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Principal’s Message As the holidays approach we begin to hear more about and perhaps pay more attention to, the idea of helping others. At CSS, helping others is actually part of our school program. Since August 2010 our students and teachers have had a class in their timetables called Service Learning. That time is allocated in recognition of the importance of teaching our students about how they can contribute to their community. Service learning is just what it says it is: learning through providing a service to others. Often, that service has been in the form of raising funds to support a cause, but as a staff we are constantly looking for other, non-financial opportunities to support others. We have had a snow angel brigade in the past, where our grade 8 and 9 students fan out around the school after a snowfall to clear the walks for some of our elderly neighbours, we have helped in litter pickups in the Weaselhead, last year we hosted an on-line leadership forum as part of the Mayoralty race so other Calgary students could ask questions of the future mayor, we have invited seniors from the Lakeview community to join us for some cribbage and conversation, and we have worked with the Lakeview Community Association to implement a community garden, just to list a few examples of service learning. I think we are doing pretty well, but there is always more to be done. I know that the idea of service learning is critical for young learners, particularly

DECEMBER 2011 · ISSUE 4 · VOL. 9


nowadays, when the increasingly fast pace and a more consumer focused mentality seem to dominate our lives. In fact, when I consider what it means to be a 21st century learner (education jargon that has become increasingly more popular in the past few years), I think that service to others must be part of the conversation. I am

proud of the work that our students, staff, and families have undertaken to support others and I get excited to think about what opportunities this holiday season will bring to deepen and strengthen how we support our community. I wish you all a happy, family oriented holiday season. Darrell Lonsberry

In This Issue: D e c e m b e r

2 011

3...Highlights from the Board of Directors

Music Notes

5...School Council News

9...Grade 6 Band Performance

6...Transpor tation News

10...CSS Band Camp

7...Senior Girls Volleyball Season

9...Gr. 5 Fine Arts Integration

11...Farewell to Mr. Stephenson

11...Farewell to Ms. Vercleyen School Counsellor’s Office 13...Upcoming Workshops Up Coming Events 15...December 2011

8...Lanter ns for Japan Charity

16...January 2012

Highlights from


Members of the Board of Direc tors: Harold Lemieux (Chair); Lori Wilhelm Einsporn (Vice Chair); Allison Earl (Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee); Wendy Baillie (Parent Council Rep.), Dr. Torben Bech-Hansen, Lorraine Chan, Stephanie Davis, Tim Edwards, Teri Henderson, Lindsay Hogan, Dale Ronsky, Debra Scott, Dr. Norm Vaughan.

Administ rative Team:

Dr. Garry McKinnon (Superintendent); Myra Penberthy (Secretary Treasurer); Mr. Darrell Lonsberry (Principal), Phil Butterfield (Assistant Principal); Mr. Scott Petronech (Assistant Principal). The Calgary Science School Society held their Annual General Meeting on November 22, 2011. The Society is required under its bylaws to have an annual general meeting to nominate and elect directors and to present the audited financial statements to the Members of the Society. The highlight of the AGM was a Poetry presentation by the Grade 6.1 and 6.2 Humanities teaching team, Mr. Rick Fawcett and Ms. Lisa Nguyen together with student, Madyson E. The projects presented included in an illustration of the student’s own brainstorming pictogram which reflected their values and beliefs related to the theme of their poetry piece. The students then presented their poem in multimedia format using KeyNote. The presentation was truly a culmination of creativity, inquiry and technology. Board Chair Lori Wilhelm Einsporn, on behalf of those in attendance, expressed appreciation for the outstanding work of the students and the exemplary leadership of Mr. Fawcett and Ms, Nguyen. The audited financial statements for the year ended August 31, 2011 were

Board of Directors presented by Secretary Treasurer Myra Penberthy. There was a surplus of revenue over expenses of $33,148 as compared to a budgeted deficit of $156,185. Representatives of Quadrant Chartered Accountants reported to the Board that the Calgary Science School Society finances had been very well managed in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and there were no areas of concern in regards to internal controls. The nomination and elec tion of the follow ing individuals to the B oar d of D ir ec tor s was appr oved: Teri Henderson, Lindsay Hogan, Debra Scott and Dr. Norm Vaughan for three year terms and Lori Wilhelm Einsporn, Wendy Baillie, Allison Earl and Dale Ronsky for one year terms.

Appreciation to Outgoing Directors The Board expressed its appreciation to outgoing Board members for their years of valuable contributions to the success of the Calgary Science School Society. This includes past Board Chair and Governance Committee Chair, parent, Dave Robinson (8 years), past Fund Development and Finance Committee Chair parent, Catherine Cook (4 years), past Finance Committee Chair and Parent Council Rep. parent, Cheryl Lemieux (3 years), Past Communications Chair Tom Short (3 years), and Dr. Sharon Friesen (1 year). The AGM was followed by a regular meeting of the Board of Directors wherein the Committees of the Board of Directors were appointed. The new appointments for the 2011/2012 year for the Membership are as follows:

Appointment of Executive: Board Chair, Harold Lemieux Vice Chair, Lori Wilhelm Einsporn Secretary Treasurer, Myra Penberthy Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee, Allison Earl


Appointment of Commit tee Chairs and Members:

and identifying goals, outcomes, measures and strategies for continued enhancement of learning and teaching in the Calgary Science School. Governance: Harold Lemieux (Chair), Lori As well, the document makes provision for celWilhelm Einsporn, Dr. Torben Bech-Hansen, ebrating accomplishments and reporting on the degree of success which has been experienced Debra Scott in addressing the key goals over the past school Audit and Finance: Teri Henderson, Lori year. Wilhelm Einsporn The Board of Directors expressed its appreciaFacilities: Tim Edwards (Chair), Dale Ronsky tion to the Leadership Team, Staff members and School Council members who were involved in Fund Development: Debra Scott (Chair), Teri the process of preparing the very comprehensive Henderson, Allison Earl, Dale Ronsky, Non report. Board members; Catherine Cook, Eva Kwan, Jason Morelyle Other Reports Communications and Marketing: Lindsay Hogan (Chair) School Operations: Stephanie Davis (Chair), Wendy Baillie External Collaborations: Dr. Torben BechHansen (Chair), Dr. Norm Vaughan, Stephanie Davis; Non Board members; Dave Robinson, Tom Collins, Anne Tingle, Doug Rogan Professional Learning Assistance / Research and Innovation Fund: Dr. Norm Vaughan (Chair), Stephanie Davis. The School Council Representative is Wendy Baillie.

Calgar y Science School Education Plan and Annual Results: Assistant Principal, Phil Butterfield presented the Calgary Science School Education Plan/ Annual Educational Results Report. This is a comprehensive document that provides a wealth of information that would be of definite interest to parents at the school. It will be posted on the school website in accordance with Alberta Education Requirements. A great deal of time has been dedicated to the process of engaging members of the school community in reflecting on the wide range of learning experiences offered in the school


Facilit y Commit tee: Staff members and students have been actively involved in a consultative process in which ideas and needs relating to the school facility were identified and prioritized. The student and staff feedback will be incorporated in the plan for the 2011 – 2012 school year. The Board of Directors approved up to $100,000 to be taken from the operational surplus to fund school enhancement projects including: safety and security upgrades, lighting, windows upgrades, collaboration centre in the library, new furniture solutions, maintenance and repairs (painting, thermostat replacements, caulking, flooring repairs), miscellaneous improvements (storage, outdoor lighting and fencing) Outdoor Education Programs Mr. Lonsberry presented and recently participated in a 4–day Environmental Education Leadership Clinic, sponsored by Cenovus, in partnership with the Alberta Council for Environmental Education which he and teachers Erin Couillard and Deirdre Bailey and parent Rob Pegg attended. The CSS team had an opportunity to reflect on existing programs and to develop a plan for outdoor and environmental education learning experiences in the Calgary Science School.

Lori Wilhelm Einsporn Vice Chair of the Board

School Council News St a ce y M c R a e, a C ommu n i ty P re vention Counsellor with Alberta Health Services, opened our November school council meeting by sharing an overview of the upcoming free 4-part parent education program, “Kids and Drugs”. This program was last offered at the Calgary Science School during the 2009-10 school year. There were a few parents at the November meeting who attended the 2009-10 sessions and they commented that it was very worthwhile. Not only does the program provide current information about street drugs, but it also provides plenty of opportunities to talk about ways to improve the lines of communication with your children. If this sounds like something you might benefit from, please confirm your attendance by emailing Shannon Mitchell-Flek ( The first session will be from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Thursday, January 26.

Other highlights from the November meeting included: •  Darrell’s report on the 2010/11 PAT results

and Accountability Survey results. See the November 2011 issue of the Spectrum for more information. •  Approval of the updated 3-year plan for School Council. In addition to recurring activities and events, priorities for this year will include more regular updates to School Council information on the CSS website and working to create an operations / reference manual for the various School Council events, activities and positions. A copy of the updated 3-year plan can be viewed on the CSS website under “Publications”. Since the November meeting, the Fun Lunch committee has been busy, with Booster Juice on November 16th and Extreme Pita on November 25th. Thanks to everyone who was able to support this School Council fundraiser by placing an order. And a special thanks to all the volunteer members of our Fun Lunch committee. Without you, we’d all be stuck packing sandwiches a few more times this year!

NOTE: Last year we offered free babysitting services during School Council meetings. This service, which requires a fair bit of effort to organize, was used only twice during the year. So based on the very limited take-up and on 2011 parent survey feedback, we have decided to offer babysitting services only for special School Council events, such as parenting conferences. If this decision negatively affects you, please contact schoolcouncil@ to discuss possible childcare arrangements. The next School Council meeting will be Tuesday, December 6 beginning at 7 pm in the Anne Tingle Library and will include an update from the fundraising committee. A meeting of the CSS Parent Fundraising Society will follow immediately afterwards. Since December is a busy time, we have not scheduled a guest speaker, in order to keep the meeting as brief as possible. A full meeting agenda will be distributed via email in advance of the meeting. If there’s a topic you’d like to see addressed, please email And finally, in case you haven’t already heard, Education Minister Thomas Lukaskuk is encouraging all Albertans to provide input to the consultations on the new Education Act, which will be introduced in the Legislature in spring 2012. The website, which can be found at engage, includes ways for both students and parents to provide input. The consultation is open until January 8, 2012 and if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to take a few minutes to ensure your family’s voice is heard. On behalf of School Council, I’d like to wish everyone an enjoyable Winter Break. Hopefully you’ll find an opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature, whether here in the Calgary area or somewhere away. See you in the New Year!

Denise Kitagawa, School Council President 5

ransportation     N ews CSS has great parent volunteers! The Transportation Committee is pleased to have three new faces join our volunteer team! Magdalena Palka (Route 2), Melissa MacDonald (Route 4) and Kris Lautermilch (Route 8) have all generously agreed to take over the route coordinator positions that were recently vacant. We appreciate your willingness to help out, and welcome your thoughts and ideas.

3.  CHECK THE SCHOOL WEBPAGE: if you want to see why your bus is delayed check the school webpage and look for your specific route number; if the bus is delayed by more than 15 minutes it should be posted here. If you need further answers, contact Southland Transportation at 403-287-1335. Note: the contract CSS has with Southland states that CSS buses will be cancelled if they are unable to reach the first stop within 60 minutes of the scheduled time.

H at e To S ay I t B u t ... Whether we like it or not, the cold weather is here! Just a friendly reminder of some things you can do: 1.  BE PREPARED: dress warmly (hats, boots, gloves, etc.) and be ready at your designated pick up spot before the bus arrives. This will help to reduce wait times for all of our students. 2.  SIGN UP FOR THE DELAYED BUS NOTIFICATION SYSTEM: if you want to receive bus delay notifications you can sign up for this service. There are step by step instructions located on the school webpage (refer to: under the Transportation tab at the top of the page. If the bus is delayed by 10 minutes, the driver is instructed to notify Southland Transportation and you will be notified via text msg or email, etc. Please note if delay messages are not being sent out to you after you have signed up for this service, please notify us at our gmail account so that we can try to find out why they were not sent out and hopefully rectify the problem for any future bussing delays. (Note: our parent volunteers do their best to monitor the gmail account as often as possible but may not be able to respond to your request immediately).


4.  HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN: if it is a snowy/icy weather day, then parents should expect delays rather than expect the bus to be on time. Sometimes it is impossible for messages to be sent out in a timely manner when all the buses are delayed; unfortunately, the dispatchers cannot keep up in this circumstance. Please ensure you have a back-up plan in place for your child (i.e.: car pooling or driving your child to school) so they are not left waiting at the bus stop on those extremely cold Calgary winter days. If they are left unattended, discuss with them how long they should wait, and what they should do, etc.

D o Yo u H av e Q u es t i o n s O r C o m m en t s ? If you have any questions or requests that we haven’t addressed, please feel free to contact us via email at: Thank you! The CSS Transportation Committee

The 2011 Sr. Girls volleyball season here at CSS was a positive and successful time for both the older and younger players. A rewarding experience, many girls developed new skills and a love for the game.

We were undefeated the entire season but earned a silver medal at our final tournament, losing only the last match in a tight 2 sets. The season was an opportunity for the girls to receive practice time, court time,

and mature their teamwork and communication skills. I found it interesting interacting with the grade 8’s, and we grade 9’s got a chance to practice being leaders. Our efforts at morning practices and after school games

are reflected by the improvement many players displayed at the end of the term. Congratulations, Lasers! Good luck next year! Jenny, Grade 9

Bac k to Ta bl e of Cont ent s


Double your holiday giving with this unique gift Help us reach our goal of $12,000. Following the devastating earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, Calgary Science School teacher, Mike Neufeld, began a unique fundraising initiative. Using his interest in woodworking, Mike designed a small decorative lantern that would be suitable for mass production. On the weekend of June 4th-5th over twenty volunteers were assembled to help create pieces for the lanterns. By the end of June, 250 lanterns were made.

Purchase a handcrafted lantern for $60 Made from cedar, decorative rice paper aluminum and acrylic. All Proceeds go to the Red Cross for Tsunami relief. If interested, please contact Mr. Neufeld To learn more about this initiative, visit our website: 8

Grad e 6’ Band Performance

deal of progress in the two months since they began their concert band experience! Here is what one student had to say about the concert entitled “Band Blast!” “After many days of practicing our songs it was time for all of the 100 talented students to showcase their talents by performing to their parents. Everyone was seated in sections organized by instrument with their parent by their side. Each kid determined to impress and make his or her parent proud. When we performed our songs (“Lets Go Band”) we sounded professional and impressive. There was nothing our parents could complain about. As my parents and myself were leaving, I saw every parent leave with a smile stretched from side to side. We truly did deserve to be proud of.” Anchita 6.4

On Wednesday, October 28th, the Grade 6 beginner band performed as a group for the first time. The concert was a little unconventional due to the fact that the audience members were sitting right beside the performers! Friends and family got firsthand experience of what a typical grade 6 band rehearsal consists of. This included setting up instruments, warming up, and showing off the songs they had learned so far. A few brave parents even got a chance to try their hand at conducting the entire 100 piece band! The evening was a great success and it was very clear that the grade 6 students had worked hard, learned a lot, and shown a great

Gr. 5 Fine Arts Integration

The past couple of months students and staff have been working hard to bring together the musical production “The Case of The Missing Parts of Speech” in our and Fine Arts Integration classes. The students have studied all elements that make up a musical theatre production such as; character, blocking, and choreography, as well as learn music to sing the songs in the musical. By the time this newsletter is published the performances will have concluded. The shows that have already happened were excellent– the students were amazing.


CSS Band Camp

“The two day band camp to Camp Chestermere November 7&8 was a wonderful learning experience. The CPO professional musician that came in to tell us about his careers as a musician was very inspiring to not only the CSS band but also to the Samuel W. Shaw Middle School (SWS) band who were accompanying us on our over night band camp. After a long day of rehearsing and learning we got to have

This entire two-day band camp was a great learning experience for all students of the band. We met some very cool and talented musicians who had very interesting stories, careers, and instruments. It was a fun and educational camp that helped and improved the band students significantly.” Sean 7.2

CSS Winter Concert

some fun. We played bingo, had a dance moves competition, and then to end the day with a movie. An early wake up to a delicious breakfast of pancakes, sausages, yogurt, and fruit was a great way to start the day. Mr. Bolen arranged excellent experts for each instrument to work with us for about two hours on our playing ability and our Christmas concert songs. After the sectionals, the CSS and SWS bands got together to play our Christmas songs. Everyone in both bands got significantly better in their playing ability.


The CSS music department will be showcasing a number of ensembles at the Winter Concert, which will be held on Thursday, December 8th from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. The theme of the concert will be “Festive Music from around the World”, and will feature students playing repertoire from many different countries and cultures. The acts will include the grade 6 beginner band, grade 7-9 intermediate band, grade 7-9 jazz band, student hand bells, teacher handbells, student choir, and a number of duets and trios. Students who are participating in the event should arrive at the school by 6:30 pm. Performers must also be in concert dress, which is a white shirt, and black pants/skirt and shoes. Come out to a night of culture and festivity and support the hard work and talent of the CSS music students! Andrew Bolen Music and Band Teacher


to Mr. Stephenson

CSS will be losing one of its teachers in January to the temperate climate and bustling environment of Vancouver, BC. Mr. Stephenson has been with the Calgary Science School since August of 2004. He started out as a member of the teaching staff at grade 6 and 7, but has most recently been doing a fantastic job in the Professional Development and Collaboration Coordinator position. In that role, Mr. Stephenson has really helped to put CSS on a provincial stage where we are consistently recognized for the great teaching, innovative practices, and a focus on professional collaboration. Mr. Stephenson started the Connect! blog, which has been a critical

means of sharing our teaching practices with the wider educational community. We know that the blog is followed by people within the department of education, by faculty members in Alberta Universities, and by a significant number of teachers and educational leaders from around the world. Mr. Stephenson has been instrumental in our ability as a school to meet the obligation we have under our charter to be innovative and to reach out to a greater audience to learn from and share with.

primary responsibilities has been to work very closely with teachers to assist in the planning and implementation of inquiry-based teaching. His creativity and depth of understanding of how technology can be used to deepen thinking has been an invaluable contribution to the practice of all of our teachers. Every student in the school has benefited from Mr. Stephenson’s work with the rest of the teaching staff. He truly is an exemplary teacher and I wish him all the best as he takes on the challenges of being a District Mr. Stephenson’s role has Principal of Innovation and always been a little difficult Inquiry for 32 schools within to describe to people, as a the Delta school district. similar position does not exist anywhere else, as far Darrell Lonsberry, as I am aware. One of his Principal

Farewell to our

Student Teachers

Student teachers – Congratulations on the successful completion of your final student teaching practicum experience. We have enjoyed having you in our school and have greatly appreciated your enthusiasm, dedication and keen desire to benefit fully from this learning experience as you prepare to become members of the teaching profession. We commend you for the extra time you spent in the school beyond what is normally expected of student teachers and your involvement

in a variety of school professional development activities and extracurricular activities. Although the emphasis of the student teaching experience has been on developing your professional knowledge, skills and attributes, you have also made a significant contribution through sharing your special talents and demonstrating innovative teaching practices. During the period of your student teaching experience in our school you have demonstrated an understanding of the 16

dimensions of exemplary teaching which serve as a framework for the Calgary Science School. Congratulations on a very successful teaching experience and we wish you all the best as you complete the requirements to become a professional teacher. We hope that you will consider any opportunities that arise to return to the Calgary Science School as a member of the teaching staff. Garry McKinnon, Superintendent 11

Au Revoir to M s.

Vercleyen We will also b e saying good bye to Ms. Vercleyen in December, as s he will be starting her m a t e r n i t y leave. Ms. Vercleyen ’s dance and drama programs have enabled many, many CSS students the opportunity to express their creativity and to develop greater self confidence. She has given countless hours to the preparations, rehearsals and performances of many school plays and musicals. The staff and students have all appreciated her commitment and dedication to the performing arts at CSS. We all wish Ms. Vercleyen well as she begins that most crucial and profound job there is – being a great mom.


Upcoming Workshops

fo r

 S tu dents  Pa r ents  i n  C a lga ry

School Counsellor’s Office Wednesday, February 15th– “The Language of Friendship” Mother- Daughter Workshop at SCA Community Association from 7:00 to 9:00pm. For residents of Strathcona, Christie, and Aspen only. Monday, February 27th– Three Week After-School Program (grades 4-6) at the GirlPower Studio. 4:00 to 6:00pm. $100/girl.

For more information and to register: Saturday, December 3– “The Language of Friendship” Mother-Daughter Workshop at South Calgary Community Association from 1:00 to 3:00pm. Tickets are $35 per person.

Wednesday, March 28th– The Heart of Friendship” (grades 2-4) at the GirlPower Studio. 1:00 to 3:00pm. $35/girl. Friday, March 30th– “Friendship Fires” (grades 5-7) at the GirlPower Studio. 1:00 to 3:00pm. $35/girl.

Boy Smarts Action Talk– Calgary, January 21, 2012 For more information and to register: workshop_payment


School Counsellor’s Office

For more information and to register: Parent/Educator Workshop: Girls Spring Social Skills Level 2– Saturdays, and ADHD– Tuesday, December 6, April 14 to June 16, 2012 (9 weeks excluding 2011. 7:00 to 8:30pm. May 19th) Parent/Educator Workshop: Spring “Real Life” Social Skills for Teens– Income Tax and Learning Saturdays, April 14 to June 16, 2012 (9 weeks Disabilities– excluding May 19th) Tu e s d a y, F e b r u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 2 . 7 : 0 0 to 8:30pm Winter Social Skills Level I– Saturdays, January 21 to March 24, 2012 (9 weeks total).

For more information and to register: php?page_id=5 Grades 4-6 Study Skills 101– 4 Tuesdays: January 17, 24, 31, February 7, 2012. 4:30 to 6:00pm.

Grades 7-9 Write On!– Improve your essay writing skills. 4 Wednesdays: March 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012. 4:00 to 5:30pm.

Grades 7-9 Study Skills 201– 4 Tuesdays, January 17, 24, 31, February 7, 2012. 7:00 to 8:30pm.

Grades 7-9 Organization and Study Skills– January 15, 2012 or February 8, 2012 or February 29, 2012. 6:30 to 8:30pm. Shannon Mitchell-Flek, School Counsellor/Student Services


December 2011 28



5– Day 3



6– Day 4

School Council Meeting 6:30pm

1– Day 2 Parent Info Night Inquiry–Based Learning

7– Day 5

8– Day 6

Wrestling Tournament 3:30–8:00pm

Gr. 6 Winter Camp Parent Meeting 6pm Winter Concert Showcase 7-8pm



PD Day– No Classes

9– Day 1



12– Day 2

13– Day 3

14– Day 4

15– Day 5

16– Day 6



19– Day 1

20– Day 2 Band Parent Commitee Meeting

21– Day 3

22– Day 4

23– Day 5 Last Day of Classes Peace Festival Assembly 1–3 pm


Peace Festival








No More Sleeps, it’s here!

Merry Christmas!

School Closed


January 2012 1







School Closed


9– Day 6 Classes Resume

10– Day 1

11– Day 2

12– Day 3

13– Day 4



16– Day 5

17– Day 6

18– Day 1

19– Day 2



Winter camp 6.1


23– Day 3

24– Day 4

25– Day 5

26– Day 6

PD Day– No Classes

27– Day 1

Winter camp 6.2 Winter camp 6.3


30– Day 2

31– Day 3

Feb 1– Day 4

Feb 2– Day 5

Winter camp 6.4


Feb 3

PD Day– No Classes


December 2011 Spectrum  

The Calgary Science School's December 2011 Spectrum newsletter issue.

December 2011 Spectrum  

The Calgary Science School's December 2011 Spectrum newsletter issue.