Dec 01
Weekly Principal's Blog

​Principal's messages can be found in the news stories on the front page of our website. They are contained within the Principal's Blog and are posted weekly.

Mike MacDonald


Hawkwood School

Jun 26
Year End Message

Dear Hawkwood School Families,

Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we collectively navigated the unusual circumstances of the last three months. Here are a few year- end reminders for your consideration.

  • -  Please let us know if you child will not be attending Hawkwood School in the Fall. This will significantly help with our planning process and we can also help with your child’s transition to their new school.

  • -  Our refund cheques have been mailed and, we would appreciate everyone cashing their cheques – no matter the refund. Thanks to Lucy in the office for working through some obstacles and, once again, your understanding is appreciated.

  • -  If you are planning for your child to take the yellow bus next year, you can still register. It will not cost you anything and if you change your mind later, you can withdraw your registration.

  • -  Year-end report cards will be available online Friday, 9:00 am through MyCBE PowerSchool Portal. Guidelines and instructions can be found:

  • -  K-9 | Assessment and Reporting Guidelines for Ongoing Learning

  • -  MyCBE: Accessing the Online Report Card

    Guidance for school re-entry by Alberta Education and is subject to change from the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. This plan will evolve and will be adjusted when information becomes available as the status of the COVID-19 pandemic changes. Alberta Education is committed to providing the final plan no later than August 1, 2020, to allow school authorities time to make any additional adjustments to their own planning for the new school year. The CBE will provide all schools with the guidance and safety procedures to follow to provide a safe re- entry for our students.

    The school re-entry plan for ECS-12 schools considers three scenarios

MacDonald, Michael P

Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 11:31:50 AM Mountain Daylight Time

that could exist when the 2020-2021 school year beings in September:

  • In-school classes resume (near normal with health measures)

  • In-school classes partially resume (with additional health measures)

  • At-home learning continues (in-school classes are


    All plans are founded on the following four principles that were established by government in collaboration with education partners:

  • The safely of children students and staff comes first.

  • Children and student learning will continue.

  • Provincial funding is still flowing to schools.

  • School authorities have flexibility to do what is best for their


    Whatever the new school year will bring, we are very excited at the idea of our students returning to school. We greatly appreciate the support and patience we have been shown by our Hawkwood School families throughout these unusual times.

    Stay safe, have a great summer and we will see you in September.


    Mike MacDonaldthank-you-362164_1280.jpg


Mar 20
Principal's Blog - March 20th

Classes Canceled & Moving Forward


I hope this blog post finds all of the families in our Hawkwood School Community healthy and doing well. The pervasive nature of these times has had stressful impacts on our students, our staff, their families, our work and what we understand as normal.

We have seen this week that the function of a school community goes well beyond the learning that takes place within its doors. It becomes a place where our students and their families can connect around common interests, goals and stages of growth.

Plans for next steps in learning are currently being developed and will be shared with you as soon as possible. In the meantime we will try as best we can to keep our school community together and stay connected. Please check in with your child’s classroom posts here, to see if there is anything new.

Learning at Home


Your child’s curiosity will not disappear just because they are not in school. Wondering about things, asking questions and trying to figure things out are things that they do on their own, and are naturally good at.

To help facilitate this continued learning journey, the CBE has posted some resources online that can be found here. These resources include ideas around literacy, math and wellness and are divided into K-6, 6-9 and 10-12 groupings. Check them out.

Walk About with Harry the Hawk

Poor Harry! Harry is missing all of his student friends at Hawkwood School. He finds things way too quiet around here this week.

Harry and I took this opportunity to have a bit of a walk around the school and check out some of the things that he doesn’t always notice when the school is full, fun and busy.

Harry loved the great Ancient Greece Mosaics done by the grade 6’s in our front entrance.

Harry  also loved all of the Read-a-Thon decorations that were put up in the Hawk’s Nest by our fabulous parent volunteers. Harry says keep reading!

Harry got a big kick out of the Kindergarten self-portraits in the hallway. He thought that this one looked like him a little bit.

Harry thought that the mural Mrs. Kang is working on in the Hawk’s Nest looked wonderful. He can’t wait to see the First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning Model when it is finished later on in April.

Harry even found some friends working in the Bridges Room. Recognize anyone?

Harry and I had a great walk today but he did share that he misses everyone and that it is just not the same around here without the students. He is very excited for the time when everyone returns.

COVID-19 and Stress​

Removing the structures, routines and predictability from our daily activities throws us off and can often lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety. I have spoken to more than one person in the past week that has described the current context as “weird”. It is important to recognize how these higher levels of stress impact us and the people around us. Here are a few coping strategies courtesy of the World Health Organization.

Take care of yourself and each other. We will check in again next week!

Mar 06
Principal's Blog - Week of March 9th

Principal’s Blog - Week of March 9th

School Council Meeting - March 11th

Please come by the Learning Commons on Wed. March 11th at 6:30 for the next Hawkwood School Council meeting. Topics that will be covered include ... 

  • Budget

  • social events

  • and what is upcoming during the last few months of the school year. 

This is a great group that all parents are already a part of. Stop by and see what they are up to.

How Do We Assess Writing ?


In order for students to advance in their writing skills, teachers and students must first understand where they are. This is done through assessing their writing. There are many different ways we can assess student writing both formatively (as we go) and summatively (in the end). One of the tools that is often used is a rubric which clearly outlines what the work should look like in various stages.

Example of a Grade 1 Writing Rubric


Example of a Grade 5 Writing Rubric


Rubrics are used across many different subjects and help a teacher to determine where the student is in their learning progression and what the next right steps for them will be. They are also very effective tools for students that support them as “check-ins” while they are working and providing them with clear examples of their learning path.

Student Led Conferences

Our second round of Student led Conferences will be taking place in a couple of weeks. It is a great opportunity to check in with your child’s classroom and see first hand their work and progress over the past couple of months. While a sit-down chat with your child’s teacher is always a good idea, these conferences also provide a platform for your child to share their work and progress in their own words by discussing with you what they have learned and how they have learned it. Having the opportunity to do this has a significant impact on their own learning. 

The bookings for these conferences opens March 7th at midnight, and closes March 18th at midnight. (March 17th for Kindergarten)

Web site for booking conferences can be found HERE, with more information about school conferences HERE.

Kindergarten Wed. March 18th 8:00 am - 6:00 pm (No Classes)

Thur. March 19th 9:00 am - 8:00 pm (No Classes)

Fri.    March 20th 8:00 am - 11:30 am (No Classes)

Grades 1 - 6 Thur.  March 19th 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Dismissal 1:20)

Fri.     March 20th 8:00 am - 1:00 pm  (No Classes)

Have You Ever Done a “Read-a-Thon”?


Friends of Hawkwood School Society are very happy to bring you Hawkwood School’s first ever Read-a-Thon. It is happening March 7-15th and is designed to help stoke a love for reading and books in our students.

Handouts were given to each student this week that highlight how the program works including pledge sheets. Funds raised will help support literacy initiatives within the school. There are daily activities, individual and class prizes as well as a dress as your favourite book character on March 13th. Reminders will also be in class blogs throughout the week.

What is Coming Up This Week

Monday - Mar 9th

Read - a-Thon

Tuesday - Mar 10th

Read - a-Thon

Wednesday - Mar 11th

Read - a-Thon

School Council Meeting 6:30 in the Learning Commons

Thursday - Mar 12th

Read - a-Thon

Friday - Mar 13th

Read - a-Thon - Dress Up as Your Favourite Book Character

Community Block - Math 12:30 - 1:15

Have a great week!

Feb 10
Principal's Blog - Week of February 10th

Principal’s Blog - Week of Feb. 10th

Well-Being for Learning


“What is right with you, is more powerful than anything 

that is wrong with you”

Nan Henderson

Over the past couple of years we have been using the MindUp curriculum to connect aspects of mental health to various parts of our program of studies. Making connections through science, health and social studies helps our students understand that mental health is integrated into all aspects of our life. Our student survey results last year indicated that our students needed some support with resiliency around their learning. Within the MindUp curriculum there are specific skills and understandings related to resiliency that we will be working through with our students over the next few months. These include learning activities and tasks related to perspectives taking, mindful listening and seeing, and choosing optimism. 

In preparation for this work we spent time during our Friday (Jan. 31) professional learning session looking at the ABC’s of resiliency. These included examining things like adversity, beliefs, consequences and alternatives. Part of this work included a brief video by Kathryn Meisner.

Talk to your child about what it means to be resilient and why it is important to their learning and their life. There are many different types of resources available online that could support these discussions. Some of them can be found here and here.

CBE High School Engagement


You may have recently received the first High School Engagement E-Newsletter from the CBE. Although for many of you the prospect of your child going to high school still seems a long way into the future, decisions that are made throughout this engagement process will impact your child as they reach high school age.

Updated information can be found on the CBE High School Engagement web page. Specifically, this includes updates in the FAQ’s as well as the 2019 Engagement Survey Results.

Science Fair Results


Thank you to all of our families that supported our students in the creation of their science fair projects. It was a great experience for them as well as all of our students who enjoyed seeing them and hearing about the work that went into them.

We had 77 students participate this year, bringing amazing research and experimental projects to share with the rest of the school on Science Fair day. Of these, 7 have been selected to move on to the Calgary Science Fair which is being held on April 17th and 18th at the Olympic Oval. 

The projects that have been selected to move forward are:

Ayden Harrison and Kaden Moehrenschlager: JellyFish research

Kyla Huang: best germination solution

Averi Tang and Melissa Wang: Which potato chips are the greasiest?

Renata Hollander: Comic vocabulary compared to other literature

Cambie Stollery: Compostable straws

Khaliana Abbany and Ahmad Kinawi: Strawberry DNA 

Amaya Abbany and Aiya Kinawi: growing bacterial culture 

Congratulations to all students who participated!

Parking Lot

With different areas for parking and traffic moving two different ways, our parking lot is a very dangerous place for students. Please do not pick up or drop off students in the school parking lot. Even when it is cold! Or you are late! Or the planets aren't aligned. Or the apocalypse is coming! Be safe! 

What is Coming Up This Week

Monday - Feb. 10th

Everyday learning adventures at Hawkwood School

Tuesday - Feb. 11th

Everyday learning adventures at Hawkwood School

Wednesday - Feb. 12th

Fun Lunch - Jugo Juice & Kernals

Thursday - Feb. 13th

Calgary City Teachers Convention - No School

Friday - Feb. 14th

Calgary City Teachers Convention - No School

Heads Up!  

Provincial Family Day  Feb. 17 - No School

Have a great week!

Feb 10
Principal's Blog - Week of February 3rd

Principal’s Blog - Week of Feb. 3rd

Assessing Students Writing


I have shared much in this blog over the past few months around assessment and reporting. The CBE continues to refine the process by which the students and their families have a clear and concise understanding of how well their child is achieving relative to the Alberta Program of Studies. Related information can be found HERE.  

A big part of our School Development Plan this year, includes a focus on writing. During the professional learning day happening today, we will be looking at the writing process for students. Included in this will be ways in which we assess student’s writing, and how we design learning to reflect the progressive nature of how children learn and improve their writing. Although there are many different ways a student can express their understanding of a concept or idea, writing remains pivotal to their success in school.

Also included in our day of professional learning is a look into strategies that will positively impact student resiliency. Through the participation in the CBE student survey, our grades 4-6 students indicated that this is an area that they could improve. Using the MindUp program, we will explore ways in which concepts like optimism, perspectives taking, and mindful listening and watching can positively impact how resilient our students are when faced with challenges, overcoming obstacles and dealing with mistakes or disappointments. There is recognition at our system level that these skills can have a significant impact on student learning and positively impact student lives beyond the scope of school.

Family Math Night - Thursday, February 6th


On Thursday Feb. 6th from 6:30 - 8:00 drop in any time and check out the wonderful things we will be sharing as part of our this year’s Family Math Night. 

How is Math different from when I went to school?

Can you do meaningful math work without paper and pencil?

These are just a couple of questions that we hear that you should get answered if you come by and visit. Throughout the school we will be looking at ways to investigate numbers, shape and space and patterns in creative ways. Many of these will be easy to replicate at home. We know that daily reading has a significantly positive impact on young readers. Daily math activities, particularly if they are fun, can have a similar impact on your child as they navigate the math concepts of their curriculum. 

Please stop by anytime between 6:30 and 8:00 and learn how your children exploring math. 

Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day is Wednesday, February 26th. It is a day to remind ourselves about how important it is to be nice to one another. One of the things that impacts a student’s ability to learn more than anything is their feeling of safety. Creating a safe and welcoming environment is a priority for the CBE that is supported by our Hawkwood School Community. In recent blogs from Nov. 11th to Dec. 2nd that can be found HERE, I touched on various aspects of bullying, how they can develop and how they impact children.

On Feb. 26th wear anything pink. Not only is it a show of support for the victims of bullying, but it is a visible way in which we can acknowledge that we are part of the solution and as members of our school community, we have a role and responsibility to make sure it is safe for everyone.

What is Coming Up This Week

Monday - Feb. 3rd

Tuesday - Feb. 4th

Grade 6 Ski Program at Winsport

Wednesday - Feb. 5th

Grade 5 Ski Program at Winsport


Thursday - Feb. 6th

Grade 4 Ski Program at Winsport

Family Math Night    6:30 - 8:00

Friday - Feb. 7th

Literacy Community Block 12:30 - 1:15

Heads Up!  

Calgary City Teachers Convention Feb. 13 & 14 - No School

Provincial Family Day  Feb. 17 - No School

Have a great week!

Jan 24
Principal's Blog - Week of January 27th

School Council Movie Night


How can you connect with other families, have fun, have food and raise some money all at the same time?

Come in from the cold and cozy up for a Family Movie Night featuring “Toy Story 4” on Thursday, January 30th at 6:00. Enjoy some pizza and wings from Panago and bring your change for some fin concession treats. Movie tickets only $4 online ($5 at the door) and Panago can only be ordered online ahead of time (no extras at the door). Orders can be placed at Healthy Hunger. Hope to see you there!

Spring Book Fair - Used Book Donations Needed


Hawkwood School will be having their Spring book fair March 17-20th.

Hawkwood School is once again accepting donations of children’s and adult’s books for our Spring Book Fair. Please consider donating popular titles for children such as:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Bad Guys Series, Dog Man, Mighty Robot, Amulet, Elephant & Piggie, Branches series including Dragon Masters, any books by Raina Telgemeier (graphic novels)


Please do not bring textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines or any items that are too outdated.   Used books can be dropped off in the foyer across from the office.

**Also, please consider volunteering your time for the Spring book fair.  This can not happen without our wonderful parent volunteers!


Thank you for your support!

What is Coming Up This Week

Monday - Jan. 27

Fun Lunch - Edo

Tuesday - Jan. 28

Wednesday - Jan. 29


Thursday - Jan. 30

School Council Movie Night - 6:30 “Toy Story 4”

Movie & Pizza tickets available here!

Friday - Jan. 31

Professional Learning Day - Literacy, Numeracy, `  

Have a great week!

Jan 10
Principal's Blog - Week of January 13th

Hawkwood School Council 

Remember that the first school council meeting of the year happens Wednesday, Jan. 15th at 6:30. CBE board member Trina Hurdman will be in attendance. 

Well-Being For Learning

In addition to goals and strategies associated with math and Literacy, this year’s School Development Plan also includes a goal associated with well-being for learning. Our school system recognizes the significant connection between the mental well-being of students and how well they achieve at school. This school year, each school within the CBE has included a goal associated with student well-being for learning. For us at Hawkwood, we are working on student resiliency. Strategies for students to overcome obstacles, self-regulate when faced with challenges and cope following mistakes will all be taught throughout the year. Some resources that parents may find interesting can be found here.

Science Fair


We have shared that  the best learning most often starts with questions. There is no time when this is more true than during Science Fair. Our annual Hawkwood School Science Fair is on January 22nd. Participating students have already picked up their trifolds from Mrs. Leong in the school office and are busy working through their research and methodology at home. Thanks again to our leaders in scientific exploration, Ms. Drummond and Mrs. Swinton, who have coordinated this great learning experience for the past several years.

What is Coming Up This Week

Monday - Jan. 13

Tuesday - Jan. 14

Wednesday - Jan. 15

Fun Lunch - Booster Juice & Kernals

School Council Meeting @ 6:30 in the Learning Commons


Thursday - Jan. 16

Kindergarten (2020) Open House 6:30 in the Learning Commons

Friday - Jan. 17

Mental Health Community Block 12:30

Have a great week!

Jan 07
Principal's Blog - Happy New Year

Principal’s Blog - Happy New Year


Hawkwood School Council 

The next meeting for Hawkwood School Council happens on Wednesday, January 15th at 6:30. Come and see what this great group is up to. As a parent, you are already a member of the school council. Agenda items include updates from the principal as well as committees such as volunteer and social. This meeting the council is very excited to welcome CBE board member, Trina Hurdman. If you have a potential item to be added under “new business” please connect with council chair Lori Jaffray at

January 6th Professional Learning

While Hawkwood School students enjoyed and extra day of winter break, our teaching staff were busy at school learning new things.

Members from the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) team from CBE spent some time with us in the morning. Strategies for supporting each of our students and creating learning environments that are accessible and accepting for everyone, were some of the things that we learned.

We also had our partners from Calgary Opera in for a while working through our next steps for our forthcoming production in May. Lots of details and lots of ways to involve all of our students and staff as well as some parent volunteers. More information will be forthcoming about volunteer opportunities in the next few weeks.

Our teaching teams also spent time together planning out some of the details associated with their next learning sprint. Amongst all of the various aspects of their program of studies, what strategies will they be deploying over the next few weeks, while looking for examples of student improvement in a specific particular area?

Welcome back and have a great week!

Dec 06
Principal's Blog - Week of december 9th

Deck The Halls


Last Friday, our Big and Little Buddy classes connected in the afternoon to bring our school into the festive seasonal spirit. Working together to create decorations to brighten up all of learning areas helps to build a strong sense of community. Many of our school council elves have already developed many decorations that can be found around our Hawk’s Nest and entry way. During our final week, we will also be hosting some seasonal singing on the morning of the 18th and the afternoon of the 19th.

Assessment & Reporting

Our first report cards of the school year will be going home before the holidays on December 19th. Report cards have changed significantly over the past few years and can sometimes be confusing. In our ongoing efforts to create more clarity around this process and how your children are progressing, the CBE has generated a short VIDEO that can be found on the Assessment and Reporting page. This will likely answer many of the questions that might come up regarding the report cards and the assessment process behind. 

Calgary Foodbank

Many of our classes spent time developing the concept of “community”. This often includes discussions around the needs of a community and how they get met. One of the ways that community needs get met is for the people within the community to work together on something that will have a positive impact on others. From now until winter break, we will be raising money and non-perishable food items for the Calgary Food Bank. There will be a jug in the office for money donations and boxes in the Hawk’s Nest for the non-partible food items. All donations will be graciously accepted until Thursday December 19, 2019. 

Book Fair Results

Thank you so much for your support of our Fall New & Used Book Fair. It was one of our most successful book fairs in recent years.

$618 - donated product from Scholastic

$400 - shopping credit for Scholastic

$1398 - cash

Most importantly, we generated some excitement around books and reading, as well as put some new and gently used books into the hands of children.

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