Oct 04
Friday October 1, 2021

Truth and Reconciliation Week draws to a close today. Our students have engaged in thoughtful learning experiences with their teachers this week, in ways that are developmentally appropriate. I was particularly moved by the work in our Kindergarten classrooms. After listening to pictue books (an example is “Phyllis’ Orange Shirt)  read aloud by teachers, students were invited to think about what schools should feel like. Children identified words such as loved, happy and safe. 


This underscores what drives us in our work and that the erroneous actions of the past must be acknowledged and remembered, so that they are not repeated today, or in the future. Yesterday schools across the city were closed so that families and children could take time to reflect on the meaning of reconciliation and actions that we can all take. The intent is to move towards better outcomes for our indigenous students and families through recognition and education. Many of our teachers participated in public ceremonies or took individual action such as listening to/viewing broadcasts and taking up professional reading to further their own development.

I carved out a little bit of time to go for a walk in Brown Lowery Provincial Park. Families were out with their children and many of these children were wearing orange shirts. My sons and I had a conversation about what they discussed in their classes at school. My eldest asked if this was even going to make a difference. I told him that the simple fact that he and other students can engage in conversations about residential schools and know that they existed is evidence of change. I reminded him that as a young student here in Alberta, it was not something that I understood or was directly taught. Change and improvement take time, and it is encouraging to see that greater awareness is being achieved in our society.



Sra. Andrea Riquelme

Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste    

Sep 17
Thursday September 16, 2021

Estimadas familias,

Yet again our community and the entire province is facing increasing pressure and challenges related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Our central purpose at Escuela Eugene Coste is to continue to provide a safe, caring and welcoming environment that puts student learning and well-being first. Since the beginning of this school year, the CBE has committed to maintaining health guidelines that exceeded those mandated by the provincial government. Enhanced hygiene, cohorting, staying home when sick and masking work in combination to reduce the risk of spreading illness so that our schools can remain open for students. I am grateful to all of you for working with your children to understand why we continue to implement these practices. While we cannot predict the future, our sights continue to be set on creating phenomenal learning experiences for your children.

Student Code of Conduct: Last week we touched on our two primary rules: Play Safe and Be Kind. We are a school of young learners and we must ensure that we work with students using language and strategies that are appropriate for them. The CBE has a system-wide Student Code of Conduct and Progressive Discipline Policy that underpins this work. Both documents are available for viewing on our school website:https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/eugenecoste/culture-environment/conduct/pages/default.aspx


Sra. Andrea Riquelme

Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste    

Sep 10
Wednesday September 8, 2021

Estimadas familias, 

Students and teachers continue to settle into the routines of learning and being back to school. Our newest learners are becoming experts at remembering their teacher's names and remembering the way back to their classroom. These early weeks are critical for developing relationships and establishing routines that are the foundation for a positive learning environment in the months to come. Our learners in the higher grades slid into their routines and classes with ease, as many of them have “looped" with their classroom teacher from last year and are already well-versed in the culture and expectations at Escuela Eugene Coste. 

This is a good time to remind everyone of our two primary rules: Play safe and Be Kind. When we take the time to work with students after a difficult situation or conflict, we always ask each child to reflect on their actions: Was I safe? Was I kind? We then work to determine what actions could have been chosen instead and what would be a good plan for next time.

Calgary Opera Residency- Update: Our goal to remain flexible and resilient continues this year. On Monday Sept 13, we will welcome guest artists from Calgary Opera to share a unique, private performance with our students. Plan A involves the artists setting up in our courtyard. Several homerooms will be invited to sit outside within their cohorts, while others will enjoy the performance from classrooms facing the compound. In order to respect our current guidelines, we will offer 2 performances in order to limit the size of the outdoor gathering to no more than 100 people. If weather is not cooperative, we will switch to Plan B in which the artists will perform in our Learning Commons which we will stream live to each classroom.

The intention of this experience is to welcome students to the residency by giving them a taste of professional performance. We will be working with professional artists including a storyteller, librettist and stage/production manager to make this project come alive over the course of the year.


Sra. Andrea Riquelme

Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste    

Sep 03
Wednesday September 1, 2021

Estimadas familias​,

Welcome back! We had a very busy and uneventful first day back with most of our students. We look forward to welcoming our Tues/Thurs Kindergarten students tomorrow.

Teachers spent much of the day working with students to remember routines and to get to know each other. All students had the opportunity to meet our lunch supervisors (Melanie, Kim, Alicia, Yasmin, Melina and Tami) who make up the backbone of our support staff team. Our Education Assistants, Doris, Angie and Monica as well as Sylvia and Yuri in the office, complete our team of caring adults who know and love each of your children. 

Sep 01
Friday, August 27, 2021

Estimadas familias,

On behalf of all our teachers and support staff, I would like to warmly welcome you back to Escuela Eugene Coste School. It is my sincere hope that your family enjoyed a restful (and fun!) summer and that you were able to find time to connect with those you care about. For those of you that have had the chance to get to know me, you would not be surprised to know that I spent most of my time close to home. I enjoyed hiking, biking, gardening, visiting with great friends and hanging out with my sons Javier (almost 17) and Joaquin (12) along with my husband Carlos. We did manage to sneak over to the West Coast and enjoy some fresh, smoke-free air in Vancouver, and taking our car for a ride in the ferry to spend a couple of days in Victoria. An additional local highlight for me was to finally explore Writing on Stone Provincial Park, a site that is sacred to the Blackfoot community.


Sra. Andrea Riquelme

Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste   


Jun 24
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Estimadas familias,


Is it really the last full week of school? The start of this school year was like no other in our history. Teaching and learning during a global pandemic is a massive challenge. I am incredibly proud of all of our students, families and staff for believing in the work of public education and partnering with us over the course of this year.

A running joke among many school-based staff is that June is the longest year of the month! Finalizing a year of learning while at the same time, preparing for the new school year to come creates a unique workload that can best be defined as intensive transition planning. Transitions bring about change; a new grade level, new classmates, new teachers. It is exciting and also brings about its own uncertainty. Many families and students want to know who will be teaching what in the year to come. Believe me, our teachers want the same guarantee too! As we have shared previously, our planning is directly dependant on anticipated enrollment for next year. Changes, often unanticipated, can occur over the summer so it is difficult to promise exactly what the next year’s organization will look like. We are ready to share some preliminary staffing with you, which brings some changes:

  • Sra. Julia Wolf will be moving to kindergarten
  • Srta. Kelsie London will be moving to grade 1
  • Sra. Paisley Newburn will be moving to grade 2/3
  • Srta. Jennifer Kelsey will be our Music Specialist
  • Srta. Paula Herrera will return from HUB to grade 2/3
  • Srta. Monica Zarco will return from maternity leave to grade 4/5

All other teaching staff will remain with us at Eugene Coste. We look forward to welcoming back Sra. Elena Castro, Sr. Andrew Traxel, Sra. Magda Salamanca, Sra. Lais Rumel, Srta. Jordan Van Eerden, Sr. Boris Reyes, Sra. Jodi Schmidt, Sr. Andy Gossen and Srta. Micah Plomp who will remain on temporary contract until late March 2022 (Sra. Jordan Irwin).

Plans are already underway to formalize preparations for the year to come. As we have done in prior years, your child's teacher will call you personally at the end of August to welcome you back to school.

I would like to sincerely wish you all a wonderful summer and I do look forward to seeing you again in September!


Sra. Riquelme and Sra. Jackie

June 24.pngjackie.png

Jun 14
Friday, June 11, 2021

Estimadas familias, 

Today we welcomed back a crew of students from another round of quarantine and at-home learning. We are very appreciative of each family's patience and flexibility as we work to ensure quality learning continues whether students are at home or in the classroom. We know that we do best when we are together and we celebrate when our community is back in the building. 

Our work with our Artist in Residence ended this week. By no means does it mean that the artistic process has been completed, simply that the instructional time with Ewa has ended. Teachers and students have learned many new techniques and have stretched their comfort level in drawing from observation, researching from nature and working with watercolours or fabric. On the next pages we have collected many photos of the learning process. I hope that these bring you joy knowing that your learner has participated in an exemplary learning opportunity.

Duckwatch 2021 has been a very exciting experience for our staff and students. This week, Felipa's 9 eggs hatched. The students in Srta. Kelsie's class predicted that the eggs would hatch on or after June 9th. It just so happens that we noticed a lot of activity on our livestream and yes, 9 little ducklings appeared on our screens on June 9. It surprised many of us to see that mom and babies jumped out of the planter box later in the day to march around the courtyard. There were some tense moments when Felipa realized that her babies could not enter the planter box as it was too high. Sra. Jackie and I tried to provide a ramp but Felipa used her instincts and found a safe place within the courtyard to rest. When we returned to school on June 10, Felipa and her ducklings had disappeared. We trust that she found another safe place to continue raising her young and feel fortunate that she deemed our courtyard a very safe location to lay her eggs and welcome her ducklings to the world. ​


​Sra. Riquelme and Sra. Jackie

Jun 03
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

2021 Estimadas familias,

I can imagine that many of you are deeply impacted by the news of the 215 children’s remains at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. I join you in this grief and questioning of what we can do as a nation to repair the damage that has been caused by the years of intergenerational trauma inflicted on our Indigenous community. When major reckonings like this occur, we may feel compelled to connect with one another to ask questions or to simply share and acknowledge one another’s feelings. We may also turn inwards and reflect on our own experiences and what we felt we knew we understood about our collective history.

In my case, the work of the initial phase of the Truth and 
Reconciliation Comission,

pic.pngwhich concluded in 2015, has permeated my work as a teacher and leader. During that time, I felt the call to speak with my students about the history of residential schools, leaning on storybooks such as “Shi-shi-etko" by Nicola Campbell to guide my conversations with students. I looked upon that story as one of hope, as it shared how one little girl gained knowledge and memories from her family before going away to school. As a teacher, I attempted to explore with my grade 4 students the multiple perspectives of Alberta's history and how what was formally presented in text and media may only reflect the experiences of one group, often the dominant one. My goal was to approach history through a critical and thoughtful lens, building awareness along the way.​

mark.pngIt is with this lens that I had a sad realization on one of my drives to school this week. Some of you may know that I live in a rural area SW of Calgary. On my many drives or bike rides around the countryside I have seen cute roadside markers, such as the one shown in the adjacent photo, marking the place where a one-room schoolhouse existed. These buildings were constructed to provide education to children living within a walkable (or rideable) distance to the school. Siblings and neighbours would come together for a day of learning and then return home. It struck me that at the same time in our history, Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes to unlearn their culture in imposing buildings far away from their homes and families. It took the uncovering of the awful truth over this weekend to make that connection.

As Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada stated, “Education is how we will heal, teaching our children that we are all equal is how we will stop racism and bring about reconciliation."

Over the coming days and weeks as we move closer to the end of the school year, we will formally identify a call to action as a school. We will lean on the voices of our students, staff and families in order to continue the work of reconciliation and healing. Resources have been shared with our school to guide teachers in conversations with their students. We will share more of this in the days to come.

Planning for Next Year: During our professional learning day last Friday, we spent time as a staff creating next year's class lists. We strive for balance in terms of dynamics and learning needs. To help us create lists that are as accurate as possible, please let our office know.

Feedback Updates: School Development Plan and Budget & Fees: Families, thank you for taking the time to provide valuable feedback on multiple school process over the last few months. Presentations and your feedback are now posted on our website for you to review. Please know that what you share with us matters and contributes to planning and decision making. If you have any questions or would like to chat, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

School Development Plan: https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/eugenecoste/get- involved/community-engagement/pages/dev-plan-engagement.aspx

School Budget & Fees: https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/eugenecoste/get- involved/community-engagement/pages/budget-engagement.aspx

High School Engagement: The High School Proposed Plan is currently open for feedback from June 1 – June 13 through online surveys and idea boards. The proposed plan was informed by feedback gathered over the last two years along with CBE planning principles, available space and resources and financial stability. The final decision will be communicated by June 30, 2021, for implementation in September 2022. The plan does impact our Spanish Bilingual Program, by centralizing it at Crescent Heights High School. cbe.ab.ca/highschoolengagement

Child and Youth Well-being Review: Families and children are invited to complete a survey developed by the Province that is looking to uncover how the pandemic has impacted child and youth well-being. You can visit the following website for more information and to access this optional survey:


May 27
Wednesday, May 26, 2021

​Estimadas familias, 

All of our staff were so pleased to welcome your children back to the classroom this week! I made sure to visit each class on Tuesday morning to personally say “bienvenidos" and to let the students know that we missed them so much! A quiet and empty school feels ok when summer is starting, but in not in May. Fingers and toes are all crossed for a smooth finish to the year. Being together in the same space has already created amazing learning opportunities which you may have heard about at home. From our virtual Artist in Residence to our new “duck in residence", there is a lot of activity at school!

We have received some very welcome news from our technology team. As you may recall, our school received loaner Chromebooks to supplement our inventory in order to help families connect, during periods of at-home learning. We now learned that we are able to keep our loaner devices! Over 4,000 Chromebooks were deployed temporarily to schools as part of the CBE's Pandemic Response to support ongoing at-home learning. As funding was made possible through specific Pandemic Response allocations, the decision has been made to leave the Chromebooks as currently deployed within the school. We will work to integrate these into our existing inventory and distribute them to where they are most needed: in classrooms.

SDP Engagement: Earlier this week (well, yesterday), you received an invitation to our School Council and Enrichment Society meetings. During the council portion of the meeting, I will be walking parents through our School Development Plan process. Your engagement and feedback contributes to ongoing student success and learning progress. This year, we have focused our efforts on bilingual literacy, with a particular emphasis on reading as well as social/emotional well-being for learning. I truly want to know if you are able to see your child benefitting from these areas of focus and if you can see their progress as learners being reflected within our goals. 

Planning for Next Year: During our professional learning day last Friday, we spent time as a staff creating next year's class lists. We strive for balance in terms of dynamics and learning needs. To help us create lists that are as accurate as possible, please let our office know immediately if your plans have changed and you are no longer planning to return to Eugene Coste.

Again, we are absolutely thrilled to have our classrooms filled with students once again.


​Sra. Riquelme and Sra. Jackie

May 13
May 13, 2021

Estimadas familias,

Hopefully by now most of the dust has settled and families have figured out a routine that works for you and your child/ren as we continue to engage in at-home learning.  I am very much looking forward to our anticipated return to learning together at school on May 25. While daily case rates seem to be trending downward, hospitalizations are increasing. The Calgary Board of Education works closely with the Province and Alberta Health Services to strategically plan for our re-entry to schools in order to reduce risk and protect the health of students and staff. 

While learning at home, I know that many of you face challenges with regards to helping your child/ren manage time, remain motivated and to complete tasks. I'd like to share some ideas with you to help you work alongside your learner(s):

  • Create a realistic, daily routine. Use pre-scheduled meet times as an anchor and work around those times. We really want to ensure that students check in with teachers during scheduled meets and the rest of the day is yours to organize in a way that suits your family. Attendance is taken during meets.Riquelme Schedule.png
  • Write the routine on a piece of paper/ white board and keep it visible. Here's my “routine":

  • If your reality at home means that tasks can only be worked on in the evening, that is ok. Try your best to keep an up-to-date as possible.
  • Take advantage of open drop-in times, e-mail your teacher if you need support understanding an instruction or need help with an assignment. Your teacher has your back!

If you require a laptop to support at-home learning, please contact our office directly and we will set a device aside for you.

A special project finally took shape in our hallways this week. This wall wrap is a lasting reminder of one of our students who sadly passed away on November 13, 2017 after a courageous journey living with a rare bone cancer diagnosis. The Thea Roelofsen Legacy Award is given to a student who embodies some of the “Superpowers" that made Thea so special. Students who receive the reward will have their names engraved on a plaque that will eventually be mounted on the wall. Sra. Jackie and I were lucky enough to be the first staff members to view the finished design.

Wall 1.pngWall 2.png

Stay well and please reach out if you need help or support while learning at home.



Sra. Riquelme and Sra. Jackie

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RT @RIDparkschool: Kindergarten creating beautiful fall foliage for everyone to enjoy #hellofall #autumnvibes #SweaterWeather #WeAreRideau https://t.co/2ARD9t7dR6

RT @SunnysideCBE: Take Me Outside Day at Sunnyside School. Whole-school circle. We are connected to each other, our community and our land! #CBEIndigenousEd #TakeMeOutsideDay https://t.co/JivHwLSntw

RT @gale_school: Gone fishing! Check out the mixed media work completed by our grade 6 students. #WeAreCBE https://t.co/qxqBhb45UU

An email has been sent to CBE families with updates on positive case and outbreak notifications, transitioning classes online and at-home rapid testing for K-6 students https://t.co/y9akUtYR0F #yycbe #WeAreCBE https://t.co/4h1xtQ3ciO

RT @Indigenous_cbe: Ayy, Siyissgass, Îsnyess, Hiy Hiy, Marsee, Thank you #WeAreCBE for making the 1st system wide Indigenous Education PL Day a success 💛❤️🖤🤍. Can't wait for next year and all the learning that will happen in between. #CBEIndigenousEd https://t.co/zkyrNror25

RT @yyCBEdu: Monday, Oct. 18 is a system-wide non-instructional day so there are no classes for students. It is also municipal election day – don’t forget to vote! Have a safe long weekend and please continue to follow all public health measures #WeAreCBE https://t.co/isScnELKOp

Monday, Oct. 18 is a system-wide non-instructional day so there are no classes for students. It is also municipal election day – don’t forget to vote! Have a safe long weekend and please continue to follow all public health measures #WeAreCBE https://t.co/isScnELKOp

RT @UsihChristopher: Looking forward to our system-wide PL Day on Indigenous Ed (Oct 18). #WeAreCBE staff will engage in learning to build our knowledge &understanding. Thank-you to Elders and Knowledge Keepers for their wisdom &guidance as we work together to improve outcomes for Indigenous students

Today’s Board of Trustees public meeting will be held virtually starting at noon. We invite you to stream the meeting online https://t.co/nvCl1fNgoJ #yycbe https://t.co/UjXxYBwr2K

Over the next couple of months CBE students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will be reimaging spaces in #yyc. Schools will submit their designs and the City of Calgary is going to build the winning design IRL! Check it out! https://t.co/OXt9ZU1rAN #WeAreCBE #CBEMinecraft