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NOVEMBER 2013 . Issue 3 . Volume 11

The Spectrum Calgary Science School

Principal’s Message November is report card time. It is my sincerest hope that report cards provide all of our families an opportunity to celebrate hard work and the success that results. Of course, typically at CSS the November reporting period also brings us to student-led conferences. This year, however, we will be hosting parent-teacher interviews in lieu of the conferences. This change is a response to feedback from parents as well as our experiences with parent-teacher conferences at grade 9 for the past couple of years. Parents will have an opportunity to sign up for parent-teacher interviews using an on-line booking system. Details will be emailed out and can also be found elsewhere in this newsletter. Remember that a meeting with a teacher can be booked at any time through the year, so please do not feel as though you must wait until report card time if you would like to meet with your child’s teachers. Interview times will be booked with both of the pod teachers at once so you can meet with your child’s math/science and humanities teachers at the same time. The number of interview times is somewhat limited, so if you require an interview and there are no time slots

available, please contact your child’s teachers to set up an interview time outside of the designated parent-teacher interview days. An important step prior to the parent-teacher interviews will be to review your child’s Student Learning Plan. Their Learning Plan is a place where students share information about who they are as a learner, what their strengths and areas for growth are as measured against the exemplary learning framework, and it is where they will set goals for themselves. Watch for a notice regarding a parent information session coming on November 5 on how to use Edmodo. Three of our teachers will share how they are using Edmodo and how parents can access information about their child’s work through this portal. The information session will be immediately before our November school council meeting, so you should feel free to stick around and attend the meeting as well. Sincerely, Darrell Lonsberry


calgary science school

conference manager We are pleased to be using the Internet to schedule ParentTeacher Interviews. The process for booking interviews is broken into the following steps: Step 1 – Pre-Register at (DO NOT include “www” in the url) You can set up a Parent Account by following the link above. Click the REGISTER NOW button and complete the registration form. Your login credentials (email and password) will remain in the system to make it easy to access the Conference Manager in the future. Please note that in order to enhance functionality and security, the Conference Manager requires you to use Internet Explorer 7 (or above), Firefox 3 (or above) or Safari 4 (or above). If you are using an older browser, the Conference Manager will automatically prompt you to update your browser and provide you with a link. This is a one-time process and only takes a couple of minutes. In order to ensure that your email program does not block emails sent from the Conference Manager, we suggest adding to your address book.

November 2013-----------------OCTOBER 2013

in this issue in this issue

Step 2 – Conference Manager Opens to Parents – Monday, November 18, 2013 – 4:00PM

If you do not have Internet access, you are welcome to contact the office and we will schedule your conferences on your behalf. Step 3 – Book your Parent-Teacher interviews Select the teachers with whom you want to book interviews. You will see each teacher’s schedule. After booking your appointments you can print off your schedule. You will also receive an email containing the teacher name, time and location of the conference. You can log into the system at any time to view your bookings, print, cancel, or re-schedule appointments. You have the option of submitting comments or questions to the teacher as part of the booking process. Important Dates: Anytime – Pre-Registration begins Monday, November 18, 2013 – Start scheduling your interviews at 4:00PM Thursday, November 21, 2013 – Conference Manager closes at 12:00PM Thursday, November 21, 2013 – Parent Teacher Interviews Friday, November 22, 2013 – Parent Teacher Interviews If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact the school.

You can access the Parent Login Page using the link in the Confirmation Email. If you do not receive a Confirmation Email, you can login by going directly to https://calgaryscience.

Registration for Parent Teacher Interviews........... 3 Provincial Achievement Test Results...................... 4 Transportation Committee Update ....................... 5 Edmodo Info Session for Parents................................ 6

Happy Halloween ............................................ 10-11. Grade 9 Bamfield .............................................12-13 In The Classroom - Grades 7-9............................. 14 Best Of CSS............................................................. 15 Highlights of Superintendant’s Interviews........ 16 First Nations University Students Visit.................. 7 Fake Ad.................................................................... 17 Junior ATB................................................................... 8 November Calendar.............................................. 18 December Calendar............................................... 19 Shave A Lid For A Kid................................................ 9



Provincial Achievement Test Results Our 2012-2013 provincial achievement test results are in and we have spent some time analyzing them in order to inform our planning and instruction. The results are provided in the tables below. We continue to exceed provincial results in all categories and all subjects. It is important to remember that the tests are designed to assess the degree to which teachers are teaching the Alberta Programs of Studies; as such, people need to be wary about using the results to compare schools. The results are important for us to consider as a part of the overall picture of student learning and achievement.

transportation committee update

(NOTE – provincial percentages in parenthesis)

Grade 6 Results



Language Arts

Social Studies

Meets Acceptable Standard

96.9% (85.3%)

92.8% (80.3%)

100% (90.9%)

96.9% (80.7%)

Meets Standard of Excellence

41.2% (28.5%)

19.6% (18.1)%

25.8% (18%)

29.9% (21.1%)

Grade 9 Results



Language Arts

Social Studies

Meets Acceptable Standard Meets Standard of Excellence

Welcome Back! Welcome back from the Fall Break! The Transportation Committee and Analyst met in October to review and vote on all parent requests. The committee worked hard to provide the best routes possible for all students, in accordance with the Transportation Handbook, while juggling student numbers, ensuring safety, and striving for the shortest bus ride times. New route sheets were distributed to parents and the bus changes came into effect October 23, 2013.

All percentages are based on the number of students who actually wrote the tests, not the number of students who are enrolled in that course.


Volunteers We still require a volunteer to take over Route 8. Are you new to CSS? Please consider volunteering and getting to know other parents by joining the Transportation Committee today! We will provide a “transportation buddy” to train and show you the ropes. Contact the office or send us an email at today.


Results unavailable – tests were cancelled due to June Floods Results unavailable – tests were cancelled due to June Floods

Sign up for Southland Transportation’s Parent Messaging System. Directions to sign up can be found at the bottom of the transportation page at http://www.

Reminders With the recent first taste of winter, the Transportation Committee would like to encourage parents to review the Transportation Handbook, paying close attention to the sections dealing with delayed buses, the notification system and safety. A copy of the Transportation Handbook can be found on the CSS website under the transportation heading. •

Please be sure your children are dressed appropriately for the weather conditions (e.g. boots, hats, gloves, etc.).

Be prepared and have a back-up plan in place in case of bus delays.

Parent volunteers on the Transportation Committee monitor the transportation email on a regular basis. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to contact your route volunteer at: and include your bus route number in the subject line. Regards, Transportation Committee


Edmodo Information Session for Parents

First Nations

University Students Visit CSS By: Amman Adat

Edmodo Information For Parents

There will be an evening information session for parents on November 5, 2013. Three CSS teachers will share how they use Edmodo to communicate with parents and how

parents can use this tool to be better informed about their child’s work. Edmodo is a powerful learning management system that allows parents and students to see upcoming assignments, due dates, and to monitor assignment completion.

The session will be held from 6pm - 7pm in the IAC. Feel free to bring your child’s laptop or iPad and to access their Edmodo account during the session.

September 27 was a very special day at CSS. 4 First Nations stuents from MRU (Mount Royal University), representing 4 different tribes, came to share their experiences as First Nations people. 100 grade 7 students had many riveting questions and many of them were answered by the guest speakers. Mothers, fathers and grandparents of our guests were sent to residential schools, where they were forced to abandon their native language and practices. They explained how very few First Nations people still know their native language. Many things have affected the Aboriginals, and still are. In a few years, the ring road will be going through the Tsuu-Tina’s reserve; which also happens to be the land that Nicole and her family have settled on. She had mixed feelings about this.

After the quest speakers shared their informative thoughts, the grade 7’s took part in an engaging and trational dance, led by Nicole. All points from this intriguing conversation will be used to help the students with their “Culture and Change” project about the diverse cultures of the First Nation tribes.

Jessica: top left

Session Info Date: November 5, 2013 Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm Location: IAC

Jordan: top right

Braydon: bottom left Nicole: bottom right

If you are bringing your child’s laptop or iPad, please make sure that you can log in and you have access to your child’s Edmodo account.



Junior ATB The Junior ATB program teaches students about the power of saving and earning a sense of responsibility by letting students operate their very own ATB branch. Students are “hired” to do all the positions there are in a financial institution. After it’s up and running, the Junior ATB branches work just like regular ATB branches, with accounts being set up for other students to make deposits.

The different positions that students can apply for include Board Chairperson and CEO, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Teller and Marketing Manager. The students had interviews for their respective positions of choiceon October, 29. For more information on the Junior ATB program, click here.

Shave a Lid for a Kid On October 7, Chris Haun made an extraordinary choice to shave his head in support of the program “Shave a Lid for a Kid.” Chris is a grade 8 student here at CSS and he has experienced a lot of drama in his life. Chris was diagnosed with blood cancer when he was young, so now he wanted to shave his head to raise awareness and maybe even inspire other children through the difficulties of cancer.

Shave a Lid for a Kid What’s happening? *Shave head for cancer research. *Program is created by Kids Cancer Foundation. *Assisting afflicted kids and families through the obstacles and difficulties created by cancer. A quote from Chris: “It’s a great opportunity for both students and staff to get involved in the fight against cancer.” All proceeds go to the Kids Cancer Foundation as well as the shaved hair for Angels Hair. What are some things we can do as a school? • Create awareness • Shaving your head


Chris while getting his head shaved

After You might be wondering why we chose these colors. We choose these colors to relate to these ribbons

Lavender: This ribbon represents all cancer.

Gold: the gold ribbon represents childhood cancer, as Chris got cancer when he was a little kid.

Orange: the By: Annalise, orange ribbon Nicole, and represents leukemia (blood Alexa.R cancer). Chris had leukemia.




I like to hang out with friends on Halloween! -Alexa.S

It’s a time to express yourself! -Nicole By, Anna V., Danielle K., and Akamksha P.

Boo! I hope you get a good scare on October 31, I hope you know what day that is, Halloween! Halloween is a special day when you can dress up as anyone, for example, a witch, goblin, vampire, or even a princess. The students at CSS love to dress up in wacky costumes and go trick or treating. The kids in CSS are talking in the halls about their wacky costumes. Even the grade 9’s and teachers are dressing up for this crazy event. The grade 7.4’s made awesome masks to wear on halloween in their art PVA class. Some of the mask designs include a butterfly, ladybug, owl, panda, and a “Day of the Dead” mask. To make sure everybody was in the Halloween spirit we interviewed a teacher and a student about their plans for halloween.

Making my costume was super fun! -Annalise

I love to dress up! -Camryn

I like to see other people’s coustumes! -Febronia

We interviewed Rachel. P and Ms. Barnes What are you excited for? Rachel: Candy Ms.Barnes: Dressing up What are you dressing up as? Rachel: Salt and pepper with another person. Ms.Barnes: A bunch of grapes What is your favorite thing about Halloween? Rachel: Decorations Ms.Barnes: Candy What do you think Halloween is about? Rachel: Scaring people Ms. Barnes: Its an old festival, celebrations of the dead

I love trick-or-treating! -Caleb

Halloween is fun! -Karen

Have a spooky halloween!!!

I love seeing all the decorations! -Anna



Grade 9 Bamfield

By: Emily and Sarah On September 22, the Grade 9 students of CSS went to the Bamfield Marine Science Center on Vancouver Island to learn more about marine biology, and to do some fun labs. “I really enjoyed the field trip called Docks and Pilings. The students would go down to the docks and pull up different ropes and containers that are left in the water, and different sea life grows on them. It was amazing, and sometimes a bit gross!” said Ms. Groeller. The Grade 9’s were at Bamfield for six days. Some of the activities included learning about bioluminescence, marine invertebrates, going on boat rides, and sightseeing! “I learned about cells and cellular reproduction. We were able to watch a sand dollar egg be fertilized and then develop into an embryo over the course of the week,” said Omar M. “My favourite part was when we got to go out on the boat and watch the animals,” reflected Amanda. This trip was an amazing learning and outdoor education experience, something that this years Grade 9’s will never forget.



In The Classroom Grades 7-9

Best of CSS

By Tyra, Akanksha and Alexa.S There’s been a lot learning going on at CSS recently, though that shouldn’t come as a surprose. Grade 7’s are currently learning about the history of the earth and its geographical landscape in Math/Science. They also just finished a rather small unit on beavers and how they affect the environment and wildlife. In Grade 7 Humanities, they are working on a project about the 7 elements of culture and how the land shapes the people and the people shape the land. The 7.3/7.4 pod is also doing something called a Current Events Cafe, in which they discuss what is currently happening in the world, examples of the topics they have brought up so far are, Ivory trade, Syria and Self Esteem in relationship with the media. So far in most subjects, it has been more of a review of last year just to get them back into a working mode.

CSS has many great projects, including some extraordinary ones! They range from making pancakes to creating muppets! We also have a wide selection of cool technology, ranging from IPads to Laptops, to even 3D Printers! The students love their learning, so here are some examples.

Grade 9’s are working on a poetry anthology, which is poetry about someones personal identity. They are exploring what their identity means to them while making their own poem. They also have to find other poems that reflect the same idea. In science, the grade 9’s are studying biodiversity and genetics. They are also learning and practicing square roots in math. Grade 8’s made a “water time”, so they had to go through the steps of how the water becomes clean and where the water goes after it is used. In Humanities, classes are exploring current events, either in a group or individually. Right now they are debating how engaged, self-centered or apathetic millenials are in the world around them.

Kassie working on a class project

Will, Rayne, Nicole and Matthew making pancakes in the foods elective

Nima and Jack having fun in DPA

The 3-D printer!

Now that CSS has a 3D printer, students have yet another way to present their understanding. But everyone needs a break. DPA (Daily Physical Activity) is a great way to exercise, have fun and also take leadership when you are the student to lead the DPA for the period. These and more are the Best of CSS!



Highlights of the Annual Superintendent Interviews


november 2013 28




DAY 6 5



DAY 3 31

Day 4 1

DAY 2 7

DAY 3 8



of Calgary Science School Parents, Students and Staff The fourth annual superintendent interviews of parents, students and staff members were conducted by CSS school superintendant Dr. Garry McKinnon over several weeks in the spring of 2013 as a component of the ongoing school evaluation process. On March 7 and 8 during student-­ ‐ led conferences, 50 parents were interviewed. In May and June, grade 4 to 9 students as class groups (24 classes -­‐ approximately 600 students) were interviewed. As well, teaching and support staff members (42 participants) were interviewed. The feedback generated through the two questions (without any prompting) “What causes you

to believe that the Calgary Science School is a very good school and what suggestions for improvement would you like to offer?”, has been organized as commendations or recommendations for further consideration, on the basis of common themes, which were identified through a thematic analysis process.


band camp at camp chestermere

Full results and conclusions of the superintendant interviews can be found on the CSS website at http:// www.calgar downloads/2013/06/Superintendent-Interviews-June-25-2013. pdf


DAY 1 6

band camp at camp chestermere School Council Meeting 7:-00 PM 12







DAY 6 15


DAY 4 21

DAY 5 22




DAY 2 28

debate tournament

DAY 3 29

DAY 4 30

wrestling league finals 4:00 - 8:00 pm

4:00pm - 9:00


pva showcase 1 PARENT-TEACHER PARENT- TEACHER INTERVIEWS 2:00pm - 3:00pm interviews 4:00 - 8:00 pm 8:00 am - 1:00 pm FUN LUNCH MR. SUB no classes



DAY 1 16

wrestling wrestling tournament Tournament at css 4:00pm - 9:00pm CHOIR & HANDBELLS @ SPRUCE MEADOWS

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

DAY 2 19


DAY 5 14

vaccinations hep b- grade 5

Report cards go home


remembrance day organizational SNACK ATTACK assembly day BOOSTER JUICE 10:30 - 11:30 am CSS Gym no classes

DAY 4 13

remembrance day school closed



December 2013 1


Day 5 3

Day 6 4

School council 7:00-8:30 PM css Library

Day 1 5

Day 2



Grade 8 telus Winter Concert pd/planning 7:00-8:00 Pm day spark field CSS Gym no classes trip Fun Lunch Extreme Pita



Day 3 10

Day 4 11

Day 5 12

Day 6


Day 1 14

Day 5



Snack Attack Christmas Cookie GRADE 6 WINTER CAMP PARENT MEETING 15


Day 2 17

Day 3 18

Day 4 19

Fun Lunch Mr. SUB







Peace Festival Closing Assembly 1:00-3:00

pd/planning day no classes











School Resumes Monday, January 6, 2014

Spectrum Newsletter November 2013  

November 2013 newsletter of the Calgary Science School