Jun 25
Year-End Principal's Message

Dear EMJ Students, Staff and Families,

The end of the 21-22 school year marks a big change in the  EMJ learning community.  It has been quite a journey and we are all ready to enjoy some relaxation and respite over the summer months. It is hard to believe looking around the school this week that we began with 21-22 school year with ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. As pandemic restrictions shifted and lifted, teachers and students adapted quickly.  Classrooms saw students move out of singular rows, co-horting was reduced, and carpets returned to the learning spaces.

Changes at EMJ were significant this school year. Included in the changes are students who worked hard and grown and will enter new grades this fall, administration who both moved on to promotions, and some of the staff will leave for new opportunities in the CBE. Included in departing staff are Ms. Nagai-Mabbott, Ms. Henry and Ms. Cooper. We wish them well in their transitions! Ms. Shank and Ms. Percy will not return immediately to classroom teaching as they both were awarded Professional Improvement Fellowships with the CBE. Ms. Shank will be gone the entire school year, and Ms. Percy until January. We wish them luck in their studies! Ms. Wheelhouse, Ms. Hill and Ms. Bourgeios have retired and we thank them for their contribution to EMJ and the CBE! Finally, a huge thank you to Mr. Aylesworth who was a light of calm and humour supporting our school since February. We will miss the jokes, the humour and his great ability to see the special talents in all students in our classrooms.

Overall this year the EMJ learning community has learned that we could carry on together, with confidence. Students should be proud of their accomplishments and persevering through the last few years. Change forces resiliency and the school community has demonstrated that in the shifts since I arrived in April. We must honour and celebrate the hard work of the school community this year. Teachers, Students and Education Assistants worked diligently identifying and attending to learning gaps in literacy and numeracy, and then teaching to close the learning gaps.​

We look forward to a fantastic summer and better year ahead! Thank you to everyone for welcoming me to EMJ and in the fall we will make even more adjustments to post-pandemic realities. It will be a new normal for society, education and a new beginning for EMJ. Please enjoy a summer of play, love and a well-deserved rest.

 

With gratitude,

Marina Clark


Apr 02
Music is for Everyone!

Did you know that EMJ students have three weekly scheduled music classes each week with Ms. Dafoe?  Music is a vital element of healthy development. It is known to boost mathematics, reading and verbal language skills. Students come to understand how music connects to and supports mental health, they learn about using music as a way to express emotions, practice mindfulness, and through music gain a better understanding of each other. 

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 EMJ students are engaged in hands on music making in every class. They experiment and learn with instruments such as rhythm sticks, boomwhackers, and xylophones. Now that singing is once again permitted at school, our younger students are learning to sing classic songs such as 'Looby Loo' and 'You Are my Sunshine'.

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 ​​Through exposure to a variety of music styles, students learn about their own interests while also acknowledging the unique tastes and preferences of others. Through sharing favourite songs and learning to listen to appreciate and understand, students are developing the skill of respecting the opinions of others even if we don't agree.

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 A favourite closing to each class is playing Musicopoly. Classes roll the dice and move around the game board collecting beats and spending them on fun activities such as music bingo, dance breaks, or campfire singalongs (and more). It has been a big hit this year! ​


Mar 20
Farewell Message from Mrs. McKay

Dear Ethel M Johnson Students and Families, ​


It has been a true privilege to be part of Ethel M Johnson School over the last four school years. After much reflection and consideration and with mixed emotions, I have accepted a Principal position at Douglasdale School effective April 11, 2022. My final day at EMJ will be Friday, April 8th.  My time here has been full of so many great interactions and experiences. Together, we have grown immensely as a school community, built deep relationships and have learned alongside each other as students, staff and families. We have created an inclusive school culture where each student is known, valued and honoured for their strengths and passions. EMJ has truly become part of my heart. The conversations, hugs and learning experiences I have been able to be part of during my years here will always be something I treasure. I am grateful for each of you and feel proud about the work we were able to accomplish together, even through a pandemic.  


EMJ is blessed with a talented and caring staff. Their daily commitment to student success and well-being has been a privilege to be a part of.  They are committed as learners themselves and create learning environments where students know they are cared for, are able to take risks in their learning, build meaningful connections and develop the attitudes, skills, knowledge and competencies required for life-long learning, well-being and success.   


To the families of Ethel M Johnson School, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for welcoming me into your child’s learning journey.  Your commitment and support are evident in your investment of time, energy and resources.  While we have not been able to come together in person during the last couple of years, I will take the memories of our fun at pancake breakfasts, school dances and Gingerbread evenings with me. At EMJ’s last School Council meeting, I was lucky to be part of the beginning of plans for future events where EMJ families will all be able to come together in person again. 


EMJ students, I know each of you by name.  I love our morning Hellos, hallway high fives and hugs, and listening and helping you be at your best and ready for learning.  It has been a true joy to observe and watch you grow as learners and caring citizens.  The happiest parts of my days are when I am connecting with you in your classrooms, hallways, in the lunchroom, during morning entry or outside on the school grounds.  Thank you for sharing your daily stories with me and including me in your learning journey. 


Mr. Aylesworth, our acting Principal, and myself will work with EMJ's new Principal Ms. Marina Clark to ensure a thoughtful transition occurs and that there is continued support for students and families until a new candidate for an Assistant Principal is determined. I feel very fortunate to have been part of the EMJ family and I will always cherish the time spent learning alongside this vibrant school community. 


I wish all of you continued health and happiness. I will miss you and know you will be well cared for. 

 

Sincerely, 

Heather McKay 


Mar 13
Rock Your Socks!

EMJ Logo 2019.jpgWhen you look at EMJs logo there are three important words that represent EMJ – compassionate, creative and inclusive. These were not randomly chosen words. Students submitted words and images during our logo rebrand process and these were the three words that repeated across numerous entries. The strength of EMJ is that we have so many kinds of learners who are all valued members of our learning family. Inclusion is a key part of what makes EMJ such a special school.

 Within EMJ we have both specialized setting classes and community classes. Our community classes include students from kindergarten through grade 6 from Southwood and Canyon Meadows communities. Our specialized setting classes include students from a variety of southeast and southwest communities. Our specialized setting classes include two Enhanced Educational Supports (EES) classes, one Paced Learning Program (PLP) class, and one Learning and Literacy (L&L) class.

 The levels of classroom support and emphasis of instruction vary between our different types of classes, but what is most important, is that every EMJ class assists students in gaining the skills, knowledge, and competencies to reach their academic, social, and emotional potential. Before CoVid, an important component of school life was integration and buddy class opportunities. Now that we are able to relax cohort requirements, these opportunities are becoming possible again.

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This week we invite all EMJ students to participate in an important school-wide spirit day. On Friday, March 18th we will join together to 'Rock Your Socks' in support of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st. Students are encouraged to wear their brightest, craziest most mismatched socks in support of EMJ students and all students who have Down Syndrome. We know that our differences are what make the world great and at EMJ this is why 'inclusive' was chosen for our school logo. We are looking forward to seeing what our students come up with as we 'Rock Our Socks' as a whole school community!

Important Dates:


March 18 - Last Day of Classes - Rock Your Socks!

March 21 - World Down Syndrome Day

March 28 – Classes Resume

 

April 2 - World Autism Day

April 12 - School Council Meeting, Annual General Meeting

April 15 - No School - Good Friday

April 18 - No School - System-wide PL Day

April 22 - Class Photos


May 4 - Hats On! for Mental Health

May 5 - National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

May 10 - School Council Meeting

May 18 - Grade 6 English Language Arts (part A) Provincial Achievement Test (am)

May 19 - Welcome to Kindergarten, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

May 20 - No School – School-based PL Day

May 23 - No School - Victoria Day


June 14 - Grade 6 English Language Arts (part B) Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 15 - Grade 6 Science Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 16 Grade 6 Social Studies Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 17 - Grade 6 Math (part A) Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 20 - Grade 6 Math (part B) Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 20 - 24 Indigenous Awareness Week (CBE)

June 21 - National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 28 - Last day of classes

June 29 - Appeals day

June 30 - Staff Organizational Day





Mar 04
EMJ School Update for March 4, 2022

Dear EMJ Families,

 This week at EMJ felt like a 'normal' week, which over the past year, has not been always possible. Students started their days by meeting their class at their outdoor learning space, took part in active learning with partners and groups throughout the day, and engaged in daily physical activities in the gym. We continue to have Mr. Chris Aylesworth as our acting principal until a new candidate is hired.

 Co-Vid-19 Health Measures

You received an email from CBE's Chief Superintendent Mr. Usih yesterday, outlining CBE's plan to lift Covid-19 Health Measures. Teachers have begun to re-organize learning spaces so that student collaboration and comfort are increased. Collectively, we will continue to look at structures in place and work towards resetting school life to optimize students' learning experiences. We did receive a second shipment of Antigen tests and masks, which are available to all students at the office at the parent/guardian or students' request.

 Parent-Teacher Conferences

March 10th (4:00 pm to 7:30 pm) and 11th (8:00 am to 1:00 pm)

Online conference booking opens on Saturday, March 5 at 9:00 am. You can sign up through your child's PowerSchool account. We have planned for conferences to be held virtually.  If you need help booking a time, please contact us in the office. If you are unable to attend, please connect with your child's classroom teacher directly to discuss possible alternatives.

 School Council Meeting

We have our next school council meeting this Tuesday, March 8th at 6:30 pm. Our meeting will be virtual. All families are invited, and there is no need to hold an official position within council to attend a meeting.  All parents that have previously requested a link to a School Council meeting will automatically receive a link for the meeting.  If you would like to receive a link to the meeting and have not attended previously, please reply with "yes" to this email by noon on Monday and we will make sure you are sent a link before the meeting.

 Free Parent Workshop Taming Anxiety Gremlins using the Anxiety Compass

Anxiety is at epidemic levels among children and is the most common mental health concern they face. Anxiety is not something you outgrow, and early intervention helps minimize later problems with depression and other social, emotional, behavioural, and physical difficulties. Unfortunately, most kids go without effective support until too late, if at all. Since 70% of all mental health problems begin in childhood and adolescence, there is a clear need to support our children and youth. In this workshop, parents, teachers, and professionals will learn how traditional ways of helping children and teens may unwittingly worsen their anxiety. Participants will also learn about the anxiety compass, which outlines eight essential steps in helping children and teens manage anxiety effectively.

 We hope you have a fantastic weekend and look forward to connecting with families next week at our Parent/Teacher conferences.

Sincerely,

Heather McKay and Chris Aylesworth

 

Upcoming Dates to Note:

March 5 - Conference booking opens for parents at 9:00 am through PowerSchool

March 8 - School Council Meeting

March 10 - Evening Parent/Teacher Conferences

March 10 - Pick up 'Fill Your Freezer' orders between 4:30 and 7:00 pm

March 11 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences

March 18 - Last Day of Classes

March 28 – Classes Resume

April 2 - World Autism Day

April 12 - School Council Meeting, Annual General Meeting

April 15 - No School - Good Friday

April 18 - No School - System-wide PL Day

April 22 - Class Photos

May 4 - Hats On! for Mental Health

May 5 - National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

May 10 - School Council Meeting

May 18 - Grade 6 English Language Arts (part A) Provincial Achievement Test (am)

May 19 - Welcome to Kindergarten, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

May 20 - No School – School-based PL Day

May 23 - No School - Victoria Day

June 14 - Grade 6 English Language Arts (part B) Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 15 - Grade 6 Science Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 16 Grade 6 Social Studies Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 17 - Grade 6 Math (part A) Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 20 - Grade 6 Math (part B) Provincial Achievement Test (am)

June 20 - 24 Indigenous Awareness Week (CBE)

June 21 - National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 28 - Last day of classes

June 29 - Appeals day

June 30 - Staff Organizational Day


Feb 26
Pink Shirt Day 2022

EMJ students and staff joined other Canadians this week to recognize Anti-Bullying Day, also known as 'Pink Shirt' day. This day was inspired by two high school students who organized their student body to wear pink in support of a boy in their school who was bullied for wearing pink.

Throughout the week EMJ classes discussed, wrote about, and created art to bring awareness about healthy relationships and bullying prevention. Building healthy relationships is one of the best ways to create safe environments and prevent bullying. This week is also an important reminder that we all have the right to a welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environment.

A key conversation point in classrooms has been, 'What is a bullying?'. It is an important distinction to make, because not all behaviours are bullying and we want to explicitly teach our students how to respond to different experiences as a lifelong social skill. When students are feeling concerned or worried about something that has or is happening, we support them to talk with their classroom teacher and administration as a first step. We know students are all learning, and together we can help every student grow into a successful and caring adult.

The chart below explains the difference between bullying, mean, rude and conflict. It is a helpful tool to support students and staff to use specific language to explain what they are feeling and what has happened. Many of our classes regularly use this as a conversation guide to help understand conflict between peers. It is just one part of EMJ's on-going work towards supporting student well-being and building students' social-emotional learning skills.

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The Calgary Board of Education is strongly committed to advancing equity and anti-racism within the school system through the work of CBE CARES (Collaboration for Anti-Racism and Equity Supports.  We have system-wide Bullying Prevention regulations and community partnerships that support us to ensure EMJ is a welcoming, safe and caring place for all of our students, staff and families.

 Parents can also help. Some suggestions are: listen to your child and offer support, be a positive role model to teach and reinforce good choices, set consequences for unacceptable behaviours, and get involved in your child's learning community to support a safe and caring school environment. 

If you are concerned about bullying, please know we are here to support you. As the wise African proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child". We are so thankful that EMJ is such a place and we will continue to actively work towards ensuring we are a caring, safe, respectful and inclusive learning environment.​

Upcoming Dates to Note:

  • March 5 - Conference booking opens for parents at 9:00 am through PowerSchool
  • March 8 - School Council Meeting
  • March 10 - Evening Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • March 10 - Pick up 'Fill Your Freezer' orders between 4:30 and 7:00 pm
  • March 11 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • March 18 - Last Day of Classes
  • March 28 – Classes Resume
  • April 2 - World Autism Day
  • April 12 - School Council Meeting, Annual General Meeting
  • April 15 - No School - Good Friday
  • April 18 - No School - System-wide PL Day
  • April 22 - Class Photos
  • May 4 - Hats On! for Mental Health
  • May 5 - National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women
  • May 10 - School Council Meeting
  • May 18 - Grade 6 English Language Arts (part A) Provincial Achievement Test (am)
  • May 19 - Welcome to Kindergarten, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
  • May 20 - No School – School-based PL Day
  • May 23 - No School - Victoria Day
  •  June 14 - Grade 6 English Language Arts (part B) Provincial Achievement Test (am)
  • June 15 - Grade 6 Science Provincial Achievement Test (am)
  • June 16 Grade 6 Social Studies Provincial Achievement Test (am)
  • June 17 - Grade 6 Math (part A) Provincial Achievement Test (am)
  • June 20 - Grade 6 Math (part B) Provincial Achievement Test (am)
  • June 20 - 24 Indigenous Awareness Week (CBE)
  • June 21 - National Indigenous Peoples Day
  • June 28 - Last day of classes
  • June 29 - Appeals day
  • June 30 - Staff Organizational Day


Feb 18
School Engagement for 2022 - 2023


We are seeking parent input on some important planning pieces for EMJ. Each year, schools do planning work to improve and support student learning. During this week’s School Council meeting, we shared information about our School Development Plan, school fees and budget planning. 

Parent feedback is important as we consider school planning. When students, parents and school staff work together closely, students achieve greater success in their learning. We are asking for your feedback for the 2022 – 2023 school year. We are hoping you can complete this short survey that will allow us to set school priorities for moving forward, with parent voice included: School Planning Survey.

Mr. Chris Aylesworth, an experienced retired principal, will be in the role of Acting Principal until a new candidate can be hired. If you have not yet shared your input for EMJ’s new principal, this survey is still open and the information will be shared with the new principal once they are hired: Input for New Principal at EMJ.​



Feb 13
Thank You

It is with mixed emotions that I would like to announce that I have accepted a position as the new System Principal of Area 6 Schools.  It has been an incredible four plus years here at EMJ, and I have loved working both in this school and in this community.  There is definitely something special about EMJ that is not found at many other schools.  The sense of community within this building is like no other, and students and families are highly supportive of each other. 

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I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with our families, students, and staff.  I am honored to have been a part of Ethel M Johnson School, and I have great pride in what we have accomplished together over the last four years.  I will always look back on my years here with great fondness and incredible memories. 

I would like to thank you all for your support, your volunteerism, and for your collaboration.  Together we have worked towards the end goal of making the school a better place for the students within it.  I am confident that with the staff in place at the school, as well as all of our amazing students and families working together, that EMJ will continue to be a truly amazing place.

My final day at EMJ is Friday, February 11th, as I begin my new position the following Monday.  Mrs. Heather McKay will continue in her role as Assistant Principal at the school supporting students and families until a new candidate for Principal is determined.  Families will be notified as soon as staffing is confirmed.

Thank you again for everything. It truly has been an honor working with you, and I hope that our paths cross again soon.  I know I will continue to see many of you out in the community!

Chris Radu


Feb 04
Playing With Numbers

​As part of our school-wide commitment to improving students' foundational mathematics skills, each class participates in daily number routines to improve their computational fluency. Computational fluency can be thought of as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing with accuracy, flexibility and efficiency. These skills are developed over time and improve with opportunities to practice and talk about the strategies used. 

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Number talks are one example of number routines students participate in to improve their computational fluency. Students might be shown an image or asked a question, and through teaching and discussion they learn and practice the fastest and most accurate way to solve to solve the problem. Examples of number routines students have been practicing include Math Mashups, Five Finger Fling, Solve Me PuzzlesSplats, Learning Carpet, Dot Card Games, and Paper Practice. Ask your child what number routine they feel helps them practice their math best. 
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Playing at home with math is a great way to support your child in improving their accuracy, flexibility and efficiency in computation. Some ways you can play with math at home are to play board games (ex. Monopoly, Dominoes) or visit websites such as Math Before Bed.


Jan 21
Family Literacy Week 2022

It was another busy week at EMJ! Our amazing staff have really pulled together to keep all classes up and running at school for in-person learning. Students continued to be engaged in their learning and mindful of the safety procedures in place. We sent home a bag of twenty disposable masks and a CoVid at-home testing kit with each student last week, provided by the government of Alberta. If your child was absent and did not received either of these, we will continue to distribute them in the upcoming weeks.

This upcoming week is Family Literacy Week in Alberta. Family Literacy Week is meant to bring families together through all types of literacy – reading, writing, physical literacy, etc.  If your family has not yet jumped into the Wordle game craze, this week might be a good time to try it out. 

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Wordle is a free online game where you have six tries to guess a five-letter word. The genius of this game is that it is appropriate for any age and failure on the way to success, is expected.  Because there is only one puzzle released each day, families can play together or challenge each other without a large time commitment. The game also rewards different routes to the same answer. This teaches flexibility in thinking and encourages create and innovative problem solving. Word play is just one way you can support your child's developing reading/writing skills in a way they will want to practice and talk to you about. Good luck and have fun if your family decides to give it a try!

Important Dates:

  • January 31 - No School – School-based PL Day
  • February 8 - School Council Meeting
  • February 17/18 - No School - Teacher's Convention
  • February 21 - No School - Family Day
  • February 22 - March 11 - Gymnastics in Physical Education Class
  • February 23 - Pink Shirt Day
  • March 8 - School Council Meeting
  • March 11 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • March 18 - Last Day of Classes
  • March 28 – Classes Resume


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Congratulations! #WeAreCBE https://t.co/Ddg19l0uhZ

RT @SchoolSunalta: Thank you to our CBE Grounds crew for planting 2 new Maple Birch grade 6 legacy trees #WeAreCbE https://t.co/IcIp81wtTC

Congratulations to Sofia Z., Grade 3 student from Simons Valley School. Her artwork has been chosen for the 2022-23 ZPass issued to students new to transportation. Don’t forget to keep your child’s current ZPass as they will continue to use it next year. #WeAreCBE https://t.co/BiKpwLQ9wy

Families will be able to view, download and print student report cards in MyCBE from June 28 until July 28, 2022. Learn more: https://t.co/Ffl0uOO90z #WeAreCBE https://t.co/rBNez9v3DB

RT @CJMCBE: June is National Indigenous History Month and June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. CJM continues to acknowledge and learn about the history, heritage, resilience, and diversity of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. @Area4CBE https://t.co/Rk2bnWCVFv