wishing you all a successful and healthy year in 2020!
Principal, Balmoral Traditional Learning Centre
Can you believe that it is already the end of December? Soon it will be the beginning of a
It has been a busy first few months here at Balmoral School, and the
time has flown by. Hopefully you have had a chance to read through the weekly
e-newsletter (sent via SchoolMessenger), our website news stories,
and the weekly teacher updates. I am astounded and pleased by the dedication
that our teachers and staff show towards each and every learner in this school!
Balmoral Traditional Learning Centre is truly an exceptional place to teach and
learn! It has been a pleasure getting to know this learning community and
I appreciate how so many families have communicated that they value the
balance between the experiences a middle school can offer and a strong focus on
Happy Holidays from Balmoral School TLC to our wonderful families and
A big thank you to all who were able to attend
parent teacher conferences on November 21 and 22. We hope the conversations
were informative and provided next steps in teaching and learning for our
A few highlights over the last couple of months
include strong student participation and achievement in the Beaver Computing
Contest, debate tournaments, and an excellent volleyball and soccer season.
Students learned more about the sports and working well as a team – thanks to
our coaches and supporters who came to watch the games!
We have also successfully transitioned to a new
bell schedule, which allows for better use of our learning spaces as well as
more opportunities for grades 5-9 to participate in common lunchtime
activities. A reminder to all students and families to dress appropriately for
the weather, and that students must remove all outdoor footwear when they enter
the school in order to keep our hallways clean.
Although some of our lost and
found items were claimed at parent teacher conferences, there are still some
remaining. Please check the lost and found soon for any missing items, since
all remaining items will be donated to a local charity over Winter Break.
There are some exciting events coming up before
Winter Break – a Calgary Food Bank Drive, festive spirit days, and door
decorating – all in support of our newly instated Balmoral Houses to support
character education as part of the TLC program. The six new houses have created
a buzz in the school as we continue to strengthen our community across grades
The festive spirit days will take place the week
before Winter Break with the following dress-up themes. Students will get a
house point for dressing up on each of these days. If students do not wish to
participate, they must wear their school uniform.
Monday, December 17 – Wacky
Tuesday, December 18 – Red/green
or dress like a Christmas tree/present/ornament day
Wednesday, December 19 – Tacky
festive/holiday clothes day
Thursday, December 20 – Formal
uniform (Virtues assembly for Acceptance)
Students in grades 6 and 9 will be writing
Provincial Achievement Tests this year. The schedule for the May/June 2020 PATs
is as follows:
Language Arts 6 Part A
Language Arts 9 Part A
Language Arts 6 Part B
Language Arts 9 Part B
Some upcoming dates for January include our open
house for new applicants to Balmoral on January 15, our Winter Band Concert at
the Jubilee Auditorium on January 20, and report cards coming home on January
31. A reminder that our Winter Break dates are as follows:
Thursday, December 19 – last day
for students (formal uniform required)
Friday, December 20 – professional
learning day (no students in school)
Monday, January 6 – first day
back for students
We wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and
prosperous new year!
Scott, Rakhee, Jen and Laila
August 30, 2019
Welcome to Balmoral School!
Welcome back to a new school year, 2019 - 2020 and for those who are
new, we are excited to have you join our school family. It is a new and
exciting time for us as well, since we too, are coming to Balmoral for the
first time. We are looking forward to getting to know the school, the staff,
students and community that make up this school.
As teachers and support staff we look forward to educating your
children, and appreciate that you are entrusting them in our care. This
privilege we accept with great responsibility. We believe that the Balmoral
School staff, parent school council and students work closely together to
maintain open communication, so that we continue to grow as a strong and
vibrant learning community. We know that you, as parents and guardians, are
your child’s first and most vital teacher. The interactions you have from
reading together, to enjoying a good conversations and other activities are
significant in helping your child experiencing success. We look forward to
seeing all of our families at our annual ‘Meet-the-Teacher’ evening on
Thursday, September 19, 2019 in the Gym. This event will start at 6:30 PM
and go to 8:00 PM.
Communication is essential. Without communication, small issues become
larger. Without communication, successes cannot be celebrated. Without
communication, the school becomes isolated from its community. Without
communication, the community becomes isolated from the school. Communication
allows parents to be active participants in their child’s education and ensures
that they know what is going on in their child’s school life.
Please take the time to explore our new website:
School - http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/Balmoral/Pages/default.aspx to
learn more about the school, our students, the staff, and opportunities for
parents and community members. We will continue to use the communication tool
called School Messenger to share information. In order to get these emails,
text or voice messages you need to “opt-in”. Please visit our website on how to
do this. Please look forward to receiving a welcome email from your child’s
grade team that will provide further information about the upcoming year.
Please encourage your child to take advantage of every learning
opportunity open to them whether in school or beyond, encourage them not to be
satisfied with ‘the way things are’ but to make things better, encourage them
to be respectful of all in our diverse community and world, and encourage them
to always imagine – there are no limits!
Again, we are excited about the new school year and all of the awesome
possibilities for learning, designing, exploring and sharing together. We look
forward to meeting our students.
Tuesday, September 3rd @ 7:55 AM
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or feedback.
Scott Jeffrey Rakhee Vijairaghavan Jen Turner
Principal Assistant Principal Learning Leader
Dear Parents/ Guardians;
On behalf of Balmoral staff, I wish all of our families a wonderful summer break. By the end of June, students are excited to take a break from their learning; however, by September they will be happy to be back with friends and familiar teachers.
This June, we are saying farewell to Mrs. Musto, Mrs. Styles, Mr. Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchinson, Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Whitfield, Mr. Allen, Mr. Perrone and Mr. Krogstad. We will be welcoming a new administration team lead by Principal Jeffrey. I am confident that this new team will work with students, teachers and parents to create a vibrant learning environment.
In September, we anticipate registration numbers of 550 which is in keeping with the school’s physical capacity of 547. There will be four home rooms per grade with specialists for French and Band. French and Band are full year courses, taught on alternating days. The school is moving forward with a middle school model that has grade team teachers teaching either math/science or ELA/social studies. This will mean that your child will have two, rather than four core teachers which will support stronger relationships through learning. The grade team will also be teaching their own daily Physical Education which is combined with Health and Character Circle. This is the model currently used successfully in grades 5 and 6 and a common middle school model. All students will have two full year options, which will be taught once/week in hour long blocks.
During June there were many highlights; but my overarching memory is how dedicated to learning the students were. Classes finished off curriculum and then embarked on summative reviews prior to their final exams. When rain prevented a junior high sports day, students were happy to simply have time to laugh, play cards and board games and watch a movie. They seemed to need the break from focused studies. I look forward to the final awards celebration on Wednesday and will miss the Balmoral students.
Although I have only been at Balmoral since mid-May, I have appreciated the opportunity to work with students, staff and parents. Balmoral is a dedicated learning community and the students here are exceptional.
Plans for September
We are looking forward to welcoming students back for a full day of learning on September 3rd.
Students will be met at the buses and dependent on weather, we will meet in the north field or the gym. Teachers will have class lists and a full schedule of activities for students. Students should bring a lunch; however the cafeteria will also be open.
Reminders…no locks are needed for lockers; Grades 5 and 6 have basic supplies provided however junior high students must bring their own supplies.
It is essential that you have bussing in place as delays in registering will mean a delay in ridership. Parents are welcome to greet students at the door; however, going into classroom areas requires a visitor pass from the front office. This is a point of security so that we recognize all adults in the building.
Parent Council will be meeting during the first month and I encourage all parents to join. You never have to commit to attending every meeting, but your attendance is welcome when you can make it.
Enjoy your summer holiday and all the best in 2019-20.
During the final two months of
school, our students are very busy, both on and off campus. Please remember to
check our Balmoral School website event calendar as it is updated frequently
and provides important information including upcoming PAT exam dates in May and
June for grades 6 & 9.
Our grade 6 students will be
heading to outdoor school at Camp Chief Hector from May 7th until
May 10th. While at camp,
these students will be writing their ELA 6 PAT – part A. Many are very excited to have the chance to
write in such a tranquil space and Mr. Allen will drive out to the Camp first
thing on May 8th to bring the exam and all student materials
required to write. Grade 9 students will be writing their ELA 9 PAT – part A,
in their homerooms on the morning of May 9th. Plans are in lace to ensure that they have a
nice quiet building to write in.
On May 15th 2019, from
2:45-4:30pm our grade 7-8 students will have the opportunity to participate in
the Gauss Math Contest, which gives them a chance to compete with students from
across Canada. Ms. Ernst is organizing this after school event and
In April, we asked our Balmoral parent
community to complete an on line survey to support us in the decision-making
process moving forward. Thank you to all
those that participated and the aggregated results were shared out in the April
24th weekly parent email. The feedback provided by parents, along
with teacher responses from a similar survey, were taken into consideration for
upcoming changes to our student cell phone policy as well as off-campus
privileges for grade 7 & 8’s beginning after the May long weekend.
The first change is to our
lunchtime policy for students in grade 7-8.
Starting on Thursday, May 9 students in grade 7 and 8 will be
allowed off campus for lunch every Thursday.
Information detailing this change will be sent home as part of Mail Day
and parents who wish their grade 7 or 8 child to stay on school grounds on
Thursdays are asked to return the form.
The second change is to our Balmoral
student cell phone policy. Beginning on
Thursday, May 9th 2019, students will be permitted to use their cell phones
outside of the building before school, during their 40-minute lunch and after
school. During instructional time, student cell phones are to be kept in their
lockers unless using a personal electronic device is detailed as a support as
part of a current IPP. Teachers will give at least two days advanced notice to
parents and students if there is an upcoming lesson or activity where cell
phones will be required as a learning tool.
Both of these changes have been
made with the support of our parent community who expressed their thoughts on
the recent survey as well as in consultation with other CBE
middle-school/junior high Principals’. Balmoral was the only school in Area 2
that did not have guidelines in place for student cell phone use during the
instructional day. Principals who have experience implementing any new
guidelines pertaining to personal devices counseled that any change should take
place now, as opposed to waiting until next September. Their relational was
that this way students returning to Balmoral in the fall would already be
accustomed to the change.
Parents who need to urgently get
ahold of their children during the instructional day are asked to call the main
office so that Mrs. Rempel or Mrs. McDonald can immediately relay the message
or return the call. If there are any questions or concerns regarding this
change, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
so that we can set up a time to discuss on the phone or in person.
We thank Balmoral parents in
advance for their support in this change as it is recognized that many students
may have difficulty adjusting to not carrying their cell phones with them at
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