Nov 27
School Development Plan

Hello/ Bonjour!

The admin team at JJ has been hard at work on the 2023/24 School Development Plan.  The format for the SDP this year involves a more holistic focus instead of three specific goals, as in the previous three years.  This year our holistic goal will be focused on Assessment. We will be unpacking new curriculum outcomes through assessment and task design across all subject areas, with scaffolded entry points for all students to achieve the new curriculum expectations in literacy and math.  


Rich task design will enhance productive struggle for students- this involves learning opportunities that target the top four levels on Bloom's Taxonomy: applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating.  These types of learning opportunities target achievement of 3 (good) and 4 (mastery) for summative assessments. Tasks that target skills such as remembering and understanding (Bloom's taxonomy) fall in the basic learning proficiency area (learning proficiency 2 on a report card).   


As a universal approach for all learners, the opportunity for productive struggle fosters a safe learning environment where students are able to take risks and progress through the feedback given. The book Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, describes belonging cues- one of them is individualization (page 11). He states, “Humans form safe connections through belonging cues" (page 10). When student learning is individualized, students feel set up for success.  Students feel a sense of security in that their teacher knows exactly what they need and where they are at in their learning journey.  When feeling safe, students will engage in risk taking in their learning, they are safe to make mistakes (productive struggle).   


If you would like to know more specifics about our SDP for 2023/24, please click here.​

Sep 24
TRC and Orange Shirt Day/ journée du chandail orange

September 25- 29 is Truth and Reconciliation week at JJ.  It will be a week of connection and reflection for students and staff. 

We are committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 63.iii “Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect".

Nous nous engageons envers l'Appel à l'action 63. iii; pour la Vérité et la Réconciliation. "Développer la capacité des étudiants à comprendre l'interculturalité, à faire preuve et de respect mutuel". 


At Janet Johnstone School, we strive to recognize, welcome, and embrace all cultures with empathy, understanding, and mutual respect.  To put it simply: Every child matters.


À l'école Janet Johnstone, nous nous efforçons de reconnaître, d'accueillir et saisir toutes les cultures avec empathie, compréhension et respect mutuel. En résumé: chaque enfant compte."


Our school wide focus “You belong here/ Ici, vous appartenez " will also include “You are safe here/ Ici, vous êtes en sécurité" for the 2023/24 school year.  True belonging is established when we feel safe- safe to take risks, safe to be vulnerable, safe to make mistakes.  In the book entitled The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, he writes about creating a positive work culture through establishing a sense of belonging.  He states, “Humans form safe connections through belonging" (pg. 10). We know this is true for students in their classroom environments.

What will Truth and Reconciliation week look like at JJ?

    • Classes will spend time outdoors learning from the land
    • Students will engage in writing their own Land Acknowledgements, which will express each student's personal connection to the land
    • Teachers will read Phyllis Webstad's story called Phyllis's Orange shirt (primary version)
    • Teachers will present information about Orange Shirt Day and Truth and Reconciliation by using primary resources for our young students in a K-4 setting.  Our approach will follow the information in this video:

What is Orange Shirt Day?

    • When Phyllis Webstad was six years old, she went to a residential school for the first time. Her Grandmother gave her brand new orange t-shirt to wear for her first day of school.  When she arrived to school, her new shirt was taken away from her and it was never returned.
    •  “The colour orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn't matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing," Phyllis Webstad, Sept 2021.
    • Between 1830-1990 Indigenous students were sent to school where they were forced to give up their Indigenous language, culture and families.  The “Every Child Matters" campaign is focused on ensuring that all students have a sense of belonging at school- each student is valued, appreciated and acknowledged.


If you want to know more about specific tasks or plans will take place in your child's class, please check Google Classroom and/or reach out to the teacher.

Thank you for your support as acknowledge Truth and Reconciliation week with a focus on ensuring that every child matters at JJ.

Thank you/ Merci,

Mrs. Kivi​​​​​​​

Aug 25
Back to School Information

Welcome back to school!  Summer has zipped by and it's time for autumn and all things pumpkin to begin!  Back to school is an exciting time- the staff are eager to get students in their classrooms.  We are looking forward to welcoming everyone on Thursday, August 31!

Please read this information very carefully- we want everyone to be prepared for start-up next week.

School is open!

Officially, the office is open on Monday, August 28.  Teachers start back on Monday and will be in meetings for the majority of the day.  Staff hours August 28-30 is 8:00am-1:00pm.

Our office staff consists of Mrs. Stahl (who has taken over Mrs. Larsen's position while Mrs. Larsen continues to be on medical leave).  Mrs. Davey is also supporting in the office- she has taken over Mrs. Stahl's roll.


This year, we hare adjusting the time for relaxed entry in the mornings.  Relaxed entry will be 10 minutes long and will start at 7:50am each day.  This means that students can enter the school starting at 7:50am each day.  The bell rings at 8:00am when classes begin.

Grade 1-4 Classes and Teachers

On Monday, teachers will receive their class lists.  Grade 1-4 teachers will be calling parents for introductions and information about the first day of school.  THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO KINDERGARTEN FAMILIES. 

We would ask for patience when waiting for these phone calls. Teachers will hopefully start calling on Monday afternoon and continue calling on Tuesday.  They will be making these calls in between setting up their classrooms and attending meetings. 

Please do not call the school.  Teachers need the phone lines to make their calls. 

Kindergarten Classes

We are still looking for volunteers to move their child to the PM French Immersion Kindergarten Class.  Currently the AM has 23 students and the PM has 9.  If anyone in English Kindergarten would like to move to PM French OR if anyone in the AM French class would like to move to the afternoon, please reach out to the school ASAP.

Email Mrs. Stahl

Staggered Entry is on Thursday, Aug 31 and Friday, Sept 1.  Please check the schedule below for when your child attends.


Thursday, August 31, 2023


8:00-10:48am: ONLY students with last names that begin A-J


8:00-10:48am: ONLY students with the last names that begin A-J


11:44am-2:32pm: ALL PM students attend due to small numbers

Friday, September 1, 2023


8:00-10:48am: ONLY students with last names that begin K-Z 


8:00-10:48am: ONLY students with the last names that begin K-Z


NO staggered entry on Friday

***normally Friday times are 8:00am-12:15pm.  For Staggered entry, the time is limited to 8:00-10:48am

Kindergarten regular classes start on Tuesday, September 5.

First Day of School- Grades 1-4

Teachers will share the location of your child's entry door during their phone calls.  On August 31, students can meet their teacher at the designated door.  Teachers will have a list for attendance and will bring their class inside once they have everyone accounted for.  Teachers will be outside to meet their students at 7:50am.

Snacks and Lunches

Students will need snacks and a lunch on the first day of school.  Our school is NUT AWARE as we have many students with severe nut allergies.  Please do not send any food that contains nuts or traces of nuts. Please check granola bars and pre-packaged food ingredients carefully.  PB&J sandwiches are delicious but can't be sent for lunches.  Nutella is made from hazelnuts and should only be consumed at home.  Thank you for your time and consideration when sending food with your child each day.

Students are not allowed to share food in order to keep students safe. 

At lunch, students will be eating in their classrooms.  Our schedule is still in the works so the specifics of when each class is eating lunch will be shared in the coming days.  Please make sure that students have their lunch bags clearly labelled with their name. We are also unable to supply utensils and students do not have access to microwaves.

Please send a labelled water bottle with your child.  We ask that parents do not send pop and juice as they are sticky and often don't get finished.  Water is easy to clean up and students can refill their water bottles at the fountains.

School Supplies, backpacks and shoes

The school purchases ALL supplies that students need for their learning.  Please do not send any school supplies with your child. 

All students need indoor runners that they can do up on their own.  These shoes will stay in their classroom all year.  Please make sure they are labelled with your child's name.

Backpacks need to be large enough to hold their water bottle, lunch bag, and library books, snow gear, etc.  Please clearly label your child's backpack. 

Please dress your child for the weather!  We play outside every day (each class has a recess in the AM and a lunch recess).  We stay inside if the air quality is poor or if the temperature is colder than -20 degrees.  Students are required to remove their shoes when they enter the building, which is very helpful during the winter months.

Class Changes

Class requests by parents were due to administration in May.  At this time, we will not be making any changes to class lists. 

Our enrollment is continuing to grow!  This is very good news!  However, we are looking at a possible re-organization of some class configurations.  Our enrollment final count is not until Sept 30, which means that re-organization is possible at any time during the first couple of weeks of school.  Enrollment implications impacts staffing.  If we lose students, we lose staff.  If we gain students, we gain staff.  Administration is already monitoring this very closely.  Families will be updated along the way with any new or changing information.  Thank you for your trust and patience as we work through start-up complexities.

School Website

Please refer to the website as your first point of contact for information.  The website is updated frequently and has the most up to date information for your convenience.

2023-2024 Janet Johnstone School Calendar

Thank you for taking the time to review all of the information.  We look forward to connecting with everyone next week! 

Have a great weekend,

Mrs. Kivi​

Jun 27
End of June Updates

JJ Families!

The end of the year us upon us but there's still lots going on!  Please read all of the information below so that you're in the know!​

Wednesday Afternoon- PIE event!

Tomorrow some brave staff have volunteered to have students throw pies at their faces. We will be selecting students based on a raffle to do the pies. This event will kick off at 1:30pm on the compound. Students in each class will put their names in a giant jar and names will be drawn to toss the pies.  Some staff are even willing to endure more than one pie!  Fun times!

Lost and Found

Our lost and found is making its final appearance for the 2022/23 school year!  It is on display on the front fence for your easy pickings.  The lost and found donated after 12:30pm Thursday, June 29. Please take a moment to go through the items on display.


If you are interested in enjoying more of our school garden's bounty over the summer, please sign up to help us tend the garden!

Feel free to reach out with any questions to the garden volunteer, Jacquie Strom


Our very first yearbook will be handed out this week.  Some students have already received theirs, and others will be get theirs in the coming days.  Some teachers are writing personal messages in them and will hand them out once their personalization has been completed. 

Since this was our very first time creating a yearbook, we have learned a lot, and we still have lots to learn!  We acknowledge that there are some errors and we wish we could have spotted them before Life Touch printed them.  A high school volunteer, Sofia Kivi, created our yearbook and she did her very, very best.  If you have any comments or questions, please email Mrs. Kivi.

Mrs. Kivi has personally signed each yearbook.  There is an autograph page for students and staff to sign, if a student wants. 

We would like to extend a big thank you to anyone that donated money to the yearbook.  We collected about $900 in donations.  Thank you again to FJJSA for purchasing and supporting this work! The cost that council contributed was over $5000. 

Planning for Next Year

If you know that you are NOT attending JJ next year and you have not notified the school, please do so immediately.  This is very important information that can impact class lists, class organization, and staffing.

Summer Contact

Please know that the school is closed over the summer.  Our last day is June 30 and we will open again August 28.  Mr. Carl will be working all summer on cleaning and waxing the floors, however, he is not available to answer parents at the door.  You are welcome to use the school email but please know that you will not receive an answer until we open at the end of August.

Staff are encouraged to unplug from their CBE email over the summer!  Please do not expect them to reply to emails, as they have earned their summer breaks. 


Apr 04
Planning & Requests for 2023/24


If your child will NOT be attending JJ next year, please notify the school ASAP.  It's important that we have accurate numbers for planning.  For more information, click here.

Reminder: Grade 4 students are automatically enrolled at their designated middle school for September 2023.  ​

Requests for Class Placement/ Class Creation for 2023/24 

In May and June, teachers and administration will be meeting multiple times to assign students to classes for next year.  This is not a task taken lightly at Janet Johnstone School.  Professionals who have worked with these children will engage in discussions to determine the best possible placements.  We will revisit our class lists multiple times. We kindly request our families trust and respect the professional judgement of our staff.  Placement considerations will include multiple factors. Each class will consist of a heterogeneous mix of students.  The achievement and ability level, as well as the independent work habits of each student will be reviewed. 

  • Classrooms will be balanced in terms of numbers of children with special learning needs, social/emotional concerns, English Language Learners, and gender 
  • Children's needs will be considered in terms of their working relationships with peers as well as their individual strengths 
  • Children's learning style 
  • Chemistry of the classroom dynamics  

Please understand that these are important decisions that need to be made by the educators in our school. Through your ongoing conversations with your current child's teacher, Janet Johnstone staff are aware of unique circumstances.  Through personalization of learning and our focus on building relationships with our students, staff have a thorough understanding of the students that they work with.  Class placements will reflect our sincere effort to create balanced classrooms where each child is valued, challenged and successful.  Tentative class lists will be created in early June, with the final adjustments being completed in August.  Staffing is often not finalized until August- the final staff list plays a key role in completing our class lists.   

Due to the nature of our enrollment numbers, and staffing, we will be unable to confirm who is teaching what.  Once we know more about our enrollment for next year, we will share our initial plans at our School Council meetings in April, May, and June.

If a parent has a specific or extenuating request about student placement for the upcoming school year, a specific process must be followed.   

1.     Parent requests must be sent in the form of a letter to the principal, Mrs. Kivi, by email (  Please do not send your requests to teachers.  Verbal requests will not be considered.  The administrative team plays a key role in the creation of each class list, so please know that your letter to the principal will be considered in a professional and thoughtful manner. 

2.     Please indicate in your letter a specific learning need/ learning style for your child.   

3.     We will place students together that have good working relationships.  Friendship requests will not be considered.   Students are given many opportunities to engage with their peers from their cohorts at recess, lunch recess, and gym/music.

4.     Your letter should only talk about your own child's needs. 

5.     Please note: requests are only requests.  They will be considered (within the reasoning listed above) but are not guaranteed. 

6.     Requests will need to be made by May 19, 2023.  Requests made after the deadline will not be considered. 

We are very much looking forward to the next school year- it's hard to believe that we are already starting to think about it!  Thank you in advance for your understanding of the complex processes that we need to adhere to and honor in order to ensure that our students are set up for success for September. 

 If you have any questions, please contact me directly.

Mar 21
Understanding Anxiety

The Calgary Board of Education is inviting all community members to join us for an inspiring evening of learning with experts in understanding anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns affecting children and families across the lifespan. Parents and schools play an essential role in helping children manage their anxiety. This session will explore what anxiety and stress are, how to recognize it, and how to support resilience. 


On April 4, the CBE's Well-Being team will host a free online session where parents will be able to join and learn from to experts in the field of health promotion , ask questions and receive follow-up materials.  


You are invited to join us at the virtual session from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm on Tuesday April 4th.


Click HERE on Tuesday April 4th at 6:30pm to join the session 

Understanding Anxiety

Child and Youth Well-Being Series for Families and Caregivers
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.


CBE educators believe that parents and caregivers can inspire their kids to make healthy lifestyle choices and increase protective factors — in order to do so, they need the right tools and information.

Since our understanding of student health and well-being is evolving, it is important for parents to stay up-to-date on the same information so everyone is supporting student success. 

This is the fourth session offered in a five-part Child and Youth Well-Being for Families and Caregivers learning series that is offered at no-cost to all Calgary Board of Education employees, families, and community members between December 2022 and May 2023.  

The intention of the series is to advance student well-being by raising family and caregiver's understanding of a variety of health-related topics. Each session focuses on reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors.


The last session will focus on Understanding Social Media (May 2, 2023). Communication about this last session will be distributed separately.


You are a key partner in your child's education and student well-being is critically linked to student achievement.


Thank you for your time and consideration to join us.


Mrs. Kivi 



Feb 27
School Engagement Survey

As part of CBE, we have been provided a survey to share with our community.  This survey has two topics:

  1. School Development Plan
  2. School Fees

Please use the link to complete the survey (scroll down).  This survey should take about 13 minutes.

To provide a bit of context and to review these two topics BEFORE completing the survey, please read the information below.

School Development Plan

This year, our School Development Plan (SDP) has been shared with parents in a number of ways:

  • At school council meetings in October and November 2022
  • Through emails from the principal
  • Posted on our school website

Our School Development Plan is created by carefully analyzing data from:

  • Report cards
  • Alberta Education assessments
  • Surveys (CBE, staff created, Assurance survey for grade 4 students and families)
  • Student voice

Our SDP goals for this year are:

Literacy: students' oral language proficiency will improve when communicating their comprehension of text in English and French Immersion.

Numeracy: Students' oral language proficiency will increase (in English and French Immersion) when verbally expressing their number sense.

Well-Being: Students will feel a sense of belonging when they are at school.

School Fees

School fees include any fees that you pay through MyCBE/Powerschool account.  This year, you may have paid the following fees:

  • Field trips
  • Lunchroom
  • Bussing
  • Recorders for music

Events such as the Halloween Dance, art cards, Purdy's Chocolates, pizza lunch, popcorn snack, for example, are fundraisers and are not considered fees. 

With the disruption of COVID-19 for the past two years, we were limited in our opportunities to participate in field trips (also referred to as off-site excursions).  This year, teachers across the city have been booking field trips for students.  This has made booking these trips very difficult.  We know that only a handful of classes have been able to go on a trip this year.  We are still trying our best to secure spots for classes to go on a field trip before the end of the year.  Our goal is to have each class attend one field trip this school year. 


Jan 26
Administrative Staffing Update

Dear Parents & Guardians,

I wanted to provide you with an administrative staffing update- it's been a very busy and complex week. Mme. Lina, our Assistant Principal, will be on a short term leave of absence.  In her absence, Ms. Kelly Galvin, Learning Leader and Resource Teacher, will be Acting Assistant Principal.  This is a very natural step for Ms. Galvin as she's got a firm understanding of the administrative role and how the office runs.

While Ms. Galvin is in the Acting AP role, Mrs. Tegan Paul, our music teacher and Learning Leader, will be supporting in the resource role.  This time of year is very busy with deadlines for special program applications, student assessments, and the beginning stages of planning for next year.  It's important that this work continues with a strong admin team.  Mrs. Paul's contribution to this work will be valued and appreciated and will be a great leadership opportunity for her.

For the next ten days or so, students will not have music.  We have hired Mrs. Jacquie Strom, a parent in our school, to teach physical education in lieu of music.  Mrs. Strom recently joined CBE as a substitute teacher with French and personal training as part of her skill set.  Our students are very lucky to have her work with them in the gym!

Thank you for your understanding and support as we make these temporary teaching adjustments.  If you have any questions, please reach out to me directly.


Mrs. Kivi


Jan 25
Information about Report Cards

Dear parents, 

By the end of January, your child’s report card  will be available to view in your MyCBE account. The report card is one of the ways teachers communicate how your child is progressing in their learning. Teachers may also communicate learning progress through parent/teacher conferences, your child’s daily work and assignments, and other ongoing communication with you. In October, families received communication (K-6 New Curriculum | Revised Report Card) about changes to this year’s report card, which included information about updated reporting Stems. 

Please note:  Only grades 1-4 will receive report cards this term.  Kindergarten students will receive a report card at the end of the year.  

What to Expect in Your Child’s Report Card 

This fall, the CBE began implementing new curriculum in Mathematics and English Language Arts and Literature (K-3, and grade 4) and Physical Education and Wellness (K-6). Some of the learning outcomes in the new curriculum are new or may have previously been taught in later grades.  

Please note: our French Immersion program is also piloting the new French Immersion Lanugage Arts curriculum. 

This means that students may be learning new curriculum without having had instruction in related outcomes in the previous grade and may see grades lower than what they might previously have achieved. This is to be expected whenever new curriculum is introduced. It may take more than one school year to build these foundational skills. While curriculum is grade-specific, many concepts are revisited each year, giving students the opportunity to build on their previous knowledge and achieve success. 

Teachers work to plan the delivery of curriculum content in ways that are engaging, creative and inspiring and will continue to respond to the needs of students as we work through this transition together. As always, if you have specific questions about your child’s learning please connect with their teacher. 

Thank you,  

Mrs. Kivi​

Dec 19
Relaxed Entry & Severe Weather

Hello JJ families,

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend filled with last minute shopping!  Or perhaps you stayed home with cozy, snuggly blankets to stay warm!

We have been gripped with severe cold weather and it looks like it's sticking around for the last week of school.  Given the extreme cold, I would like to invite all students to enter through the most convenient door during relaxed entry for the next 4 days.  This means, students can enter through any door, not just their assigned door.  My wish is to get students into the building as quickly as possible.  

Parents, I'm asking a few things of you:

1.  Please do not use the parking lot to drop off or pick up your student.  The parking lot is incredibly icy and is not a place for children to be walking through. The parking lot is a very busy place with a variety of start and end times for staff and daycare staff.  Please adhere to the signage in the drive way of the parking lot.

2.  The "Hug and Go" zone in the front of the school is a great place to quickly pull in and drop off your child.  They can just run straight to the front door for entry (this week).  Please have your child exit the passenger side of the vehicle so they get out on the sidwalk, instead of the street.  Parents, if you stay in the vehicle, it will help to speed up the amount of time you are in the zone.  

3.  Please drive through the crosswalk very cautiously and stop for ALL pedestrians, not just the children.  I have witnessed many vehicles drive through the crosswalk while an adult is crossing.  Eventhough superivison is not required when it's colder than -20 degrees, I will be out there tomorrow morning to monitor the crosswalk.  Please drive slowly!

4.  Students need to be dressed properly from head to toe!  Even if they are running from the car to the school, they need a hat, mitts, and their jackets should be done up.  We often have kids come to the door not dressed properly.  Skin can freeze within seconds in this weather.

5.  We will have blue days all week.  This means that we will not be going outside for recess, gym or lunch recess.  We are required to stay inside if the weather dips colder than -20 degrees (with or without the wind chill).

6.  Parents, if you are joining us for caroling tomorrow morning at 8:05, I would ask that you park your vehicles and enter through the front doors.  We will need all parents to congregate in the front foyer until the gym is ready.

Everyone is looking forward to a fun week ahead!  Only 4 more early mornings for students- everyone is in need of a restful holiday!

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.  Thank you for sending kind and respectful emails.  Stay warm!

Mrs. Kivi​

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