Our School

“Inspiring Minds In A Caring Community”

G.W. Skene school was built in 1979 and is situated on 20 acres. The school is organized into nine classrooms. Each classroom creates and maintains a comprehensive literacy program. Teachers integrate music and art daily into lessons. A physical education teacher provides a daily program within our high school size gymnasium. In 2012 our library was converted into a Learning Commons which serves as a hub for discipline-based inquiry. A dedicated Learning Commons teacher facilitates inter-disciplinary opportunities for all students.

Our school is unique in that we are a Division II school having only students in Grades 3 to 5. Students in Kindergarten and Grades 1 -2 attend James Short Memorial School located on the adjoining field. Students move from G.W. Skene to Ernest Morrow School (Penbrooke Meadows residents) or Dr. Gladys McKelvie Egbert School (Applewood residents) for Grades 6 to 9, then to Forest Lawn High School. Our students bring a rich diversity to our school community with approximately 50% of our students having English as a second language.

Our Core Values

At G.W. Skene School we have an amazing staff and highly capable students. We believe that education is a journey and that staff and students are on this journey together. We believe that our students are capable of not only learning information, but also developing thoughts and ideas to solve complex problems. It is our dream that every student realize their potential as learners.

The term “Endgame” is often used to describe the ultimate goal or purpose for something. Our “Endgame” at G.W. Skene is to see each student graduate from high school ready for the world. We want them to understand who they are including their values, strengths, and dreams for the future.

We like to speak of our students as having a “voice.” While almost all people are able to talk, having a “voice” can mean more than this. We mean that when our students use knowledge to develop and express their opinions, people listen. Every year, the students at G.W. Skene propose solutions to problems locally and globally and their plans are followed by action. This is something we encourage.

Knowledge is increasing very quickly in the world. It is no longer enough for students to learn facts, figures, and information at school. In addition to this, students must learn to make judgments and exercise creativity with what they know. The following illustration of Bloom’s Taxonomy is a helpful tool to explain our educational values. All levels of the triangle are important and necessary, yet we want our students to move to the upper levels of the triangle in their thinking.

Circle of Courage

At G.W. Skene, we embrace a philosophy called the Circle of Courage. The Circle of Courage impacts how we see students’ social and emotional development, as well as their academic achievement and learning. This philosophy is rooted on an understanding of the world from our Indigenous peoples, yet applies to all children and is supported by

current psychological thinking.

The Circle of Courage is comprised of four key values, which influence our relationships with students and the way our school operates.

  1. Belonging
  2. Independence
  3. Mastery
  4. Generosity

We seek to incorporate these values within our instructional program, as well as the manner in which we carry out school discipline.

Who Was George Wilbert Skene?

G.W. Skene, Q.C. was born in Ontario. He moved to Calgary in 1911 to article as a law student. Mr. Skene practiced law and was a member of the Calgary Public School Board and was chairman in 1944. He later was the solicitor for the Board for 29 years. 

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​​Our School's Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

We are committed to acknowledging and supporting the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action specific to education. Our school, along with all CBE schools, made a TRC Commitment to Action. On June 21, we renewed our commitment, which can be found under Resources.​​

Acknowledging the Land

We would like to acknowledg​​e the traditional territories and oral practices of the Blackfoot Nations, which includes the Siksika, the Piikani and the Kainai. We also acknowledge the Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.​

​​​School Development Plan

​Each year, our school prepares a development plan with input from teachers, school staff, students and parents. We review many sources of data, including report cards, provincial achievement test results and school surveys. Based on this information, we create our plan identifying targeted areas for growth. Our school development plan is not meant to represent all of the work that takes place in our school, but rather it focuses on specific areas for improvement.​​​

​​​​School Improvement Results Report

Our school also prepares a results plan, which looks at our previous school year. It shows our students’ achievement and progress in meeting the goals and outcomes as set out by the CBE and Alberta Education, outlines some of the highlights of our school development plan and gives an overview of our school. You can look on the CBE website for system-wide results​.