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JANUARY 2011 • ISSUE 5 • VOL . 8

THE CALGARY SCIENCE SCHOOL

Principal’s Message I mentioned in the last Spectrum that we will see a couple of staffing changes in the new year, with Mr. McWilliam coming back from the teacher exchange, Mr. Rooks returning down under, and Mr. Neufeld taking parental leave. I can now tell you the last piece of the puzzle: Margaret Leland, our longest serving substitute teacher and one of the biggest supporters of the school, will be stepping into that grade 5 position left vacant with Mr. Neufeld’s leave. We are excited to be working even more closely with Mrs. Leland for the remainder of this school year.

November was a busy time for us at CSS. We ended one trimester with student-led conferences and we again hosted a school musical production. The student-led conferences were well attended and the feedback we received was very positive. Thank you to the students and parents who were able to attend the conferences to celebrate the successes our students earned during the first trimester. The other major November event was the school musical. If you saw the production you know how large in scope, in student and staff participation, and in impact the production was. If you didn’t see it, let me summarize by saying that, from start to finish,

it was an ambitious undertaking that was executed very well. I applaud our students who participated for having the courage and the commitment to see it through and I want to again thank our staff who gave up so much of their blood, sweat and tears to make it happen. You can see a picture of the cast and crew later in this Spectrum. Lastly, I want to wish everyone a safe and happy winter break! Darrell Lonsberry

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In this issue...

January 2011 Principal’s Message.....................1 From your Traffic Safety Committee........................2 Education Plan and Annual Education Results Report.........3 CSS Snow Angels.........................3 School Council News...................4 Barry MacDonald is coming to CSS..........................6 Canada: Your Story is My Story...7 Rock Toyz Musical........................8 Farewell to Mr. Rooks...............10 Update from Mr. McWilliam....12 Message from Mr. Neufeld......13 2010 Peace Festival...................14 January 2011 Calendar.............16 February 2011 Calendar...........17

Attention css logo Designers! The logo contest deadline has been extended until after the holidays. The deadline will be announced. Stay Tuned!

From your

Traffic Safety Committee A traffic safety committee consisting of parent volunteers and school administration has been meeting to discuss traffic flow, parking, and pedestrian safety on the roadways surrounding the school. With assistance from the grade 8 and 9 leadership class, a community traffic survey of residences adjacent to the school was conducted to gain input on key areas of concern and suggestions for improving traffic flow and student safety. The traffic survey, together with observations of parents on the committee, has determined that the intersection of 58th Ave and 34th St presents as the area of greatest concern. U-turns in the intersection topped the list of concerns from area residents along with blocked driveways, congestion, speeding, and parking in the crosswalks. A further survey of CSS parents, to be administered in early January, will elicit a broader picture of the scope of traffic safety issues and will contribute to shaping a response to concerns that will include an educational component for drivers and students. Among other traffic safety measures being considered are student crossing guards, pylons to define crosswalks, and engaging the City of Calgary to re-examine speed zone signage and traffic patterns around the school. Please direct any inquiries or comments to the Traffic Safety Committee at: phil.b@calgaryscienceschool.com. THE

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Three-year Education Plan (2010-2013) and Annual Education Results ol o h c ce S Report (2009-2010) cien S y r The

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As a significant component of Alberta Education’s accountability measures for schools, we are required to submit an updated three-year education plan each year as well as an Annual Education Results Report to reflect on how we measured up against our stated goals and targets. In the past, these documents have been submitted separately at different points in the year, however Alberta Education has introduced a new format which allows us to combine the reports and more succinctly capture the alignment between our charter goals, provincially mandated goals, and the learning environment at CSS.

The hybrid report may be viewed in its entirety on the school website at http://www.calgaryscienceschool.com/publications/ plans/2009-10AERR_2010-13Ed_Plan.pdf. We encourage all members of our school community to have a look at this import r o p e R tant publication and we welcome any and all feedback related Results to content, formatting, readability, or any other aspect of the document’s presentation. Please submit any comments or questions to: phil.b@calgaryscienceschool.com.

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Phil Butterfield Assistant Principal

CSS Snow Angels the first snowfall of this winter some residents of Lakeview were met with the arrival of the CSS Snow Angels. This group of grade 9 students took up the idea of becoming snow angels for their service learning project this term. One local resident commented “ What a wonderful surprise to wake up to find our front sidewalk had been cleared”. No doubt this group will have a busy season ahead of them!

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School With the fall outdoor education trips, first term report cards, second term timetable adjustments, the school musical and much more behind us, it’s time for a break! Here’s hoping you find time to enjoy the company of family and friends, to get outside for some fresh air and sunshine, and take at least a few minutes to recharge your batteries over the winter break. NEWS FLASH - To start the New Year, School Council has engaged Barry MacDonald to speak in the CSS gymnasium. Barry is the author of “Boy Smarts” and “Boys on Target” and his seminars regularly sellout. During a two-hour presentation the evening of Thursday, January 27th, he’ll share his passionate message about the needs of boys, while also respecting the needs of girls. Barry uses creativity and humour to show how to bring out the best in boys. Details of this event are still coming together. Advance ticket information can be found on page 6 in this edition of the Spectrum. For those CSS families with younger students (and siblings), we’re working to organize free babysitting for the evening. Details will be shared via email as soon as possible. Please join us for what is sure to be an informative and entertaining evening. Students, teachers and parents made informative and entertaining presentations at our two most recent meetings. In November, Grade 4 Math/Science teacher Valerie Barnes addressed long-term science inquiry projects, which your student(s) may call Quest, Science Explorer or Science Fair. Grade 6 students Julia C. and Kellan K. shared their experiences doing research and experimental projects for the school-wide science fair, the Calgary Youth Science Fair and the Canada-wide Virtual Science Fair. All three presenters made it clear that although these projects can be a challenge (for both students and parents!), they provide a tremendous opportunity to develop project management skills, a wide variety of research skills and strong presentation and public-speaking skills. Principal Lonsberry closed off the presentation with some suggestions about how to minimize science project stress: start early, look for project notices in THE

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Council News your child’s backpack and on the class website, check to be sure your student is on track with the project schedule (ask to see their work), and be a willing audience when your student is ready to practice presenting. In-class presentations will generally begin by mid-January, with the school-wide science fair taking place in February. Overviews of two CSS Health Initiatives were presented at the December meeting. Mr. Schmeichel, Swish G. and Calder K. outlined a five year plan to improve overall student health at CSS. This initiative is largely a response to increasing childhood obesity rates. The plan includes the purchase of fitness equipment and working to change attitudes and behaviours towards healthy eating and increased physical activity. It was great to learn that this initiative has a lot of student involvement and support. The second health initiative we learned about is the “Smart Start 4U” program that our grade 5 students are taking in health. Registered holistic nutritionist, teacher, fitness instructor and parent volunteer Aimee Trudel explained that she developed the program so that students learn through inquiry-based activities and experiential learning. Units of study include food, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and sleep. Ryleigh B. shared some examples of what students have learned so far and how fun the program is. Mackenzie L. said she likes the games and learning and that it is a fun way to learn about yourself and about healthy lifestyles. On behalf of School Council, I’d like to thank all of our presenters for coming out to share their knowledge, energy and enthusiasm with all of the parents in attendance. November and December have been busy months for many of our School Council Committees:

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Band Parent Council members contributed many volunteer hours to help make the Winter Band Concert a success. The CSS Clothing Committee organized one last sale of clothing featuring the “old” CSS logo (microscope and flower).

The Traffic Safety Committee surveyed CSS neighbours about traffic patterns and concerns during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. Watch for more information from this committee in January. The Fundraising Committee worked with CSS teachers and administration to develop a fundraising plan for the remainder of the current school year. At the December meeting, and in keeping with responses to our most recent Annual Parent Survey, School Council passed the Fundraising Committee’s motion to form the Calgary Science School Fundraising Society so that we can apply for a casino license. The Fun Lunch Committee organized the first set of Friday Fun Lunches. Thanks to this hardworking crew of volunteers, students enjoy a change from their usual packed lunch, parents (or students) don’t have to pack a lunch one day each month, and a small portion of the proceeds goes to fund items on the school’s wish list! The Parent Volunteer Committee’s email request system continued to work really well. Thanks to all the parent volunteers who helped with the Remembrance Day ceremony, the Rock Toyz musical and with classroom activities and field trips.

In November, School Council also discussed and approved an updated plan for the year, based on feedback obtained through the most recent Annual Parent Survey. A complete copy of the plan can be found on the CSS website, under the School Council section of the “Publications” tab. If you have any fundraising ideas you’d like to share, would like to help organize a parent social activity for next spring, or have any concerns or items you’d like to see included on the next meeting agenda, please contact your School Council via email at council.css@ gmail.com or come out to our next meeting at 7 pm on Wednesday, January 5. In the meantime, Happy Holidays to you all!

Denise Kitagawa President, School Council

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Canada: Your Story is My Story Over the past three weeks, Grade 9 students had the pleasure of meeting immigrant students from the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. Of all ages and backgrounds, the CCIS students sat down with our Grade 9’s to discuss the journey that has led them to Canada. The purpose of the assignment was to understand the immigrant journey and the struggle and sacrifices they encountered to come to Canada. Through three different sessions, we questioned and listened to the stories the CCIS students shared, intrigued about the sacrifices they had to make to come live in a new country. A strong bond began to form between the immigrants and us because we found that most of our interests (e.g. soccer, listening to music) were also values to our new found friends. My group and I were privileged to meet Peter Moon from South Korea. He came to Canada to reunite with his family since they had decided that Canada was the place they wanted to live. His youngest son was the first to request to come to Canada in order to seek a better education. Among many other things Peter spoke a lot about Kimchi, which was a traditional meal in South Korea.

We decided to create an analogy of Peter’s immigration through the Kimchi which symbolized Peter’s cultural roots. The lettuce is the outer-shell of the kimchi which shelters all the other ingredients in a safe bubble. The lettuce would be like Peter’s outer image that he prepared before coming to Canada. This worked similar to the lettuce because it kept all his emotions of traveling and leaving his home country enclosed and not shown to the public. The salt gives the kimchi stronger taste and bitterness. The salt relates to Peter’s small, but existing bitterness of leaving his home country. The red pepper flakes are spicy which increases the flavor. The red pepper flakes in Peter’s immigration journey would be the excitement of going to a new country, the uncertainty of how “spicy” the trip will be. The green onions and ginger bring the happiness and feeling of success when your life in the new county begins to turn. Everything begins to go your way and the minced garlic is the awkward taste that leaves you healthier than before. It’s the sacrifice that is really a blessing in disguise. We all learned a tremendous amount from the stories the students shared with us and are thankful for having met such brave and determined people. B.F. (9.2)

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Grades 4-9 students were very busy for a couple of months preparing for our fall musical. This year we yet again tried something new, exploring a new 80’s pop rock based theme, with edgy post-modern costumes and a rock-based Cinderella story with a twist - the characters are toyz and ratz. With a cast and crew of 100 people, it took lots of energy to have everyone organized and actively contributing to the play. We had a very strong base of junior high students, in particular the grade 9 students who provided leadership to the younger, less experienced students. Grade 9’s helped design makeup and costumes, design lighting and use the sound board, in addition to helping with the choreography and leading by example while on stage.

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Despite encountering a few minor technical difficulties throughout the shows running on December 1 and 2, 2010, students very successfully managed to produce Rock Toyz for the first time ever in North America. This production was a tremendous success, and speaks volumes about the dedication and commitment of our students to create such an authentic, professional and entertaining performance and learning experience. We would like to make a special thank you to all the parents and volunteers and any other contributions for their work behind the scenes in making our show a success. You are amazing people helped to make our show great! Thanks to all the students once again for all your hard work, enthusiasm and dedication - you were fun to work with, inspiring and you made this show an incredible learning experience! As always, if anyone has any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at the school or at amy.v@calgaryscienceschool.com.

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Toyz!

The Musical

Back row: Kelly H, Mikaela J, Sabrina V, Tara M, Gabriel M, Sonja G Middle Row: Wynette A, Kayla R Front Row: Julia H, Cassie B, Jenny P, Kaitlyn D, Missing: Haley Y, Mrs. Down, Mr. Lonsberry THE

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Farwell to Mr Rooks I can’t believe that there is less than two weeks until I leave this beautiful country I have called ‘home’ for the past twelve months. It seems like only yesterday that Amanda, Harry and I flew into the ‘Winter Wonderland’ of Calgary and began our ‘adventure of a lifetime’.

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What are some of the things I have learned from my time at CSS? 1 to 1

It is absolutely amazing what the students at CSS can do with technology. I would love to see this implemented at my school back home. However, I understand that it’s not just the fact that the students have laptops that they achieve great things, it is the proper implementation and appropriate use of the laptops that is also a big part of the success at CSS. Laptops are just a learning tool. They are not the ◄ answer per se.

Inquiry Based Learning

Although some teachers do take on inquiry units back home, there is not the consistent focus on inquiry that takes place here at CSS. As a result of the inquiry focus, I think that the learners here at CSS are very independent; and are excellent at group work, as well at being adept at solving problems. This is something that I will certainly have a renewed focus on in my future practice.

Highlights for the Year Fantastic students

I feel extremely blessed to have spent a year in the company of such fine, young people. My students have been welcoming, engaged and enthusiastic in my time here at the school.

Caring, professional staff and administration team

The staff at CSS are committed, talented and completely dedicated to the best interests of the students. They have been so welcoming to Amanda and I this year. The Friday afternoon floor hockey games in particular have been such a healthy, fun way to unwind at the end of each week and enjoy a bit of friendly competition in the process.

Travel

Exploring Canada and the United States has been an amazing experience- one which I will never forget. The Rockies in particular are an awe-inspiring sight: one that needs to be be seen to be truly appreciated. On behalf of Amanda and I, I wanted to extend my gratitude to the administration, staff and students of CSS for making us feel so welcome this year; for all your professional support and friendship; and for helping make our Canadian adventure this year rewarding on so many levels. Mr. Rooks

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G’day from

australia We are counting down the days until we board the plane home after a year down under. The school year ended with a ten-day trip to Canberra, the capital of Australia. It was an amazing trip by bus that would be equivalent to driving to Ottawa from Calgary and back. It was a neat way to see Queensland, New South Wales and the Australia Capital Territory. Climbing Mount Kosciuszko was certainly one of the highlights. We were fortunate enough to choose a cold day with a white-out blizzard. It was the first time most of the kids had ever seen snow! It will certainly be a story they tell for a long time.

CLimbing Mount KosciuszkoThe highest peak in Australia

It is now summer holidays in Australia and we have two weeks left to explore. We leave tonight for Melbourne and Tasmania from there. It will be nice to escape the humidity for a few days. We have had a rainy spring and that has turned into a hot and humid summer. We will certainly miss this part of the world and all of the friends we have made. I would like to Thank Mr. Rooks and his family for sharing their wonderful home, school, friends and seaside town with us. It has been an amazing year. We look forward to the many visitors that come to visit us in Canada, and coming back as visitors soon as well. See you soon , Dan McWilliam

Grade 7 group photo outside of the Australia War Memorial in Canberra

My Class photo 7M outside of the War Memorial Looking down ANZAC Parade THE

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A Message from

Mr. Neufeld I would like to take this opportunity to make the Calgary Science School Community aware that I will not be around for the months of January through to August 2011. This is because of the new addition to my family. On November 20th, 2010 my family welcomed Blaine Timothy Neufeld into it. I have decided to take parental leave for the remainder of the school year so that I can be at home with my family. Life with three boys under four is rather hectic and I know that my wife is looking forward to having me around more. I am very excited about this, but at the same time am sad that I will be stepping away from two awesome classes (5.1 and 5.2 - You guys are superb!) and a superb staff! I look forward to seeing everyone in August 2011! Mike Neufeld Grade Five Humanities

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Peace Festival 2010 presented us with an opportunity to explore the theme of Youth, Security and Development. Whilst the focus of our work has been directly in supporting the work Mr. Dittman has been doing with the Hands at Work organization and in particular the building of homes for two orphan families. We have also been considering the theme in the context of our own CSS community. Students have had the opportunity to talk directly with Mr. Dittman and have learnt what life is like for the young people he has been working with in South Africa. We were fortunate enough to also hear from Stanley Mbowane, a young AIDS orphan who visited our school this past week. Stanley shared with students his experiences and challenges growing up as an orphan and the work that he is now involved with supporting the many orphan children in South Africa. The most powerful messages that both Mr. Dittman and Stanley

shared with us were the impact we can make by letting someone know we care about them. Being kind and respectful to one another, telling your friends how much you value them, writing a letter to an orphan child, or giving someone a hug when they’re having a bad day. These are all simple ways to show someone that you care. Our theme also compliments the work being done around the school on the developmental assets. Our asset theme for this month was Empowerment. The aim of this work is to create an environment of tolerance, care and respect within our school. Peace Festival allows us to build bridges within our school community and our global community to ensure that children feel valued, supported, safe and have opportunities to help others; all essential elements of empowerment. We thank our CSS community for supporting this important work at the school and we would like to share a simple challenge with you for each day of the holiday season. Four compliments and a hug! Shashi Shergill

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5.1/5.2 Bowling 9:30 - 11:30 AM

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New Parent Information Session 7:00 - 8:30 PM

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Happ y Holidays!

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2011 01 Spectrum