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May 2012 . Issue 9 . Volume 9

The Calgary Science School

Principal’s Message There are a number of significant events happening at CSS right now. Our school evaluation has wrapped up and we have received preliminary results. I can’t give too many details until the results are released for public consideration later this month, but suffice it to say that the results were very positive and I am extremely pleased with the outcome. In addition to the evaluation, the Minister of Education recently made it possible for Charter Schools to pursue an application for a 15-year charter. More details can be found on page 5 of this issue of the Spectrum, but we are moving forward with an application for the extended charter. I encourage you to come to the May 2 School Council meeting to hear more about this from our Superintendent, Dr. Garry McKinnon. As if this weren’t enough, our spring outdoor education programs are beginning. Students and staff are very excited to be embarking on our annual trip to Fort Steele, over to Jasper, and, for our grade nines, up to Camp Sweet for

a wrap up to their year. We are also considering the possibility of looping at grade 8 and 9. We currently have our teachers looping with students from grade 6 to 7, where the teachers move with the students to the subsequent grade. We have seen many benefits of looping and are seriously considering a similar arrangement at grade 8 and 9 for the 2012-2013 school year. I invite you to come to the School Council meeting to hear more about it and ask me questions if you have them. I would also encourage you to contact me any time if you have questions or concerns about the school and our programs, or if you have feedback you would like me to hear. I welcome the opportunity to touch base with parents and hear about your experiences in the school. Darrell Lonsberry

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Transportation Update It's hard to believe but the school year is coming to an end. However, our Transportation Committee, along with the Transportation Analyst, Margaret Mills, is in full swing planning the bus routes for the 2012/2013 school season. Here are a few notes of interest:

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APRIL 2012

in this issue Transportation Update................................................ 3 Board of Directors Highlights.............................. 4 - 5 Charter Renewal Update............................................. 5 CSS at the Calgary Youth Science Fair ............. 6 - 7 Democracy’s Next Generation............................ 8 - 9

Student Think Tank.............................................................10 It’s Never Just An Ordinary Day....................................11 The Weaselhead: A Living Museum................ 12 - 17 May Calendar..........................................................................18 June Calendar........................................................................19

Cover Photo: Grade 8 and 9 students in Ms. Emin’s Visual Arts class.

Changing Route Dynamics Each year at CSS, 100 Grade 9 students graduate, 100 new Grade 4's come into the school, and often families relocate to different areas in the city. Our challenge is to design the most safe and efficient routes to get all of our 400+ busing students from the NW, NE, SW, and SE to our great school. As you know, CSS accepts students from across the entire city. Though it may seem as simple as adding new riders to existing routes, in truth many factors need to be taken into consideration. Perhaps the greatest impact comes from adding 100 new grade 4 students, and removing 100 grade 9 students. This causes a great re-distribution of students from each area of the city. This coming year, for example, on the west side of Sarcee Trail in the SW, CSS will be losing 27 grade 9 students and gaining 32 new grade 4 students. Please note that our preliminary plan provides all west side riders with a convenient stop. Route Planning Challenges A few challenges the committee faces when route planning are: •

Constraints of bus capacity/guidelines for number of students per seat (2 older students vs 3 younger students).

Calgary’s sprawling and interwoven road system broken up by bodies of water and green spaces, and riddled with road repairs and construction.

Changing demographics, new neighbourhoods, etc.

Tentative Routes After much deliberation, the proposed 'draft' routes are now ready to share with the entire Transportation Committee! On May 1, each route coordinator will have a chance to see their new route, ask questions, and make recommendations. If everyone agrees with the proposed routes, each coordinator will have about a week to assign stops in neighbourhoods along their route, following the established guidelines which dictate 1 centrally-located stop per neighbourhood. These proposed bus stops are subject to approval by Southland Transportation. The aim is to have the new routes published by early June, so that parents can plan around their new drop off / pick up times and locations for the upcoming year. Watch for your new Route Description Sheet in early June.

***We want to reassure west side families that everyone is listed at a convenient stop and no one is on a waitlist at this point. Buses still have room for a small number of new riders. If circumstances change for families, they should contact us at any time over the summer and let us know if they want to take the bus.*** Response to Volunteers Request THANK YOU so much for hearing our "volunteers needed" cry! We would like to welcome Denise Neff and Cathy Wood to our Transportation Committee team! Changes and Updates Please remember to update us if your child wants to use another stop. We need to inform Southland Transportation and our drivers. Additionally, if you plan on moving, please let us know! We need to keep our records updated for route planning as well as for emergency purposes. Questions??? Should you have any questions regarding Transportation, please feel free to contact the transportation committee at transportationatcss@gmail.com, indicating your route number in the subject line. Your route coordinator will contact you as soon as possible. The mailbox is typically checked twice a week by a parent volunteer. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Sincerely, CSS TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

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Board of Directors Highlights

From the April 17 Meeting

Exemplary Teaching and Learning in the Calgary Science School Appreciation was expressed for the excellent work of Ms. Erin Couillard, Professional Development and Collaboration Coordinator, in enhancing teaching and learning through formal and informal networks of collaboration within and beyond our school.

School Registration Update Commendations were expressed for the dedicated work of the office staff in dealing with school registration for the next school year, which closed on April 16. The request for donations on the registration form (when only one third of the parents had completed the process) resulted in approximately $3,500.

Action on Inclusion CSS has been part of a pilot project to field test the Inclusive Education Planning Tool since September 2011. The Inclusive Practices Coach position has been a great success in this regard. This position was developed in response to the need for capacity building among teachers to differentiate teaching and learning within an inquiry framework.

4. There will be continued funding for the Professional Development and Collaboration Coordinator position (1.0 FTE); four learning coaches (0.3 FTE); an Inclusive Practices learning coach (0.5 FTE); and the Research and Innovation Fund (increased from $30,000 to $40,000). 5. Through the technology budget allocation, 100 iPads will be purchased and a transition will be made to the purchase of 100 MacBook Air laptops. Provision will be made for increased technical support through OSI. 6. There is an allocation of $100,000 for continued school facility enhancements. 7. The level of funding for enrichment and instructional expenses for all courses will remain the same. 8. The school fee will remain at $475 and the bussing fee will be reduced from $830 to $760. 9. The AISI allocation of $44,000 is the same as last year, but reduced from previous years. 10. There is some additional funding ($30,000) for a proposed short-term (four day) teacher exchange program with partner schools.

2012–2013 School Year Draft Budget After a consultation meeting with staff on April 12, the following information was shared with staff members as part of the budgetary consultation process: Calgary Science School Draft 2012–13 School Year Budget Highlights 1. In the budget for the 2012-13 school year, which was approved in the spring legislature, provision was made in the education budget for basic grant increases of 1%, 2%, and 2% over the next three years. There was also the elimination of some grants with the overall impact being a reduction of $27,000 in Alberta Education funding for the next school year for the Calgary Science School. 2. The Minister of Education, the Hon. Thomas Lukaszuk, provided clear direction in regards to a salary increase ceiling of 1% for the next school year. 3. It is anticipated that at the end of the current school year, the Calgary Science School will have an operating surplus of approximately $1,261,000. This increase has been built up over the past eight years from an operating surplus of approximately $125,000. It is proposed to further reduce the operating surplus for the 2012 -2013 school year to approximately $834,000 in order to maintain existing programs and to make some enhancements.

Possible Fund Development Priorities The board and administration identified two strategic priorities at the January 2012 retreat which serve as a framework for strategic action and fund development. The school leadership team has identified some possible fund development goals related to each of the priorities as follows: Priority One: Promoting the Development of the Calgary Science School as the, “CSS Centre for Exemplary Learning, Teaching, and Leading.” Related Fund Development Goals: a) External Collaboration Coordinator (1.0 FTE)

$100,000

b) Teacher Exchange/Bursary Program

$50,000

c) Student Legacy Fund (grade 9 scholarships)

$50,000

d) Technology Enhancements

Interactive

Production

State-of-the-art design and engineering

• •

TV and video arts Career and Technology Studies (CTS), etc.

$100,000

Priority Two: Promoting the development of the Calgary Science School as a Living Laboratory for Environmental Studies and a Prototype for a Sustainable, Learning-Oriented Facility. Related Fund Development Goals: •

Facility enhancement

Energy conservation

Electricity generating (e.g. wind, geothermal)

Environmental research

Redesign of classrooms to facilitate exemplary learning and teaching $300,000

Total Annual Fund Development Goal

$600,000

Charter Renewal Update Prior to the recent Alberta election Minister of Education, the Honorable Thomas Lukaszuk, implemented changes to the regulations for charter schools in regards to the process of applying for a renewal of charter. The Calgary Science School does not have to apply for charter renewal until the fall of 2013, with the renewal being effective for the 2014-2015 school year. Under the new regulations it is now possible to apply for a 15 year charter renewal. Application can be made at anytime. There are some significant advantages associated with a 15 year charter, including being able to develop partnerships and make long-term commitments as well as having greater stability in regards to planning and school operations. With the recent completion of the Alberta Education evaluation of the Calgary Science School, which itself takes place once every five years in charter schools, it was felt that the timing is good for the school. At the March 20 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Calgary Science School Society passed a motion indicating support for proceeding with the development of a submission for a 15 year charter renewal. A draft of the school evaluation report was presented at the April 17 Board of Directors meeting. The report was very positive and supportive of the work of the school. The school evaluation report will be posted on the CSS website when the final document is received. The report will serve as an excellent resource for the 15 year renewal process. A committee with representation from the board, school administration, staff, and school council has been formed to build on the work that has been done. The committee met on Wednesday, April 25. Information relating to the draft proposal will be shared and discussed at the May 2 School Council meeting. The charter submission document will be reviewed at the May 15 Board of Directors meeting at which time it will be determined whether the submission should be made at this time or that more time is required in developing the document. Feedback gathered through the superintendent’s interviews of 50 parents on March 8 and 9 during the student led conferences will be considered in developing the proposal. As well, over the next few weeks students and staff members will be interviewed and their feedback will be considered. Anyone having questions or suggestions in regard to the 15 year charter renewal process should contact the school office. Dr. Garry McKinnon

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CSS Students Do Us Proud at the Calgary Youth Science Fair! Final Results for Grade 7

Following the annual CSS Science Fair, which took place in February, the top 5 projects as chosen by the judges in grades 5 through 8, (4 projects for grade 9) were nominated to participate in the Calgary Youth Science Fair, which took place on Saturday, April 21 at the Olympic Oval on the campus of the University of Calgary. Grade 8 student Christian B. was nominated to participate in the Canadian National Student Science Fair, taking place in Charlottetown, PEI from May 12 to 19, while fellow grade 8 student Scott Pardoe was named as an alternate. Following are the judges results for all of our CSS participants. We salute all of you for representing our school so well!

Name(s)

Project

Special Award

Sanchit C.

Go “Green”: Biofuels

Gold Medal

Nicholas M.

Oil Sands

Silver Medal

Maggie C.

The Green Cure

Gold Medal City of Calgary Water Services, Secondary

Neuroscientific No! to Heat

Gold Medal Alberta Teachers’Association Award, Secondary Faculty of Arts Award

Root for Roofs... A Solution To Global Warming.

Gold Medal Devon Canada Junior Environmental Award North American Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Award

Julia C. and Danika V.

Alyssa L. and Lauren N.

Final Results for Grade 8 Christian B. and his National Science Fair nominated project “Homemade Bio-Diesel.”

Final Results for Grade 5

Name(s)

Project

Special Award

Christien A.

What’s So Soapy About Soap?

Silver Medal

Scott P.

Slick Thinking

Gold Medal Grant MacEwan Nature Protection Award SPE Canadian Educational Trust Fund National Science Fair Alternate

Avery S.

The Brilliance of Magnetics

Bronze Medal

Name(s)

Project

Special Award

Sashwat R.

Optimizing Source and Condition of DNA Extraction

Gold Medal

Carson F.

Effects of Soda Pop on Tooth Enamel

Gold Medal

Alison C.

Under Pressure, Can Zippered Plastic Bags Take the Pressure?

Bronze Award

Arhaam M.

Portable Water Filter Kit

Silver Medal, Haskayne School of Business Elementary Consumer Science Award

Christian B.

Homemade Bio-diesel

Gold Medal Top Junior Project Terry Allen Travel Scholarship National Science Fair Qualifier

Aaron A.

Electromagnetism in Speakers

Bronze Medal

Colby L.

The Power of Pulleys

Participation Medal

Final Results for Grade 9

Final Results for Grade 6 Name(s)

Project

Special Award

Jennifer K. and Aidan L.

Growing Organs

Silver Medal

Unknown at this time

Arash N.

Pipeline Corrosion and Oilspills

Silver Medal National Association of Corrosion Engineers Award

Yeast

Silver Medal

Rochelle V.

Dream Away

Unknown at this time

Kunal K. and Cameron H.

Mars Rover

Participation Medal

Ben L.

Best Fertilizer

Bronze Medal

Julia C.

Handwashing Behaviours

Silver Medal The Psychologists Association of Alberta Behavioural Science Award

Name(s)

Project

Special Award

Stephanie C. and Olivia D.

Watch Them Wiggle

Bronze Medal

Scott L.

Impaired Driving

Stephanie B.

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Democracy’s Next Generation

forum, this time including 3 candidates from the local Calgary-Glenmore riding. At the time, the CSS event was the only scheduled all-candidates forum in this riding. Wildrose incumbent MLA Paul Hinman, the NDP’s Rick Collier, and eventual election winner Linda Johnson all accepted invitations. The forum was moderated by Gr. 9 students Alex N. and Nicole K., who took joint responsibility for reading student questions submitted by CSS students and ensuring each candidate kept to their response within 2 minutes. After introductions, the candidates spent the next 40 minutes responding to these pre-submitted questions from CSS students. From education, to health care, to the environment, Members of the public posing questions to the candidates real ballots and polling booths. Gr. 6 students ensured that the polls were run fairly and efficiently by filling vital polling station roles. Student scrutineers, poll clerks, and returning officers were all present at the polls. “We learned how the elelction works,” explained Gr. 6 student Jeremy P. “I learned that people from different parties act as scrutineers who watch the counting of the ballots to make sure that nobody cheats.” As Justine S. reported, CSS students held similar political convictions as those of adult Albertans. “The student vote results were very similar to the real election,” she stated. Why the similar results? “I think that parents influenced their kids, “offered Ian V.

CSS Students Get Engaged in the Provincial Election Though no CSS student has yet to reach

Calgary Glenmore candidates fielding questions from Gr. 9 student moderators.

voting age, that fact didn’t stop the entire school from participating in several events leading up to the provincial election on April 23. From Gr. 9 classes taking to the city’s university campuses to encourage post-secondary students to exercise their democractic rights, to hosting an all-candidates forum at the school, to actually taking to the polls themselves as part of the province wide Student Vote 2012, the month of April saw virtually every CSS student discover what participatory democracy is all about.

the discussion covered a lot of political ground. In addition to the Gr. 6 and 9 students in attendance, the forum attracted about 80 local residents who took their own turn at peppering the candidates with questions from the microphone stand situated in the middle of the audience. There was a moment of laughter when one of the audience members used his microphone time to advise students to begin saving their money immediately, as he warned of the government’s desire to ciphon off all they could through onerous taxes. Time will tell if students take heed of his warning.

It’s over a year ago now that CSS students got involved in the 2010 city election. Our school played its role in re-energizing citizenship participating in Calgary’s municipal politics, first seeing Gr. 9 students head to the universities to plead with students to use their vote, then hosting a mayoral forum which included then longshot candidate Naheed Nenshi. and was streamed into classrooms across the city. CSS grade 9 students again made the pilgrimmage to the universities after which they again hosted an all-candidates

Gr. 9 students at the University of Calgary on April encouring post-secondary students to vote.

Finally, Thursday April 19 saw CSS students take to the polls themselves as part of Student Vote Alberta 2012. Students from all grades participated in the polls that were organized by CSS Gr. 6 students. StudentVote mirrors the “real” election in virtually every way possible. Students made their selections using

Gr. 6 hands busily counting Student Vote ballots Younger voters are often characterized as apathetic citizens who are less likely to vote than older generations. However, if the response and actions of CSS students this past month are any indication, our future democracy appears to be in good hands!

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Student Think Tank The CSS Anne Tingle library is normally a no food and drink zone, for obvious reasons. However, a visit to the library at noon hour may occasionally find around 48 students talking and eating lunch in small groups including one or two students from each grade. This sight can only mean one thing; that the CSS Student Think Tank is in session. The purpose of the think tank is to provide an opportunity for the student body to make its voice heard when it comes to determining what goes on at the school, whether it’s student programs or how facilities are used. The idea for the student think tank stemmed from the CSS Exemplary Teaching and Learning framework, specifically the element describing a culture of mutual respect. Giving students a voice in the running of the school seems a tangible step toward this goal. This past fall saw the first series of think tank sessions with each homeroom represented by two students. These two student reps were initially tasked with gathering ideas from their classmates and bringing these to the think tank which then gave feedback on and prioritized these ideas. This spring, each class has dispatched two new reps to further discuss the degree to which ideas are shared across grades and how they might be implemented. Some ideas brought to the think tank are specfic to certain grades, for example the desire of grade 4 and 5 students to see electives offered in their grade levels in the future. Others ideas involve and impact students across all grades. For example, the latest big idea to be floated at the student think tank and gain traction involves the opportunity for students to eat lunch outside of their classrooms. An idea came forward to allow each grade to have a specific day where they can eat lunch in the IAC, and therefore socialize with students

outside of their homeroom during lunch. The most recent think tank session found student groups across all grade levels discussing how this idea might be implemented and the responsibilities required of students to make it a sustainable reality (i.e. waste disposal, cleaning up, etc). An example of a think tank idea that has already come to fruition is the construction of storage cubbies adjacent to the gymnasium. This idea stemmed from a concern brought to the think tank in the fall regarding students having to leave clothes and personal items on the floor or benches outside the gym where they were sometimes damaged or lost. The storage cubbies are an example of real action taken on issues brought to the student think tank.

It’s Never Just An Ordinary Day!

The CSS Student Think Tank started out as a pilot project this year but both students and administration are keen on seeing it continue next year and beyond.

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The Weaselhead

Trip to the City of Calgary, Glenmore Dam Facility

A Living Museum

In leading students to consider how geography has shaped our local history and, likewise, how decisions we as a society make impact our local environment, an ambitious Grade 5 cross-curricular project is taking advantage of our school’s proximity to the Weaselhead natural area. In exploring this overarching inquiry, students are connecting with a range of real-world experts, including local historians, anthropologists, archeologists, Tsuu T’Ina First Nation leaders, engineers, authors, and artists. Following are snapshots of different activities and stages of the project. More information can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/ theweaselheadalivingmuseum/

“We got to go inside the dam and we were the first school to ever do that! We learned about how the dam worked and how the water runs though the dam and how they control that. I learned that the water goes through two dams to make it as safe as possible.” - Meira S 5.2 “We saw the two huge screens that filter the water.” - James S. 5.2 “I learned that there was a huge flood in 2005.” - Aaron A. 5.2

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Connecting With Archaeologist Dr. Gerald Oetelaar 13,000 Years of Change in the Weaselhead

Seasonal, Firsthand Observation of the Weaselhead

“He shared about past animals that used to be found in the Weaselhead but no longer are, such as buffalo and the woolly mammoth” - Stine T 5.2 “He brought artifacts such as the tooth of a woolly mammoth and a spear that they used to hunt animals. I also learned how the climate of the Weaselhead has changed.” - Anastasia S 5.2

A Visit From Historian Dr. John Gilpin, Author of The Elbow: A River in the Life of the City “We learned that they used to use the Elbow River for recreation, like skating and kayaking.” - Satchel K. 5.2

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“We went to this meadow and each of us had a specfic plant or shrub to observe and measure the length, width, and shadow.” - Aaron A. 5.2

“When they did mapping they used to just walk around and guess. It wasn’t as accurate as it is today.” - Pavel O. 5.2

“We bring a string every time we go out to the Weaselhead to see how much our plant has grown over the past month or two.” - Aidan D. 5.2

“Canada used to be almost completely under ice. When it thawed it created huge lakes and huge rivers.” - Ryan K. 5.2

“If you look carefully you can find pieces of garbage. Someone even found a Lego light saber.” - James S. 5.2

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Exploring the Blackfoot Exhibit at the Glenbow Museum

Discussion With Hal Eagletail - T’suu T’ina First Nation Grade 5 students welcomed T’suu T’ina member Mr. Hal Eagletail to CSS on March 22. Below, student Lily M. reflects on what Mr. Eagletail shared during his visit. Hal Eagletail from the T’suu T’ina Nation reserve came to our school to give us a presentation about the native culture and how they used to live. One thing that I thought was really interesting was when he told us stories about his life and how he lives. He also told us that when you are young and you kill your first animal, you have to take one big bite of its liver or kidneys and give the rest of the meat away to your family. He told us to always put your family first.

“They would take a buffalo hide to draw and represent what had happened over time. Sort of like a journal. They also used herbs as medicine.” - Erik L. 5.2

Primary Research in the Glenbow Museum Archives

I thought having a real native come in and tell us true stories and things that we never knew about is so amazing because not every day do you hear or see things like that. One thing I notice when I look at a native person is their hair is always long and braided. There are three strands of hair to make a braid. One represents courage, another strand represents respect, and the third strand represents responsibility. They are woven together and tucked into the shirt to make sure they are responsible, courageous, and respectful. Lily M. 5.3 Photo courtesy Harry Palmer

Students Accessing Knowledge and Understanding of the Weaselhead “We were jotting down what we know about the past and present of the Weaselhead.” - Annalise H 5.2 “We did present, past, and future. We predicted what the future of the Weaselhead might look like.” - Braden A. 5.2 “This helped us get familiar with the topic.” - Kaden K. 5.2

“We went to the archives because our teacher wanted us to look at interesting documents and images from the past. There were maps, too.” - Bryson C. 5.2

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june 2012

maY 2012 29

30

1

DAY 2

2

DAY 3

pd/planning day

SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETING

no classes

6

7

day 6

8

day 1

14

day 5

4.1/4.2 southern aB history tour GR 9 pat language arts PART A

20

21

28

15

day 1

8.1/8.2 Rocky mountain tour

day 6

4.3/4.4 southern aB history tour

4

day 5

5

16

day 1

27

28

29

board of directors meeting 5:008:30 PM day 3

10

day 3

11

day 4

12

3

day 2

18

19

day 6

24

day 5

25

day 6

5

day 1

10

11

day 4

12

26

17

18

day 3

19

day 3

31

day 4

1

2

24

25

day 2

Gr. 9 PAT (math)

band parent committee agm 7:00 pm Gym

8.3/8.4 Rocky mountain tour

day 5

7

day 3

Grade 9 grad celebration 5:00 pm

day 5

13

day 6

day 4

14

day 1

Gr. 6 PAT

20

day 5

8

2

9

pd/planning day no classes

15

(social studies)

(Language Arts Part B)

21

22

day 6

day 3

Gr. 9 PAT

16

day 1

23

Gr. 9 PAT

(science)

26

day 2

Gr. 6 PAT

Gr. 6 PAT

(math)

30

day 2

Fine Arts Summer Solstice Celebration

Band Festival Red Deer

day 2

6

Camp Sweet Gr. 9 girls

Gr. 6 PAT

29

1

Camp Sweet 9.3/9.4 boys

Camp Sweet 9.1/9.2 boys

Fort Steele 5.4/7.4

17

4

GR 6 pat language arts PART A day 4

31

8.3/8.4 Rocky mountain tour

pd/planning day

23

30

8.1/8.2 Rocky mountain tour

FORT STEELE 5.1/7.1

no classes

22

victoria day no school

27

day 2

Day 4

FORT STEELE 5.3/7.3

FORT STEELE 5.2/7.2

13

9

3

(science)

27

day 4

Gr. 9 PAT

(Language Arts (social studies) Part B)

28

day 5

29

30

Last Day of School

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Spectrum 2012 May Newsletter  

Calgary Science School May 2012 Newsletter