“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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Dear Sunalta Students and Families
Our staff and I want to wish all of you a safe and healthy holiday. We hope you enjoy some special moments over the break along with a well-deserved dose of rest, relaxation, and joy. Our school community has worked together to keep our spirits up through care and strength for one another. Make sure to take time to snuggle up with a great book or two and share the gift of literacy! We look forward to seeing you in 2021.
Assistant Principal News! It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Ms. Larysa Hart to the position of Assistant Principal (AP) effective January 25, 2021. Larysa Hart is currently a teacher and Learning Leader at Griffith Woods. Last year she served as a Literacy Strategist in Area 1. She brings with her a portfolio of diverse experiences within the CBE, including inclusivity, early learning, literacy, and assessment. Her passion for student-centered learning makes her an excellent addition to the Sunalta leadership team. Please join me in offering a warm welcome to Ms. Hart.
Thanks and Gratitude: There are so many people to thank for assisting in making our school an exceptional place to learn and grow!
A big thank you to:
- Andrea and Marty for 20 ukulele tuners
- Stacey, Renee and friends for the Holiday Gift bags/fun antlers
- Cindy for organizing and delivering 40 stuffed socks for Warm Feet for the Street to the Mustard Seed
- Amber for the snow shoes pick up!
- Dana for coordinating the Kudos cards
Snow shoes!: Thank you to School Council and Society for 25 brand new pairs of snow shoes! Our students will be enjoying these in January on the school grounds and perhaps at one of our neighbouring parks!
Farewell: We want to wish our 5 amazing University Lethbridge student teachers all the best in their future career. They were a true asset to our school and we will miss them.
First Week Back: A reminder there is no school on January 4 (PD Day) and online learning will commence January 5, 2021. You will receive a message from your child(ren)’s teacher regarding the timetable and other important information. Hub online learning will also begin again on January 5.
Warm Feet Message:
Total dollars raised from both the grade 5 & 6 classes is $285.00! The Grade 5 students were able to give 42 packages of masks (3/package) and the grade 6 class, was able to purchase 42 pairs of wool socks for clients of the Mustard Seed. Thank you so much to the students who stuffed with care and to the parents who donated, to a beloved campaign of ours, sending their kids in with lip balm, Kleenex, first aid kits & ear plugs. - Cindy
Take care of yourselves!
Dear Sunalta Families:
We hope you are enjoying the lovely weather with some outside time as well as staying safe and well. As we flip our calendar to December, our staff are excited to find ways to engage our school in some community building activities and holiday spirit. We kicked off the fun with a Google Meet school-wide narrative read by our office staff, Mrs. McCrory, Ms. Vieweger, and Ms. Kennedy. On Thursday Room 10 (Ms Harnett) led 'Wear a Christmas Hat' day and there were some creative headwear and lots of giggles! Some hats even danced and had sparkling lights!
In other news, our yearly school development plan and school results have been posted to our website. We are proud to be a high-achieving school with strong student leadership and positive relationships. Our staff are continuing to discuss, develop a whole school approach to build student capacity in their understanding of their emotions and how to utilize self-regulation skills. In these challenging times, we want to support our students to continue to develop their own flexibility, their ability to manage their own energy and adapt to be able to deal with stress.
To bring the feeling of joyfulness and celebration our students have organized some school spirit events. A description of the day will be posted on your child(ren)'s online classroom. Make sure to mark them on your calendar and have a wonderful weekend!
Tuesday Dec 8 Crazy Hair Day
Wednesday Dec 9 Backwards Day
Thursday Dec 10 Candy Cane Day
Friday Dec 11 Dress like your favourite 'Misfit' toy
Monday Dec 14 Pajama Day and Jokes
Tuesday Dec 15 The Twelve Days of Christmas
Wednesday Dec 16 Holiday Pictionary
Thursday Dec 17 Christmas Sweater Day
Friday Dec 18 Jersey Day
It has been a warmer week, and our Sunalta students and staff shine inside and out. Their happiness and joy have brought out the best in all of us. Sunalta has a lovely school community that prides itself in being safe and caring, welcoming and inclusive. A guest teacher shared with me, “This school has such a warm and calming feel to it. The students are so respectful of each other and the staff." Our 10 new student-created murals are on the school fence outside. They signify how we stayed together and remembered to think of our friends through creativity and art. With the artistic direction of Ms. Vania D and a grant through the Calgary Neighborhood Grant, the children of Sunalta and Scarboro area truly brought our community together in remembrance of the time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are looking for ways to continue our student leadership opportunities through virtual assemblies and sharing the importance of staying safe and following safety guidelines. This week the students have thoroughly enjoyed the introduction of our new piece of phys ed equipment known as the Gaga Ball pit. Lots of laughter and excitement has been heard throughout the halls and in the gym! What a gift to the school.
School Council: Thank you to Mr. Masuch, Mrs. Harnett, and Mr. Castle (the Quatre-Cinq teachers) for sharing at our meeting in October. It is always inspiring to share our school focus and listen to parents share their ideas and commitment to ensuring students have an exceptional experience at Sunalta school.
Sunalta School Parents Society's annual direct donation campaign is underway! Please visit our new website at www.sunaltaparentssociety.com. If you have any questions about where donations go there is an online budget there, or email us at: email@example.com This year much of the focus is on residencies, technology, supplementary teaching materials, and COVID friendly activities.
Terry Fox Run: We are proud of our school community for their commitment to the Terry Fox Run. Our final total raised for cancer research was $1100.00
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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.