Jun 29
Principal Message June 2022

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 jlbelcher@cbe.ab.ca

 

 

With warmth,

Jacqueline Belcher

​ 

Oct 25
Happy 2021-2022 School Year!

​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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jacqueline Belcher, Principal 


Jun 29
Year End Message

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 gains.  

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.

With gratitude,

Jacqueline Belcher

Sep 08
Welcome Back!!!

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jacqueline Belcher

Principal, Belfast School​


Jun 29
Belfast Year-end Message

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. rmstarr@cbe.ab.ca

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 will continue.
  • 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. El-Guebaly/Ms. Plosz

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!​
Jun 17
June 12

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 Teams Meeting

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​
Jun 09
Belfast Parent Update June 5

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 weekend!

Jacqueline and Jana

May 29
Budget & Fee Engagement May 29, 2020

Dear Belfast Families,

We know we make better decisions to support student learning when we build understanding and work together. The attached survey contains information about the CBE budget and how we develop our own school budget and establish school fees for some services and activities. Through the survery, you will have the opportunity to share your perspectives on school budget and school fees.  

The online survey is now open and will remain open until June 8, 2020 at 4 pm.  Results from the survey will be shared on the school website by June 30, 2020.

Belfast Budget and Fees Survey

Have a lovely weekend in the sunshine!

Jacqueline and Jana​
May 27
Belfast Parent Update May 23

Dear Belfast Families,

 

The world is currently experiencing a global shared educational moment that required rapid shifts into new ways of teaching and learning. We know staff, students and parents all have many questions about how long this period will last and what a return to school may look like. While many things are uncertain now, I know collectively we will be able to implement a plan that supports student learning, well-being and maintains safety.

 

At this time, schools have received information about their budget allocations for the 2020-2021.  We know we make better decisions to support student learning when we build understanding and work together. That’s why we’ll be sharing information about the CBE budget and how we develop our own school budget and establish school fees for some services and activities through an upcoming online engagement opportunity.

During this online engagement opportunity, you will have the opportunity to:

  1. 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
  • How we establish school fees for some activities and services
  1. Participate
    • Share your perspectives on school budget and school fees
    • Active online engagement will be open from May 29, 2020 to June 8, 2020.

We’ll send you a link to the online engagement and post on our website next week.

 

We will be hosting a virtual Belfast School Council Annual General Meeting on Monday June 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm.  As part of the meeting, elections will be held for vacant council positions.  More information will be posted soon on the Council website, with details on how to participate in the virtual meeting sent to all families by School Messenger closer to the date.

 

Finally, plans are underway to recognize and celebrate our Grade 6 students moving on to new schools in the fall. The event will take place June 25, 2020. We will be combining some elements of tradition and with a little bit of fun.  Stay tuned for more information!  Students are currently choosing the theme for the day.

 

Wishing everyone a restful, sunny weekend ahead.

 

Jacqueline and Jana

May 11
Previous Principal Messages

​(March - April Messages) 

Small Group Support

We are looking ahead to several more weeks of Ongoing Learning. We know that the online format can be challenging for some of our learners, and appreciate the adaptations you are doing at home support your child.  In this period of remote learning, our primary goal is to maintain connections with students and keep them engaged in some learning.

Beginning Thursday, we will be shifting the focus of our Google Meet times.  Teachers will be organizing small group opportunities to connect with students, provide mini-lessons and instruction to help students in literacy and math.  Students will be invited to two lessons a week by their teacher for approximately half an hour.  Teachers will be contacting families with their group times in the next few days. As a school we will do our best to ensure that siblings are not scheduled to meet with their teacher at the same time, as we know sharing technology can be a challenge.

If students have questions about assignments, please continue to e-mail the teacher and they will be sure to connect and support on an individual basis as well.

We would also like to welcome back Ms. Austman to Room 10 and our Educational Assistant, Ms. Churchman to Belfast School. 

 

Important French information

At the March 9, 2020 School Council meeting we had a discussion with parents about the challenges and opportunities we face when offering French as a Second Language programming to our students.  As we are planning for next year, and in light of the current pandemic, we believe it will be best to discontinue offering the French as a Second Language course to Grade 3-6 students in the 2020-2021 school year.

 

The following points provide a rationale for our decision:

  • Students have missed many days of regular school instruction. Our work upon return to school will be to assess student learning and make a plan to address any learning gaps.  Students that are registered in an FSL program are expected to receive 90 minutes of French instruction a week. These 90 minutes will be best used to support students with essential learning outcomes in literacy and mathematics after this period of remote learning.
  • As a school, we can create extra-curricular opportunities for students i.e. a French Club, where interested students can participate and gain exposure to a new language. 
  • We do not receive additional funds at the school if we offer French as a Second Language.  This decision will not impact staffing or next year’s budget.

 

This decision required careful consideration of our priorities at this time. Please contact Jacqueline Belcher, Principal, at jlbelcher@cbe.ab.ca with any feedback or questions. 

 

Update about School availability

I hope this message finds you and your children in good health and good spirits.  The staff continue to miss the regular connections with students and appreciate all you are doing to maintain learning and routine as best you can.  While classes are cancelled, office staff continue to be in the school during school hours.  Feel welcome to give the school a call with any needs or questions.

We are in the midst of planning for next year.  In this time of a pandemic we are not able to process registrations in person at the school.  There is an online process in place for new registrations posted on the CBE website.  If you have not yet registered your Kindergarten child for the fall, now would be a great time!  If you need any assistance, please give Belfast School a call; we are happy to help.

Registration

For all of us right now, there are good days and days that can be described as "blah." We hope this video will bring a smile today: I don't want to wash my hands!

 

Helpful hints for On-Line Learning

As this period of ongoing learning at home continues, we recognize that pressures on families continue to build. Moving forward, as we assign the government mandated five hours of work per week we are open and willing to make modifications to the tasks to meet the needs of each student. It is common practice for teachers in a classroom setting to adjust task expectations on the fly based on observations of the student engaging with the work. At this time, we are all emergency teaching and learning; there is no expectation for parents to recreate the school experience at home.

 

These suggestions may help to reduce stress and support learning in the home environment:

 

Chunk the activities: Attention span can change throughout day; be mindful of the cues that your child may need a break. Break up activities into smaller amounts.

Use a timer Help your child set time limits for tasks.  It is acceptable to submit a partially completed assignment; students will not be penalized.  We understand students all work at different paces and task completion may also look different for each student in the class.  

Reach out: If you or your child need help or are feeling overwhelmed, please contact the teacher. Google Meeting times are great opportunities to get teacher support, but an e-mail to the teacher to set up a phone call also works.

Wellness:  Remember to include activities that you and your child enjoy together in your daily schedule. Include your child, as able, in everyday activities, to promote connection (e.g. making a meal, walking the dog, putting away the laundry, etc.). Remember that parent well-being is equally important to child well-being; be kind to yourself!

Supplemental resources

There are many supplemental resources available online to support learning at home. For support with math, the website https://thegetitguide.com is a good resource for math tutorials. Students can choose a topic related to their assigned math work i.e. calculating the circumference of a circle, and access a slideshow and instructional video to understand the concept in greater depth.

This week you will also see a fine arts assignment in your child’s Google classroom. This assignment is optional and will not be assessed, but could be a nice way to break out of routine this weekend with your family. 

Finally, the CBE has made the decision to cancel all graduation and year-end celebrations for this year.  As a school, we will have an online farewell for our Grade 6 students. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

We are slowly transitioning to a new way of delivering content in literacy and math to our students.  We are learning as we go, and trying to make thoughtful adjustments to support you at home. In our planning, we recognize the pressures you are facing and want to allow for flexibility and high levels of support during the school day.

 

There are three components to the school-wide learning plan.

Google Classroom

Every Thursday, teachers will post an average of 5 hours of work for literacy/math under the tab that says “Classwork.”  This tab will have instructions for the assignment and may contain some videos recorded by the teacher to support understanding.  The work can be accessed and completed anytime that works best in your family’s schedule. Teachers will not be running live lectures for students. Teachers will explain in the lesson plan how students can submit the work.

 

Google Meet

Each teacher will have a scheduled hour each day for “office hours” (half hour blocks on Friday).  This is a drop-in time when students can ask their teacher questions about the work. It is not a time when teachers are delivering a formal lesson. As such, students would drop in, ask clarifying questions and then leave the meeting. Participation is not mandatory. We have staggered meeting times to help families that are sharing devices at home. This week’s meetings were social to allow students to reconnect with the teacher and one another. To access google meet, students go to meet.google.com and enter their classroom name (posted in their Google Classroom for reference).

 

Office Hours for: Google Meet

Times

Days

Class Rooms

 

MONDAY-THURSDAY

 

9:00-10:00

 

10 &  3AM

10:00-11:00

 

8 & 7

11:00-12:00

 

1 &  11

LUNCH TIME

 

NO CLASSES

1:00-2:00

 

4 & 3PM

2:00-3:00

 

5 & 6

 

FRIDAY

 

9:00

 

10 & 3AM

9:30

 

8 & 7

10:00

 

1

10:30

 

11

11:00

 

4

11:30

 

5 & 6

12:00

 

3PM

 

 

Individualized Support

Teachers are available during regular school hours to support students.  Send the teacher an e-mail if you need help, and they will either respond by e-mail or set up a time to connect by phone or video chat through Google Meet. Messages that are sent in the evening will receive a response the next day.

 

Please do reach out to us if you are needing support. This is big learning for all of us as we adjust to new ways of working, but we are in this together.

 

Introduction of Google Classroom

As we move to at home learning, we will be using the Google Classroom platform as a school to deliver content and assignments.  Please see the attached letter with additional information.

Communication-Google-Classroom-Meet-Parent-Consent.pdf ​

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A new principal had been announced for Belfast School! Visit our website for more information: https://t.co/LA3eGz28oQ Congratulations Jaqueline Belcher we are so excited to have you join us! #belfasty @CBEArea3

Wonderful to relive an amazing performance! #belfasty https://t.co/XlRFKX2dt8

RT @Loriholford: Assembly to kick off #Belfast’s #Earthday #WeCare community initiative and end of year wind up. @Dana_C_Fraser Thank you @BelfastCBE !! https://t.co/8rTHj8MmLU

RT @Loriholford: Our #Belfasty Earth Day was a big success @BelfastCBE read the story on our website https://t.co/QRnWiL2xgB Thanks #WeCare for your leadership! https://t.co/kd5vAO085D