Feb 21
February 2020

I hope everyone had a wonderful Family Day weekend. Our winter break seems so long ago already. We have had a month of many exciting events and transitions. Starting with our feeder school tours for incoming grades 5 and 7 on January 15th. We followed up with an Open House that evening. This was an opportunity for our prospective students and families to visit our school community to meet teachers and see students in action. We had over 300 students and parents in attendance at the open house. If you missed this evening and have questions, please feel free to contact us.


We celebrated the Lunar New Year on January 23rd with a dragon and lion dance to bring in the year of the Rat. We had an afternoon of festivities for all students and an evening program to finish off the day of celebration. We had over 450 guests in attendance for our performance. We would like to thank all the parents and Colonel Irvine alumni who volunteered their time to help make the day so successful. We also thank our students for their energy and support. Thank you to our staff members who devoted their time into ensuring another successful Lunar New Year celebration. It was a collective effort from all with special thanks to Ms. Litchfield and Ms. Zhao.


Reports cards were distributed at the end of January and all students were asked to complete a Report Card reflection. Students were asked to see what they could do to achieve success at school. Both Mr. Bylsma and I are looking forward to reading their thoughts. We held our second rounds of student/parent interviews on February 6th and 7th. If you were not able to connect with teachers at that time, please call or email. Parents are encouraged to log into PowerSchool on a regular basis to ensure that they stay current on their child’s progress.


We are in the midst of helping our grade 9’s register for grade 10 courses for next year. It is a reminder for parents to ensure that high school transfer forms are due March 15 should they wish to transfer out of their designated high school.


Our basketball season is also underway with four teams shooting and defending strong. Colonel Irvine students are welcome to come and support our teams during our home games. A parent or adult supervisor must accompany any student wanting to support our teams at other schools. Our coaches are not able to supervise students while coaching at away games.


Pink Shirt Day is Feb. 26. Wearing pink demonstrates an understanding of the importance of promoting healthy relationships and actively working toward creating learning and work environments that are safe where bullying behaviours cannot exist. We encourage all students and staff to wear pink to support anti-bullying.


I am very pleased to share that Ms. Elkhatib had a baby boy January 22. Both Mom and baby are doing well. In her absence, I would like to welcome Ms. Kim Vo as the newest Roadrunner Staff member to Colonel Irvine School. We are delighted to have her join our school learning community.


Bea Ko


Dec 20
December 2019

Season’s greetings! We are entering into the holiday season and with that comes the excitement and anticipation of the festivities associated with it. For many people, the coming of a new year provides us with an occasion to slow down long enough to reflect upon and to be thankful for those things that are important and dear to us. It also affords us an opportunity to look ahead with a renewed sense of optimism and hope and to dream about what could be in the world. It is at this time of year, perhaps more so than at other times, when we recognize the positive difference that we can make in the lives of others through generosity, good citizenship and graciousness.

In the Colonel Irvine school community, citizenship is alive and well. Our students, parents and staff continue to be actively involved in contributing to the creation of a better local and global community. This year is no exception as again we continue to undertake charitable initiatives such as the Mayor’s Food Drive in the weeks leading up to our winter break. These initiatives speak to the consideration and compassion that our school community extends to others less fortunate. We also wrapped up our Terry Fox fundraiser and I am very happy to share that we exceeded our goal of $2500.  Many thanks to our Student Council team who spearheaded our fundraising activities.  

On another note, the first Parent-Student-Teacher Interviews were in November and many parents visited with their child’s teachers to help promote the process of effective communication between home and school. Parents are also encouraged to check Power School on a regular basis to ensure that they stay current on their child’s progress at school. As always, if you have questions regarding your child’s performance, please contact their teachers. Email addresses for all teachers can be found on the school web site at http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/ColonelIrvine/Pages/default.aspx. Since the beginning of the school year, staff has been engaged in the process of school development work. The most current version of our school development plan, with priorities for the school year, is posted for your perusal on the school web site. The School Results Report for last year (2018-19) is also posted on the school web site. If anyone would like to talk to me about either of these documents, feel free to contact me at the school.

At this time, I’d also like to share some fantastic news with our school community.  Both of our temporary teachers, Ms. Jenny Le and Mr. Nicholas Wright will be receiving probationary contracts and staying with us until the end of this school year. Thank you to our parents who were so supportive and rallied around our staff through this time of uncertainty.

I would also like to thank our staff for volunteering their time for our sport teams and clubs that we have at Colonel Irvine School. I am so proud to be part of our school learning community that actively engage students in so many different ways.  As 2019 draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many parents and community members that encourage and support our students and staff. The successes that students experience at Colonel Irvine would not be possible without your assistance and generosity. On behalf of all staff, I extend wishes to the entire school community for a wonderful winter break and a happy, prosperous and peaceful 2020. I hope that this holiday season will be a time of peace and good will and that you will have an opportunity to spend as much of it as possible with family and friends.

Thank you for your continued support of our school community.

Bea Ko​

Nov 15
November 2019

I’d like to thank all the parents who came out for our school council meeting on Tuesday, November 12th.  We went over 2 important things, one being our school development plan (SDP) which is will be posted to our school website and our budget. We are still working to finalize our budget this year. We will have more information in the next few weeks as the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) is looking at different ways to balance the 2019-2020 budget with the recent cutbacks from the provincial budget. The CBE will carefully review every option before finalizing our budget in an effort to minimize the impacts to student learning. Despite the changes we will have to make, our commitment to students and a strong public education system will not waiver.

School Development Plan (SDP):

The SDP was created through a collaborative effort by staff over the past couple of months during our early dismissal afternoons and non-instructional days. We analyzed our Provincial Achievement Test results, surveys and report card data to set goals and strategies for learning. Teachers will be using what research has shown are high impact teaching strategies to support student learning and achievement. Full details of our SDP can be found on our website on Novemer 30:

Our administrative team, comprised of our learning leaders, will monitor and re-visit our SDP throughout the school year. We will be using a learning cycle review process to action, review, and adjust instructional strategies as we work toward the SDP goals. We will continue to analyze schoolwork and gather feedback about student progress to assist in determining next steps for learning.

Progress Reports and Parent-Teacher Interviews:

Progress reports will be sent home for core classes only (ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies) on Friday, November 15th.

Our parent-teacher interviews will be on Wednesday/Thursday November 20/21 from 4:20-8:20pm and Friday, November 22 from 9am-12noon.   Please note we will also be offering an information session for grade 9 parents regarding high school programming and registration on the nights of the parent-teacher interviews:

·       6:30 pm on the Wed/Thurs and

·       10:30 am on the Friday

Interviews can be booked online starting at 4:00pm on Friday, November 15th.

Staff Update:

We are very pleased to welcome back Ms. Cherry Zhao returning from her parental leave.  We are delighted to have her rejoin our school learning community. We’d like to thank Ms. Sunny Yang for filling in for Ms. Zhao during her leave.


Good luck to all volleyball teams for making into playoffs. Junior girls will be playing at 4:00 pm at Senator Patrick Burns on Monday, November 18th while the Senior Girls will be playing at home again Sir John A Macdonald athletes. Both the girls’ matches are semi-finals. Both our Junior and Senior Boys are in the finals on Tuesday, November 19th. Senior Boys will be at Senator Patrick Burns and Juniors Boys will be playing at home. Come out and support our Roadrunners!!

If you have questions or concerns about our SDP or on any matter, please feel free to contact myself or Mr. Bylsma. 

Oct 07
October 2019

September was a busy month with many sport teams starting their season and activities at the school. We’ve had a great start and we’d like to th​ank all of our parents for allowing us to work with your children! We have an amazing learning community at Colonel Irvine School.


Students and staff alike have settled well and we have quickly been able to focus on the important work of teaching and learning. It is now one month into school and we trust that your child is continuing to learn and enjoy school. Communication is important to us. As always, you are welcome to contact your child’s teacher, and/or contact Mr. Bylsma, Assistant Principal at msbylsma@cbe.ab.ca or myself, Ms. Ko, Principal at bsko@cbe.ab.ca, or by phoning the office.


Thanks to all parents and students that attended “Meet the Teacher” night on September 18. The turnout was fabulous and confirms that parents in the Colonel Irvine community are committed to building a strong partnership with the school and their child’s teachers. We still have a couple of vacant spots on our School Council. Our next meeting is October 8th at 6:30pm. Thanks to our parents for filling in so many different roles. Should you wish to volunteer at the school, and you are most welcome, you will need a police volunteer security clearance and complete an annual volunteer form. Please come to the office to see our admin assistant Ms. J. Gale to complete these. We greatly appreciate all of the volunteer assistance we receive at Colonel Irvine!

 CI Photo.jpg

We held our annual Terry Fox in September with a pep rally organized by our Terry Fox committee of teachers that showcased the history of Terry Fox, his dream and our fundraiser.  Thanks to our Terry Fox committee for organizing our run and pep rally. We raised over $300 in one day through selling tape strips to make Mr. Cheema and Mr. Pich stick to the wall in our pep rally. It’s amazing to see everyone work together to support our cancer fundraiser.  We have raised about $8500 for the Terry Fox Foundation for the past 5 years through our fundraising initiatives. Our goal this year is $2500.00. Keep your ears open for more fundraising events.

Our professional development day on September 20th provided valuable time for our staff to collaborate and gather evidence of student learning. Time was also spent planning the strategies and goals for our students who are on Individual Program Plans (IPP’s) and English Language Learning (ELL) Benchmarks. Parents and guardians of students with an IPP should have been contacted by their child’s key IPP teacher. Please remember, do not hesitate to contact your child’s teachers if you have any queries regarding their educational progress. Teacher email and telephone voicemail information, as well as other useful educational and school-related information, can be found on the school webpage (http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/ColonelIrvine/Pages/default.aspx).


We joined other CBE schools, as well as people around the country in commemorating Orange Shirt Day on Monday, September 30. We held an assembly as a part of this commemoration as well as to let students know that we are connected with the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund as a Legacy School. You can find more about the Legacy School program at https://downiewenjack.ca/our-work/legacy-schools-programs/


Our first virtue for September, October and November is Belonging and our first Virtue assembly is on November 29th. These are wonderful celebrations and you are most welcome to attend. More information will be sent closer to the date regarding the times. The virtue program at Colonel Irvine includes a Health/Character block period every 2nd Friday that alternates with our Math Block on the other Fridays. Please talk to your child about their daily work in this area.




Ms. Bea Ko


Sep 03
September 2019

September 2019

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year. I hope that everyone had a terrific summer holiday and that all students and their families are ready for a successful start to this school year. The start of the school year is a busy and exciting time. As a staff, we are excited to be partners in students’ learning and education. We know that working to develop good work habits, taking time to relax when we can, eating well and getting enough sleep are key factors in being successful.

This message is intended to let parents know about staff changes from the last school year and upcoming events. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any questions.

Staff Updates

I am pleased to share several new talented staff members that are joining us this year.

Welcome to the following individuals that are new to Colonel Irvine School:

  • Ms. Sarah Scott – Science and Options
  • Mr. Scott Claiter - Humanities
  • Mr. Nicholas Wright – Humanities and Options


Returning to Colonel Irvine from parental leave:  

  • Ms. Leah Hughson – Learning Leader - Resource


First Day of School- Tuesday, September 3, 2019

First day of school for our grade 5, 6 & 7 students will be Tuesday, September 3. Lunch will be provided to students. We will be serving a hamburger, juice and bits and bites snacks for lunch. There is a vegetarian option for the burger. If your son/daughter has any other dietary restrictions, please have him/her pack their own lunch for that day.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

All students will be in.

Early Friday Dismissal Reminder

This is a reminder that on Fridays we will have early dismissals unless it is a non-instructional day or a statutory holiday. On Friday, September 6, 2019 there is a BBQ lunch for all students and staff at 11:00 am. We will be serving beef hotdogs and a juice box. A vegetarian option will be available. If your son/daughter has any other dietary restrictions, please have him/her pack their own snack for that morning.


Student options are manually timetabled to ensure students get most of their top choices. We then integrate those choices into the timetable each student receives. This is a front-end work intensive process but it does reduce the number of students requesting changes once they receive their timetable. If students have questions about the option classes they are scheduled in, they are encouraged to come to the office to speak with Mr. Bylsma or Ms. Ko.

School Council

The School Council is very active part of our school community. We’d like to extend an invitation to all parents who wish to join the School Council. Our first meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 10 at 6:30. We appreciate the time and dedication of our parents in supporting students, staff and our community. We encourage all parents/guardians to be involved in some capacity throughout the year. All positions for council are currently open and elections will be held at the first meeting of the year.

Meet the Teacher Evening

Parents are invited to “Meet the Teacher” Night Wednesday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. This is your first opportunity to meet your child’s teachers and we look forward to seeing you there. We will also be offering help sessions for parents to navigate through Power School, a website to help parents/guardians to view and monitor student progress at the school. Please note that this is not a parent-teacher interview evening (November 20, 21 and the 22 will be our first parent-teacher interviews), but rather a chance for you to put faces to the names of your child’s teachers and to help in establishing strong communication connections between school and families.

Photo Day

Photo day will be on Thursday, September 19. All students will be required to take a photo for their School ID card.

Terry Fox Run

Our Terry Fox Run will be on Friday, September 27 in the morning. Fundraising activities will begin shortly and continue through the fall season as our school has committed to raising $2000 for the Terry Fox Foundation. Our students have always shown great leadership and effort in raising funds for charity. I believe that we will be able to achieve our goal of $2000. Together we can and do make a difference.​ 

Jun 28
June 2019

​It’s hard to believe that another school year has come and gone. We’ve had a great year with many things to be thankful for. Many highlights throughout the year that include our band concerts, winter movie night, sporting events and Lunar New Year Celebration to name a few. The one that stands out the most was celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day this year as a whole school community. We’d like to give special thanks to Sheena Breaker, Malcolm Cow, Ralph Weasel Fat and Becky Matiowsky for providing us guidance and support in making the day so successful. The day wouldn’t have been possible without their knowledge and guidance. 

I would like to thank parents, our educational partners, for all of their support. Parental support has in various ways contributed significantly towards making this year a successful one for students at Colonel Irvine School. Gratitude is extended to all parents and community members that volunteered their time and effort in support of students at school functions this year. Without your support, many of the special events would not be possible. Thank you to those volunteers who joined us for an appreciation lunch, realizing that was only a small fraction of our volunteers. We value and appreciate all of our volunteer’s time and commitment to our schools learning community.

Special thanks to members of this year’s School Council: Windchill Ha (Chairperson), Karen Charlton (Vice-Chair), Jenny Woo,  (Treasurer), Megan Limbird (Secretary), Annette Lovan (Sign-up Volunteer Coordinator), and Sarah Wong (Casino and Social Media Coordinator) Wendy Farrance (Band Liaison), Heather McRae (Key Communicator), Nora Low (Special Events Coordinator), Nathalie Callede (Fundraising Coordinator), Mearah Tong and Diane Myers (Auditors), Julie Wu and Tim Suddaby (Directors)  for their contributions. Your work has been invaluable to our school learning community. 

We will be having our first council meeting September 10, 2019 @ 6:30. School council will be holding an election at that time. Regardless of whether or not you aspire to one of these positions, your attendance and support in school matters would be greatly appreciated. Please join us!!

Staffing Updates

Dr. Ma has taught with the CBE for over 25 years, and has been a strong supporter and advocate of the Mandarin Program.  As one of the founding teachers of the Mandarin Program, Dr. Ma has decided to retire. He has reached this very important milestone, and will be embarking onto a new chapter in his life.  He has taught many students over the years and will be greatly missed by both students and staff. Thank you to his many years of service to the CBE and in particular the Mandarin Program. We wish him the very best and his Colonel Irvine family will miss him and his dumplings.

Ms. Ramona Cook has accepted a new position as an Indigenous Education Learning Leader for the next school year. We like to thank Ms. Cook for her service to Colonel Irvine School. Students, parents and staff will miss her and we wish her well with her future endeavors. 

We’d like to welcome Ms. Sarah Hills and Mr. Scott Claiter to Colonel Irvine School. They both come to us with a variety of experience and we are excited for them to join our family at Colonel Irvine School.  We will be finalizing staffing details in late August and early September. 

As the 2018-19 school year draws to close, I like to say a special farewell to all students, parents and staff. Changes are never easy but I hope that everyone will see opportunities within change. Whether you will be entering high school, going to another school or staying at Colonel Irvine, I hope that all of you will have a successful transition. 

Best wishes to all families for a great finish to the school year. 

Bea  Ko


May 08
May 2019

We’d like to welcome the newest member of our Roadrunner family to Colonel Irvine School; Ms. Jennifer Gale. She will be taking over the role of Administrative Secretary. Ms. Gale is excited to join our team and has a few days of overlap this week with Ms. Elliott-Suliak to assist in the transition to her new role. We’d also like to extend our gratitude to Ms. Elliott-Suliak for her dedication and work over the past 3 years at Colonel Irvine. We are excited for her as she begins a new journey on her well-earned retirement.

Upcoming sport events include our badminton divisional meets coming next week. The grade 7’s will be on May 13, grade 8’s on the 15 and grade 9’s on the 16. Divisional play will be Sir Winston Churchill High School. Games will all start at 4 pm.  Track and field is underway and it is a great school-wide activity and affords many, many students the opportunity to have a competitive athletic experience in an educational and fun setting. Our school meet is scheduled for the May 15 at Glenmore Athletic Park and our in-school track meet will be on June 18.  Volunteers will be needed for both track meet days.

We still have a very busy couple months of school. Our grade 9 farewell will be on June 6th. Grade 9 students will be spending time at the new YMCA in Rocky Ridge and come back to the school for an evening of celebration. Our grade 8 Mandarin program students are off to visit the Confucius Institute and a bi-lingual Mandarin school in Edmonton on May 27-28.  Our spring Band concert will be on June 4th and we have a group of students and staff going on the West Coast trip from May 29 – June 2. 

As a reminder, we ask that students adhere to our dress code listed in the student handbook.  It is easy for students’ thoughts and priorities to wander from the rigors of school. While this may be the case, I encourage students to keep their eye on the finish line (June 27) and parents to help their children maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle that includes a strong focus on being successful at school. As students prepare to complete the school year, it is crucial that they attend regularly and punctually, put forth a positive effort while at school and maintain a regular homework and study regime. Parents, please be sure to continue to keep yourself updated as to your child’s academic progress by checking PowerSchool on a regular basis. If you have any questions regarding how you can help your child be successful at school, do not hesitate to contact their teachers.

Thanks for your continued support.

Bea Ko, Principal​

Apr 03
April 2019

I hope that everyone had a restful Spring break. I can’t believe we are in the final few months of the school year.  It is time to set our sights on bringing the school year to a successful conclusion. Students and staff alike are extremely busy both completing the current school year and preparing for next year. 

First and foremost on the mind of staff is ensuring that all curriculum is covered and that students are as prepared as possible for the completion of their current grade. For grade six and nine, this includes being ready to write the provincial achievement exams in May and June. 

In addition to their teaching assignments, teachers are engaged in planning and organizing numerous year-end activities. These events make Colonel Irvine an extra special place to attend school and include things such as the Spring band concert, in-school track and field meet and the grade nine farewell activities.

We realize that activities of this nature are essential to a well-rounded educational experience and are valued by students. We still have a few more field trips planned for the rest of the year. Our grade 6’s just finished their outdoor education school and our grade 7 band students were at River’s Edge.  We also had “Mobile Escape” room at the school. Grade 6 and 7 students had the opportunity to work with peers and exercise problem solving, reasoning and communication skills to solve various puzzles in hopes to break themselves out of a locked room. They also made use of our Maker Space to create their own riddles, codes, puzzles and prototypes. 

On the athletic scene, we just wrapped up our basketball season. Congratulations to all our teams who made the playoffs.  Special kudos to our Junior Girls Basketball team for placing first for the past 2 consecutive years. Thank you to all of our teachers and student teachers supporting our teams. Our badminton will be starting up this week. We always get a fantastic turnout for our badminton teams. I am hopeful we will have a smashing season. 

As the hours of daylight lengthen and the weather warms (hopefully soon), we ask that student adhere to our dress code listed in the student handbook.  It is easy for students’ thoughts and priorities to wander from the rigors of school. While this may be the case, I encourage students to keep their eye on the finish line (June 27) and parents to help their children maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle that includes a strong focus on being successful at school. As students prepare to complete the school year, it is crucial that they attend regularly and punctually, put forth a positive effort while at school and maintain a regular homework and study regime. Parents, please be sure to continue to keep yourself updated as to your child’s academic progress by checking PowerSchool on a regular basis. If you have any questions regarding how you can help your child be most successful at school, do not hesitate to contact their teachers.


Also a reminder to all students that cell phones are not permitted during class time. Students are allowed to use their phones at lunch, and before and after school. 

Thank you for your continued support. 

Bea Ko, Principal​

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