Dear Valley Creek families,
Spring is here! We are excited to begin this busy time of year as it brings us much needed sunshine and warmth to help give us a final boost of energy to finish off the school year!
Many exciting activities happened at school prior to a much-welcomed spring break. March 14 to 18 was our Francophone Week and it was impressive to see a lot of participation in the daily themed activities, especially in our younger grades. The Food Truck with poutine and mini-donuts, the Ice Castle Structure and Pi Day were all very popular activities enjoyed by all grades.
Thank you to everybody who contributed to our ‘Kids Cancer Care’ book drive initiated by Paula, in grade 5. We are proud to announce that over 1000 books were collected because of Paula’s project! Great initiative and amazing turnout!
This time of year is also busy on the athletics front. We are currently concluding our basketball house league competition and have started tryouts for badminton. In the upcoming weeks, students will have the opportunity to try out for the track meet and participate in the annual Thermopylae competition. GO CHARGERS GO!
As shared in previous communications, we will not be publishing a formal yearbook this year due to a lack of interest. Any parents who have already purchased a copy will be reimbursed. Cheques will be sent home with students between late April and early May.
We have started planning our schedule for next year. An important part of that process is making sure we know how many students we have so we can staff appropriately. If your child/children will NOT be attending Valley Creek School next year, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing the main office at email@example.com. Thank you for your help!
Finally, a lot of other activities are on the way. Please make sure to mark down these upcoming dates on your calendar:
April 15 – Good Friday: No School
April 18 - System-Wide Professional Development Day: There will be no school for students. This common professional development day is important for our teachers to be able to connect and work with teachers from other schools to share best practices in the current educational context.
April 19 - School Council Meeting: Valley Creek School Council online meeting, 7:00 pm. A link will be sent closer to the date.
May 16 and May 18 - Provincial Achievement Tests: Grade 6’s and Grade 9’s will have their first PATs on those dates. French Language Arts 6 and English Language Arts 9 will be on Monday, May 16. French Language Arts 9 and English Language Arts 6 will be on Wednesday, May 18. Please note that these are the written portion of the PATs and that only students in the French Immersion Program write the FLA exam.
May 26 - New Student Parent Orientation Meeting: We are excited to welcome our grade three parents into the school to attend the grade four orientation meeting. Details forthcoming. Parents of new students in other grades are also welcomed to attend.
May 27 - Grade 3 School Visit: The grade threes from Hidden Valley will participate in a tour of Valley Creek School on Friday, May 27. This will be done during their regular school day. We will make sure to explore every fun corner of the school, including the cafeteria where our soft ice cream machine is located...
Dear Valley Creek Families,
We are proud of our Leadership Volunteers
On February 16 we sent twenty six of our wonderful grade eight and nine leadership students over to Hidden Valley to support their outside Francophonie activities. We received accolades from Principal, Allison Hull who said our students provided incredible leadership as they helped run all the winter activities outside. They had a parent comment how impressed she was when two of the students who are in Grade 9 French Immersion, explained all of the instructions to the students in French, as soon as they realized it was a French Immersion class. They were not asked or told. They just jumped right in, in French!!! We look forward to working more closely with Hidden Valley as opportunities arise this spring.
Next week students are invited to take part in our Semaine de la Francophonie! During this week we will be celebrating French-Canadian culture through activities, music, and delicious food.
Some of the activities this week include:
Monday, the 14:
- Blue, White and Red Day (Colors of the Franco-Albertan Flag).
Tuesday, the 15:
- Tuque Day!
- Bear Balls Food Truck for Grades 4 & 9.
- Ice palace building. Bring in your ice block to contribute to the Valley Creek Palais de Glace!
Wednesday, the 16:
- Chef Day - Rock your apron, chef hat and cooking utensils!
- Bear Balls Food Truck for Grades 5 & 8.
Thursday, the 17:
- French Artist Day - What does an artist look like to you? Paint brushes in your hair, perhaps?
- Bear Balls Food Truck for Grades 6 & 7.
Friday, the 18:
- Celebrating Métis Culture. Today we will take time to learn a bit more about the Métis people and their ties to French-Canadian culture.
- Classes are invited to spend some extra time on the land today.
Parent Council Meeting
Please join us for our monthly virtual parent council meeting, March 15 at 7:00 pm. Mr. Benn Goddard will give a short presentation about our four Spirit Houses (Landslide, Hailstorm, Riptide and Wildfire) and activities. Meeting link will be sent out before the meeting.
Ahead of our regular parent council meeting beginning at 6:00 pm we will be sharing parent feedback provided to us through the school planning engagement survey. Thank you to all parents who completed the survey. Link provided. https://valleycreek.cbedialogue.com/en/projects/valley-creek-school-planning-2022-2023/engagements/school-planning-survey-2022-valley-creek-school/sections/1
Over the past several years, it has been a challenge to sell our yearbooks. In order to make the yearbook viable we should have at least half of our students purchasing a yearbook. This year we have less than 10% of families who have ordered a book. Therefore we have decided not to publish a formal yearbook this year. All parents who have already purchased a yearbook will have their money refunded. Refunds will be sent home in April. Please contact the main office if you would rather received your cheque through the mail.
In lieu of yearbooks, teachers will work with their grade teams to seek student feedback with the possibility of creating a photo montage or memory book for their grade.
We wish all of our families a relaxing and rejuvenating spring break.
Please note this Friday, December 10, is an instructional day in all CBE schools. The CBE switched this non-instructional day with our September 30, Truth and Reconciliation Day.
Although we are now on the downward slide to our winter break, this month is crucial for teaching and learning. Teachers continue to gather evidence of student learning to inform their next steps forward. Report cards will be available to view online at the end of January.
We have a great deal of spirit in our hallways. Our leadership students have worked hard to wrap and tally up our Veterans Food Drive donations. We collected 20 boxes of food and $200 in cash. Thank you for your contributions! Last week they judged classrooms for their snowflake displays. This Friday, homeroom classrooms will compete for additional door decorating points. Soon leadership students will be selling Candy Cane Grams. Students will be able to buy a candy cane for a friend for $1.00 at designated grade level locations during lunchtime. Leadership students will deliver candy canes to classrooms early next week, with proceeds going to the charity of their choice.
Dress-Up Days are Coming next week! Spirit points for participation.
Monday ~ Holiday PJs
Tuesday ~ Holiday Colours (red/green)
Wednesday ~ Ugly Sweater/Socks
Thursday ~ Winter Wonderland Colours (blue/silver/white)
Friday ~ Holiday Characters
Our generous School Council has supported our year subscription to XMovement! XMovement is an online resource that provides teachers, students, and parents access to programs to increase self-awareness and teach coping skills through a holistic approach. Thursday, December 9, is the first of three days where each grade team will participate in a 47 minute workshop. We have two additional workshop dates, January 6 and February 9. Parents are encouraged to explore the site and access any links of interest.
To access, please log in to XMovement (directions attached) using Google Chrome.
Click on At Home Access – the school’s discount code: ValleyCreekAtHome. There is no cost.
We are incredibly appreciative of many families who purchased Funscript gift cards! In addition, with your generosity, the School Council proudly announced $3000 was raised for the school! Mme. Nichol-Tanner’s class is the pizza party winner, as they sold the most gift cards! THIS IS TRULY INCREDIBLE!
As mentioned in our previous message, our school community accepted the opportunity to support six Christmas hampers for needy families in Calgary. As a result, each grade level has collected gift cards towards their hamper. The final deadline for any hamper donations is Monday, December 13, 9:00 a.m. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generous hearts.
Our grade nines have already begun exploring their high school programs for next year. More work will be coming in the New Year to support our grade nines as they prepare to transition to high school.
Thank you for your continued support and feedback. Our students shine when we all work together for their success.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season filled with happiness and love. Enjoy making happy family memories this winter break!
Year-end report cards will be ready to view online Saturday, June 26. Report cards will be available through MyCBE/PowerSchool. Once logged in, select the "Report Card" tab to view the report card. If a printed report card is required, please contact the school.
We have come to the end of an incredibly unique, challenging and fluctuating school year. On behalf of all staff, I want to extend a sincere thank you to our parents/guardians for your continued support, patience, and compassionate understanding while students pivoted from in-person to online learning several times throughout the year.
We are incredibly proud of how our students accepted the things they could not change and embraced living and learning while wearing a mask, sitting in a classroom cohort and following strict COVID safety restrictions. They have all sacrificed their athletic programs, team sports, dances, field trips and special events, and yet they are leaving us with gratitude and a smile.
On behalf of all staff at Valley Creek, I wish you and your family a wonderful, fun-filled summer vacation however that may look this year. We look forward with great anticipation to welcoming all of our students and returning HUB students to a brand new school year in September. Until then, please be well and continue to take good care of yourself and your loved ones. May you all rest, make happy memories and rejuvenate over the summer.
One more time, we can do this. Yes we can!
Thank you to the many families who have done a stellar job at supporting their child through either an isolation or quarantine experience. We understand how shocking and disruptive these sudden changes are for both parents and children. Teachers are grateful for your compassionate support and understanding.
Although we are sad to move everyone to online learning, we know our collective actions will decrease the number of active COVID cases. Thank you for diligently following the new restrictions, so everyone's family is safe and healthy.
As we move online, please know we will do our best to keep learning moving forward and our students feeling connected and supported. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you require additional support. We are anticipating welcoming back all students on Tuesday, May 25!
As students work from home, I encourage parents to be conscious of how their child is feeling. For some students, losing the opportunity to come to school to see friends and socialize will negatively impact their emotional well-being. There is an interesting article I would recommend to you, "Feeling Blah During the Pandemic? It's Called Languising" – The New York Times. This article speaks about why many of us feel a lack of motivation right now.
May 18, we invite you to attend our School Council virtual meeting at 7:30 pm. Valley Creek School is blessed to have a supportive group of parents leading the community fundraising and sharing their voices. We will send out our meeting invitation closer to the date and would love to have more parents attend. Early next week, we will be sharing a collage of the many fabulous resources our School Council has purchased with their fundraising money. We are most grateful and appreciative for their dedication.
Wednesday, May 27, we are hosting a virtual parent orientation meeting at 6:00 pm for our incoming grade four families. We will share information with parents and answer questions about life in middle school. On June 10, it is our hope to have the grade threes quickly walk through the school for a mini-tour.. We will send more information to Hidden Valley closer to the date.
Remember, “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations."
Keep healthy and happy.
Hang on tight; spring is coming
March is usually the month in a school year when we see behaviours bubble up and patience wear thin as we all work to push through the teaching and learning. It's a time when everyone is tired of winter, and although the days start becoming brighter and the sun shines longer, we still long for green grass and warm weather. Our circumstances this year have heightened students' behaviour which is understandable. It is most apparent that our students wish they could break free of the COVID restrictions and long to connect with their friends. Teachers are working to support our students'mental health and well-being for learning. All classes are working on teaching social-emotional learning and resiliency to empower students to evaluate their well-being and consider how their choices affect their ability to regulate, communicate and connect with others to navigate different situations successfully.
“It’s ok to fall apart sometimes. Tacos fall apart and we still love them.” Carly’s Confessions
Share Your Feedback on High School Scenarios
The CBE is launching its next phase of high school engagement.
Two scenarios have been developed to balance enrolment at CBE high schools and offer students access, flexibility and choice in programming given available space and resources. These scenarios are now available on the CBE website.
Scenario development was guided by feedback gathered from parents, staff and students in fall 2019, CBE values and planning principles, available space and resources and other factors. The scenarios represent a responsible approach that anticipates limited space and resources into the future and allocates resources where they will have the most positive impact for students overall.
Both scenarios provide quality learning opportunities that allow students to meet the requirements to complete high school. They do this in three key ways:
1. Provide a more equitable learning experience for all high school students.
2. Maintain a regular program at every high school.
3. Allow for alternative programs and academic enrichment when possible.
We have posted scenario details before active engagement begins so you have time to go through all of it before providing your feedback. Without the full picture, it may be challenging for you to respond meaningfully to the online survey and other engagement opportunities.
You can share your feedback on the scenarios in these ways:
▪ Idea Boards: March 1-17
▪ Virtual Sessions: March 2, 4, 8 and 10
▪ Online Surveys: March 2-17
Visit our High School Engagement webpage for more information on how you can participate.
Parent Council Meeting
Please join us for our next virtual Parent Council Meeting, Tuesday, March 16 at 7:30 pm. A meeting link will be sent home on March 16. We are most appreciative for the support and feedback our parents provide our school community.
We will be holding virtual conferences Thursday, March 25 3:00-7:30 pm and Friday, March 26 8:00 am -12:00 pm just ahead of spring break. Booking information will be sent home mid-March. We encourage you to always reach out to your child’s teacher and not to wait if you have questions or concerns. It is important that we work together with our parents in order to ensure student success.
March 2-17 High School Engagement surveys
March 11-12 HUB Parent/Teacher Conferences
March 12 – System Non-instructional Day
March 25-26 In-school students Parent/Teacher Virtual Conferences
March 29 - April 5 - Spring Break
February 1, we welcome many of our HUB students back to in person learning! It is remarkable when we realize these students have not been inside of their school since March 2020. We are excited to have more of our Creekers in the building.
Viewing Report Cards
Report cards will be available for viewing on Monday, February 1. Please note that viewing of the online report card is only accessible through the MyCBE/PowerSchool Portal. It is NOT a feature of the Mobile App. This semester 1 (S1) report card will be viewable on the MyCBE/PowerSchool Public Portal until schools are ready to make the Y1/June report card available. If you not able to view your child's report card and require a hard copy please contact the office to arrange an appointment to pick one up.
MyCBE / PowerSchool Account - YOU NEED ONE!
Need a Parent Account?
A MyCBE / PowerSchool Parent Account will allow you to access a number of supported technologies and tools at the Calgary Board of Education, including:
- Access to your children's academic information (schedule, grades & attendance).
- View your children's learning using Brightspace by D2L.
- Register for transportation and noon supervision.
- Pay fees online and request waivers.
- Book school conferences.
High School Registration
Grade 9 parents and students have been asking about high school registration and transfer requests. There are some new processes which we will be communicating to families later in February when we know which high schools have open or limited spaces available. 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. Parents and students can look at high school websites for information on virtual open houses/tours. They are encouraged to attend these events to gain a better understanding of what their designated high school and other CBE high schools can offer them. More information will be shared with you in the coming weeks.
Health and Safety Measures Continue
All health and safety measures must continue to be followed at our schools. These include handwashing, face mask guidelines, physical distancing (where possible) and enhanced cleaning protocols. The Self-Screening tool is available here, please use this current list to assess your child before sending them to school. We thank you for keeping your children home when sick and until their symptoms resolve. Thank you for your support.
Finally we can say goodbye to 2020 and look ahead to a new year filled with hope and new possibilities.
As we bring this year to a close, I would like to extend gratitude and sincere appreciation to our families for your ongoing support and encouragement. Returning to school this fall during the pandemic has been described in many ways that now sound cliche but without your trust and support we would not have been successful. Thank you for having faith in us and keeping your family healthy!
Thank you to the families who have generously supported the West Dover Christmas hampers. I know many children will feel very special this Christmas because of your kindness and support.
Thank you also for the many wonderful calorie filled treats that have been delivered to the school for staff to enjoy. So much exercise will be required in the new year.
We are working hard to prepare our grade four to six students for their online learning in January. Teachers will have sent home a timetable for their class to follow. Students will be following their normal daily schedule and have attendance taken each class period. If you have any questions teachers will be available via email to help troubleshoot. Fingers crossed Santa brings everyone the commitment to stay home and honour the restrictions to lessen the COVID curve. We are keeping positive and trust our students will be safe to return to in-school learning the week of January 11.
Please note: we have a non-instructional day January 11 so our Valley Creekers will be returning to in person learning Tuesday, January 12.
In the new year you will be able purchase a 2020/2021 yearbook through your PowerSchool account. This yearbook will be a historical treasure that will hold students' memories of living through this global pandemic.
Winter Solstice is coming December 21 and marks the shortest day of the year. Elders have shared with us that grandfather sun will be returning for longer periods of time each day following, bringing the promise of warmer weather, continued growth and new life.
“May this season find you among those you love, sharing in the twin glories of generosity and gratitude." Oprah Winfrey
Please take good care of each other and wallow in the gift of time.
See you in 2021!
A December to Remember
How would you finish this sentence?
“We will remember 2020 as the year we ______."
At Valley Creek, we will finish 2020 with a sense of appreciation and gratitude for our outstanding students and families. We know our present circumstances are not ideal for our grade seven to nine students, but we continue to be impressed with their commitment to participate in each of their online classes. Our teachers are working very hard both online and in-person to continue the flow of learning and gather learning assessments. We do not want to lose the momentum for the great work done, as report cards will soon follow in the New Year.
Grade six vaccinations for our in-school students will be on Wednesday, December 9. Any grade six HUB families will need to arrange for their child's vaccination at a medical clinic.
All students are encouraged to participate in our upcoming Spirit Days. For HUB students or those learning at home, we invite you to upload your spirit day photos to Ms. Hall's PE Google folder. We are continuing to gather yearbook photos.
Thank you to everyone who was able to donate a gift card for one of our Christmas hampers. Each grade team has been collecting gift cards for their needy family, and we will be delivering our donations to Ian Bazalgette school on Friday, December 4. (It's not too late to drop off a contribution. If we receive late donations we will send them along.)
A reminder for HUB families, if you would like to request for your son/daughter to return to in-school classes beginning February 1, please send us an email before noon January 8. The CBE has stated there will only be a one-way transition from HUB to in-school learning. No students may ask to transition into HUB classes.
January 4 - 8, all students will be learning online and expected to log on for each of their classes. To the best of our knowledge today, students will return to in-school classes on January 11. Valley Creek has a Non-Instructional Day on January 11, so our students will return to us on January 12.
This holiday break may feel very unsettling for families, but our collective actions will have the power to change the course of positive COVID cases, and that makes our efforts very powerful and significant. Enjoy creating new adventures within the confines of your home with those you love. Be sure as parents and caregivers; you remember to give yourselves space and the importance of focusing on self-care. We all need to be gentle with each other and ourselves this holiday season.
We are all looking forward to a healthy 2021!
Thankfully, November is arriving with some warmth and sunshine, but with the change in seasons, we would like to remind everyone to dress for the colder temperatures. Toques, mitts, and boots are all necessary especially when the temperature plummets. We will continue to take students outdoors when possible so please ensure that you have proper outdoor clothing.
We highly recommend all students come to school with a second mask in their pocket or backpack. The office has a limited supply of disposable masks, which we need to save for emergencies. Thank you for supporting us by ensuring your son/daughter carries a back up mask.
If you have not already signed and returned the following forms, please do as soon as possible (forms are on the website under News)
Admirable Use of Technology Policy
Consent for Use of Student Information
Consent for Use for News Media
In the coming weeks we will send home more information about booking your parent/teacher conferences which are set for Thursday, November 19th (3:30-7:30 pm) and Friday, November 20th (8:00 am-Noon). We look forward to connecting with you and sharing your child's success stories.
Stay healthy and safe,
(Hidden) Jason Arrel, Principal
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