Jun 22
June 2020 Update

We have been busy preparing online lessons in Google Classroom and meeting with students in Google Meet. We are amazed at how many students have engaged in online learning during this time away from school. 

We are excited to gather online to say farewell to our grade, six students, on Wednesday, June 24, at 10:00 a.m. The google meet nickname to enter the assembly is PFS assembly. Unfortunately, there will not be any opportunity to gather as a school community before the end of the year. 

We are also sad to share that Ms. Audrey, Ms. Tracy C. Ms. Sheena and Ms. Dalia will be leaving our PFS family. Again, we will have an online farewell ceremony to say kiaikitamatsin on Friday, June 26, 2020.

Report cards will be online on Friday, June 26.  We will not be printing hard copy report cards. Please ensure you have registered on Parent Portal to access your child(ren)'s report cards.

Thinking ahead to September, we have not yet had direction from the Province regarding re-opening protocols.  Please ensure you are checking your email after August 1, 2020, for instruction as to the re-opening process.

We hope you have a safe and fun summer, and we look forward to the return of smiling faces, and a year of wonderful learning.

Iikiinayookaa M. Yellow Horn, Principal
Benjamin Williams, Assistant Principal 


Apr 06
April | Challenging Times

During these extraordinary and challenging times, our teaching staff have attempted to reach out to each student to share our next steps in learning.  If you have not heard from your child’s teacher, please call the school as soon as possible at 403-777-7860.

This week your child will receive a personalized card from their teacher. Also in the envelope is a wallet-size PFS Values card, a treat, and a stamped self-addressed envelope for your child to send a return message to the school. Please encourage your child to write a short note or draw a picture for their teacher. 

We are busy planning for learning; teachers will communicate the next steps with a phone call or email early this week.  For the time being, encourage your children to read every day.  Please share with them they are missed at Piitoayis Family School, and we look forward to hearing their voices when we call this week.

Feb 28
March | Acknowledgement of the Land

Thank you to Ms. Georgia’s Grade 6 class with their interpretation of the Acknowledgement of the Land.

Just like it’s important to acknowledge all our classmates’ efforts, it’s important that we pause, take a moment and remember that the land our school is built on is Treaty 7 land.  This land is the traditional territory of the Blackfoot Nations, which include the Siksika, Piikani and Kainai.  We also acknowledge the Tsuut’ina, Stoney Nakoda and Metis Nation (Region 3). 

We welcome you all here today and are grateful for this gathering.  We would like to remind you that this is Indigenous land first, the original people (Niitsitapi) who always showed love and respect for Na’a.  Thank her for what she has given us, for her spirit and her teachings.   This land is sacred and it is our responsibility to respect her, honour her, and keep her safe. We need to speak our truth about the damage that was done to our land and our people.

Always remember to show the land kindness because we need Na’a.  She gives us food, water, shelter and medicine.  Our ancestors are watching us and creator is hoping that we always remember who we are and respect our land and her spirit.  What settlers did to the land is bad, we were at the edge of forgetting our traditions but we are still here and we are the future that can make a difference.  Please remember to take care of one another and respect one another as well. 

As PFS students you should feel proud and never forget who you are. Our land is special and you are special also.  Hand to heart in gratitude.  

Take care,

Iikiinayookaa M. Yellow Horn 
Principal, Piitoayis Family School

Feb 18
February Update

This month’s school-wide celebration theme is 100 Ways of Kimmapiiypitsinni “Kindness.” Students will document ways in which they show kimmapiiypitsinni throughout February. Ask your children how they showed kindness each day!

Piitoayis Family School was fortunate to host the Sacred Thunder Pipe bundle opening, which took place on Feb. 8 at Piitoayis Family School. The ceremony was lead by Pipe Carriers Kathy and Stuart Breaker and Elder Leonard Bastien. Thank you to staff who supported as Mr. Benjamin, and I while we danced with the bundle. It is our prayer that our students experience academic success, safety, and family support.

We are excited to share Ms. Dalia Rivera Mosquera has moved from grade 2 Educational Assistant to PFS Behavior Support Worker. Congratulations, Ms. Dalia!

Take care,

Iikiinayookaa M. Yellow Horn 
Principal, Piitoayis Family School

Dec 05
Happy December

Oki PFS Families,

Happy December Students and Staff!
Wow, December has arrived!

The Winter Solstice is fast approaching. Our ancestors believed this was a season of caring for one another and for sharing through service and kindness. Our students are embodying the PFS values of Kiimmipiiypitsinni (kindness) and Kakyosin (observance) in planning for the coldest season by ensuring they are taking care of one another. Well done, PFS students!

Thank you so much to those parents who took time out of your day to attend our monthly Parent Advisory Council meeting. I am excited to share that Shelley May and Verna Eaglespeaker are the Co-Chairperson’s for the 2019-20 school year. Hand to heart in gratitude for your commitment to our students and staff at PFS.

Please visit Our School page to learn about our 2019-20 School Development Plan. Our achievement goals: Reading to explore, construct, and extend understanding – Students will be assessed for reading and placed in ability groupings to assist in the develop strategies for decoding, fluency and comprehension.  Students will receive 1 hour daily reading instruction in small group settings. Mathematical procedural fluency - Students will be able to translate among different representations of numbers. Well-Being Goal - Students will be able to describe each PFS value and demonstrate how they are acting on one of the values to improve their well-being.

Kind regards,
Iikiinayookaa M. Yellow Horn

Oct 18
October's Message

​Welcome to the fall equinox!  

The temperature is getting colder and the plants, trees, and animals are preparing for winter as are we at PFS. September was a very busy month; students had an opportunity to participate in field trips to Nose Hill Park for sage picking and Granary Road – Active Learning Park. 

Thank you to Stantec Engineering Service and parent volunteers for your assistance with our field trips.  I was in awe to see 200 parents and students attend our Meet the Teacher Night and most grateful for those parents who graciously volunteered for our Parent Advisory Council (PAC). Our next PAC meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm. 

I am excited to introduce Assistant Principal, Benjamin Williams. Mr. Benjamin joins PFS from Robert Thirsk High School. He brings a wealth of trauma-informed practice expertise and knowledge, as well as years of teaching experience. Mr. Benjamin also has extensive experience with physical education and outdoor education. Welcome, Mr. Benjamin! 

PFS has partnered with two significant service agencies to assist students with their obstetric and medical needs. 

Dr. Emeka Nzekwu from Nation’s Vision will provide eye exams for all PFS students. Consent forms will be sent home on Thursday, October 10. Parents, please sign and return the consent forms to the office ASAP.  Nation’s Vision will provide glasses for those children who are in need. Student glasses will remain at the school until the end of the school year. 

Dr. Lana Potts, GP, and Ronald MacDonald Care Mobile will provide medical appointments on the following dates: 

o November – December: second Tuesday of each month
o January – June: first Tuesday of each month. 

Dr. Potts will provide appointment booking information. 

Moving forward into the new school year, staff and students will focus on learning. Daily one-hour literacy and math groups will begin on Oct. 7.  Parents, please take the time to read at home to your children and ensure you are asking what they learned in school today. 

A reminder to parents to ensure you are dressing your children appropriately for the cold weather. We are in the process of ordering winter jackets through the generous donation from Jacket Racket for those who require assistance; however, these jackets will not be available until December.  

Have a wonderful fall season! 

Kind regards, 
Iikiinayookaa M. Yellow Horn
Principal, Piitoayis Family School 

Sep 24
Welcome to a New School Year!
Oki/Tansi welcome to a new school year at Piitoayis Family School. 

I am very excited to begin a new school year. My entire educational career has lead me here, where I feel I can best support Indigenous children achieve a strong educational foundation. My educational philosophy focuses on creating a safe learning space where our children can establish a love of learning, while incorporating our cultural practices and maintaining our traditional values and belief systems. 

I am excited to introduce to our Leadership Team: 

Acting Assistant Principal, Margaret Webber. Margaret is a retired Assistant Principal with the Calgary Board of Education and she is eager to learn about our Indigenous ways and support our school. 

Ms. Dancia Burrows, former grade 1/2 teacher, will support and lead  curriculum and assessment, as well as teaching through an Indigenous lens. 

Ms. Sara Reinikka-Scoot joins our PFS family team as our Literacy Learning Leader and grade 1/2 teacher. Ms. Sara will share her expertise and knowledge in literacy and will lead our professional learning community in guided reading and assessment. 

Ms. Emily Mask also joins our PFS family as our Math Learning Leader and grade five teacher. She too will share her extensive knowledge in math and will lead our professional learning community in math and assessment. 

Ms. Tracy Evans, Indigenous Educational Learning Leader, will provide support with literacy and math groups, as well as, reading intervention. We are excited to also have Ms. Tracy support teaching through an Indigenous lens. 

We will also have wonderful additions and movement to our teaching staff. Ms. Pam Grapetin will join the grade 1/2 team, Ms. Kelsey Fraser will move from kindergarten to the grade 3 team, Mr. Devin Green will teach gym and health, and Ms. Andrea Taylor-Schryvers grade 3, Melanie Long will will join the grade 4 team with Ms. Heather Craig, and  finally, Mr. James Robertshaw  and Ms. Georgia Paschalis will teach grade 6.  All are expert teachers who are excited and passionate about teaching, learning, and our PFS students. 

Piitoayis Family School is very grateful for the many donors which provide our breakfast, lunch, and snack program. Hope Mission, Alex House, and Meals on Wheels will continue to provide or the delicious hot lunch, soup and sandwiches. We also have the Weekends and More program continuing this year. If you and your family are interested in receiving a nutritious snack bag each week, please call Ms. Denise Nowell, School Assistant.  

We are excited to announce partnership with Dr. Lana Potts, GP, and Ronald MacDonald Care Mobile. Once a month students and staff can book medical appointment with Dr. Potts in the Care Mobile, which will be parked in the parking lot of Piitoayis Family School. We are also grateful to partner with Nation Vision for free on-site eye testing for PFS families. Please watch for posters, school messengers, and consent forms for both programs. 

Kind regards, 

Iikiinayookaa M. Yellow Horn
Piitoayis Family School 

Jun 03
June's Message

At PFS, we are so fortunate to be able to provide breakfast, snacks, and lunch for all of our students.  Ms. Danette, Ms. Robeena, Ms. Sarah, and Ms. Carlynne ensure our students are served healthy, fresh, and delicious food in a timely manner.  During lunch, our school values are emphasized:  we remind students to use their manners, be kind, and be aware of others around them. 

The nutritious food the students eat each day would not be possible without our generous donors:  the School Nutrition Plan provides the huge variety of breakfast items we have; Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids supports our lunch and snack program, and we are fortunate to get soup from Meals on Wheels twice a week.  Each Wednesday, Hope Mission provides our students with a special hot lunch; the last of which for this year will be on June 5th.  In addition to these amazing donors, the Calgary Food Bank supports our school with donations and with the Weekends and More food hampers. 

Without the generous support of our donors, our school simply would not be the same:  students are only available for learning when they are well-fed and have energy from nutritious food.   We are so grateful to our donors and so appreciative of the care and service our lunchroom staff provide.  Thank you for feeding our bellies, our hearts, and our minds! 


Important June Dates:

·         Social Studies                                                 June 11

·         Math – Part B                                                  June 12

·         Math – Part A                                                  June 14

·         English Language Arts – Part B                     June 13

·         Science                                                           June 17

·         School Wide Field Trip: Granary Road           June 20

·         Grade 6 Farewell Ceremony & Assembly      June 25

·         PFS National Indigenous Peoples Day

o   Last day of school for students

o   Report cards home                             June 26


Thank you parents and guardians for a year of learning, friendship, and laughter.

School will return on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.


Kind regards,

Iikiinayookaa M. Yellow Horn, Principal

Meagan Lundgren, Assistant Principal​ 

May 06
May's Message

Principal Message


Welcome to May!  April was a very busy month for PFS staff and students.  We had many opportunities to enjoy the spring-like weather.  Our G.3/4 students visited Ann, and Sandy Cross Conservation Park and PFS staff had a day of learning from the land at Oohkotok (Big Rock in Okotoks) and the Old Women’s Buffalo Jump in Cayley. Both experiential learning opportunities were filled with traditional teachings, stories, ceremony, and laughter. Thank you to Knowledge Keeper Shirley Hill for sharing her love of pow wow dancing with our students and to the Earth Rangers organization for sharing with our students the importance of protecting animals from extinction. It was a hectic - but fun - month at PFS.


Grade 6 students will begin writing the Provincial Achievement (PAT) exams being this month. The dates for PAT exams are as follows:


•    English Language Arts – Part A    May 8

•    Social Studies                                June 11

•    Math – Part B                                 June 12

•    Math – Part A                                 June 14

•    English Language Arts – Part B    June 13

•    Science                                          June 17


I had hoped to share information about classroom configurations and plans for the next school year; however, the provincial budget has not yet been released, causing plans for fall staffing requirements to be delayed. Once the budget has been received, I will be able to share more information about plans for next school year. In the meantime, it is essential to know if your child(ren) will be returning to PFS next school year, so please call Ms. Sharon or Ms. Denise if your child(ren) will NOT be returning at 403-777-7860.


Important May Dates:

·         May 7 – G.3/4 Oohkotok and Old Women’s Buffalo Jump field trip with Saa’kokoto

·         May 8 – G. 6 PAT: English Language Arts – Part A

·         May 9 – G. 6 Junior High School Transition Tours

·         May 14, 24, 28 – Elder Mary Ellen with the kindergarten classes

·         May 17 – Non-Instructional Day: No School for students

·         May 20 – Victoria Day Holiday: No School for students

·         May 22 – PFS Assembly

·         May 30 – G.6 Junior High School Transition Tours: Terry Fox


Take care,

Iikiinayookaa M. Yellow Horn​ 

Apr 01
April's Message

Dear Piitoayis Family School families,


A big thank you to all parents, guardians, and family members for attending the PFS 3rd Annual Round Dance. It was so exciting to see students, staff, and families participating and enjoying the day.  Special thanks to Astokomii Smith, 2019 Calgary Stampede First Nation Princess, Darcy and Frank Turning Robe, Hal Eagletail, and Elder Jackie Bromley for taking time out of their busy schedules to spend the afternoon with us.


It’s hard to believe it is already April – with only three months of school remaining. The time will pass quickly; however, there is a lot of learning to be completed before the end of the school year.  Daily reading and math groups will continue, as well as many opportunities for experiential learning from an Indigenous lens. It is essential to ask your child what he/she learned at school today!


April marks the start of planning for next year. We have received our enrolment projections for next year, which help us plan staffing and the annual budget for the 2019-20 school year. Join us at our April 18th Advisory Council meeting to learn about the overall CBE budget, and how we develop our school budget. You will receive a poster reminder in your child’s backpack with more information.


Important April Dates:

·         Weekly PFS Drum practices – Tuesday and Friday

·         April 4th – Iitoomo BGCC Parent meeting. Elder Kerrie Moore presentation on Trauma Informed Practice from an Indigenous perspective

·         April 15 – G.5/6 Clay workshop

·         April 16 -17 – G.3/4 Ann and Sandy Cross field trip

·         April 18 – PFS Parent Advisory Council meeting – 2:00-3:00

·         April 19 – Good Friday – No school for students

·         April 22 – Non-Instructional Day – No school for students

·         April 24 – Spring Blessing Ceremony (Closed Ceremony)

·         April 25, 26 & 29 – Pow wow dancing with Shirley Hill

·         April 30 – Earth Ranger presentation​ 

1 - 10Next

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Blog Tools

 ‭(Hidden)‬ About this blog


Students registered for hub online will receive an email by end of day Wednesday with a teacher introduction, info about how and where to log in and more. Check https://t.co/ee2XFbs1qB for more details. #cbehub #yycbe https://t.co/7MiZG7UAE0

Today is the first public Board meeting of the 2020-21 school year. We invite you to stream the meeting online starting at noon https://t.co/nvCl1fNgoJ #yycbe https://t.co/dNj3EMkOpC

The Ship to Shore program was piloted in three of our schools last year, connecting CBE students with the Royal Canadian Navy, HMCS Calgary and HMCS Tecumseh. https://t.co/SHtygBolKh #WeAreCBE @HMCSNCSMCalgary @RoyalCanNavy https://t.co/CCXMTngmgZ

Thank you to all of our students, families and staff for a successful first week of in-person classes! Have a great long weekend, classes resume on Tues. Sept 8 #WeAreCBE https://t.co/yji3wkSCfq