After nearly six months of not seeing students at school, we are very excited to welcome you back to Abe! Grade 11 and 12 students, we have missed you and we are looking forward to meeting our new Grade 10 students! While we are doing all we can to make your return to school experience as near to normal as possible, many things will be different as we continue to operate in the midst of a global pandemic. We are relying on you to work with us to ensure we are able to maintain a safe learning environment and know each of you will do your part.
On August 28, I will be posting our William Aberhart 2020-21 School Re-Entry Plan to the web site. The plan will explain how we are implementing and supporting the health and safety measures as outlined by Alberta Education and the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) within the context of William Aberhart High School. The CBE's 2020-21 School Re-Entry document provides detailed information for all schools. Our school specific plan will provide any additional information that is unique to our setting. The plan will reflect recent updates by Alberta Education to school re-entry guidelines and we will continue to revise information based on updates by the province.
We look forward to the school being filled with the sounds of learning and laughter once again! Enjoy the last few days of summer holidays and see you soon!
we begin Semester 2, I would like to congratulate you on your successful
completion of the first semester! Grade 10s, you have now experienced how
quickly a semester goes by and how to better manage your time to balance the
demands of high school. Grade 11s, you started the year feeling confident that
you “know the ropes” and could hit the ground running but the pressure of
gaining early admission to a coveted post-secondary is very real. Grade 12s,
you’re writing your Common App essays and have just finished your first round
of stressful diploma exams. No matter which grade you are in, the pressure to
achieve success can be overwhelming.
the greatest challenge this past semester has not been learning how to solve a
quadratic equation or how to write a compelling essay or defensible lab report.
For many, the greatest challenge has been achieving some semblance of balance
and this is the most important lesson of all – both in school and in life. Many
believe that those who are most determined, work the hardest, and persevere
through life’s challenges are the ones who succeed. Recent research in the
field of resiliency actually refutes this thinking. When it comes to resiliency
– the ability to bounce back in the face of challenges or adversity – the support
we get matters as much, or more, than our individual ability to “tough it out.”
Michael Ungar of Dalhousie University’s School of Social Work and head of the
Resilience Research Centre says, “The person who relies on them self only
succeeds if they have very few challenges. When the odds are stacked against
us, the people who do best are those with the most supports.” In his book, Change Your World: The Science of Resilience
and the True Path to Success, Dr. Ungar explains why “self-help” or “pulling
oneself up by the bootstraps” often fails and the research behind what really
Ungar’s research indicates that “those who thrive do so largely because of
their environment and the resources they have been able to access” and that
“resourced individuals tend to do far better than rugged individuals.” In other
words, personal characteristics such as grit, determination and perseverance
can only take us so far. Dr. Ungar emphasizes that the “environment around us
and the resources we’ve been given play a huge role in whether or not we’re
successful. Grit and individual motivation is one thing, but it’s not usually
enough to create change. You need an environment that makes it possible for you
to change and grow.” In other words, “resilience depends more on what we
receive than what we have.” We should never feel uncomfortable or ashamed to
seek help from others or to access available resources.
Abe, we are committed to creating a learning environment that is supportive of
your individual needs and we don’t just want our students to survive but to
thrive! The science of resilience emphasizes the importance of “external
factors and opportunities that spark change, not some kind of internal
fortitude.” There are many supports available to you at Abe – a.m. tutorials,
flex block, Friday school, counseling, wellness supports (check out our new Zen
Dens), caring and responsive adults and mentors, QSA, engaging clubs and
extracurricular activities. I encourage you to access these resources and use
them to your advantage. However, if there is something missing, I challenge you
to let us know what you need.
than trying to find the inner strength to endure the challenges you experience,
Dr. Ungar says to “alter the world around you so it is more supportive of your
needs.” I believe that when students and adults work together to create a
supportive learning community, we will shift our school culture in a way that
drastically improves the quality of life and well-being of both students and staff.
How great would it be if everyone were to take ownership of making
our school community a more supportive place where everyone can access the
resources they need to thrive?
February 7 is our first “OrAnge Time” in Semester 2. At that time, you will
have the opportunity to take an anonymous survey where you may indicate what
else you need to thrive at Abe. If you have a “spare” during Period 4, you may
take the survey in the Learning Commons. I also invite you to share your ideas
through conversation. You are always welcome to drop by the office to see me
and let me know how we can strengthen the services and supports you need to
Wishing you a well and successful semester!
Ms. A-J Principal
Change Your World: The Science
of Resilience and the True Path to Success is available from
Sutherland House Press at sutherlandhousebooks.com
taken from DalMagazine, Fall 2019. You
Can’t Make it Alone. Dr. Michael Ungar on the surprising truth about
resilience by Dawn Morrison with files from Colleen MacDonald and Sutherland
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year and to the “House of OrAnge!” One
of the most frequently asked questions from new Abe students is,
“Why Orange? Are we a colour or a fruit?”
OrAnge is an attitude – a state of mind!
The blend of red and yellow, orange is a mixture of the energy
associated with red and the happiness associated with yellow. Orange is
associated with meanings of joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, enthusiasm,
creativity, success, encouragement, change, determination, health, stimulation,
happiness, fun, enjoyment, balance, freedom, expression, and fascination.
Orange promotes a sense of general wellness and emotional energy that should be
shared. Colour theory studies show the colour orange can create physical
effects such as increased hunger, heightened sense of activity, increased
oxygen supply to the brain, increased contentment, and enhanced
assurance. Orange is also said to help aid decision making, and enhances
happiness, confidence, and understanding.
Abe students embody all these positive characteristics of the colour and
what it represents. We are OrAnge! Whether it is Academics, Athletics, the Advocate, DebAte Club, the Fine
& Performing Arts, GSA, or the many social Action initiatives our students
embrace, the OrAnge spirit is reflected in all we do and there is something for everyone
at Abe! As we commence a new school year, I encourage you to find your
niche and get involved. Believe it or not, three years go by in the blink
of an eye and your high school experience is, in large part, what you make of
it! If you don’t find your place of belonging right away, please talk to
us. We’d love to help you make connections with like minded peers through
clubs, committees or sport and if you’re interested in starting something new,
we’d love to hear that too!
I look forward to meeting you or reconnecting and am excited about the
year ahead. It’s going to be Abe Awesome!
Together, we put the “heart” in Aberhart!
As we wind down the last week of classes before the
Winter Break, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you & your families
a peaceful and joyous holiday! We look
forward to coming together as a school community on Friday, December 21st,
to celebrate a long standing Abe tradition . . . Turkey Fest! Classes will end at noon and staff and participating
students will enjoy a turkey dinner, catered by the Culinary Arts students at
James Fowler High School. One of our entrepreneurial
students, Sedrica Doerksen, will also be selling homemade sweets at the event
so bring some pocket change if you have a sweet tooth!
Students are encouraged to take a healthy brain break
over the holidays. When we return from Winter Break, there is a week of classes
from Monday, January 7th to Friday, January 11th followed
by the exam period (January 14th – 30th). There are no exams on January 17th
and 18th. These are optional
“flex days” where students have the opportunity to plan how they will use their
time in the most constructive way to meet their individualized learning
needs. To allow students to make
informed choices, each discipline will provide a schedule of learning
opportunities such as tutorials, review sessions and study skills workshops which
will be posted to the web site and in the school. Students Report cards will be available
in PowerSchool on Thursday, January 31st and will only be printed if
requested. The January report card will
provide a summative grade for each course completed in Semester 1.
Once again, I wish you a wonderful holiday & look
forward to welcoming the students back in 2019!
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