Feb 06
February Activities

Throughout the month of February, students will be engaged in fun learning activities focused on the themes of kindness and acceptance connected to Valentine’s Day on February 14 and Pink Shirt Day on February 22 as part of our ongoing work supporting student well-being at Grant MacEwan.

Nov 24
New Staff

​I would like to officially welcome Ms. Stremick (G3) and Ms. Leaver (G2) and Mr. Englehart (G6).

The Calgary Board of Education is welcoming an unprecedented number of students to our system this year. This growth in student enrolment has exceeded our projections at Grant MacEwan School and we are no longer able to add anymore classroom spaces. As a result, new enrolments from the community of Cornerstone are now being directed to O.S Geiger School.

Due to our increased enrolment at Grant MacEwan we were able to hire two new teachers. We are excited to welcome Emily Stremick who will be teaching grade 3 in Rm 150 and Nicole Leaver who will be teaching grade 2 in room 140. We have been able to re-group the students in grade two and three into smaller instructional groups, which benefits all students.

I would also like to welcome Mr. Englehart to Grant MacEwan. Mr. Englehart will be covering Ms. Creamer while she is on maternity looking after her new baby boy.

Sep 01
Greetings from Mr. McPhail and Mrs. Hillas

Greetings from Mr. McPhail and Mrs. Hillas 

We hope you've had a great summer break and are feeling refreshed and excited about returning to school. 

The first couple weeks of school have now passed and we are off to a great start.  We were very excited to welcome parents back into our building at our Meet the Teacher and Open House on Thursday August 25. The halls and classrooms were packed with smiling faces and lots of people took advantage of the food trucks that were parked outside the school for the event. We would like to welcome all of our new families to Grant MacEwan School and wish them a successful transition into our school community. New students are still registering and we are growing larger by the day.  We have more students than we have had in many years, pushing over 630 this year.

At Grant MacEwan School we strive to provide the best possible support for our students - ensuring that each student's academic, social and emotional needs are being met.  In order to do this effectively, it is crucial that open communication occurs between the school and the home.  To that end, we welcome and encourage you to be in regular communication with each of your child's teachers, as well as with administration.  If you have questions at any time, please do not hesitate to email your child’s teacher or contact the Assistant Principal Karen Hillas at kpgiven@cbe.ab.ca or the Principal, Grant McPhail at gamcphail@cbe.ab.ca   

SchoolMessenger messages and teacher email will be the primary tool of communication from the school. Please ensure that we have your correct email contact information and that you have a MyCBE account set up to receive these messages.

Health and safety of our students is on all of our minds and continues to be a top priority at Grant MacEwan School.  Daily high touch point cleaning duties will continue to be performed by permanent staff as part of their regularly assigned duties in accordance with Alberta Health Services recommendations as we return to normal operations. MERV 13 filters will continue to be used for quality air filtration.

It is important for your child’s learning to start the day on time. We start at 8:55 AM.

At the start of a new school year it can be challenging to return to a regular routine.  We remind all families of the importance of students arriving to school on time so that students don’t fall behind because of missing critical learning and instructions at the start of our learning blocks. Students arriving late are missing valuable learning time and those few minutes add up over the course of the school year.  The interruption of students arriving late also interferes with the learning of other students.  Please be aware of the start and end times to help ensure your child learns the importance and value of being on time. If students do happen to arrive late, they must check-in at the office so that we have accurate attendance for the students in the building.

How can parents play a role in student success?

Studies show that children’s academic achievement is directly influenced by their parents’ involvement in their education. Here are some tips that will help you work together with your child and your child’s teacher to form a winning team.

A teacher’s expectation of parents

Students, teachers and parents all share responsibility in the education of a child. Here’s a minimum level of involvement most teachers expect of parents:

  • Help your child by developing a routine or specific time for homework when you are available to help or listen if needed. You are vital to your child’s success.
  • Ensure your child is at school on time, everyday possible. Arrange for vacations, trips etc., during days off.
  • Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast each morning so they can function in class.
  • Make sure your child is getting 10-12 hours of sleep at night to support their growing body and mind.
  • Be a positive role model who shows interest in reading and learning new things.
  • Notify the teacher of any concerns or questions you have regarding their learning or treatment in school.
  • Limit screen time especially 1 hour before bedtime

Questions to ask your child about their day

Get a sense of your child’s life at school by asking questions that elicit more than a one-word response. Try one of these conversation starters:

  • Tell me what the best part of your day was.
  • What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  • Did any of your classmates do anything funny?
  • Tell me about what you read in class.
  • Who did you play with/hang out with today? What did you do?
  • What rules are different at school than they are at home? Do you think they are fair?
  • Who did you sit with at lunch?
  • Can you show me something you learned or did today?
  • What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?

Source: www.thelearningcommunity.us

This is the first newsletter of the 2022-2023 school year.  You are able to access our monthly newsletter on our website at http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/grantmacewan/about-us/news-centre/Pages/default.aspx . Our newsletter will be posted on the website.  Please take a few minutes to explore the Grant MacEwan website as it has been updated to be more user friendly with Google Translation and smartphone compatible.

Just a reminder that at Grant MacEwan School, anything that comes home on light yellow paper needs to be completed and returned to the teacher as soon as possible.

We are looking forward to the new school year, full of excitement, growth and new learning opportunities.


Mr. McPhail, Principal and Mrs. Hillas, Assistant Principal

May 31
Welcome to June

As we progress through this last month of learning and year end assessment, it is important to maintain routines and structure at home so that students can continue to get enough sleep to support their learning and well-being at school.

We just recently hosted an IN-PERSON Welcome to Kindergarten on May 26. This was the first in-person Welcome to Kindergarten in two years. Students and families were excited to meet our kindergarten teachers Ms. White, Ms. Thai, and Ms. Hanson. Lots of excited families and soon to be kindergarten students at Grant MacEwan. Students and families were led through a variety of early learning tasks and then were shown the kindergarten rooms. Our new students are excited to join us in August after seeing all of the fun and exciting things to do in the classrooms.

May was busy with staffing and planning for next year. More news later in June when everything is confirmed.

Just wanted to express my gratitude to Birgit Mau for securing a $5000 dollar grant from Education Matters to provide the opportunity for all students at Grant MacEwan to participate in the Scientists in School program. The students were really engaged and enjoyed the experience. More information later in the newsletter.

Special thanks to our school council who put together resiliency bags that we have been handing out to students that are a bit anxious about school or the end of the year. These bags have journals, information and mindful activities that students can use at school and home to provide some support to persevere when faced with challenging situations such as attending a new school late in a school year. These bags have been well received and appreciated.

Please contact Mr. McPhail or the school if you are interested in getting involved in some future initiatives put on by our school council to support student learning and well-being at Grant MacEwan next year.

Please continue to monitor notifications from the school through School Messenger. This is the best way to stay informed. Many important messages will be sent your way over the month of June and in the summer up to the start of the new school year. Thanks to all of you who took the time to provide feedback around Budget and Fees through our engagement survey.

Grant McPhail

May 04
Welcome to May

Welcome to May!  Hopefully, we will get some spring weather this month. Students and teachers have been enjoying a great spring of learning. Teachers are really seeing student progress as we approach the end of the year.

We are currently in the process of planning for next school year. As part of this process we would like to ask our families for information to help us with staffing and enrolment for next year. We will be sending home a paper information-gathering sheet to inform us of your intention of attending or not attending Grant MacEwan School next year.  Please return form to the school by May 9.

We are excited to announce that we are organizing a talent show on May 27. This will be our first assembly since the start of the pandemic. It is going to be exciting for our students and staff.  Due to Covid and continued health measures, this assembly will not be open to parents. We are looking forward to seeing parents in our building next year.

Thanks to all the parents that joined our school council meeting on April 21 to hear about our upcoming planning decisions for the next school year and playground update. Next school council meeting will be May 19. We will send a link to the online meeting through school messenger.

A big thank you to all the parents that took the time to have their voice heard by completing our engagement surveys. These surveys provide us with valuable data to support our planning for next year. There will be more opportunities to let your voice be heard in the near future. Feedback to the survey is now posted on our website.

Feb 25
Kindness and Acceptance

Throughout the month of February, students have been engaged in learning tasks centered around the theme of kindness and acceptance that culminated in our celebration of Pink Shirt Day on Wednesday February 23 to raise awareness about the importance of acceptance and bullying prevention. Class discussions and activities focused on kindness, acceptance and understanding the difference between conflict and bullying.

It is important to know that problems or a “fight with friends or siblings or rough play between children with equal power is conflict not bullying. Bullying is when a person or group of people repeatedly and intentionally use their power to hurt, embarrass, threaten or exclude another person” (Dare to Care 2017).

When engaging in conversations with your child around problems with other children please listen carefully and help each other identify if the problem is conflict or bullying. Then help your child identify strategies to help solve the conflict, which can include speaking kindly or asking an adult for help. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s homeroom teacher to support you in identifying if the problem is a conflict or bullying and then work together to support your child by providing appropriate strategies to solve the problem. This approach helps our students persist through challenges at school, which is part of our well-being goal at Grant MacEwan School.

Jan 31
Second Half of the School Year

Hello Grant MacEwan Families!​

Hard to believe that we are entering into the second half of the school year. January is always a time to reflect on all of the wonderful things that have happened here at Grant MacEwan and plan our next steps forward in pursuit of student learning and success. We continue to appreciate and value the support of our families and communiity in your care, commitment and perseverance to continue to support our students during this challenging time. We couldn't do it without you.

Our School Development Plan and our School Improvement Results Report are now available on our website. Please take a few moments to review these documents to gain a better understanding of the goals and focus for this school year. Over the next month, our staff will be looking at mid-year data to celebrate areas of student growth and to identify new targets to support student success.

Nov 30
What do Children Study in Mathematics?

Alberta Education states the following on their Numeracy Fact sheet.

How is numeracy different from mathematics?

Mathematics and numeracy both draw on the same body of knowledge, but they are not the same. Numeracy involves examining a particular context or situation and drawing on the relevant mathematical understandings to make an informed and personally suitable decision.

What is numeracy?

Alberta Education defines numeracy as the ability, confidence and willingness to engage with quantitative and spatial information to make informed decisions in all aspects of daily living.

  • Quantitative information can be measured and expressed as an amount. It includes numbers, patterns, statistics and probability.
  • Spatial information is the physical location of objects or people or the relationship between objects or people. It includes measures, location, direction, shape and space. A numerate individual has the confidence and awareness to know when and how to apply quantitative and spatial understandings at home, at school, at work or in the community.

How can you help with this at home?

There are many that you can help. Involve your child in cooking, baking, counting things out such as money, utensils, or any other small things that you have. Involve them when making comparison of what you are buying. Create patterns; have them organize things by shape, size, color, or use.  Understanding and creating patterns is very important. Putting toys in a pattern and being able to explain them is a great task. There are many great math games on-line that you can search to do as a family as well. Talk to your child about the process of what you are thinking about when doing a math task. This helps them to understand the process of doing math.

Oct 28
Digital Citizenship

We have been living in a digital world now for a long time. Not only are our children very familiar with this environment but so are you as parents. You register for things online, shop online, communicate and socialize on-line, are entertained through the on-line venue. It is often a lifesaver for us – we get instant news and can communicate with our loved ones all over the world. How are we keeping our children safe in this environment when it is all around us and so easy to access?

You will be receiving the Digital Citizenship form soon and it is required that you discuss this with your child(ren) and that both you and your child sign the form saying that you understand what it means to be a digital citizen.

Here are some things to consider:

  • There is nothing private for your child. The technology use should be in your presence, their passwords are not private and you need to know what they are accessing.
  • Personal identity needs to be protected – how are you helping your child(ren) to do this?
  • What ever they do on-line is permanent – it will follow them into adulthood and can influence their possibility of a job or career.
  • Please help them navigate when they come to a situation that is inappropriate.
  • They need the permission of others to post content, information or images of others – this means parents permission.
  • Help them to understand that there are ownership rights and responsibilities for digital content created by them and others.
  • Monitor the amount of time that they are in front of devices. Set limits on how much technology they are using in a day.
  • Limit screen time an hour before bedtime and store electronics outside of the bedroom.

Thank you for thinking about these things as you guide your child.


Oct 01
A Safe, Caring and Welcoming Environment

Creating a safe, caring and welcoming environment is a priority at Grant MacEwan School. Our staff are focused on creating a safe environment at school as well as to and from school. There have been numerous safety concerns being observed by staff and other community members during drop off of students in the morning and picking them up after school.

The City of Calgary Police and Parking Authority have been monitoring our school for safety and have expressed some concerns. The most concerning issue is students crossing the street between parked cars without using the crosswalk. Vehicles driving on the street cannot see our students crossing between parked cars. The possibility of a serious injury by being hit by a car is very concerning for all of us.

What parents can do to keep our students safe

Children learn through modelling. We model the rules of the playground, the rules of the classroom and the rules of the road. Children are keen observers. They learn from each other and all adults. It is important that we model the behaviour that we want to see in our children. If we want kindness, we need to model kindness. If we want children to play well with others, we need to model that with the adults around us. If we want them to be safe on the road we need to model using the cross walks and parking in safe areas, as well as getting out on the sidewalk side of the car.

We talk about expected and unexpected behaviour to help children realize what they are doing and how they are staying safe.

Here are some tips to avoid rushing in the morning

Dr. Charles Fay, one of the founders of the Love and Logic group provided some great tips on getting your child up and moving in the morning. Setting up routines for going to bed and getting up in the morning create a predictable pattern for your child. This helps everyone feel calmer and gets us out of the house in a relaxed state.

“Schedule some time to plan and practice when you aren’t in a hurry

This means taking the time to show your kids how to use an alarm clock and how to collect what they need the night before. You can also give them ideas for making their own breakfasts as well as tips on creating lists as prompts or reminders.

Each morning, take yourself out of the loop as much as possible

The more that you are the one working to ensure that they get ready, the less likely they will learn to get ready on by themselves.

Place almost all your emphasis on getting yourself ready

As we all know, modeling is a great teacher. You shouldn’t feel guilty placing about 98% of your energy on meeting your needs. Besides, you’ve already taught them how to meet theirs—now show them how your meet yours.

Pray for opportunities

If you approach mornings this way, your kids will have special learning opportunities: (1) they will learn that the sky will not fall if they end up going to school looking mismatched and disheveled, and (2) they will learn to take responsibility by making affordable mistakes, such as forgetting their homework.

Create a covert back-up plan

In some cases, parents find it wise to have someone secretly on call. If the kids miss the bus, this back-up adult can arrive and charge the kids for taxi service to school.”

Attendance is very important. When children miss school, come late, or leave early, they miss valuable instruction and work time. In addition, when students are away, they lose connections with their classmates and they can fall behind in their learning activities, which can lead to anxiety and a lack of engagement for the student.

Over the past two months as part of our Well-Being and Perseverance Goals at Grant MacEwan School, we have been sharing stories of how the buffalo surround their young and face forward into the storm. By walking towards and through the storm, the buffalo get through the storm faster. We are connecting this learning to our ways of being at Grant MacEwan School, to encourage and give strategies to our students to face learning challenges head on with the support from adults in the school. 

How can we face our storms?

One example of this learning that you can help at home is around reducing your child’s feelings of stress or anxiety at school. Anxiety gets harder to face when we avoid the things that cause anxiety. By talking to our children and about what is bothering them at school and then reassuring them that everyone has these feelings and sometimes you need to ask an adult for support. One question we ask children is how big is the problem? This will get your child talking and will open up opportunities to support your child to work through the problem.

Don’t solve the problem for your children…help them come up with solutions to the problem so that they can gain confidence by being able to handle difficult situations. Please talk about this as a family and ask your child about what may be a storm for them and what they can do to help themselves through that storm.

1 - 10Next

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Blog Tools

 ‭(Hidden)‬ About this blog

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.

CBE students came away with a number of wins and demonstrated exceptional talent and skills as they competed in Skills Canada Alberta in Edmonton and the 2023 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) in Winnipeg. https://t.co/7Rigvcqpv6 #WeAreCBE https://t.co/GkTJe0yV9C

RT @Indigenous_cbe: The CBE Indigenous Education Team encourages you to celebrate National Indigenous History Month through our🗓️of learning, resources and events honouring Indigenous ways of being, belonging, doing & knowing. #WeAreCBE #NIHM2023 https://t.co/3fbIdcWorE https://t.co/SH8t68B0Pj

RT @DHarkness_CBE: At Douglas Harkness, diversity is our 🌈 SUPER POWER! #HarknessHasHeart https://t.co/fG3N6aqBPP

In honor of Pride Month, we celebrate the pursuit of equality for 2SLGBTQ+ individuals & affirm the importance of providing safe & caring environments. We work to cultivate positive learning environments for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances. #WeAreCBE https://t.co/SLbPK6bY5o

National Indigenous History Month is a time to explore and appreciate the diverse cultures, traditions and perspectives of First Nations, Inuit and Metis as we deepen our understanding of Indigenous peoples and communities on our Truth and Reconciliation journey #WeAreCBE https://t.co/3ZOrbIc52l

RT @UsihChristopher: The 2022-23 Chief Superintendent Student Advisory Council held its final meeting this pm. The students shared key reflections and strategies to empower student voice and agency. I’m immensely proud of our students. Thanks to staff advisors & admin #WeAreCBE https://t.co/BXhDHqye3t

Merci, for joining the board meeting to share your experiences as French Immersion students! #WeAreCBE https://t.co/ivayR9ftXL

The Board of Trustees approved the 2021-24 Education Plan and 2023-24 budget at its May 30 regular board meeting. https://t.co/ylUAHroBxY #yycbe https://t.co/5qnHPtS9av

Today’s Board of Trustees public meeting starts at 11 a.m. at the Education Centre. Join us in-person or stream the meeting online https://t.co/nvCl1fNOeh #yycbe https://t.co/1H1fGiuyK1

Monday, May 29 is a system-wide non-instructional day so there are no classes for CBE students. It is also the provincial election day – don’t forget to vote! Have a safe long weekend. #WeAreCBE https://t.co/nihcInFUcL