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!
Weekly Up-Date August 31, 2020
We are excited to welcome you back to school this week! A few reminders as you prepare for staggered entry this week:
First, my apologies as our supply order is late arriving. If students can bring a small notebook or some paper to write down a few notes, and a pencil or a pen, that would be very helpful.
Please remember to wear your informal uniform and a mask (bring an extra one), bring a lunch, a snack, and a water bottle. Keep in mind that you will not have access to a microwave or hot water at school. I also strongly recommend that students always have a book to read.
STUDENTS REGISTERED IN HUB ONLINE LEARNING DO NOT NEED TO COME TO THE SCHOOL AT ANY TIME. Students taking HUB online learning will receive instructions at a later date.
Students not in HUB:
Tomorrow, Sept. 1: Grade 6 ONLY, full day.
Wednesday, Sept. 2: Grade 7 ONLY, full day
Thursday, Sept. 3, grade 8 and 9 ONLY, full day
Friday, Sept. 4: ALL grades, early dismissal day.
Parents should have received an e-mail today with the name of their homeroom teacher and students in grade 6 and 7 will meet their homeroom teacher on the school field for their first day of school. Don't worry if you don't know your homeroom teacher, there will be lots of teachers to provide assistance this week. Students in grade 8/9 will proceed directly into the school using the rotunda entrance.
Welcome Back! J
Hello SWL Families,
On behalf of the school faculty,
we wish you and your loved ones a fun, safe and healthy summer!!!
I want to thank you for your
incredible support of your children this year and in particular, over the past
three and a half months. Without your partnership and commitment their
learning experiences would not have been as valuable as you helped make them.
At SWL our current focus is on
planning for re-entry in the new school year and we have plans in place for the
three re-entry scenarios issued by the Alberta Government. Please know
that we will be providing regular updates and information as our plans for
re-entry evolve, particularly after August 1, 2020. Student and staff
safety remains paramount during this pandemic and at SWL we will be
incorporating a multitude of measures to keep our school safe. While as a
school we will be vigilant in this endeavor, this will require all of us in our
learning community--------students, parents, partners--to do our parts.
We are saying good-bye to Mr.
Cousin after 10 years of service to SWL. He will be dearly missed and we are
grateful to have had him at SWL. We also wish a fond farewell to
Mr. Ng who served students in a temporary teaching assignment this year.
It is with pleasure that I officially welcome Mr. Smith as a grade 7 Humanities
teacher and Ms. Araki who comes to us with a wealth of experience in English
SOME RE-ENTRY ANNOUNCEMENTS
SCHOOL UNIFORMS FOR 2020
Students will NOT be required to wear
a formal uniform on Mondays to start our year in September. As a TLC
community, we greatly value the uniform, but because we cannot change out for
PE/Gym class until restrictions are lifted, we request that students wear their
informal uniform (crested golf shirt, navy pants/leggings) each day so that we
can focus on academics and provide exercise opportunities to students.
We will let you know when to
purchase formal uniform pieces.
Parents do not need to purchase
school supplies to start the year. My understanding is the CBE is
implementing a student supply fee to minimize the effort for parents to arrange
the purchase of supplies. We have supplies on order to provide to
students on the first day of school.
More announcements will follow in
late summer/early fall. Together, we will make the 2020-21
school year a valuable and enriching learning experience for students who attend
SWL. Until then, stay safe and enjoy summer!
I have enclosed a letter from the
Education Director, Ms. Unruh, who oversees the TLC Alternative
Programme. Specifically, all TLC schools have increased their hours of
French Instruction toward a goal of 95 hours per year and we will continue to
explicitly teach Character Education at SWL. TLC schools are also
directed to make changes to Music programming for our grade 6 students who will
now take General Music in grade 6 and begin full instrumentation (Band) in
grade 7. We were able to purchase the necessary resources to support this
change in programming and have decided to begin grade 6 General Music this
TLC Parent Letter (002).pdf
The Alberta Government’s 2020-21
Re-Entry Plan was introduced to the public yesterday and it appears, at this
time, that parents and educators will be informed on August 1 as to what
school/education will look like in September 2020. Fingers crossed that
we do well in flattening the curve in our province and we see children and
staff in schools with optimal safety plans and considerations in place.
Teachers are finalizing report
card grades this week-end and we are able to make report cards available to you
online as of June 26. I would like to thank the students and parents,
once again, for working closely with us to support your children in an online
learning environment. They did quite well as did the teachers! Nice work
SWL community! We will continue to provide lessons and activities in our
online classrooms until June 26 and students are encouraged to complete as much
as they can in preparation for next school year.
If you have any questions about
the content of Director Unruh’s letter, please feel free to contact me.
Currently we are preparing a
virtual welcome for our incoming grade 6 students and a little tribute to our
grade 9 students who we are saying good-bye to in a few short weeks.
As always, I wish you health,
safety and happiness as we navigate our transition into summer during these
Hello SWL Families,
The sun is shining today providing a spiritual uplift and a
great opportunity to enjoy being outside, albeit from a safe social distance
from each other. A reminder that Friday, May 15, 2020 is a
non-instructional day so there will be no Google Meet sessions or online
classes taking place. Also, Monday, May 18, 2020 is a statutory holiday
so there will also be no Google Meet sessions or classes.
Please ensure you phone or e-mail the school if you have not yet
scheduled a time to return school property, such as textbooks, library and
music books. We are in the process of issuing school based refunds and
getting these out to you as quickly as possible. Starting Wednesday, May
20, all refunds will be finalized at the school level and unreturned materials
will be deducted from any refund monies owed to you. A great time to have
your kids clean their closets and under their beds to find any books and
supplies that belong to the school.
A final reminder as well to parents who have unpaid school
fees issued in September. Payment of fees can be made online or by phoning or
e-mailing the school to schedule an appointment. The school phone number is (403)
777-7370 or you can simply reply to this e-mail and it will go directly to Mrs.
I want to congratulate and encourage SWL students to keep
participating in their online classes and checking in with their teachers
during tutorials and Meet times. The overwhelming majority of our
students are engaging with teachers, peers and doing their best to learn the
key essential topics and concepts that remain in their curriculum. We are
excited about next year and I am in the process of finalizing the school budget
and meeting with staff to equip our school for some exciting experiential
learning in 2020-21. We will also take the time required to review and
cover any key concepts our students need to be successful in their next grade
level. Tomorrow, teachers will engage in professional dialogue in their
learning teams to discuss ways and means to enhance the online learning
experience for our students. Onward and forward!
If you are having to reconsider attending Sir Wilfrid Laurier
TLC Program in 2020-21, please e-mail or phone the school and we can answer any
questions you might have about the TLC program or help you with the transfer
process. At this time, we have 519 students registered, which is
fantastic, and a healthy call back list.
It goes without saying that we are always here to support you
and the school is far too quiet these days. Enjoy a lovely and
well-deserved long week-end.
Can be found at this
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