Hello Earl Grey Families,
We are at the half way point of an unprecedented school year.
Each morning when students enter the building they are greeted by staff with a big “Hello!” a spritz of hand sanitizer and then students all walk in a clockwise direction to their class while music provided by DJ Sol plays over the intercom. It’s a wonderful morning routine that is up beat, full of positivity that grounds everyone with a degree of normalcy that supports our mental health.
As a teaching staff, we continue our work with Anita Thomson, a SEL (social-emotional learning) educator and parent at the school. Anita’s role supports us in meeting our wellness goal for students and staff.
“This month the staff at Earl Grey are working on improving their endurance and positive mindset as we continue to live with pandemic related restrictions. I've challenged them to adopt the tools used by high-performance athletics; paying special attention to their physical fitness, protecting their quality of sleep, making positive goals part of their morning routines and paying special attention to their nutrition.
By remaining in "top condition" as individuals, they will be able to be at their best with their own families, and with their Earl Grey students.
I'd like to invite you as parents and guardians to take a moment and check to see if you and your family are doing all you can to thrive in this ultra-marathon of patience, anxiety, frustration and longing. Are you getting enough sleep? How about adding in more sweaty workouts? Are your kids packing the best lunches with fresh nutritious foods, and are you consciously fueling yourselves in a healthy way? Everything we put into us, from food to media, effects how well we face each day.
When we are stressed out, tired or feeling a little lost, it's easy to reach for whatever comforts or coping behaviours that are easy. My hope for all of us in this waiting game is to rise to the challenge of consistency in our wellness. That may not sound exciting but it's a solid challenge, I promise!
Wishing you continued resiliency and good health!”
In the month of February, Earl Grey has made Healthy Nutrition a focus.
As a staff, we are aware of the difficulties during this pandemic in finding pre packaged heathy snacks that meet the: Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth and meet our Administrative Regulation: Nutrition - Administrative Regulation 3047 . Because of this, we have seen an increase in sugar, fat and salt centred treats that are being brought to school for individual and classroom birthday and special day celebrations. As a school, we are asking families to consider other treats and snacks that could be brought as an alternative. Teachers will be brainstorming these healthy ideas with their students in the month of February and will be posting these healthy ideas in their google classrooms.
Moving forward, we will be sending treats or goodie bags that are not in compliance with the AR or Alberta Food Guidelines home with students. Parents can then make the decision on when, where and what treats their children may have. With this in mind, ice cream treats will not make the trip home, and we ask that they not be brought to school.
Valentine’s Day is always a special day at Earl Grey. It’s a day when we all can write messages and give thoughtful gestures of caring, kindness and love that build on our positive mental health.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Principal, Earl Grey School
“Why do we wear a poppy today?”
The lady smiled in her wistful way,
And Answered, “This is Remembrance Day, and the poppy there is the symbol for the gallant ones who died in war,
And, because they did, you and I are free,
That’s why we wear a poppy, you see.”
I remember reciting this poem “Why Do We Wear a Poppy” as part of a Remembrance Day Ceremony when I was in school.
My commute to school takes me past the temporary monument set up along Memorial Drive with over 3000 markers symbolizing each resident of Calgary who died protecting our country as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is a stunning visual reminder that causes me to reflect on the poem’s message. Perhaps it was the fact that it was a young boy asking the question of the older woman that helped me relate to the situation. We all have memories of Remembrance Day and what it means to us, whether it is a grandparent who served in the war or most recently, speaking with a refugee family from Syria who are so grateful to be living in Canada.
November is a time for us to reflect on the importance of citizenship in our community both locally and globally. The Calgary Board of Education Citizenship Results Policy states that each student will be a responsible citizen and students will participate in developing and maintaining our Canadian civil democratic society and understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in local, national and international contexts. Our students and staff have worked towards this Citizenship Result with our Terry Fox Run in September that raised over $945.00 for cancer research. As a community, our next effort will be to support Connaught School with a Grocery Card Fundraiser. More information about this initiative will be coming out shortly.
Because of our pandemic safety measures, our Remembrance Day Ceremony will be done virtually in the classrooms on Tuesday, November 10 at 10:00 a.m. All students presently members of the Girl Guides, Scouts or Cadets are invited to wear their uniforms for the day. All Earl Grey students will receive a poppy to wear and if families wish, they may make a donation online to the Poppy Fund at: https://legion.ca/home .
Matthew Lowe, Principal
Hello Earl Grey Families,
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life; it turns what we have into enough and more. It turns a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today and creates vision for tomorrow.” Author: Melody Beattie
Being grateful has many of the similarities to the concept of resiliency:
Over the past twenty years as an educator, the stories that have fascinated me the most were about students who overcame tremendous odds to become successful in life. The reality that some students who experience family conflict, problems with friendships, bullying, and learning concerns manage to thrive; while others encounter great difficulty has fascinated researchers for some time. The ability for children to succeed in spite of challenges is called resiliency. Researchers have found the following five areas in a child’s life can make the difference whether they are resilient children or continually struggle:
- Autonomy - Students who are able to see that they have the power to learn and make age appropriate decisions about their lives tend to fair better than those who don’t.
- Sense of Purpose – Students who have goals and see the positive side of life where the glass is half full, not half empty tend to be more successful than those who have lost a sense of hope.
- Social Competence – Students who develop skills associated with cooperative learning and friendships tend to be more resilient than those who lack these skills.
- Problem Solving – Students who learn to think before acting are more likely to develop resiliency.
- Achievement Motivation – Students who don’t give up, but keep on trying no matter what, are in good shape to face the challenges that life will bring their way.
Morrison, G., Allen, R. (2005). Promoting Student Resilience. Theory Into Practise, 46(2), 162-169.
This pandemic has shown us how resilient our students are. Children have been coming to school ready to learn each and every day. Students follow our established safety guidelines without complaint. Even though classrooms look and function differently and many of our special events and extra curricular activities need to be curtailed, children are excited to be at school. The children are demonstrating gratitude, the staff feels this gratitude and all of us are very grateful to our families and community for your continued support.
Matthew Lowe, Principal
Hello Earl Grey Families,
Thank you for helping us make our staggered start a success. It was a huge help to our staff as we were able to focus on smaller groups of students to set our expectations around wearing masks, physical distancing, sanitation, lunch and recess routines.
Students are welcome to enter the school from 7:45 to 8:00 a.m. This eliminates lining up outside and increases the physical distance of everyone in and out the school. Students in Grades K to 3 enter via the upper compound door, students in grades 4 to 6 enter by the lower playground doors and students dropped off at the Kiss and Ride may enter the school by the front door. In class learning begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. sharp! As we have an earlier start this year, please make the necessary adjustments to your families routines to ensure students are on time.
It is amazing how resilient kids are! We have not had any issues with our students following the mask guidelines at the school. In fact, we are reminding students that they can take their masks off while in class and seated at their individual desks. Students do not need to wear masks outside the school or when they are engaging in physical activity in the gym.
Parents dropping off students for our Little Steps: Before and After School program can park in the staff parking lot prior to 7:45 a.m. Students may not be dropped off in the staff parking lot after 7:45 a.m. When dropping student off at school, we suggest using Hillcrest Avenue (please note posted no parking signs) Dorchester Ave. and Earl Grey Crescent.
School start up packages including demographic verification documentation will be sent out early next week.
Reminder: Friday’s are early dismissal. Grades 1 to 6 dismiss at 12:00 p.m.
Principal, Earl Grey School
All of us deserve a well earned
I wish to express my gratitude to
our incredible students, staff and parents for your willingness, creativity and
skill in pivoting to online learning during this challenging time. I especially want to thank our students for
their commitment to learning. I am proud
of each and every one of you!
Parents, please know that re-entry
planning for the 2020-2021 school year is significant and thorough. At
Earl Grey, we know that the safety of our students and staff is paramount.
Throughout the summer, the CBE Communications Team will be communicating
directly with all parents & guardians. As you are aware, Aug. 1 is when the Alberta government will announce which
scenario will be in place for the beginning of the school year on Sept. 1. As a staff, we hope that your child receiving a postcard from their
teacher in the summer welcoming them to their new class will help to support
the transition into the next school year. As we set off for the summer, we know
that Earl Grey is nimble and we will adapt to any scenario we come back to.
The school office will
be open on Thursday, Aug. 27. We look
forward to seeing all of our students and families back on
Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, for our first day of class. Please have a look at this website
for back to school information located on the Registration tab.
Earl Grey is truly a caring
community, thank you for all the support and generosity you have given us
through this truly remarkable year. It
will be a time in history that our children will be talking about with their
grandchildren generations from now.
Have a wonderful summer,
Hello Earl Grey Families,
Now that we are all safe at home, practicing social distancing and have begun our transition to an online learning environment, the importance of wellbeing for you and your children has never been greater.
As a school staff, we continue to work with Anita Thomson from Insight Education to support our school’s Well Being for Learning Goal which focuses on lowering students ’anxiety when confronted with academic and social challenges. Emotional Literacy has been our current focus. Thank you Anita for sharing these strategies to support Emotional Literacy with the Earl Grey community.
Developing emotional literacy aids a child’s mental wellness and physical well-being. Teaching moments abound in our current situation! There are so many unknowns, and the information we do have right now is a little scary and daunting. Having to adjust to so many changes and challenges can also press hard on our emotions.
One of the most important things parents and caregivers can do is be honest, open and vocal about their own emotional experiences; both pleasant and unpleasant. Frame the information and emotions you share age appropriate, but don’t try to seem heroic, stoic or unfazed if that’s not how you really feel.
Stability and change ebb and flow. Feelings and emotions come and go too, and teaching our children to surf those emotion waves can help them manage emotional, social and environmental challenges as they grow.
Strategies - What Can Parents Do?
Parents, teachers and other care-giving adults can play a major role in children’s ability to identify, understand, and express emotions in a healthy way. The following strategies are effective in promoting emotional literacy in children.
1. Express Your Own Feelings. One way to help children learn to label their emotions is to have healthy emotional expression modelled for them by the adults in their lives. For example, if the wi-fi is slow when you’re trying to work you could say, “Oh man, this is so frustrating!! I’d better take a couple of deep breaths and figure out another way to get my presentation working.” Parents can make a point to talk out loud about their feelings as they experience them throughout the day. It may seem a little awkward at first, but keep in mind that children can't read your thoughts. It’s helpful for them to hear out loud how you feel, and how you plan to resolve uncomfortable feelings.
2. Label Children’s Feelings. As parents provide feeling names for children’s emotional expressions, a child’s feeling vocabulary grows. Throughout the day, parents can attend to their children’s emotional moments and attempt to help label their feelings. For example as your child runs for the playground, she sees it is taped up and off limits. Your child begins to frown and tense up. You can say, “You seem disappointed that we can’t
climb on the bars again today. Sometimes it’s really frustrating when things don’t go the way we wanted.” Then offer a hug, and see if you can think up some other ways to have fun. Let you child take the lead in finding creative solutions.
3. Play Games, Sing Songs and Read Stories Together. Parents can enhance children’s feeling vocabularies by introducing games, songs, and storybooks featuring feeling words. Teachers and parents can adapt songs such as “If you’re happy and you know it” with verses such as “If you’re frustrated and you know it, take a breath”; “If you’re disappointed and you know it, tell a friend”; or “If you’re proud and you know it, say ‘I did it!’”. Taking time to read together and discuss the character’s feelings or behaviours and motivations is another powerful way to increase empathy, self-validation and emotional literacy for kids. In the pre-teen years, try asking questions about characters, plot lines and emotional scenes in shows. Not only will you get to know what they are watching, but it will help you observe how they decipher emotions and relate to the content.
Emotions are everywhere. And, emotions are an integral and unavoidable part of the human experience. We are all being put to the test of our limits right now during isolation, and for some, quarantine. It’s an intense juggle with work at home, kids, maintaining school from home or even lay-offs or new income stresses.
Remember to breathe.
Remember to laugh and spend quality time together in whatever way works best, and is most realistic for your family. We are truly all in this together.
For more information and resources
Remember, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, safe at home and try not to worry!!
Earl Grey School
Welcome back to a
very busy January at Earl Grey!
As part of our School Development Plan, we have partnered
with Briar Hill school and Anita Thomson from Insight Education to help support
our schools Well Being for Learning Goal which focuses on lowering students
anxiety when confronted with academic and social challenges. Mindfulness
was the focus of our first professional development session. Thank you
Anita for sharing this mindfulness strategy with our schools.
Mindfulness At Home
Grey School, teachers have been learning more about mindfulness. Teachers who
practice mindfulness, naturally bring those concepts to life in the classroom.
Our goal is to build a culture of mindfulness with our students,
giving them the tools to understand and manage anxiety through proven
skills and healthy behaviours – starting at a young age.
are a lot of pressures in modern daily life. Parents and Caregivers are often
stressed themselves; grownups need encouragement to find a moment or two
throughout the day to check-in, slow down and act wisely.
a Mindful skill presented in an acronym to get you started.
When you sense you are overwhelmed, frustrated or “tuned out” you can…STOP!
S - Stop
what you are doing (ie. take a physical step back, put your device down)
T - Take
a slow, deep breath
Observe what’s happening, without judgement or assumptions
P - Proceed with kindness and curiosity
a moment to use the STOP skill, can make a significant difference in your state
of mind, and your interactions with others, especially your loved ones.
Children just need to know that you are genuinely interested in who they are,
what they think and feel. Being able to fully concentrate on connectedness
during your time together is invaluable.
learn more, check out this article:
Happy New Year!
December is shaping up to be a very busy and exciting month. The school is starting to be decorated in festive artwork and you can feel the anticipation of the holiday. As I am writing this message, I have the pleasure of listening to the student’s voices echoing down the hall from gym as they practice for our upcoming Christmas concerts: Jingle Bell Hill and North Pole Musical. Our division one concert (Grades K to 3) will be on Tuesday, December 10 and our division two concert (Grades 4 to 6) will be on Wednesday, December 11. More information about our concerts will be sent out as a separate message.
December is the season of giving. Our Christmas Stars are available to be picked up from the office wall. This year, rather than a donation of a toy, we are asking for Walmart Gift Cards. Gift Cards will allow families the flexibility to purchase what they require to make their own Christmas brighter. If you can support, it would be greatly appreciated.
For the month of December, we will also be collecting for the Mayor’s 31st Annual Christmas Food Drive. Boxes will be located in the front hallway of the school. Non-perishable items can be dropped off for the next two weeks or on the evening of our concerts. Our food drive for Connaught School was also a success! Thank you to our grade 2/3 classrooms for your leadership in organizing this effort.
We are very fortunate as a school to have as many parent and community members who have given us the gift of time through numerous volunteer hours. Our school council is comprised of an amazing group of parents. As a council they wish to grow and are asking for more parents to join them. Our next council meeting will be on January 14 at 6:30 p.m. Please join us!
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to extend our hope that the gift of the season warms your heart and brings you happiness. May all the joys of Christmas and of the holiday season be yours now and throughout the New Year!
Matt Lowe, Linda Dann, Sandi Metz
Our washroom renovations are nearing completion and our custodial team has done an amazing job in getting the school ready for our first day of classes. It’s hard to believe that just two weeks ago we had no water service and not one working toilet!
Thanks to our staff for their flexibility in working around these renovations and the extra time they spent ensuring our school was well prepared for our first week. Mrs. Dann even commented that this has been the smoothest start-up she has seen!
The support and teaching staff we have assembled will be outstanding. We would like to welcome Mrs. Adiwibawa as our new kindergarten teacher and Mrs. Metz our new Learning Leader and lead teacher for our Learning and Literacy program.
This year, we will be implementing a new math program called JUMP Math. Our staff had the opportunity to attend an in depth training session last week on this new program and we will be engaging in a number of professional development sessions throughout the year. More information about JUMP Math will be sent by your child’s teacher next week.
Please keep the following dates in mind:
- Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Thursday and Friday, September 19 and 20. On-line registration will open on Friday, September 14.
- Terry Fox Run Week will be from September 23rd to the 27th with our School run being held on the afternoon on Thursday, September 26
- Our Orange Shirt Day assembly in recognition of First Nations reconciliation will be on the morning of Thursday, September 26.
We have an exciting school year planned and there is much to look forward in the months ahead. Helping children grow into healthy, capable and caring individuals is rewarding work and the entire Earl Grey School staff is delighted to be working with your children.
Welcome back everyone!
We are very proud of the accomplishment of our students and school and this would not be possible without the support of our Earl Grey community. What a wonderful journey we are all on.
• For being involved in your child’s learning
• For all you volunteer hours supporting the school
• For your tireless fundraising to support our programs and students
• For joining School Council. What a fantastic group of parents we have!
• For all the extras that show you care
• For doing your best
• For living the Seven Habits
• For taking care of our environment
• For being a good friend
• For sharing your curiosity and excitement of learning
• For your commitment to our students and school
• For the long hours you work for the betterment of our students
• For running clubs and extra-curricular activities
• For the outstanding concerts and assemblies you create and lead
• For commitment to our shared values that every child is a gift and each one of them WILL be successful learners.
A special meeting of council was held on Monday, June 3rd. to discuss the Calgary Board of Education budget and how this affects our staffing at Earl Grey for the 2019/2020 school year. Minutes from this meeting are posted on the Earl Grey School Website > Get Involved > School Council: http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/earlgrey/get-involved/school-council/pages/default.aspx
School organization is complex with a number of criteria that we need to address in order to best meet the needs of all of our students. Final staffing decisions and class list will be completed over the summer. As in past years, students will be mailed out a postcard from their classroom teacher in late July welcoming them to their class.
The school office will be open on Wednesday, August 28th. We look forward to seeing all of our students and families back on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, for our first day of class.
Have a wonderful summer!
(Hidden) Matt Lowe, Principal
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