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Principal's Message

Eyes on Student Learning...Using our Infinite Mindsets


  "...to establish and sustain a learning environment that fosters creativity and innovation in a peaceful community of connected, independent thinkers, problem solvers and learners."  - Eric Harvie School Vision Statement 2016-2022***************'...navigating what will come to be known as this inter-pandemic space—a time between what our traditional notions of schooling once were and what they have the potential to become." - Allison Rodman, 2022 ASCD***************Since we are a Kindergarten through Grade 4 school, over half our school population has never experienced what we would typically consider a full 'school year' experience. Children currently in Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 have never participated in a spring concert, a year-end celebration of learning at the school with their families present, seen our Magician (Steve Harmer) perform in person, participated in a year-end sports day, been part of a parent-attended Peace Assembly. Even our current Grade 3 students would have experienced these things through the lens of a Kindergarten student with modified participation due to the half-time nature of the program itself.  And for our Grade 4 students, participating in all these new experiences only once as Grade 1 learners may seem very much like distant memories. This is without considering how learning itself has also looked and sounded vastly different over the past 2 years and 2 months than it ever did before.Should we consider this a loss for our students currently enrolled in our K - 4 school?Well, it is a loss of what used to be for sure - yet, perhaps not a loss of what is now 0r might be in the future. Children don't actually have a sense of loss for such experiences as spring concerts and sports days, anymore than they have a sense of loss for field trips or guest speakers or reading clubs in the library they have yet to experience either. The children and babies I've encountered over the years have a lot to teach us about living each day for the experience and the joys of living in that experience - they do not mourn what they do not know they have lost. While adults seek to restore some sense of normalcy - or what we remember as normal - the children come to school every day excited to do whatever the day offers to the best of their abilities. They learn, they laugh, they attempt new things, sometimes they get frustrated - or even angry, sometimes they are sad but they are always actively doing something with their brains and bodies active. They are not living regretfully, lamenting lost experiences.Even when we were enveloped in online learning, the children still were children. Some of them found ways to talk all the time regardless of mute buttons and turned off cameras. Stories continued to be told. They emailed written work and read books digitally, sent photographs and videos of themselves learning. They built relationships with their teachers and peers - differently, for sure - yet they were nonetheless relationships. They still trusted and cared, helped one another and smiled, grateful to see each other without masks without even making note of the difference.When we look back on these past 2+ years, I have a hunch we are going to notice children who consider school, life and each other a bit differently than what we adults recall. I believe we will see overall greater resiliency - our youngest learners have grown up needing to adapt quickly to new circumstances - learning at home with parents physically present and their peers absent, going back to school with masks, constraints and lots of adult control for 2020-21, and then returning to school again, in the fall of 2021-22, to an unpredictable school year where masks, constraints and vaccinations were defined and monitored initially.  Quickly these constraints gave way to a less-structured approach accompanied by much higher levels of illness for both children and adults, significant school absences, a huge focus on assessment for learning gaps and, finally, the presence of new curriculum waiting to make their next school year yet another one of uncertainty and much-needed adaptability.And still the children persevere - with smiles! They put forth effort, seek discoveries, ask questions, wonder aloud at all things unfamiliar. Their spirits are resilient and they do not see themselves as enduring learning losses in any way. They are learners, they are learning at their own pace. They are quicker to notice emotional responses in each other and in adults, and they are more willing to help if they are able.They also squabble more than they used to, often with the peers they know best. Their patience for each other is less obvious; they are wearying of the specific company of some of their peers. Familiarity, on occasion, will sometimes breed contempt...Are they reading, writing, counting, printing, etc at grade level? There is a ton of data to sift through and we are trying to make sense of it all. Truthfully, the non-strugglers will forever be the non-strugglers. Other learners will find some tasks to be challenging and other tasks much easier. All the children will, however, find a way to persevere and try again, to adapt and adjust and find a way to grow, learn and succeed. This is the trajectory of learning, teaching, human existence. Children living through this inter-pandemic space will find ways to thrive, to survive, to adapt and grow. Their ways will not necessarily echo the 'before pandemic' times, yet will define the characters and qualities of this generation. If we look forward with infinite mindsets, there is a clarity required that is essential for sustaining quality teaching and learning into the future. It is clarity that acknowledges adaptability, resiliency, the capacities to accept a situation as it is temporarily and still make the most of it.  These are qualities humans have exhibited for centuries when confronted with wars, famines, drought, disease, pestilence, poor governance. The human qualities necessary to thrive despite life's challenges have been blanketed by a few decades of prosperity and gentler living requirements - at least in western countries. As learners, as parents, as teachers we became accustomed to every option being readily accessible for as many learners  - as well as ourselves - as possible. And then it seemed like everything stopped, walloped by COVID-19. Everything we wanted was no longer easily accessible - especially to schools and learning as we understood them to be. We mourned the loss of predictable patterns to the school year, of ritual and sharing and growth, yet the children really did not. They got up and adjusted to a different reality and acquired resiliency and adaptability as a result. It was not a perfect process - not for anyone - for sure. Nonetheless, we have children in schools now who are thriving despite the loss of field trips, football teams spring concerts and big graduation ceremonies. They will become, instead,  resilient, thinking, adaptable adults. Infinite mindsets allow us to imagine a much different future for all of us as a result of a generation of children faced with unpredictable, inexplicable, challenging life experiences. All that is required is staying aware, awake to possibilities, being encouraging, positive and recognizing the potential provoked by two years of interrupted routines and events. Given what we have endured through the pandemic so far, being hopeful seems like the best possible strategy. I remain hopeful.Lorraine Kinsman, Principal ​

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Eric Harvie School

357 Tuscany Drive NW Calgary, AB, T3L 3C9
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School Contacts

Principal
Lorraine Kinsman
Assistant Principal
Ben Strand
Education Director
Prem Randhawa
Trustee
Dana Downey

School Information

Grades
K-04
Enrolment
367
Programs
Regular
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School Hours

Morning Start
8:15 AM
Dismissal
3:15 PM
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