May 14
May 14, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Parents and Guardians,

To all our non-Hub families, I hope that you have found the transition to online learning to have been as successful as one could hope for it to be, considering we all know learning best happens at this age in a face-to-face environment.  I sincerely appreciate both the work that teachers have done to make this happen in a relatively smooth and organized way, while also acknowledging and appreciating the extra work that it takes for families to set their children up for success during this at-home learning time.  Once again, it serves as an excellent reminder of the importance of a strong school-home partnership. 

Speaking to such partnerships, in a Principal's Message last month, I sent out a link inviting you to complete a short survey about our school's budget and fees.  I have now posted the results of this survey on our website; I appreciate your candour, and consider any feedback I receive.  Though that survey is closed, you are always welcome to contact me about any thoughts, suggestions, or acknowledgements. 

This month, the CBE also asks that we solicit feedback about our School Development Plan (SDP).  This year, our SDP has essentially focused on improving student French oral language competency, as well as their confidence in this domain.  Next year, we are looking to extend this to using research-informed strategies to improve French reading, while exploring what kindness (and other virtues) look like and how to practice it.  Though SDP planning occurs more rigorously in the fall, it is always worthwhile to have an initial plan of what will occur for 2021-22, so we hit the new school year running.  With that in mind, I encourage you to complete the short survey below, to offer any feedback you may have relating to our SDP.

For your consideration:

Fees and Budget Survey Results: I welcome you to view the results of engagement about fees and budget, as solicited from our Banff Trail families.  Thank you again for your feedback!

Learn and Share | School Development Plan:  We know we make better decisions to support student learning when we build understanding and work together. That's why we are sharing our school development plan and asking you to share your perspectives with us.  The survey is open from May 14th, 2021 through May 28th, 2021; Please click here to complete the survey. Your input is important to us, and we appreciate you taking the time to share your perspectives on our school development plan.

School Council: Our next School Council meeting will be held online on Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 at 6:30pm.  All Banff Trail School families are welcome to attend; a link will be sent out by council prior to the meeting.

Flower Bed: All year, we have had the gift of someone coming to change the seasonal décor in the flower bed near the entrance to our school.  It has been subtle, student-friendly, and heartwarming; thank you to that anonymous curator or curators!

Spirit Day Reminder: A reminder that Thursday, May 27th will be our next Spirit Day, which will have a Western theme.  We are all looking forward to this upcoming day!

Upcoming Non-Instructional Days (NID): We have three non-instructional days approaching, where students will not be attending school: Friday, May 21, 2021 (NID—there will be NO online classes that day), Monday, May 24 (Victoria Day), and Friday, June 4, 2021 (NID).  Note that for 2021-22, the CBE has standardized all NID's, so that if you have children in multiple schools, they will all be off on the same days.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School​

May 07
April 30, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As our staff continues to do our best to provide students with the utmost care and quality learning experiences, we are continuously looking at optimizing exactly those 2 aspects: care, and worthwhile learning opportunities.  We are all human, and are constantly learning how to be better in all aspects of our being, and the past couple years have provided plenty of learning opportunities.

One such improvement came to mind as I was reading about the coming week, which has been designated Mental Health Week by the Canadian Mental Health Association.  The theme for this year’s Mental Health Week is understanding our emotions.  On their website dedicated to providing mental health resources, there is a section with some articles that speak to the challenges that many people face in relation to mental health.  As we all want to establish strong, supportive bonds with children, ways to support their mental health can include showing them that you are available to listen to their issues, offering full attention and demonstrating empathy, and to empower them with connecting their feelings to a refined vocabulary.  To this end, one of the articles speaks to being able to recognize or express what is being felt, using more precise language than the typical, “I’m fine,”, offering a myriad of words that you can explore with your children.   Simply asking children, “Where have you felt (thrilled, comfortable, dazzled, challenged, panicked, hesitant, passionate) in the past few days?” could spark a conversation that you might not expect, while showing the child that you are there to listen, empower and support them. 

We here at Banff Trail are here for you, and are happy to help however we can in making this a successful and joyous time in your children’s lives.

For your consideration:

Mental Health Week: In recognition of Mental Health Week, I welcome anyone to participate in Hats on for Mental Health, on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021.  More information about the week can be found at

K/1 Orientation: A reminder that on May 6 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, we will be offering a virtual orientation for families who are new to Banff Trail School.  A link should have been sent to you if this applies to your family; if not, feel free to contact the office for support.

Bell Times for 2021-22: Please note that bell times are still being approved, though we anticipate the school day to be essentially the same as the current school year (likely within a minute or two).  This would mean grades 1 to 5 will attend from approximately 7:58am to 2:30pm, and Kindergarten will run from approximately 7:58am to 10:48am, and 11:40am-2:30pm.  We anticipate Fridays to again run from 7:58am to 12:00pm.

Spirit Day:  Thank you to all families who participated in our latest Spring-themed spirit day; it was great to see how it was represented in so many ways.  Our next Spirit Day will be on Thursday, May 27th, and will be Western Day; we invite students and staff to be inspired by our cowgirls and cowboys to make this another fun day for everyone!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School​

Apr 16
April 16, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Parents and Guardians,

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful sunshine, blue skies, and returning warmth that we have been experiencing, which are some of the aspects that I cherish most about our city and province.  This concept will surface again further below, in connection to our next theme day….

Springtime is also the time of year where principals look intently at school budgeting and planning for the next school year.  We always do our best to optimally leverage the money that is sent to us from the province in the context of the students in our school, and will continue to do so.  With this in mind, I do appreciate hearing from parents about any feedback they may have about budgeting (both positives and suggestions), and invite you to participate in a short survey about our school, which I have linked to below.  We all want Banff Trail School to be a great experience for all of the children in our building!

A sincere and repeated thank you to everyone for your diligence in keeping your children home when they are sick, or have been exposed to those who are sick.  Your role in keeping our school safe and functional is significant and very appreciated.  Please continue to connect with our school office when you know you will be keeping your child at home.

For your consideration:

Grades 7-12 Moving to At-Home Learning: This past Wednesday, the government announced that they had approved the CBE's request to move grades 7-12 to At-Home/Online Learning.  At this point, it will be for a 2-week period.  An impact was beginning to be felt at our school, with no substitute teachers being available to fill jobs at our school (due to the amount of substitute teachers needed to fill the large numbers of teachers being quarantined or in isolation in grades 7-12 schools).  All of us here at Banff Trail School look forward to continuing to attend to the safety of your children and provide them with quality learning experiences.

Biking to school: It has been great to see students beginning to bike to school once again!  If your child will be biking to school, I strongly encourage you to provide them with a means to lock their bike to the bike racks.  There is an especially large demand for bicycles right now, which has resulted in an increase in bicycle theft, including at a nearby school.  Our bicycle racks are in an open and visible location, but I want to avoid any such theft from our school.

Student drop-off:  A reminder that when dropping children off in the Drop Off Zone (near the main entrance to the school), please pull ahead as far as possible, and do not leave your car; this will help avoid congestion and promote student safety.  Thank you to all who are already following this procedure!

Budget and Fees Survey:  We know we make better decisions to support student learning when we build understanding and work together. That's why we'll be sharing budget and fees information with you and asking for you to share your perspectives with us. In this online engagement, you will have the opportunity to both learn (where funding for the CBE comes from and how it is spent; about the Resource Allocation Method (RAM) used to fund schools; how we estimate, then finalize, RAM for our school, and; how we establish school fees for some activities and services) and participate.  Attend our school council meeting on April 21, 2021 to learn more about our budget and fees.  You can share your perspectives on budget and school fees through this online survey, which is open from today through April 30th, 2021.

Fees waiver: No child is ever denied access to an education in the CBE because of an inability to pay. If you can't afford the fees, there are several ways to qualify to be eligible for the fees to be waived. Waiver applications are available through your MyCBE/PowerSchool  account.  The deadline for waiver applications is June 30 of the applicable school year.  More information about CBE fee waivers can also be found here.

K/1 Orientation: We will be hosting an orientation in May for Kindergarten and Grade one families who are new to Banff Trail for the 2021-22 school year.  If this applies to you, a link to this orientation will have been sent to you over the past few days. 

Next theme day: In keeping with our monthly theme day, our staff has determined that the next theme day will be: C'est le temps du printemps / It's Time for Spring! It will be held on Thursday, April 29, 2021  We encourage students and staff to welcome the new season by accessorizing or dressing like, or for, 'Spring'.  Be as creative with this as you like! 

​Have a wonderful weekend,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School

Mar 26
March 26, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Parents and Guardians,

As we say goodbye to winter and welcome the milder spring season (wherein growth outside is beginning to become evident), I want to thank parents for the many connections made between the home and school that was demonstrated in last week's school conferences, in an effort to continue the growth of your children.  A strong relationship between the home and school go a long way in working towards an optimal educational experience for your child, and our teachers are grateful for the time spent meeting with them to review student progress thus far.  Of course, as with the flora outside, growth will continue over the coming months, and if ever you have any questions or are looking for suggestions on how you might continue this growth at home, feel free to contact your child's teacher at any time.

Speaking of collaboration, the CBE has numerous partnership instances that occur with Alberta Health Services (AHS).  Though many school nurses have been redeployed to assist with COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, we continue to consult in many ways, such as in keeping other child vaccinations up to date, and helping to guide schools in providing as safe a learning environment as possible.  AHS also release a 2-page Monthly Newsletter for families with some excellent, simple to use resources on topics ranging from “Healthy Eating in Stressful Times" to “Screen Time Wellness".  They also provide 2 versions of the newsletters, one targeting families with children, and the other targeting families with teens.  I encourage all families to take a look at these informative, practical newsletters from our health care providers.

For your consideration:

Next Year Plans:  A reminder that we are looking to hear from all families about their intentions for next year, even in the most likely situation of you continuing with Banff Trail School, as requested in my last email on March 4thIf you have not already done so, please complete this 2-minute survey about your intentions; it would help us greatly in our planning for 2021-22!  Related to this, a reminder as well that if your child is in grade 5 and they intend to continue their Early French Immersion journey at Branton School, there is nothing further required—they will be automatically enrolled in that school.  Communication will be forthcoming from them about welcoming you to their school as we approach the new school year.

Confidence displays:  As mentioned in my last message, each grade level chose a book that represents the virtue of confidence in some way, and used this book as a springboard for a bulletin board display.  It was amazing to see what the students created in their classes, as we continue to work towards exploring personal connections to confidence.  Here are a few pictures showing some of this work:      

Confidence Grade 1E Web.jpeg 

Confidence Grade 2A Web.jpeg

Confidence 1 Dot Gr3_4 Web.jpeg

Confidence Grade 5A Web.jpegFamily literacy online:  Please be on the lookout for an email from the school, wherein we have some videos of staff reading French and English stories for our students.  These videos will be available until June 30th.  Enjoy!

Carnaval:  Thank you for sharing in the spirit of Carnaval this past week!  Students explored Francophone culture via engaging learning opportunities such as the coureurs de bois portage relay race, playing music with spoons, creating a class “Carnaval Cheer!", a “Coloring it Forward" colouring activity, and the exploration of various documentaries/programs.  Thank you to School Council for the financial support needed to make these resources available to our classes, and thank you as well to all families for the extra effort it takes to keep the spirit alive with your children during this time (such as in assembling various themed outfits).  It makes such a positive difference to our school.

Spring Break: A reminder that Spring Break runs from March 27 through April 5th, inclusive.  Students return to school on TUESDAY, April 6th.

Thank you everyone for your role in keeping your kids at home when they are sick, thereby minimizing any spread of illness in our schools.  We know the upheaval this can cause (many of us being parents as well), and are grateful for this 'other means' of working together in keeping Banff Trail a great place to learn.

Have a safe, fun Spring Break,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School

Mar 04
March 4, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Parents & Guardians,

We hope that you, like us, are taking advantage of the recent beautiful weather we have been experiencing.  With the coming of warmer weather, we can look forward to more freedom to enjoy, explore, and learn from nature, both in and out of school, in a hands-on manner. 

Learning of course also continues to progress for all students within our building; we look forward to the day once again where we can welcome our eager, supportive parents into the building to help students keep advancing their love for learning, or to simply discuss progress thus far with the teachers.  Know that even if physical entry is limited for the time being, you can always chat with your child's teacher about their learning, such as in seeking other ways your child can broaden their learning experiences at home.

To this end, learning at home has many facets.  I recently came across a short, 2-page article entitled, Fostering Children's Emotional Well-Being During COVID-19, released by the American Psychological Association.  It offers 7 simple, practical ways that families can attend to their children's emotions in a positive way, and I encourage everyone to give it a quick look.  The final suggestion around practicing generosity and thankfulness by writing a note of thanks every week was one that personally resonated with me, as the value of saying, “Thank you!" will never become passé! 

Finally, it's now the time of year when we begin some initial planning for next school year's organization, and are looking to confirm information about enrolment and student population projections.  We realize that plans may change over time and would ask you to kindly let the office know in these cases, so that we have accurate numbers and can plan effectively to serve our students and families.

We ask that all families please complete this 2-minute survey for each child by March 19, 2021.

Have a wonderful weekend, and a reminder that at 4:00pm tomorrow (Friday March 5th), you are able to book your conferences for all non-Hub students (ie students who attend school within our building), which will be held on March 18th and 19th

For your consideration:

  • Carnaval and Spirit Days: We have been planning our next Spirit Day to be scheduled for Thursday, March 25th, where the theme will be “Fête de la tête", where students are invited to liven up their heads through hats, accessories, hairstyles…anything fun, exiting, unique and/or crazy!  However, our Carnaval committee thought it would be fun to have a different Carnaval-related spirit day each day of our Carnaval celebration as well, which will be held the previous 3 days in March (ie Monday, March 22 to Wednesday, March 24).  As such, we invite you to participate, as you can, in a themed, spirited, dress-up week—it should be a lot of fun for the week before Spring Break!  Here is the schedule:
    • Monday, March 22: Journée à carreaux (Plaid Day)
    • Tuesday, March 23: Journée tuque (Tuque Day)
    • Wednesday, March 24: Journée rouge (“Red" Day)
    • Thursday, March 25: Fête de la téte (as described above)

      A big thank you to Mme Stafford and Mme Wensley for coordinating our Carnaval festivities this year!
  • Conferences: Non-Hub Conference bookings can be made as of 4:00pm on Friday, March 5th.  Conferences will be held virtually on both March 18th and 19th.  Hub conferences will be held on March 11th and 12th.
  • Mois de la Francophonie: March is Francophonie Month, during which all things Francophone are celebrated.  As mentioned, in the final week before March Break, we will be hosting an internal “Carnaval", a celebration of French-Canadian culture and traditions.
  • Spring Break: The final day of school before Spring Break is Friday, March 26th, 2021.  School will resume on Tuesday, April 6th.
  • Extra clothing: With spring comes wet and sloppy conditions.  At times, children will accidentally get wet from being outside during their recess and/or outside gym time.  Please consider packing an extra pair of socks and/or pants in your child's backpack, in case an unexpected change of clothing might be in order.
  • Confidence: Our school well-being goal for 2020-21 has been to work towards improving student confidence, such as in relation to speaking in French.  Though we cannot hold assemblies at this time, we continue to find ways to celebrate achievements collectively within the school.  Teachers from each grade have chosen a book that represents the virtue of confidence in some way, and will be using this book as a springboard for a bulletin board display.  Each class will then schedule a time to circulate, and learn about how various classes are exploring and deepening their understanding and application of confidence.  I hope to have a few pictures to share with you about this experience for my next message home!

​Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School

Feb 19
February 19, 2021

Dear Banff Trail Families,

We hope that this past weekend gave you an opportunity to spend some quality time with your family, as best as can be done during this pandemic.  It is fitting that Family Day be tied with Valentine's Day, as we all make efforts to strengthen bonds and build strong relationships with those around us, in an effort to live in a caring, welcoming community.  I was reminded of this during one of my sessions, which was a virtual, guided tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, based out of Winnipeg.  Their website contains many excellent resources, including virtual tours of various sections of the museum, which you and/or your family may choose to visit as appropriate.  Be aware, though, that although there is content available from a Kindergarten to adult level, you will likely want to curate and make decisions around personal appropriateness prior to sharing with your children, if you choose to do so.  It is an excellent resource for us all as Canadians, nonetheless. 

In speaking to building strong relationships, we are also honoured to have a few upcoming opportunities to work with some Elders from nearby Nations. For example, after school today, Banff Trail Teachers will be participating in an online professional development led by Piikani Elder Audrey Weasel Traveller, which will focus on strengthening foundational knowledge of First Nations, Métis and Inuit. 

For your consideration:

High School Scenarios Available Feb. 23 -  The CBE has developed two scenarios to balance enrolment at CBE high schools. These scenarios will be available Feb. 23, 2021 and there will be opportunities to provide feedback March 1-17, 2021.  Scenario development was guided by your feedback from fall 2019, CBE values and planning principles, available space and resources and other factors. The scenarios represent a responsible approach that anticipates limited space and resources into the future and allocates resources where they will have the most positive impact for students overall.  The decision will be communicated by fall 2021, and changes will be implemented for the 2022-23 school year. Share your voice and learn more at

Pink Shirt Day - Pink Shirt Day is February 24th. Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 when a student in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. It has since been recognized annually worldwide as a day to stand against bullying. Please feel free to wear a pink shirt to raise awareness about bullying prevention and healthy relationships.  Our next Special Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 25th, where the theme will be “Fête de la tête"; as an early 'heads-up', students will be invited to liven up their heads through hats, accessories, hairstyles…anything fun, exciting, unique and/or crazy!

School Council – Our next School Council meeting is on February 24th, 2021; as with all School Council meetings this year, it will be held virtually, beginning at 6:30pm.  A link to the meeting will be sent out soon.

Grade 2 Hub Local Heroes Project – Our grade 2 Hub class is exploring how we can all be local heroes by helping those around us in various ways.  Feel free to visit this link to see how they are taking on extra chores in an effort to raise funds for the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation.

Interviews/Conferences – Hub Conferences will be centrally organized by the CBE, and they will be sending information out about this process.  Hub student conferences will occur on March 11th and 12th throughout the CBE, with messaging forthcoming.  Please contact your Hub teacher if you have any questions about this.  In-person students will have their conferences on March 18th and 19th; details to follow in the coming weeks, but know that signup for conferences are scheduled to go live on Friday, March 5th at 4:00pm.

March Non-Instructional Day Fridays – A reminder that we have two consecutive Fridays where there is no school for students in March—March 12th (PD Day/Hub Conferences) and March 19th (non-Hub Conferences).

Hope you are enjoying the improved weather and longer daylight hours, as we are here at the school.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School​

Feb 04
February 4, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Parents and Guardians,

You may have wondered at times what it is that teachers do on Friday afternoons, or on full-day “Non-Instructional Days".  This past Friday, amongst other items covered, staff delved deeply into some professional learning that they then immediately applied in designing some upcoming classroom tasks.  As we continue to strive for optimal personalization of learning for all of our students, we look to apply some strategies that help both teachers and students determine next steps in learning.  One of the most renowned experts in formative assessment and personalization of learning is Dylan Wiliam; if you are interested in hearing an overview of some of his research-based work in formative assessment, I invite you to watch this 17-minute video.  After delving into some of Wiliam's findings, staff looked at some recent work that students have done in class, to determine both whole-class and individual student need, in relation to our School Development Plan focus on improving French Oral Language capacity.  Teachers then designed some “responsive" tasks, by applying both Wiliam's professional learning and data gleaned from their classroom.  It is exciting work, and we all continually strive to improve our practice as time goes on, in an effort to help all students succeed to the best of their ability and sustain a love for learning.

For your consideration:

Welcome back: A BIG 'welcome back' to all Hub students who opted to return to in-person learning.  We hope that you have found the transition back to school both warm and rewarding.

Lockdown Practice:  This past week, Constable Rich contacted us to arrange our final Lockdown Practice for the year.  It will take place sometime the morning of Monday, February 8.  We will be unable to answer phones or come to any entrances during this drill, which typically lasts 15-20 minutes.

Sick students: Thank you to all families' clear support for doing their utmost to prevent COVID-19 or other illnesses from spreading within our school community.  Staff would like to acknowledge how diligent parents have been in ensuring that if a child has any symptoms of illness, that they either remain home or are picked up promptly (if they surface while at school).  If you would like a reminder of provincial and CBE guidelines, you can find them here for your reference.  Thank you!

Teachers' Convention/Family Day: A reminder that next week marks the beginning of Teachers' Convention (held vitually this year), which is also attached to Family Day Weekend.  There is no school for students from February 11 to February 15, inclusive. 

Report Cards available tomorrow: A reminder that report cards will be made available effective tomorrow (Friday, February 5th, 2021).  You will be able to access report cards online via the MyCBE/PowerSchool Portal; note that the online report card is not available through the PowerSchool App at this time.  Feel free to use this document if you need assistance or a reminder about how to access the report cards.  Our next school conferences are scheduled for March 18th and 19th, but feel free to contact your child's teacher if you have any questions or can offer further insight about their learning.

Valentine's Day: A reminder, as mentioned in my last communication: If choosing to send any Valentine's cards/gifts to school, they will need to come to the classroom no later than tomorrow, Friday, February 5th.  They will be quarantined in an envelope for 5 days, which is more than existing 3-day guidelines for quarantining items, to be distributed on February 10th (before the Teacher's Convention/Family Day/Valentine's Day period).  Any Valentine's Day cards that arrive after February 5th will need to wait until after the Valentine's Day weekend, to be distributed on February 16th, so please abide by tomorrow's deadline if you intend to send anything to school.  Of course, we will also require that items be non-perishable, to allow for the quarantining period.

Upcoming Spirit Days: Thank you for your support in making our “Class Colours Day" such a success!  Wednesday, February 24th marks Pink Shirt Day, a day that acknowledges our collective stance against bullying.  We invite anyone who wishes to do so to wear pink on that day.  Following this, on Thursday, March 25th, we will be hosting our Crazy Hair Day; we welcome wigs, colour(s), hair clips, elastics, and any other hair accessories you may find in support of your unusual hair creations for the day!


Keep safe and healthy,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School​

Jan 22
January 22, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Parents and Guardians,

I continue to remind myself how thankful I am that we are able to house students for in-person learning at our school.  Staff also feel the same way, as the building is lit up with energy and joy these days, which was sorely lacking during the at-home learning time.  Safety around COVID-19 continues to be at the forefront of safety procedures at our school, but has also become quite normalized for everyone, as these routines become part of a regular day for everyone.  We realize that it is a 'new normal' and include measures that will likely be temporary, and look forward to being able to relax some restrictions as the pandemic is addressed, but we are clearly not at that point yet.  As such, we continue to thank you for your support, compassion and understanding relating to school and systemic changes in response to COVID-19.

For your consideration:

Report Cards: Teachers continue to work diligently to analyze student data for the development of the first semester's report cards.  These will be made available online in your MyCBE/PowerSchool portal as of Friday, February 5th.  Note that the rollout of report cards throughout the CBE is happening during the week of February 1 to 5, based on the beginning letter of the school.  In case you have children in other schools, and for reference sake, the rollout is happening/available as follows: Monday (Feb. 1): Sh to Z; Tuesday (Feb. 2): Ma to Z ; Wednesday (Feb. 3): F to Z; Thursday (Feb. 4): Cl to Z; Friday (Feb. 5): A to Z.  A reminder that although we do not have School Conferences again until March 18th and 19th, collaboration between the home and school is an important part of your child's education, and you are always welcome to have a discussion with your child's teacher about your their education and progress.

School Patrols: You may have noticed that School Patrols have resumed for the mornings, when safety on our roads is complicated by ice and darkness.  Thank you very much for your patience and care in ensuring that both our patrols and families who are using the crosswalks remain safe.  Of course, we appreciate the many families who model good crosswalk usage for our school population, to help prepare our children for greater safety and independence in crossing roads later in life.  Thank you as well to our teachers (Mme Myriam and M. Jonathan) and students who have volunteered to make this important program happen.

Teachers' Convention: A reminder that Teachers' Convention is on February 11th and 12th this year, and thus there is no school for students from Thursday, February 11th through Monday, February 15th, (Family Day), inclusive.

Valentine's Day: I have received a couple requests for information about how to share Valentine's Day cards and small items in our COVID-19 reality.  In consultation with CBE's Safety Advisory team, we are asking that all Valentine's cards/gifts will need to come to the classroom no later than Friday, February 5th.  They will be quarantined in an envelope for 5 days, which is more than existing 3-day guidelines for quarantining items, to be distributed on February 10th (before the Teacher's Convention/Family Day/Valentine's Day period).  Any Valentine's Day cards that arrive after February 5th will need to wait until after the Valentine's Day weekend, to be distributed on February 16th, so please abide by the February 5th deadline if you intend to send anything to school.  Of course, we will also require that items be non-perishable, to allow for the quarantining period.

Spirit Day:  By now, your child's teacher will have communicated to you which colour your child's class will use for our upcoming Class Colour Day, which is scheduled for Thursday, January 28th.  Feel free to include as much of the colour as you wish—it can be as small as an earring, or as much as an entire outfit.

School Council: Our next School Council meeting will be held online on Wednesday, January 27th at 6:30pm.  All parents and guardians of students currently attending Banff Trail School are welcome to attend; a link will be shared out early next week.

Family Literacy Day: January 27th also marks Family Literacy Day in Alberta. Many resources are available online to support this day, including on the CBE's website, and I encourage you to consider ways to celebrate, support and promote the love for literacy at home on this day.  Areas to consider exploring include word play, listening comprehension, questions and conversations, and sharing favourite or engaging texts.

​Have a wonderful, safe weekend,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School

Jan 07
January 7, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back to our 'unique' return to school for 2021!  By now, your child has likely become more accustomed to the routine of this at-home learning time (for our non-Hub families), and hopefully you have found that your child's teacher has made a strong effort to make this week as accessible as possible for your family.  We appreciate the extra efforts required on your end, and we would certainly prefer to be providing a rich, responsive learning environment within our school walls, but know that many, many extra hours have gone into preparations for this week, with your child's learning and care at the core.  At this point, we continue to await any further direction around returning to school for Monday, January 11th, but I understand that further information about this may be forthcoming during the government's address later today.  As it stands, we have been told that the expectation is to return to face-to-face learning effective Monday, but as we know, this is a fluid situation and we have been asked to be nimble in shifting between at-home and in-school learning.  Stay tuned!

A few items for your consideration:

New Kindergarten/Grade 1 Families Open House: A reminder that tonight at 6:30pm, Ms. Toy and I are hosting an information session targeting prospective families who would be new to École Banff Trail School for the 2021-22 school year.  Information about registering for this online session is available on our school website.

Registration for 2021-22: Registration for the 2021-22 school year opens on Monday.  This is only needed for children who would be new to the CBE or our school, not for existing students of Banff Trail School.  For more information about how to register, please visit our website or call our office at 403-777-6120; we would be happy to help you as needed.  Please note that registration is not occurring in-person this year; it must be submitted electronically, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Confidence: As many of you know, our School Development Plan for 2020-21 involves a focus on both improving students' ability to communicate in French orally, as well as to develop confidence (both personal confidence and in relation to oral production).  Prior to the Winter Break, each class created a visual representation on the bulletin board outside of their classroom of how they show and/or are working towards building 'confidence'.  Since we cannot hold assemblies at this time, where we would normally have students sharing some of their successes and progress with other students in our school, I wanted students to be able to see what is being done towards this goal in other grades and classes.  Each class was then invited to circulate as a group to visit each bulletin board (which was accompanied by a description of what was being represented), one class at a time.  I've attached a few pictures that demonstrate some of this work, so that you can see some of this 'virtually' as well.  I encourage you to continue this discussion of confidence at home, as you make connections to current events, books, or people in your lives who you feel have demonstrated confidence.

Confidence 1.jpg
Confidence 2.jpg

Confidence 3.jpgConfidence 4.jpgReturn to At-School Learning from Hub:  A reminder for Hub families that the deadline to indicate your desire to return to At-School Learning is tomorrow at noon.  Please let our school know prior to this time if that is your intention.

Return to School After International Travel: The CBE has posted some messaging on its website about returning from international travel.  Essentially, students and families who have travelled outside of Canada are legally required to follow all provincial and federal travel restrictions upon arrival.  If your family is participating in the International Border Testing Pilot Program, your child may not return to school until they have tested negative on a second test 6 or 7 days after your arrival. If you are not enrolled in the pilot program, your child must:

​Therefore, if you were not enrolled in the pilot program, your child would be unable to return to school for a minimum of 14 days after your return.

Spirit Day:  Staff and students were thrilled to welcome back our Spirit Day tradition of Pyjama Day prior to the break; it was great to see everyone dressed so comfortably!  Mark your calendars; our next Spirit Day will be held on Thursday, January 28th, and is called, “Class Colours Day".  Over the coming days, each class will be determining a chosen 'colour' to wear on the 28th, and no two classes in any given grade-level will have the same colour.  You will receive messaging from your child's teacher around which colour was selected, after which we encourage you to find creative and fun ways to dress up in your chosen colour's various shades and tints.  We're all very excited about this upcoming colourful day!

Thank you again for supporting your child's ongoing education over the past week, which has been a significant change for many families.  A strong home-school partnership goes a long way in setting our children up for happy, successful lives. 

Take good care,

Ryan Turner

Principal, École Banff Trail School​

Dec 11
December 11, 2020

Dear Banff Trail School Parents and Guardians,

The past 2 weeks have flown by, and we can certainly feel the energy in the building, as both students and staff put in the final touches on many projects and tasks in our approach to the Winter Break.  It was great to see the joy of staff and students showing their spirit and having fun with the Pyjama Day theme today; as previously mentioned, we look forward to announcing other theme days as the school year progresses.  Though it is evident that this break will be unlike any other that we have experienced with our families, know that the École Banff Trail School family of staff will be there for our students with 'virtual' open arms when we begin at-home learning again on Monday, January 4th, 2021. 

Apart from continuing to elicit evidence of student achievement in anticipation of the upcoming report cards, and determining what tasks should be designed in response to these ongoing understandings about where students are in their learning, teachers are currently working on how to best design learning opportunities for the at-home learning that is upcoming, from January 4th to January 8th.  Earlier today, I received more information about how the CBE will be scheduling and implementing learning at home for the week of at-home learning, and this afternoon we will be closely examining this information and working towards making it as successful as possible.  Your child's teacher will be sending home some information that will aim to support you and your child in accessing pertinent online learning during that week, which will begin at 8:00am on Monday, January 4th.  This messaging from teachers will vary by grade-level, since supports and intentions for Kindergarten students look dramatically different than for our grade 5's.  If you have any questions about being able to access this environment, feel free to contact your child's teacher for details that would be more specific to your child's classroom environment.  To access technical support (such as if you are having problems connecting to any online learning component), you are also welcome to contact the at-home learning Technical Support team (phone number: 403-817-7996).   A reminder as well that Hub students will continue as normal during that week, and beyond.

A few other announcements:

Laptop Loaner Pool:  If you are in need of a laptop to use during our upcoming January 4th to January 8th at-home learning time, please send an email to our Assistant Principal, Nancy Toy ( by Tuesday, December 15th.  We have a limited number of loaners available to families who could benefit from their use, and simply requires completing a short waiver for cases of damages incurred or loss.

Food Drive: As you may be aware, our Grade 5 classes have coordinated this year's Online Food Drive, advertising the campaign to our students and families.  They determined that an achievable target was $1000.  We are thrilled to announce that we have currently raised $2300, having far surpassed our goal! Our Grade 5 students are now hoping it is possible to reach $2500; thank you very much to those who have already donated to those who are less fortunate, whether through this campaign or others.  If you would still like to contribute to our Online Food Drive, you can do so, here.  The Banff Trail School Mayor's Christmas Food Drive / Collecte d'aliment 2020 continues through December 17, 2020.

Next School Council Meeting:  Please note that School Council has decided to reschedule their next meeting, to allow for Council Executive members to attend the Council of School Councils meeting.  As a result, the next School Council meeting will move from January 20th, 2021, to now being held on January 27th, at 6:30pm.  We encourage any available parents or guardians to attend; as always, a link will be sent out in advance of the online meeting.

New K/1 Families for 2021-22 Open House: We have confirmed that we will be hosting an online Open House for prospective Kindergarten/Grade 1 families at 6:30pm on Thursday, January 7th, 2021.  This is the first week back after the Winter Break, while students are in 'at-home' learning.  We have posted information on our website, and are advertising this event in a couple key locations around our catchment area.  We encourage you to spread the word about our great school to your neighbours as well!

Action Calendar for Happiness:  Maintaining our collective well-being is a community effort.  In examining resources that can support the well-being of students in our school, I came across an interesting web resource that I will be using during the break with my own family, and thought that some of you may be interested in it as well.  It is an “Action Calendar", giving you and your children an idea to use each day of the month to work toward the promotion of joy.  If interested, feel free to use it over the coming weeks as you wish, such as by following it as a daily calendar, picking certain days to try out, using the suggested acts as inspiration for other ideas, or picking and choosing the ideas that family members would most like to try.  Hopefully you find some value in it as well, and if you do attempt any of the actions, I'd love to hear about what you did, and how it went!

If I hear any other information about the upcoming at-home learning experience that may be beneficial for you to know, I will be sure to send out another email before the break.  Otherwise, I wish you all a warm, safe, loving break, filled with as much joy as possible during these times.  I feel very fortunate to have re-found my way into this wonderful school.

Warmest Regards,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School​

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RT @CrescentCowboys: A great community collaboration with our #CowboyNation Outdoor Ed/Sci team & @twowheelview. We worked together to repair donated bikes and were able to purchase them for students as a part of our Neighbourhood Grant! Can’t wait to get riding #CrescentStrong #WeAreCBE

RT @yyCBEdu: Transportation pre-registration is now open for the 2021-22 school year. Log into your My CBE/PowerSchool account to pre-register before June 6. #yycbe #WeAreCBE

Transportation pre-registration is now open for the 2021-22 school year. Log into your My CBE/PowerSchool account to pre-register before June 6. #yycbe #WeAreCBE

Both Simon Fraser School and A.E. Cross School have recognized with National Inclusive Education Awards: Check out this news story about the principal at Simon Fraser School #WeAreCBE

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