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.

Aug 30
The First Few Weeks & Student Success

Greetings from Mr. McPhail and Mrs. Masciuch!  

The first couple of weeks of school have now passed and we are off to a great start.  We are glad to welcome back staff, students and parents and we have all been sharing our summer adventure stories.  We would like to welcome 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 500 this year. 

Health and safety of our students is on all of our minds and continues to be a top priority at Grant MacEwan School.  We will continue to implement increased health measures from last year as directed by Alberta Health to do our part to prevent the transmission of Covid-19. This includes wearing masks when entering and exiting the school and whenever physical distancing is not possible in classrooms. We continue to engage our students in proper hand hygiene through regular washing of hands and the use of hand sanitizer located in all rooms. We will also continue with homeroom class cohorts whenever possible to minimize the possibility of transmission. We had great success last year minimizing transmission in the school due to these increased health measures.

For the safety of all students, please keep your child at home if showing signs of fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of sense of smell or taste. If you are unsure, please use the Alberta Health Daily Checklist and follow the direction of Alberta Health.

At the start of a new school year it can be challenging to return to a regular routine.  We remind all families that students arriving late are missing valuable learning time.  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 read the start and end times on the left and help to ensure your child learns the importance and value of being on time.

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?


This is the first newsletter of the 2021/2022 school year. You are able to access our monthly newsletter on our website in the News Centre. 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 mobile 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.

Looking forward to a great year!

Grant McPhail
Principal, Grant MacEwan School

Jun 25
Have a Safe and Wonderful Summer

Dear Parents/Guardians

I just wanted to send a final note for the year as we are wrapping up year-end celebrations with our students and staff. What a year! I am honoured and humbled by the perseverance and resilience that our staff, students and families have shown everyday as we worked together to support student success and learning at school and at home throughout this pandemic.

I also want to thank and recognize our school council for their time and efforts to support our entire school program and all their perseverance and hard work with their continued effort to raise funds and submit proposals for grants in an effort to construct our new playground. We have just been recently notified that a casino fundraiser is a possibility this summer.

Chairperson: Rebecca Jameson
Vice Chair: Chris Dingman
Treasurer: Lauren Rosen
Secretary: Jennifer Wall
Playground Chair: Nigel Greentree

As with every school year, we must say farewell for now to staff and teachers that will be moving on to other positions in the CBE or new adventures. Susan Bernstein who has done an amazing job teaching our grade 2/3 combined class and also our grade 6 HUB class this year will not be returning. Carolyn Croft our educational assistant who was working with our grade one’s this year will also be changing schools this year. Noel Bolanos, our amazing cleaner hired on for increased cleaning due to the pandemic to keep us all safe will also be leaving us at the end of the year. I wish them all the best and know they will excel and flourish in their new roles as they did here at Grant MacEwan.

I also wanted to let you know that Marilyn Topping, Cathy Crawford and Karen Faulds will be retiring at the end of this school year. They have had incredible careers at the CBE spanning many schools and positively impacting the lives of countless students. Our staff and students will certainly miss them but are grateful for our time together. All the best on your next adventure!

At this time, students will return to school (in-person) Tuesday August 17 at 8:55. Teachers will meet students outside their grade doors with class lists.

I am thinking of our Grant MacEwan students and families and hope you all have a safe and wonderful summer!

Grant McPhail

May 04
Welcome to May

Welcome to May! The Covid-19 pandemic is still very much present in our community and the rest of Calgary. Over the past few weeks, we have had a number of positive cases identified in students and one staff member. All classes affected were directed to isolate and to resume learning online. The positive cases continue to originate in the community with only one case being identified as a possible transmission in the school at this time. This continues to demonstrate that the health measures in place at our school are keeping our students and staff safe. A big thank-you to all the families who have been pro-active in keeping their children at home when they are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath. Please continue to follow Alberta Health guidelines so we can all do our part to keep everyone safe.

Thanks to all the parents that joined our school council meeting on April 22 to hear about our upcoming budget and staffing decisions for the next school year.

Thanks 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. More opportunities to let your voice be heard in the near future.

Be kind and stay safe,

Grant McPhail
Principal, Grant MacEwan School

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Is it back to school time already? Not quite, but modified calendar schools return on Aug 15 and traditional calendar schools on Sept 1. Here’s some information for anyone planning ahead: #WeAreCBE

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These new inclusive playgrounds look like fun for everyone! #WeAreCBE

Congratulations! #WeAreCBE

Congratulations #WeAreCBE

CBE schools are now closed until August. Thank you to all school staff for your extraordinary service. We recognize the care, compassion and kindness you have shown each and every day to students, families and one another. Wishing you a restful, joyful and safe summer. #WeAreCBE

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