Dear CJP Families;
The 2019-2020 school year is finally done. It is bittersweet to end the school year this way. I can speak on behalf of all staff – we LOVED seeing all of you walk, ride, drive by in our reverse parade – it was so sweet. It was bitter not to be able to high five, hug, and connect with each and every one of you as you went past. This school year has been one for the record books. I am happy it is over, yet, I worry about what is to come in the fall. We are all remaining optimistic and hopeful, knowing, together we can manage anything that is thrown our way.
June always brings both farewells and welcomes to our CJP team. This year, the farewells are particularly difficult. I believe Winnie the Pooh says it best: "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard". Today we say goodbye to many on our team. Their hard work, dedication, caring, and passion for children and education is evident in all they do! Mrs. Arnason, our administrative guru is retiring. Mrs. Arnason has been at CJP for 15 years, she will be missed! We know she will now be able to spend even more time relaxing on her deck, visiting with family, and enjoying the outdoors. Mrs. Jackson a Lunch Room Supervisor, has decided to explore other opportunities outside the CBE. Mrs. Wickerson, a member of our vision team, will be moving to another school to support vision students in their community school. Mrs. Hamel, our Behaviour Support Worker, will be sharing her incredible talents with another school in the CBE, yet to be determined. Ms. Youngblood has completed her temporary contracts with us. We know she will be a great addition to any school that is lucky enough to have her join their team. Mrs. McCullough will be joining the teaching team at Buchanan School to teach Kindergarten. We wish each and every one of our team who is leaving the very best on their journey.
June is also a time to welcome people to our team. We are so happy to welcome Ms. Jagger to our team. Ms. Jagger comes to us from Nose Creek Middle School. She will be a great addition to the Div. 2 team at CJP. Mr. Wan will also be joining our Div. 2 team on a temporary contract until Mrs. Wilpert returns from her maternity leave.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our parents for bringing their children to school (or the kitchen table) ready to learn and participate in school each day. To our staff, your dedication is so evident, thank you for always putting children first in all that you do. And to those who are always behind the scenes supporting and helping: our office staff, BSW, EAs, SAs, lunchroom supervisors, and Mr. Lam, thank you, your work does not go unnoticed.
Thank you for a wonderful school year. We appreciate that you shared your children with us each day. Enjoy your summer together and we look forward to welcoming everyone back into the school on Sept 1.
Please plan to check your email on Saturday August 29, when you will receive an email from your child's teacher introducing themselves and providing first day instructions.
Our school event calendar, with any and all information that we have confirmed for next year, is on our website. Please record all the dates now for your consideration throughout out 2020-2021 school year.
Grades 1 – 6
Your CJP Administrative Team
Leanne Bettesworth and Helen Sharpe
Grade 6 Students – We bid you farewell...
Grade 6s, you have made it to the final stretch, round the last corner and you are about to finish your elementary journey. Despite the covid-19 madness that swirls around us, you are moving on to new places, new challenges, new and great opportunities. We know, and families know; today you are disappointed, upset, and likely quite sad. This is not how the last few months of grade 6 at an elementary school was supposed to go. You have missed out on many fun opportunities and events – the farewell activities were only a small part of that experience. Most important to you, you have missed the opportunity to hang out with your friends, dream and plan together about your next step in education before you all head off into different directions and different schools. Many of you have spent the better part of 7 years here at CJP with these friends and there will be no formal farewell. However, you’ve got more role models, more road maps, more resources than the civil rights generation did. You’ve got more tools, technology and talents than my generation did. No generation has been better positioned to be great and remake the world. You are so well positioned for your next right step!
The CJP class of 2020 won’t be defined by what you lost to this virus but by how you respond to it, how you move forward. The world is yours, middle school is but weeks away, I can’t wait to see what you make of it.
I believe it is healthy to remember that your elementary years, your leadership and place within a school is temporary, you are just the author of one chapter in your school’s history: your aim must be to ensure it is a great chapter and actually so good that it sets up the next one to be even better and creates a legacy...”
It wouldn’t be a farewell speech without my favourite quote from my favourite bear. Winnie the Pooh said: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Thank you CJP Grade 6s for all you have contributed to our community here. CJP grade 6 class of 2020, the world has changed. Make us all proud! Be great in all you do.
Dear CJP Families;
This week marks 13 full weeks since our schools closed and our province went into lockdown. You have had your children home for more time now than you would if they were on summer holidays. You have protected, nourished, educated, supported and entertained your children during a period of national and international uncertainty and fear. You have experienced emotions for yourself and your family that you never knew existed, never mind experienced before. This is a long time.
Think about how you feel at the end of the summer holidays, how ready you are for routine, how badly your house needs cleaning, how much work you are ready to catch up on. Remember that exhausting feeling of having so little sleep, much less money and hearing ‘mom/dad’ every time you happen to sit down.
And you wonder why you were exhausted after all this time in lockdown?
You are amazing! You have achieved something no other parent ever has! You have faced this time unable to take your children or child anywhere, no parks, holidays to break up the boredom, no day trips, no family to help. On top of that you've juggled loneliness on a level never experienced before, information overload from the internet and emotional turmoil of not being able to see people you hold dear. Even getting food to eat has been a major drama! So it's okay to feel drained. It's okay to feel like you would sell your soul right now for 5 minutes alone. It's okay to feel uninspired about another day of home-schooling, another day of never-ending laundry and cooking.
It's okay to be so very tired.
It's a long time
But You have made it.
Be proud of yourself.
History will show you for your courage, your children will remember this period as a time knowing they were safe and loved and teachers everywhere are deeply grateful that you are there for your children when they should be but can't be.
In short: you are awesome!
And so are your children.
Have a spectacular weekend!
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
As we approach the end of June, the office at CJP gets very busy. If you are not certain if you will be returning to CJP in the fall, please give the office a call and let us know. Today, we anticipate all our students, aside from those who have connected with us to share their alternative plans, to be returning in the fall...however fall classes shall look.
Below are many opportunities for families to provide feedback or complete important registration opportunities for the fall:
Budget and Fees Engagement Survey
Please click on this link to provide CJP with valuable feedback on our school budget and our school fees. This survey will be open from today, Sunday June 7th, through until noon June 15th. We will share the survey results later in the month. We look forward to hearing your feedback. We will have other opportunitites in June and through the summer for families to offer suggestions, recommendations, and how they can support students and the school when returning in the fall - stay tuned!
School Re-entry Survey
With less than a month left in the current school year, planning is well underway for what the 2020-21 school year will look like for our students, staff and families.
Earlier this month, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced that the provincial government is considering three different scenarios when classes start again in the fall:
- A return to normal operations and routines in schools.
- Schools are partially re-opened, with some level of restrictions.
- Schools remain closed and students continue learning from home.
To help the CBE consider how we would respond to these three possible scenarios, we have launched surveys for families, students and staff. We encourage you to go online and provide your feedback by June 11, 2020. There is a survey for parents/guardians, as well as one for students. A summary of results will be shared by June 30, 2020.
Please help us plan yellow school bus routes for next year by pre-registering before June 14, 2020.
We know that there are many unknowns and we do not yet know what September will look like for return to school. We understand that you may not have finalized your decisions for September. However, if you do not pre-register by June 14, we will not include your address as bus routes are planned. It may take up to 4 weeks to add a bus stop for you, and congregated stop locations are only reviewed once per year. As a result, your stop location may be much further away from your home, as your address was not be included in the route planning. There is no requirement to pay at the time of registration, and there is no financial penalty if you register for bus service and cancel before the cancellation deadline. Currently only 47 students from CJP have registered for transportation. Please use your MyCBE/ Power School account to pre-register for transportation.
We Miss YOU! Check this out!
We are reminded daily of the silver lining, the amazing things happening all around us, we just need to look! History happened this weekend, with Bob and Doug (there was more than the names that connect this amazing accomplishment to Canada!) launching the SpaceX Dragon and successfully docking with the International Space Station. While this is absolutely incredible, so too is the dedication of many of our teachers who held classes early Saturday afternoon with their students so they could watch, celebrate and learn together. My bucket was full! I am constantly reminded of the incredible dedication of our CJP educators and the amazing desire to learn by so many of our students. Thank you to all who participated in Saturday school – a first for CJP. Something that would have never occurred if it weren’t for this pandemic!
For many students in Calgary, this weekend would have marked high school graduation festivities. Sadly, those events have been put on hold for so many of our graduates. We had to cancel all of the special festivities and celebrations planned for our grade 6 students who will be leaving CJP and heading to many special places for Middle School/ Jr. High School this fall. Our Div 2 team has made some alternative arrangements for a farewell acknowledgement. This information will be shared with families soon. Similarly, our entire staff has spent some time over the last few weeks preparing a special video for our families. This CJP Team video will be shared shortly with our community. It will be posted on the school web site this week. Check back often to be the first to see it! Feel free to share our video with friends!
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
Hello CJP families;
Important dates and information:
- CJP will not be holding orientation this spring. This includes Kindergarten, new students from the Hamptons, L&L Program students, and all other students who have made the decision to join our amazing school. We will be sharing more information in the weeks to come.
- All families will have an opportunity to provide the school with feedback related to school fees, school budget, and other operational parts of the school that involve school community involvement. This survey will be coming in the next two weeks.
- Friday, June 5 will be a Professional Development Day. There will be no emergency teaching and no on-line classes that day.
- Mrs. Arnason, our amazing Administrative Secretary, who has been with CJP for many, many years will be retiring at the end of the year. We are currently making plans for a modest celebration and acknowledgement of her contribution to the community. More information is coming soon!
- Registration for bussing is open. If you plan to use Southland Transportation next school year, please sign up for transportation so your location is taken into consideration when congregated stops are made. Please also note the increase in transportation fees. Registration closes June 14.
- If transportation fees are a barrier to your attendance at CJP next year, please call the school office so we may assist you with next steps. It is important we do this as soon as possible.
- If you have friends/ family/ neighbours who are attending CJP next year as a Kinder Family, please share with them the recent changes to transportation. Ask them to visit our web page or call the school for more information. If they are considering changing their plans for the upcoming school year, they need to do that as soon as possible.
- For a variety of reasons, the Out of School Care located within CJP will not be opening for the month of June. They will resume their services when CJP opens in the fall. They are available to contact via e-mail and telephone.
This time of year, we celebrate and say thank you to the women in our lives; mom, grandma, auntie, care giver, leader, friend! Thank you for all you do to enrich the lives of the children around you. Never doubt for a moment the impact you have in the lives of the children you interact with on a regular basis. Thank you for all you do to enrich the lives of our students. You are appreciated! Happy Mother’s Day!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
The tulips the grades 4 and 5 class planted in the fall are all coming up
There will be new artwork hanging in the hallways at CJP this fall
Enrollment at CJP for the fall is looking great
There will be an announcement by CBE about transportation next week
You can fill in the link below to have your voice heard about a re-entry plan for school
The office at CJP is open Mon-Fri during regular school hours
CJP shared computers with many families who needed technical support
CJP has connected many, many families with a reliable food source during the past 7 weeks
95% of all CJP students are participating in emergency learning online
We miss you!
Did you know this pandemic will have a silver lining? I believe it is bringing us together in ways we never thought possible. Thank you to everyone for all you are doing to continue to connect, continue to check in, continue to sit with your children, continue to smile and be present – thank you.
The sun is out, the weather has warmed up, spring has sprung and there is optimism in the Alberta air. We are hopeful the recent announcements from our Alberta government are signs the Covid-19 pandemic and state of emergency will end soon. We are busy planning our school calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. There has been no direction or discussion at the school level about how we will return to educating our youngest learners. As we learn more about what K - Gr 6 education will look like in the fall we will certainly share these informational pieces with you. We want to ensure all families, the safety of all our students and staff is our very first priority – always. When we are safe, we are better learners.
Thank you to all families for continuing to assist your children with navigating their online learning experience. We continue to appreciate the extra effort all families go to, to log their children onto google meets, enter classroom codes, and manage the new workload. We are grateful to all our families for allowing the google meets sessions to operate like a classroom in our school, as a place for children to learn, ask questions and interact. Please know teachers welcome parent/ guardian e-mails if you have a question or comment to share. Please continue to communicate to teachers via your e-mail address to their CBE e-mail addresses listed on our school website. This request is no different than what our families have always done in the past. Our teachers remain open to communicating with parents via e-mail and the phone, as we have always done.
Take good care and enjoy the sunshine!
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
Dear CJP Families,
I have been talking to families, teachers, support staff for weeks about being gentle on themselves. This week I took the liberty of being gentler on myself, hence the timing of this weekly message. I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we all work to find new ways to manage the stresses of the Covid 19 Pandemic. Today, this week, I want to celebrate our children. We have been so busy celebrating and applauding so many others integral to the efforts to self-isolate and tend to those who need care, I think we have forgotten to celebrate our children.
Our children have had their lives literally turned upside down. School is virtual, friends are only to be seen on a screen, playgrounds are closed, visits with extended family members had an abrupt ending, birthday parties and play dates are a distant memory, trips for ice cream, the library, the local pool or even the mall have all ceased. Spring sports, theatre events, trips to the zoo – all ended. Our children really are little heroes, too. They are missing grandparents, extended family, friends, and neighbours. They have lost their normal routines, the structure of their regular day. The “bigs” around them are more anxious, more worried and just a bit different from before. Give your little hero more cuddles, more one-on-one play time, and an extra dose of patience, flexibility and forgiveness. This pandemic is hard on them too.
If you are anxious about how to protect and nurture your children during this crisis – often juggling work from home obligations and emergency teaching to say the very least – you are in very good (virtual) company. I know, as I write this from home, with my 8 and 10 year old hovering, that we have a lot to figure out. From discussions with colleagues and paraprofessionals in the CBE I have learned a few key things that are valuable:
· Keeping a regular routine is key, even when you are home all day long.
o Consistency and structure is calming during times of stress. Be creative about new activities and exercise.
· Try to incorporate a new activity into your routine, like doing a puzzle, card games, a family game night, a walk around your neighbourhood looking for specific treasures like numbers in addresses, shapes in the landscape etc.
· Managing our own adult anxiety is another big piece to family success.
o Keeping grown-up worries in check, reducing the consumption of news programs about the pandemic, and reducing our conversations about grown-up fears and concerns to adult only times will assist our littles in navigating this uncertain situation.
· Continue to stay in touch virtually and on the telephone with family and friends.
o Socializing plays such an important role in regulating our mood and assisting us in staying grounded. This is also true for our children.
· Continue to make plans that are doable.
o It is so important to be proactive about what we can control.
o Make lists of things that are doable during this time, like meal plans, virtual play dates and telephone conversations, an evening walk, popcorn and a movie night.
· Continue to keep your children informed, but, keep it simple. Our children need to be informed, but they don’t need all the detail. That age-old tip: “Unless kids ask specific questions, there’s no reason to volunteer information that might worry them or cause undue anxiety.”
· Sometimes the path of least resistance is the right path.
· Be reasonable and kind with yourself and with your littles.
We all want to be our best parenting selves as much as we can, but sometime the best self is the one that says “Sure!” when the kids want an extra show they have been binge watching. My daughters have been watching “Nailed It” the entire time I have been writing this... I am not convinced their cooking skills will improve by watching an hour of “bake offs” on television. It is however the only reason I am able to write this! We really should forgive ourselves the image of perfection that we normally aspire to as parents, maybe your kids don’t get screen time on school nights, or bedtime is a strict 7PM. Now that school is on-line, we should give ourselves license to relax these boundaries just a bit. We can explain to our littles that this is a unique situation and reinstitute some of these boundaries once life returns to something more “normal.” Hug your loved ones close today and always. One day, we will have a story to tell about the great pandemic. Today, we need only be brave and socially distance. This too shall pass.
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
Thank you, families and community members, for all you are doing to ensure we are safe and well looked after during this pandemic. Our CJP community is diverse, we have doctors, nurses, care home workers, educators, transit drivers, supermarket employees, small business owners, entrepreneurs all working tirelessly to ensure we are well cared for and looked after these days (I know there are groups I have overlooked in that list – I apologize and do not intend to disappoint or upset anyone with my less than exhaustive list). We are also very grateful to those families who are staying home and heeding the directions of Dr. Hinshaw – thank you! We are so grateful to be surrounded by and supported by so many amazing people. Thank you for all you do to keep our children and our community safe!
Thank you to so many families who have taken the time to reach out to our team here at CJP. Your beautiful e-mails are forwarded and shared amongst our entire team. While nothing will replace the sound and sight of our students, your kind and supportive messages sure help to fill that void. These days, a kind gesture, any act of generosity and caring, sure goes a long way to influence and bring happiness. With three weeks of online teaching under our belts, know the learning curve is huge. We recognize that this learning curve is equally as huge for our students and families. Each day we receive updates and additional information from both the CBE and the Ministry that we are attempting to incorporate into our plans and teachings. We appreciate your patience, flexibility and understanding as we navigate this new way of teaching and learning, content delivery, and classroom management - together.
One of these ever-changing pieces of information is the definition of 5 hours of work for students. Early on in the pandemic, the Ministry of Education stated that teachers would “assign an average of 5 hours of work per student per week, and will expect to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials” in grades K-6. When the CJP team met, we determined this didn’t include instructional time, it was intended to imply 5 hours of tasks and assignments. There was no further expansion on this statement until this week. Early this week, the Ministry and the CBE further defined this 5 hours to include "all aspects of learning (e.g., teacher delivery of content, readings, activities, assessments) are included in these guidelines.” As a team we are currently exploring this avenue to determine how this new directive will change what we are currently doing. Please know, 5 hours of work for one student, is not 5 hours for another in the same grade, in the same class. All students are very different. This is where we depend on our parents to assist us with managing the workload and the assignments.
Families, you read this in my writings in previous weeks, you heard this from your teachers when they connected with you on the phone. Please do not stress yourselves or your children about their schoolwork. Please be gentle with yourselves and your children. Please do what you can, submit the tasks you choose to work on, submit the work you have spent all evening working on, even if it is not yet complete. Know we celebrate the work we receive; we will not mention the work we do not receive. We are all doing our best. In this period of emergency teaching, it is important for students and parents to determine what is best for their learner because we cannot see your children as we once did. We do not see their body language, their attention, their light-bulb moments. Nor do we see their struggles, their confusion, their frustration. We trust that you and your children are the very best judges of what is just right for them at that moment in time.
We are educators, teaching is our superpower. We promise we will meet your children where they are at in their learning when they next walk in our doors. We will teach them what they need to know. Please be gentle on yourselves and your children when it comes to their tasks and their learning. If you don’t get to all of the tasks and all of the “choice or extension” work, that is OK. If you miss an on-line session that is also OK. Do the best you can. Look after your precious babies, provide them with the emotional stability and support that they need and can only get from you. Share your calm, your strength and your laughter with your them. Together, we’ve got this.
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