Hello Belfast Families,
We have had an incredible start to our 2023-2024 school year: our returning students were so happy to be back, our new students were warmly welcomed, and many of our families attended School Council's coffee and chat on the first day.
As a staff, we came together during the first few days of school to revisit what makes Belfast so special. Only one third of our students live in the area, so we are a school of choice for many. Why do people choose us? What makes us so unique? Why do our families bring their children here when there are so many other options closer to home? When our staff reflected on these questions, we kept coming back to one concept: community. When you walk into Belfast, there is a sense of warmth, belonging, and happiness. Our students, staff, and families have strong relationships with one another, and we all work together to put students first.
At Belfast, we love sharing our strong sense of community with our newest families. Ms. Hutchison's LEAD class is growing, and we will soon be adding a second LEAD class. Not only are many of our Belfast families new to our school, they are new to Canada! We are excited about the reciprocal teaching and learning that will continue to take place this year: we will learn about our newest families and their language, culture, and experiences, and we will share the stories of our land, language, and ways of life. We are so thankful for our growing school community and appreciate the warm welcome our newest students and families have been given.
Community is the heart of Belfast School; as such, our staff is committed to ensuring we continue to plan with this in mind: from our first annual Welcome Back BBQ, to our increase in volunteer opportunities; from our new Open House night, to our multifaith celebrations, we want our students and their families to feel seen, appreciated, and valued at our school.
If you have a suggestion for other ways Belfast School can continue to foster a strong sense of community, we would love to hear from you! You can email me at email@example.com.
For those of you returning, welcome back to Belfast! For those new to us, we are so excited to have you join our Belfast family.
I wish you all a wonderful 2023-2024 school year!
Meagan Lundgren, Principal
Hello Belfast families,
Our last Weekly Update of the year will be on Thursday this week; that message will contain some important Back to School information, so be sure to read it! Before sending this week's Update, we wanted to take a moment to welcome our newest Belfast families and say goodbye to those who are moving onto junior high, or relocating to other communities. To our new families, WELCOME! You will love Belfast - trust me! For those of you moving on, we will miss you and hope that you will come back and visit, or at least send us an update about how everything is going at the new school.
When I first heard about the open Principal position at Belfast, I quickly had to Google the name – I didn't know anything about the school at all; in fact, I didn't even know where it was located! I did not find a lot of information about the school online, so I started asking colleagues and friends what they knew. People told me that it was a gem of a school, a really special place, and that it felt like a little family – and they were right!
Since February, I have LOVED coming to work each day: the students make me laugh and teach me something new each day, the staff are open and friendly, and the parents are eager to help out and get involved. THANK YOU all for making this school community so special. I am so happy that I get to return as Principal at our amazing, little school!
We have some changes taking place next year at Belfast; most notably, we are welcoming the LEAD program to our school. LEAD students are brand new to Canada, and often have not had formal schooling in their home countries. Belfast School is the perfect place for the LEAD program: we are welcoming, warm, and safe. We are excited to grow our school community, learn from our new students, and model for them what it means to be a student in Canada.
Belfast School is about community, and we are excited to welcome all of you to our Family Welcome Back Picnic on Thursday, September 7, from 5:00-7:00. Staff will be serving food, children can run around and play, and parents can meet one another and catch up with others they already know. We hope you will all attend!
I wish you all a safe, happy, and healthy summer. We will see you all on August 31!
Dear Belfast Families,
Although I have only been at Belfast for one month, it already feels like home! Belfast School is truly a wonderful school: the students are hardworking and kind, the staff are creative and caring, and our parent community is engaged and supportive. I feel very fortunate to be here and want to thank all of you for the warm welcome and support I've received over the past month.
As mentioned in our Weekly Update, our school is in the process of designing a new logo; throughout this process, we have been learning more about our school's history and the stories that live on this land and within this building.
Belfast School is built on the traditional territory of the Blackfoot Nations (Siksika, Piikani, Kainai), the Tsuut'ina Nation, the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, and the Metis Nation (Region 3). Some classes have explored the connection to the land, and how this land provided everything people needed to survive: fertile soil, access to water, and natural protection from the elements. Students have also learned how the land has changed over time, particularly with the arrival of colonists, by examining old maps and looking at archived photos.
As we dig into the Belfast School history, some classes have read about the first temporary Belfast School that was approved to open in a church in 1914. We have a model of the first official Belfast School that opened as a one room schoolhouse in 1920, and students have imagined what it was like to be in school back then. Some classes have explored how our current building opened in 1960, and how the programs offered here have evolved over the years, including a more recent focus on technology and fine arts.
Throughout the logo redesign process, we are learning about our school's history, analyzing what it means to be a Belfast student right now, and also imagining our school's future. Belfast School has one of the longest histories of any school in Calgary, and we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our students and their families. As one historian wrote in 1997, Belfast School "has always been fairly small but a wonderful place to learn" (Sharlene Bethell), and this remains true today.
We are all so fortunate to be a part of such a special community. I invite all families to share their thoughts on what makes Belfast unique through this short survey here and thank you in advance for sharing your ideas with us.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments.
Acting Principal, Belfast School
Dear Belfast Families,
Another school year has come to an end. Summerfest was a huge success, with many happy smiles shared between friends across the school. Many thanks to the School Council for sponsoring the treats and to the many volunteers that helped to run stations with teachers.
I would like to thank all of our dedicated staff for their hard work, commitment and devotion to the learning and well-being of the Belfast students. They are truly an amazing group of professionals with the biggest hearts!
Report Cards: Online report cards will be enabled for viewing from June 28, 2022 (8 a.m.) to July 28, 2022 (8 a.m.). During this window, legal guardians / independent students are welcome to view report cards online. In order to access your child's report card, you MUST have a myCBE account.
This is the account you use for paying school fees, booking learning conferences, and checking attendance/grades. A guide for parents can be found here: Accessing online report cards
Enjoy some fun with family and friends this summer. We look forward to seeing everyone return to school September 1, 2022. If you happen to move over the summer, please send Jacqueline an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Belfast School is a special place, where we take time to get to know each student to be able to nurture and celebrate their individual gifts and talents. Relationship is critical, and all staff make space for students to have voice and be acknowledged. The arts are used as a means for students to learn and express their own perspectives.
In the months of September and October, we have continued to action our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation. Through story and art, students have learned about the history of residential schools and the impacts on First Nation, Metis and Inuit people. Staff are also listening and learning alongside students to strengthen relationships with FNMI communities in a good way. On October 18, all staff participated in a discussion with a residential school survivor. While the conversation brought many tears, we ended the day hopeful that we can create learning environments that allow students to realize their aspirations.
Parent involvement in the learning process is valued and appreciated. Thank you to all parents for taking the time to review the artifacts of learning coming home each week and engaging in conversation with your child. Teachers are always available for further conversation about your child's learning.
Thank you to all families for your continued commitment to health and safety protocols. Everyone's diligence with hand hygiene, masks, cohorting and staying home when ill is mitigating risk for staff and students. These measures have been hard on everyone. Staff continue to look for creative ways for students to build connections and experience some fun aspects of school life. We are looking forward to an upcoming virtual collaboration with an artist, an online author talk through the Calgary Public Library and a filmed show by the Grade 5/6 students.
I am grateful for the time I get to spend each day with your amazing children; it is a privilege to watch them learn and grow each day.
Jacqueline Belcher, Principal
I am so incredibly proud of our
Belfast students. They came to school each day with a smile, a positive
attitude and a willingness to build friendships within their classroom cohorts.
They accepted new health measures with grace. Each student demonstrated
strength and perseverance this year, resulting in significant learning
I wish to extend my sincere
thanks to the stellar Belfast Staff. Each day they had to “expect the
unexpected” and adapt to new challenges. They were incredibly brave and
showed up for the community every. single. day.
Sadly, we are saying farewell to
a few staff members this year:
Ms. Jennifer Plosz
Mr. Chris Ford
Ms. Candace Cornies
Ms. Roxanne Starr
Each of these staff members had
huge impact on our school community and will be deeply missed. We wish them the
very best in their new positions within the Calgary Board of Education.
One lesson I have learned this
year is to live in the moment and to notice and appreciate the little
joys. May you all have a lovely summer filled with happy new memories.
September 8, 2020
Dear Belfast Families,
Pure joy. That was the feeling in the building this past week. Our staff and students were so happy to be reunited and resume in-person learning together. The new routines and expectations have been embraced by all as a shared responsibility to keep one another safe and healthy.
Thank you to all families for reviewing the Re-entry Plan and preparing students for the new school year. Continued parent support with the following will help us to minimize risk to members of our school community:
- Please complete the COVID Self-Assessment Screener each morning before sending your child to school. If your child is sick, please keep them at home and call the Health Link at 811 for next steps.
- The playground is closed before and after school. This CBE directive is to minimize the number of close contacts for students. Students continue to have access to the playground with their class cohorts during the day.
- Students can arrive at school between 8:20 and 8:30 am and enter through their designated door. Please come to school on time.
- Sending an extra mask with students is helpful. Some students may want to change their mask after lunch.
The generosity of our community is amazing! In the past week, we have received donations of cloth masks and new water bottles. If you need any of these items, please reach out to your child's classroom teacher.
We are optimistic for a great year of learning ahead. Thank you for your positive energy and encouragement.
Principal, Belfast School
Dear Belfast Families,
We have come to the end of an
incredibly unique school year. I want to extend a sincere thank you to
parents/guardians for your continued support, patience, and compassionate
understanding through this unprecedented school year.
On Thursday June 25th, we were
pleased to have our Grade 6 students return to Belfast to bid farewell.
If you drive by the school, you will see the amazing stars they personalized
attached to the fence; a legacy item that represents the gifts each student
shared with our learning community in their time at Belfast. A big thank you to
Righteous Gelato for their donation of gelato to each of our graduates.
Our vegetable garden is in full
bloom at the school. We will be harvesting some fresh produce soon to share
with our Belfast families. If you happen to be by the school this summer,
please feel welcome to use the watering cans and the rain barrel (disguised as
a green compost bin) to give the plants some water. Drop our fabulous
garden manager, Roxanne, a quick e-mail to let her know you have stopped by so
she doesn't make the trip herself. email@example.com
Alberta Education is committed to
providing the final plan for re-entry to school no later than August 1,
2020, to allow school authorities time to make any additional adjustments to
their own planning for the new school year. The CBE will provide all schools
with the guidance and safety procedures to follow to provide a safe re-entry
for our students.
The school re-entry plan for
ECS-12 schools considers three scenarios that could exist when the 2020-2021
school year begins in September:
- In-school classes resume (near
normal with health measures)
- In-school classes partially
resume (with additional health measures)
- At-home learning continues
(in-school classes are suspended/cancelled)
All plans are grounded in the
following four principles that were established by government in collaboration
with education partners:
- The safely of children students
and staff comes first.
- Children and student learning
- Provincial funding is still
flowing to schools.
- School authorities have
flexibility to do what is best for their community.
Updated re-entry information will
be shared by the system in late August.
We are pleased to welcome back to
Belfast all of our amazing teachers in the fall. At this point in time,
our school will be organized as follows:
Kindergarten AM and Fine
Arts: Mr. Symington
Grade 1/2: Ms. Fraser, Ms. Pynn, Mr. Ursenbach
Grade 3/4: Ms. Austman, Ms. Medland, Ms. Posadas
Grade 5/6: Ms. Ayer, Ms. Weber (returning from leave in February), Ms.
Families wiil be notified of
class placements in late August prior to the start of the school year.
On behalf of all
staff, we wish you a safe, fun-filled summer!
Dear Belfast Families,
Two more weeks of remote learning
lie ahead before the summer break. In your child's Google Classroom are
instructions for Art
Attack #3: a Broadway inspired performance task. We
would LOVE to have everyone submit a short entry so we can compile a great video
to represent and celebrate our Belfast community. The deadline for
submissions is June 20th.
In honour of summer solstice,
Elder Saa'kokoto will be sharing traditional Blackfoot teachings virtually from
aisinai’pi (Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park). Be there for yourself as we
start the day in gratitude and self-reflection. All CBE staff and families are
welcome to join. When | June 18 Time | 6:00 am – 7:00 am Where | Join Microsoft
Teachers have gathered and bagged
each student's work and remaining belongings. There are still many shoes to be
claimed! For Wednesday June 17, Thursday June 18 and the morning of June
19th parents can sign-up for a time in Conference Manager (through Powerschool)
to come to the school gym and collect items. The booking system is
now open. Times will be staggered to support social distancing and
hand sanitizing will be expected as you enter the school. If the school
lent you a CBE IPad, it is kindly requested that parents return the technology
to the school next week when you come to pick up your child's work. Any
belongings that remain after the 19th will be stored until the fall.
Report cards will be available
online through Powerschool on June 26, 2020.
Finally, we want to extend a huge
thank you to all of our Belfast volunteers. Your support with field
trips, reading, School Council, fundraising, productions, art residencies, the
garden and so much more is invaluable! The link was sent earlier today,
but we have a few more beautiful students sending their warm wishes in this
updated version. Thank
you Belfast Volunteers!
Have a lovely weekend!
Jacqueline and Jana
Dear Belfast Families,
We are on the home stretch!
Three more weeks of EXCITING learning ahead before the summer. We will
be announcing some virtual spirit days for the month of June in your child's
Google Classrooms. Stay tuned!
With the nice weather and summer
on the horizon, we have noticed that many students are not attending the
Google meetings with their teachers. These meetings are an opportunity
for your child to receive small group instruction on some key outcomes and
have a chance to connect with a few peers. The meetings are brief
(20-30 minutes in length) and one of the best ways for teachers to be able to
assess your child's learning needs. We appreciate your efforts to help
your child attend for three more weeks.
The online Budget and Fees Engagement
survey is open until 4 pm on June 8th. Your feedback is important and
considered as we make decisions for next year. Thank you for taking the
time to complete the survey.
At the beginning of the year,
we collected a $10 incidental lunchroom fee. During the year, the fee
was used to pay for outdoor recess equipment, activities for indoor lunch
days and consumables in the lunchroom (i.e. plastic utensils). We
will be spending the remaining funds left over this year to rejuvenate the
compound games on the school tarmac, purchase some physical education
equipment and a few supplies for the lunchroom. We hope the students
will be able to enjoy the activities on the compound this summer.
Stay safe and enjoy a lovely
Jacqueline and Jana
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