Dear Sunalta families,
Welcome back to all of our returning Sunalta school community and a warm and friendly welcome to our families new to Sunalta school. I hope everyone has had a rejuvenating summer with time outside and moments of laughter and fun. It is exciting to be preparing for the 2023-2024 school year and Sunalta parents and staff are working together to create some exciting opportunities for our students.
This year our lunchroom supervision will be provided by the CBE and therefore I have hired 7 new lunchroom staff. They are looking forward to meeting all of our students and joining our exceptional community.
Sunalta School is pleased to have the Student Care Sunalta out of school care providing childminding before and after school. All students enrolled in after care must go to the program. If you are choosing to pick your child up after school, you will need to pick them up from the aftercare doors and sign them out. Also, a reminder to please not park in the staff parking lot.
Our teachers will return on August 29 to prepare for the return of our students on August 31 and the office will be open beginning Monday. You should expect to receive an email from your child's teacher by the end of day on August 30. This will include a warm welcome, instructions for the first day of school and several important items regarding school and classroom routines. Students in kindergarten will have a modified schedule Thursday and Friday to allow children to become comfortable and feel secure in the transition to school. Grades 1-6 will stay for lunch (12-12:45pm) unless they have made plans to go home. Please email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are planning to pick up your child at the front doors for lunch, or if they are walking home on their own. Friday will be an early dismissal day and students will need to be picked up at 12:18pm.
I regularly update our school website which includes school hours, calendar, staff, and upcoming events such as school picture day, field trips and assemblies. Please take a few moments to read the information. calendar
Sunalta School council will be welcoming families on Thursday with coffee and conversation. Parents feel free to stop by after students have met their teachers. We want everyone to feel they are part of our school community and find out ways to become involved in upcoming events and volunteering opportunities.
I look forward to getting to know all of our families over the next few months.
There are so many reasons to celebrate as our students, staff and families say farewell to the 2022-2023 at Sunalta School. Each one of us has contributed to the success of this school year and I personally am proud of all the exceptional opportunities have made our school a beautiful place to be, inside and out.
To our grade 6 students, we thank them for their leadership, kindness, and demonstrating the true essence of inclusivity. These students modelled friendship by always inviting everyone, no exceptions, to be part of the Sunalta community. Even in June two students, new to Canada and joining a tight-knit group of grade 6’s, were embraced whole-heartedly by our Sunalta students which made coming to a new country and understanding the culture an incredible experience. This is exactly what makes Sunalta an incredible place to be. Thanks and gratitude to our Grade 6 students as well as our parent farewell committee including Georgie, Gail and Angie for our new Aeroponic Tower Garden legacy gift. We can’t wait to use it as a real-life learning tool.
To our new kindergarten students we look forward to having them as the seedlings of our Sunalta school community. Sunalta greeted them with a special ‘welcome to kindergarten’ day with the opportunity to try out the kindergarten routines and meet each other. Kinder parents were invited by our council for coffee and conversation to begin the next chapter in our welcoming and caring Sunalta culture.
To all of our current students at Sunalta, what an incredible year we have had. We have a lot to celebrate as we have completed a full, uninterrupted year of in-person learning in a long time. Our school focus on developing healthy relationships through understanding ourselves, others, and how we make connections has shown tremendous growth and is a significant area to recognize. Sunalta is known as a high achieving school as well as providing many opportunities to shine in the areas of music and the arts, physical activities, and extra curricular clubs such as sports league, frisbee club, and choir. Each one of our students made a positive impact on our collective well-being by sharing their own ways of developing a healthy lifestyle. Together we have taken a deeper dive into understanding Indigenous ways of knowing and being respectful and curious about how we can honour steps towards Truth and Reconciliation.
To our resilient staff looking forward to a rejuvenating and relaxing summer, your dedication, pride and genuine care of students, families and each other has made a difference in our school community. You are inspiring! It takes endless energy and unwavering collaboration from teachers, support staff, and our amazing administrative assistant, Ms. Kennedy to make a school function efficiently along with kindness and pride. Thank you to our facility operator, Ms. Wang cleaner, Ms Barnes, and library assistant Ms. Haydu for making our school beautiful, shiny and full of great books every day!
To our families, we would not have had such a rich, inspiring, and memorable year without all of your support. Thank you for taking time to talk to your children about their day at school and providing positive feedback to them. Your guidance and affirming support has had an incredible impact on your child. As well, our school council and fundraising society ensured Sunalta students had off-site activities such as tennis, swimming, trips to the Zoo, Heritage Park, Fort Calgary, Rothney Observatory, Alien inline skating, Quest Theatre, Fins Trout Program, Open Minds Stampede School, Drumheller, and many more. Your generosity in supporting every classroom with additional resources, technology, musical instruments and school spirit days brought joy to each of our students. A big thank you to Stacey and Dana, our council chairs, as well as the council executive for their tireless efforts and collective care.
Lastly to our volunteers. Sunalta had 1000s of hours provided by our volunteers. Each one of you contributed your time, your thoughtful care, and most importantly your own personal way of connecting with our students. Thank you for spending time supervising field trips, supporting classrooms, reading to students, and enhancing our library, just to name a few. Thank you for being the exceptional and dependable volunteers. A big thank you to parent Rizza for coordinating volunteers (even last-minute ones) with a calm smile.
As we prepare for summer with time to rejuvenate and create new memories, I want to send my sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who has gave from the heart to make our school year an incredibly positive one with an incredible amount of learning and opportunities to grow. I wish everyone a safe, happy, and adventurous holiday.
Wishing you all an exciting and joyous summer!
The staff and students of Sunalta School are embracing the new CBE Well-being framework through conversation and taking action to understand what it means to be well. In order for us to be able to learn, have positive relationships and feel good inside and out, we are creating our own approach and goals through the Comprehensive School Health Partnership. With strong support from Alberta organization, Everactive Schools and coach Adam Pratt, our students are designing a culture of well-being at Sunalta School. Throughout this year, our goal has been to improve our social and physical environment to create space to play and be together. A group of leadership students organized an assembly to kick off this project. With a stop-animation movie and description of the different types of well-being, students connected and reflected on their own well-being status. Leadership students then created anchor charts to be placed throughout the school with positive affirmations and 'how to destress' cards children could select to try a strategy.
“A healthy school community promotes the holistic development of students in eight dimensions: physical, social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, intellectual, and occupational. While respecting the diversity of each student's unique strengths, talents, and goals… [The curriculum] seeks to empower all learners to positively engage with their peers and community. With a healthy mind, [heart], body, and spirit, students are empowered to experience success at school, with their families, and in their communities" (Physical Education and Wellness, 2022).
In March the leadership team designed a Wellness Hour for students to select a well-being activity such as dance, music, clay art, cartooning, photography, board games, and were multi-aged for students to spend time with other children from their division. It was well-received and students recognized the need to feel good inside out in order to thrive in life. We have intensions to have another Wellness Hour on April 28 with the support from community volunteers. One student stated, “we're learning about how to be friends, eat better, think positive thoughts and get some fun exercise every day".
Developing strong partnerships is another area of focus for Sunalta. For the past two years we have been regularly visitng with Blackfoot Elder Shirley Hill and Lemon Bear to develop an understanding of brain healing with reflection on Mother Earth and embracing who we are through our own spirit. Through consideration of the CBE Indigenous Holistic Lifelong Learning Framework, Elder Shirley has been teaching all of our students have learned about indigenous ways of knowing and connected these understandings to the land around Sunalta. She also brought her many hoops and taught the children how to hoop dance, which was much more difficult than it looks! Her playful attitude was embraced by the students as they learned how hoop dancing is part of healing ceremonies and represents the never-ending circle of life through story-telling.
Our goals this year are to implement healthy school policies, create supportive learning environments, teach students about health and wellness, and develop strong partnerships with communities such as Everactive School.
- Christine McCrory, Principal
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much" Helen Keller
Students, families and staff are excited to begin a new school year at Sunalta! We are looking forward to coming together and initiating the steps to establish positive relationships within our school community. As we open our school to eager faces both new and returning students, our school focus will be on connection and inclusivity through building a safe and compassionate environment. During our first staff professional learning days we took the time to share, to listen, to reflect and then prepare for our students through a wellness and well-being lens. We are looking forward to supporting each other by offering opportunities to have a voice in revitalizing our school culture with empathy and a strong sense of belonging. As we savour the transition to fall, the Everactive Schools program will support us in engaging students to get outside! We will all be learning new cooperative games by strengthening our social skills. Healthy eating, active living, and mental well-being will be a priority for September's back-to-school activities. Learning from the land will also be of significance as we continue to understand Indigenous Ways of Knowing as we return to our neighbourhood parks to delight in some mindfulness moments in nature.
There have been many signs of Spring both in our outdoor classrooms and in our steps as we continue to focus on a sense of belonging as a Sunalta school community. In February, our school recognized Pink Shirt Day, a time to identify how we share and receive kindness and gratitude. Students created 'give a compliment' tear off sheets, designed a mural of children's hands with messages, and classrooms took up challenges to try some new ways of being empathetic and make a difference to others, both in school and at home. We have chosen to continue this initiative for the rest of this school year after extensive positive feedback and a feeling of acknowledgement and belonging.
Our school values off-site leadership experiences and with the support of our parent society, this month our grade 4s and 5s spent full days snowshoeing at Peter Lougheed Park. CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wildlife Society) joined us to build the students, staff and volunteers understanding of conserving nature to respond to the loss of biodiversity and ways CPAWS is protecting public lands and fresh water. www.cpaws.org Students will be considering the information they received from this experience and how they can take action and raise awareness for wetlands, boreal forest, and critical habitat for animals including the woodland caribou and wood bison.
During the week of March 14-18 students at Sunalta took part in a residency provided by Quest Theatre Calgary. Each class was inspired by a piece of Canadian literature and then with the support from the Quest actors, created their own one-act performance. After a week of developmental drama games and learning some of the literacy of drama, we completed a whole school production bas and familiar Canadian books! www.questtheatre.org
Sunalta School is also grateful to our parent society for providing funds to purchase several large planters to be located by the flag pole on the east side of the school. Our intention is to plant some flowers in recognition of Mr. Olmsted (landscape designer of Sunalta) and indigenous herbs and plants. Thank you to resident Glynn White for sharing his knowledge with our school.
Our Sunalta School community is looking forward to an open house for families of Sunalta on April 21. Many parents are excited to have the opportunity to visit the school, spend time meeting one another, and enjoying a school dance and visits to classrooms to experience the culture of our amazing school!
If you have any questions or have an interest in supporting our school endeavours, always feel free to contact us at email@example.com or check out our website at https://school.cbe.ab.ca/school/Sunalta
Happy New Year! It's been wonderful to return to in-person learning on January 10. With the warmer temperatures, students have been spending time outdoors enjoying special opportunities to celebrate the fresh and bright winter season. This has become a regular part of our day as students take time to listen to the stillness and experience our interconnectedness with nature. Children can often be seen marching over the bridge to Shagannapi Park and carefully looking for changes throughout the season. Such a meaningful opportunity to observe and discover an urban city park through the five senses, later creating pictures and poems in their visual journals to describe their feelings and new understandings.
As part of our learning of Indigenous ways of knowing, we have been listening and learning from Blackfoot Elder Shirley Hill (Pretty Sound Bird Woman) from Siksika Nation. Students quickly connected with her messages of 'you are loveable' and the importance of the animals such as the bison, wolf, and horse. Elder Shirley shared stories of the Buffalo days, the bison jump and the need for us to be caretakers of the land (Mother Earth) and respect it and everything connected to Na'a. Our students described their time with Elder Shirley as heartfelt and thought-provoking as she shared cultural protocols to set daily intentions and the meaning of the medicine wheel, Niitsitapi, and the dog days. Elder Shirley also shared historical information about residential schools, truth and reconciliation, and the impact on her own family. As Elder Shirley is a fancy dancer, students took part in a dance opportunity to experience the feeling of dancing to Indigenous cultural music. Sunalta students look forward to spending more time with Elder Shirley and Lemon the Bear later this year. Elder Shirley noted that Sunalta students are exceptionally kind, ask incredible questions, and are very respectful of her culture.
Kindergarten registration opened on January 17, 2022 and we are excited to welcome a new group of students for fall 2022. If you have any questions about Sunalta School, please reach out to us at (403) 777-8590 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunalta School is your neighbourhood community school of approximately 300 students and 25 staff. We've had an exceptional start to our year with positive energy, a growth mindset, and caring opportunities for our school to nurture a sense of belonging within an exceptional learning environment. A warm welcome to our 50 bright and eager kindergarten students and their families. Thanks and gratitude needs to be shared with the neighbourhood families that dug out trees and trimmed all of the shrubbery in our naturalization area, including the labyrinth and amphitheatre. What a gift to return to school with teachers able to bring students to the outdoor classroom. Our annual Terry Fox day was a success as we ventured out into the community for an 'adventure run'. We hope some of you were able to see our students running past your home in honour of Terry Fox and fundraising for cancer research. Many students dedicated their run to someone close to them or to Terry Fox. For the week of September 27, our school will be taking part in discussions and activities to learn more about Truth and Reconciliation. Land-based learning through an environmental focus will be our school intention for this year. We would like to thank Ron Goodfellow, a steward at Shagannapi Park, for sharing the community plan for the area known as a riparian. Our staff learned about the reclamation of the land and the work that has been done to preserve and enhance this natural area. Students love walking over to the riparian and taking time to observe, sketch, discuss, and honour this beautiful space. We love to connect with our community members and are delighted to receive comments and/or suggestions. If you are interested in contacting the school, please email us at email@example.com.
No one could have imagined how our 2020-2021 school year was going to unfold. The never-ending flexibility of our staff to embrace new protocols and safety measures, the ability of our students to adapt and preserve through the challenging pivots from in-person to online learning, and the tireless work of our support and cleaning staff in keeping our school safe, are only a few of the silver linings the Sunalta School community experienced through this challenging global pandemic. As a collective we have a greater appreciation for our historic building at the top of the hill. We love Sunalta School!
Although the school year began with so many unknowns, our students and staff were thrilled to be back in-person. The challenges that we all faced together brought us renewed appreciation for our wonderful community of learners. Practicing mindfulness was an school-wide strategy used to support understanding ourselves as learners and how to take care of each other during these unprecedented times. Taking mask breaks outside enabled teachers to leverage the beautiful outdoor spaces surrounding our school. Discovering the Riparian at Shagannapi and learning about the history of the Sunalta/Scarborough Community added to student and staff appreciation of Calgary's history and the importance of caring for our special city and community.
Communication between the school and homes became more vital than ever before and an opportunity to work together to support student achievement was essential. Out of necessity, we discovered new opportunities to improve our digital citizenship skills. Families and staff were required to learn online platforms with new tools and ways of sharing and celebrating learning with families. An extra special thank-you goes to our school council who went above and beyond in providing supports in unique and creative ways.
It is with much gratitude that we offer this reflection. We deeply appreciate the support of everyone who came together to ensure that Sunalta School continued to be a safe, caring and welcoming place to learn and grow. We are excited to welcome everyone back for the 2021-2022 school year.
With Sincere Appreciation,
Christine McCrory & Larysa Hart (Administrators)
Sunalta School celebrates Spring! Students at Sunalta are delighted to be celebrating the signs and symbols of spring that are popping up all over. Classes have been experiencing the change of the season with many holistic learning opportunities such as observing and sketching at Shagannapi Park, building bee boxes, having virtual lessons with science professors and ecologists, and taking time to be more aware of their surroundings. Some of our students have been learning about Indigenous land-based learning and the gifts of Na'a (Mother Earth) with renewal and interconnections between nature and what it means to be stewards of the earth. Once a month a classroom cohort of students creates a special presentation to be viewed through a virtual assembly. Although we are not able to come together in person, we have been celebrating learning through music, student's sharing stories, art gallery walks, guided drawings, dance contests and other ways to bring joy and a sense of belonging. We also want to thank school council and society for all of the support in new library books, laptops, PE Equipment, an orienteering residency, t-shirts for every student, and school spirit gifts!
We are accepting registrations for the fall 2021 school year. Please feel free to contact our school if you have questions about Sunalta! It's a wonderful place to learn and grow. Also, we regularly post updates on our website.
Happy New Year from Sunalta School! I hope everyone is well and had a healthy and relaxing holiday. I have had positive feedback from our staff and students regarding our online learning week. Looking ahead we are excited to welcome our students back to in-person learning on Monday, January 11.
You would have received a message from CBE today reminding everyone of our on-going Healthy and Safety Measures as well as completing the Daily Health Checklist link. Thank you for caring about our school community and keeping all of us safe.
Reminder: Kindergarten registration begins on Monday. It will be an electronic process this year. If you have a child ready to begin Kindergarten, please follow our registration process on the CBE website www.cbe.ab.ca
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I am passionate about educating students. One of the most important aspects of my work at Sunalta School will be to build strong relationships with your children.