Dear Westgate Families,
As the first week comes to a close, we would like to provide you with some reflections on our re-entry, as well as a look ahead.
Most importantly, we want to say how wonderful it was to welcome students back into the school. We would like to extend a huge thank you to you for your ongoing support. The students have shown patience, kindness, leadership and respect as we all work together as a community to follow safety protocols and embark on our exciting new year of learning. We recognize the care and attention that you have put towards supporting your children. Thank you!
One thing that would really help us is to ensure that your child is able to independently open their lunch/snacks. This allows us to maximize eating and recess times and keep the integrity of health protocols in place. Also, please note that we cannot provide emergency lunches and food this year and need to call parents to provide food if lunch or snacks are spilled or forgotten.
Even though it is the end of the first week of school, we are still not able to confirm your child’s teacher. Teacher placement in the HUB has not yet been determined and as a result, we are not able to finalize our staffing at Westgate. We anticipate being able to confirm your child’s classroom teacher early next week. Thank you for your patience.
This is a learning experience for all of us. As we settle into the school year, we will adjust as necessary to ensure that everyone stays safe and that your children have an excellent educational experience. We welcome your comments and feedback.
Wishing you a wonderful long weekend with your families. See you Tuesday, September 8th.
Scott Fehr and Stephanie Leech
Chères familles de Westgate,
As we are about to begin our summer I wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you to all members of the Westgate School community: to parents and guardians for all of the learning support they have provided to their children, to staff for the incredible way they adjusted to the new realities in our lives, and to our students who worked so hard to continue learning in very strange circumstances. Although we don’t know how things will evolve in the next school year we can all rest assured that we have a close-knit and supportive school community that will ensure success for all of our students no matter the circumstances.
We are currently planning for the re-entry in September. As we do this we follow guidance from Alberta Health Services, Alberta Education and the Calgary Board of Education. We are thinking through the various challenges that life in a school of 570 students will pose. We will have more information after August 1, 2020, which is the date that Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education will make a final decision regarding the re-entry model. Through this process I commit to you that we will provide you with clear and accurate information regarding our work to plan and create a safe educational experience for our students.
At this time of year we have to say good bye to some of our staff who have been covering the leaves of other teachers:
Thanks to you all for jumping in in very difficult circumstances and doing such an outstanding job.
We also have to say good-bye to Rhonda Griffiths, our bookkeeper, after many years of service at Westgate. Rhonda’s wealth of knowledge about all things relating to money and the purchase of educational resources will be sorely missed. Rhonda will continue to work part-time at Bishop Pinkham and part-time at Midsun. We wish you all the best Rhonda.
Rachel Goudreau is retiring and today, June 30, is officially her last day of work. Rachel has been an outstanding teacher at Westgate for many years. She is such a fantastic colleague. We will mss her kindness and sense of humour. We hope to see you back at Westgate from time to time in the future. Enjoy your retirement Rachel!
We are excited to announce that Sarah Charlebois will be returning to Westgate after completing her maternity and parental leaves.
I wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer. In French we say “Bon courage!” which means I wish you strength and courage. Take care of yourselves.
Passez un bon été et à bientôt,
Directeur, École Westgate
Good Morning Westgate Families,
I hope you are all doing well. Today marks the beginning of the new online learning education model that the Covid-19 crisis has necessitated. Our teachers have been working diligently to rethink and reorganize instruction so that it aligns with the guidelines provided by Alberta Education and fits within the constraints imposed by physical distancing and the cancellation of classes.
Every Monday morning your child’s teacher will post a weekly learning plan in either D2L or Google Classroom. The weekly learning plan will describe a number of learning tasks that should take approximately five hours per week to complete. Completion of the tasks will allow students to achieve outcomes in Mathematics, French Language Arts and, for Grades 3 - 6, English Language Arts. The size and number of the tasks will differ based on the grade of the student and the learning outcomes addressed by the task. Some will be completed by students in their own time at their own pace. Other tasks will require students to use Google Meet to speak with their teachers and classmates in real time to practice French or receive support.
Teachers have designed the tasks in such a way that parents will be able to support students at home as required. Often this means that some of the instructions are in English although this will vary depending on the grade. Parents and students are welcome to email teachers with questions.
There will be growing pains as we all make sense of this new way of working. As teachers learn more about what is possible they will adjust their weekly plans to match their evolving understanding of learning online. More than ever we need to make sure that we are communicating our questions and concerns. For example, if you are finding that your child is taking a lot more or a lot less than five hours per week to complete the weekly tasks please communicate that to your child’s teacher.
If you have indicated that you do not have adequate access to technology or require paper-based resources we will be in contact with you this week to work out a plan to support you.
Let’s remember to be kind and patient with each other as we travel this road together. We wish you good health.
Scott Fehr Meghan Morden
Principal Assistant Principal
Dear Westgate Families:
Hello from all of us at Westgate! We hope that this message finds you well as you adjust to the new reality we are all facing together now that classes have been cancelled. We have made this short video message to say hello. We miss seeing our students and families face to face and we are looking forward to the time when it’s safe for us to all get together again. Until then, we’d like to share some information with you that may help you support your child and understand some of the details of moving to teaching and learning online.
In response to classes being cancelled and the need to move teaching and learning to an online learning model, the Calgary Board of Education has decided to make Brightspace by D2L and Google Applications (Google Classroom and Google Meet) available to teachers and students. Teachers will connect with students using one of these platforms later this week or early next week. They will provide you with login information so students can access the required application.
At Westgate, Grade 3 and 6 teachers will continue to use Brightspace by D2L as this is a well-established practice for these teachers and students already. They will use Google Meet to speak with students in real time in French.
All other teachers will be using Google Classroom to connect with students and Google Meet as their tool for real time interaction.
Both Google Meet and Google Classroom are part of the G Suite for Education suite of tools that all CBE students currently have access to.
Google Meet is a video conferencing application that enables teachers to host and students to join organized ‘meetings’ in real-time. Teachers can also record meetings and make the recording available to students to view later on. Teachers are able to share their screen and guide students through tasks and/or documents and websites they wish to share.
Google Classroom is an online platform that enables teachers to communicate with their students and assign and work in a safe, manageable, and appropriate way. Students are added in the ‘classroom’ using their CBE G Suite ID (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Privacy, Consent and Online Safety
As with all CBE supported applications, the data and information that is shared is stored within the Brightspace by D2L and the CBE G Suite environments and is not accessible in the public domain. Teachers and students will use only first name and last initial to identify each other. When students use these tools, they must access them using their CBE G Suite ID (email@example.com). Teachers will work with their students to help them understand the ethics of and potential risks of using online tools such as video chat.
It is important for parents and students to understand that these online environments are an extension of the classroom and that behaviour expectations are the same online as they are at school. Students are still expected to follow the CBE Student Code of Conduct, just as they would be if they were attending classes at Westgate.
Teachers will receive support and have opportunities to learn more about Brightspace by D2L, Google Classroom and Google Meet as a way to connect with their students as we all adjust to teaching and learning from a distance.
Students and their families received the School District Use of Personal Information document in Fall 2019 outlining how and why student data is shared at the CBE. Teachers will follow these policies and documents as they plan ongoing teaching and learning activities. If you have a concern with your child using these tools to support their learning, please contact your classroom teacher, Mme Morden or M. Fehr.
We are glad to have connected with students again. We are looking forward to staying in touch with our students and continuing to teach them in this new environment. Thank you for all the ways in which you continue to support your child’s learning, we value working with you.
All our best,
Scott Fehr and Meghan Morden
Dear Westgate Families,
Thank you to all members of our school community for your cooperation and adherence to the guidelines outlined by AHS during the retrieval of personal items. For those members who still have personal belongings within the school, rest assured that they will be safe and available upon our eventual return to school. For those families with medical supplies stored at the office, please contact the main office to arrange for pick up after Spring Break.
Spring Break is to continue as planned for the week of March 23-27, 2020. I ask all Westgate School community members, including our staff, to recognize this is a “break” and is meant to be a time to enjoy family and to stay safe. During Spring Break, I anticipate communication will be less frequent. I still encourage you to check your email for system messages, and I will re-connect with our community after Spring Break. Westgate teachers have been working hard this week to prepare for instruction after Spring Break. They will be in contact with students on March 30, 2020 to begin instruction.
We continue to better understand the unusual and challenging events of classroom cancellation. We do not want to overwhelm students and families with programming expectations or offerings while we settle into day 5 of this new reality. In addition, it is important that consistent messaging and resources are offered to students across the CBE and Alberta. The resources found on the CBE “Learning At Home” webpage have been reviewed by CBE staff and offer wonderful learning opportunities for students to engage in. Again, I encourage everyone to become involved in things that interest them and provide some physical and mental rigor. Maintaining a balanced and consistent routine for children; including regular sleeping and eating times, breaks for activity and outdoor time, and healthy boundaries on screen time are very important to bringing normalcy to our days.
Take a deep breath, be kind to one another and take care of yourself, family and friends.
Principal, Westgate School
Each year Alberta Education conducts the Accountability Pillar Survey from mid-January to the end of February. Alberta Education uses the Accountability Pillar as a way for school authorities to measure their success, and assess their progress towards meeting their learning goals.
The Accountability Pillar uses a set of 16 indicators consisting of: student outcomes such as dropout and high school completion rates; provincial assessments of student learning; and surveys of students, parents/guardians and teachers on various aspects of quality.
At Westgate School, parents and guardians of students in Grade 4 received their survey in the mail from Alberta Education in mid January. Students in Grade 4 and all teachers will complete their surveys online at school.
All surveys are anonymous and ask questions about experiences at Westgate School. The survey is not asking for feedback about Alberta Education and its policies; questions are in relationship to Westgate School only.
Questions on the survey are accompanied by a scale of responses (e.g., Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, Very Satisfied to Very Dissatisfied). Each of these scales includes a Don’t Know choice. If you Don’t Know the answer to a particular question, please skip that question and go to the next one, unless you want your response to count as a negative one.
All parents/guardians receive the English version of the survey in the mail. Alberta Education also provides the survey in Arabic, Blackfoot, Chinese, Cree, French, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog and Urdu. If you would prefer to respond to the survey in one of these languages, please contact the school and a copy will be sent to you.
It is very important that parents/guardians complete the survey and return it to Alberta Education by Friday, February 28th. Alberta Education and the public use the results of the Accountability Pillar Survey to assess satisfaction with the quality of education in our schools. In addition, the Calgary Board of Education uses the information to improve teaching and learning for our students.
Your voice matters. Your participation in the survey helps provide important information on the quality of education your child is receiving. Alberta Education and the Calgary Board of Education thank you for returning the parent Accountability Pillar Survey promptly. If you have questions, please contact Scott Fehr, Principal, Westgate School.
Results will be available in the Annual Education Results Reports, posted to the Westgate School website by November 30 of every year.
Principal, Westgate School
As 2019 draws to a close, I would like to thank our students and staff for all of their hard work over the past few months. While there has been uncertainty about funding for schools, as I write this, there will be no changes to Westgate School’s organization. All of our students will have the same teachers when they come back on January 7th, 2020. I am hoping to share more information with you in the New Year about the impact of funding on Westgate.
We would like to thank families for all the wonderful donations to the Catherine Nichols Gunn School and the Westgate Gift of Dignity. We would also like to thank all the volunteers who helped make the campaign a success by packing and organizing the donations to the Christmas Store. We know that your donations and work will bring much joy to many families this holiday season.
MyCBE / PowerSchool will be upgraded during winter break and will now be unavailable December 20, 2019 until January 5, 2020. During this time period MyCBE / PowerSchool will be inaccessible to parents, legal guardians, and students.
Again this year, parents/guardians will access report card information through the MyCBE / PowerSchool Portal. Report cards will be available for viewing beginning January 7th at 3:00 p.m. It is essential that parents/guardian set up their account if they have not already done so. Instructions for how to set up your account are available on the CBE website at MyCBE / PowerSchool - Creating a Parent Account.
Should you wish to have a printed report card, please email the main office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher, Mme Morden, or me if you have questions regarding your child’s education at Westgate.
A reminder that, Monday, January 6th is a non-instruction day at Westgate School, classes will resume on Tuesday, January 7th.
Westgate is a special place and I feel privileged to be part of the school community. I would like to wish everyone a happy and restful holiday season.
Principal, Westgate School
Bonjour Familles de Westgate,
J’espère que la rentrée scolaire va bien jusqu’à maintenant! From our point of view, the school year has started well and the whole Westgate staff is excited to work with our families to support Westgate students on their bilingual learning journey. In the next couple of weeks, we invite you to two events that will allow you to get to know your child’s teacher and the school community better.
The first opportunity is Meet the Teacher. You have already received information in an email about how to book your conference time with teachers on Thursday, September 19, or Friday, September 20. Mme Morden, the Assistant Principal, and I would like to invite you to “Meet the School Administration” in the school’s Learning Commons. One of us will be available throughout Meet the Teacher to meet you and answer questions you may have about school-related issues. Please feel free to drop in and chat!
The second is the Terry Fox Run, which takes place on Thursday, September 26th at 1:45 p.m. We have just sent an email with more details about this important annual event.
I hope you have a great rest of the day.
Directeur, École Westgate
Calgary Board of Education
t| 403-777-8420 x2123
Chers parents et gardiens de Westgate,
J’aimerais vous souhaiter tous une bonne rentrée scolaire pour l’année 2019/20. I would like to wish everyone a great return to school for the 2019/20 school year! Our students are enthusiastically engaging in learning activities. I would like to extend a special welcome to our families with students in Kindergarten and to all families new to our learning community.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome two new teachers to the Westgate staff:
Grade 1 – Alecia Fraser has joined us from Chinook Park
Grade 2 – Zoée Fenelon will cover the end of Lara Williams' maternity leave until November 6, 2019
We value opportunities that allow us to get to know our students and to make connections with the families in our school community. To build and strengthen these connections, we will have three important back-to-school events at Westgate this year. Next week we will have students in the gym for our annual Welcome Back Assembly. On September 19 or 20th, parents are invited to attend a Meet the Teacher conference with their child’s teacher. On September 26th, parents are invited to participate in the Terry Fox Run with their children.
We have traditionally held a Welcome Back Picnic at Westgate. After consulting Westgate staff I have decided to discontinue this event. As principal, I have had concerns about our ability to supervise students adequately. During the picnic there are many students out on the compound and in the field, some with parents and some without. In this environment, responsibility for supervising students becomes quite ambiguous and it is difficult for teachers to keep track of their students. Also, for many parents it can be quite challenging to get away in the middle of a workday to attend the picnic.
If you have questions or concerns about your child that you need to communicate before the Meet the Teacher conferences please call or email your child’s teacher to share your information. We invite all members of our school community to share their thoughts and provide feedback to the school so that we are able to create the best learning environment possible.
We are excited about the coming school year and are looking forward to working with you to provide a wonderful learning experience for your children.
Directeur, École Westgate
Calgary Board of Education
t| 403-777-8420 x2123