I have really enjoyed my first few “official" days at Dr. George Stanley School. Your children have been very welcoming and it has been lovely to make some face to face connections with people.
We will be continuing on with Wednesday Principal Updates to our families.
Today is our first “wintery weather" school day. We want to thank families for sending students to school prepared to be outside for pieces of time over the day, potentially during both Physical Education and at lunch. We want students to have an opportunity to move around and have social time with their cohort peers. Within the CBE, students can be outside until temperatures reach -21 with windchill. We will be considering coat and boot storage options and adding in additional indoor lunchtime activities as we move into our much colder months.
I want to take a moment to welcome two new faces who have joined our staff for the short term- Mr. Dunn is covering in PE for Ms. Bolivar until the end of the month and Ms. Strange is in for Ms. Cody until mid-November.
There are some school wide events coming up toward the end of the month- please take a moment to mark these dates on our calendar:
- Complementary Courses will change the week of October 26
- Picture retakes will be held on Tuesday October 27
- School Council and Parent Society meetings will take place the evening of October 28
- No School for students on Friday October 30
Please feel free to contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via telephone- 403 817 7556.
Principal, Dr. George Stanley School
Good Afternoon Parents and Guardians,
Hard to believe it is September 30th already. The good news is that we are super spoiled with the weather and it promises to remain warm and sunny for another week or more.
With this message I would like to ask you to join me in extending a warm DGS welcome to our newest teaching staff member, Mr. Braeden Elenko. Mr. Elenko took over the reins from Ms. Babe Collis Tuesday as homeroom teacher in 9-2, and is teaching math and science to 9-1 and 9-2 students. Ms. Mary Babe Collis took over for Ms. Bolivar today as homeroom teacher in 7-1 and is teaching math and science to 7-1 and 7-4 students. We continue to build our Physical Education team and have added Ms. Bri Bolivar teaching Phys Ed full time with Ms. Sherry Collens. With all of these moves we believe we have strengthened the Grade 7 & 9 teams, the math & science teams, as well as the Physical Education team. I am hopeful that all students who are immediately affected by these staffing changes will transition quickly with their new teacher.
As mentioned in last week’s messages we are now in a position to move forward with adding additional supports for learners through the Response to Intervention or RTI approach. Within the next couple of weeks the RTI designated teachers, including Natasha Duffy, Carrie Lyons, Carman Portelli and Shannon Wolframe will join some other designated classes to provide support to students. They will team closely with the classroom teacher to provide a thoughtful and well planned approach to supporting all students through programming support strategies. The current core subject teaching assignment of the four RTI teachers will not be affected. As our move forward toward RTI unfolds we will keep you informed of our progress. Ultimately our plan is to improve the learning of all students with a focus on those students who are struggling in their learning.
I would like to commend parents for keeping their child home if they have been ill. A number of families have taken the extra step of having the child tested for Covid-19 since the child had some symptoms of this virus. Thank you for that as well. We will remain vigilant in maintaining & supporting the Covid-19 protocol as the year progresses. If you have a child staying at home because they are sick, please ensure they are tuning into their teacher’s Google Classroom so they are able to keep up with their assignments. If you need more information on how to dial in to Google classrooms please contact the teacher(s) directly. Thank you.
I would like to remind parents and guardians that the newly appointed Principal to DGS School, Ms. Chantal Malette is looking forward to providing an informal opportunity to meet her this Friday, October 2 following school dismissal. She will be by the Main Entrance Bike Racks from 12:30-1:30 and again next Thursday October 8 at 3:30. This will be an informal opportunity to say “Hi” and start putting faces to names.
As next Thursday will be my last day, I can tell you that I will truly miss the Dr. George Stanley Learning Community. I have met some extraordinary people in this very short period of time. I would also like to single out the Assistant Principal, Mr. Andrew Bews, and publicly recognize him for his amazing leadership and in being a great partner to work with in opening up the school through these strained pandemic times. Thanks Andrew!
Again, many thanks for your tremendous support of the teachers, support staff and administration at DGS School. It is very much appreciated.
Dear Dr. George Stanley Families,
I’m excited to have been getting to know the staff, students and parent community at our school. I’ve started transitioning to DGS on Fridays and will begin full-time at Thanksgiving. I’ve learned a great deal about what our families value, and what our parents, staff and students think is important for me to do as the principal.
This Fall is definitely the most interesting one we’ve had in my 21 years as an educator, and I want to help create experiences that are safe, caring, and meaningful for you and your students. Relationships and communication are very important to me- please look for a weekly principal update that will come out each Thursday starting the week after Thanksgiving. This update will come via School Messenger and will provide you with CBE System Updates, Important School News and information to help you plan the week ahead.
I’ll be attending the School Council AGM on Wednesday September 30.
I’ll also be hosting a socially distant “Meet the Principal” by the bike racks outside the main entrance on Friday October 2 at 12:30 and again on Thursday October 8 at 3:30. This will be an informal opportunity to say “Hi” and start putting faces to names.
I’m looking forward to working together to continuing to create the experiences that make DGS such a great place for learning.
Good Afternoon Parents and Guardians,
I wanted to give you an update on some items as we move closer to the end of September. As mentioned in previous messages, our students and staff continue to be relentless with following our Covid-19 protocol. They’ve been great. We appreciate your support from the home front. A message from the office yesterday suggested that parents may want to send extra masks for the office to hold, if a particular child tends to be a bit forgetful in bringing/wearing their mask. We’re happy to facilitate this. With the incredible weather that we’ve enjoyed through September, many classes have taken advantage of going outside for Phys Ed and other classes. The pond provides a great destination.
In working with the Leadership Team at Dr. George Stanley and our newly appointed Principal, Chantal Malette, we are in a position to add teaching staff in a strategic way to enhance programming with a focus on our most vulnerable learners and those students who struggle in the classroom. We are also wanting to enhance learning opportunities for all students as we focus on this staffing move.
Dr. George Stanley School has a strong track record of academic excellence. We continue to personalize our work for students and will continue to rely on our model of building strong relationships to foster student success. We are now looking at an innovative approach to support the successful programming already in place, known as Response to Intervention, or RTI. RTI provides targeted teaching (interventions) to struggling students with specific strategies to support the learner(s). RTI requires specialists with experience and expertise, particularly in the areas of literacy, numeracy and special needs. The RTI designated teacher(s) will enter a class to support identified struggling students and to “team” with the classroom teacher. This approach will likely support many students on IPPs and many who are not on an IPP throughout the school, while also providing rich opportunities for learning by all students, since identified classes will now have two teachers.
The new teacher that we are looking at hiring will have a Science specialty background, to build up our Science programming across all grades. This person will become a Grade 9 Science/Math teacher. With this movement, we will also be freeing up a teacher to also become a Phys Ed specialist, which, in turn will continue to develop the Physical Education program across all grades at DGS School. Providing significant support to our struggling students is the primary goal with this staffing and engagement with RTI.
We hope to have the new teacher hired by next week, and the RTI scheduling in place for the week after Thanksgiving. Ms. Malette has significant background with RTI, and is excited with our plans, as we move forward. Once we have the people in place I will communicate the specific changes next week, and the teachers who will take on RTI, and those others affected by moves. We look forward to these exciting new opportunities.
Thanks again for your tremendous support. Have an awesome day.
Good Afternoon Parents and Guardians,
I look forward to updating you on what is transpiring here at DGS School. In general our students and staff are doing exceptional work in terms of teaching and learning, but as well, in terms of maintaining Covid Protocols. We are seeing some signs of students being somewhat more relaxed regarding wearing masks and physically distancing, particularly when they gather outside the school first thing in the morning, and when leaving the school at the end of the day. After observing students in the past few days I would suggest that about half the students have masks on where others will be slow to put them on in the AM, and quick to remove them when leaving the building. The issue of concern is that, they are most hesitant to physically distance themselves when masks are removed - in fact many students will remain in close proximity (1-2 feet) as they enjoy the company of their friends.
I would urge parents to stay the course in providing direction and reminders to their children about the three primary strategies within the Covid protocol for our students: wear masks; physically distance themselves by 2 metres/6 feet or more; wash and sanitize their hands often. As the number of schools reported to have a Covid outbreak increases, many very close to home (Auburn Bay), I believe we need to be vigilant in providing direction to our kids, as well as being great role models for them. If DGS School has an outbreak, the outcome could affect hundreds of individuals in terms of having to be quarantined for 14 days, which could also prove to be very difficult for many families to provide daycare. It would be devastating if two or more classes had to be quarantined. In the end, AHS are in the position to make all decisions around quarantining individuals if they contract Covid-19, or are close contacts.
As always, thanks for your support.
Good Morning Parents and Guardians,
After a wonderful long weekend with a much deserved break, we have hit the pavement running once again. As I made reference to in my last email, I wanted to update you on life at Dr. George Stanley School and some changes in programming, staffing and routine. Some of this relates to developing greater opportunities for learning, while still maintaining a high safety standard in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of this also relates to the Hub Online Learning and how it has affected our school.
1. DGS has 78 students who are enrolled in the Hub Online Learning. This is a great opportunity for these students and families. The CBE has been extremely busy building the Hub in terms of student classes and assigning teachers. With fewer students attending our school we were in a position to have two teachers move over to the Hub, including Ms. Kohlman and Ms. Schwarz. Though the teachers will remain "attached" to DGS, they will be working in a virtual world with Hub students, much like the one our students were in from March through June. We will miss them dearly. More detail regarding the Hub Online Learning Program will be going out to those families who are registered with the Hub in the next few days.
2. As a result of losing two teachers we are in a position to collapse one of our Grade 6 classes - Ms Schwarz's 6-2 class. These students will go into the other five classes bringing these class sizes up to 28-29. This size of class is relative average, if not small compared to other places in the city. We are working hard to balance the remaining classes, not only in terms of size, but also learning, gender, and strengths. The new classes will begin either tomorrow or Friday.
3. You may have heard from your kids (I suspect you did) that all classes are now getting daily Physical Education, which they didn't have last week. We believe we are able to do this in a safe way ensuring there is still appropriate physical distancing where masks will still be worn in doors, and may be removed, depending on the activity outside. I am a firm believer that daily Phys Ed is a huge necessity in school programming for our youth.
4. We have also formally started our Complementary - Option wheel with all of our classes. Students will be taking options, either from their homeroom teacher, or possibly from specialists in 6 week blocks. This will provide opportunities for our students to broaden their perspective in these other areas and disciplines. Because of Covid-19 and our need to create a safe learning environment, we strongly feel the necessity to keep our students in their homeroom cohorts, without mixing with other students in the building, hence the need to run with an exploratory wheel, as opposed to semestered options that students choose. This may change in the future. For now, safety is of the essence.
5. As we are hearing in the media, Covid 19 has affected people in 11 schools in Alberta, to date. This number is sure to climb. We will do our utmost to keep our students safe at DGS. I very much appreciate all the steps that parents are taking to ensure their child is understanding of the need to be physically distant, wearing masks, and sanitizing hands on an ongoing basis. Thank you for this tremendous support. Our students have been awesome in taking this on. Our Chief Superintendent, Chris Usih just sent a message to staff this morning, and I would like to share a small part of it with you. "These are challenging times, and I thank you sincerely for your support as we work together to build the best way forward. While our world looks different today, we are continuing to educate our students through a global pandemic. That is no small thing and something of which we should be immensely proud." I whole heartedly agree with Chris' statement, and very much appreciate the incredible effort our teachers and Support Staff put forward in making this school a warm and caring - and safe place to come to every day.
I have appreciated parent feedback and look forward to continuing to hear from you in the next couple of weeks. In terms of filling the Principalship here at DGS, our Area 5 Director, Mike Nelson, has shortlisted candidates, and will be interviewing them in the next couple of days. I will continue to keep you informed as the news unfolds. Thanks again for your support. Have a great day.
Good Morning Dr. George Stanley 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 promised in my last email I am sending this message regarding the comprehensive/detailed plan for school start-up for parents and students. As you will read below, the information is on our website but I have also added it here for additional ease of access. Just click on the link at the bottom.
I wanted to high light two significant points at this time - we are going to run with staggered entry times on Tuesday, September 1 to support safety and social distancing, as follows:
Families with last names starting with A-G are asked to arrive at 8:15; Families H-O arrive at 8:30; and Families P-Z arrive at 8:45. Thank you for supporting this strategy.
As well, we will be able to provide families with the name of the homeroom teacher of their child on Monday, August 31 through an email sent by the homeroom teacher. We hope this advance notice will be appreciated.
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: We continue to refine information in our re-entry planning based on provincial and CBE guidance. Over time you will see this plan evolve.
Please visit our school website https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/drgeorgestanley/Pages/default.aspx for information on the actions and processes that are being applied to the specific context of our school. Information will be updated on a regular basis. You can also click here to see the information:
DGS School Start-up Plan August 28, 2020.docx
Thanks again for the many welcoming messages and for your ongoing support. Have a great weekend.
Good Afternoon Parents and Guardians,
My name is Bruce Johnston and I am delighted to have been placed at Dr. George Stanley as Principal on an interim basis. I have only heard great things about our staff, students and learning community from the Assistant Principal, Andrew Bews, and our Director, Mike Nelson.
The Principal position for DGS will be posted, shortlisted, interviewed for, and appointed in the upcoming weeks, and should arrive within about four weeks. There is a significant amount of information that parents will need to review in the upcoming days, but I wanted to give you a sense of our plans for the first few days of school particularly in light of these very different times because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I will want to be brief in this first message, but also keep you informed about many of the big details that we've ironed out.
- A little bit about me. I have been teaching for 40 years, most recently the Principal at Simon Fraser School in Brentwood for 19 years; Principal at Dr. Gordon Higgins School in Rundle for 6 years; Assistant Principal at Senator Patrick Burns for 4 years; and teacher at Branton School for 11 years. I believe teaching and learning begins and ends with relationships.
- This school year and the programming and planning will be focused on Safe and Simple. We will be employing compassionate, healthy, and safe learning at all times. As a learning community we will work collaboratively to ensure your child receives the best education under these times of duress and turbulance.
- Our plans will incorporate all CBE directives, particularly around COVID-19 measures, and will certainly reflect Alberta Health Services directives and information, as well as those received from Alberta Education. All of the following plans revolve around health measures that we have been directed to take.
- We would ask that parents ensure they have used the daily health screen check-list with their child prior to coming to school each day. This is provided on the CBE website, and will also be linked in an upcoming email to parents. Students must not arrive at school before 8:15 AM - doors will be locked; and students are required to leave school property/go home promptly after school.
- We would ask students to bring a refillable water bottle, snacks, and lunch each day.
- All students will remain in their Homeroom Cohort group for the duration of the day, including lunch. Cohorting of students attending schools is a mandate of the CBE and directive of Alberta Education. For the most part (though there will be exceptions) students will remain in one classroom, and teachers will move, depending on the courses/grades.
- All students, grades 5-9 must remain on campus at lunch. Leaving school property is not permitted unless a student is required to go home for lunch. We strongly recommend that all students remain at school for the lunch hour. We are employing three staggered lunch times to mitigate the concern of students mixing outside of their cohort, particularly if they are outside. Playground equipment will be accessable during school hours and lunch times. Details of these times will be forthcoming in another message.
- All students and staff are required to wear masks while at school. Social distancing will be practiced and facilitated by staff at all times. Washing hands and using hand sanitizer while moving from one area to another will also be required.
- We will be employing three different entrances/exits for students; Bused students will use the West-wing doors (close to the bus stop); Grade 5,6 & 7 students will be using the main entrance at the front of the school; Grade 8 and 9 students will be using the front door at the centre of the school.
- Lockers are not accessible by students at this time, so we will ask students to limit bringing excessive belongings to school. There will be little of any storage space for student's belongings, and ensuring security will be difficult.
- Cell phones must be turned off or muted and be placed in student's backpacks during class time. Cell phones must remain in backpacks except prior to school, at lunch and after school.
- Students will be finding out which class they are in when they arrive on Tuesday September 1. A lot of work is still being done to finalize class lists by members of the Admin Team. We have received a number of new registrations, but have also had a number of students register for the Hub online learning.
I hope some of this detail is helpful. The next email which you will receive by Friday will be very detailed and lengthy, but I would strongly recommend that all parents read the detailed document. Many more of your questions will be answered in the details shared in the next message. We are in a world of change, and there is certain to be ongoing changes through the course of the year. I believe that strong communication within the learning community is critical so you can expect ongoing emails from myself and/or Andrew Bews. Please email me or phone me with inquiries. Normally I would enjoy meeting parents face-to-face, but at this time we are being asked to limit visitors, parents and volunteers from coming into the school. If you have a need to formally meet with me or Mr. Bews, please give us a call and we can make arrangements. I look forward to meeting with your children in the near future.
Thank you for your support and understanding. Please enjoy the rest of your day.
Let me begin by trumpeting how very proud I am of the students and staff at Dr. George Stanley School. Everyone’s interactions with on-going learning have been impressive. We have worked through issues and concerns as a team and done our very best for students. A lot of positives will emerge.
Plans for September are well underway. As soon as we have clarification from the Alberta Government the CBE, and the school will communicate with everyone.
Another plan for September will be the assignment of a new Principal for Dr. George Stanley School. I have accepted the position of System Principal of Inclusionary Learning for the Calgary Board of Education. My work at Dr. George Stanley and past experiences has provided me with a strong understanding and commitment to meeting the needs of our students who face learning challenges. I will begin my work downtown on August 10, 2020. Whoever is fortunate to enter into this learning space will acquire a wonderful community.
I have been in contact with Education Director, Dr. Michael Nelson, and he has already started the search for a new principal. You will receive an email asking for parent/guardian feedback later today.
I thank all of the staff at Dr. George Stanley for being so dynamic and hard working as we worked together to create wonderful learning opportunities for students based on engaging programming and key relationships.
I thank every student for being inspirational and delightful. Although this age group sometimes comes with challenges, I enjoyed every antic and appreciated how respectful and responsible students are in this community.
I thank the many parents for their support as we endeavoured to make learning engaging for students. This looked different from past experiences and through many conversations we came to an understanding of how we all want what is best for students as they proceed into the future.
My wish is for each and every one of you to enjoy your holiday.
Stay close to your COVID cohort and stay safe.
Happy Friday Everyone,
I know in our current situation Friday’s are sometimes not as relevant to everyone as they use to be.
It has been a very busy week here at Dr. George Stanley School. Report cards are completed, printed, and ready to be filed in Official Student Records. As I am writing this to you, I am well aware of the difficulties everyone is having trying to access these reports. Please be patient - the information is not going anywhere. Calgary Board of Education is a very large board and managing access to over 100,000 report cards is very challenging.
Another area of concern for the Calgary Board of Education is the low number of bus registrations. If you have a student who will be taking the bus next year, you MUST go on and register your child. There is concern that students who are not registered will not be allowed access to this service given our planning to mitigate risk of contracting the virus.
We are finishing up our temporary plans to ensure students may enter back into the building without worry of COVID contact. Once the Government of Alberta announces which scenario we will be following, we will solidify our plans and communicate them to you. It will be a very different world for student learning than we have experienced in the past. This is important as we want to do our best to ensure student safety.
As we are firming up our teaching teams for next year. We are very happy to welcome some wonderful teachers onto our team.
Ms. A. Strother is coming to us from the northwest. She is keen to start a new adventure working with concept teaching and learning with this wonderful student population.
Ms. L. Schwarz is coming to us from the Girl’s School and she is very excited to be working with our diverse student population. We are excited to get to know her as well.
Ms. L. Masur is heading over to Dr. George Stanley School from Banting and Best School. She has been enjoying her time with young students but feels her passion lies with older leaners so she is keen to begin forming those relationships.
Ms. L. Neamtu is a late addition to our staff as Ms. Brennan has decided to extend her leave indefinitely to spend time with her new baby. Ms. Neamtu is coming to us with a freshly completed Masters of Counseling so will be a wonderful addition to our school community.
We only have a couple days left until the end of the school year. Please note front office will close at 12:00 noon on June 30, 2020 and we will not be able to support you further until August 27, 2020 when we will re-open to students and their families.
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