Once again, thanks to all of our families for all of the support you have given us during this challenging year. We hope everyone has a restful summer, enjoys family and friends and comes back for an invigorated, hopefully normal school year. As a staff we are already planning for the return of lockers, sports, clubs and regular complimentary programming. We are hopeful that we will be able to offer a wide range of opportunities for all of our students again next year. It is, however, highly likely that we will be starting the year in a cohort model that can be gradually released as restriictions hopefully disappear.
We wish you all the best over the summer and look forward to seeing everyone in the fall. To our departing grade 9's, we also wish you the best of luck as you move to high school.
It is hard to believe that June is almost over and summer is near. For those families looking to give their children a head start for September, the single best thing you can do is encourage reading. The Calgary Public Library has the Ultimate
Summer Challenge underway, and looks like a great way to get kids reading. Research has shown that reading will strengthen your brain, increase ability to empathize, build vocabulary, improve spelling, reduce stress, helps with a good nights sleep, helps alleviate depression symptoms, and could help you live longer.
Another great way to support summer learning is through Kahn Academy. They have a multitude of free courses to keep kids thinking and fresh. Of course everyone needs a break, but a bit of reading and some math will help prevent summer learning loss.
We are very excited to have the students return next week. If you borrowed a computer please bring it back ASAP as it takes some work to put the charging stations back together. We will move our lunch time back to normal starting Tuesday the 25th, a split lunch with grade 5 and 7 first and grade 6, 8 and 9 going the second session.
We are close to the end of the year and will be working toward completing those final assignments and supporting students as they transition to the summer. It is essential that parents encourage their children to read regularly this summer. Reading is the single most important thing they can do to support their learning.
Reading Stats and Facts:
- “Extensive reading was linked to superior performance on measures of general knowledge, vocabulary, spelling, verbal fluency, and reading comprehension.” – Cunningham and Stanovich, 1998
- “In one of the most extensive studies of reading yet conducted, Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding traced reading growth to reading and reading volume. They found that the amount of time students spent reading was the best predictor of reading achievement.” – Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding (1988)
- “It is clear that reading early in life are critical factors in student success,” – Anthony W. Marx, president of the New York Public Library, New York Times (2015)
- “Differences in volume of pleasure reading between good and poor readers is massive.” – Cunningham and Stanovich, 1998
- “Differences in reading volume make an independent contribution to growth in reading and language skills.” – Mol & Bus, 2011
- “Research consistently shows strong correlation to reading & academic success at all ages” – National Center for Educational Statistics
Find some great books and read with them! Books make us smarter.
We know that this is a stressful time for everyone, particularly our grade 7 to 9 families that are learning online. Here are some tips that may help you at home from the website Mindfuel:
1. Limit distractions and make sure the space is functional.
Removing distractions like other electronic devices and screens will go a long way in helping your child find success learning online. The space should be comfortable, well-lit and quiet to help your child concentrate.
2. Encourage regular breaks and stretching, and remember mental health is just as important as physical health.
It can be hard to stay focused when looking at a computer screen for a prolonged period of time, so make sure your child is taking frequent breaks throughout the day to rest their eyes and stretch their muscles. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused undue stress in all of our lives, so ensure your child is practicing healthy habits such as eating well and sticking to a regular bed time to help reduce this stress. Also, encourage your child to find healthy and positive ways to release their stress. This could look like taking time to play a game, diving into a new book, playing outside or finding other activities you can do together.
3. Stay in touch with your child’s teacher and class.
Though your child may be learning from home, it is still important to remember they are part of a class, with a teacher ready to support them as needed. Make a point of emailing your child’s teacher to ensure they’re staying on pace and encourage your child to schedule online study sessions with their friends to help keep their spirits up.
4. Allow for flexibility in your child’s learning schedule.
While they will still have set class times, the benefit of learning from home is that your child can take advantage of a flexible schedule when completing assignments. By allowing them to switch between topics and take them at their own pace, their odds of success will drastically increase. For example, they could focus better in the mornings, so that might be a good time to tackle the subjects they struggle with.
5. Setting goals and rewarding success goes a long way.
When it seems like isolation will never end, a good way to keep your child motivated is to find ways to reward them. Maybe they get some extra time on the computer if they complete their reading on time. Or they get to pick what the family will do together that evening since they did well on a quiz. Take the time to celebrate their successes, even the little ones, and you will notice a big difference in your child’s attitude towards school.
6. Find ways to do things together throughout the day.
If you’re also working from home, another benefit of distance learning is the increased quality time with your child. Plan to take your lunches together and check in with them on your coffee break. Your child will appreciate the company and it’s a good way to see how they are coping.
7. Take your child’s learning outside when possible.
While the delivery of their learning will be online when they are at home, you can find ways to supplement your student’s learning in the backyard or community in general. Maybe they’re learning about the lifecycle of a certain bug, so why not try to find one for yourself? If they are learning about shapes, see if any occur naturally in the area.
8. Incorporate regular classroom activities into your child’s day.
Children thrive on routine. Chances are there are regular activities your student’s teacher plans throughout the week. Maybe there’s a theme for certain days of the week, or a certain activity they do together such as reading a book chapter at the end of the day. You can ask your teacher if they have any recommendations to make your child’s at-home learning a little easier!
Spring break is upon us and it couldn't have come at a better time. Everyone at DMC is ready for a little break to re-charge and get ready for the final three month push to summer. We continue to work with students around their mental health in a variety of ways. Our Student Services team of Mrs. Twa and Mrs. Thompson are available daily to chat with students. They also are here to speak with parents and help them with resources as needed. Our Chimera Time or CT time is designed to be a regular part of our day for classes to talk about healthy living, to build relationships and to work out problems. Recently we have begun a new way for students to connect with the staff through our "How Can We Help?" box. The box is a place students can place questions/comments/concerns for the office to read and respond to. We are trying to be proactive in supporting our students.
We hope that families can spend some time outside over the break, helping children relax and get ready for the final few months. Remember we are always here to help in whatever way we can.
Have a great spring break.
Today is International Women's Day, a day we recognize the contributions women have made and continue to make in our society and around the world. The people that have had the most profound impact on me and my life are my wife and daughter.
My wife is the reason I am who I am today, she helped me get through university, all three degrees. When I see her, I am in awe of all she has done and continues to do. She is a working mother of two and a very successful business person. She inspires me every day with her perseverance and resilience, she is my rock and my best friend.
We have been fortunate enough to have two amazing children, a son and a daughter. My daughter is our youngest and she also never ceases to amaze me. She is an incredible student in her grade 10 year and a high performing athlete that has been lucky and strong enough to have competed on the international stage. She has always done this with grace and confidence, she is her mother's daughter, full of life and energy.
These two women in my life are amazing people who I am thankful for every single day.
Who are the women in your life you are thankful for?
Hard to believe that we are at another Family Day long weekend. The past week has been a cold one, please remind your children to dress for the weather and to not come to school too early in these conditions.
Staff is online learning over the next couple of days, taking in workshops to gather ideas of new things they can do in class. This is an exciting time for us as we get to slow down a bit and become the student.
We held our lottery yesterday and will be sending out letters to notify families of the outcome next week. If you were successful in the lottery, remember you will have 10 days to reply to the email from the day you receive it. There is no one in the office until Tuesday to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to email or leave messages, and we will do our best to respond next week.
Today we received an amazing email from one of our amazing parents who asked us to help their child deal with an ongoing challenge with other children. This student was being teased and it needed to be addressed. At the school we always address situations when they are brought to our attention. Our goal is to work with both the offender and the victim in all cases so everyone feels supported and learns from the situation. We recognize that there are times when families do not believe the school "does much to stop bullying". This simply is not true, when we know about situations we always deal with them. We have a process that we work through each and every time, one that involves investigating the situation by talking with those involved and witnesses, if there were any. "Bullying" is actually a very rare occurrence at the school, but conflict and rude behavior can be common.
We deal with all situations when they are brought to us, sometimes it takes several conversations or mediations or consequences to resolve the problem, but we will work until we get to a resolution. If your child is experiencing any of the things on the chart on this page, please let their teacher know or contact the office.
Happy New Year
We are excited to be back in the building learning. We understand this is still a difficult time for families, so please reach out to the school if you have any questions or may require support for your child academically or emotionally. We have an incredible Student Services department that is here to help families with a variety of things when it comes to their child. If we are unable to help, we can certainly direct you to services that might be able to support you and your family. Feel free to connect with your child's teacher or to call/email the office directly.
Every year the Government of Alberta sends out a survey for our grade 7 parents and students. The student version of the survey is done at school, online. The parent version is mailed to the home and can be completed and mailed in or it can be completed online as well. I thought it might be appropriate to talk about the areas over the course of the year that the you are asked to comment on. This week I will talk about Safe and Caring schools.
At DMC we take the safety of your children very seriously, not just their physical safety but their social and emotional wellbeing. Middle school is a challenging place, a time in life when children are becoming adolescents, they are figuring out who they are, who their friends are and when parents often stop becoming the most influential people in their lives. That role is replaced by their peer group. At DMC we try to address these areas through our health curriculum, having open and honest discussion in class about growing up, choices and decision making. This is done through our Physical Education time and our Chimera Time. Students are given opportunities to voice their concerns, their ideas and to learn from one another and the teacher about life skills. We focus on how to deal with anxiety and how to make and keep friends. In a normal year we try to bring in special guests to talk about big life decisions and events such as drugs and alcohol. We want your children to be ready for the world.
Other services we offer are one on one opportunities for students that need a bit more TLC with our student services team. This team can listen to students and help them find solutions to problems. Parents are also welcome to connect with our student services team if they feel their child needs a bit more support.
We work hard with all students to create an inclusive environment, one free from bullying. We always deal with these situations, sometimes we cannot speak about what has happened to the "other" child in a situation because we work within privacy legalities, but we always deal with emerging situations and the students involved.
A school is a community, we will sometimes all get along, and sometimes we will have conflict. It is our job to help students learn in both scenarios,
We believe DMC is a safe and caring school, our teachers are among the best in the city and all of them care about your children.
In the next blog we will talk a bit how we work with the Alberta Program of Studies to plan.
(Hidden) About this blog
Welcome to SharePoint Blogs. Use this space to provide a brief message about this blog or blog authors. To edit this content, select "Edit Page" from the "Site Actions" menu.