Good evening families!
For those of you new to Dr. Freda Miller School, my name is Mike Craig and I am the school principal. Welcome to our school! For those of you who are returning, welcome back! It is my most sincere hope that everyone had a fun, safe, relaxing and rewarding break.
This year, while there is a sense of returning to more normal ways of being in schools, as we opened during the first year of the pandemic, this will be again a year of firsts for us. We are excited to embrace the changes and continue to grow as a school and as a community and I for one am excited to again be part of the journey.
In addition to welcoming staff back including Mrs. Savita Beswick in the office and Mrs. Lauren Smith to our teaching staff, we are also introducing a few new faces to our staff this year including Mrs. Jennifer Stanford, Ms. Lisa McGregor, and Ms. Rebekah Granger to our teaching staff and Ms. Aman Zia to our lunchroom staff and Ms Flordeliza Gabriel to our facility staff. We will have more staff to announce in the coming days as well, so stay tuned.
Our office re opens officially on Monday, August 29 at 8:30AM and our first day of classes is Thursday, September 1 with Kindergarten students having a specific staggered entry for the first two day. Our school times have not changed from last year. You should be able to find all start-up information on our school website under Back to School Information.
As in previous years, you can expect a phone call from your child's teacher on Tuesday or Wednesday, introducing themselves to you and your child and letting you know when and where to meet on the first day of school. I know you may have a lot more questions, but this first call is just a short introduction and we will follow up with a letter or email from the teachers with more information about expectations and their program in the first week as well as an open house evening for all families later in September. If you miss the call, no worries, we will also send out an email later this week with the important details.
No doubt many of you will have questions about lunchroom, fees, forms and packages. All of this information will coming out in the next few weeks and we will keep you updated as it does. As always you can reach out by email or call us at the school if you have questions in the interim.
Again welcome back and I am looking forward to connecting and reconnecting later this week!
It always catches me a little by surprise that the end of each school year just creeps up on you and before you know it, we are saying good bye to families, friends, and colleagues – sometimes just for the summer and sometime longer as people move into new spaces and journeys for the new year. Fortunately, I was taught by an Elder and friend of mine that in many Indigenous languages there is no word for good-bye as all relationships continue in a circle. We may part for awhile, but our journeys in one way or another always lead back to each other. So rather than good bye, I will choose to hold each of you in my heart until our paths cross again, either at the beginning of the new school year, or when we reconnect at the next crossing of our paths.
Have a safe and happy summer full of relaxtion, family and adventure!
We hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe Spring Break. At this point the weather reports are showing the perfect weather to spend time outside in play and exploration, looking for signs of Spring and renewal while refreshing and renewing ourselves for the final few months.
When we get back we are excited to announce that we are going to be changing a few things here at the school in how we work and play together. We are pleased to let everyone know that we will be relaxing the cohort model that we have had in place since we opened the school in the middle of the pandemic.
Following Spring Break, classes will begin interacting with each other in new ways including regrouping students for learning and projects, opening the walls between classes to allow grade teams to team teach in different ways, and spending time together in play on the playground and in learning during land-based learning trips to the pond and Fish Creek Provincial Park.
We will also be making a small change to the lunchtime routines as well. While we will continue with the staggered lunches and eating in our own classrooms, grade groups will be allowed to play together on the compound and on the playground structure. At this point we will not be having multiple grades outside or having communal lunchrooms inside as all of our schedules as well as our staffing for this year has been carefully built around these schedules.
Finally we are also excited to let everyone know that we will opening up for a Open House night on May 5 where we will finally get to share with our families our wonderful space and the ways we engage in learning together! Mark the night on your calendar now! Further information to come after the break!
Our school is now closed for winter break, reopening and welcoming students back on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. We hope everyone takes this time to rest, relax and spend quality time with friends and family. Be safe and take of yourselves and each other.
It has been an eventful term as we have seen our school grow and blossom. As always at this time of year I am reminded of the gifts that each of you -- students, staff, families, and community members -- bring to our space, making this school a cohesive, beautiful and caring place for deep learning and engagement. I am always in awe of the generosity of spirit, the joyfulness, and the commitment to making our school better each day. I am grateful each and every day to be part of it.
As a side note, feel free to check out our winter celebration of learning on our school showcase, featuring all of our classes.
Happy Holidays and see you in the new year!
Mike Craig, Principal
As we come to the end of our first few weeks of school and find ourselves at the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I wanted to take a quick moment to share with this community the profound sense of gratitude in my heart. Each day I come to this school, I am reminded of just how fortunate I am to get to work with an amazing group of educators, united in a vision to support, care for, and provide outstanding learning opportunities for all children. I count myself doubly lucky to have a community of parents and families that have show such support and encouragement for our school and our vision and who each day bring to us some of the best cubs and scholars to work with. And I am thankful to have a wonderful facility that is so connected to land-based learning opportunities and spaces that are unparalleled in the Calgary Board of Education. As someone who is lucky to make his home on Treaty Seven lands, I am also grateful to the First Peoples, their history and their stories that continue to serve as my teachers in my own growth as an educator.
But most of all, I am thankful for all of the children, the wonderfully unique cubs and scholars who bring joy, enthusiasm, curiosity, humor, and wonder to inhabit our space, making this job a true honor and joy.
On this day where we mark all that we are fortunate for, from the bottom of my heart, Siyisgaas and Thank You!
As we come to the end of our school year, I am overcome with feelings of gratitude for this staff, these students and this community of families. When we opened the school back in September for the first time, I am not sure anyone was certain about what the year ahead would look like – a school with a late start, a new school with all the affordances and challenges that come with it, all amidst a global pandemic that forced us to look at whole new ways of being and teaching while trying to keep students and families healthy and safe.
And here we are at the end of the school year. I am exceedingly proud of the teachers and support staff in the way they adapted and found new ways to bring curriculum to life and to support learners through the year. I am immensely grateful to our families for the support, encouragement, and partnership in bringing this place to life and the incredible faith and trust you placed in us to do right by these children. And I am astounded by the children who not only adapted but thrived, making connections to their learning and to each other, all the while approaching each day and each situation with perseverance, determination, and joy. I can think of no other reward better than being able to be a part of their lives each day as they grow and learn.
So thank you to each and everyone of you for these gifts. Siyisgaas.
Two last items of business. Today is the last day to put in your orders for yearbooks. Click here for more information. And finally, our playground is in the last stages of construction. We are in the process of putting in the surface after which it will be inspected. Once that is completed and the safety fences are down, it will be open for play. I will try and send an email out with the good news when it happens.
Our office will now be closed until August 27, 2021. You are welcome to leave a message or send us an email but we cannot guarantee an immediate response.
I hope everyone has been getting the recent emails with the updates to the school re-entry plan and, for those of you who have registered children for the Hub, the registration confirmations.
As of tomorrow, we will be fully in our new space at Dr. Freda Miller School on Everbrook Drive. Just a reminder that first day of classes for Dr. Freda Miller students will be Tuesday, September 8th. You can find the re-entry plan on our school website under Registration > How to Register > Back to School information or by following the link: https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/drfredamiller/registration/register/back-to-school/pages/default.aspx. We will also be updating the website later this week with images from the classrooms to give you a sense of the spaces the children will be working in and some of the precautions we are taking.
We are busy working on updating the class lists, taking into consideration the Hub enrollements. You can expect to hear from your children's teachers by the end of the week, welcoming them to the school and giving you further information for the first day protocols.
For those of you who have elected to enroll your child into Hub learning, just a reminder that if you wish to withdraw your child from the Hub you will need to email us at the school to request a withdrawal of the student’s registration by 9AM tomorrow, Monday, August 31st.
In the meantime, if you have questions, feel free to give us a call or an email.
On behalf of all of us at Dr. Freda Miller School, we wanted to wish you a safe and enjoyable summer break. Our office will be closed now until August 26th however given all that we will be doing through the summer months to continue getting Dr. Freda Miller school going, we will be checking our emails and voicemail on a weekly basis and we will try to get back to everyone in a timely manner.
Before we go, we do have a few updates. First, our Budget and Fee Engagement Survey results are now posted on the school website under Get Involved - School Engagement - School Budget Engagement. Thank you to everyone for your feedback and your comments.
Secondly, we have some updates to our teacher staffing for the fall. We are welcoming Michelle Jensen who will be joining us from Roland Michener School, Lauren Smith from Chaparral School, Alex Hoover most recently from West Dover School, Andrea Weldrick from Cranston School, Jeff Welechuk from Evergreen, and Andrea Westine returning from the Math Strategist department. Already you can check out Jeff Welechuk, Alex Hoover, and Andrea Westine's introduction videos as well as Allison Handelsman's on our school website. As more videos come in, we will continute to upload them so you can meet our staff.
Finally, as work on the new school progresses, we will continue to send updates through the summer months.
Have a wonderful summer and we will see you all in the fall.
There are three items I would like
to update you on this week. The first is that we have added another
teacher introduction video to our school website. Check out the Our
Staff section to meet Mrs. Sierra Downing.
Secondly, the weather is looking a lot more cooperative this week
so I will be resuming my Principal in the Park meet and greets. On
Tuesday from 10:00 to 11:30 AM, I will be at the playground in Walden Park just
behind the traffic circle at Walden Gate and Walden Drive. On Thursday I
will be at the fitness park behind Marshall Springs School from 1:00 to 2:30
PM. I will wear my bright pink hoodie to be as visible as possible.
Feel free to come by and say hello from a safe social distance.
Thirdly, I’d like to share an update for our Kindergarten
families. Typically at this time of year, we invite families to attend a
short Kindergarten orientation. Unfortunately, this year we are unable to
gather to do this. Therefore, we will be sharing important
information through a Dr. Freda Miller Kindergarten Program Information Package
that will be emailed out to all of our Kindergarten families on Monday, June
22. This email will address many of the questions that you may have about
our Kindergarten program, our first days of school and an overview of the
Kindergarten curriculum. This email will unfortunately not have answers
for you about COVID protocols and the CBE’s School Re-Entry Strategy.
This information will be made available at a later date. On August
1, 2020, Dr. Hinshaw and Alberta Health Services will be providing information
about what September’s School Re-entry scenario will look like. CBE has a
task force that is currently working with Alberta Education and Alberta Health
Services to develop the protocols for September, and once we have information
from them, we will be sharing it with our families. At the end of August,
your child’s Kindergarten teacher will be contacting you to share any important
information about the first days of school and welcome them to Dr. Freda Miller
Thank you first of all to
everyone who came out to our Principal in the Park meet and greets this
week. It was great to see and meet so many new and familiar faces.
The excitement about the new school was palpable. I will be doing a
couple more of these in the coming weeks. The next one will be in the
Walden community and I will send out an email a little closer to the date once
we know what the weather is looking like. In the meantime, I am working
on an FAQ for our school website that may help to answer some of the questions
I have been commonly encountering in my discussions with families.
We are making some progress on
our staffing. We should know all the teachers by the end of the month and
will be able to tell you who they are and what grades they will be
teaching. At the moment, we can confirm that in the spirit of community
and cooperation, Mr. Wilcox at Evergreen School and I are working towards sharing
Ms. Bell and Mrs. Roworth for our
music and physical education programs. We are still awaiting final
confirmation on the details, but we wanted to let everyone know the plan.
Just a final reminder, if you
have not had the chance to go in and give us feedback on our Budget and Fee
Engagement survey, please do so before Monday at midnight. And our
student viewpoints are also still open for you to share input on your children
as we continue structuring our classes for next year. The survey links are:
Thank you again for your
feedback, input and support and have a wonderful week!
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