Sep 24
September 24, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Families,

Hopefully you are managing to spend significant amounts of time outdoors with the family, as we continue to experience above-seasonal temperatures.  Students are certainly appreciating their time outdoors for their recess, as they leverage this time to work on gross motor and social development.

Within the school walls, teachers continue to establish stronger relationships with all students, and getting to know everyone as young learners.  I have also had the chance to visit all classrooms a few times this school year, and have enjoyed speaking with students about the various experiences and progress they are making.  I am attaching a few pictures of the past week or so, for interest's sake.  Pictures 1 and 2 show some of our grades 3,4 and 5 students watching a welcoming of the fall season with Kainai Elder Saa'kokoto, with whom our teaching team had the privilege of working with on a few occasions last year, learning about Indigenous ways of knowing and being.  Pictures 3 and 4 show students as they were writing and drawing positive messages on our surrounding asphalt, in preparation for Friday's Bike to School Day (Picture 5).  Picture 6 shows some of our students being trained for patrolling by Constable Rich.  And although it was not me who drew the depiction on Picture 7, it easily could have been. 

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Hopefully you had the chance to attend yesterday's 'Meet the Teacher" evening, to learn about your child's learning experiences this year and potentially ask some clarifying questions.

  Regardless of whether you were able to attend or not, if ever you do have any questions or information that may be helpful for your child's teacher, I encourage you to nurture that educational partnership, and contact them as appropriate.  Anything that can offer context, or is a 'good to know' piece of information, can enhance your child's experience and daily work.

Finally, you will have noticed that we have sent out a couple COVID-19 notices this past week.  Though it may be distressing to receive such information, also know that I am thankful to those families for coming forward with this information to share with our community, since we are relying on this parental choice to do so to better inform us all; our best wishes and thoughts are with those affected by this pandemic. 

For your consideration:

Volunteering: We are starting a new way to honour students who have been spotted showing strong character in the classroom and around the school, and could use some help with cutting out some of the hundreds of photocopied virtue “leaf" shapes.  If you or someone in your home would be able to help with this, please send us a quick email at (indicating your child's name and classroom, so we can send some of the sheets home to you).  We promise to not overwhelm you if you do volunteer J.  Further to this, in-school volunteering processes and permissions are in the process of being worked out, and we anticipate sending out more information in the coming month or so. 

School Council: Our next School Council meeting is on Wednesday, September 29th, at 5:30pm. Please note the early start time if you are looking to attend.  An early start was needed to allow our Council Chair to attend the Council of School Councils meeting later that night.  School Council meetings must continue as virtual events for the 2021-22 school year; a link to the meeting will be sent out next week.

Orange Shirt Day: Banff Trail School will be hosting Orange Shirt Day on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, in recognition of the ongoing work towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.  We encourage all to wear orange that day.  A reminder that there will be no school on September 30, 2021, as previously indicated, in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Terry Fox Run: On Wednesday, September 29, 2021, we will be hosting our Terry Fox Run.  You should have already received an email about this from the Terry Fox Committee at Banff Trail School.  We invite you to send a toonie with your child, who should be dressed ready to run outside!

Valuables at School: A reminder that we discourage students from bringing any valuables to school that would be upsetting if they lost or broke (such as Pokemon cards, electronic devices, etc.).  Please encourage your children to keep such items at home, where they can be better secured and more closely monitored.

Other Upcoming Dates:

Thursday, October 7: Grade 5  trip to Ralph Klein Park

Friday, October 8: Non-instructional day—no school for students

Monday, October 11: Thanksgiving Day—no school

Monday, October 18: Non-instructional day—no school for students


Have a wonderful weekend,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School

Sep 10
September 10, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Families,

Thank you everyone for your role in making our school start-up a strong success.  We know how children can be extraordinarily adaptable, which has been evident as they learn new routines, expectations, and people in their lives.  We also appreciate how these are formative, impressionable years at Banff Trail School, and in tandem with keeping their safety and security as our top priority, we want everyone to sustain a love for learning and school, and excel to each individual's potential. 

As we welcome many new Grade 1 and Kindergarten students to our school, I am reminded of and encouraged by the excellent start that children can be given at home to prepare them for their schooling and lives.  Connected to this, ongoing educational experiences that you nurture outside of school hours will continue to support their literacy, numeracy, critical thinking, empathy and social skills.  COVID-19 has created barriers to some of these aspects of learning, and, as mentioned in a recent report for the Canadian Children's Literacy Foundation, investing in early literacy positively affects children's physical and mental health, education, and future employment.  For example, it was found that children's verbal skills at 5 years old are associated with better mental health outcomes and reduced mental stress in their thirties and forties.  Whatever you encounter with your children, I encourage you to consider what you might ask them to broaden their experience…even if you don't have all the answers!  For example, discussions around the food you serve them for supper, the road and pathways in Calgary, the opportunities to visit our provincial and national parks, the technology around us, upcoming elections, and advertising on television or signage can all lead to greater critical thinking skills and depth of understanding about our world.  Make ongoing learning a regular routine in their lives, and they will be on the right path to success.

For your consideration:

Student enrollment:  We continue to accept school transfers and registrations into our school for Kindergarten and Grade 1.  I encourage you to spread the word about French Immersion at Banff Trail School to others in our community!

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:  The CBE has indicated that schools will be closed on September 30th, in recognition of the federal National Day for Truth and Reconciliation that was recently announced.  Since this was not foreseen when our school calendars were made in June, please be sure to note this day on any existing school calendar that you may have.  Also note that December 10th was to be a non-instructional day, but will now be a regular Friday school-day, with “AM Kindergarten" attending.  That will mean that in December, PM Kindergarten will attend on Dec 3, and AM Kindergarten will attend on both December 10 and Dec 17.

Bike to School Day:  Before the weather begins to turn, your School Council Executive is coordinating a Bike to School Day on Friday, September 17th.  As in June, each class will have a designated place to store their bicycles in the back compound, and parent volunteers will be supervising the bicycles for the entire morning.  We hope for both excellent weather and many pedalers!

Student Hug and Go Area: Thank you to all parents who are helping to sustain an efficient student drop-off area in front of our school.  A reminder that we ask you to pull as far forward as possible along Cochrane Road, to keep traffic moving smoothly, during both pickup and drop-off.  Also, vehicles should never be left unattended in this area.  Thank you!

Crosswalks: Our grade 5 students continue to eagerly await their crosswalk training; we anticipate this training to begin in late September, and hope to have the Patrols program set up some time in October.  In the meantime, we ask you to be mindful about modelling proper crosswalk usage with your child, including looking both ways, not jaywalking, etc.  Of course, please also obey all traffic laws, such as avoiding u-turns, etc.  Thank you for looking out for everyone's safety!

Forms: Last week, a package with many forms to review and sign was sent home.  Thank you to all families who completed these forms promptly, so that we can have the most current information for your child.  Any remaining forms should be returned to school as soon as possible.

Calling the Office: Thank you to all families who have been diligent in calling the office to inform us about absences and/or changes in routine pickup arrangements.  This has greatly assisted us in minimizing phone calls home.  A reminder that you can let us know about any upcoming absences 24 hours per day, at 403-777-6120 ext. 1. 

Have a great weekend, full of wonder and activity.

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School

Aug 27
August 27, 2021

Friday, August 27, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Parents,

Welcome back to another exciting year at Banff Trail School!  I hope you and your family have had a summer full of joy, rest, activity and the outdoors.  My summer was spent visiting various campgrounds around our beautiful province, with a sprinkling of following my own children around for their newly-reinstated sporting activities.  I look forward to hearing about how you and your family spent their time over the warm couple months we've had.

If you are new to our school a big welcome to you!  The benefits of choosing the French Immersion program are vast, ranging from intellectual development to global appreciation of culture to economic benefit, all of which I hope to elaborate upon through my messaging as the year progresses.  I was a product of the French Immersion system, and my own children are also continuing along this path.  For our new Kindergarten families, now would be a great time to do some final preparation for their schooling experience. This could include visiting our school grounds (even just to play on our play structure), ensuring that they can put on/take off their shoes and coat, and being able to properly put on and remove a mask. 

Mask usage is but one layer of how we continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic as best as we can.  If your child was attending Banff Trail School last year, you are already aware of how successful we were at greatly limiting the impact of COVID-19 in our school.  We are proud of this, and also acknowledge all parents for the efforts put in to support our measures.  Though some measures will change, we look forward to continuing many processes, such as masking inside schools for students and staff, regular/ongoing handwashing/sanitization, maintaining classroom cohorting within the school walls (ie not combining or mixing classes when inside of the school), spacing desks apart as possible, and much more.  We also continue to ask that you use the Alberta Health COVID-19 Daily Checklist​ to guide your decision-making process around whether your child can attend school. A very important note: if your child has ANY symptoms, they cannot attend school until they are symptom-free.  If symptoms surface at school, we will remove them from the class and call you to arrange for immediate pickup.  Therefore, please ensure that you have emergency child care arrangements in place, in case of child illness.  We will continue to put the safety of everyone at the forefront of our minds. 

I can imagine that we have many families who are eagerly anticipating an announcement about who their teacher will be for the 2021-22 school year.  As I'm sure you can appreciate, we have had some movement both into and out of our school for various reasons over the summer, and so class lists are still being slightly adjusted.  Having said this, your child's teacher should reach out to you, likely Monday evening via email.  This welcome message should include some important information about their first day and week of school, as well as their contact information.

On this note, a reminder that our office is now open for phone conversations relating to registration and/or other inquiries, though it remains closed to face-to-face visitation due to COVID-19.  The first day for students is September 1, 2021, where we look forward to meeting and greeting your child in our school field and back compound.  Please keep in mind that although mask usage and cohorting is not required by students and parents when outside, we would like to 'ask' that you nonetheless wear a mask when on the school property as much as possible, as it also models good masking behaviour for all of our students.  Importantly, when they line up in their class line, they should have their mask on, ready to enter the building. 

We look forward to hosting a safe learning environment filled with quality learning experiences throughout the year.  If you have any questions about school startup, feel free to contact us.

A few upcoming dates:

Tuesday, September 14th—Photo Day

Thursday, September 23, 6:00-7:30pm: Virtual 'Meet the Teacher'.  Grade groups will be presenting information about the school year, expectations, and be available to answer any questions that you may have.  More information to come soon.

Tuesday, September 28—Orange Shirt Day

Wednesday, September 29—Terry Fox Day

Thursday, September 30—No school, in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (newly-announced, as per today's CBE messaging)

Looking forward to an excellent startup (and year!),

​Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School


Jun 25
June 25, 2021

Dear Banff Trail School Parents and Guardians,

As we complete the final full week of school with students, it seems appropriate to offer thanks for the many successes that students and families have achieved over the past 10 months.  As I greet students and families in the mornings as they enter the school, I see students who are excited to be here, who have grown immensely in their ability to communicate meaningfully with me in French.  As I visit classrooms, I see students who, despite some changes to what school looked like in the past, are eager to learn, committed to applying themselves as best as they can, and experiencing the joy of what school should be like.  Learning this year has been mutual; staff and I have learned immensely from students about resiliency and adaptability in a changing environment.  We have done our utmost to make this a productive, safe year for all students, and in turn students (and families) have risen to the challenges presented to them.  A big BRAVO to you all for your unending efforts in support of a challenging, unforgettable, yet productive year J.

On that note, the staff and students of Banff Trail are very grateful for all the amazing volunteers who worked so hard this year to provide great activities like Bike to School Day and Grade 5 Farewell events for our students. All students in the school signed their names to a letter in the word 'Merci' (Thank you). Then, the letters were assembled to create the words 'Merci'. The Grade 5 students also created flowers to add to our 'Thank you' message board.  Unfortunately, we were unable to host a Volunteer Tea to show our gratitude to our valued volunteers, but we (and the grade 5 classes in particular at this time of year!) want you to hear and see our thankfulness.  The Grade 5 students absolutely loved the t-shirts, lunch, speaker gift and Treasure Quest activities!!

Merci des enfants de Banff Trail 2021 resized.JPG 

A special 'goodbye for now' message for our amazing group of grade five students, who will be moving on to various other locations (yet most continuing on to Branton School).  We hope that you have found your time here at Banff Trail to be a great overall learning experience, and we all look forward to hearing from you in the future, as you move on to other challenges in life and school.  Don't ever hesitate to let us know how your life is unfolding; we always love to hear from alumni!  You will always hold a special place in my heart as well, as my first group to move on from this great school.  You have shown confidence, creativity, strength, and compassion, all of which will serve you very well in the next chapters of your life.  You are a very strong, capable group; you will do AMAZING in grade 6, wherever you go!

Finally, as families continue to navigate the evolving COVID-19 rules for our province and abroad, I encourage you to be constantly considering how to continue or enhance the learning for your child or children.  Some opportunities can be pre-planned (such as buying a book about trees found in Alberta, and then trying to identify them; visiting museums/cultural events; introducing to new skills such as ordering a ukulele to play with and learn a song or two; having students make a list about what they should pack for a trip); other times, you can seek opportunities in the moment (such as learning more about bats, if you find some flying around at dusk; estimating the cost of items as you visit the grocery store; chatting about some current events and perspectives found in local/national/international news).   You are no doubt keenly aware that you are teachers as well, as you model your values and expose your children to the wonders of our world!

​For Your Consideration:

Report Cards: Report Cards will be viewable in your MyCBE/PowerSchool account; currently, the CBE is enabling home access effective just after midnight tonight, so should be accessible for tomorrow morning (ie Saturday, June 26th, 2021).  As always, please feel free to contact your child's teacher if you have any questions about your child's report card.

Upcoming Important Dates:

Monday, June 28, 2021-Regular School Day

Tuesday, June 29, 2021-Last day of classes for students

Wednesday, June 30, 2021-Appeals Day/Organizational Day; no school for students.  After June 30, note that the school is closed, and will not be checking emails, phone messages, etc until our re-opening in late August.

Friday, August 27, 2021-Office re-opens 8:00-2:30pm for registrations, assistance, etc.

Monday, August 30, 2021-Welcome message(s) from next year teacher(s) sent to families at approximately 5:00 pm

Wednesday, September 1, 2021-School Resumes for all students.

Staff Departures: Though we continue to work through staffing for the 2021-22 school year, at this point we can sadly announce two departures from our school.  Ms. Krista Ferguson will be moving back to Ontario, and Ms. Mireille Lapointe will be moving back to British Columbia.  You will both be dearly missed, and we are all grateful for the role you played in helping our students achieve their potential, in a caring environment.

We hope you have plenty of outdoor, fun learning experiences planned for your families.  As always, be safe, and we very much look forward to seeing all returning students again on September 1st.

Have a wonderful summer,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School​

Jun 11
June 11, 2021

Dear Banff Trail Families,

As we approach the end of the school year, I thought I would share with you some of what is happening around the building right now.  With just over 2 weeks left, all staff are working tirelessly on both year-end and school re-entry tasks.

For year-end tasks, our amazing Facility Operators are ensuring that routine work such as lawn mowing, sweeping the grounds for debris, and ensuring proper building sanitization occurs, for the safety of all.  They will then be looking to help with any classroom movement changes that will undoubtedly occur as we near the final days of June.  Our Support Staff also continue to ensure student safety and well-being occur, as students are much more excited to be outside again with the improved weather we have had.  Teachers are working diligently to compile summative assessments for students, as they stay at school late or continue their work at home to create report cards and Individual Program Plans that offer the best reflection possible of where children are in their learning journey, and insight into possible next steps.  Administration is helping teachers with the reporting process, handling a range of family movement (both new registrations and assisting families with moves to other catchment areas), and helping to work through coverage for the ongoing lack of substitute teacher availability.  Of course, there is much more happening in our daily work, but this is some of what is occurring in recent days.

Start-up work related to our return to school on September 1, 2021 is also at the forefront.  In many cases, this involves planning for multiple scenarios, as we continue to await re-entry protocol direction from Alberta Education.  For example, we are creating a schedule for our staff where they would be supervising during a common recess time (if students were to once again be allowed outside with a larger cohort than their classroom), while also determining what this would look like if existing or similar COVID-19 protocols were to remain.  Reflecting and noting of which lessons and processes were most impactful, and those that should be modified in an effort to improve our work with children, are also part of the year-end work that we do.  Staff also have the opportunity to explore other areas of career interest, as system-wide open job postings are currently available for all CBE employees (Support Staff, Teachers, and Administration).  Though we would be sad to see anyone go, we also encourage all staff to follow their passions!

I feel very fortunate to have such a committed, caring staff here at Banff Trail School.  Though much of my messaging this year has focused upon the provision of a safe and caring environment with quality learning experiences, I felt it worthwhile to offer a 'tip of the hat' to all the people here who work together in making this happen.  Thank you to the many, many parents who have written emails, collaborated with teachers in a positive and productive manner, and generally modelled a caring attitude towards all—it goes a long way towards making this a great place for staff as well.  If you have a moment to do so in the coming weeks, I would encourage you to send a quick message of appreciation to these hard-working people, who have experienced (like you) a year like no other, and done so with grace and love.

For your consideration:

Summer French Opportunities: The Alliance Francaise website has a number of opportunities available for students, as well as suggestions for what can be done to encourage ongoing French Language development over the summer.  Examine the “Cultural Activities" section for a calendar of possibilities, including French Story Time.  Note that there is a cost associated with membership.  Canadian Parents for French is another good resource; though you can purchase a paid membership there as well, they offer a spreadsheet of resources free of charge, most of which have no associated cost, divided into tabs (for parents, for students, for teachers, etc).

Registration Continues:  Please note that we continue to accept registrations for all students in our catchment area.  We have seen a drop in enrolment over the past month due primarily to movement outside of our catchment, which could also result in re-configuration of classes if the trend continues. Please do promote our great school and encourage others to consider enrolling their child in the French Immersion program at Banff Trail School; we will also be setting up some community signage for late June and end of August promoting our school and program.  Though we are closed over the summer months, registration can occur by June 30th, or when the school office is one again staffed (beginning approximately August 25th, 2021).

Bike to School Day: Thank you to everyone who participated in today's Bike-to-School day.  We counted over 160 bikes, not including parent-escort bicycles; it was great to see so many families using pedal power!  A big thank you to the volunteers who helped care for the bicycles all morning.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Wednesday, June 23: Grade 5 Farewell (internal—unfortunately, spectators still not permitted, but there are some fun events planned nonetheless!)
  • Thursday, June 24: Beach Day (Final Spirit Day of the year)
  • Friday, June 25: No Kindergarten classes (classes resume as per usual for June 28 & 29)
  • Saturday, June 26: Report Card viewing available through MyCBE/PowerSchool
  • Tuesday, June 29: Last day of school for students
  • Wednesday, June 30: Appeals Day (am)—No school for students
  • Wednesday, September 1, 2021—School resumes for students

Have a wonderful weekend,

​Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School

May 28
May 28, 2021

Hello Banff Trail School Parents and Guardians,

In addition to helping staff and families transition and maintain learning continuity during the tumultuous past few weeks of schooling, administration in the school have been working to finalize some year end tasks, reflect on successes and gaps for 2020-21, and begin to plan for the coming school year.  At a CBE Principal's meeting last week, a portion of time was dedicated to the discussion of what 'excellence' looks like, notably in the context of this unusual year.  Yes, teachers of course are bound to assess in relation to the Program of Studies, but excellence for some can take many forms.  For example, it can equate to resilience, perseverance, improved ability to communicate orally, refined organizational systems, or to have a deeper understanding of how concepts explored in a subject relate to what students see outside of school.  Excellence is a moving target, and in addition to the specific outcomes listed in our curriculum, we know that excellence for your child can be varied.  As we reflect upon how the year has unfolded, I encourage you to ask your child, “How, or where, have you shown excellence in your schooling, or your life, this year?"  What is said, or even what is not said, can act as a catalyst in determining what the next more critical steps might be in your child's development—which you could of course share with your child's teacher in September as well, if you so choose!  Sharing how you yourself have worked towards excellence, including bumps along the road, can also help model how we all strive to be better, and it's not always a direct, linear path…

For your consideration:

Transportation Pre-Registration: Pre-registration for yellow school bus transportation opened on May 12th, 2021.  If you are considering using this mode of transportation for your child, we encourage you to pre-register before the deadline of June 6th, 2021, to ensure that your address is considered in the design of bus routes.  There is no financial obligation or commitment to using the bus service during pre-registration; you are simply indicating a potential interest in the service, and you will still be able to choose to accept or decline its use in the fall.  Pre-registration occurs through MyCBE / PowerSchool; for more information, please visit CBE's transportation page.

EducationMatters Memorial Fund: Madame Sylvie was a teacher at Banff Trail School for several years. She sadly passed away in 2011. Her family and former colleagues have set up a Memorial Fund in her honor. Mme Sylvie was a passionate teacher who was always searching for quality French resources. With the support of EducationMatters, a fundraiser page was set up for her friends, families and colleagues. For this year, we have received $578.98 in donations. We will use this money to purchase French resources to enhance our classrooms and library.  We will label each book purchased through this fund to recognize Mme Sylvie's contribution to Banff Trail School.  If you would like to learn more about Mme Sylvie's Memorial Fund, please visit:

Bike to School Day: School Council is coordinating a “Bike to School Day" for Friday, June 11, 2021.  You should have received further information about this sent to you yesterday.  We hope to see many pedaling feet that day!

Spirit Day:  Thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday's Western Theme Spirit Day!  It was great seeing so many children embracing the theme.  Our final Spirit Day of the year will be on Thursday, June 24th, and will be “Beach Day"!  Come dressed and accessorized for the beach, as we look forward to a beautiful summer.

 Have a wonderful, safe weekend,

Ryan Turner

Principal, Banff Trail School​

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

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Friday, Sept 24 is a system-wide non-instructional day so there are no classes for CBE students. Have a safe long weekend and please continue to follow all public health measures #WeAreCBE

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