Fall is in the air, hopefully this wet weekend doesn't turn into our first snow fall. If you use winter tires, it might be time to get them on the car! This leads us to a Halloween conversation. For most of our families this will involve our students dressing up and going door to door collecting candy. Here are some dinner conversation topics for the week leading up to the big event;
- Why do people say “trick or treat"?
- Favourite Halloween candy?
- Favourite costume ever?
- What were the first Jack O'Lanterns made of?
And you can weave in some of the more serious topics such as;
- Traffic safety
- General safety in the community
- Behaviour in the community (sometimes we forget ourselves when we are in a larger group).
- Cultural appropriation and Halloween Costumes.
If you are tackling the issue of cultural appropriation versus appreciation here are a few links to articles to help you out.
At Marshall Springs we will be celebrating Halloween on Friday, October 29th. While we cannot do some of our traditional favourites such as a dance, or a haunted room, we will have classroom activities and students are welcome to dress up. My favourite is the pumpkin elastic challenge in math classes. Just a reminder that you still have to wear your cloth mask under your costume. We still have Covid protocols in place. Also a reminder that we do not bring plastic or replica weapons to school, everyone should feel safe at school, even at Halloween.
Have a great weekend everyone. We look forward to seeing the students again on Monday morning!
Our first School Council meeting of the 2021-22 year was held virtually on October 6. Thank you to all those who were in attendance for our discussion. Four positions are up for election for the current year: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. A vibrant School Council is a tremendous resource for any school community, and stepping into one of these roles does not need to be a significant time commitment. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries or to express interest.
While students are already enjoying a long weekend, faculty have a professional learning day. Based on our year plan, curricular teams are identifying and discussing the Essential Student Learning Outcomes (ESLOs) that we want all students to achieve. These ESLOs will be the backbone of our Springs time (flex periods) throughout the year. Curricular teams are also analyzing and interpreting last year’s report card data to report on last year’s School Development Plan and set our school’s direction for this year.
We would like to wish you all a happy, restful, safe long weekend, and a Happy Thanksgiving! Classes will resume on Tuesday morning!
A learning focus in our classrooms this week was Truth and Reconciliation and what we as a school community can do to honour survivors of Residential Schools. Students and staff showed their support by wearing orange shirts this week and learned about the 94 calls to action shared by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The Terry Fox run was a great success and the students had great weather to get some laps in. Students and staff watched an informational video about Terry Fox during Marshall Time. The students who did not have Phys Ed today will complete their run for Terry next week on Friday, October 15.
We hope you are all able to enjoy some quality time together over the weekend, getting rested and recharged for next week!
Springs time is back. This week our students benefited from being able to receive more time, or an additional instructional strategy to reach their learning outcomes. Please talk with your child about the sessions they chose for this rotation and what skills they developed during Springs time. Springs Time offerings can be found on our website.
Friday was a professional learning day for faculty. Faculty engaged in better understanding our English Language Learners, and our Individual Program Plan (IPP) process for this year. This learning time is valuable for us as we continually strive to offer a better learner experience at Marshall Springs.
The weather looks like it will be fantastic this weekend. Please take advantage of this and get outside! A great time to unplug from the internet and experience the great outdoors. Have a great weekend and we will see everyone back on Monday.
Our students went to their homerooms for Springs Time classes for the first time this week, a sure sign that the school year is in full swing! Next week students will be invited to various sessions during our two flex periods. Please have a conversation with your son/daughter next week to see where they are going during Wednesday's Springs time.
Our Calgary Middle Level Amateur Athletics (CMLSAA) programming is also underway with our students beginning their volleyball practices and engaging in a cross country meet. At the moment spectators are only allowed at outdoor events. We are hopeful that before the end of the year parents will be able to cheer on our school teams in person. Intramurals (in-school sports) will begin next week as well, with a schedule for each grade offered below. Intramurals can be drop in, so students can decide how often they want to attend. Additionally, the Learning Commons will start being open for student use next week, per the schedule below.
A reminder that we are asking students to eat (inside) for half of their lunch time, and then spend a few minutes outside each day. Please make sure you are dressed for the weather as there are very few days where we will not be sending students outside.
We held our first Coffee and Conversation event this morning. Thank you all for joining us! It is always a welcome opportunity to speak directly with our school community. We will host another such event in approximately one month’s time. Please stay tuned for our first night event for parents which will be our Council meeting. We will get this meeting schedule to you as soon as we meet with last year’s executive.
We will begin our Springs Time rotations in homerooms next week, so will be commencing regular bell schedules - view it here, and ask your child what this will look like as it was discussed in the Marshall Time homeroom period this morning. Spring time is a multi-tiered support that provides students with more time, or another instructional strategy to meet educational outcomes. Teachers meet every two weeks to discuss each student's progress and to invite students to tutorials or enhancements as needed. We are excited that we are able to bring this back to Marshall Springs for this year.
Finally, we engaged in our first Evacuation of the year yesterday afternoon. While we often call this a Fire Drill it really practices our ability to evacuate the building as quickly, and safely as possible. Based on our speed and safety we are calling this drill a success, and we thank the students and staff for their work. We need to practice evacuations six times over the course of the year and lockdown practice twice.If you have questions around evacuation or lockdowns please do not hesitate to send us an email at email@example.com.
It is great to have students back in the building. The energy they bring is contagious, and is a fantastic reward for our faculty who have worked hard getting the school ready for the students. This was a smooth transition year with only a few new students entering Marshall Springs. For most students it was a get reacquainted with teachers, classmates and the school week.
Next week we have a busy four day week. Athletics starts for grades 7-9 and with the students settling in, teachers will begin moving forward with the year’s curriculum.
Looks like it will be great weather for the long weekend. Hopefully you get an opportunity to get outside and enjoy some family activities.
Well, we are all back to online learning and we have completed our first day with no reported glitches. Thank you to our incredible staff and community for making this transition seamless. We will be running a regular school day (8:30am to 3:10pm), with the expectation that students are attending all of their classes. Teachers will be using Google Meet to present synchronous classes and will have course materials and assignments in Google Classroom.
Here are a few expectations for students that will lead to their success online.
Be prepared for school (have a good night sleep, eat breakfast, and be dressed for learning)
Set up a learning space to work, the bed is not a space for this.
Attendance will be taken at the start of each class. Please have your parents email the school if you are sick and cannot participate in the learning that day. Students should also email their teachers.
Cameras are to be on, with mics off when they enter a Google Meet - teachers will provide breaks when cameras can be turned off. It really helps teachers to see faces when they are teaching.
Engage in your studies and complete all work assigned. Please communicate with your teacher if you feel your workload is too high, or you are falling behind.
If you have questions, ask, you can do this in the chat during a Meet or through an email.
Assessment will continue while you are online. Online work matters. Teachers are doing their best to ensure that they cover the entire curriculum with students. Report cards will be going home at the end of June.
Please reach out if your students are struggling and we will support to the best of our ability. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if it is social emotional support. Please email email@example.com if the support is around technology.
As you all know, the government announced that our Grade 7-9 students will be remaining in online learning through to May 17. While we are aware that this isn't ideal, it is a necessary precaution to slow the spread of Covid-19. Please let us know if your son/daughter is struggling with being at home. While our resources are limited, we will do everything we can to support them while they are at home learning. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if it is social emotional support. Please email email@example.com if the support is around technology.
We would like to thank everyone in our community for adhering to the AHS guidelines. It is especially important to not send students to school if they are experiencing symptoms. In our latest cases we had reports of runny nose, sore throats, and a few with a fever. Our thoughts are with all the families that are dealing with Covid, and we hope for a quick recovery for everyone.
Coffee and conversation with the principals is scheduled for May 14th. Please stay tuned for registration information. Topics will include school budget, organization for next year, online learning, and of course any and all questions brought up by the Marshall Springs community.
Here are the norms that we are using for online learning at Marshall Springs
- Be on time and be present (avoid distractions)
- Students are expected to attend all of their classes.
- Students are to have their cameras on, and their mics off. Teachers will give breaks when cameras can be turned off.
- Normal attendance procedures will be followed. Please call and leave a message on the attendance line , or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) us to report absences and lates.
We are hoping that all families are getting outside and enjoying this beautiful weather.
It has been a busy week at Marshall Springs. I am sure that as a community you were dreading the Covid emails as much as I dreaded sending them. Please know that we are following the Public Heath Order and are doing our best to go above and beyond for the safety of our students and staff. Our best defence still involves masking, hand washing, and physical distancing where possible. I had the opportunity to talk with a number of families this week and really appreciated the empathy and support. Thanks to those families who send well wishes, thanks and snacks to the office this week, all very appreciated!
For the next two weeks all grade 7-9 students will be moved to online learning. We will be following a regular school schedule with synchronous classes occurring. Students should check their Google Classroom for links to the video sessions. Please make sure you have a working microphone and camera for the classes. If you need help with technology, please contact the school.
The CBE and Marshall Springs has a community engagement survey up around Budget and Fees. If you would like to complete the survey please follow this link. You have until the end of the month to complete this survey. School budget will be one of the items discussed in our May coffee and conversation with the Principals. Stay tuned for more information on the time and date.
For parents of students in grades 4,7,10 you will have been sent another survey called the Alberta Education Assurance Survey. This survey replaces the Accountability Pillars survey. If you have any questions around the survey, please send an email to email@example.com. This year’s survey will be available for parents/legal guardians March 25 to April 28, 2021.
Finally, I wish a happy blessed month of Ramadan for those families who celebrate.
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