I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that we have all reimagined school this year; from our kindergarten students all the way to university professors! Learning and teaching has undergone a revolution of sorts. We have relied upon parents and students to trust us more than ever. And our teachers have risen to the challenge! I have learned so much from our beautiful community this year. One of the most important things I learned was that our students share their brilliance whether they are on line or at school. They are capable and resilient and will always rise to the challenge. It has shown me that being able to adjust to outside forces is a remarkable strength which will see them through many obstacles in their lives. Another beautiful learning for me has been the realization that our students and staff have come to know deeper and richer relationships with each other. The shine and colour in our lives comes not just from work together but in the value we place on our relationships with each other. The pandemic hyper focused our awareness on the gift of companionship. Students and staff became more attuned to each other’s needs through their frequent contacts albeit through masks. Children developed a greater variety of relationships with staff members from teachers, educational assistants to lunchroom staff. As we have walked this strange path together, I long to begin anew in September and welcome our students back to a bold and exciting new year. I look forward to a year filled with the laughter of students and the music of our work together. A year where we can hopefully join into events such as assemblies and clubs, visits from experts and theatre groups, and more than anything to welcome parents back into the school to join us volunteers and guests! As we start out our post pandemic life may I wish you a happy and safe summer where the sounds of lawn mowers on grass, buzz saws building sheds, conversation flowing from you to your friends and squeals and laughter of children fill your day. As the normalcy sets in may we be reminded of a thought from Sam Cooke, “Roll out those Hazy, Lazy, Crazy days of summer!”
Dear Douglasdale School Families,
I am looking forward to welcoming our school community to the 2020-21 school year. I want to assure you we are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of all our community members.
As you are aware on July 21, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced that all schools across the province will return to classes under Scenario 1 – in-school classes resume (near normal with health measures). In response, plans are well underway in our school to welcome our community of students as we adhere to current health guidelines.
CBE's Scenario 1 Information can be found on our website and outlines the measures we are taking to provide for the health and safety of our students. Please refer to this document for detailed information on health measures, physical set-up of schools, cleaning of schools, daily operation of schools and transportation. The actions described in the document follow the guidelines provided by Alberta Education's K-12 School Re-entry COVID-19 information: Guidance for schools re-entry Scenario 1. We continue to refine information in our re-entry planning based on provincial and CBE guidance.
Please visit our school website for information on the actions and processes that are being applied to the specific context of our school.
To access the re-entry plan, click on "Registration" then "Back to School Information" and you will see it on the right hand side under "Resources".
It is hard to believe that the school year is coming to a close. My first year at Douglasdale has brought me incredible joy as I got to know all of your amazing children and meet all of you families. It is a dynamic school community and I am proud to say that I work with an exceptional staff who are highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals. I thank them for their dedication and work with students this year. We have truly joined together as educators and parents to support student success in a way that is unprecedented. With classes being cancelled in March you became the stewards of your children’s learning at home. Together we have navigated through challenging times and collaborated to support each other. Continue to ask questions of all of us as we build shared understanding about our vision for teaching and learning and for student success and achievement.
The month of June is significant in terms of celebrating our students. For our grade 4 students it will be the time to say farewell to the school they know and love as they move on to new schools and adventures in learning. The grade four team has special events planned as they meet virtually this month. For the rest of our students, we are celebrating their learning and sending them off to enjoy their summer before we gather in the fall. Teachers have year-end activities planned as well as the year draws to a close. Although there is still uncertainty on what the start-up will look like at Douglasdale in the fall, we are certain that we will all be here to welcome you into our learning community with passion, commitment and care.
School Council has made a huge difference in the learning opportunities that have been offered to our students throughout this school year. In addition to the events that were planned and hosted by School Council such as the family picnic and the many fundraisers, the funds provided by council have undoubtedly enriched the learning for all of the students in our school. We thank you for your support of the fundraising initiatives which have enabled us to provide enhanced learning experiences for our students this year including bussing for fieldtrips, student activities, purchasing art supplies, repairing our drums for the music program, and build our technology to support student learning.
As the month of June comes to a close we are sadly saying goodbye to two of our outstanding staff members. We would like to say farewell to Rachel Oke, our grade 4 teacher and Lorna Dodd, our school assistant. Rachel has been surplussed from our school (based on HR guidelines) due to a decrease in our school budget. She will be placed in another school. We and wish her all the best in her new position and will share her new placement once it is confirmed. Lorna is off to retirement and we are grateful for her time here with us at Douglasdale. We will miss her positive attitude, friendly smile and willingness to always go the extra mile.
Edie Reichardt and Shawna Weir
Having survived the deep chill of January and with the winter holidays a distant memory, we are busy planning and looking forward to the rest of the school year. The month of February marks the half-way point in the school year. We are excited about the possibilities of what is yet to come as we reflect on all that has been accomplished. We hope that you feel that same excitement and see and feel the energy as you talk with your children about school.
The month of February is busy with many school activities. Information on these events is contained in in our weekly messages from the office as well as from your child’s teacher. This week we have Elev8 Lacrosse in our school providing a residency for grades 2-4. Our kindergarten and grade 1 students will be participating in the swim program later in the Spring. Supporting students to build self-awareness and understanding about who they are through these experiences enables them to become confident, self-motivated, independent and engaged learners. We invite you to join us at the school as you continue to volunteer in classrooms, field trips, and our DDS Loves Literacy program. We truly appreciate how all of you support the school in a variety of ways.
It was wonderful to have so many of you join us for our parent evening with Dr. Allan "Understanding and Responding to Anxiety: Getting Closer to the Life We All Want”. Please see our website for a copy of his PowerPoint.
With our School Development Plan, we continue to focus on designing rich learning tasks to develop student’s written expression across the disciplines and their procedural fluency in math. Our well-being for learning goal “to increase a sense of belonging within the school community” continues to underpin everything we do at Douglasdale School. Teachers meet on a weekly basis to purposefully share student work and ensure assessment practices are aligned. This practice is known as calibrating with colleagues, and is grounded in Schimmer’s (2016) work “Grading from the Inside Out: Bringing Accuracy to Student Assessment Through a Standards-Based Mindset”. At our last professional learning day, we reviewed the strategies and actions in our School Development Plan to ensure we are making progress and on track to meeting our goals.
Edie Reichardt and Shawna Rabey-Weir
We want to welcome all our families to the 2019-2020 school year. Although very busy, we have had a great start to the school year and we have survived the first week. All students, including kindergarten, are now settled into their classes and beginning to thrive. We look forward to an exciting year of learning and growing together.
This year we will be communicating with families each week through weekly messenger emails. We will NO longer be publishing a monthly newsletter. We feel weekly communication allows for more up to date information. We will also be updating our website calendar on a regular basis. Please refer to the website frequently to keep informed about DDS activities and important dates. It will be updated weekly. If you would still like a paper copy of the calendar we invite you to create this, using the tool on the DDS website that says “calendar print out”.
• Welcome Back Family Picnic – Please join us from 5:30-7:00 on Thursday September 12, 2019. You are welcome to bring your own picnic food or order from the food trucks that will be on site.
• Picture Day is coming on Friday, September 13th, 2019. After picture day, order your pictures on mylifetouch.ca using your Portrait ID and Access Code which can be found on your Picture Day order form.
• Parking – please note that the DDS “Kiss and Ride” drop of area will go into effect on Monday September 9th. The “Kiss and Ride” area is located directly in front of the school, and will be well marked with signs. We ask that you do not park in this area when the signs are out (8:30am-9:15am). This area is designed for parents to pull in and let their kids out on curb. Please do not exit your vehicle. Students need to be able to get out of their vehicle and independently
• Healthy Hunger – we will continue to offer special lunch days for students in grades 1-4. All ordering will be done through www.healthyhunger.ca. We are working to finalize our vendors and dates. We will send additional information once we have finalized the details.
• “Admazing” Coupon Books – we once again have a limited number of coupon books for sale for $25.00. See Karin in the office if you are interested.
• Embrace Dental Care is offering free dental exams/check ups for grade one students from September 1- October 31. They are located at #12, 20 Douglas Woods Dr. SE 403-723-2273.
Edie and Shawna
Thank you for another successful year at Douglasdale School. It is a privilege to work with such a committed and talented school community all pulling together to serve our wonderful students. Edie Reichardt, your new principal, has been spending a lot of time at DDS and is looking forward to the upcoming school year.
Staffing for next year is set but may change once provincial funding decisions are clarified in the upcoming budget. Several staff members will be leaving Douglasdale School at the conclusion of this school year. Departing staff include John Kershaw, Lisa MacGillivray, Lindsay Johnson, Teodora Toth and Karen Duquette. We thank them for their contributions and wish them all the best. Farewell to all of the families who are leaving DDS. We wish you happiness and continued success. For those of you arriving at DDS for the first time, welcome to our amazing school!
One change next year includes having early dismissal on the last day of each week. The bell time will be 2:00PM.
Class lists are thoughtfully done by teachers who take a lot into consideration including gender, social groupings, past history, special needs and parent input. On the first day of school please respect their decisions; teachers have the big picture in mind and do their best for all students and one move can cause a domino effect.
Thanks to the staff for their fine work this year and to all of you for your support and involvement. Please check your email in late August as teachers will be sending out welcome back emails to students. Kindergarten students will have staggered entry, please refer to the last page of your welcome to kindergarten package. Students who would benefit from a classroom visit before the first day of school (Sneak a Peek) can come in from 11:00 a.m. to noon on August 30. Have a fabulous summer and we will see you on September 3.
Edie Reichardt, Principal, Chris Aylesworth, Acting Principal and Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal
Thank you for the warm welcome to Douglasdale School. It has been a steep learning curve getting to know the staff, students and parents but I feel quite at home here. Douglasdale School has a culture that clearly focusses on student achievement and success. The physical spaces are designed with students in mind and the staff is nurturing, hardworking and committed to providing quality experiences for your children. Diane Kamitakahara, although retired, is still on speed-dial to help answer questions and offer guidance and Mrs. Weir has been invaluable. For that I am thankful. Edie Reichardt, your new principal, has been by on several occasions to meet with staff and plan for the 2019/20 school year. She has an excellent reputation and is thrilled to be joining this wonderful school community.
All of us DDS loved being pampered by school council during staff appreciation week. The treats, kind words and gifts are much appreciated. Thanks to the DDS school council executive and to all of you for your contributions to our school. Your passion and commitment to public education makes a big difference. Special thanks to David’s Tea for their donations.
The preliminary school budget for the upcoming school year will be leaner due to funding reductions across the CBE. The good news is that each class will have a talented teacher, our music program is intact, and we still have two educational assistants. Unfortunately, we did have to reduce the hours of teachers who provide extra classroom support as well as educational assistant and library support. Things may change in the fall once the provincial budget is released.
Several staff members will be moving on at the end of the school year. Farewell to Teodora Toth and Karen Duquette who may return under the EA retention program, John Kershaw is moving to a teaching position in Saskatchewan and Lisa MacGillivray and Rachel Oke will be pursuing other teaching opportunities within the CBE. All are valued employees who will be missed. We wish them well.
Once approved, the DDS school calendar for 2019/20 will be sent out. The last day of classes this year is June 26.
From all of us at DDS, have a safe and memorable summer.
Chris Aylesworth, Acting Principal email@example.com
Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal, Darryl Fidler, Learning Leader
Shannon Salomons, Learning Leader, Michelle Webster, Learning Leader
It is my pleasure to introduce myself, Edie Reichardt, as the new principal of Douglasdale Elementary School and I am honored to be replacing Diane Kamitakahara. I will be working closely with Ms. Weir along with Mr. Aylesworth as I transition into my new role. I am coming to Douglasdale as previous principal at Mount View Elementary School. Prior to that, I was the assistant principal at Catherine Nichols Gunn and MacKenzie Towne School. Douglasdale is a school with high achieving students, an extremely dedicated staff, and a supportive school community. I feel fortunate to be joining Ms. Weir as we work together to support the students and the families in the school.
I began my career working in an Aboriginal group home where I taught students in special education from grades 3-12 before joining the CBE as a classroom teacher. I taught elementary school for 16 years and then moved into system work in curriculum design with Innovative Learning. During this time, I worked with schools across the CBE as an elementary social studies and science specialist. This also involved work with Alberta Education as well as publishers in resource development before I moved into school administration in 2012.
The students are at the center of all of my school-related decisions and I am looking forward to getting to know all of them. I am excited to unite my experience, my openness to learn, and my child-centered approach to support your children. I believe the relationships between families and the school are vital to the success of our students and I encourage you to become involved in every way possible.
I look forward to a wonderful year ahead and am excited to meet all of you. Please remember that my door is always open and I welcome your conversation and input during the year.
Have a wonderful summer and please stop by to say hello in September,
I would like to thank everyone for such wonderful support of my work here at Douglasdale School over these past three years. Douglasdale School is an incredible learning environment and I have been extremely privileged to have served as Principal. I have appreciated your involvement in the school, and your commitment to public education. Your children are amazing! Our staff is amazing! It IS very hard to leave, but after 38 years of teaching for the CBE, it is time I spend some energy on other things. I will take with me what I have learned from all of you and your children, and a part of all of you will be with me always. I am truly grateful.
Diane Kamitakahara (Ms. Kami)
I am Chris Aylesworth and I will be your acting principal for May and June. I retired as a principal in March from Jennie Elliott School in Lakeview and before that I was principal of Sunalta School in Scarboro. During the last week I have visited Douglasdale School several times and I am looking forward to getting to know your wonderful school community. Ms. Kamitakahara and I have been colleagues for many years and I have appreciated her support during the transition. Since your assistant principal, Ms. Weir, knows the lay of the land, I will be working closely with her to keep the school running smoothly. Behind the scenes, the CBE will be looking at finding the best person to lead Douglasdale School for the 2019/2020 school year.
I am looking forward to our work together. Chris Aylesworth
Thank you to everyone who attended our Spring Fling Family Dance and Marketplace on April 18th. Many thanks to our School Council for providing the DJ and organizing all the ticket sales and clean-up. Thank you to our Douglasdale families and staff for supporting our students in their endeavour to raise funds for both “Operation Spirit” - working to raise funds for training and providing service dogs— and our new school playground. The evening was an overwhelming success.
Our Strategy Family Games Nights have also been a great success this year. Thank you to Mr. Minken, one of our dads, for providing the games and the expertise. We’re looking forward to our last evening for Grade 1 on May 8th.
We would also like to thank Mr. Anderson, and our Grade 4 students and their teachers, for a wonderful Orff the Wall performance at Jack Singer Concert Hall. It was amazing.
RAM—Resource Allocation Method—is the process CBE uses for preliminary planning for the next school year. Schools are allotted a specific amount of funds, out of which come teaching and support staff, with a certain percentage left for the general running of the school. We make our “best plan” now and have the opportunity in both August and then again at the end of September when we get our “final count” of students, to adjust accordingly. Douglasdale School is projected for approximately 20 students less next year as we are accommodating for fewer students from McKenzie Towne as years go by. As a staff we will work at deciding on the best class configuration to meet the needs of students in our building. As teacher staffing is not occurring until early June, we cannot confirm what grades teachers will be teaching. If you have important information which will affect your child’s placement for next year, please email it to Ms. Weir. Teachers know your children extremely well and spend a huge amount of time and deliberation planning where their students would achieve best, while maintaining well balanced classrooms.
Our School Council Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 30 at 6:30 PM. We hope you can attend.
Thank you for your support of student learning at Douglasdale School!
We hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating Spring Break! We’ve hit the ground running, coming back to Alien In-Line Skating, our Read-a-Thon, and Aggie Days on Friday.
Thank you to everyone who attended Student Led Conferences. Parents always comment on how impressed they are with their children’s ability to explain their own learning with such clarity and with a critical eye. We believe that from a very young age, students can take responsibility for themselves, set goals and be reflective. Many thanks to our School Council who covered the cost of our staff meal from Costa Vida on Conference Day/Evening. It is such a treat and so nice not to have to worry about our dinner.
Thank you for returning the forms regarding attendance for the next school year. This always helps us plan our organization. We receive a certain amount of funds per student and we then look at student needs, program, and staff expertise in order to best allocate these available resources.
We would like to welcome Ms. Kim Gjerdrum, our new Educational Assistant in CSSI.
We’re trying a new arrangement for lunch time. Grades 1 and 4 are eating in the first shift from 12:15 – 12:40 and Grades 2 and 3 from 12:45 – 1:10. This allows us to free up the piazza area for alternate activities, makes the playground less crowded and reduces the set up/clean up time for our lunchroom supervisors, which leaves more time that they can help in classrooms. We will be monitoring and adjusting as we try this new set up.
We’ve started our DDS Read-a-Thon! Please encourage your child to read – in any form – and track their reading times. We are starting our fundraising for a new playground! We will be having book draws, “Celebrity” readers, STOP, DROP AND READ special days and much more!
We look forward to seeing you at the Family Dance and Market on April 18th! This will be the wrap up to our Read-a-Thon and you are invited to “Dress Like a Book Character” if you’d like.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Douglasdale School.
Diane Kamitakahara, Principal Darryl Fidler, Learning Leader
Shawna Weir, Assistant Principal Shannon Salomons, Learning Leader
Michelle Webster, Learning Leader
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