September 2009 • Issue 1 • VOL . 7
The Calgary Science School
Principal’s Message What a great (and busy) start to the year! As I write this article, we aren’t even two full weeks into the year and we have had our new parent orientation evening. Our Camp Sweet meetings, were well attended and we have already had our grade sevens paddling on the Glenmore reservoir. The grade fives have had their family picnic at North Glenmore Park, and now we are packing up to begin our fall outdoor education program at Camp Sweet. Our meet the teacher evening and day at the end of August was very successful. We are confident that it will be a dynamic, challenging, fun-filled year at CSS. I wanted to take the opportunity in my first principal’s message of the school year to welcome the 118 new students and six new teachers to CSS. It is a testament to our pro-
gram and the excellent work of our staff that we had only a 3.6% (18 out of 500) turnover from last year to this. I am excited to see what all of these new people, with their fresh ideas and enthusiasm, will add to our already vibrant community. I am sure that most of our new community members have already discovered the roots of our informal school moto – “It’s never just an ordinary day!”
sion and innovation in an active inquiry-based learning community by bringing learning to life and life to learning.” I believe that, with the assistance of our incredibly supportive parent community, we are making that vision come to fruition. Darrell Lonsberry
I also wanted to use this opportunity to remind everyone that this is the first year under our new charter. We have a new vision statement that I think encapsulates very well what we are working toward: The Calgary Science School inspires pas-
Whatâ€™s in this issue... Principalâ€™s Message................1 Message from the Board........2 Message from the Office........3 Parent Survey Results............4 Message from the School Council.................6 Transportation News..............8 From Your School Nurse.........10 Promoting Intrinsic Motivation............................11 Allergy Awareness.................12 Student Drop-off & Pick-up Procedure..............13 12 Things You Should Know AboutThe CSS Website...........14 Challenge Day.......................15 New CSS Staff.......................16 2009/2010 Staff....................18 Library Report.......................20 Counsellors Corner................21 Musical Notes........................22 Phys Ed News.........................24 Outdoor Education...............25 September Calendar.............26 October Calendar..................27
essage from the Board
On behalf of the Calgary Science School Board I want to welcome everyone to the 2009/2010 school year. We are very happy to once again have such a fantastic community of learners and teachers at the Calgary Science School. This will be our eleventh year of operations as a charter school and our fourth year at our current size of 600 students. Every year we strive to improve upon the prior year and given the exceptional staff we have in place I feel confident we will continue to accomplish our goal. As with past school start-ups we have over 100 students and their parents who are new to the school and may not be familiar with the role of the Board. The Board meets once a month during the school year to discuss a variety of topics. There is a special focus on school operations, facilities, communications, policies and governance. All meeting dates are published in the Spectrum. This first month back at school can be quite hectic given the frequent outdoor education trips trying to take advantage of the nicer weather Calgary can have in the fall. As a result the CSS Board typically will have its first meeting some time in September once things settle into a routine and everyone is back around the school. The public is always welcome to drop by if interested in seeing what we are up to. Enjoy the coming year here at CSS.
Dave Robinson The
essage from the Office
In the event of an absence from school or late arrival to school, parents are requested to contact the school by phone (403-282-2890) prior to 8:45 a.m, if possible, to indicate the reason for the absence or late. If there is no one in the office please leave a voice mail clearly stating the student’s name, class and the reason for the absence or late arrival. In light of the H1N1 pandemic, we will be asking parents for the symptoms of any reported illnesses. Thank you for your cooperation. If you would prefer to email the teacher, please “cc” the office at email@example.com so that we are also made aware of the absence. When students are absent without prior notice, the office will attempt to contact parents by telephone. This procedure is undertaken to ensure the safety of our students. It is also very important that parents contact the office when there has been a change of contact phone numbers. Personal information can also be updated by logging into the website. Students who are late coming to school must report to the office prior to going to class. If your child needs to leave school for any reason, we require a parent to come into the office to sign them out. Your child can sign him/her self back in. The Calgary Science School is a “closed campus”. Students are not allowed to leave during the school day. If students live within walking distance of the school, we will allow them to go home for lunch if we have a signed note from a parent on file. Thank you from your Calgary Science School office staff. Nola, Kathy and Susan
arent Survey Results
In June, 2009, the CSS Parent Survey was created by a parent survey committee consisting of parents and school administration with input from the educational community (teachers, parents, and school committees). Please find the full report on the school website at the following link: http://w w w.calgar yscienceschool.com/publ i c a t i o n s / s p e c i a l _ r e p o r t s / Pa r e n t _ S u r ve y _ Results_2009.pdf This survey was designed to give the school council and the school administration information about the 1) school’s awareness of, reflections about, and involvement in the school council; 2) needs around school networking and parent involvement; 3) school’s effectiveness communicating with its school community; 4) types of parent information-education that would be valuable; 5) school community’s awareness of and involvement in school planning/decision-making, board policies and school initiatives. The on-line survey was designed through Survey Monkey, and the expectation was that one person from each family would complete the survey. This survey was created with authentic questions unique to the school by stakeholders invested in the local school community, and will serve as baseline data for various school
committees and initiatives. There were 298 families that were registered through the CSS Online Registration System (not SIRS) out of 461 registered families that responded to the survey (64.6%). 83.5 percent of these respondents were mothers. The majority of the responses came from the younger grades and from families that were newly admitted in the last three years, in particular, 2008.
Survey Outcomes 1. It appears that the population would appreciate a broader and more varied approach to communication with regards to the matters of school council. 2. There is an identified need to have the school recruit and coordinate various types of parent involvement (through classroom parent representatives), for school-valued volunteer placements (high-profile) and direct classroom involvement. 3. It appears that the school is effective in communicating with the school community around matters of education. Parents appreciate being involved in the school directly and indirectly, and this type of involvement is enhanced through two-way comThe
munication (most notably, emails) and other active communications/invitations made by the school (educators and students) and school council. The greater the sense of current, credible information that is relayed regularly and reliably, the greater the awareness of the school’s work with the larger educational community. 4. Parents are interested in information that is relevant to their children around the topics of teen psychology. 5. The school community feels included in classroom-based decision-making, but is not always aware of their decision-making role in the school as a whole. As well, they are not very aware of the key documents guiding the school in terms of its vision, mission and goals.
Survey Research Trends Around Parent Involvement The emerging themes that continually arose in the numerous responses from parents were the following points. The dominant theme was that this school parent population is very busy, and these parents endeavor to be involved (directly and indirectly) in school activities as it pertains to the following: •
Parents want to dedicate time to their child’s/ ren’s best interests (direct impact on their children);
Parents make themselves available when they have time and for purposes that have relevance/ meaning to their child’s schooling (curricular or extra-curricular);
Parents volunteer in areas that have been highly profiled as “parent need areas” by the school;
Parents volunteer when they have a sense of efficacy in the areas of involvement requested of them.
Dr. Shelley Robinson
Message from your
Food for thought...
Welcome back parents! Summer vacation has flown by and it is so exciting (as a parent) to have the kids back into a routine. To help increase parent participation this year at School Council meetings we are introducing a new element to the agenda: Food! We know - from the parent survey results - everyone is very busy with work and family activities and it is difficult to fit these meetings into our jam packed schedules, but rest assured the meetings will run efficiently while at the same time providing an opportunity for you to socialize and learn what’s happening at the Calgary Science School. School Council undertakes activities that provide enrichment for the school such as first day of school welcome event, CSS clothing sale, staff appreciation lunch, review and approval of student fundraising activities, and communication. Major School Council successes to date are the improvements made by the Transportation Committee (maintenance and scheduling of student bussing) and the construction of the Outdoor Activity Center. School Council meetings include informative reports from the Principal and the Board. There are many opportunities for involvement, in addition to attending the regular school council meetings, sitting on a short-term committee or offering to share your skills with the group. We welcome your participation in any way that works for you. Leann Meronek Chair of CSS School Council
The agenda for the Fall meetings are as follows: Wednesday, September 2nd: Wine & Cheese – AGM/Parent Survey Results Wednesday, October 7th: Chilli Cook off – Boy Smarts Wednesday, November 4th: Death by Chocolate – Girl Smarts Note: All meetings are in the School Library at 7 P.M.
So what is School Council all about? A school council is a collective association of parents, teachers, secondary students, the principal and community representative(s) who work together to effectively support and enhance student learning. It is a vehicle for parents to advise and consult with the principal and to advise the charter board on matters relating to the school. The
Roles & Responsibilities
School Council Positions
School Council Members
President – General supervision of all activities of the School Council, presides at the meetings, liaison with School Administration, and is the official spokesperson of the School Council.
• • • • • •
Encourage participation of parents and representatives from the school community. Act as a link between the school council, parents and the community. Act in the best interest of the school and students. Ensure the executive positions of the school council are filled. Maintain high ethical standards. Understand the policies of the local school board.
School Council • • • • • •
Advises the principal and board/charter board on educational issues that pertain to the school. Establishes and reviews school council’s goals, objectives, action plans and procedures. Communicates and consults with parents and the school community. Meets regularly.
Vice-President – Assists the President and chairs the meetings in their absence, is also ready to take over the President’s position, if necessary. Secretary – Takes minutes at all School Council meetings and keeps school council records up to date. (This position can be shared) Treasurer – Responsible for the financial affairs of the School Council including depositing of funds, issuing of cheques, is a signing officer, and for providing proper accounting of all financial transactions. Members at Large – Act as a liaison between Members of the School Community and the School Council. These people serve on any committees formed to enhance the school activities. Board representatives – Act as a liaison between the School Board and the School Council. Attend Board and School Council meetings and communicate about issues that are relevant to either group.
CSS busing is underway for another year. All 11 routes have permanent drivers who are now becoming familiar with the stops and students. Now is the time to initiate good routines and habits to enjoy your year of using the CSS bus system.
Be on time for the bus
It is important to be at your stop in advance of the bus. The stop time on your route sheet is the time that the bus will pull away, regardless of who hasn’t arrived at the stop yet. If all the listed riders are on board, the driver may pull away in advance of the listed time.
Arrive five minutes before the bus
Southland recommends that students arrive 5 minutes prior to the listed stop time. This is to avoid the dangers of running for a bus that is already at the stop. None of our CSS buses should regularly arrive at the stop that much in advance of the stop time. Students arriving at the stop 5 minutes ahead of the stop time will have plenty of time to watch for traffic as they proceed to the loading zone and wait for the bus’s arrival.
Make sure your time matches the driver’s time
Frequently, disputes about drivers leaving stops early and failing to pick up a listed student are the result of clocks not agreeing. Not all cell phones display the same time so it is worth the effort to make sure you have the same time as the driver. Drivers use Telus time. You could call Southland dispatch to make sure of the correct time or use another source for Telus time. The drivers say that the time displayed on Shaw Cable TV is a very close approximation.
List your student at any stop they will use regularly
will regularly use. If you do not have your child listed at a stop, the driver may pull away in advance of the stop time. You may miss the bus in such circumstances and unfortunately be inconvenienced.
Sign Up for the Delayed Bus Message System
CSS offers a message service to inform parents when their bus is running late. Parents must subscribe to this service in order to receive text messages and/or emails. These messages are also available on the home page of the CSS website. Parents must re-subscribe each year. Please log into your family account on the CSS website and click “subscriptions” in order to enter your phone number and/or email address. All prior data has been removed and you must re-subscribe to receive messages. The messages system will soon be fully operational.
Read the Transportation Handbook
Handbooks were distributed to students the first week of school. These contain necessary information and valuable contact numbers. If you have not seen a copy, email the committee and we can send you an electronic version. Please take the time to read through the booklet, as much has been updated from last year. Let us know if you have questions about any of the material. It is your responsibility to ensure your student understands and follows the behaviour expectations.
Finally, you can avoid missing the bus by letting the committee know which stops your student
Reduce Pollution by not idling your vehicle
Many of our CSS students are driven to and picked up from their bus stop. I’m sure, like me, many leave the car idling while waiting for the bus. Here are some interesting facts sent in by Hilary Losier, who asks that we be more conscientious and turn the engine off while waiting. •
Idle cars emit exhaust gases such as carbon dioxide. A car’s engine idling for 10 minutes produces about 90 grams of carbon dioxide and consumes 0.14 litres of fuel. If all cars left their engines running for a minute less each day--or 365 minutes less a year--approximately 225,200 fewer tons of carbon dioxide would be emitted, and 350 million litres of energy would be saved among those vehicles. Most drivers may not know this, but excessive idling can damage the engine. Idling causes damage, because an idle engine is not operating at its peak temperature, therefore fuel combustion is incomplete. Cars don’t really need to be warmed up unless the weather is below -25 degrees. Even if the weather’s below -25 degrees, it only takes 30 seconds for your engine to be warmed. Actually, driving your vehicle gently is the best warm up for the engine.
August busing is usually very smooth due to reduced traffic volumes. This year, construction has caused some minor disruptions but overall, service has run very well. After traffic resumes normal patterns, we may need to have Southland adjust some of the stop times. Typically, the big change in traffic is after Labour Day. With the public school systems starting earlier, we may have heavier traffic before Labour Day as well. We will let routes settle into a routine schedule before we adjust the times in the hopes that only one time adjustment will be needed. Please contact us at transportationatcss@gmail. com if you have any concerns about your bus service. Keep in mind you have until Monday, Sept 14 to make any requests to adjust stop placement.
Margaret Mills CSS Transportation Committee Chair
From your school
This virus is a new strain of influenza A which can be transmitted from person to person. Human swine influenza cases in Canada to date have generally been associated with mild illness. Symptoms are similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza infection and include fever, cough, muscle aches, lethargy and lack of appetite. Some people with swine influenza have also reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Children with the symptoms outlined above should not attend school and should stay at home for at least 7 days from the onset of symptoms. If symptoms last longer than 7 days, then they should stay home until 24 hours after the symptoms are gone. If your child becomes ill, to help support your child’s recovery: •
Ensure your child rests and drinks plenty of fluids.
Treat the symptoms of illness such as fever and muscle aches as you normally would
If you need to take your child to a doctor to have him/her examined, please inform your doctor that your child may have been exposed to a case of Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Origin Influenza Virus).
For more information call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-LINK (5465) or visit http://www. health.alberta.ca/documents/Influenza-SelfCare.pdf Encouraging your children to use respiratory hygiene (i.e., covering their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve when coughing and/ or sneezing, followed by hand washing), washing their hands often using soap and water, and keeping their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth are very important to protect themselves and to stop the spread of the virus. If your child is ill for any reason, when calling the school, please indicate the type of symptoms your child is experiencing. This will help us in determining the illness patterns in the school and take the appropriate measures to protect our entire school community. We will be communicating additional information as it becomes available from Alberta Health Services. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Nasreen Sunderani School Nurse
romoting Intrinsic Motivation:
A Synopsis from Teaching with the Brain in Mind by Eric Jensen
e are often interested in getting students to be more self-motivated, especially as we begin a new school year. Eric Jensen, in his book Teaching with the Brain in mind, (1998) suggests that “[m]ost students are already intrinsically motivated; it’s just that the motivation is very context dependent”. Instead of asking ‘How do we motivate learners as teachers and parents?’, we should be asking the question, “When students are motivated, what’s going on in the brain? Or, What conditions are present that foster that precious inner drive?” The teenaged brain is still developing its frontal lobe, and therefore, the executive operations that are responsible for regulating memory and organization are not functioning to their full potential. Therefore, it can often appear that a student is disorganized or unwilling, when, in fact, their brains are not supporting the types of operations that we, as their mentors, expect. It becomes critical to examine the types of things that we can do to encourage optimal learning from our students/children. Jensen suggests that there are five key strategies to help students uncover their intrinsic motivation:
1. The first is to eliminate threat.
Teachers and parents need to consider the experiences that inhibit learning for students/children. By collaborating with children we learn better how to promote an optimally safe “feeling” environment in our classrooms and homes.
2. Goal setting on a daily basis can provide a more focussed attitude. Outlining the course of the day by providing a class agenda on the board, or outlining the days events on a home whiteboard can often set children up for success.
3. “[I]nfluence positively in every way you can, symbolically and concretely, students’ beliefs about themselves and the learning” (p. 67). Positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator.
4. Help students to understand how to manage their emotions. Help them to understand what works for them to overcome negativity and frustration.
5. Finally, feedback that is timely and constructive is one of the greatest ways to encourage intrinsic motivation. Children want to know how they are doing and how to improve.
By anticipating the places in our students’/children’s lives that might pose as difficulties for them, we can help set up environments with the above conditions that will promote successful learning outcomes. Dr. Shelley Robinson
The Calgary Science School is endeavoring to be sensitive to the needs of students with severe allergies by being an “allergy aware” school. Because we have to meet the needs of many students with various sensitivities, it becomes virtually impossible to make it an “allergen free zone”. CSS has a set of severe allergy procedures that the teachers work together to implement in order to prevent serious incidents. • Teacher information bulletin: Teachers are made aware of the students that are communicated clearly with pictures and medical information to the entire staff. They adhere to a series of proactive interventions that help keep the classroom an allergy aware environment. Teachers are reminded each year of our procedures around addressing severe allergies. • Emergency response procedures for severe allergic reactions: The teachers are made aware of the symptoms of severe allergies, and then are trained to perform emergency response procedures where necessary with an EpiPen and other basic medical intervention. • Severe allergy alert form: This form provides teachers and bus drivers with information that is necessary to recognize and address severe allergic reactions in particular students. As well, the staff will be reviewing these procedures in upcoming staff meetings with the support of our school nurse and updating its first aid qualifications as a full group. If you would like to know more detailed information about the CSS policy and procedures in this regard, please contact one of the school administrators. If your child has a severe allergy but you have not received a severe allergy alert form, please contact the office.
CSS Welcomes Student Teachers and Student Volunteers This year we will be welcoming eight second-year student teachers from the Master of Teaching Program at the University of Calgary under the instruction of the field advisor Michele Jacobsen. We will also welcome six first-year student volunteers from Mount Royal College under the instruction of Ann McLennan. These post-secondary students will be working with our teachers to learn more about the profession in our inquiry-based learning context. We are excited to be hosting the university students with an on-campus cohort in conjunction with the Calgary Girls’ School. We have found that our school focus of mentorship and our charter mandate of professional collaborative outreach encourage this type of work with our post-secondary communities. We welcome these new faces to our school campus, and if you have any questions about these programs, please contact Shelley.firstname.lastname@example.org (postsecondary school liaison). Dr. Shelley Robinson
Dr. Shelley Robinson
tudent Drop-off & Pick-up Procedures
To ensure that our students are as safe as possible, we ask you to please use the following routes if you are dropping off or picking up your children. If you are entering Lakeview from Crowchild Trail, please enter on 66 Ave. and turn north onto 34 St. After dropping your child off in the designated zone, which is along the playground on 34th Street SW, please exit to 37 Ave. via 58 Ave. or leave via Lakeview Dr. If you enter Lakeview from 37 St., please enter the drop zone on 61 Ave. and exit on 58 Ave. This will aid in creating good traffic flow. Student safety is increased when they are dropped off on the east side of 34 St. We appreciate that our parents have heeded our request to not use Lewis Drive when dropping off their children and we ask you to again follow these recommendations to maintain a safe environment. Please note that our neighbors are finding some of the congestion and alley driving disruptive, and we want to be courteous school neighbors. Another on-going safety concern is parking at CSS. Parents sometimes park too close to the crosswalk on the west side of the school grounds at 58 Ave. & 34 St. (see pictures below). This is dangerous because
it reduces other driversâ€™ visibility of pedestrians using the crosswalk. Vehicles must not park within five metres of the crosswalk, even if they are only stopping to quickly drop off students. You can be ticketed for this infraction, resulting in a substantial fine. Thank you for your cooperation.
he Calgary Science School Website 12 Things You Should Know...
1. You can find student phone numbers and addresses (if the family signed up to share this in- 4. All students have email accounts which they formation and your family signed up to share can use their school computer login names and your own information) by clicking “Login” (uppasswords for. To access this email simply click per navigation bar), then click “Login As Famon “Student Mail” link (upper navigation bar). ily” (link on the page), provide login information, then click “Login” button, then click on 5. All classes have current websites. You can ac“Student Directory” (right hand “Family Zone” cess the class websites from the homepage menu). You can search by Last Name, First and then choosing the class from the “Class Name, Grade and Homeroom. You can “PRINT” Subject Pages” drop-down menu (upper right any results by clicking on “Printable Version” hand side). (link on the page). 6. Many Publications are shared and can be found 2. You can access any staff via email by clicking by clicking “Publications” link (upper navigaon “Contact Us” link (upper navigation bar) and tion bar). then clicking on the link in the right hand column of the list of staff (you need to have an 7. Retrieve you password by clicking “Login” (upemail program running on the computer you per navigation bar), then click “Login As Famare browsing the site with). ily” (link on the page), then click “Forgot Your Password” (link on the page), enter the email 3. You can view any calendar information by clickaddress you created your account with and ing on “Calendar” link (upper navigation bar). then click the “Request” button. Your password You will see a copy of the “Goggle Apps” calenwill be emailed to the account. dar which you can link to or view. The
8. Ensure you get broadcast emails by clicking “Login” (upper navigation bar), then click “Login As Family” (link on the page), provide login information, then click “Login” button, then click “Family Information” (right hand “Family Zone” menu), enter desired email address(es) in Family Email textbox(es), click on “Update” button. * You should also be sure to add the “calgaryscienceschool.com” domain to your “Safe Senders” list in your email program. These same email addresses can be accessed by staff to create their class email distribution lists. 9. You can sign up for bus notifications as well by doing the above but clicking on the “Bus Subscriptions” link (right hand “Family Zone” menu). 10. You can sign up for Emergency Messages as well by doing the above but clicking on the “Emergency System” link (right hand “Family Zone” menu). 11. You can change what information your family shares in the directory or to remove your family from the service (if the family signed up to share this information and your family signed up to share your own information) by clicking “Login” (upper navigation bar), then click “Login As Family” (link on the page), provide login information, then click “Login” button, then click on “Your Directory Info” (right hand “Family Zone” menu), then change any information (including address, phone and email blanking), then click on the “Update” button”.
Challenge Day 2009
The Calgary Science School will be hosting a Challenge Day for its Grade 9 students on October 1, 2009. We have external facilitators coming directly from the Challenge Day Organization in California. The focus of the day is to become more aware of the Grade 9 relationships with each other and the school at large, and to challenge students to be thoughtful of each other in new and innovative ways as they attempt to set some positive directions for their school experience. The focus of this event is to afford students the ability to feel safe and happy in their adolescence at CSS. As well, we hope that they can, in turn, be leaders in this initiative across the school by mentoring younger students using the Challenge Day message and language.
12. You can change your password by clicking “Login” (upper navigation bar), then click “Login As Family” (link on the page), provide login information, then click “Login” button, then click “Password Change” (right hand “Family Zone” menu), enter old and desired password in textboxes, click on “Change” button.
We have many (approximately 30) parent volunteers to help run this event, plus several teachers (cross-graded); our school counselor and all of the administrators. We also have a selected group of Grade 9 leaders (25) who will help to make this day a successful experience for everyone involved. If you would like to have more information about what this day will entail, please check out the Challenge Day website at: http://www.challengeday.org/
Dr. Shelley Robinson
Candice is a Grade 5 Math/Science teacher. She recently earned her B.Ed from the University of Alberta, and has a specialization in math and science education. It is her first year teaching and she couldn’t be more enthusiastic about all she hopes to accomplish with the Grade 5’s this year. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys biking, swimming, skiing, painting and relaxing! She is new to Calgary and is always looking for interesting places to go and things to try. The new school year has started great for her and she knows it will be a success thanks to all students, parents and staff.
Marla Paxton Marla has just returned from the living on the edge of the world (literally), in Ucluelet BC. The closest continent to her was Japan. Last year she taught at the high school in Ucluelet and the previous 4 years she was at the Calgary Girls’ School. She has a background in Criminology and English and a passion for the outdoors. She is part of a downhill mountain biking group, and an avid kayaker.
David Scott David recently finished his Masters of Education at the University of Alberta where he was teaching part time as a sessional instructor in the undergraduate teacher education program. David has taught for four years in the interior of B.C. and Quebec and also spent a year teaching English in Japan. Beyond teaching, David has written curriculum guides for the Critical Thinking consortium and more recently for UBC's centre for historical consciousness. He enjoys practicing both his poor French and Japanese and reading philosophy and history in his spare time. David is excited to be teaching Grade 8 humanities and is looking forward to working with the very dynamic and creative staff and students at Calgary Science School.
ur new CSS staff... Shannon Mitchell-Flek Shannon is the new School Counselor and Student Services Coordinator. Mrs. Mitchell-Flek has a passion for learning, reading, being active and traveling. She has a background teaching in both special education and regular classrooms at the elementary and high school levels in Edmonton and Calgary. Mrs. Mitchell-Flek has been working as a children's counselor and group facilitator with the YWCA Sheriff King Home in Calgary for the past couple of years after completing her MA in Counseling Psychology. She looks forward to working with the staff, students and parents at CSS this year and is excited to be teaching Digital Filmmaking and Yearbook as part of the grade 7 Fine Arts options.
Lorrie Emin Lorrie is our new Art teacher. She is returning to Calgary after spending the last few years living in Central Mexico. While she has taught a variety of subjects over the years, art is the subject area that Ms. Emin is most passionate about. She holds a B.F.A. in Art and Design and went on to specialize in art education at the University of Alberta. Ms. Emin is looking forward to a wonderful and creative year at C.C.S.
Heather Rattai Heather is excited to be a part of the Grade 8 team at CSS, as a Math/Science teacher. After completing her Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta in 2005, she began her teaching career with Foothills School Division. Heather is seconded to us from Foothills for the next two years. She looks forward to the many unique teaching and learning opportunities that this secondment will present. She is also really looking forward to the Circle Tour in October! When not in school, Heather enjoys spending time with family and friends, photography, and decorating the space around her. The
Gordon Welch Superintendent
Darrell Lonsberry Principal
Phil Butterfield Assistant Principal
Shelley Robinson Assistant Principal
Valerie Barnes 4.1/4.2 Math/Science
Heather DeCarlo 4.1/4.2 Humanities
Louis Cheng 4.3/4.4 Math/Science
Jacquie Moir 4.3/4.4 Humanities
Amy Peebles Drama/Dance
Candice Shaw 5.1/5.2 Math/Science
Mike Neufeld 5.1/5.2 Humanities
Greg Neil 5.3/5.4 Math/Science
Tanya Stogre 5.3/5.4 Humanities
Lorrie Emin Art
Emily Brown 6.1/6.2 Math/Science
Chris Dittmann 6.1/6.2 Humanities
Carolyn Armstrong 6.3/6.4 Math/Science
Rick Fawcett 6.3/6.4 Humanities
Tammy Olson Physical Education
Erin Couillard 7.1/7.2 Math/Science
Jennifer Woodard 7.1/7.2 Humanities
Lisa Nelson 7.3/7.4 Math/Science
Dan McWilliam 7.3/7.4 Humanities
Andrew Bolen Music
Kevin Sonico 8.1/8.2 Math/Science
Rachelle Savoie 8.1/8.2 Humanities
Heather Rattai 8.3/8.4 Math/Science
David Scott 8.3/8.4 Humanities
Jon Hoyt-Hallet 9.1/9.2 Math/Science
Marla Paxton 9.1/9.2 Humanities
Garett Kutcher 9.3/9.4 Math/Science
Shashi Shergill 9.3/9.4 Humanities
Donna K. Johnson Alden Teacher-Librarian
Dean Schmeichel Physical Education
Kathy Babiuk Receptionist
Susan Miller Office Assistant
Myra Penberthy Secretary Treasurer
Linda Lamminen Library Assistant
Neil Stephenson PD/Outreach
Krista Brenner Payroll/Benefits
Felipe Calasin Facility Operator
Mingdi Fu Caretaker
Mirtala Campos Cleaner
Dila Galvis Cleaner
Oscar Lopez Cleaner
he Anne Tingle Library Report
Welcome to a new school year. The saying “It’s never just an ordinary day” at Calgary Science School continues to be an accurate reading of the learning community here - and that includes the library. Who ever heard of a school library being closed during the first crucial weeks of school? Peek in and you’ll see shelves of books and videos are all under plastic wrap, furniture stored or bunched together, and big areas off-limits for the construction of new vents going from the new addition at the front of the school, through the library floor, and up into the ceiling. This pause in library services is temporary, and will not last for much longer, and in the end, we’ll have a wonderful new learning space at the front of our school.
ers brought students in to take the required textbooks out through their library accounts. Students are responsible for the textbook copies they borrow. Teachers offer various strategies to help students keep track of their own copies, but the bottom line is that this is a student responsibility. Last year’s textbook returns were an excellent testament to student respect of resources and sense of responsibility: all grade 7 textbooks were returned, only two grade 8 textbooks have not as yet been returned. The Grade 9 record of returns also improved – it just wasn’t quite what Grade 7 and 8 achieved. The library can always provide students (and parents) with the specific item numbers within a student account, if concerns or confusion arise.
The library maintains a webpage that can be accessed on the school’s website, located in the class/subject pull-down area. I invite you to check this out. You will find guidelines for student library privileges, hours of operation, as well as the purpose and mission of a school library (different than a public library), a description of the roles of teacher-librarian and library assistant, an explanation of the selection criteria for books, clarification of the “young adult” designation for fiction, and a blog where different books, websites and tidbits of information are added on occasion. As always, I am happy to receive your feedback, questions and suggestions. Most parents reach me via the school’s e-mail system. But feel free to phone me here at school, or drop in and say hello (once our doors are open again!).
We operate on an open, flexible system, so full classes, various small groups and individuals schedule time or drop in as needed. We do, however, schedule book exchange times for Grade 4 and 5 classes, just to set the right pace, and totally familiarize students with our space, resources and services. All students will have access to the library outside of instructional time, once construction is completed and the doors open in welcome. We look forward to that time.
Upcoming in the early months of the fall: The Scholastic Book Fair is here during Student-led conference times, and National Book Week comes in November. More on those events and others, next time. Donna Johnson Alden
We coordinate and manage textbook loans to Grade 7-9 students through the library circulation system. During the first three days of school, teach-
Welcome Back! I am very excited to take on the role as the school counselor and CSS Student Services Coordinator. I have had the opportunity to work with many young people and parents as both a teacher and a counsellor as they work through the many challenges of childhood and adolescence. Throughout the school year, I will use this space to address areas of interest that affect our student population and parent group as a whole. This month I would like to provide an overview of the role of the school counselor and student services at CSS. The ultimate goal of the counseling and student services program is to support and reinforce the school-wide objective of maintaining a safe and caring environment where all students have the opportunity to reach their potential. A school-based counselling program provides support to students, staff and parents in the early identification of social, emotional, behavioural, and academic concerns that may adversely affect the development or well-being of a child. The early identification of such concerns allows us to proactively address these matters and develop a comprehensive action plan to best meet the needs of the student. The school counselor works collaboratively with students, teachers, parents and other professionals to provide support and strategies to address the needs of each student. When deemed necessary, a recommendation for parents to pursue further intervention may be made and outside referrals to appropriate professionals will be facilitated by the school counselor. I look forward to working with students individually and in small groups throughout the year. As we approach the end of the year, I will be working with families to provide information and guidance on high school options to support specific student needs and goals. Counselling intervention often begins with a referral from the classroom teacher to the school counselor to address specific concerns or identified needs of the student. Referrals regarding social, emotional, and academic concerns can also be made by parents or guardians by contacting me at email@example.com or by phone at 403-282-2890. The counselling office is located upstairs, to the left of the library. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions that arise as I am here to support the student at CSS to ensure that they can have a wonderful year ahead of them. Shannon Mitchell-Flek The
We are back singing, dancing and making music for another year and students are excited to get together and show their stuff. We have quite an array of classes this year. The Grades 4, 5 and 6 classes have music twice in a Six Day cycle. This amounts to an average of 50 minutes per week for music instruction. As Camp Sweet has already swung into action students are singing campfire songs and learning new songs connected to their new curriculum. Students wishing to bring their instruments to school are asked to inform Mr. Bolen and their parents before discussing with their bus drivers how they will get their instruments to school. There is a limited amount of space is available on the buses each day and larger items may not be permitted. New this year is the music tech complementary classes for Gr. 7 & 8 students to learn the business and production side of music technology. Students in music tech will compose, arrange, perform, learn about the art of producing music, explore music studios and visit professional music producers, sound engineers and performing artists.
We are trying a new reporting system with Digital Portfolios. Students will be responsible for creating, updating and maintaining a collection of their work during the school year. This portfolio will be made available for teachers, classmates and parents to view for feedback and assessment. Student portfolios in the fine arts will replace formal reporting on the report cards (though only for the fine arts).
The band program is already in full swing this year. It will be a busy year with several performances in the school throughout the year as well as festivals and tours in the spring. This information will become available for parents on the band website prior to these performances and festivals. Again, any parents with expertise in performing brass, woodwind, or percussion instruments can contact Mr. Bolen for volunteering to help with band class.
Students needing private instruction please see the music website for music teachers in and around the city. Also, any parents with musical talent(s) are encouraged to contact Mr. Bolen for volunteering opportunities to help with music class.
We have three Concert Bands both Gr. 7 & 8 band students in their 2nd year and Gr. 6 students in beginning band. There is also a Jazz Band for Gr. 8 & 9 students. Also new this year was the â€œHead start / Intermediate Band Campâ€? at Mt. Royal College certain band students participat-
ed in. This great camp was a wonderful opportunity for band students to learn from highly skilled professional musicians as well as collaborate with other students who are at the same playing level. Andrew Bolen
â€œEach day we went we spend time in playing with other students playing the same instruments as us. We were taught notes, songs and music theory. After lunch we were treated to the professionals who played their instruments for us. We spent all week learning about music performance, musicianship and practicing as a band. It was a great program that sure taught me a lot and gave me a HEAD START!â€? - Jaime 6.3
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hat’s Happening in Phys Ed...
The Grade 5 and 6 classes have been introduced to Ultimate Frisbee! Grade 4’s have learned the new game of Hollandball! It’s a handball game and is super fun!
Grade 8-9’s are busy training for the Terry Fox Run.
Stay tuned to the Physical Education website for more information in the future! Volleyball tryouts are underway: The coaches this year are as follows: Mrs. Nelson - Senior Girls Mr. Cheng - Senior Boys Mrs. Mitchell-Flek (assistant coach) Junior Coaches: Ms. Shaw, Ms. Emin and Mrs. Rattai
Grade 7’s have been busy canoeing, dragonboating and kayaking on the Glenmore Resevoir
The Terry Fox Run is coming up soon - It will be held on September 21st this year. The Cross Country meet for grades 4-9 has begun. The meet is tentatively set for October 1.
Although school has only just begun, the outdoor education season is already in full swing. The work bee at Camp Sweet on Saturday August 22nd ensured that the camp was set up and ready for the grade 6 classes that arrived two days later. Thank you to all the parents and students who helped out at the work bee. Grades 5, 6, and 7 have expanded their fall camp schedules to a three day â€“ two night format that allows for a wider variety of experiences. Grade 5 and 7 students will travel first to Rocky Mountain House to visit the National Historic Site before heading south to Camp Sweet later in the day. The Grade 6 program
now includes a First Nations component at camp and the Grade 4 team has packed their two days and one night full of relevant and fun activities. Following is a schedule of multi-day outdoor education programs that CSS students will participate in this year. Please note that if you wish to volunteer on any school activity involving children, you must be registered with the office and have completed a security clearance check. Phil Butterfield
Program Camp Sweet (fall)
Southern Alberta History Tour Camp Sweet (fall)
5 Fort Steele History Lab
Camp Sweet (fall) 6
Winter Camp â€“ Ribbon Creek Camp Sweet (fall)
Fort Steele Apprenticeship Program
Dates Sept. 16-17 Sept. 17-18 May 25-27 May 26-28 Sept. 9-11 Sept. 14-16 Apr. 29-May 2 May 2-5 May 5-8 May 8-11 Aug. 24-26 Sept.1-Sept. 3 Jan. 25-27 Feb. 1-3 Feb. 3-5 Feb. 8-10 Sept. 22-24 Sept. 28-30 Apr. 29-May 2 May 2-5 May 5-8 May 8-11
# of students/trip
2 days/ 1 night
3 days/2 nights
To be determined
3 days/2 nights
4 days/3 nights
3 days/2 nights
3 days/2 nights
3 days/2 nights
4 days/3 nights
Central Alberta Circle Tour
4 days/3 nights
Camp Sweet (spring)
May 31-Jun 2 Jun 2-4
3 days/2 nights
Bamfield Marine Sciences Center
6 days/5 nights
Camp Sweet (spring)
Jun 7-8 Jun 8-9 Jun 9-10
33 1/3 (by gender)
2 days/1 nights
DAY 1 2
DAY 2 3
day 3 4
Gr 5 gr 9 girls
Gr 9’s at
AGM & Regular event
Camp Sweet 6.3/6.4 6
Day 4 9
DAY 5 10
DAY 6 11
Gr 8 Circle Tour parent Meeting
Volleyball early bird tournament
Camp Sweet 5.1/5.2 13
Day 2 15
DAY 1 12
DAY 4 17
Volleyball early bird tournament
DAY 5 18
gr 9 p.a.r.t.y program
Camp Sweet 5.3/5.4 20
Camp Sweet 4.1/4.2
DAY 2 23
Camp Sweet 4.3/4.4 day 3 24
terry fox run gr 4-6: 9:00 - 12:00 pm gr 7-8: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Lost & found pick up 8:00 am
Planning Day No Classes
Bamfield gr 9’s 27
Day 5 29
DAY 6 30
Challenge Day Prep
Camp Sweet 5.3/5.4
Day 2 2
Challenge Day gr 9 cross country meet
DAY 4 6
DAY 5 7
day 6 8
circle tour. gr 8
Pd Planning Day No classes
Day 2 20
Fall Break DAY 3
DAY 4 22
DAY 5 23
pd planning day no classes
Day 6 27
Museum of regiments field trip Gr 5
DAY 2 29
DAY 3 30
Lasers got talent
The Calgary Science School September 2009 • Issue 1 • VOL . 7
“It’s never Just an ordinar y day!”
sion and innovation in an active inquiry-based learning community by bringing learning to life and life to learning.” The Calgary Science Sc...