January was a busy month with everyone getting back to school after the break. It flew by and before we knew it, we were at the end of Term 1. Report Cards are available for viewing on PowerSchool. In March, we will again report on student progress and goals in the form of conferences. We look forward to meeting with you then. If you have any questions in the meantime, please be sure to reach out to your child’s teacher.
February in elementary schools is always a month in which we pause to highlight belonging, friendship, and community connection. February 14 is Valentine’s Day and families are welcome to participate by sending in cards. If your child chooses to participate, we ask that a card is sent for everyone in the class. We ask that no food items be shared. We will also have Pink Shirt Day on Wednesday, February 22. Students have also planned a fun inclusive Spirit Day for February 23 which is also our next Fun Lunch day. Stay tuned to classroom communication tools for more information.
Our February Kindness focus has grown from our continuing efforts to create a strong QES learning community. As you know our School Devlepment Plan goal for Wellbeing is to understand the impact of interpersonal exchanges and intentional goal setting. As a result, we held a winter outreach event with the intention of seeing that when each of us intentionally contributes to personal and school wide goals, everyone benefits. The details are on the website.
At this event our Kindergarten students were inspired by parents, teachers and other students at QES. They began a kindness challenge at the beginning of January. They have been working to enhance wellbeing and belonging through their intentional actions. One of the actions was to make cards for the West Hillhurst neighbours. We have received much positive feedback and our students are learning they can have a big impact on their community by doing a few small things. In fact, their impact was so significant that I was invited to do a short radio segment which will be aired tomorrow at 6:50am on 98.5 Virgin Radio about our amazing QES students. If you happen to miss it, the station will be sharing the audio segment with us and we will share it with you. In addition to our Kindergarten’s continuing inspiring actions, there will be more details to come about all QES students and staff as we share information about our February Kindness Challenge on the school website later this month.
In February and March we will also have engagement surveys, which will be additional opportunities to celebrate our school community. One of the surveys will be for parents of grade 4 students and will arrive in the mail. It is called the Alberta Education Assurance Survey and is conducted by Alberta Education. The other will be shared through email after Teacher's Convention (Feb 16, 17) and Family Day long weekend (Feb 20). We look forward to this month of February and the many ways we can continue to positively impact our school community.
Happy New Year QES Families!
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"
We are excited to be back with students. We are looking forward to continuing to learn and make connections to our surrounding community.
Open Houses and Transfers
January 16th 2023 will mark the first day of registration for Kindergarten and new grades 1-6 students. If you have friends or neighbours in the QES catchment area, please remind them to register! Just call the main office for more information. In the coming weeks we will be hosting a Kindergarten Open House. The date and time will be shared on our website soon.
This is the time of year when we begin the long process of transitioning our grade 6 students to their designated Junior High Schools. Students who have their identified residence as being in the QES catchment area are designated to Queen Elizabeth Junior/High School. If your child has been attending QES from out of the attendance area, and they are in Grade 6, please check the Find A School application to determine your designated Junior High school. All students are automatically transferred to their designated schools in June. Out of attendance area transfers will be considered by the requested school's principal depending of available space and resources. Should you have questions about designated schools or the transfer process, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Planning now makes for a good transition in September!
Late French Immersion at Branton School will also be a transfer option for Grade 6 students. More information will be forth coming about Branton School. Grade 6s will have a presentation on January 18th about the program. You can also visit their website for more information.
2023-24 School Instructional Calendar Approved
The first day of school is:
CBE schools currently operating on the modified calendar will be transitioning to the traditional calendar starting in the 2023-24 school year. Unique-setting schools will continue to operate on the calendar that best meets the needs of their students.
In support of student and staff well-being, the instructional calendar includes a short fall break with more consecutive days off than previously provided in the traditional calendar. The number of instructional hours in the school year remains unchanged. Two non-instructional days combined with a day in lieu for Remembrance Day allow for this break. This decision responds to what was heard through an engagement process related to transitioning to one calendar this fall. For 2023-24, this break will happen Nov. 9 – 14.
Please visit the system calendar page for more information. You can also receive system and school updates by Subscribing to School Messages
Alberta Education Assurance Survey
Each year in January, Alberta Educations sends an important survey to all parents and guardians of students in Grade 4. The survey is called the Alberta Education Assurance Survey. Your voice matters. It is very important that families complete the survey and return it to Alberta Education. This survey presents an opportunity to celebrate the tremendous achievements of students, staff and yourselves, as community members. As a school community we have remained engaged in fostering school environment focused on achievement, and building a sense of community. Results of the survey are shared publicly and present an opportunity to share the successes QES with all community members!
Parent Council and Association
Another way to stay engaged with our school community is to attend our Parent Council and Association meetings. Our next meeting is on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at 6:30pm. The Queen Elizabeth School Parent Society or QEEPES is responsible for funding many initiatives and events. The have made our days fun by offering Popcorn Snacks, Fun Lunches on Thursdays, Our Parent Council and Society ensure classes have any additional items they need. They have also made it possible for us to be a school in which programming is enriched through residencies and equipment. They have significantly contributed to the advancement of learning through their support for our teachers as they advance learning through quality community programs and partnerships.
Welcome back! It was a pleasure to be back together today.
Stay warm and healthy,
It is hard to believe we have completed two months of learning and are already into November! The first eight weeks have given staff time to work closely with your child, get to know them as a learner, and set goals as we work towards our first official reporting period in January.
Throughout September and October, we as a staff have been using a wide range of data sources to develop our school-wide focus for ongoing student success. The School Development Plan (SDP) is an important document that teachers use in their daily practice and grade team planning. This year our focus will be to develop strong writers with literacy tasks focused on written organization, highlight mathematical discourse about patterns and computational understanding within reasoning tasks, and positive relationships and efficacy in the learning community. The time we have spent as a staff over the past eight weeks analyzing achievement data from last year and gathering baseline data from this year (report card marks, diagnostic assessments, school-based assessments, perception surveys) has served to develop a data driven plan which addresses any gaps or trends in our student achievement. Our School Development Plan will be shared at the next School Council meeting on November 29th at 6:30pm. A final copy will also be posted on our website after November 30th, 2022.
November will be a busy month for our students as we continue to focus on learning and being connected to our school community. With an upcoming hoop dancing residency funded by QUEEPES Parent Society, intramurals, and other engaging activities. QES will continue to be a hub of activity for both students and teachers. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to your child's learning we look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks.
"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." – Margaret J. Wheatley
Our school start-up has been exciting and rewarding! I have enjoyed being able to spend time in classes and observe students working collaboratively while developing strong relationships. Students have been engaged in a variety of tasks and initial projects that have required both teamwork and perseverance. Teachers have also been working diligently to know your child's strengths and understand both their academic and social/emotional needs. Our 'Curriculum Evening' also provided families the opportunity to learn more about the co-teaching and planning that is occurring amongst all grade teams. This night also outlined our focus on the big idea of “our roles within our learning community" and how this will be taken up throughout this year. Our grade teams are working with this and the program of studies and the new curriculum to build meaningful and engaging curriculum connections. If you would like more information about the Alberta Program of Studies and the New Curriculum at each grade level please see the website: http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/mychildslearning/. Or https://curriculum.learnalberta.ca/home/en
Much of our work this year will also focus on working with students in the area of mathematics, literacy and wellbeing for learning. This involves developing purposeful learning experiences and opportunities for disciplinary engagement and assessment as well as working alongside our students to support them in developing positive relationships at school. Students and staff are committed to participation in our school culture in ways that will continue to foster a safe and caring learning environment. With that in mind, we are excited to have Nicole Balachorek join us part time to teach in the gym and implement the Physical Education Programs of Student and the new Physical Education and Wellness Curriculum and QES. I hope you will join me in welcoming Ms. Balachorek to the school community.
At Queen Elizabeth we are also committed to making learning visible for our families. As partners in education we also welcome parent feedback and input in a variety of ways. Please feel free to contact your child's teacher with any questions you might have or call the office to arrange for a meeting.
I hope you enjoy the autumn weather and find ways to engage with city opportunities for Truth and Reconciliation today!
Welcome back, and I hope you have had a great summer. I am excited to meet you and our students on Thursday September 1, 2022! I always love the way the start of a new school year feels as classrooms are prepared with care within the building. The beginning of each school is always fun with, positive energy, excited connections and reconnections, optimism and hope for the great things to come and opportunities to be experienced this year. Staff at QES are all excited to see many familiar faces as well as some new ones as we greet students next week.
It has been communicated to me by Ms. Marr, Mr. Tinaburri, and many other staff members that the QES school community has spent the last few years working together to maintain a learning community of which you can all be proud and of which I am, now, very excited to be a part. All students and staff are invited to wear their spirit wear or school colours on T-shirts on Friday Sept. 2nd to celebrate being back in school. Stay tuned for information from our parent society about spirit wear in the coming weeks.
Thank you and we look forward to a successful 2022-23 school opening and another exciting year of learning.
I would like to take one final opportunity to say thank you to the students, families and staff at Queen Elizabeth School. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to learn and lead alongside of you. I will take many lessons and magical memories with me on my journey and I hope that each of you will do the same. The QES wolf pack is a very special group and I am very proud of the learning we have accomplished in the midst of such challenging times.
For the outstanding team members who are also leaving this year, THANK YOU! Your efforts as educators and support staff are deeply appreciated and we wish you all the best in your next adventures.
For the team members continuing on, KUDOS! I know you will continue to foster resilience, growth and success for each of our learners.
For our students and community, my deepest GRATITUDE! I know that you will welcome Principal McConnell with enthusiasm and kindness into the wolf pack.
Wishing you all a summer of rest, relaxation and FUN!
All the best,
Dear QES Families,
I am writing today to share the news that I will be transitioning into a new role in the CBE at the end of this school year. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead in this amazing learning community of students, staff, and families of West Hillhurst.
Through the many unforeseen circumstances of the past three years, I have appreciated the wonderful support of this close-knit and caring community. I want to deeply thank all of the parent volunteers and our marvellous School Council and QEEPES teams for all of their tremendous efforts to support student learning at QES. These amazing volunteers are truly the strength of our wolf pack.
I would also like to greatly thank our entire staff team for their care, expertise and commitment to student learning and well-being – they bring the heart to our wolf pack each and every day.
The Calgary Board of Education welcomes input from parents, students and staff regarding the programming and leadership attributes valued in a school principal. You can provide input at this survey link.
Information collected will be used in the Principal selection process. The survey data will also be shared with the new Principal to inform their entry plan into the school. The survey will be available until 4:00 PM, Monday, June 1, 2022.
I look forward to working closely with the new principal to ensure a smooth transition and a continued focus on success for each and every student into the next school year.
We have some fun events planned for the remainder of the school year and I look forward to these opportunities to say goodbye in person.
Thank you to the volunteers who are supporting our SOGO Orienteering residency and in-class learning experiences this week!
Due to Covid restrictions relaxing we have many more opportunities to volunteer in classrooms, on field trips, and at School Council events than there has been over the last couple of years. Just a reminder that in order to volunteer in the school and/or with students, you need to have a Police Information Check that has been completed for the CBE in the last five years.
If you have not had a police check done for the CBE, now is a great time to do one! You need to come into the school office in person, with picture ID, and we use that to give you a letter with a unique code that you use to apply with the Calgary Police Service.
For information on what you need to volunteer, please check out this link. If you are not sure if your clearance with CBE is valid, or if you have any questions, please call Michele at 403-777-6789.
These fun and valuable on-site and off-site learning experiences cannot happen without the incredible support of the volunteers from our learning community. Please consider getting your clearance today!
Dressing for Field Conditions
It's that time of year – spring thaw means our school field is often in very boggy conditions. We want to remind students and families to come prepared with outdoor spring boots and a change of indoor shoes. It is also a great idea to pack extra socks and for our most rambunctious athletic crew – a pair of rain pants or back up pair of track pants.
On February 23rd, we will be holding our annual Pink Shirt Day! Queen Elizabeth School is a proud supporter of Pink Shirt Day and the message of kindness, respect and gratitude that it brings.
On this day, we will be starting a school-wide initiative that asks students, staff and families to engage in acts of kindness together both at school and at home.
At school, we will be participating in an “18 Days of Kindness" Challenge where there will be a new act of kindness (to self and others) each day from February 23rd to the beginning of Spring Break. Each day there will be a kindness challenge displayed at every entrance of the school and an announcement will be made each morning so that we start our day in a good way - together! From there, each student will be challenged with completing the task and teachers will use these moments in the classroom to promote a positive mindset and healthy friendships.
At home, each family will receive the “18 Days of Kindness - Home Edition" where there is a new challenge for each day that focuses on bringing organization, laughter, and conversations about wellness into our homes. Students can bring their stories from home into the classroom to share each day or keep it private if they prefer.
Please click on the links below so that you can engage in conversation with your child about the daily activities.
18 Days of Kindness – School Edition
18 Days of Kindness – Home Edition
This is just one way that we hope to continue to inspire and build a culture of belonging and gratitude between students, staff and families at QES.
We are so excited to see what each member of the wolf pack does to honour each day and how it will shape our mindsets moving forward. A huge shout-out to Mrs. Gould's class for their Pink Shirt Day advertising campaign and for Mrs. Wentzell, Mr. Cuculea and Ms. Hall for their work in organizing the Kindness Challenge.
Good luck and have fun with each new daily challenge!
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