Jun 25
Year End Message

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.

Instructions


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.

Proud Principal,

Sheilagh O'Dwyer​


May 06
May Principal's Message

​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.


Proud Principal,

Sheilagh

 


Feb 28
March Principal's Message

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.  


Parent/Teacher Conferences

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.


Important Dates

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​


Jan 31
February Principal Message

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.

LINK: https://sis.cbe.ab.ca/public/createaccounthelp.html

 

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.​


Dec 20
Principal's Message

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!

Sheilagh

Proud Principal​


Dec 01
December Principal's Message

​A December to Remember

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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!  

Proud Principal,

Sheilagh O'Dwyer

Oct 30
November Principal's Message

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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,

Sheilagh

 

Oct 07
October Principal's Message

Mother Nature has been very kind to us this fall, and we are appreciative of the opportunities we have for learning outdoors in this beautiful community. Our classes are finally feeling settled, and we are now digging deeper into the work of learning who our learners are and knowing how we can support their well-being.

Laura Yip (Student Services) and Lynda Connolly (Ed Assistant) are on temporary leave until November. Stephanie Sellar will be covering Laura Yip's portfolio, and Tiffani Empey will cover Lynda's EA role. We welcome Samantha Thouret, who will take over Stephanie's grade seven and eight math/science and PE classes.  

Thursday, October 8th, our students will participate in our Terry Fox Run during their PE class. The route will be around the backfield within designated lanes for either walking or running. Students who are walking will need to keep their masks on while students running may remove their masks (if they are socially distanced from each other). Our amazing Jenna Hall (Hunt) will be hosting our first school virtual Terry Fox assembly through Google Meet at 9:00 am.  

Thank you to the parents who have signed up online for a phone conversation with their son/daughter's homeroom teacher on Friday, October 9th. These phone calls are an opportunity for you to share any pertinent information you need teachers to know about your child. In November, we will have our second opportunity for phone conferences when the teachers will share more specific student learning information.

​If you indicated on your demographic forms that your contact information has changed, please understand not all changes are complete in Power School yet. Inputting these changes is a labour-intensive task requiring focussed care and attention while all of the other day-to-day office demands also need attention. In the meantime, if you think you aren't receiving information where you should, please reach out and let us know.

Our virtual VCS School Council will be Tuesday, October 20th, at 7:00 pm. Parent Council will share an invitation to parents with a link to the meeting through a School Messenger closer to October 20th. Your participation and input are valued and appreciated.  

Our photo re-take day is Thursday, October 22nd, for students who may require a re-take or missed our first photo day.  

Our school nurse has shared vaccination dates with us. Vaccinations for grade six, seven and nine students will be happening on the following days:

Grade 6—December 09, 2020—AM (Wednesday)

Grade 7—January 07, 2021—AM (Thursday)

Grade 9—January 26, 2021—AM (Tuesday)

If your child is an online HUB student, vaccination information will be shared as soon as it is received.

Thank you to the parents that have dropped off extra supplies and goodies, your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.

Thanksgiving is a special time of year to give thanks for the blessings we have. At Valley Creek, we have many blessings. May your Thanksgiving weekend be delicious and filled with the love of family and friends. Take good care of each other, and please continue to keep healthy!

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Sep 10
September Principal's Message

Welcome Back!

It is lovely to welcome our students back to school and to have their enthusiastic energy in our classrooms!  This is a September like no other.

I want to extend a huge thank you to parents and families for your support and understanding of these new changes, which have assisted us in creating a safe and happy school environment.

This week we received information regarding how many of our students and teachers would be involved with the online HUB learning. We have 119 students from grades 4-9 both French and English participating in the HUB. We have had to designate two HUB teachers from our staff. The implications of these changes impact teachers, the timetable, and several individual classes. 

Beginning tomorrow (Friday), we will be moving students into their new homeroom classes. We no longer will have a split English grade seven and eight class. Students will be reshuffled to be with their grade group. For some students, there will be no change.

Erin Sheedy, our music teacher, and Jeremy Smith, grade seven math/science, will teach in the HUB, and other staff members will teach their classes. We will not be able to offer band this year.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to look for creative ways to provide students with a more normalized schedule while still respecting our safety protocols. We have had to remove any option classes where students share materials such as; foods, construction, cosmetology, band, etc.… Teachers are working together to create options where students can rotate through different classes as much as possible. Students will be with their grade cohorts in these classes. When French students are in their ELA class, English students are taught a curricular connected option in their homeroom group.

Each morning, it is vital families complete a COVID self-screening, and students do not come to school if they are exhibiting any symptoms. We know it is not ideal to be asked to come to the school to collect your child if they show signs while at school, but this is not negotiable. Your child will need to be picked up within an hour and you will be instructed to call 811 for guidance of your next steps.

If you have not already returned your demographic form, please do so to ensure our information is correct – please Sign and Date the form before returning it to school.

PHOTO DAY – is September 15th!

We have been impressed with the resiliency our students demonstrate each day. Their world has been turned upside down, and still they arrive happily and with a smile in their eyes. Thank you for supporting us while we strive to keep our school community safe and learning moving forward. We look forward to working together with you no matter how the year unfolds.  

Sheilagh O'Dwyer

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May 19
May Message

I hope you enjoyed the Victoria Day long weekend. It was a treat to enjoy warm weather and sunshine before our spring rains returned. Each year following the long weekend, I feel we move into our final chapter of the school year. This time of year is always hectic as we design our school plan for the upcoming school year while bringing our present year to a gentle close.

Last week, we received our budget and began to work through the possibilities for next year. Unfortunately, our school took a significant hit financially, resulting in us losing two teaching positions and having less support staff next year. We began considering possible scenarios months ago preparing for the worse case and now find ourselves accepting that we need to reorganize our school structure for next year. All of our conversations and considerations always center around what would be in the best interests of our students. Students will always be at the core of our decision making.

Valley Creek has always been a community of learners, and next year, we will be creating conditions where students will be working together in new ways. We will be combining two classes at grade seven and eight levels.  There will be combined classes on both program sides, English and French.  I am proud to say the teachers taking on these combined classes are highly experienced, open-minded, and creative. By considering more fluid and creative groupings, we feel confident we will be able to support these students and meet their specific learning needs.

We will also be moving to a seven-period timetable (we presently have six periods) to provide students with daily physical education, which we feel is very important. Having seven periods in a day will allow us to offer French Immersion students daily English Language Arts Monday to Thursday.

Dividing a seven-period day is challenging, and we have had much discussion and reflection as to how the timetable should be best divided. We will be sending out a survey within the week asking for parent input regarding our lunchtime break next year.  It will either have to be earlier or slightly later than this year.

Career and Technology Foundations (options) are an essential part of a student's middle school experience. With our new seven-period day, we have more than one-grade receiving options at the same time. As such, students will have more opportunities to explore a broader range of CTF courses.

At the end of the week - students in grades 6 to 9, will receive a personal email asking them to choose a variety of CTF courses (options) that they would like for next year.  We want to provide an opportunity for students to have voice and choice next year. If we don't have enough interest in a CTF course, we will not be able to offer it next year. I would ask, please, for parents to follow up with their son/daughter and ensure they have responded and submitted their choices to us by middle of next week.

Living through this COVID pandemic has forced us to accept a new type of normalcy. It continues to be uncomfortable and uncertain for everyone. Please know we are doing our best to keep student learning moving forward in positive ways. I want to remind you to give your son or daughter permission to step back if they begin to feel overwhelmed. Each family environment is different, and only you know as the parent if your son or daughter is struggling and unhappy. We do not want students to feel pressure to keep up or complete all assignments if it is too stressful or unmanageable. Teachers are continuing to do their best to work from home and maintain the structure and relationships they have created with students while balancing their own family, children, and health. Thank you for continuing to be supportive, patient and compassionate with all of us.

There are many questions about returning in the fall. We will continue to follow the directives from AHS, the Minister of Education, and our Senior Leadership. As we know more, we will share information with you. As of today, we have no new information for a re-entry plan.

A final reminder if you did not order a yearbook and would like to ~ please pop us an email (valleycreek@cbe.ab.ca) to let us know you are interested. Please write "Yearbook Order" in the subject line. In the email, be sure to let us know your child's name and current homeroom. We have received many lovely photos from our students and we will include as many as possible in what will certainly be one of our most memorable yearbooks!

Keep strong, healthy, and happy.

Cheers

Sheilagh

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