It was a fantastic week back to school as we welcomed new and returning staff, and over 500 students to the Stanley Jones/Alice Jamieson Girls' Academy community. The first few days have been ones of excitement, apprehension, and anticipation as new and returning students walked through the doors. Teachers have been busy building connections in the classroom as we begin our journey together into a new school year - the pride of community was evident in every corner and conversation.
Our learning this year will focus on our vision as we work to support a generation of young people who care deeply about the land, human rights, and their education.
In the upcoming weeks we are excited to begin offering many learning opportunities for students, including athletics and field trips – stay tuned for more information as we get up and running.
Krista Bartlett, Principal
Our first few weeks of school have been very exciting as we welcomed back students and staff to Stanley Jones School. It is wonderful to see our students engaged in their learning, and it has been very fun to see the volleyball team practicing again. It is also wonderful to see our music and band room returning to a classroom space and hearing the excitement as students play their instruments again.
We continue to work with health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone as safe as possibe. Students still need to complete the covid daily checklist. It students exhibit symptoms they are directed to stay home, seek appropriate health care advice (e.g. call 811) and complete the checklist before returning to school.
Lunchtime - we have two lunch hours. Stanley Jones is from 11:15a.m. - 12:00p.m. and AJA is from 12:00p.m. - 12:45p.m. AJA students in grades 7-9 are permitted to go off campus at lunch. Please be mindful and respectful of our community store owners and local businesses.
Thank you to all the students, staff, families, and community members, for everything you do to make Stanley Jones School a great place to learn! We are excited to see the wonderful and amazing things that this school year will bring!
Andrea Sarson, Principal
Hello SJ/AJA families,
I hope that all of you were able to stay warm and cozy on the weekend. With the new change in weather, we would like to remind everyone to dress for the colder temperatures. Toques, mitts and boots are all necessary. We will continue to take students outdoors when possible so please ensure that you have proper outdoor clothing.
We would like to highlight our first two Celebrations of Learning. Ms. Burke and Mr. Siddle’s classes shared important learning with us about World Mental Health Day on October 10 and Ms. McCartney and Ms. Fung’s classes shared their presentation about International Day of the Girl. Both of these virtual celebrations of learning emphasized our sense of belonging here at Stanley Jones. Each class created a video and some lessons to be shared with all of the classes k-9. This is a wonderful way for all of us to ‘see’ into each other’s classrooms and learn about important events related to human rights.
Mask wearing continues to come up as a topic of discussion! Some parents may wonder, why are students wearing masks all day? Students are free to remove masks when outside or during strenuous physical activity, as long as we can maintain physical distancing. Staff encourage the students to physically distance if they want to remove their mask. Students do choose to continue to wear their masks outdoors most of the time so that they can be closer together. In our classrooms, students sit in rows, facing forward, and sometimes they are able to remove their masks. We do require students to wear their masks when they are in the hallways. With the increased number of cases it is important that we continue to be safe and cautious.
With respect to sanitization, students are able to use hand sanitizer and/or wash their hands in the sink. Not all of our classrooms have sinks in them so it is important that students use the sanitizer that is provided at school. Depending on the situation, students sanitize or wash their hands regularly: activity in the classroom, travel within the school, if they are eating, if they have used the washroom as examples. Some students are affected more than others by these safety measures and we do our best to be sensitive to individual needs.
Staff are beginning our work on our School Development Plan and we will be sharing this with families by the end of November.
Wow! Thank you so much for your continued support. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the most special school community. Over the past few months our inboxes have been flooded with thank-you messages, kind words of support and encouragement, some photos, and a lot of humour. Your work at home as parents and guardians has made our work here so much more enjoyable. #weareallinthistogether
We wish to say a fond farewell to the students and families in grade 6 and 9 that are moving on to new learning environments next year. We wish you all the best and please stay in touch.
We are keeping our hearts and minds filled with hope and optimism for next year. As a staff, we have been very focused on how to provide the very best learning for all students when we return in the fall. Please know that our planning and preparation for next year has been in the works for quite some time already and you can be rest assured that we will be re-energized when we return.
We will do our best to communicate as much as we can, in a timely manner, as we find out more information for the school re-entry plan. The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 1.
We wish you all a wonderful, safe summer.
Andrea & Meghann
Hello students and families,
June has given us plenty to reflect on with
the pandemic and important conversations about racism. With regards to the
pandemic, and with schools closing for summer soon, there remains some
uncertainty regarding our return in September. As we continue to receive
information from the Education Minister, I will continue to inform you about
our re-entry plans. For this reason, please ensure that your contact
information is up to date. Additionally, please rest easy knowing that the
staff is working hard here at establishing new ways of engaging students in
learning. We are so excited about what the 2020-2021 school year brings us and
we hope you are enjoying the land-based learning experiences that the teachers
have been sharing with you recently.
During our weekly staff meetings, and in
our smaller weekly team meetings, the staff has been engaging in important
discussions about racism and how we can best engage the students in
conversations that are meaningful and inspire a welcoming, caring, respectful
and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of
belonging. We strive to educate and provide opportunities for students to
participate in respectful conversations; we acknowledge that there remains room
for improvement. Thank you very much for your positive feedback about the
conversations your children are having in their online learning environments.
Indigenous Peoples Day – June 2
National Indigenous Peoples Day and History
Month is a time to celebrate the diverse histories, languages and cultures of
Indigenous Peoples that enrich our province.
The CBE Indigenous Education team has been
seeking guidance, wisdom and teachings from Elders and community knowledge
keepers regarding cultural protocols. These teachings have been shared orally.
Education is a holistic lifelong process rooted in Indigenous knowledge,
language and culture. To find out more about CBE’s Indigenous Education
Strategy, check out https://cbe.ab.ca/programs/supports-for-students/Pages/Aboriginal-Education.aspx
We certainly miss seeing you and your
children! Thank you for staying in touch and sending your positive messages.
Last week we celebrated Mental Health Week by encouraging students to get outside and learn
from the land. Some teachers may have shared stories with students, some students were sent
on scavenger hunts and others were asked to look for indigenous plants in their community.
We hope that these learning experiences brought some joy and provided good dinner table
Refunds are coming! Thank you for your patience as we reconcile this process. We have started
to write refunds for School Fees (Cancelled fieldtrips and course fees) and they will be coming
to you via Canada Post in the form of a cheque. If you are expecting a refund for Transportation
and/or Noon Supervision, these will be a separate refund sent out by Central Fee Department
of CBE. If you still owe Central Fees, or have outstanding fees for fieldtrips and/or course fees,
you may pay these online through your account.
It is hard to believe that it is almost the middle of May. This is the time of year when students
celebrate their learning, noting important accomplishments and highlighting their new
knowledge. I encourage you to take some time to celebrate your children’s learning this week!
This is also the time of year when staff celebrate their learning and start planning for next year.
There is a non-instruction day on Friday, May 15 so there will be NO SCHOOL for students. Staff
will be working together (via Skype), using their creativity to come up with new ways to
organize the school for next year, considering new possibilities and sharing ideas. We do this
together as a school-based decision-making opportunity. This is just the beginning as we will be
working on planning and organizing for next year right up until June 30!
There is also NO SCHOOL for students on Monday, May 18 – Victoria Day!
School Re-entry survey - ASCA Survey on 2020-21 School Re-entry Planning Alberta Education is
seeking input from the education community regarding school re-entry planning for K-12
students in the 2020-21 school year. The deadline for input is midnight on May 14, 2020. The
survey is for all parents in the school community. All parents with a student in the school can
submit input. Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) has been involved in preliminary
consultations along with other partners in education, primarily presenting policy perspectives
on health and safety. Representing parents on school councils in Alberta, it is important that
ASCA collects a provincial perspective on this matter. Survey Link -
Lastly, thank you to all of you who are sharing your learning from home with us. We love seeing
what you do with the learning tasks, sending in photos, new questions, and even some creative
Andrea Sarson, Principal
Conversations are powerful teachers. They shape our identities, thoughts, beliefs and emotions. They engage, motivate, and challenge. They help us build ideas, solve problems, and communicate our thoughts. They teach us how other people see and do life; conversations strengthen our comprehension of new ideas and can lead us to processing and pondering ideas for hours, days, and even years. We are the products of thousands of conversations!
So, what exactly are academic conversations?
Academic conversations are sustained and purposeful conversations about school topics. (Zwiers & Crawford, 2011). These topics vary widely, ranging from themes in Charlotte’s Web to isolation in Japan, from the role of media in constructing gender norms to the debate on the use of stem cells. Regardless of topic or content area, there are five core conversation skills that we are focusing on as part of our literacy work: elaborate and clarify; support ideas with examples; build on and/or challenge a partner’s ideas; paraphrase; and synthesize conversation points. These skills work together to help students focus on and explore important questions, ideas, or topics. These skills empower students to communicate well in a variety of situations such as: class discussions, small groups, social gatherings, and family interactions.
As a staff, we have been working on designing tasks that promote academic conversations. We want our students to do more than just talk! We want our students to engage in dialogue and discourse about meaningful topics. Recently, we received a grant to purchase a number of new books for our Learning Commons. We have been extremely thoughtful about the types of books we have selected; ones that honour diversity and represent the full range of uniqueness that our students provide! These books will center some of our academic conversations. Stay tuned for more information about a list of books that will soon hit the shelves in our Learning Commons! This is very exciting for our school!
It is inspirational watching your children grow in their communication skills. We have been very proud of their risk-taking and willingness to try new things.
Dear SJ/AJA families,
There are many ways for teachers to engage students in
meaningful learning experiences. One of those ways is by hosting
thoughtful conversations that inspire a sense of community.
Each individual student benefits from a good conversation,
situated in learning about something new and exciting. When we share
different experiences we discover our collective wisdom and we see how we can
solve problems together. For these conversations to take place we have to
practice several new behaviors.
When students are participating in sharing circles they
acknowledge one another as equals, they stay curious about the topic and each
other, they recognize that listening is just as important as talking, and they
slow down, think, and reflect.
According to Margaret J. Wheatley, “…conversation is the natural
way that humans think together. Life doesn’t move in straight lines and
neither does a good conversation. What’s important is that everyone’s voice
gets heard and that everyone feels invited into the conversation.” Each
child’s idea adds a different element. We have to be willing to listen
and to be curious about each diverse thought and in the end we might be
surprised about how much we all share in common.
As a staff, we are providing opportunities for students to
share, listen, think and reflect about what it means to be welcoming, caring,
safe and respectful. Ask your child about what they talked about
today! What did they learn? Who do they have a little bit more in common
with? How are they helping Stanley Jones School/Alice Jamieson Girls’
Academy to be a welcoming learning space for all students?
Ms. Andrea Sarson, Principal
Dear SJ/AJA families,
It is hard to believe that it has already been just over a month
since I started in the role of Principal at Stanley Jones School. Thank you so
much to the students, staff and parents for my warm welcome to the community
here at SJ/AJA. Thank you to those of you who made it to “Meet your new
Principal” last week. I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming weeks
I am passionate about learning and I believe strongly that our
work at Stanley Jones School is to ensure the success of every student, every
day, without exception. Together, our school will continue be a place of
celebrated learning and exciting challenges to engage our entire school
community. As principal, my door is always open and I welcome your suggestions,
ideas or feedback!
Andrea Sarson, Principal
Students had a wonderful morning of Wellness. From drumming - to origami, ultimate frisbee to football, colouring intricate pictures to Ted Talks about wellness put on by students, everyone had an opportunity to find what worked for them to help them feel happy, healthy and connected to their community. Students expressed how great it was to do something healthy with the whole school and wondered when we could do this again.
As a principal, I was so impressed when I asked how many students would like to help clean up the Renfrew Community while on our neighborhood walk. I didn't have enough garbage bags or gloves for the number of students who wanted to give back to the community that supports their school. I'm incredibly proud of the character and citizenship our students display on a regular basis.
Our Murals are now on full display along 8th Ave NE and our Ryan Willert "Buffalo Head" is the first thing everyone sees when they walk into the Learning Commons. Mr. Stan Phelps and Mr. Willert will be at our Grand Celebration May 1st at 1pm. Please join us if you can. Note that we are inviting the media to this event. If you have not signed off on the CBE third party media form, your child's teacher has sent this home today. We will do our best to keep students out of camera shot but cannot guarantee this.
Finally, there is plenty of learning left to complete this year and we need your help in keeping your child focused on their studies as the days get longer and the weather warms up.
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