What a difference a year makes. 12 months ago, Crossing Park School had a very different look and feel. Many new teachers with strong skills and experience have chosen this community because of the vision and school culture. Some new students have joined us. Most students are returning to the community, but have grown!
We have had a very successful school start-up. Key relationships are being formed and teachers, support staff and administration have been working with a newfound energy to collaborate for student success.
As you probably know, stringent Covid-19 measures have been lifted meaning that students can mix with each other, join sports teams, intramurals and clubs. The lifting of these measures also supports some important classroom initiatives. Research tells us that consistent teachers in the lives of students teaching and learning can improve when students collaborate with their peers through speaking and listening. This skill might seem automatic, but takes careful work. It also serves as the foundations for literacy and supporting the nearly 80% of our students who speak English as a second language. So, look for us to be focused on this area a lot more as a community. The CBE and school will monitor Covid developments and we will communicate if anything changes.
Collaboration though conversation is also a key approach for our teachers. When teachers work together to understand individual learners and more universally relevant programming, we support higher achievement. It is our goal to challenge the many highly capable students to achieve new levels of success. For many, this means experiencing rigorous programming that results in mastery (4s on our grading scale of 1-4). In the short term, our objective is to look at a key question: what does one year of growth look like? What are your child's strengths? Where might they improve and how can we support? Please consider these questions as you connect with our staff.
Indeed, we are a community. A team. We are here to make sure every student has what they need to be the best version of themselves by providing a collaborative environment that focusses on a place of safety, happiness and learning.
Please remember, you play a role on our team as well. You know your children best and if you feel there are things we need to know or do to support their success, please contact the teacher directly. If you ever need more support or have general questions or concerns, we are here to help. Please monitor the website, the Cobra Connection, email or call teachers as needed or book an appointment.
Yours in improvement and collaboration,
Crossing Park School
As a long-time Social Studies teacher and leader of humanities, I often think about culture and history. What is the culture of Crossing Park School and what will history say about how the school progressed beyond 2021-22? Here is a bold prediction; it is about to get better.
Having lead a number of schools in different areas, I feel qualified to address this relative question. From the outset of my role as a Principal of this community, it was clear; this is a place where students felt a strong connection. Teachers are collaborative and student-centered. Support staff from the front office to noon hour supervisors to Education Assistants know our students. This is the beauty of a K-9 setting. The beauty of a community that places value and respect in education.
Crossing Park maintains a culture of effort, integrity and honor. I see countless interactions that demonstrate a yearning to improve, to get better academically, socially and athletically. Students demonstrate great respect towards teachers and other adults. In short, there is a foundation to grow. Nothing is static or stagnant in this world. That is where we will capitalize on positive change. We will keep the good things and improve on areas that need our attention for the sake of student success!
For staff who are staying, they already understand and have become a part of the new direction- and know that shared leadership is the basis for good decisions around student success.
I am pleased to have several respected colleagues from previous settings join us at Crossing Park- in part because they hear very positive things about the community. You will all hear from you child's teacher directly at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. Having a connection is vital as we work together.
We are busy building strong teacher teams. This is very important, not just because collaboration is a virtuous notion, but rather because at the heart of good educational programming for students is professional collaboration. Research (including Jenni Donohoo's work on Collective Efficacy) suggests that the collective attitude and belief in student capability and collaboration actually translates into actions that underpin student success.
This is a big driver in terms of our next steps as a community. Specifically, around what will we collaborate? The answer: we collaborate for student programming in order to achieve:
- Engagement (not compliance but engagement in capturing the hearts and minds of learners who talk about schoolwork beyond the walls of the school. They dream big and feel inspired to do and be more). To this end, we want to hear from you, the parents, and reach out to you with positive experiences of growth!
- Cross-curricular learning experiences where students see the interplay between disciplines and see bigger ideas connect to different topics. For example, math is visible everywhere and Social Studies is alive daily.
- How we personalize tasks for students. Knowing learners strengths and areas of growth lets us “meet them where they are in their learning" and push them to new levels.
- Consistent understanding of assessment. Students need to know how they are doing and how to get better.
- Culturally flexible. Taking up curriculum in ways that celebrate a variety of cultures and helps underpin our Truth and Reconciliation work and Anti-Racist work in meaningful ways. We can program to see many cultures in the classroom and we should.
With these positive areas of focus, history will demonstrate that the 2022-2023 school year at Crossing Park represented a new era. It celebrated the end of a wonderful era before, but embraced a new and bold path that benefits our students even more.
I want to thank all the teachers, support staff, students and parents. Together we provide the foundation for a Safe, Happy, Learning environment.
To great days behind us. To better days ahead.
Andrew Bews, BA (Hons), B.Ed., MA
Crossing Park School
Greetings Crossing Park Families!
The Cobra Connection remains a great place for lots of your information items.
For the purpose of this update, I wanted to focus on some positive changes happening here at Crossing Park. These changes relate to the rapidly changing world we live in, which can be unsettling at times (especially over the last couple of years). However, we must remember the opportunities that exist- and to capitalize on these opportunities for the sake of our students.
In looking for “real world" application and authentic experiences, schools take several approaches. One way is through “Career and Technology Foundations" or (CTF), these are experiences or courses that are critical to turning students minds on towards potential careers and serve as a part of the equity equation- providing something where everyone can find success. Research clearly demonstrates the value in digital literacy tools and jobs as potential “great equalizers" for non-neuro typical people as well as those who are gaining a better grasp of English- or simply identify as deep introverts or those who “think outside of the box".
In fact, there are literally hundreds of unfilled positions in the tech sector in Calgary alone- some in offices, some from home-based locations. These potential careers require passion and skills. The attached article below speaks to the fact that we need schools to offer CTF (through complimentary or option programs) for students to consider next steps in possible careers such as Informational Technologies and 3D print, Coding and Software development. The Calgary area has a longstanding history as an energy and agriculture center. These have brought us real benefits and serves as important sectors. However, the growth of new technical jobs speaks to skills and interests of many students (some who have exceptional needs, those who are emerging in terms of English Language proficiency and those who love new technology, inventing new things and the inclusive, flexible nature of high-tech work.
It is our duty as a school with so many capable young students to capitalize on these realities. I am proud to say that Crossing Park is doing just that! We have initiated a new CTF class (grade 7-9) focused on technology (Coding, 3D Print & Robotics). With the generous help of School Council, we have secured an extra $3000 towards making this a reality in 2022-23. Thank you, Martindale! We hope to expand this program and seek out more areas to develop.
As an international individual and bigger-picture thinker, I am passionate about leading a school that responds to the needs of students and society as a whole. Great opportunities start here. While changes in the world can be scary, let's focus on, and embrace the many positive changes as we work together for a bright future for our students.
Article (Calgary Hearld):
As always, I appreciate anyone who wishes to contact me or any member of our staff directly. We are here for you and work as a team.
Mr. Andrew Bews, Principal
Greetings Crossing Park School Families:
We are a team.
I hope this finds everyone well! I continue to be amazed at the Crossing Park community and am excited to focus my leadership on supporting teachers to support students in becoming their very best. I would like to take the opportunity to thank every parent and guardian who took part in parent-teacher conferences. When parents know how their children are progressing, they can help support academic growth. A lot of times, these conversations are about celebrating growth.
You don't need to be an expert.
It's also important to know that you don't need to be a professional teacher to help your children develop important skills. Reading with your children is often cited as the number one academic activity you can do together to help with their growth. Math can sometimes be intimidating, but as a parent there are practical things you can do to help develop basics. Here are over 10 practical ways you can support with math- no matter what grade*:
Updates- Included in the Cobra Connection
Our focus continues to be on Safety, Happiness & Learning:
School Activities Schools are able resume in-person activities, meetings and events with their school communities. This includes allowing indoor spectators at K-9 schools for sports and performances.
Principals have an obligation under the Education Act (Section 33) to ensure a safe environment in their schools and continue to have the authority to set attendance limits for events to ensure the safety of students and staff.
We may choose to continue on with some virtual events such as school council meetings and parent-teacher conferences. In fact, sometimes virtual events and meetings mean more people can be involved thanks to convenience!
With some rare exceptions, masks are no longer required for students, staff or visitors in CBE schools and workplaces.
We will be supporting and respecting personal choice- to wear masks or not. Staff will monitor for and address any discrimination or conflict related to choices for mask use. We remind students to let teachers know if they are experiencing issues. We're a team and here to help you child!
As part of Step 2, schools are no longer required to cohort students. This shift does not mean schools need to re-design current timetabling or classroom structures. We've had a lot of change and kids need some stability! Schools may choose to retain aspects of schedules and set-ups for the remainder of the school year to avoid learning disruption.
Staying Home When Sick and Mandatory Isolation The Daily Health Checklist remains in place and the mandatory requirements to isolate if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 have not changed.
We want to take this moment to define “happy". Being happy means enjoying school. It means students find personal interests at school, connections with teachers and peers, sports and athletics as well as option classes they particularly love.
It also means being “engaged" in their learning. Other than reading with your child, asking them “what did you learn today?" or “what are you finding interesting at school?" is important. Or job is to turn students on to learning! You as parents are vital in the education journey and we appreciate your engagement with students in their success.
If you cannot meet or discuss academic progress with your child's teacher at parent-teacher interview times- don't worry! We can always make time and reschedule to help you. Please let us know- discussing issues or how we can help is always a priority.
Covid restrictions being lifted offers some direct learning benefits. We know that students learn from teachers and each other! We are excited to return to classroom routines that allow for maximum benefit. With Covid restrictions easing, students will have more opportunity to work in groups and use more spaces to provide even deeper learning opportunities.
First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude and positive impression of the Crossing Park community. The staff, students and parents make this school a positive place to be. This is evident through the pride teachers demonstrate in their programs, classes, and many conversations about the community. Incredible! We also have many guest teachers who love coming back and, from my perspective, a place that is proud and craves collaboration.
This month marks the beginning of my journey as the Principal of this Crossing Park School and I want to make sure that my vision and main values are clear. Much of my mission has been informed by engaging with parents, students and staff to help make this community even better.
Collaboration is key. Progress occurs, as education expert Helen Temperly suggests, through collaborating with “trust and challenge" in mind. Trust through clarity and rationale and consistency in our actions combined with constructive strategizing and dialogue means that we can be most thoughtful in terms of how we best serve our students.
Efficiency and priorities are very important- especially in schools. We have the most important jobs in the world and limited time and resources. This means making sure that our energies are in the right place- classrooms. Relationships with students, programming, assessing and collaborating with peers around this work is job number one. Making this the central focus and finding ways to work more efficiently is truly a “win-win" strategy that I have always valued and promoted.
I often cite 3 words to describe our main priorities- SAFE, HAPPY & LEARNING. Research tells us that we collaborate best when our community members are safe (physically and mentally), happy (relationships are sound and work is engaging) and there is learning (growth and achievement).
We are well into 2022 and it has proven to be a story of teamwork and resiliency. Despite dealing with peak- Covid 19 numbers in the form of the omicron variant throughout our city, schools have made in-person learning work. It may seem like business as usual in many ways, but behind the scenes there is tireless efforts by teachers, support staff and administration to coordinate. Covering classes, working with masks (which can make projecting voices difficult) and reorganizing athletics, events and clubs has presented challenges and a need to persevere.
The New Year gives us a real opportunity to collaborate more effectively. The Crossing Park Staff has risen to this challenge and are fostering a community that is safe, happy and learning!
Proud to be a Cobra.
It has been another great week of learning at Crossing Park School. Here are your weekly updates.
Professional Learning – On Friday the 26th, CP staff spent the day working on learning more about the latest research for teaching mathematics and reading. They spent time connecting this information to the work they do with your children.
Three-Year System Student Accommodation Plan - Each fall, The Calgary Board of Education provides an update to families at schools that are listed in the Three-Year System Student Accommodation Plan (SSAP). Parents feel this information is important in making choices for their children.
Since Crossing Park School is included in the SSAP (Issue: over or nearing capacity), we are sharing an update letter with you.
School Council - Parents and community members are important partners in public education. Through school councils, our partners can make significant and meaningful contributions to the learning opportunities provided to Crossing Park students. The Crossing Park School Council meets virtually at 6:00 p.m. the last Monday of each month. We would love to have more parents join this group. If you would like to join the council, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the meeting link for November 29th. Minutes for the last meetings are available on the school website.
Construction – Our school is getting a new roof! You will see more construction fencing going up in various locations around the school. The project will not interrupt learning in the school and student and staff safety is the first priority of all contractors.
Winter is on its way – Students go outside each day for PE, during the lunch break and for recess. Calgary weather changes rapidly so we encourage you to be sure your children bring warm coats, boots, hats and mitts. If you need help providing these please contact the school.
Grade 1-6 lunchroom – If your child stays for lunch each day, you must register for this program through your MYCBE account. If you need help setting up your account call the school.
Kindergarten – Thank you to all of the kindergarten families who participated in conferences this week. If you weren't able to book a time, please contact your child's teacher to arrange a meeting time.
We hope you have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the beautiful weather!
It is now November. Fall Break and Halloween have past and the weather has become colder as we move towards winter. As a school community, we are thankful that school has continued without pause or need to quarantine students. Learning continuity makes a big difference in student success!
School teams have wrapped up or are wrapping up their seasons. Congratulations to all the athletes and coaches who have represented Crossing Park School so well. Basketball season will begin shortly and I look forward to seeing many students taking the opportunity to tryout for both the junior and senior teams. Unfortunately, spectators are still not permitted at indoor athletic events due to Covid-19 protocols. If there is a change, you will be notified!
Traffic safety continues to be an issue. There has been one student struck by a vehicle this year and that is one too many. Student safety is everyone's concern – we owe our students that! The parking lot located on Martin Crossing Park also continues to be an issue – the parking lot is for staff parking not for student drop off and pick up. Please respect the signs indicating that this parking lot is for staffing parking only.
Throughout the school, students are hard at learning and teachers are teaching. Students are engaged in work that is meaningful and, more and more, student voice guides classroom decisions. When students are part of decision-making, they are more engaged in the work they are doing! Beginning in November, teachers will be presenting updates of student work and activities at School Council. If you are interested in attending these meetings, please email me at email@example.com and I will send you the link for the meeting. Our next School Council meeting is Monday, 29 November 2021, beginning at 6:00pm.
Thank you to all community members who supported the Crossing Park School Society by working at the casino on 20 and 21 October 2021. Many members of the Martindale Community supported the school even though they do not have students here. Thank you! Martindale Community Association has an upcoming casino in January. If you are interested in supporting them in return, please call the Community Association office.
11 November 2021 is Remembrance Day. The school community will recognize this day on Wednesday, 10 November 2021, during an in-school ceremony. Students are encouraged to engage in Remembrance Day observances throughout the city on 11 November 2021, which is a statutory holiday and there are no classes. The following day, Friday, 12 November 2021, is a non-instructional day and, again, there are no classes as well.
Please take a few moments, to remember all those who have served our country. Please remember our Indigenous veterans who hold this land so dear. Please remember that in war there are no winners and all involved pay a terrible price. “In war, whichever side may call itself the victor, there are no winners, but all are losers." ~ Neville Chamberlain
Lest We Forget.
Fall Break is upon us! It is amazing how quickly time has flown since we started on 17 August 2021. Classes, athletics and fall junior high clubs are all in full swing and it is exciting to see our students excited to be active in all aspects of school life.
This week, Crossing Park staff will hold our first set of Parent Conferences – an opportunity to discuss the progress of students with their parents/guardians. All Parent Conferences will be held using Microsoft Teams as we cannot, at present, meet face-to-face.
Classes end on Thursday, 07 October 2021, and students return to classes on Tuesday, 19 October 2021. Please encourage your children to get outside and enjoy the weather prior to the arrival of cold and winter!
Thank you to all parents who are not using the parking lot on Martin Crossing Park as a drop off and pick up point for students. This makes the area much safer for students who often forget that vehicles are bigger than they are. A continued focus on driving safely around the school is needed and much appreciated! Safety must be the primary focus of everyone!
There has been an increase in the number of students showing up at school showing symptoms like runny noses, coughs and fever. Please use the Alberta Health Services Daily Covid-19 Checklist each day to ensure that your child is healthy enough to be at school and to help us ensure we can keep the school community as healthy and well as possible. Thankfully, the school community has been generally healthy and, as a result, teaching and learning have not been impacted.
Over the Fall Break, please check the Calgary Board of Education's website (www.cbe.ab.ca) regularly for updates. As you may be aware, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education announced changes on Tuesday, 05 October 2021, related to keeping schools and students safe. Information related to Covid-19 and schools is updated regularly at https://cbe.ab.ca/about-us/school-culture-and-environment/health-and-wellness-in-school/Pages/coronavirus.aspx
Encourage your children to relax and enjoy their time during Fall Break. Students are encouraged to read, as reading is foundational to learning no matter what language they read in! Be safe.
Be kind to yourself.
Be kind to others.
Be kind to the world we share.
It is the beginning of September. Classes have been running for over two weeks and students are settling into school and class routines. Although we are still following Covid-19 safety requirements, great teaching and learning is taking place!
We have a number of new staff who have joined Crossing Park School for the 2021-2022 school year. There are two new secretaries joining Mrs Lail in the office – Mrs Webb and Mrs Cormier. Please say hello if you need to drop by. Three new teachers have also joined the Crossing Park staff – Ms Hiltz (Junior High Math/Science), Ms Elrassoul (Junior High Humanities) and Mrs Bains (Grade 2). The school also welcomes back Mr Woodill (Grade 1), Ms Carmichael (Grade 2), Ms Nazerali (Grade 4), Ms McMullen (Grade 5), Mr Dyer (Physical Education) and Ms Tran (Junior High Math/Science). These teachers are temporarily working at the school as other teachers are away for a variety of reasons. Finally we welcome Ms Cavanagh (Educational Assistant) and Ms Vander Laan (Education Assistant) who are here on a temporary basis to support our students. Believe it or not, for a large school, there is very little staff change year-to-year!
Throughout the year there is always new information coming out that impacts the school and the students who attend here. Please regularly visit the Calgary Broad of Education website (https://cbe.ab.ca/Pages/default.aspx) and our website (https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/CrossingPark/Pages/default.aspx) for updates!
The safety of our students is a priority and, as a school, we need the help of our parents to make our school as safe as possible. The parking lot located on the south side of the school (off Martin Crossing Park) is a staff parking lot. Some staff are unable to park and report to work because parents are using this parking lot as a drop off point. Both school parking lots are for school staff and are not to be used for student drop off and pick up. Students walking through parking lots are at risk if drivers do not see them. Please ensure you obey all posted traffic and parking signs for the safety of our students.
As we did last year, school doors open for students at 7:45am. This is part of our safety protocols as it reduces the numbers of students gathered by the door. There is no outside supervision before and after school including on the playground apparatus.
One activity our school counts on to support teaching and learning is our school parent society's casino. Without it, many special activities and extra equipment could not be purchased. Even in a school this size, it has been difficult to get the volunteers required to meet our casino obligations. We need you to support the school by volunteering, if possible, on October 21 and/or 22 to work a shift. For more information, please call the school 403-777-7195.
All the Crossing Park staff are excited to have all our students back in the school. They are looking forward to a successful school year of learning, exciting opportunities and fun with their students! We are the Crossing Park Cobras!
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! Whether you are a returning student or are new to Crossing Park School, welcome to the home of the Cobras. We are excited to start the school year off on Tuesday, 17 August 2021.
The safety and well-being of our students is important! We are counting on our parents and community to support us achieving this goal. This is a large and busy school and the streets surrounding it can be dangerous for our students. Please remember that excited students sometimes forget about road safety! This is most important at crosswalks – pedestrians have the right-of-way!
Last week you received an email from the Calgary Board of Education describing the health measures that will continue into this school year. Masks are mandatory for all staff and students until further notice. For more information, please visit https://insite.cbe.ab.ca/news-events/news-centre/Pages/modified-calendar-school-re-entry-2021-22.aspx .
The first stop for school information is the school website. It can be found at https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/CrossingPark/Pages/default.aspx . Should you not find what you are looking for on the website, please contact the school at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-777-7195.
If you child is going to be absent from school, please call 403-777-7195 extension 1. This is the absence line and you can leave a message at any time.
I am looking forward to an exciting and successful school year. I am looking forward to working with parents and the community to ensure that every student achieves success and feels safe and happy in our school community! Let the school year begin!
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