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!
Not a lot of new information this
week to report on, but there are few pieces we wanted to remind you about.
First, just a reminder that Seeds Of S.P.I.C.E., our childcare and kindercare
provider once the school is open, has begun pre-registration. Check out their
and give them a call if this is something you would like to take part in.
As well, please take time to
offer feedback and insight on our Budget
and Fee Engagement Survey and please take a few minutes to tell us a
little about your children as we get ready to put together our class
lists. If your child will be in Kindergarten you can go to the Kindergarten
Survey and if your child will be Grades 1 to 4, you can go to the Grades
1 to 4 Survey. Finally, if you are eligible for bussing next year,
please make sure you pre-register so that the planning department
can make informed decisions on bus stop locations and routes. Information
on the process would have come by email on Thursday, June 4. If you have any
questions, give us a call at the school or send us an email and we will help
you out. And if you live in Walden and are having difficulty with the bus
pre-registration, let us know.
This week, check out our website
for another introduction video, this time with Mrs. Maggie Peterson who is one
of the exceptional teachers joining our staff. Also this week, I will be
taking the opportunity to meet any interested families in person. I am
calling it "Principal in the Park." On Tuesday, between 11:30AM
and 1:30PM, look for me in Fish Creek Park near the Marshall Springs
entrance. I will be wearing a brightly coloured pink hoodie to make
myself as visible as possible and I am happy to wave and chat with families,
from a safe social distance. Don't worry if you miss it, as I will be
doing a few of these over the coming weeks in both the Evergreen and Walden
As mentioned in the weekend email and voice mail, I am sending out to everyone a budget and fee engagement
survey. You can access the survey at https://drfredamiller.cbedialogue.com/en/projects/dr-freda-miller-2020-2021/engagements/2020-21-school-budget-and-school-fees .
Please note that you will
probably get a similar survey from Fish Creek or Evergreen School if your child
is attending one of these schools this year. Please take the time to fill
out that survey as well as ours. For your child's current school it
provides great feedback on the work they took up this year. For us, it is
one of the first ways we are engaging our community in setting our vision and
direction for our new school.
Thank you for taking the time to
do this. It is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, do
not hesitate to contact me.
This week, we are engaging in some surveys with our families. On Monday, we will be sending to all families, a short budget engagement survey. My apologies if you receive this twice, as you might receive one from your child's current school as well as for us at Dr. Freda Miller School. I would like to encourage everyone to take a few minutes to fill out the survey for Dr. Freda Miller School, as this is one of our first steps in engaging the community around setting some values for next year.
Speaking of next year, we are also beginning the process of creating our class lists. As families, you know your learners best and your input and feedback is one of the factors that is important in helping us to create great learning environments for all students. If you can, please take a few minutes sometime in the next couple of weeks and tell us a bit more about your child. Please know this is not the only opportunity we will have to talk about your child and how they learn best, but this snapshot is very helpful to us in setting up classrooms.
if your child will be attending Kindergarten next year, please use this link: http://tiny.cc/DFMKindergarten
If you child will be attending Grades 1 to 4 next year, please use this link: http://tiny.cc/DFMGrade1to4
Finally, on a lighter note, we are going to be sharing introduction videos for some of the staff coming to Dr. Freda Miller this fall. This week, you can go to our website and meet Kate Livingstone and Cam Demman! We are so excited to have them as part of the team. See their videos at http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/drfredamiller/about-us/contact/staff/pages/default.aspx
Don't forget about Childcare and Kindercare registration with Seeds of Spice next Saturday morning beginning at 9AM!
This week's update is not quite a
long as last week but we do have some updates on planning for next year.
First I wanted to update families on the bell times for Kindergarten.
We were able to make a couple of changes so that now the AM classes will
go from 9:10 AM to Noon along with our main body of students and from 1:00 PM
to 3:50 PM, dismissing with our main body of students. Fridays, the
morning and afternoon classes will alternate and attend from 9:10 AM to 1:20 PM
with an extended 25 minute period mid morning for a nutrition break.
Also, I wanted to let everyone know that at this point if you expressed a
preference for AM vs PM kindergarten, I am hopeful that we can meet everyone's
requests. We will be confirming class lists in the next few weeks and
will let everyone know as soon as they are confirmed.
I know that there was some
concern around the bell times for Dr. Freda Miller. I have relayed those
concerns to our director who is looking into it. Unfortunately, in the
end, there may not be a lot that we can do to make changes. What I am
working on in the interim are strategies like relaxed entry (opening the doors
in the morning 10 to 15 minutes early so that students can come right in if
they choose to and be supervised so that parents do not have to wait as
long). If you have thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to reach out
an email me.
In other news, we are in the
process of completing our staffing and budgeting for next year and it looks
like we will be able to have at least two classes for each grade as well
as a music and physical education specialist. This means we are
going to be adding another 7 to 8 teachers as well as lunchroom supervisors and
education assistants to our growing team.
I wanted to also let everyone
know in advance that there may be a few more emails coming out this week from
me. We are in the process of getting to know all of the students coming
to join us and making class lists and your initial input is very valuable.
We will be sending out a survey this week to gather a bit of information
to help us along the way so please look for it in your mail. Also we hope
to have news this week on the progress of our building and an update on our
childcare service provider and Kindercare program. As this becomes
available we will be sending it out.
Finally, thank you to everyone
who emailed in that they are willing to help out with our Parent Association
group and School Council. I will email everyone who reached out this week and
suggest some initial dates to meet online. If you are still interested
but did not yet email me, please feel free to do so anytime.
Welcome to our new school
While right now, Dr. Freda Miller
School as a building is still a work in progress, the individuals, teachers,
staff, students, parents, and volunteers that will be forming the heart of that
community are starting to come together as a collective. And this website
is one of those first places that we can start to share and gather around to
keep each other informed and connected. Soon you will be able to look
here for regular messages from Principal Mike as well as updates on what is
going on in your child's classroom.
We will also be updating
our School Council and Parent Association pages as soon as we are able to get some of those
structures into place. Right now there might not be a lot of information
but check back often as we will continue to update it and make it as current
and relevant as we can. Feedback is always welcome and
Welcome to Dr. Freda Miller!
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