Hello SWL Families,
I hope you are staying well and safe during these unprecedented times. School life and learning continues and we are excited about our Youth and Philanthropy Initiative happening next week and we also hope to see students participate in the SWL Virtual Talent Show. Sign up for this event is underway.
We are looking at ways to celebrate student achievement in May and June and honour our departing grade 9 students. We will provide information on this in the coming weeks as we work with senior administration to ensure privacy concerns and other safety considerations are met.
We received this notice from the Centre for Newcomers yesterday and I wanted to share it with you in support of any newcomers in our SWL school community.
- COVID-19 Support for Newcomer Families to Canada
The Centre for Newcomers recently received funding to support newcomer youths that have been impacted by COVID-19. The Centre for Newcomers can assist youth in the following ways:
- Financial support (food gift cards)
- Mental health support (counselling)
- Psychology Assessments
The Centre for Newcomers wants to reach newcomer youths who are at risk of hunger and mental health challenges due to the pandemic. Schools are welcome to provide the Centre for Newcomers contact information to families in order for the families to access this service.
Newcomer families who are in crisis can reach out to Ekene Balogun, Manager of the Youth Programs at 403-648-2232 or email at E.Balogun@centrefornewcomers.ca.
Have a lovely weekend,
Hello SWL Families,
In response to a few phone calls today, please be advised that tomorrow, Friday, March 26 is a school day.
On behalf of the staff at Sir Wilfrid Laurier School I would like to wish our students and families the best of what Spring Break has to offer. The students have done so well adjusting to a very different school year and it is my hope you will be able to celebrate with them next week. Wearing masks for long periods of time, mandatory cohort groupings, facing forward, limited physical education opportunities, just to name a few, are a part of our current reality and we are mindful and appreciate how positive our students have been and how well they have adjusted to school during COVID.
We will celebrate tomorrow with a comfy clothing day, but make sure the clothing choices are warm and appropriate for school as we will be conducting wellness activities outside. The weather is looking good!J
Students are reminded that they are still required to dress for school; ripped jeans and crop tops are not a part of school and active wear.
Grade 7 parents and students will be asked to participate in the Alberta Education Quality Assurance Survey in the upcoming weeks. The surveys were mailed out this week. We greatly appreciate your feedback to support continuous improvement at SWL. Please take a few minutes when you receive the survey to complete it. If you are a grade 7 parent and you do not receive a copy of the survey, please contact the school following Spring Break and we will make sure you receive a copy. Thank you in advance.
SWL students return to school on Wednesday, April 7.
Have a wonderful week, stay safe and have fun!
Hello SWL Families,
I hope this finds you well. A few important reminders.
- A reminder that Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences are scheduled for Thursday and Friday of this week and you can book through your my CBE/PowerSchool account . Here is the link https://sis.cbe.ab.ca/public/. It is important your child attend these conferences with a parent/guardian. By middle/junior high school, a student should be an active participant in these conversations with teachers and parents.
- Grade 9 Students: Transfer requests for out of attendance area high schools, as well as expressions of interest for AP or IB are due on March 15. Please ensure your child speaks with Mrs. Rydahl or Mrs. Jernigan by tomorrow, MARCH 11 if you need any help or support. There are no extensions to this deadline.
I hope our families are keeping well and safe. Enjoy your week-end and your time with SWL teachers during conference times.
NON-INSTRUCTIONAL DAY: A reminder that tomorrow, (Friday, February 26) is a non-instruction day for SWL students. I hope the weather is warm and there will be outside play. Teachers will be reviewing report card data and mid-year reading assessments tomorrow. We will use the data to refine our targeted strategies to keep your child on a positive learning trajectory until end of year. This is critical given that absenteeism rates are higher due to COVID and we have had to adjust teaching practice during a pandemic.
LEARNING: Congratulations to all the grade 8 and 9 students who wrote the nationally acclaimed and very challenging PASCAL math test this week! Way to go!
UNIFORM: A reminder to ensure students have a crested uniform top, black/navy pants and either a SWL cardigan or SWL hoodie for school. No exceptions! Thank you!
COMMUNICATION: Parent/Student/Teacher conferences will be held virtually on March 11 and 12. The school office will send a messenger when bookings upon up a week prior. We had very good feedback using a virtual platform during the last round of interviews.
COVID: We had two confirmed cases dating to Feb 18 and 19. Please ensure you continue to use the AHS screening tool and keep students at home who have any COVID related symptoms. Parents who use private bus carriers are encouraged to make sure COVID transportation guidelines are being followed, including seating plans and communicating to your child that food and beverages are not permitted on busses. Masks should always be worn and students should be seated in family groups as much as is possible.
SCHOOL/PARENT COUNCIL: Thank you to our School Council Executive for supporting SWL in purchasing chrome books and i-pads for the upcoming school year. We need to decommission up to 120 old devices to keep our technology suite updated.
As always, I feel fortunate to work with such a fantastic school community. Your support of our work to keep SWL safe and caring with a concerted learning focus is greatly appreciated. Thank you parents and most important, a huge thank you to our students, many of whom have had to pivot to in-school and online learning one or more times in 2020-21. Our students are doing a good job and we are proud of how well they are handling such a difficult time in our world.
Have a lovely weekend.
Hello SWL! Happy New Year!
The students have been so excited this week, lots of laughter and talking as they reunite with friends and their teachers. We are hopeful that the number of confirmed COVID cases in Calgary will steadily decline so that continuity of learning is not impacted as we finalize semester 1 and move into semester 2.
Teachers are finalizing report cards this week in preparation for semester 2, which officially starts on February 1. Report Cards can be accessed online using MYCBE on February 1.
Grade 9 parents and students have been asking about high school registration and transfer requests. There are some new processes which we will communicate to families later in February when we know which high schools have open or limited spaces. The deadline for any high school transfer requests and for expressing an interest in Advanced Placement (AP) and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) is March 15, so there is no need to worry right now. At this time, parents and students can look on the SWL website as well as high school websites for information on virtual open houses and tours and they are encouraged to attend these events.
Starting tomorrow, students in grade 9 will start attending high school presentations during school hours. HUB students should also be receiving information shortly. Students should complete all the forms sent by their designated high school as they receive them, even if they plan to request a transfer to another high school. I have told the grade 9s to keep all doors of opportunity open in preparation for grade 10. Please stay tuned for more information in mid to late February and feel free to call our school office if you have any questions at this time.
Lots of badminton happening at school this week and lots of last minute assignment completion.
Stay safe, have a wonderful week-end.
Dear SWL Families,
I hope this finds you well and healthy in preparation for Winter Break.
We moved all grade 6-9 students online as of Tuesday, Dec. 15 to ensure continuity of learning and prevent any further prolonged periods of isolation for students and staff members. There have been no cases of in-school COVID transmission, but the rising number of confirmed cases in our AB communities has had an impact on school programming.
We will remain in online learning for the week of January 4-8, but unlike Emergency Response teaching, students will follow their timetable and participate in all classes. The students have transitioned well into online classrooms and their behaviour and conduct while in school has been fantastic! Our SWL Hub students have also done exceptionally well based on reports from teachers across the district.
Here are a few important dates to keep in mind:
Friday, December 18: Last day of School before Winter Break
Monday, January 4: Non-Instructional Day for Students
Tuesday, January 5: Classes resume (online for grades 6-9); students follow regular timetable, period 1 starts at 8:50 am.
Thursday, January 7, 6:30 pm: SWL TLC OPEN HOUSE
We will be hosting an Open House on Microsoft teams for any students who reside in the communities attached to SWL who are interested in registering in the SWL TLC Program. Please share this information if you know any families who are interested. They can RSVP by noon on January 4 to Ms. Jernigan at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a link to the Microsoft Teams Open House. Grade 5 students/families currently registered at Chris Akkerman TLC do not need to attend, but are welcome to do so if they wish.
Friday, January 8, 12:00 pm: Last day for students in HUB who wish to return to in person school to register in MYCBE. Please note that MyCBE/PowerSchool will be inaccessible for legal guardians and students during winter break as upgrades are installed. The planned outage is set for Dec. 18 at 5:00 p.m. to Dec. 27 at 11:59 p.m.
No Action is required for Hub students who want to remain in Hub for the entire school year.
Only students registered in HUB have the option of returning to in person school for semester 2. Students currently attending in person school do NOT have the option of joining HUB.
January 11: Registration for TLC Opens
January 11: In-Person Classes Resume
January 13: Last day for students to submit work for semester 1 report card marks. This includes HUB and in-person students.
February 1-5: Report Cards available to parents online through MYCBE
The year 2020 is a year like no other in our lifetimes and I can only say there is hope for 2021 as a vaccine becomes more available. On behalf of the SWL Faculty and Team, we want you to know we take pride in establishing great relationships with our school community and we look forward to welcoming you into our school, our classrooms, gymnasiums, music rooms and parks in the distant future.
Thank you SWL Community for working so closely with us through a difficult time for our staff, students, families and communities. Onward and forward toward brighter and sunnier days…Happy New Year!
Hello SWL Families,
I hope this finds you well as we prepare to move to online learning for grades 7-9 on Monday, November 30. I know the Chief Superintendent has also sent a message to provide some instruction, but I want to mention a few key points to support you and your child(ren) for the next few weeks.
Grade 6 students attend school, regular time and hours. Grade 6 will have full access to the school and we look forward to seeing them and continuing their school program.
Grades 7-9: Please make sure you review and share this information with your child(ren)
- Grades 7-9 students will follow their timetable each day (including class start times) in Google Classroom and Google Meet. We will take attendance, provide instruction and then allow students time to work offline in most class periods. Students are expected to rejoin the class for the last five minutes so that we can answer questions and wrap up the lesson. Please tell the your child that we are NOW offering Explore Block; yesterday they were told Explore Block was cancelled and I want to avoid any further confusion.
- I want the students to dress like they were to attend school (informal uniform shirt ideally). They need to be ready to learn and interact; have a good breakfast, and unless there is a privacy concern, we really want to see their faces online. This is so important to student success and building confidence. I am making this request because I feel it is important that we move beyond “emergency school" toward authentic virtual school; we are a TLC and embrace challenges. We also really miss the kids when we cannot see their faces and relationship is key to school success. Please discuss the importance of this with your child and contact your child's teacher or the main office if you have any concerns.
- TECHNOLOGY: Our goal is to make sure that students work offline for significant portions of the day to support the need for some families to share technology devices. If you do not have a working device, please contact the school office.
- For those students who do not wish or are not able to participate online, we can accommodate with paper based materials. Contact the office to make arrangements.
Retrieving Student Belongings:
Please make arrangements to pick up student belongings on Thursday, December 3 from 8:45 – 3:00 pm. The school is also open Friday from 8:00 – 12 if you cannot make it on Thursday. Students must remember to pick up their violins as they will need them for their classes.
Students, I know some of you are feeling a bit anxious, so believe me when I say this…you got this!! Talk to your teachers and let us know how things are going; as always, we will continue to move forward on a positive path.
Hello SWL Families,
The beautiful days of fall seem to have shifted to the long upcoming days of winter! We continue to wish wellness and good wishes to our school community. A few updates to share with you this week.
SCHOOL COUNCIL AND PARENT SOCIETY
We hosted a virtual Annual General Meeting for School and Parent Council/Society last week. Thank you to the many parents who attended and for your willingness to volunteer for nomination for several executive roles. I could not be more pleased to work with our newly formed council and every parent who chooses to attend in support of our school. Thank you!!!
DRESS AND SCHOOL ATTIRE
Please ensure your child dresses appropriately for both TLC and weather conditions. A few things to know:
- WALKING NEXT WEEK: Students will be out walking a lot next week (rain or sunshine) in support of Secret Path Week…time to pull out the winter wear, please!
- LUNCH TIME: Students will continue to go out for 20 minutes at lunch for a mask break and to refresh the air inside the building. Students will be outside every day unless we reach a wind chill temperature of approximately -20 degrees.
- PE will continue to take place outdoors as much as is possible
- SCHOOL UNIFORM and STAYING WARM: we ask that all students wear a crested TLC shirt and navy/black pants while in the school and classrooms. Students are also welcome to wear SLW hoodies in their classes, or a navy/dark cardigan or dress sweater (preferably TLC crested). Other types of hoodies may be brought to school but ONLY worn outside and during PE.
- Ms. Chan has provided a video link if you want to learn more about layering for warmth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXr2iPeMLfs&feature=youtu.be
LEARNING AND UPCOMING EVENTS
Youth and Philanthropy Initiative: We kicked off our Youth and Philanthropy Initiative with the grade 9 students yesterday and I was so excited to speak with them. They will be researching charities and preparing persuasive presentations in the coming months for their chosen charity. The winning grade 9 team will receive a cheque for $5000 to give to their charity. A real example of authentic and real life learning!
Secret Path Week: This year SWL will be partaking in Secret Path Week, a national movement that occurs annually from October 17-22. The week was inspired by Chanie Wenjack, a victim of the residential school system. From October 19-22, students at SWL will be partaking in activities to start conversations toward understanding residential schooling in Canada, the many forms of resistance that indigenous children exercised against residential schools, and how to imagine and enact reconciliation.
Gauss and Pascal Math Competitions: We have been busy encouraging students to sign up for these two excellent math competitions and finalized our numbers yesterday, with over 50 students signing up to take on a great math challenge opportunity. SWL is pleased to subsidize the cost of this in support of numeracy education and we will ramp up this activity as we get closer to the competition dates.
Global Read Aloud: We cannot undertake field trips, so we are bringing them to us. We started a Global Read Aloud which allows our students to virtually connect to read and learn together with teachers and students from all over the globe. Next week, some grade 7 students will be connecting with students and schools in Michigan as we share a novel study together, they are quite excited.
Student Assessment: We have completed diagnostic assessments in reading and mathematics to make sure we target where our students are at in their learning following a six month period of being out of in-person school. This data is invaluable in our work and support of your children.
School Spirit: Rumour has it there will be a Spirit Week in late October, a good time to focus on wellness through laughter and joy…more to follow.
Have a wonderful week-end, I hope you were able to see the video links provided by homeroom teachers and feel more comfortable seeing and knowing who is working closely with your children.
Hello SWL Families,
Important Dates to Remember
September 28 - Picture Day - Formal/Informal Uniforms required
September 30 - Orange Shirt Day
October 1 - Terry Fox Run
October 5 - Meet the Teacher (virtual)
October 8 - School/Parent Council Meeting (virtual)
I hope this finds you well and enjoying the first beautiful days of fall. A few updates this week:
Picture Day is on Monday, September 28. Students are required to wear their TLC uniforms, either formal or informal. Remind them to smile for their photo J
School and Parent Council
We will host our first School and Parent Council Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, October 8 at 6:00 pm using Microsoft Teams as our virtual meeting place. Please complete the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Council Form to let us know if you plan to attend. We have several Council positions to fill this year and would appreciate if you review the form and indicate if you can serve on a Council Position. We will e-mail a teams invite to any parents wishing to attend. The link to this very short form and council invite is: https://forms.gle/PgESFuZDGnMsMbU28
Meet the Teacher
This year, as part of the guidelines regarding COVID pandemic, we will not be having families come into the school to meet the teachers, tour the school, and learn about their child's program of study. Given the context we are currently living and working in, we need to adjust how we can achieve the outcome of connecting and communicating with parents and families. With that in mind, our Meet the Teacher will proceed as follows:
On October 5, a School Messenger will be sent home with links to videos created by our teachers. These will be introductory videos where you will learn about your child's teacher, the grade team and key components of your child's educational program. In addition, homeroom teachers are making a phone call to parents of students in their homeroom between now and October 5. This will allow us to learn a bit more about our students and provide a few minutes for parents to personally connect with their child's lead teacher.
Parents/Guardians: If you receive a phone call and the caller is not identified, please note this may be your child's teacher trying to reach you!
Orange Shirt Day
On Sept. 30 we will participate in Orange Shirt Day using several resources provided by our Indigenous Education Team and SWL Learning Leader, Ms. Araki. We would love to see as many students as possible wear an orange short on September 30. We are going to watch a live streamed event, view a powerful power point presentation, then give opportunity for students to journal and reflect on the importance of truth and reconciliation. Parents interested in watching the event can find out more here: https://nctr.ca/map.php
Terry Fox Fun
On October 1, SWL students will participate in the Terry Fox Run in honour of the Marathon of Hope, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to support finding cures and treatments for cancers. Students are asked to dress in appropriate clothes and shoes for running outside, bring water bottles, and should do their best to bring a cash donation to support cancer research. Last year, we did a great job fundraising. Providing support to important lifesaving work is a key citizenship and character development component of the TLC Program.
I am very impressed with how the students are handling school this year. Our HUB online students are up and running this week and I look forward to connecting virtually with them in the coming weeks. Our in-school students are doing a great job following the safety protocols and are working well in their classrooms.
Have a wonderful week-end,
Hello SWL Families,
I would like to thank families for your support as we re-entered school throughout the past weeks, whilst also making preparations for SWL students enrolled in online hub. We are excited to have our school program underway and as of this week, we have been able to deploy teachers to in-person or online hub teaching assignments. As a result, we have reconfigured some classes to optimize student learning. You may notice a change to your child's homeroom assignment in PowerSchool as we wanted to make sure homeroom/cohort groupings were relatively equal in size and balanced with a variety of student personalities to make our learning time together rich, fun and varied. We will also start options/exploration classes next week (yahoo), but unlike previous years, we will be offering one exploratory course at a time for about 6 weeks duration and then we will introduce a new one. This allows us to physically distance in cohorts and still provide opportunities for Art, Environmental Studies, Drama, etc.
BLOGS & GOOGLE CLASSROOMS
Now that our homerooms are established, teachers will set up their classroom blogs and update them weekly so that you can stay informed of what students are learning and assignment due dates. Teachers will also work together to create Google Classrooms at each grade level, where they will deposit links and assignments in the event your child is absent from school and wants to stay up to date.
FOOD AND DRESS
I greatly appreciate that you are providing nutritious lunches in the absence of a school cafeteria and microwaves. I am also seeing more students dress for outside activities as we are conducting classes outdoors as much as possible. A reminder that formal uniforms are not required at this time; we want to see the informal TLC polo/golf shirts, and layered clothing choices to support physical activity during colder weather. Good footwear and a water bottle is essential.
MEET THE TEACHER
We are not gathering in large groups or inviting parents/guardians into the school at this time, but we still will have a Meet the Teacher event, most likely in a virtual or online format by the end of September. We will let you know the specifics once we have had a chance to finalize our planning.
My current understanding is online hub classes are scheduled to start on or about September 14, and I am very excited for our students who are registered.
We are optimistic with how well the students are learning and adhering to the safety protocols. They arrived with excitement and anticipation and this has renewed our passion as their teachers. Over the next few weeks, we will review and reflect on what is going well and what we might revise to best support our students.
I wish you a wonderful fall week-end. It has been so nice meeting and reconnecting with students!
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