Jun 01
June 2021

Dear Highwood Families,

It's finally June!  It's been a challenging year full of new safety protocols and processes but everyone has done a fantastic job in keeping each other healthy and safe.  I would like to give a special 'shout out' to all of the Highwood staff who have been diligent about Covid protocols, especially when positive case numbers were really high and students were experiencing Covid fatigue.  Thank you to all parents who have been so supportive throughout the entire year in ensuring that your child and the Highwood School community were safe.  There have been lots of adjustments and sacrifices, but it has been a great lesson in 'how does kindness change the world?'

A few June messages:

  • Ensure that your child wears proper runners to school (outdoor shoes).  With the nice weather, students are having daily outdoor gym and recess and sandals/ flip-flops are a safety hazard.  We'd hate for anyone to get injured!
  • Students currently attending Highwood School will automatically roll over to the next grade.  You do not need to re-register or re-apply.  Current grade 4 students will automatically roll over to Colonel Irvine grade 5 Chinese Bilingual program unless you tell us otherwise.
  • If you have any friends or family who would like to be a part of the Highwood School family (and live in a community designed to Highwood), we currently have a few spots available in grades 1-4.  A reminder that students entering in grades 2-4 must take an entrance exam and be able to read, write, speak, and understand grade level Mandarin.  Please have them contact the school office for more information.
  • Please pre-register your child for the yellow school bus for the 2021-2022 school year via your MyCBE/PowerSchool Account.  The deadline is Sunday, June 6.  We ask that you register for the bus, even if you are unsure if your child requires it or not.  It is much easier to cancel your registration than add it after the deadline.  The school bus fee has not been confirmed at this time, but it is proposed to be $465.  You will require your child's CBE ID number to register.  If you do not have it, please send an email to highwood@cbe.ab.ca to request it.  We can only respond if you email us from the email address you have on file with us.  We check this email account on school days, during school hours so please don't wait until Sunday, June 6 to contact us.                                                                                  

Important June dates:

  • Thursday, June 3- Orange Shirt Day- we are encouraging all students to wear an orange shirt to school in honour of the 215 children found buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School
  • Friday, June 4- Early dismissal; Monday/Wednesday kindergarten attends school
  • Friday, June 11- Early dismissal; Tuesday/Thursday kindergarten attends school
  • Monday, June 14 @ 7:00pm- School Council Meeting
  • Friday, June 18- Early dismissal; Monday/Wednesday kindergarten attends school
  • Thursday, June 24- Last day of school for Tuesday/Thursday kindergarten
  • Thursday, June 24- SPIRIT DAY!  Beach day!
  • Friday, June 25- No school for kindergarten (there is still school for grades 1-4)
  • Monday, June 28- Last day of school for all students
  • Tuesday, June 29- Appeals day                                                    

Stay healthy, stay safe!

Christine Cheung​

Mar 05
March 2021

​Dear Highwood Families,

It's March already and it's hard to believe that almost a year ago we had to all switch to emergency online teaching.  So much has changed since then and we've learned a lot about what to do and what not to do to ensure that everyone is safe.  Our teachers have worked hard to maintain their classroom communities by creating rich and engaging in learning environments.  At Highwood we are continuing our Covid safety protocols by keeping students with only their classroom cohorts, regular handwashing/ sanitizing, physical distancing, not sharing items, limiting the amount of people entering our school, and mask wearing.  Please help us by ensuring that your child has an extra mask in their backpack as we are finding that an increasing amount of students do not.  Even though we have extras in the office, it would still be a good idea for students to have an extra mask with them.

​In the month of March we have parent-teacher conferences.  For those in HUB, your interviews will take place on March 11 and 12 and are not booked through the school.  CBE may have sent you an email with instructions.  For those families who have students attending Highwood in-person classes, you may be thinking… “Didn't we already have conferences in February?"  Yes, we did!  These interviews on March 25 and 26 are for those parents who want to follow-up with teachers to see if there has been any progress since February report cards or want to discuss goals and strategies for their child as they finish off the last few months of the 2020-2021 school year.  If you do not think it is necessary to meet with the teachers, you are not required to book an interview.  Please note that the teachers may request to meet with you.  More information will be emailed to you soon about the conference booking process.

Important March dates:

March 5: Early Dismissal (Monday/Wednesday kindergarten attends school)

March 8: School Council Meeting RESCHEDULED to March 15

March 11 and 12: Online parent-teacher conferences for HUB students

March 12: NO SCHOOL (PD Day)

March 15: School Council Meeting (7:00pm via Microsoft TEAMS).  More information will be sent out closer to the meeting day.

March 19: Early Dismissal (Tuesday/ Thursday kindergarten attends school)

March 25: Spirit Day… Color Day!  Students in each grade will be asked to wear a certain color!

              Kindergarten: Red

              Grade 1: Green

              Grade 2: Blue

              Grade 3: Yellow

              Grade 4: Orange

March 25 and 26: Online parent-teacher conferences for in-person students

March 27- April 5: Spring Break

Tuesday, April 6: Students return to class

Stay safe, stay healthy.

Highwood School

Jan 13
January 2021

Happy New Year Highwood Families!

I hope all of you had a restful and relaxing Winter Break.  We are back to in-person school on Monday, January 11 and look forward to seeing all of the students again!  Just a reminder to ensure that you child wears a mask to school and has an extra mask in their backpack. As well, if your family travelled outside of Canada during the break, CBE has asked that you keep this in mind:

Return to School After International Travel

Students and families who have travelled outside of Canada are legally required to follow all provincial and federal travel restrictions upon arrival.

If your family is participating in the International Border Testing Pilot Program, your child may not return to school until they have tested negative on a second test 6 or 7 days after your arrival.

If you are not enrolled in the pilot program, your child must:

Here are a few important deadlines and dates that are coming up:

Friday, January 8:  Students currently in HUB who wish to return to in-person classes in February must indicate their intentions by NOON TODAY in your MyCBE/PowerSchool account.  A reminder that if your HUB student is returning to in-person classes and requires bussing and noon supervision, to please register and pay for it as soon as possible (especially bussing since they require time to assign you a bus stop).

Monday, January 11: Students return to in-person classes; School council meeting moved to Monday, January 18.

Friday, January 15: Early dismissal- Tuesday/ Thursday kindergarten attends school

Monday, January 18 (7:00 pm): School Council Meeting via Microsoft Teams.  More details will be provided closer to this date.

Friday, January 22: Early dismissal- Monday/ Wednesday kindergarten attends school

Friday, January 29: NO SCHOOL (PD Day)

New Kindergarten and Grade One Applications for the 2021-2022 School Year

Highwood School is now accepting new applications for the 2021-2022 school year!  We are unable to host an in-person open house this year due to covid restrictions, but an open house video as well as registration information can now be found on Highwood School's website.  Since parents are the best ambassadors of our program, please ensure that you tell your friends and family of our open house video.  The deadline to register is Tuesday, February 9 at noon and the kindergarten and grade 1 lotteries will take place on the morning of Wednesday, February 10.  If your child is currently attending Highwood School, they will automatically continue into the next grade and there is no need to re-register.  If your child is currently in grade 4, they will automatically be registered for grade 5 at Colonel Irvine School unless you tell us otherwise.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

Christine Cheung


Sep 28
September 2020

Hard to believe that we have almost completed one month of school!  It went by quickly, as it was a very busy month reorganizing for HUB learning, learning new Covid procedures, and adjusting to our new 'normal.'  Students have done very well adapting to new safety expectations and it is obvious that parents have been reinforcing with students the importance of wearing a mask, washing/ sanitizing hands, and physical distancing.  Thank you parents for your help and support!

As cold and flu season approaches, students may present with symptoms that are similar to COVID-19.  We want to help clarify the processes outlined by Alberta Health Services in regards to 'symptomatic' students.

If you choose for your symptomatic child to NOT HAVE a COVID-19 test:

Albertans with symptoms are legally required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat that is not related to a pre-existing condition.

The mandatory isolation period is 10 days from the start of symptoms, or until the symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer.

Albertans with chills, painful swallowing, stuffy nose, headache, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell, fatigue or exhaustion, gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite), loss of sense of smell or taste, conjunctivitis (pink eye) need to stay home and minimize contact with others until all symptoms resolve.

If you choose for your symptomatic child to HAVE a COVID-19 test:

If you tested negative and have no known exposure to the virus, you are not legally required to isolate.  Students should stay home until all symptoms fully resolve so that you do not infect others.

If you become sick with cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat during this time, you must isolate an additional 10 days from the beginning of symptoms or until you are feeling well, whichever takes longer.

If a student has symptoms related to allergies or a pre-existing medical condition:

The student should be tested at least once before returning to school and have a negative COVID-19 result.

These symptoms would be their baseline health status.  As long as the cough or runny nose is always the same and does not get worse, the student can attend school.

Call the main office (403-777-6200 ext 0) to notify the school about your child's pre-existing medical condition so the school may keep a confidential record of his condition.

We are asking parents to err on the side of caution and keep students home with even the smallest symptom.  It is important that we work together to ensure that all students, family, and staff remain healthy and safe. 

The guidelines that were outlined above were taken directly from Alberta Health Services Student Illness information guidelines.  For more information, go to alberta.ca/covid19

I wanted to give a very special thank you to T & T supermarket who has generously donated 6000 kid sized disposable masks to Highwood School worth over $2500.  These will be put to good use as we often have students who have forgotten to bring a mask, have had their mask soiled and require a new one in the middle of the day, had a mask strap break, or is wearing a mask that is too large to properly fit their face.  In their letter to me, they expressed that:

At T & T Supermarkets, we know what it is like to stay open throughout a pandemic and the stresses that comes with it.  Schools are the next essential business we must keep safe and operating, and our teachers are the next frontline heroes.  We are happy to support our schools with the donation of these face masks to protect our beloved teachers and children.

Since T & T Supermarket exemplified our theme of “How does kindness/ empathy change the world?" we thought that we would pass on that kindness and Highwood School donated 2000 of those masks to the Calgary Board of Education to distribute to elementary schools who were in need.  My challenge to all Highwood families is to find ways, big or small, to show kindness and empathy towards others.  You never know how it will change someone's life, including your own!

I wish everyone continued health and safety!

Christine Cheung


Dec 03
December 2019

December is a month of giving at Highwood School.  To support community organizations such as the Mustard Seed and the Calgary Food Bank, we are having the 10 Days of Giving campaign.  For 10 school days, we are encouraging students to donate a different item every day.  Together we can make a difference!

The donation schedule is as follows:
Monday, December 2: soup (cans, cartons, or dry packs of soup)
Tuesday, December 3: dry pasta, noodles, rice, Mac and Cheese
Wednesday, December 4: toothpaste and/or toothbrushes
Thursday, December 5: soap
Friday, December 6: socks (all ages, all sizes)
Monday, December 9: toiletry items (brush, comb, lip balm, small tissue packages, band-aids, lotion)
Tuesday, December 10: shampoo and/or conditioner
Wednesday, December 11: canned meat, fish, beans
Thursday, December 12: canned fruit and vegetables
Friday, December 13: any food item!!!
December is when students receive their first report card of the school year.  It is important for you to understand the 4-1 achievement indicators that all CBE K-9 teachers use to grade students.  This year, the indicators are better defined and provide a clearer explanation of your child’s understanding.
December Newsletter.jpg
Report cards will be distributed to students on Friday, December 13 and Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place on Wednesday, December 18 from 4:00-8:00 pm and Thursday, December 19 from 8:15 am - 5:15 pm. We encourage you to go online on December 10 starting at 9:00 am and book an interview time through your My CBE/PowerSchool Account. Students do not have school on Thursday, December 19 and Friday, December 20.  Winter break goes from December 21 to January 5, with classes resuming on January 6, 2020.
Have a safe and happy holiday with family and friends!
Christine Cheung, Principal
Oct 31
November 2019

The month of October has been very busy for teachers in collaborating to set goals and developing strategies for our 2019-2020 School Development Plan.  During PD Days, early dismissal afternoons, and lunch hour meetings, we have been looking at our report card data from the last school year, analyzing results, and making decisions as to what we need to focus on with students this school year.  As a result, we have decided to continue our goal from last year that teachers will create opportunities for the exploration and application of key subject-specific vocabulary, so that students’ ability to communicate understanding will improve.  During upcoming PD Days, early dismissal afternoons, and afternoon partnering sessions with our Learning Leaders, teachers will be designing intentional tasks that are focussed on developing subject-specific vocabulary.  Together, we will also be analyzing student work, teacher tasks, and various assessment results that will provide us with specific feedback related to student progress and next steps.  We are also working together with Area II Literacy and Math strategists and using their expertise to build capacity and knowledge in teachers.

November Pictures.jpg
A very special thank you to the parent volunteers who came out to our volunteer prop-making day on Saturday, October 26.  It was a very productive day, full of creativity and collaboration.  We will be hosting a second volunteer prop-making day on Saturday, November 9.  We need many volunteers to help us finish making many more props for our big Lunar New Year concert celebration on Tuesday, January 21 at 7 pm.  Please sign up to volunteer if you can at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0F4DAEA923AAFB6-highwood1 as we would really appreciate the help!

November Pictures 1.jpg

I hope to see you at the next School Council meeting on Monday, December 2nd at 7:00pm!

Christine Cheung

Sep 30
October 2019

Can you believe that your child has been in school for one whole month already?!?  Lots of rich language learning has already taken place, and students have been using and experimenting with both Mandarin and English through songs, poems, and conversations.  Thank you parents for your support at home in getting homework completed, checking D2L, doing nightly home reading, setting up an evening routine that is suitable for your child, and getting them to bed at an early hour.  All of these things make a big difference to your child’s learning.

There are many field trips planned for the month of October and in order for classes to be able to go, a certain number of parent volunteers must accompany the class.  If there are not enough volunteers, field trips may need to be cancelled.  If you are interested in volunteering, you MUST have a cleared CBE police clearance on file (clearance through other organizations cannot be accepted).  We encourage all parents to complete a volunteer clearance form (that is good for 5 years) just in case… you never know when you have a day off and can help us out!  To apply, you need to stop by the school first, bring your driver’s licence as a form of ID, and the school will print you a letter that you will use to apply at the police station or online.  Plan for the approval process to take at least 4 weeks, so apply as soon as possible.  Please take the time to apply for a police clearance as we would love to have you volunteer with us… even if it is only for an hour! 

As the weather is always changing, please remember to dress your child appropriately for various weather conditions.  It is a good idea to dress them in layers, as it is often cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon.  Students go outside for recess in the snow and in light rain.  Students only stay inside for recess if the temperature is -20°C or colder with the wind chill.

A special thank you goes out to Highwood School Council who funded the addition of a traverse wall in our gym.  On the afternoon of Friday, September 27, teachers completed a 3-hour training session to learn how to use the wall properly and safely with students.  The traverse wall will be used in conjunction with the gymnastics unit.

Christine Cheung


Staff Photo.jpg

Sep 04
September 2019

Welcome to a new school year!  This year will be full of learning and laughter, challenges and change.  Our hope is that your child works to their fullest potential and acquire the skills to be able to communicate, understand, read, and write in both Chinese and English.  Even in a month’s time, you will be amazed at how much language your child has learned and how much academic and personal growth will have taken place.

Teachers work hard every day to personalize learning for each child, but also design tasks that are engaging, meaningful, and relevant.  As partners in educating students, we ask parents to support your child in these ways:​

  • Ensure that your child gets plenty of sleep at night.  This means an early bedtime, especially for those students who need to get up early to catch the bus or attend Kids Come First.
  • Have a quiet place for your child to do homework and to do nightly reading.
  • Have a consistent routine in place (i.e. a set time that homework is always done; a set time for home reading; a set time bed time)
  • Pack a healthy snack and lunch every day.  Remember that as the school year progresses; your child’s appetite grows as they physically grow, so you will need to pack more food.
  • If you drop your child off, it is important to drop them off on time.  It is good for your child to be part of the classroom’s daily routine from the very beginning of the day.  It also ensures that they will not be missing any important activities or lessons.

In the coming days and weeks, a lot of important information will be sent to you via email, D2L, or in your child’s agenda bag.  Please make it a habit to check all three on a daily basis.

Looking forward to a fantastic school year!

Christine Cheung


May 08
May 2019

Can you believe that there are only two months left in this school year?!?  It will be a very busy two months though!  In the month of May we have Celebration of Learning evenings, Alien Inline skating, Vivo Open Minds School, and various fieldtrips.  Thank you to all of the parents who have volunteered to help us out, as we certainly could not be providing these off-site educational experiences without your support.  As a small way to show our appreciation for all that you do, parents and grandparents who have volunteered at Highwood School this school year are invited to attend our Volunteer Tea on Thursday, May 23 at 1:00.  Please email or call the school to RSVP.  It will be a fun afternoon filled with food and student entertainment. 

May is also the month that we start preparing for the upcoming school year.  It is VERY IMPORTANT that you register for the yellow school bus before May 31 if your child needs to take the bus to go to and from school for the 2019-2020 school year.  Even if you are unsure if your child requires the school bus, I would encourage you to still register for the bus and then cancel your contract at a later time if necessary.  As well, it is around this time that I receive the 2019-2020 school budget and need to make some staffing decisions.  I encourage all parents to complete this short three question survey, as your feedback is always valuable.  https://tinyurl.com/highwoodbudget

Next time you’re at Highwood School I invite you to check out our School Development Plan bulletin board located next to the school office.  It displays many rich samples of student work that reflect the on-going work that we are doing around student acquisition of subject-specific vocabulary.  I also encourage you to ask your child about the work and strategies they are learning and doing in class that is intentionally focused​ on acquiring subject-specific vocabulary.

School Development Plan.jpg

Thanks for all that you do to support your child and the school.  I know that during the past eight months you’ve supported your child with studying, reading in two languages, dictation, and various projects.  Know that you’ve had a big impact on your child’s learning and we are appreciative of the time and effort that you’ve put into helping your child acquire a second language.  It’s hard work!


Christine Cheung


Dec 03
December 2018

The month of November was a very busy one and it certainly couldn’t have been possible without the support of Highwood School parents.  Thank you for your generosity in donating to VETS Canada, a non-profit organization that supports veterans and their families.  We raised over $900!  Thank you to all of the students who put together a very touching assembly, honouring those that fought for our freedom and reminding us that peace and love starts with us. 

Parent volunteers were also extremely appreciated during our many fieldtrips, K-2 swimming, and Grade One Open Minds School at Telus Spark.  We like to offer these rich learning opportunities for our students, but it can only be possible with dedicated parent volunteers who are willing to give up their time to support the students and teachers.  November was also our school’s cheque writing campaign where we raised over $7000.  Given the realities of our current economic times, we are very appreciative of every dollar that was donated to the school.  Please be assured that all of the money goes towards students and supporting student events, learning, and needs.

As we enter into December, we continue to ask Highwood students and families to give to those in need.  We are doing things a bit differently this year, but are still continuing to support The Mustard Seed with the “Warm Feet for the Street” campaign and The Calgary Food Band with The Mayor’s Food Drive.  We will be doing a reverse advent calendar!  Every day, students will be asked to bring one specific item to donate.  With all of the items collected, it will either be donated to the food bank or put together to create stuffed socks for the Mustard Seed.  A reminder that with toiletry items, small travel size would be preferable so that they can be stuffed into socks.  We encourage you to donate what you can.  Bins will be set up in the main hallway, so students are welcome to donate items even after the day has passed.

The donation schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, December 5: soup (cans, cartons, or dry packs of soup)

Thursday, December 6: dry pasta, noodles, rice, Mac and Cheese

Monday, December 10: toothpaste and/or toothbrushes

Tuesday, December 11: soap

Wednesday, December 12: socks (all ages, all sizes)

Thursday, December 13: toiletry items (brush, comb, razors, lip balm, small tissue packages, band-aids, lotion)

Friday, December 14: shampoo and/or conditioner

Monday, December 17: canned meat, fish, beans

Tuesday, December 18: canned fruit and vegetables

Wednesday, December 19: any food item!!!

A reminder that report cards will be distributed on December 14th and parent teacher conferences will be on December 20th and 21st.  Students are on winter break from December 22nd to January 6th, with school resuming on January 7th.

Happy Holidays!  Wishing you and your family health and happiness.

Christine Cheung

Principal, Highwood School

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January 27 is Family Literacy Day - raising awareness about the importance of reading/engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. To celebrate, share a amazing book you have read with a photo or a comment about why you liked it. #CBELiteracy #WeAreCBE https://t.co/InmDiWBCsq

RT @JackJamesHS: Today we celebrated our 24th year of partnering with @HomesByAviYYC to give our students hands-on experience in building a house. Our students toured the finished house, cut the ribbon, & met our @HomesByAviYYC partners that make these amazing learning opportunities possible. https://t.co/Zl1zCKB6aH

RT @MandelaUnited: Our new embroidery machine arrived today! Big plans to support student learning in CTS and eventually beyond. A huge thanks to all the @yyCBEdu Service Units that helped make this happen. #wearecbe https://t.co/F2QucTeLV5

RT @KidsHelpPhone: We're always here for you. Save Kids Help Phone’s contact info into your phone as a reminder that our team of counsellors and crisis responders are here for you 24/7! 📞Call 1-800-668-6868 📱 Young people text TALK to 686868 📱 Adults text WELLNESS to 741741 #BellLetsTalk https://t.co/s72DD5sg9O

RT @YourAlberta: These are tough times for many of us. If you’re struggling, you don't have to go it alone. Mental health support is available: https://t.co/h4gtWjUY8r We're stronger together. When you join the #BellLetsTalk conversation, your story can help others in their pursuit of recovery. https://t.co/jwMBE9NBvS