Mar 09
March Newsletter 2021

Each day you entrust your child(ren) to us to engage their imaginations, grow their minds, welcome them into learning and provide the conditions for them to be successful in all they do.  We thank you for amazing children and your trust.

 

Teachers and students at Monterey Park are engaging in amazing work!  Grade one students have each written their own story using a familiar story as their frame.  They used their meeting with Canadian author/illustrator Barbara Reid to inspire their plasticine cover pages for their story.  Our grade two students have reached out to a grade two classroom in a school in Nunavut to help them understand how our physical geography impacts the way we live.  Virtual Stampede School is fast approaching for our grade four students. They will be exploring Calgary’s past and how our rural roots and the Stampede have helped shape our Alberta culture.   Each month at our School Council meetings different grade teams present and share about a particular discipline to showcase student learning or to offer parents a glimpse into the thinking and reasoning behind task design.  You can find the presentations from this year on our website HERE.​

 

This year has been particularly challenging to ensure that we maintain the sense of belonging and community that we cherish at Monterey Park School.  With students attending in person learning, students in HUB online learning, teachers have been intentional and creative to attend to each student and to connect our online students to their peers and our school throughout this year.  Examples have been through virtual field trips, such as the Grade 3 Tyrell Museum ‘trip’, the Grade 1’s visit with the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation and our Grade 5 and 6 students have all had the pleasure of speaking with Canadian award winning author, David Bouchard.  Each of these experiences included students in school and online and offered opportunities to reflect and communicate together on their learning. 

 

Looking at learning through the lens of the Circle of Courage, we look to open our eyes, our minds and our hearts to ways we can continue to nurture and provide for the development of Independence, Mastery, Belonging and Generosity in each person.  During a recent staff meeting the following sentiments regarding learning were shared. Learning takes courage.  When we offer the respect that knowledge and learning deserves, we slow down and have the opportunity to fully develop important concepts with students.  This allows for independence as a learner, and the opportunity to pursue mastery.  It is through the work that we create a sense of belonging and develop the generosity necessary for us to learn and create and grow as a community.

 

It is a privilege to engage in this work with your children.  And again, we thank you for your support, trust and respect for the work that happens at Monterey Park School each day.  It is truly our joy and our gift.

 

Respectfully,

Lynette​


Please take a moment to read more of the wonderful things happening at Monterey Park School by accessing the attached March Newsletter.

21-03_March_MPS_Newsletter.pdf

Dec 18
Holiday Wishes

Dear Families,

We draw to a close 2020, a very unusual year for all of us, and look forward to welcoming January 2021. 

Reflecting on our year so far, we have much to be grateful for at Monterey Park School.

Our students have been positive, strong and resilient.  We have all learned new ways to live in the world and students have seamlessly picked up and made safety protocols a part of our everyday living.  Teachers have done an amazing job of normalizing this work and ensuring our students continue to feel a strong sense of community and belonging at Monterey Park.

Our parents have been so very supportive and understanding of new guidelines.  They have remembered to send lunch and utensils with children daily, been respectful of ensuring their child arrives and is picked up from their cohort door, keeping sick children home and being incredibly responsive when they receive a call to come and pick up a sick child.  As well, thank you for the generous way each family who has been impacted by quarantine has responded when they have received the call.

Our teachers.  They are truly amazing.  Monterey Park School has the BEST staff! Our teachers have rallied to support protocols, online learning, students, families, teaching and learning.  We have had a large learning curve regarding how schools look during a pandemic and staff have been creative in finding solutions to problems that present themselves.  And, in addition to all of this, there has been rich, inspiring learning happening at Monterey Park School…as usual!

As a staff we have committed to using the lens of the Circle of Courage in learning and our interactions together.  The Circle of Courage has four quadrants, Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity.  Monterey Park School has always been a place where everyone who enters is welcome and embraced into the MPS family. 

Through the lens of Belonging and Generosity:

Grade One students and our Grade Three students took it upon themselves to write letters, make signs and decorate classroom doors to welcome back classes as they returned from isolation.

 Our Grade Six HUB class wrote letters to seniors who would not have the opportunity to be with loved ones over the holidays.

Our school community supported six families with grocery cards, gifts and groceries to make the holidays a little brighter.  We received two donations from families in total of $1,500, a grant of $1,000 and staff donations of gifts and money to make this all possible.  The generosity of our community to support each other has been overwhelming.

We wish each of you and your families JOY, HEALTH and HAPPINESS in the New Year.

Happy Holidays,

Lynette, Michelle and the Monterey Park Staff


Oct 29
A Busy Few Months

Dear Parents,

It has been an extraordinarily busy few months. While school looks a little different, our students, staff and parents have been amazing at responding and adhering to all of the new safety protocols. Sanitizing and mask wearing are now normal routines in our day. Students understand Healthy Hands/Healthy Distancing. We now hear things like, “Hey, great mask!” as we walk through the halls. Our soft entry, with students being welcomed into the building in small groups beginning at 9:00 am has helped contribute to fewer students arriving late.

With 400 students attending in person learning and 151 students learning in HUB,teachers responded to changing times with increased creativity! We have cohorted bathrooms effectively, managed ways to continue to use our Learning Commons resources, problem solved mask wearing and storage, effectively organized our Terry Fox Run (virtually and in person), raising $417 which is the most money every raised at MPS, and are working to commemorate Remembrance Day virtually in classrooms this year. Whether students are in person learning or on line learning, parents are reminded that they are welcome to reach out to their child’s teacher or the school for assistance or with questions.

Please continue reading for a number of informational and ‘Thank You’ items related to our school startup and COVID protocols.

Stay kind. Keep well.

Lynette and Michelle


Sep 07
Classroom Re-Organization

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

Each school year we consider carefully the organization of the school and the placements of each of your children.  Schools are staffed based on an anticipated number of students projected by Calgary Board of Education.  Due to COVID-19 and CBE's HUB online learning option for students this year, our overall enrolment has been impacted at all grade levels. After thoughtful consideration, we will be re-organizing our Grade 1-6 classes to provide the best possible learning environment for students during this school year. 

At each grade level, we will be rearranging class configurations and temporarily assigning teaching staff to HUB online learning. This will require us to reorganize, and create new class lists, resulting in some children moving to a new homeroom teacher.  Teachers have met together to determine new class lists, seeking to create balanced, vibrant classrooms. Grade teams will continue to work closely together to develop consistent learning expectations for all students.

On Tuesday, September 8, every child will meet at their current door to enter the building. Any students moving to a new classroom will join their new class communities during the morning. Please note, your child may be assigned to new doors for entering and exiting the building.

Be assured that every effort will be made to make these changes as easy as possible for all students who are impacted.   

We thank you for your understanding of this process in support of providing the best possible learning environment for your child.  As always, you are welcome to call the office with any questions you may have.  

Sincerely,

Lynette Zapp and Michelle Dodd


Apr 27
Coming Together Virtually

Dear MPS Families,

 

We have completed our third week of online learning!  There has been a tremendous amount of learning for students, staff and parents and it has been amazing how each group has risen to the occasion.  As a school, we have connected with nearly 100% of our families.  Thank you to each of you for engaging with us, offering your appreciation, suggestions for improvement and thoughts in general regarding this process.  Your feedback is valued!

 

Many students are engaged in learning, connecting with teachers daily or weekly.  Families are sharing learning through Google Classroom, or via email to teachers.  Classroom Meets have been very joyful, offering face-to-face, real-time connections for students and teachers.  We all miss the daily interactions with your children and it is so nice to see and be able to speak with them!  Teachers have been able to identify increasingly more effective ways to engage in online learning and have been very thoughtful and creative in their efforts.  We hope their ongoing reflection and revising helps to make learning more approachable for everyone.

 

A reminder to families that all learning is presented at the beginning of the week, but left to families to determine when, if, and how much of the learning will fit into each family’s personal schedule.  We are here for you if you require assistance.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher or the school if you have questions or need support.

 

With the continued closure of school for students, traditional experiences for MPS students have been impacted.  Outdoor School for Grade 5 students, the annual government focused trip(s) for our Grade 6 students, along with our year-end farewell assembly to celebrate our Grade 6 students as they transition to Jr. High/Middle School all, understandably, are not able to happen.  We are grateful for the continued opportunities to connect with our students through Google Meet.

 

Here is an invitation for our MPS families to come together in song.  Monday, May 4 is Music Monday.  Every year, Monterey Park School participates with schools across the country singing and moving to a common song at a common time.  This year the song is, Hymn to Freedom, by Oscar Peterson.  We would love to continue this tradition with our MPS families.  Here is how you and your family can participate!

 

On Monday, May 4, grab a brightly covered scarf/ribbon, your cell phone/iPad and YOUR FAMILY!   At 11:00 AM, take your family outside into your front yard or on your driveway, click on this link, sing, and move to the song as we celebrate Music Monday as a community!  Take a photo/selfie of your family participating and email it to your child’s teacher.  We will be compiling all of the family photos submitted into a presentation with the Music Monday selection to create a music video of our own, Monterey Park Community celebrates Music Monday.  We will then post on our website for all to enjoy! We hope you will join us.

 

The school is open from 9:10 AM – 3:50 PM to receive phone calls and inquires.  A reminder that registration for Kindergarten continues online.  More information is located online at Registration.

 

Stay safe and stay well!  We miss you and continue to be here for you.  Please reach out to the school or your child’s teacher if we can help in any way.

 

Respectfully,

Lynette Zapp​

Apr 02
Continuity of Learning

Greetings!

It has been an interesting week being in a building typically filled with the voices, energy and spirit of each or your children.  A school is only a building without them.  We miss our daily interactions with your child and you.  As such, we are excited to reconnect later today with children and their families in learning!

We have all been working together…at a distance… designing learning to support our students in this new world of online learning. It is not learning as usual.  Things will look different.  Teachers have been intentional around meeting the requirements set out by Alberta Learning.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we enter into this platform beginning tomorrow! 

Later today, you will receive an email from your child’s teacher.  In this email, you will find all the information required to help your child into the new digital learning environments, called Google Classroom and Google Meet.  Please be sure to open and read ALL documents teachers have posted.  If parents do not want their child to engage in learning using these platforms, they must contact their child’s teacher directly to inform them. Each grade team has created its own ‘classroom’.  Each student will receive a grade specific code to enter.  On Friday, April 3, we will post a video to guide you through an exploration of the classroom.

On Monday, April 6, teachers will post learning for the week.  Learning is presented in five lessons, or progressions, for Literacy and Numeracy (math).  It is up to families how and when they will engage with the learning provided to best suit their family schedules.  At some point next week, your child will also have the opportunity to enter Google Meet, where they will have an opportunity to hear from their teacher live, in real time.  Teachers will communicate that information to families separately from the information provided on Monday.

This is a learning curve for many of us!  Teachers are exploring all the possibilities that are open to them to communicate learning.  If you require our help in any way to navigate through, we are here to help.  Email your teacher with any questions or wonderings you have.  As well, you may call the school during our open hours, 9:10 am - 3:50 pm, at any time if you require our assistance. 

We understand that this is a stressful time for families, and that becoming your child’s teacher is not exactly what you had hoped.  I had read a posting by a colleague, reminding families that being a provider, a parent and a teacher all at the same time IS hard work.  You will do the best you can.  When you have to choose between having your child do school work, or help as part of the family, choose what works for you.  Invite them in!  Have them help!  Play games, laugh, and share.  Be together.  Margaret Wheatley talks about the joy we discover….when we are together.  The potential for joy is always present.  Take time with your family to find it. 

We are in this together and we are here for you.  Please contact us at any time if you need us.

Stay calm.  Stay well.  Stay Kind.

Respectfully

Lynette Zapp

Mar 19
Online Support for Families

Dear Monterey Park Families,

 

It was so nice to see the many students and families at the school today to pick up personal belongings.  As mentioned in the communication you received yesterday from CBE, these are unusual and challenging times.  We have all appreciated the privilege to get to know and work with your children, and celebrate their achievements.   As a community, we now look to support each other by staying safe and healthy. 

 

Families and students have been reaching out to teachers for resources and ideas.  In addition to the webpage information provided by CBE, MPS teachers have updated their Grade Team Blog to include suggestions for resources and websites and ideas, your child(ren) and you to access over the next week or so.

 

http://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/montereypark/teaching-learning/classes-departments/teacher-pages-blogs/pages/default.aspx

 

These are additional opportunities for families to engage in literacy, numeracy and wellness at home over the next week!

 

As teachers move into a well-deserved spring break, they will be away from email.  I encourage you to keep accessing the CBE homepage for updated information and the AHS website for health updates. 

 

Our Monterey Park School family wish you and your family time together shared in ways that bring joy and families together.  Stay healthy and safe.  

 

 “Let us offer each other happiness and establish ourselves in the present moment .”

​Tich Nhat Hahn

 

Respectfully,

Lynette Zapp

Mar 12
CBE Response to COVID-19

March 12, 2020

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

Based on the changing provincial and local response to COVID-19, the CBE has given us direction to postpone the following scheduled events:

 

Grade One Celebration of Learning – March 13, 2020 12:00-1:10 pm


Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • Kindergarten – All day Thursday (March 19, 2020)
  • Kindergarten to Grade 6 – Thursday evening – 5:00 – 7:30 pm (March 19, 2020)
  • Friday – 8:30 – 1:30 pm (March 20, 2020)

 

Scholastic Book Fair – Students may bring money to school to purchase books during school hours, Monday March 16 – Thursday, March 19. We ask parent to please not attend to make purchases with their children at this time. If your child needs assistance, please contact their teacher who will be happy to help.


A reminder there will continue to be no classes on the following days:

  • All Kindergarten students on Thursday, March 19
  • No classes for all students K-6 on Friday, March 20


All CBE schools have been given direction to postpone or cancel events that include populations from other schools and/or parents or other community members, such as Parent-Teacher Interviews, celebrations of learning, drama/musical performances, dances, athletic competitions, etc. This decision is effective from March 12 until the end of March break. This decision will be revisited during March break to determine whether events should be rescheduled.


Events outside of school hours that include the regular student and staff population of the school (school clubs, practices, etc) and scheduled field trips may continue at this time.  

 

I know this may be disappointing news. Students and staff have spent a significant amount of time preparing for these events, but the health of our community is our priority.

 

Classes will resume after spring break on Monday, March 30 at 9:10 am.

 

For the most up to date information about the CBE’s approach to COVID-19 and the actions we are taking, please visit our website. Answers to frequently asked questions will continue to be posted as information becomes available.


Thank you,

 

Lynette Zapp

Principal

Sep 03
September 2019 Year Start

Welcome back to the 2019-20 school year!  We hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful summer break with those you love to spend time with, doing the things you love, including reading and enjoying the outdoors!

Our school office opened on August 28 and school begins for students on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 9:10 am.  Teachers will be calling students to welcome them to their classroom from August 28 to August 30.   Be sure to take our call!

Our early dismissal Friday hours have been modified.   Our hours on Fridays are 9:10 AM – 1:10 PM.  Students are encouraged to bring a more substantial snack on this day for their nutrition break.

As mentioned in June, we had a number of staff move on to new opportunities.  We are pleased to welcome the following staff to Monterey Park School:

  • Kathryn Conway - CSSI
  • Gabrielle Gilbert-Murray – Grade 1
  • Cheryl Hayward – Grade 5
  • Stephanie McFarlane – Grade 5
  • Ashely Green – Grade 6
  • Mursal Mohammad – Grade 4
  • Karin Wall – Grade 1
Beginning a new year is always inspiring, and this year is no exception. We will continue our journey to deepen our mathematical understanding with the guidance and expertise of Dr. Sharon Friesen from the U of C.  Joyful literacy learning is at the forefront as well.  We are excited to savour our collection of new books for the Learning Commons with students.  Sharing them throughout the year as they connect to concepts we are developing, and, just for the sheer enjoyment of the stories, will surely inspire a love or reading! 

Please mark your calendars to join us for our annual community pancake breakfast and Terry Fox Run, which will take place on Friday, September 13.  Watch our website for further information.  We look forward to welcoming new and previous families to school!

Sincerely,

Lynette and Jasdish
Jun 28
June 2019 Year End

Another year has come and gone.  September seems so long ago, when we began our year.  Yet, in the blink of an eye, it is June and we have ended our school year.  Each day of this year was graced with a gift of one kind or another.  Excitement about new learning, laughter of students in the hallway, engaging conversations, unexpected hugs, random acts of kindness.  Monterey Park School has received many gifts in the form of the support of our School Council, our many volunteers, workshops, fieldtrips, in-line skating, and the generosity of our families to support other members or our community who are in need.  We have much to be grateful for and to celebrate!

On June 21 we celebrated our grade 6 students as they move on to the next chapter of their educational journey.  They have grown throughout the year as individuals, learners, leaders and community members.  Students explored the question ‘How do we live together?’ throughout the year.  The Legacy Trip this year was comprised of 3 excursions to support this learning.  Students invited Mr. Hal Eagletail to the school to address how the Tsui T'ina Nation governs, they then toured Clagary's East Village to come to understand how decisions are made in an urban environment, and completed their research by visiting the hamlet of Rosebud.  In Rosebud they met with local governing officials and town historians. 

We spent the later half of our school year dwelling in story.  First with Bob Barton and then a number of different grades with Jeff Stockton.  Both Bob and Jeff brought the power of oral stories to our students and our work.  We were all inspired!  We all know ‘that moment, when literature becomes accessible and a door of the world opens.’(Jane Yolen)  That moment is what we aspired to for each of our students this year.

Teachers shared the joy of reading daily through picture books, fiction, poetry and non-fiction, offering the joy of reading as just that, a joyful, precious gift. Volunteers and lunch supervisors read daily with our Kindergartens and our Grade Ones throughout the year to expand their experience with story.  As author Jane Yolen also states, “Stories pour into the hearts of children and help make them what they become.”

Monterey Park students are readers!  Take time this summer to share the love of reading with your child.  Let them choose the book they most love to read to you.  Pick your favorite childhood book to read to them.  Visit the public library.  Celebrate your child as a reader and share the love of reading in any language you choose! 

It is with fondness and appreciation that we say farewell to some staff members.  Each has contributed greatly to the learning environment and to the Monterey Park School community.  We send them off with all our very best wishes.

  • Ms. Hodgson announced her retirement
  • Ms. Braaten will be taking a year off to travel and spend time in different places in our beautiful country
  • Ms. Ashby has accepted a position at Auburn Bay School
  • Ms. Roger is moving into a System role as Indigenous Learning Leader
  • Ms. Retallack is the new teacher coordinator for City Hall School – Chevron Open Minds
  • Ms. McQueen, Ms. Scott, Ms. Wall, Ms. Innes, Ms. Murray and Ms. Bohnert all joined us on temporary assignments.  We know they will find success within CBE

Families will be contacted in late August by the school to advise students of their new teacher or their teacher to welcome them to the new school year. 

Thank you to all our families for your continued support of your children in learning.  For following up on homework, reading nightly, communicating with teachers and the school, participating in conferences, parent evenings, School Council, fundraising and fun lunches.  We couldn’t do it without you.  You, your children and your efforts on our community’s behalf are appreciated.  We look forward to our upcoming year with great excitement and anticipation of all the possibilities yet imagined.  Have a wonderful and safe summer break and we will see you again on September 3, 2019.

Respectfully,

Lynette Zapp

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