Dec 22
December 2022

Good afternoon Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,

In the deep cold of the winter solstice, we begin our trek back to summer.  Today, there were three more seconds of daylight than yesterday!  We hope you will stay warm, enjoy the gifts of winter, and treasure family time over the holidays.  We wish you all the blessings of the season and look forward to the opportunities that will unfold in the new year.  See you on Monday, January 9, 2023!

Take good care,


Oct 03
October 2022

​Good morning Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,

As September comes to a close, we're taking time to reflect on all that we've accomplished and we're looking ahead to October. 

At a total of 668 students, BRS is the biggest we've ever been.  We have welcomed approximately 250 new students!  We've also welcomed new teachers and support staff.  Everyone has been getting to know each other and building routines that support such a busy building. 

It has been a busy month for school events.  On the first day of school, grades 1-5 met on the school field for an opening assembly. Last Tuesday, we were all outside for the Terry Fox Run.  Thank you to the parent volunteers who supported the run – we couldn't have done it without you!  We were so excited to have the building full of families last Thursday night.  It was great to reconnect in person.  We've also recognized two important days this month: last week all students participated in a virtual assembly on the National Day of Mourning and this week everyone has been focussed on the upcoming National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. We've also successfully completed our first fire drill and our first lockdown practice; learning to keep ourselves and each other safe is very important.  While each of these whole school events is important to meet specific learning objectives, they also provide opportunities for students to function together as large group. 

Last week, Mrs. Neufeld and I met with the BRS School Council and the BRS Parent Association to discuss important school issues and make some plans for this year.  The Annual General Meetings of both groups will be on Tuesday, October 25 here at the school.  It will be one of the few in-person meetings of the year as most will remain online.  We will circulate the agenda in advance and hope many of the parents will join us.  For a number of years, the School Council and the school have been involved with the City and the Calgary Police Service to address traffic safety.  Many of you have noticed the new cross walk that has been installed as a result of that work.  Thank you to everyone who has advocated for enhanced traffic safety measures and thank you to everyone who chooses safety over convenience and obeys the traffic safety laws.  A few things the Parent Association is busy organizing are spirit wear and fun lunch.  Look for information about both in the days to come.

During this morning's announcements, I borrowed words from our Governor General Her Excellency Mary Simon, delivered last Friday on our National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, “What will you do today, tomorrow, and everyday, to be part of a better Canada, one that reflects us all?"  As we take what we've learned in September and build on it throughout the year these words, filled with the action of reconciliation, will guide our next steps.

Take good care,


Aug 31
August 2022

Good morning Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,

We hope you have enjoyed the gifts of summer!  While the weather has not given any indication that fall is on the horizon, we are preparing to welcome students back to school tomorrow. 

Students in grades one to five begin school on Thursday, September 1 at 8:00 am.  At approximately 4:00 this afternoon, you will receive a letter from your child's teacher, outlining some basic information about the class, including where to meet tomorrow morning.  Please plan to arrive at school at 7:50 a.m.  The teachers will be outside at the designated meeting points.  Plan to say goodbye to your child(ren) outdoors; teachers will take the students inside at 8:00 am.

Students in kindergarten attend school either Thursday or Friday for the one-hour time of staggered entry.  Kindergarten families were sent the staggered entry schedule at the end of June and an updated schedule was sent yesterday afternoon.  There will not be any changes to the staggered entry schedule.  There may still be movement of students on the AM waitlist early next week.  Regular kindergarten hours begin on Tuesday, September 6.

All school supplies are provided at school.  Students need indoor shoes, a back pack, their lunch, and a healthy snack.  Please keep all toys at home; they are not to come to school.  Please use our BRS website for more information.  Please pay particular attention to our nut- and scent-aware policies.

​Take good care,


Mar 10
March 2022

​Good afternoon Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,

We are looking forward to meeting with parents today and tomorrow for Parent-Teacher Conferences.  Please connect with your child(ren)'s teachers on Microsoft Teams at the scheduled time.  We encourage you to include your child(ren) in the conversation about their learning.  Among our School Development Plan (SDP) goals is increasing students' confidence, persistence, and independence.  Being included in the conversations that celebrate their accomplishments and identify next steps in learning helps students achieve these SDP goals.

Thank you to the parents who participated in our annual parent survey.  We shared and discussed the survey results at our School Council Meeting last week.  A PDF of the survey presentation is in the sidebar of the About Us - Our School tab of the BRS website.  One key observation of the survey data was the alignment of parents' and teachers' opinions about SDP and school spending priorities.  Our home-school partnership is a key element of student success.  Further to the survey results, we shared some of the mathematics problem solving tasks students are addressing and the problem solving strategies students are learning.  At the next meeting, we will focus on our writing goal.

Last Friday, the Minister of Education, two of our CBE Trustees, and our Area 2 Director visited Buffalo Rubbing Stone School to see Alberta Education's Learning Disruption Funding at work.  As we reported in the School Council Meeting, this additional funding has provided important learning opportunities for our students and staff.  We are seeing strong progress in reading and math resulting from this intervention.  The Minster was pleased to see the impact this funding is having on our learners.  As she toured the school, she commented on the beautiful art in our hallways and had the opportunity to speak with one of our grade 5 students about the important role of our EES students in our school community.  At the Board of Trustees Meeting earlier this week, trustees commented on the positive experiences they had at BRS including the opportunity to observe strong learning routines, the strategic use of instructional materials, and the creative use of learning spaces.  It is always a privilege to share our learning with others.  It is important for students to articulate their learning and explain their thinking to others.  They enjoyed the opportunity to discuss their learning with our guests.

Please remember that clocks spring ahead this weekend as we move to daylight saving time.  Next week will be filled with important learning before we pause for some rest and rejuvenation during spring break, the week of March 21.

Take good care,


Dec 07
December 2021

Good afternoon Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,

After an extremely mild fall with lots of opportunity for outdoor learning, the snow has arrived and Winter Break is just around the corner.  In the colder weather, students are outside for breaks at recess and lunch, along with being outside for learning opportunities throughout the day.  It is essential students are dressed for the weather every day.

In November, we finalized our School Development Plan and School Improvement Results Report.  Both are available in the sidebar of the BRS website Our School > About Us tab.  We are pleased to report that intentional strategies to organize student thinking have resulted in increased achievement in the organization of student writing.  Our next step is to improve our editing skills.  Editing is a complex element of the writing process.  Students are learning to edit their work by reading it out loud and listening to themselves while they read.  They are learning to peer edit - reading for meaning and ensuring their understanding is what the author intended.  Teachers are conferencing with students to encourage the use of strong vocabulary and to achieve of the purpose of the writing task.  Beyond the “big" work of editing is the “nitty-gritty" work of spelling and sentence conventions that make writing more easily understood.  In math, learning is focussed on mathematical reasoning and problem solving.  Engaging with rich mathematical tasks that encourage conversation with peers and multiple ways to solve problems give math thinking purpose, develop persistence, and give cause for celebration and increased confidence when the problem is solved.  Rich tasks also demonstrate the need for good recall of basic facts, a foundational part of math thinking.  Well-being remains a focus as we connect with one another and walk together through our learning each day.  This fall, we have maximized the opportunities provided by sharing circles and talking sticks.  Learning from our Indigenous friends about this meaningful, traditional practice and making it an intentional part of all classroom learning is one more way we have been able to bring the school together while our COVID-19 protocols keep us in cohorts.  Our School Council is always part of these learning conversations.  Thank you to all parents who make time to join us for BRSSC meetings.  Your input helps direct our school decision making.

Thank you to all the parents and students who participated in November Conferences.  Teachers' opportunities to share student progress and achievement relative to the Programs of Study, IPP targets, and/or ESL Benchmarks with you and your child is an important part of the reporting process and a key element of improving student learning.  The CBE document How is My Child Doing in School? provides families with information about our communication and reporting practices.  The next opportunity for formal communication will be the report card at the end of January.  The video Assessment & Reporting in the CBE:  K-9 Proficiency Scale explains the indicators teachers use to report student achievement.  New this year are the summative assessments reported in PowerSchool.  Summative assessments are conducted at the end of a learning cycle.  They are a snapshot of achievement that comprise a small part of the overall body of evidence that teachers consider when assigning report card marks.  Report card comments are strength-based, focussing on what students can do and their next steps for learning.  We deeply value the home-school partnership and the impact our communication has on learning.

Finally, thank you to the Buffalo Rubbing Stone Parent Association.  While the School Council helps direct our decision making and learning enhancements, the Parent Association helps pay for all the extras that happen at BRS.  If your child has loved inline skating, you have the BRSPA to thank.  Inline skating was provided at no cost to families because the BRSPA paid the bill!  Many other enhancements including Mathletics, and a variety of resources for math, science, and literacy have been provided by the BRSPA.  The Association's biggest fund raiser is coming up on December 15 and 16.  If you haven't already volunteered and you'd like to see these enhancements continue, please go to the BRSPA Casino sign up genius

As we near the Winter Break and prepare for the family time we will have, I wish you season's greetings of peace and joy, and all the best in the New Year.



Oct 04
October 2021

Good afternoon Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,

I am always amazed by how quickly September flies by.  I treasure the first days of school as students find their way, get to know their teachers and classmates, and build the foundation of what will be a great school year.  Our first conferences of the year gave teachers the opportunity to get acquainted or reacquainted with parents and build the important parent-teacher partnership.  We know when parents are involved in their children's education, student achievement is enhanced.  As we head into October, teachers are determining student strengths and planning engaging ways to address curriculum.

This year, we are looking forward to building on the learning of last year.  We will continue our focus on writing and mathematics and we will be introducing a new program to support our youngest learners with beginning reading skills.  While our School Development Plan is a living document that is revisited throughout the school year, October is the month we consider the accomplishments of last year, determine our baseline data for the fall, and make plans for the school year ahead.  The School Development Plan will be a focus at our School Council Meeting on October 28.  We always appreciate hearing feedback from parents regarding the learning priorities we set.

As part of our learning and along the path of truth and reconciliation, this week we renamed our learning communities and began researching Alberta animals important in the Indigenous Community.  The classes in the east wing of the school (Ms. Shaw, Ms. Balcers, Ms. Dorsey, Ms. Hodgins, and Ms. Shephard) are the Eagles.  The classes in the south wing (Ms. McIsaac, Ms. Craig, Ms. Wong, Ms. Johnson, Ms. Ayerst, and Ms. Montgomery) are the Wolves.  The classes in the west wing (Ms. Scott, Ms. Koskimaki, Ms. Derby, Ms. Rojas, Ms. Sweet, and Ms. De Jesus) are the Beavers. And the classes in the central part and north wing of the school (Mr. Bent, Mr. McEachern, Ms. Kollee, Ms. Straiton, Ms. Boudreault, Ms. Gallant, Ms. Clark, Ms. Plimmer, and Ms. Melissa) are the Bears.  Of course, at Buffalo Rubbing Stone, we are all Buffaloes!!  This work is just beginning.  We are excited about our new community groups.

We're also excited about Spirit Wear!!  At the School Council and Parent Association Meetings last Tuesday, it was decided to offer spirit wear again this year.  We hope to have an announcement soon… stay tuned!

The COVID-19 pandemic response continues to guide many of our school protocols.  High impact risk mitigation strategies including mandatory masking, hand sanitizing, and respiratory etiquette, along with dedicated entry and exit doors, directional hallways, enhanced cleaning, and cohorting all contribute to our collective good health.  Our protocols continue to evolve at the direction of Alberta Health Services (AHS), Alberta Education, and the CBE.  New this week, AHS is asking schools to record specific symptoms of illness.  When your child is ill and unable to attend school, please include your child's symptoms when you call the office to report the absence.  This information will help AHS monitor trends and further mitigate risk.

Take good care,

​Allison E.G. Bobenic


Jun 30
Farewell 2021

Good morning Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,

As we look at the 2020-2021 school year in the rear-view mirror, I hope there are many memories that make you smile and demonstrate our resilience as a school community.

Since bidding our students farewell on Monday at noon, teachers have reviewed the many accomplishments of the year and have already started planning for next year.  Among the identified accomplishments are increased student achievement in writing, and increased student perseverance and confidence.  These were the areas of focus in the first of three years in our School Development Plan.  We will continue this work next year, growing from the strong foundation laid this year.  We also have seen increased student achievement in mathematics.  The school investment in the MathUP curriculum resource and the BRS Parent Association investment in Mathletics have been important factors in student success (yes, the pun is intended!!)  Thank you to the BRS School Council and the BRSPA for your commitment to student success!

Since our farewells last Thursday, we have had two changes:  Mrs. Hill and her family are moving to Vancouver Island so we've had to say goodbye to her.  We thought we were saying goodbye to Mrs. Thompson but we have been able to hire her to continue with us next year. 

Saying goodbye is always hard and saying hello is always exciting.  To those of you leaving BRS, we will miss you and we wish you well.  We look forward to meeting new friends in the fall.

Thank you for a very memorable school year – the challenges presented by the pandemic were substantial yet we faced the challenges and experienced a successful school year because we have a strong learning community.  Students, I hope you've had a chance to reflect on your hard work and everything you've learned.  Please be certain to thank your parents for all they have done to support your learning – not just this year but every year.  Finally, I hope you feel proud of your accomplishments; I know your teachers, Mrs. Neufeld, and I are proud of you!  

Have a wonderful summer!


Mrs. Bobenic​

Jun 03
June 2021

Good afternoon Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,


June is always an exciting month.  Tonight we will welcome our new kindergarten families at our annual Welcome to Kindergarten meeting.  Over the next few weeks, we will be finalizing and celebrating the important learning that has transpired this year.  On June 25, students will meet together online for our annual farewell assemblies.  The grade five farewell will be recorded and posted in the grade five google classrooms for parents to enjoy.  It will be available until June 30.  We hope to invite parents into the school again next year.


At the BRS School Council meeting last week, we shared the results of the School Budget and School Fees Survey and the School Development Plan Survey.  This information is posted in the sidebar of the BRS website School Council tab.  We also shared our anticipated 2021-2022 organization for learning.  It is as follows:

            Kindergarten – 4 classes of approximately 20 students each

            Grades 1&2 – 10 classes of approximately 21 students each

            Grades 3&4 – 10 classes of approximately 23 students each

            Grade 5 – 4 classes of approximately 27 students each

            EES – one class of approximately 9 students


At this time of year, there is a great deal of predicting that impacts our organization for learning.  Our student population in September will either confirm our predictions or require us to reorganize.  Families will receive a letter from their child(ren)'s teacher late in the afternoon on Tuesday, August 31 with information about where to meet on the first day of school.  Teaching assignments and class lists frequently change over the summer so no information is available before August 31. 


The 2021-2022 School year will begin on Wednesday, September 1.  Our 2021-2022 school calendar will be posted on the BRS website calendar tab in the next few days.  Our school hours will remain the same for students in grades one through five and for students in EES.  Kindergarten hours have been been adjusted by a few minutes (AM class: 8:00 – 10 51 am / PM class: 11:48 am – 2:40 pm)


Following the discovery of 215 lost lives at the former Kamloops Residential School, our students and staff have recommitted ourselves to learning and speaking the truth of residential schools and building understandings that lead to reconciliation.  With funding from the BRS Parent Association, we had purchased print resources that support this work.  The new books arrived last week and are already being used.  The Calgary Board of Education – Indigenous Education Team has provided schools with learning resources as well.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action explicitly address our role as educators:  “63. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including: i. Developing and implementing Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history, and the history and legacy of residential schools."  All year, we have infused Indigenous Ways of Knowing in all curricular areas, honouring our belief that we all have important contributions to make when building understandings of our world.  This work is ongoing as we endeavour to build relationships in a good way.


As we review the good work of this year and plan for what lies ahead next year, we are always grateful for our partnership with BRS parents.  We have much to accomplish in the next three weeks and look forward to sharing student achievement on report cards at the end of the month.


Take good care,

Allison E.G. Bobenic, Principal​

May 13
May 2021

Good morning Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,

I'm hearing from teachers that although they would prefer being at school with our students, they are very impressed with how much the students have progressed in their ability to learn online.  They are navigating Google Meets and Google Classroom well.  Often times students are helping their classmates with tech issues, just one more example of working together as a learning community.  The pandemic has necessitated new ways of learning.  Our students are learning to be flexible thinkers and to make changes quickly, to solve problems in new ways, to work together, and to keep themselves and each other safe.  They are resilient.  As they build new skills and use those skills to persevere and succeed, their confidence grows.  Increasing persistence and confidence is part of our School Development Plan (SDP).  Over the next week of online learning, I encourage you to step back and observe what your child(ren) are able to do in an online environment.  Then think back to March 2020 when in-school classes were cancelled.  Wow!!  We have all learned so much.  While I don't think any of us expected we would be managing the pandemic this long and while I certainly hope we are nearing its end, I think it's important to honour our accomplishments and determine what parts of this experience need to be maintained.  I'm looking forward to building a new post-pandemic normal!

The variety of online learning tools available to our students is a big advantage.  I know I've said it before, it bears repeating; thank you to the BRS School Council and the BRS Parent Association for supporting learning enhancements including Mathletics and Raz Kids.  These online tools are expensive.  We depend on parent fundraising to pay for them.  As these are annual subscriptions, they are avaible in the summer as well.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Budget and Fees Survey.  We will share the results at the BRS School Council Meeting on Thursday, May 27.  Thank you also to the people who have completed the BRS School Development Plan Survey; it will be open until next Thursday and its results will similarly be shared at the May School Council Meeting.  I deeply appreciate the opportunity to discuss ideas at our School Council and Parent Association meetings.  The surveys give all parents an opportunity to participate in the dialogue.  Following our conversation at the last meeting, the BRSSC has invited our CBE Trustee Althea Adams to join us on May 27.  If you have specific questions or issues you would like her to address, please email them to me before Thursday, May 20.  We hope you will join us on Microsoft Teams at 6:30 pm.

​Finally, at BRS we try to recognize events people in our community cherish. We have been privileged to share in the joy of Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Lunar New Year, Easter, and now we wish our community Eid Mubarak as many celebrate Eid Al-Fitr.  

Please continue reporting cases of COVID-19 to me.  Your information is used in confidence and helps us keep our community safe.  We miss you and we are hopeful that in-person learning will resume on Tuesday, May 25.

Take good care,

Allison E.G. Bobenic, Principal

Apr 07
April 2021
Good afternoon Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,

I hope our brighter, warmer mornings and sunnier days are indications of beautiful spring weather ahead.  It seems many people had a restful spring break and are ready to make the last three months of the school year great!  We always plan for linear growth in student learning yet we often see exponential growth at this time of year.  All the hard work of the fall and winter comes to fruition in April, May, and June.

This week, we are reminding our students of the COVID-19 protocols in place to keep themselves and each other safe.  Please remind your children of the following AHS/CBE/BRS rules:

  • Use the AHS COVID-19 Checklist every day before coming to school and access the CBE website for other COVID-19 information
  • Enter and exit the school from your designated door only
    • Main door – deJesus, Rojas, Derby, Dorsey, Hodgins
    • East door (Portables) – Shaw, Doucette, Kollee, McEachern
    • Compound door – Straiton, Gallant, Clark, Plimmer, Hill
    • Playground door – McIsaac, Craig, Thomson, Gibson, Shepard, Montgomery
  • Wash or sanitize your hands when entering or exiting the building or a room in the building
  • Wear your mask properly at all times (other than during masks breaks)
  • Avoid large groups and be physically distanced even when outside
  • The playground is closed for the 15 minutes before and after school and is open to BRS students only during school hours.

These personal health measures, along with our school and classroom safety protocols, are important ways for us to mitigate risk.

In the spring, we always begin planning for the fall.  BRS is closed to only those families who live in our attendance area.  If you have moved during the school year or you will be moving over the summer, we are pleased to support your transfer to your 2021-2022 designated school for September.  Please contact the office so we can start the process.  The more accurate our attendance numbers are, the better able we are to plan for next year.  Similarly, your new school wants to be ready for your child's arrival.  Transfers to CBe-learn must be submitted by Friday, April 23.  CBE transfer forms need to be signed by the principal so it's important to contact me in advance of the deadline, if you are considering CBe-learn for your child(ren).  BRS hub students will be automatically enrolled in BRS (or Captain Nichola Goddard for grade 6) for in-person learning in September, unless parents indicate otherwise.

Another element of planning is engaging parents in important conversations through online surveys and school council conversations.  The Alberta Assurance Survey (formerly the Accountability Pillar Survey) was sent by Alberta Education to parents of our grade four students in late March.  This survey elicits parent, student, and teacher perceptions of the education students receive at Buffalo Rubbing Stone School; it is specific to your experience with our school.  Responses range from “very satisfied" to “very dissatisfied."  One of the responses is “don't know."  “Don't know" counts as a negative response.  If you don't know but you don't want your response counted as negative, please use “not applicable" or leave the question blank.  Next week, I will be sending a School Budget and Fees Survey, again specific to our school.  We will discuss this survey at our BRS School Council meeting on Thursday, April 29.  We deeply appreciate the time you take to complete these surveys.  They provide an opportunity for you to share your thoughts and they inform our plans for next year.  Finally, we encourage all Albertans to examine the Alberta Education Draft Curriculum and provide feedback to the government at

Take good care,

​Allison E.G. Bobenic


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