We have made it to Spring Break. I hope that everyone has a relaxing and re-energizing holiday with your family. There is a lot of information inside our last update before the break.
Our first face to face event has been planned. We are hosting a celebration of learning on Wednesday, April 13th from 4:30pm to 6pm. Student work will be on display and it will be an opportunity for families to visit the school, and talk with teachers and administration for the first time in just over 2 years. We will also be using this event as an open house for prospective families and for our incoming grade 5 families. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in person.
We have a few staffing changes happening. This seems to be a common theme at Marshall Springs and across the school system this year. It does bring to light the journey that teaching staff has been on since the start of the pandemic. Personal Wellness has been brought to the forefront and I hope that each of you take a moment to reflect on how you can make a positive difference in a person's life. Appreciation and consideration can make a large impact on friends, family and even strangers.
Parting is such sweet sorrow (Romeo and Juliet). With this literary source in mind I wish to congratulate Mrs. Fife on her new position opening the Auburn Bay Middle School. Mrs. Fife has been a large part of our school community since the school opened 5 years ago. Mrs. Fife leaves a legacy of excellence and community service in our front office. We will begin the process of finding a replacement after Spring Break. For those of you wanting to wish farewell to Mrs. Fife, her last day is April 1st (no joke).
Welcome back to Mr. Martin. Mr. Martin will be covering Ms. Tailor's classroom until the end of April. Mr. Martin is an experienced teacher, having a full career in the CBE, and now in retirement taking on small guest teacher roles to assist schools.
We are also welcoming back Mrs. McCullough and Mrs. Huseynquiliyeva to our lunchroom, at the same time we are also saying goodbye to Mrs. Solnyshkina and Mrs. Drever in the lunchroom. Thank you for your work with our grade 6 students in our food services area.
Faculty and students are all adjusting to new protocols and guidance from the province and the CBE regarding COVID-19 measures. Our community has done great work to ensure we are respectful of everyone’s decisions and comfort level regarding masking and the changes that have been in place for the last while. Faculty have been working to discuss some exciting activities and events here at our school over the remaining months in the school year. We are excited to begin welcoming our community back into the school and will share dates and details with you as soon as we are able.
Great conversations on teaching and learning have been taking place virtually over the last three days during Parent-Teacher Conferences. These conferences can make for long days, but the benefits to our students are significant and we always appreciate the opportunity to partner and build relationships with students and their parents/guardians.
Thank you to those who were able to attend this week’s Coffee and Conversation session with Mr. Radder and Ms. Orr, our Student Services teacher. We appreciate these opportunities to connect and discuss the great things happening at Marshall Springs. Please keep an eye open for information about the next Coffee and Conversation meeting in the next month or so.
We wish our students and their families, and the Marshall Springs faculty a tremendous weekend. A well-deserved rest at Spring Break is just around the corner, after another week full of learning!
We had another busy week here at Marshall Springs full of activity and learning! Aside from the typical day-to-day bustle in our school, we also had nurses from Alberta Health Services in our school to provide scheduled vaccinations to our Grade 9 students early in the week. The students did a great job throughout the day, with plenty of comments from our guests about their kind and respectful nature.
Faculty and students are all working to adjust to further changes to COVID guidance in schools, whether the removal of the requirement for adults to wear masks in school or other changes. Faculty is working together to better understand the implications of the removal of most COVID guidance for our school, with the needs of our students at the center of our work. As changes to policy and our work arise, whether regarding student activities or guests in our school, we will be sure to share those changes with you in a timely manner. Most of our changes will occur after Spring Break.
Dr. O’Neill met with the grade 9 Student Advisory team this morning. This team is looking at grade 9 farewell and activities that will occur at year end. Thank you to the grade 9 students who are part of this committee.
Please be aware that our upcoming interviews are still virtual (online) for this round. This will be one of the conversations whether we continue online interviews that will be held with parents in the upcoming months. Please stay tuned for an in person Celebration of Learning in April. This will allow parents to visit Marshall Springs, for some this will be for the very first time.
We wish you all a tremendous weekend with plenty of fun and time together.
After a chilly start to the week, it looks like the weekend will bring much friendlier temperatures to us all! We hope you are able to enjoy some time connecting as a family over the weekend, whether on indoor or outdoor adventures.
During today’s Marshall Time session, students and teachers discussed the upcoming Parent Teacher Conferences (more on that below), and also discussed the expectation for students to be outside getting some fresh air during those times in our lunch break when they are not eating (grade 6 - first half; grade 7-9 - second half). We are hoping to be able to resume supervised indoor activities at lunch on some days, but in the meantime, we thank students for their cooperation with these expectations. Of course, students are welcome to be inside when they are directly supervised by a staff member. Thank you for your support in speaking with your child(ren) about this, as needed.
Dear Parents and Guardians of Marshall Springs students,
Another signpost in the course of a school year has arrived with Teachers’ Convention over the next two days. This will present an opportunity for our faculty to engage in Professional Learning opportunities alongside their colleagues, but also provide our students with an opportunity to pause, rest, and recharge. As a reminder, our school will be closed both Thursday and Friday, along with next Monday in recognition of the Family Day holiday. We hope you all have an opportunity to connect with each other and enjoy the company of your loved ones. We are all looking forward to the same opportunities as well! Classes will resume on Tuesday morning.
Thank you to our grade 9 students and their families for their attention to course requests for the 2022-23 school year. Both of our designated high schools, Dr. E. P. Scarlett and Centennial encourage you to reach out to them if you have questions about the specific requests your child made, or with other inquiries about what the Grade 10 year can look like. Contact information for both schools can be found on each school’s respective website.
We also thank our students for their work to express care and respect for each other while we all navigated the changes to COVID protocols and masking requirements in our school this week. This period of adjustment has brought about many thoughts and emotions for us all, but our community has really come together to ensure all feel comfortable in our building. Once we have guidance or further information to share with respect to changing COVID protocols and their implications for our students, we will be sure to share them. In the meantime, please continue to utilize the daily health screening checklist as a tool in helping you and your child decide whether to attend school each day. Thank you all for your diligence in adhering to these protocols and keeping your child home when they are feeling ill. Students are still welcome to come to the office to ask for a supply of disposable masks.
Dear Parents and Guardians of Marshall Springs students,
Happy Friday! Another week has gone by, and it looks like the beautiful weather we have been enjoying will continue through the weekend. We hope you all have opportunities to spend time together whether outside or in.
We are in need of a new vice-chair and treasurer for our School Council. A vibrant School Council enhances the work we do here at our school and improves the educational experience for all students. Serving on the School Council is a tremendous way to support your child and all Marshall Springs students and does not need to be a huge time commitment. If you are interested in serving or have any questions, please contact the school and we will be happy to help.
During Marshall Time today, faculty spent time preparing students for the changes to COVID practices that are pending for Monday. As was announced by Premier Jason Kenney, mandatory masking requirements for all students will be removed in schools at that time. Our conversation centered around being respectful to the individual choices and comfort levels of all Marshall Springs students on this issue. We thank our students in advance for this demonstration of their care for each other and for our community.
As of today, all Grade 9 students who are designated to Dr. E. P. Scarlett have made their course selections, while those designated to Centennial High School have met with a guidance counselor and made their selections. Thank you to students for their work and thought in this area and to parents and guardians for supporting them! If you have any questions about course placement or course requests, we encourage you to reach out to your child's designated school directly. If you or your child is considering transfer to another school, please feel free to reach out to Mr. Radder in the Main Office for guidance. The transfer deadline between CBE high schools is March 15. You can find information about the transfer process at the following site: https://cbe.ab.ca/registration/registration/Pages/transferring-between-cbe-schools.aspx.
Happy New Year (2022) to everyone! It will be great to see all of our students on Monday! With a brand new year comes a optimism that we will get through this pandemic this year. The resiliency and strength of our community of learners is amazing. For those of you who are struggling at this time of year, please reach out for support. The school has Joyce Perrin (student services) covering for Tracey Orr who is off for the month of January, but all of our staff are prepared to sit and listen to students who are needing some extra care and attention.
We are currently waiting for a few big announcements, like what is going on with athletics. The Calgary Middle School Amateur Athletics has not made any changes to date for our basketball season so we will be proceeding as planned unless we hear something different soon. While we cannot have spectators in the stands, we are working at live streaming the games so that fans can see our athletes representing Marshall Springs. All athletes should show up prepared to try out this week. We will continue to update our athletes as more information comes in.
We took the gift of time from our government and had the majority of our staff recertify in first aid. This will allow us to use our professional learning day at the end of January for improving teaching and learning at Marshall Springs.
I am sure you have heard the announcement from our Education Minister that schools are receiving masks and rapid antigen tests. At the moment we do not have these, they are scheduled to arrive at the end of next week. As soon as we have the masks and tests we will distribute them to families. The tests are for home use and cannot be used for the Restrictions Exemption Program. Please remember to do the daily health checklist and to not come to school if you have any symptoms.
Our faculty would like to wish all Marshall Springs students and families a safe, wonderful, restorative winter break and holiday season! Merry Christmas to those who celebrate this holiday!
A big and heartfelt thank you to all of the families who delivered delicious treats to the staff this past week. We all enjoyed them and appreciated the gesture very much. Thank you for your generosity and kind words in all of the cards that were received.
Our Spirit Week this week was tremendous. It was great fun to see all of the jerseys, matching outfits, 80s wear, ‘ugly’ sweaters and cozy pajamas this week.
Please note that our school will be closed until Tuesday, January 4, 2022, with the office opening at 8:00am, doors will open to welcome students at 8:20am. Faculty will be taking some well-deserved time to recharge and enjoy time with loved ones, and will step away from their emails. Happy New Year!
While it was a short week of learning for our students, it was a busy week! We are all grateful for the work and thought Mr. Curtis and his Drama Performance students put into our Remembrance Day observance, shared with our students and faculty at 11:00 on Wednesday morning.
First quarter electives for Grades 7-9 students came to an end on Wednesday of this week. Students in these grades will begin their second elective course on Monday. Student work has been on display around the school in various forms from artwork through pop-up restaurants!
Our school held its first lockdown practice drill this week as well. Members of the Calgary Police Service joined us in support of this work. They were very impressed with the manner in which students engaged in the drill. We thank students and faculty for their attention to this important safety work.
Additionally, the regular season for our Volleyball teams ended this week. Thank you to the coaches for sharing your time with students, and thank you to the students who represented our school so well! Good luck and best wishes in the playoffs next week.
Please be aware that our Parent Teacher Conference booking system opens on Wednesday the 17th (4pm). Interviews will be virtual (sadly) and occur on the 24th, 25th and 26th. We also have picture retake day occurring on the 17th.
Thank you to all of the parents and guardians of Marshall Springs students who were in attendance at the virtual School Council meeting held on Wednesday of this week. Nominations and elections for School Council executive positions were held. Congratulations and thank you to the following, who will be serving as the executive this year:
Chair: Karmen Chant
Vice-Chair: Ali Valiente
Secretary: Jennifer Schwehr
Treasurer: Alynne Marriott
Director at-large: Moussa Ouarou
Also during the meeting, Mr. O’Neill shared some updates regarding learning activities in the school and regarding the upcoming Parent/Teacher Conferences. Conferences will be held from 6:00-8:00 PM on Wednesday, November 24; from 5:00-8:00 PM on Thursday, November 25; and from 10:00-11:30 AM on Friday, November 26. Conferences will be held online again this year. Booking and registration information will be sent in a separate email next week.
Just prior to Conferences on November 24, Mr. Radder will be hosting an information session for Grade 9 parents regarding high school registration and transition. This will be held from 5:30-6:00 PM. More information, including regarding registration will follow.
Finally...social media. I know that I have talked about social media a number of times recently. When we were all locked down it became a way for students to stay connected with friends and families. There are a lot of positives to the different applications, but here is another negative. Tik Tok has an #exposeyourself challenge. This is leading a number of students (not necessarily Marshall Springs) to place videos of themselves on line that involve exposing themselves. Please make sure you are discussing internet safety with your son/daughter this weekend. It is also a good time to go through the applications they are using and make sure the privacy settings are correct. I would also suggest that you go through their contacts and remove anyone that they do not know personally. If you need some support around social media please reach out to the school firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help out. Here is a web page that I found that covers the topics I listed above.
Looks like a great weekend to get outside and enjoy before the snow flies! Have a great weekend everyone.
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