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 email@example.com
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
April Principal’s Message
As we enter into
the final three months of this school year, our team of educators will continue
to improve their teaching practice by ensuring that they are tracking student progress
towards meeting the goals outlines in our School Development Plan (SDP). Our two
overarching achievement targets are:
Improve student achievement in
representing and communicating mathematical ideas.
Improve students’ abilities to
produce language in writing and speaking in all disciplinary areas.
analysis of our January report card data provided evidence that achieving these
targets for June. Teachers are intentionally focusing on ensuring that they are
utilizing the instructional strategies identified on our SDP. Professional
Learning Communities (PLC) are essentially short, structured meetings, where
groups of teachers who meet to support each other by analyzing of student work
together. The intention of PLC work is to improve teaching proactive in the
company of peers and this professional work is critical to the success of our
SDP. In order to increase the likelihood of meeting our SDP targets by June,
students will have increased opportunities to participate in structured lesson
and activities, in all classes, focused on developing and/or refining their speech
and writing skills.
school year, teachers are engaging in priority learning cycles with the
objective of ensuring students have measurable ways to verbally demonstrate
their understanding of curriculum outcomes.
Our teachers have now started learning cycle three and, due to their
efforts in the first and second cycles, there has been noted improvement in our
students’ ability to communicate their content knowledge through speech. This
is an important goal for a school with 250 out of 608 student identified as
second language learners of English (ELL) as research in this area of
linguistics stresses the foundational role that strong verbal skills play
towards ensuring these students are set up for success later in life.
Liana Appelt, PhD
February 8 to March 8 2019 Principals Message
Monday, February 4th,
marked the first day of the second semester.
Students in grades 7-9 have started their new option classes, allowing opportunities
to develop additional interest, hobbies and skills. We have also had an instructional time change
for semester two with our bell times changing slightly. For our updated accurate bell times, please
see the “Our School” area of our web page. A hard copy letter sent home with
all students on mail day, Thursday, February 7. This communication, from me to
Balmoral Parents, explained the reason behind a few schedule changes required
for this second half of the school year because of both expected and unexpected
school organization and program delivery needs. Please email our Administrative
Secretary, Mrs. Rempel at firstname.lastname@example.org if you did not receive my letter and
would like an electronic copy emailed to you.
From February –
June 2018, Grade 5/6’s are receiving 60 minutes of additional minutes of
instruction in Mathematics per week, aligned with the Program of Studies, as
per one of the CBE Math Strategies approved by our Board of Trustees. Teachers
assigned to these enrichment blocks, primarily taught on Fridays, will be
working together during our professional learning time to design engaging
Mathematical Problem Solving Activities. Parents can expect to see this new
class appear in their child’s Power School schedule as ‘Enhancement’ and the
teacher assigned to this Math course will be giving them a separate report card
indicator mark in June, as based on their achievement on the hand-on learning
tasks they will be engaging in each week.
The start of
semester II also means the beginning of a transition time for our grade 9
students as they start to plan for their grade 10 year in a new learning
community. It is important for students
to make a choice that works best for them as learners and if more information
is required, they should see Mr. Perrone for support.
On Friday January
25th, we hosted Constable Tad Milmine as a guest speaker to Balmoral
School. He was at our school to share
his unforgettable experience growing up as well as his powerful message that
“Bullying Ends Here.” Tad’s message has
had a lasting effect on our students as we try to grow and come together as a
community. For more information, please
Our four Balmoral Basketball teams
are practicing hard and ready to engage in full, healthy and positive
competition with the schools in our area.
Please see our calendar for a complete list of game dates and come out
to cheer on our athletic students at various games at several different site.
Later in March,
just prior to Spring Break, Parents will have an opportunity to meet with their
child’s term II teachers in formal face-to-face interviews. In getting to know
our Balmoral TLC families, I have become increasingly aware that many of our
parents are both working full time, often long hours and may have other
children attending other CBE sites around the city. This created a challenge
during our November 2018 parent/teacher conferences, offered for one evening
from 4:00-8:00pm where attendees were to pre-booking a meeting with two core
subject teachers. In order to create additional spaces for term II interviews,
I have adjusted our March interviews so that they are on two nights: Wednesday,
March 20th and Thursday March 21st from 4:00-8:00pm. On
line, booking, through the parent version of Power School, will open up in
mid-March and an exact date will be shared in the Wednesday Weekly Email to
parents. Then on Friday, March 22nd from 8:00-12:30pm, parents whose
children who have adapted educational programming as detailed in their
Individual Program Plan (IPP) will meet with the various teachers in 30-minute
time slots. These meetings will be booked directly with the IPP teacher-coordinator
at a time that works for all those required to attend.
Liana Appelt, PhD
- December 20th – Last
day of classes for student
- December 21st – Last
day of school for teachers
- January 7th –
have been engaging in learning experiences both in school and out in field
studies. Mr. Hutchinson and Ms. Dennis
took a group of grade 7’s to Camp Caroline to work with professional clinicians
and guest conductors. The students returned
from the experience with big smiles and shared that they felt much more
confident in playing their instruments as a result. Teachers and parent
volunteers who accompanied the students on this off-site trip remarked that
this was an opportunity to grow as independent young adults and become closer
as a learning community.
Our grade 5/6 students had the opportunity
to spend 3 days at Calgary Olympic Park learning to ski and snowboard. We were lucky to have fresh snow in the days
leading into our trip!
celebrated the upcoming holiday season at the Christmas Concert at the Jubilee
Auditorium. It was a delightful evening
that highlighted the progress our instrumental bands have made thus far as well
as those who are learning guitar for the first time this year.
have competed in multiple sports this past fall and winter. Cross Country was a huge success with an
increased number of participants from the last school year. Many of our students braved the cold weather
to compete for our school! In soccer,
both our boys and girls teams finished second in their divisions, with the
girls finishing undefeated! Our
volleyball season wrapped up at the end of November. All four teams made the playoffs with our
Junior Girls and Boys losing in the semifinal game. Both our Senior teams both made it to the
finals; the Boys lost a close 3rd set and finished second while our
Girls won a close third set to win our division.
Last Day of Class
The last day of class for before winter
break is Thursday, Dec. 20 and students to come on the last day in their
regular TLC uniforms or their Balmoral Hoodies with blue pants. Please make
sure that your child has taken home their gym clothes to wash over the break as
well as lunch-kits, food or containers.
Class resumes on Monday, January 7, Day A and
is formal uniform day.
It has been a busy month at Balmoral School! Many of the rich events and activities that make Balmoral a lively place are well under way! Many of the grade 7 students are currently at Camp Caroline for band workshops. The speech at debate teams are practicing weekly for upcoming competitions. All four Balmoral volleyball teams made the playoffs and are competing this week. Our grade 9 students took a tour of Crescent Heights and have started to explore their options for high school next year. The grade 5 & 6 students will be attending a play at Storybook Theatre. Finally, Ms. Ontko and her drama students did a wonderful job of putting together a beautiful Remembrance Day Assembly.
Teachers have also been working over the last month on our School Development Plan. This is a plan that each school creates with the goal of advancing student achievement based on evidence from achievement results. As Balmoral students continue to perform well on Provincial Achievement Tests, teachers have decided to focus on achievement outcomes related to communicating learning through speaking and writing. This focus will be based on report card results and in Professional Learning Communities, teachers will be looking at opportunities for students to communicate their learning through speaking and writing, across all subjects.
Looking ahead to the next few weeks, parent teacher conferences will be on November 22 from 4-8 PM and November 23 from 8 AM- 12 PM. Please sign up for a meeting with up to two teachers on conference manager, which can be accessed through the Balmoral School website. At our upcoming Professional Development day on December 7, teachers will be looking at teaching and learning strategies for our English Language Learners.
The virtue of the month for November is compassion.
Dr. Liana Appelt
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