Wednesday, December 21, 2011

School board sidelines plan to silence public at meetings

(From the CBC website)

Calgary’s public school trustees voted on Tuesday night to put off a proposal that would have stopped members of the public from making presentations at board meetings.

The motion — drawn up by trustees Joy Bowen-Eyre, Pamela King and board chair Pat Cochrane — also sought to restrict questions from trustees at meetings.

Proponents of the procedural reform said it was aimed at making the Calgary Board of Education meetings more efficient.

But some trustees argued citizen input is vital to a publically-elected school board.

After debating the proposal – along with several amendments to it -- the board voted unanimously just before midnight to ask its proponents to consult with the public and re-submit it in February.

Larry Leach, an advocate with the Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Calgary Schools, praised the decision to rethink the changes.

“I think they're further ahead in the sense that they have listened to the public. I think indeed taking away a form of public engagement without replacing it was not the best move,” he said.

Visit CBC to view the article as published here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

From Larry Leach, Chair of ARTICS

(This was sent to Shane this morning, as ARTICS' response to the CBE Trustee's announcement to alter how the public can interact with the board.)

Please excuse this unsolicited contact. But the members of ARTICS (the Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Calgary Schools) feel strongly about the right to have a voice in the public education system, a value that we think you might share. 

We learned yesterday that CBE Trustees Cochrane, King and Bowen-Eyre are proposing updated board procedures that aim to silence parents by eliminating the opportunity to ask questions or address the Board as a whole. In essence, if you have a dissenting voice, the CBE Board of Trustees does not appear to want to hear from you. Instead, the CBE would rather dictate the agenda and parameters of the discussion, as opposed to allowing the public to bring issues forward as they see fit. You can find out more on our blog at: http://www.knowyourtrustee.com/2011/12/does-the-cbe-value-public-input
Please join the public board meeting of the CBE Board of Trustees today (Dec 20) at 5:00pm (until 5:45) to hear possibly the last ever public questions and stakeholder reports. The address of the Education Centre is 1221 - 8 Street SW. Let's not let them sneak this through at Christmastime. Whether or not you are able to attend, please write or phone your trustee, to share your thoughts about this attempt to silence the public. 

Larry Leach
Chair, ARTICS

Trustee contact information:
Wards 1 & 2: Joy Bowen-Eyre, 403-294-8121, jmboweneyre@cbe.ab.ca
Wards 3 & 4: Lynn Ferguson, 403-294-8263, lcferguson@cbe.ab.ca
Wards 5 & 10: Pamela King, 403-294-8261, plking@cbe.ab.ca
Wards 6 & 7: George Lane, 403-294-8265, gslane@cbe.ab.ca
Wards 8 & 9: Pat Cochrane, 403-294-8123, pjcochrane@cbe.ab.ca
Wards 11 & 13: Sheila Taylor, 403-294-8120, sltaylor@cbe.ab.ca
Wards 12 & 14: Carol Bazinet, 403-294-8241, cabazinet@cbe.ab.ca

(Our trustee is Carol Bazinet)

Calgary Board of Education considers changes to limit public input at meetings

(From the Calgary Herald website)

The city’s public school board is considering sweeping changes to its meeting procedures that would abolish public input, eliminate individual trustee questions and maintain sole authority to broadcast proceedings.

The working group report prepared by a trio of trustees — chairwoman Pat Cochrane and representatives Pamela King and Joy Bowen-Eyre — says the aim is to make Calgary Board of Education meetings “more effective and efficient.”

None of the report’s authors responded to a Herald request on Monday for an interview.

Read more here.

(Weren't they asking for MORE public input not too long ago?? - N)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Don't forget!

Haultain's Christmas Concert takes place on Wednesday evening, at 7pm in the gymnasium - hope to see everyone there!

Alberta school boards' cash goes to teachers

$65 million to hire more than 600 teachers
The Canadian Press

Redford restores $107M in education funding

More than half of the $107 million returned to education funding by the Alberta government has gone to hiring teachers.

The government says school boards spent $65 million to hire more than 600 teachers.

Another $23 million was spent on almost 400 additional teachers' aides.

The rest went toward classroom materials, professional development, technology and equipment.

Within days of becoming premier in October, Alison Redford returned the money that had been cut from the education budget.

Read the full story here.

Parents advocate Wi-Fi ban despite evidence

By Linda Nguyen, Postmedia News

Although wireless Internet can be found everywhere from your corner coffee shop to your local dog park, a growing group of concerned parents across the country are urging health officials to keep it out of one place: schools.

And if this year was any indication, the chorus of opposition to the popular technology and its potential health effects is gaining momentum.

In September, at least 12 elementary and middle schools in Ontario and B.C. imposed sweeping bans on wireless Internet by not installing it or removing it completely from their classrooms. In May, the World Health Organization reclassified the radio frequency (RF) energy emitted through wireless devices such as cellphones and Wi-Fi connections as possibly carcinogenic.

Health Canada maintains that strong scientific evidence shows current exposure rates to these low-level frequencies is “not dangerous” and that there is no need for the public to take any precautions.

Intrigued? Disturbed? Read on here!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Temper Tantrums: The Science

"To conduct their study, researchers equipped toddlers with wireless microphones sewn into their clothing and – over time – recorded more than a hundred tantrums." - sounds like a lot fun...?


Roxane B. sent this in.  If your child indulges in temper tantrums, this may make for an interesting read. In case your kids are a little older and you've forgotten the pleasures of a great meltdown, I've included a video of this poor child who just wants to sit at the corner of the table, unfortunately the table is round.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"I'm Bored" - Need Some Ammo? Read On.



Roxane B. sent this story in for the blog.  An article about what to do with the kids over the break.  On the cheap.  From crafts to kitchen work, some great ideas here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thank you, Cheryl!

It was mentioned by Mrs. Brewis at tonight's meeting that the class field trip to The Ukranian Orthodox Cultural Centre was a hit. The Association gladly provided funding for transportation, and was pleased to hear that the trip was a success. Here's Cheryl's account of the event:

"The students in Rooms 1 and 2, Mrs. Brewis and Ms. Karlson’s classes, went to St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cultural Centre on Tuesday December 6th for the morning. They first went into the church where Father Timothy gave them background information on what all the icons meant and the meanings behind all the colors. The students asked some great questions and were very keen to learn all the meanings. After this we split up into three groups and moved on to different stations within the building.

One station was in the church itself where the students were able to take photos of the picturesque church. After each student had an opportunity to take photos they were encourage to sketch in their visual journals. I know my small group really enjoyed the sketching portion of their visit.

Another station was in a small meeting room where the students were able to sit and watch a video about a family and what their life was like when they first immigrated to Canada, living in the Alberta Prairie’s. The students were to watch the film and think of what their life was like compared to how the family in the film lived. They were surprised to learn that the children in the movie did a lot of the work.

The final station was in a small museum area in the building where the students could see old artifacts. A few students were chosen to act out a scene one may have seen in the Ukraine as a mother gives her 17 year old son a ticket to travel to Canada. This brought the museum to life as they were no longer just artifacts but real people. The students were also quickly shown how to make fabric from a sheep’s wool, there were many steps involved in making a simple piece of fabric. I know seeing this sure made me appreciate the “Walmarts” we have today!"

Thank you, Cheryl!

CPR Holiday Train Coming to Town


Roxane B. thought everyone would like to know about the annual visit from CPR's 'Holiday Train'.  It will be in Calgary this year on Friday December 9 (tomorrow) at 6:00pm, 9511 Horton Road SW.  All the details can be found here. Or watch the video and learn all about it.
-thanks Roxane.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

From Kristie, our fundraising co-ordinator

Hello Parents!!!

So this year, sadly, we did not do the Innisbrook Fundraiser, I know how much everyone liked the wrapping paper, but I felt a year off would be best. Never fear, it will be back next year!!! We will do the annual Fundraiser again in October of next year, but in the meantime, Shane Campsall turned my attention to a really cool fundraiser called Fundscrip (www.fundscrip.com), I have all the information and we will be doing this Fundraiser in the Springtime. Check out their website in anticipation of our next effort to raise money for our awesome school!!!

Calgary kindergarten class gets social on Twitter

A Calgary kindergarten class is using Twitter to connect with children from around the world.

The Calgary French and International School class uses Twitter to find out what's happening with kindergarten classes from as far away as Indonesia and France.

"I want my kids to have a sense of: I'm part of my class, I'm part of my school, but I am also part of this community of children who go to school every day and go to kindergarten and sing songs and play games and learn to read," said teacher Amy Murray.

Murray types the Tweets on her laptop, which is projected on the wall, but the class writes them as a group.

The five- and six-year-olds aren't only learning the importance of speaking another language, but they’re also finding out about countries a world away, said Murray.

The class's Twitter account is security protected – only teachers, kindergarten classes or parents of kids in the class follow the tweets.

Read comments on this cbc.ca story here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ontario School Cancels Christmas Concert

Here's One for Stephan:

The National Post today published a story about some angry parents in an Ottawa area community whose school admin has decided to cancel Christmas festivities.  Read more here.

For an alternative view which espouses secularity in public schools read this article.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kids pose with Santa and guns

(From the Calgary Sun website.)



Ah, Christmas. The season of giving, of goodwill toward men ... and of gun-toting children.
The Scottsdale Gun Club, in Arizona, has come up with a holiday card that offers more bang for the buck, reports KOLD News 13. It's letting members and their families pose with Santa along with their choice of machine guns.
"I think it's going to be all in fun from those who support the second amendment and those who don't," club member Richard Jones told the channel. "Whether you're a gun advocate or not, you should have a lot of fun with it."
Families can also try out the AK-47s, M-16s and other assault weapons while they're there, in case they're looking for that perfect gift.
(Anyone care to offer up a comment or two?)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Girls pulling ahead of boys in school, report shows

(an interesting article from the Calgary Herald site)

A new report shows that female Grade 8 students are outperforming their male counterparts in Canada on reading and science, with no discernable difference between the two genders in math skills.

The report, released Monday, outlines the results of the 2010 Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) from the Council of Ministers of Education in Canada.

It's based on test results from 32,000 Grade 8 students from more than 1,600 schools across the country, providing a national report card.

Girls scored better than boys in both science and reading, lending credence to the view that boys need a push in several subjects.

Break-down by province
Students in Quebec and Ontario scored above the national average on math. They scored near the national average in Alberta, and below the average in all other provinces and territories tested.

When it comes to science, students in Alberta and Ontario scored above the national average. They scored near the national average in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, and below the average in all other provinces and territories tested.

On the reading portion, students in Ontario and Alberta scored above the national average. They scored near the national average in British Columbia, and below the average in all other provinces and territories tested.

When it comes to reading and writing there is a problem with how boys view reading and writing, according to Denis Mildon, an independent consultant who helped ensure that CMEC collected the data properly and helped write the report.

Read the rest here.

Health ministers sound alarm on childhood obesity

Canada's health ministers issued separate but similar warnings Thursday that obesity — specifically childhood obesity — is now a critical national health concern and a major contributor to rising health-care costs.

Obesity is the "next epidemic," said federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, speaking in Ottawa to a Senate committee studying the health system. "Our children will not live to our age because of obesity."

Provincial and territorial health ministers, meeting in Halifax, were even more emphatic.

"It's not the next epidemic, it's the present epidemic," said Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc, a medical doctor, whose remark prompted a joint nodding of heads by his 12 provincial and territorial colleagues at a news conference here.

Read the full story here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

HOJA Success... Again

Another great session with the team from HOJA was enjoyed at the school earlier this month.  The popular performers sang (a cappella) a wide variety of tunes from singers including: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Alabama (see pic), Mrs. Karlson was regaled with 'Brown Eyed Girl', and the crowd joined in on 'YMCA' - Mr. Barkley's favourite.  The performance ended with a great message to follow your dreams, believe in yourself and never give up.

There was also an unidentified 'volunteer' performer from the audience who by all accounts was enthusiastic if a little perplexed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two Interesting Articles

These were sent in by Roxane: "How to raise an appreciative child" and "Pack those lunch bags with tasty inspiration".  (I guess the second answers the first). 

Thanks Roxane, if anyone else comes across a story they'd like to share please send it in - we'd be happy to post it.

Minister of Education Teleconference: Open to All

The Minister of Education is hosting a teleconference with parents and school councils at 7:45 pm on November 29th to discuss education.

  The Minister believes that parents play an important role in the education system, and is interested in hearing directly from them.

  Parents and School Council representatives are invited to participate in the conference call with the Honourable Thomas Lukaszuk, Minister of Education to discuss priorities for the next several months for Alberta's education system.

  Participants are encouraged to gather as a group to dial in where possible.

  The call will begin at 7:45 PM on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 and will take approximately 1 hour.
Please dial in at least 15 to 20 minutes ahead of time to the number listed below, as it will take time for all participants to be queued into the call and ensure participation.

Dial in information: 1-888-789-9572
Conference ID: # 5634664

  When participants dial in they will be greeted by a conference operator asking for the conference ID, the person's name, school and school authority. Participants will be able to ask a limited number of questions following the Minister's comments.

  All questions and responses will be heard by all participants and the Minister will answer as many questions as possible in the time allotted. If you experience any problems during the conference call, please stay on the line to speak to the operator.

  If participants have any questions in the days leading up to the teleconference, please contact Maureen Melnyk, Education Manager, Learning Supports & Information Management, at maureen.melnyk@gov.ab.ca or by telephone at 780-427-6272, or by calling toll free at 310-0000.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Calgarians homeschooling through board programs

(From the CBC website)

Home schooling programs through the Calgary Board of Education have seen a 30 per cent rise in the number of parents taking part.


Read the full story here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembrance display at Deer Valley Co-op

Thanks to all who attended our Remembrance Day assembly. The event was a very respectful, student-generated honour to all of those who have served our country. I was extremely proud of the time, energy and ownership our students demonstrated. If it is at all possible, try to stop in at the Deer Valley Co-op this Remembrance Day. Co-op will be displaying art produced by Room 11's grade 5/6 students. Be sure to pop in and take a look.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Calgary public school board drops plan to build wind turbine at E.P. Scarlett High School

(From the Calgary Herald website)

The city's public school board is abandoning its plan to install a 42.7 metre-high wind turbine in a school ground because of public concerns.

When the Calgary Board of Education unveiled its proposal for the $290,000 machine at Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School during a public meeting last week, area residents complained they had not been adequately consulted.

While officials said the noise from the nine-metre-long blades would not be audible in homes that are as little as 130 metres away from the planned turbine site, CBE spokesman Richard Peter said in a phone message that the board listened to the feedback from neighbours in the nearby Canyon Meadows and Southwood subdivisions and decided not to proceed.

The full article can be read here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Not all children would thrive in all-day kindergaten

Michelle Bamford’s afternoon kindergarten students are sitting at her feet looking up at her in that open, starry-eyed kind of way that five-year-olds do.

These 19 students at West Springs Elementary School in southwest Calgary will spend about two and a half hours in her class this day and every week day, but that could change next year for kindergarten students, if Premier Alison Redford lives up to her leadership campaign promise to bring in full-day kindergarten across the province.

So the natural question is: Does full-day kindergarten make sense? Will it benefit children or just be an added convenience for parents who work outside the home — eliminating the need for additional daycare? Is the cost-benefit analysis of spending an additional $200 million worth it in the long run? Should full-day kindergarten be mandatory or optional?

Read the full story here.

Proposed wind turbine at E.P. Scarlett High School stirs stormy debate. What do you think?

(From the Calgary Herald website)


Community residents claim they weren’t ‘properly informed’

What began as a staid open house on a proposed 47-metre-tall wind turbine slated for a school ground turned stormy Wednesday when some southwest residents demanded to know why they weren’t “properly informed” of the Calgary Board of Education’s plan and questioned how such a project will benefit the community or even the environment.

While board officials defended the proposal as a superior learning tool for students, staff and residents, visitors to the open house at E.P. Scarlett High School accused the CBE of not being transparent.

“It really aggravates me that the board doesn’t bother to notify people of these things in a public way,” said Christine Ingham, who lives in Canyon Meadows and says she found out about the meeting by accident.

“And then, we get here and see there is no balanced information, just how great they think it is.”

Read more here.

Education Act put on hold

Alberta's new education act needs more work and has been pulled from this fall's legislative session, the province announced Thursday.

Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk said more consultation will be held on Bill 18 over the next few months. The move comes after school boards and other organizations identified some outstanding issues with the proposed act.

"I want to hear from as many individuals as I possibly can. What their view of the act as it is structured right now is and what the possibilities are to make this act even better," Lukaszuk said Thursday.

"I want to make sure that in this province for the sake of our kids and those entering our school system for many years to come, we have the best piece of legislation possible."

Bill 18 was tabled last spring by Dave Hancock, who was then Alberta's education minister.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scary costume ban at Calgary schools dampens Halloween spirit

(From the Calgary Sun website)

Darth Vader has been forced out. Thor has fallen under the hammer of political correctness.

Any sign of blood, gore or death is likely to be met with a groan at the school doors, where costumes deemed violent are headed for the crypt.

At least that’s the fear of some kids and parents at two southeast elementary schools, as yet another fun childhood holiday is sent through the wringer of social sanitation, to emerge flat and boring.

Read the full, horrific story here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Is Halloween Too Scary for Kids?

(Thanks for submitting this article, Roxane! This is from 'The Faster Times')

We take Halloween deadly serious at my house. In our front yard, heaps of fresh dirt cover new graves, a bloody brain roasts on a hibachi, femurs litter the ground. Standing amid all this store-bought devastation, 9-year-old Ethan inserts a severed arm into his own sweater sleeve, then gravely offers to shake my hand.

Is it really healthy to allow kids to feel the chill of good old fashioned terror this season? Or am I setting up my son for sleepless nights and future therapy? On the web, discussions of this parental concern are as plentiful as leftover candy corn.

Psychologists note that children younger than ten may be most vulnerable to Halloween’s horrors as they often have a hard time distinguishing the real and the not real: A kindergartner may be truly terrified of the zombie lurching at her, even if beneath the undead trappings it’s only jolly Uncle Fred.

Click here to read more. Click the 'comments' link beneath this article to leave yours.

No boo for you, say Calgary schools

It’s care, not scare this Halloween.

The holiday coming up Monday won’t be the fright fest it usually is for students at Colonel Walker and Ramsay Schools, which this year decided to ban scary, violent costumes.

Instead, the schools are making Halloween a celebration about caring and have asked students to wear non-violent costumes to reflect that, said Calgary Board of Education spokeswoman Karen Drummond.

“They decided to make Halloween a celebration of caring that aligns with the culture of their schools,” she said.

(Have comments? Please leave them below!)

Read the full article here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween candy plan

... we're almost there. "That" day is one week away. This article, submitted by Roxane and found on 'Today's Parent', offers up some helpful hints to parents on how to make sure their children still eat properly during the looming candy fest - click here, have a read, and feel free to post your comments using the link below!

Big business is bad for kids, author says

Multinational corporations are corroding children's rights on several fronts, according to a new book by Canadian legal scholar Joel Bakan.

In "Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children," Bakan argues that over the past three decades, governments have bestowed greater freedoms on multinationals, allowing them to boost profits by drugging, poisoning and brainwashing kids from a very young age.

Read more here - and if you have comments or thoughts, please click the 'comments'  link below, and let us know what they are.

(Thanks again, Roxane!)

Schools open lockers to advertising

(Thanks to Roxane for finding this article)



School lockers are becoming the latest venue for bombarding kids with advertising.
Just what that will look like is on display at the north suburban Centennial school administration building: four lockers wrapped in a bubblegum pink ad for the Mall of America's "Underwater Adventures" aquarium.
On Nov. 1, the school board is slated to decide whether it will allow the ads on up to 10 percent of the available surfaces in all of the district's seven schools. That includes lockers, walls and floors. The take for the district? $184,000 a year.
Click here to read the full article.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Haultain Parent Committee Meeting Dates

The following is a list of dates schedules for the Haultain Parent Council meetings:
November 17, 2011
December 8, 2011
January 19, 2012
March 15, 2012
April 19, 2012
May 10, 2012
Meetings are at 6:30pm-8:30pm in the school library. The meetings are run in a casual, friendly and efficient format and everyone is welcome. It is great opportunity to as questions, present ideas and meet people. Also, see the Essential Links list on this page for other relevant meeting times and dates

Friday, October 14, 2011

Provincial education funding should pay for more teachers, aides

(From the Calgary Herald website)

Additional provincial funding should be used to hire more teachers, pay for educational aides and provide supports for special needs students, according to the results of an online survey by the city’s public school board.

But strings attached to the $19.2 million in additional funding the Calgary Board of Education will receive mean that not all of the money can go directly to classrooms.

Read the full story here. 

Council and Association meetings next week

Our October meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, October 20th, in the library at Haultain. As always, it's a great venue for parents to see what the Council and Association does, and offers parents an opportunity to present opinions or concerns.

There was a suggestion at the last meeting that an Association offered babysitting service might help parents with young children attend - please take the time to answer the poll shown below.  Don't forget to click 'Submit' after you check Yes or No.

We welcome any and all input - parent engagement is crucial to our childrens' schooling.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Second Ontario school removes Wi-Fi

(From the Canada.com website)


The principal of an Ontario private school says he realizes the evidence linking Wi-Fi and cancer is less than certain, but he's "erred on the side of caution" by unplugging the system.

The school Adam Parker runs, Wayside Academy in Peterborough, Ont., is the second private school in Ontario in recent months to have removed its Wi-Fi Internet system, citing health concerns.

Parker said parents of students at the private Catholic school, which teaches kindergarten to Grade 12, drove the change.

Click here to read the full article.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Calgary school grades top provincial average

(From calgarysun.com)

While a snapshot of Calgary students’ academic success shows positive strides, questions have been raised about literacy levels and the pressures of provincial exams.
Both the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) Wednesday released the results of their students’ 2010-2011 provincial achievement and diploma exams.

The CBE reports students in Grades 3, 6 and 9 outperformed the province at the acceptable standard in 12 of 13 subjects on their achievement tests and at the standard of excellence in 11 of 13.

Grade 12 diploma exam students outperformed the province in nine of 11 subjects at the acceptable standard and in all 11 subjects at the standard of excellence.
Chief Superintendent Naomi Johnson says the outcomes are the result of “continuous improvement over time” and recognizing the “unique learning needs of each student.”

The CCSD, which didn’t release its Grade 3 French Language Arts and French math (the latter is grouped in the Grade 3 math category at the CBE) achievement test results, outperformed the province in 11 of 12 subjects at the acceptable standard and in all 12 at the standard of excellence.

Read the full story here.

Alberta students get provincial test results back

(From the cbc.ca website)

It was a nervous day for school boards across Alberta as the province released the results of achievement tests and diploma exams.

The achievement tests are done each year for students in grades 3, 6 and 9, with diploma exams for those in Grade 12. The Grade 9 achievement test is posted at the bottom of this story.

The tests are meant to measure how much students comprehend the curriculum.

Click here to read the full story.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What to do with the money...?



The CBE is looking for input about what to do if education funding is restored. As you may know, Premier-designate Alison Redford promised to restore funding if elected.  Please click this link and answer the two questions about how you want the money spent, assuming it is "unfettered" cash and that Premiere Redford will come through with the promise.


http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CBEfunding

Monday, October 3, 2011

Desperate Alberta teachers await $107M infusion promised by Premier Redford

(Found on the Calgary Herald website.)

New premier vows to restore funding

Thrilled with the promise of $100 million in cuts returned to provincial education coffers, Calgary teachers are watching closely how premier-designate Alison Redford unrolls the funding plan.

Jenny Regal, president of the Local 38 of the Alberta Teachers' Association, said she was first "flabbergasted, then excited," to see Redford's surprise Tory victory.

Click here to read the full story.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The kids are online — children entering digital age earlier than ever

BY MISTY HARRIS, POSTMEDIA NEWS

When five-year-old Sally Chow was last angry with her dad, she didn't stomp her feet or throw a tantrum. The Vancouver youngster simply held up her thumb and finger and defiantly pinched them together — a gesture used on computer tablets for resizing something.

"That was her way of saying, 'I'm making you smaller,'" says John Chow, laughing.Click here to read the full story.

Monday, September 26, 2011

School zone safety


It's important that speed limits need to be observed in school and playground zones at designated times. It always takes a bit of time every year for motorists to get used to slowing down in both playground and school zones, instead of just playground zones.

Click here to read an informative .pdf file on school zone safety.

Methods for teaching grade school math don't add up: Study

The following excerpt from article, written by Amy Chung from Postmedia News, is worth a read.

"Canada's public schools are doing a poor job of teaching basic math skills and shortchanging a generation of kids, says a study by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy."

Click here for the full story - click "Comments" under this entry to leave yours.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

No More Junk Food

The CBE has announced a ban on junk food! 

"As of Jan. 1, 2012, foods not considered nutritional will not be sold through Calgary Board of Education contracted vendors..." - Damien Wood: Calgary Sun

This doesn't mean that your kids can't bring what they want to eat at school snack and lunch times but it is part of a process in educating our kids about healthy choices.  Naomi Johnson, Chief Superintendent of Schools says, "Children spend much of their day in our schools and therefore we must model, in all the ways we can, how to be health-conscious citizens"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

28th Alberta General Election

As early as October 2011, Albertan's may be going to the polls for the 28th time in our history to choose our premiere.  With Ed Stelmach's announcement that he will not be seeking election, the PC party of Alberta has been in the throes of picking a new leader.  In the race, for what some are deeming the 'Coronation of Alberta' (PC's have 72 of a possible 83 provincial seats), were 6 candidates.

Since the first ballot was struck, the PC's are down to three candidates (Gary Mar, Alison Redford, and Doug Horner) and the second ballot, a preferential vote, will be cast on October 1.

As with most politicians, its very hard to pin down exactly what they plan to do if elected.  Policy on education with these three is no different. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Free eyeglasses for children aged 4-10

(Here's a great find - thank you, Trevor.)

Often teachers are the first people to notice that children require eyeglasses. Calgary’s Real Canadian Superstore opticals departments are offering a free pair of eyeglasses to children aged 4-10 years old for the month of September.

The eyeglasses just requires a valid prescription written within the past 90 days. The offer is available at the Shawnessy (SW), Deerfoot Meadows (SE), Huntington (NW), Coventry Hills(NW), and Westwinds(NE) Real Canadian Superstore locations.

Please let Superstore know that you heard about this offer through the CBE.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Parent Teacher Interview: Online Booking



Book your interview online starting September 19th at 8am.  Click here, then fill in the boxes.  If you try to book before hand it won't actually reserve your spot so make sure you wait until after 8am.

Friday, September 16, 2011

AGM, done and dusted.

Thank you to everyone who attended last night's Parent Council/Association Annual General Meetings in the Haultain library. It was great to see some new faces - and it was a good way to start off the year.

The Council and Association welcomes our new Vice Chair, Cindy - and the Association thanks Kristie for stepping up again as Fundraising Co-ordinator, Ramona as Volunteer Co-ordinator, Martine as Casino Co-ordinator, and Clair as Treasurer. A big thank you to our new members, and another to the members who are stepping down - in particular to Shane, who did a fantastic job as Chair for a very long time. Thanks also to Steve for his work on the casinos, and to Tracey who did a fantastic job as treasurer.

I was appointed chair in Shane's stead last night, and will do my best to keep things running smoothly - though I have big shoes to fill. Kudos to Shane, who put in years of dedication and hard work on the council.

Minutes from last night's meeting will be available for viewing online shortly, as will the dates of this year's remaining Council and Association meetings (Please check the Google calendar at the bottom of this page). For parents with children new to the school, attending these meetings is a great way to learn about how the school administration works, how the Association raises and  spends money - and it's the very best way to have your say and vote on issues big and small.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September School Newsletter and AGM Reminder

Click here to read the latest newsletter: our principal found the space to mention Peter Cetera and 'inscribed vinyl discs' in the same entry... those of us of a certain age understand.  Kind of like when my daughter saw her first '45' and wondered how it would fit in the cd player.

Also don't forget to attend the AGM, Thursday at 6:30 in the library.  We are still looking for a treasurer for the PA so if you're 'dollars and cents' inclined and can help out please step forward.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ice Cream Social



Its here again: the very popular (and sticky) Ice Cream Social is this week!  Sponsored by the Parent Association, its a great way to meet teachers, principal, staff and other parents.

Starts at 6:30, ends around 7:30 on Thursday (the 8th).  Haultain students and immediate family welcome - hope to see you there.

Council and PA: Quick Primer

This post is a quick summary of the work and structure of the School Council and the Parent Association.

There is a lot of understandable confusion about just what these organizations are and who comprises them.

I'll start with who because that's the simplest. We are parents. Easy as that, the two groups are made up of parents like you who have taken a keen interest in their children's education environment. We represent all of the parents in the school (through elections) and our collective desires in how the school's extra programming is run.

The structure of the two groups is quite simple as well. The PA is a group of volunteers who raise and spend money on school programming. The Council (click for more information from an earlier post) is an advisory group who works closely with the school administration and staff to discuss all matters within the school.

We have an Annual General Meeting (AGM) every September. During this special meeting we vote on the budget for the upcoming year and elect new executives - plan on joining us this year and becoming involved as a voter, volunteer or leader: it would be great to have you! Thursday, September 15th at 6:30 in the library.

Below is a partial list of past items that have been talked about, voted on, and funded at Council and Association meetings:

Hoja
Clay for Kids
Outdoor School
Busing fro Field Trips
Open Minds Museum
One World Drumming
Ice Cream Social
Mural in Tunnel
Piano and Other Musical Supplies
Science Equipment
School Sign
Murals in Gym
Owl Presentation

Decidedly Jass
U of C Archeology
Inline Skating Family Nigh
Agendas
Bird School
Alien Inline
Books in Library and Classrooms
Shelves For the Foyer
Gym Equipment
Playground and Repair
Artist in Residence
Swimming
Pancake Breakfast

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back To School!

I hope that everyone had a great summer.

Not sure if I agree with the commercials that like to sing about this being the 'most wonderful time of the year' but here it is anyway: back to school time. Haultain is back in on September 1st this week - Thursday.

A quick reminder that our AGM is coming up as the first meeting of the year. We will discuss and vote on the spending budget for the year as well as fill some vacant executive positions. Everyone is welcome to the meeting and if you are a parent or guardian of a student at the school, then you have voting rights on all topics and can run for a position on either the Council or the Association. If you are interested in being nominated for Chair, Vice-Chair or Treasurer and would like more information - please let me know. The AGM is on Thursday, September 15th at 6:30 in the library.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Calgary school board chair: 'We may be very close to the breaking point'

Budget will cut 331 job positions, including teachers

By Matt McClure, Calgary Herald

CALGARY - Class sizes at Calgary’s public schools are set to grow come September after trustees approved a budget Tuesday that will cut hundreds of jobs — including the positions of 171 frontline teachers — even as enrolment rises.

Despite exhausting its rainy day reserves and dramatically hiking some fees it charges parents, chairwoman Pat Cochrane said the Calgary Board of Education couldn’t spare students and teachers from sharing the pain as it sought to balance its books despite a $61.7-million shortfall.

“There’s a lot of human beings who won’t be working with our kids next year,” Cochrane said.

“We may be very close to the breaking point.”

Read more here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

CBE funding of charitable trust draws fire amid staff cuts

An education watchdog is questioning the Calgary Board of Education’s $750,000-a-year grant to its charitable trust when the district is eliminating the jobs of hundreds of teachers and support staff.

Larry Leach, president of the Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Calgary Schools, said trustees need to take a hard look at their continued support of EducationMatters in light of the board’s budget constraints.

“They need to scrutinize every dollar they’re spending that doesn’t directly impact students in classrooms,” Leach said.

“If you want to maintain class sizes in these mean times, something has to give.”

The full story is available for reading here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No More Grades on Report Cards?

Imagine getting a report card where the only assessment is: Established, Emerging, or Developing.

No A's or B's, no 5's or 4's, no 72.5% just one of those three words and some teacher comments. That is exactly how a school Division in Parkland (west of Edmonton) has reportedly decided they will grade students from now on.

Alberta Prime Time recently had a short panel discussion about this issue. Watch the video here. Proponents on the panel include Eryn Kelly who is co-president of the Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils. She argues that this system is a good assessment technique. Alternatively, Michael Zwaagstra an Associate Researcher for the Frontier Center, feels the three positive assessors are too vague and may limit motivation for your student to do better.

What do you think: would you rather see a percentage mark/grade or 'emerging' on a report card? Are we being too careful with our student's esteem?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Horrors do it again!




Attempting to repeat last year's success, the Haultain Horrors (Craig Mason, Trevor Barkley, Patrick Murphy, Shane Campsall, Kevin Rochon, Mike Skinner and Nick Newton) took to the streets this past weekend at the Deerfoot Mall in northeast Calgary, where the 2011 version of CBC and Hockey Night in Canada's "Play On" 4 on 4 street hockey tournament took place.

The intrepid Horrors endured horrific cold and wet weather conditions on Saturday, as well as aggressive, physical opponents - and scraped enough wins together to make it to the final on Sunday.

Having battled through to the finals, the Horrors stickhandled their way through adversity, scoring a triumphant win over the Calgary Chiefs to win this year's tournament "Legends" division title.



Congratulations, Horrors!

“The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side”
- Margaret Carty

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How Red Deer public school board keeps administration costs low

To understand how Red Deer’s public school board keeps its administration costs so low, it may be useful to know that its chief superintendent drives a 17-year-old Ford Explorer with an odometer that’s long since rolled past 300,000 kilometres.

“Staff laugh at me and mock me when I drive up at a school,” Piet Langstraat says. “I guess it reflects my view that whether it’s taxpayer’s money or your own, you shouldn’t be wasting it on luxuries, especially during hard times.”

From its total budget of $101 million this year, the Red Deer Public School district will spend just 2.7 per cent on administration, while devoting 81.6 per cent of its budget to instruction.

Read the full story here.

Calgary schools carry higher administration cost burden than most in Alberta: Analysis

By Matt McClure, Calgary Herald

Calgary’s public and separate school boards spend a bigger proportion of their scarce finances on top officials and trustees than most other large school districts in Alberta, according to a Herald analysis of board budgets.

The Calgary Board of Education would save $10.5 million and the Calgary Catholic School District could trim $4.8 million if they spent as little on administration as the most frugal of their provincial counterparts.

Read more here.

Parents debate Wi-Fi in Calgary schools

(From the CBC website)

The benefits of wireless internet outweigh any potential health risks to students, say some Calgary parents.

Edmonton's public school board is taking a second look at the safety of Wi-Fi after a report by the World Health Organization that reclassified electromagnetic fields from wireless internet and cell phones as possible causes of cancer.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CBE Superintendent: Comments Regarding Preliminary Budget

Interesting read from the CBE's RSS feed:

"We have recruited the best and the brightest. Sadly, this year, we have had to say goodbye to exceptional people whose positions we could not afford... When schools open in the fall, we will have about 8,780 FTEs, all of whom will be committed in one way or another to educating each student, every day—no exceptions." - Naomi Johnson

Read entire comment here.

Order Yearbooks Today!!!




The form went home in agendas but sometimes they fall into a black hole somewhere between school and home... print this out and send it in to get a yearbook.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Public school board plans 331 job cuts next year

Another 171 Calgary teachers on chopping block

By Matt McClure, Calgary Herald

Calgary’s public school board plans to eliminate the jobs of 331 staff next year — including the positions of 171 classroom teachers — as it struggles to balance its budget despite reductions in provincial grants and increases in costs, including a mounting bill for its new headquarters.

And while the Calgary Board of Education will raise the amount it gives schools by three per cent, it will spend nine per cent more on trustees and administration, according to a preliminary budget released Monday.

Read more here.

Canadian researchers dispute U.S. push to screen every preschooler for autism

By Sharon Kirkey, Postmedia News

Canadian researchers are warning that not nearly enough evidence exists to support a move to screen every preschooler for autism.

Baby doctors in the U.S. are being urged by their professional body — the American Academy of Pediatrics — to routinely check toddlers for signs of autism at 18 to 24 months of age during regular visits for checkups or vaccinations, regardless of whether the parents have any concerns about their babies.

But researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., say that not only are current screening tools not good enough, "there is no evidence yet that such a program would do more good than harm."

The full story, available on canada.com, can be read by clicking here.

Teachers' union predicts enrolment increase

(From the CBC website)

New students, fewer teachers mean growing class sizes: ATA president

The president of the Alberta Teachers' Association says not only will there be fewer teachers this fall — there are also projected to be thousands of new students.

ATA president Carol Henderson stands by the union's estimate that 1,200 teaching positions won't be filled this year, although Education Minister Dave Hancock believes the number will be closer to 800.

Click here to read more.

War on obesity: Hospital now offers drastic option for obese 12-year-olds

By Sharon Kirkey, National Post

They can’t bend over to tie their own shoes. They wake at night gasping for breath because of the fatty folds pressing on their airways. Some have bowed legs, enlarged hearts or the fat-engorged livers of alcoholics.

Canada’s obesity epidemic is damaging some children so badly that surgeons are turning to an aggressive remedy once reserved for adults: weight-loss surgery.
The list of illnesses they confront — afflictions that were once only seen in adults — keeps growing: “adult-onset” Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, cyst-filled ovaries in girls and, for both sexes, psychological torment and bullying. As more children develop “severe complex obesity,” doctors say the only option left for many is to expand access to stomach-shrinking operations for children and adolescents as young as 12.

Click here for the full story.

Teacher evaluations remain contentious idea

Jason Holowka's Grade 7 students are studying for end-of-year exams on a cadre of cellphones: LG, Samsung, Blackberry and the iPhone.

They mill about in what otherwise looks like any junior high science lab of old. The walls are covered in posters of endangered animals. Dangling from the ceiling are red-and-white straws glued into shapes to demonstrate the structural integrity of the triangle.

These are the contrasts of modern education; traditional values facing a generation reared on social media and the Internet. It's a world some teachers struggle to understand, much less teach.

Holowka, a 20-year teaching veteran at St. Helena School is an exception.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Parents stunned as Calgary school board jacks up bus fees, removes family cap

Parent reaction to a massive hike in fees to send children to public school by bus was swift and heated Wednesday.

Trustees with the Calgary Board of Education decided Tuesday to raise fees by 38 per cent for most charter bus users and remove the family maximum cap.

In some cases, this means doubling and even tripling the amount parents will have to pay in September.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Canadian Mother Raising 'Genderless' Baby, Storm, Defends Her Family's Decision

(From the ABC website)

The mother of Storm Stocker, the Canadian baby being raised with only a few people knowing his or her sex, defended her family's choice to raise their child without regard to gender.

"The strong, lightning-fast, vitriolic response was a shock," said Kathy Witterick in a letter. "The idea that the whole world must know our baby's sex strikes me as unhealthy and voyeuristic."

Kathy Witterick, 38, and David Stocker, 39, have only allowed their midwives and two older sons to peek beneath the diaper of 4-month-old Storm.

When Storm came into the world in a birthing pool on New Year's Day, they sent out this email: "We decided not to share Storm's sex for now -- a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a standup to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime."

Click here for the full story.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Life brand children's acetaminophen recalled

Tanta Pharmaceuticals is voluntarily recalling some children's acetaminophen tablets because of reports the child-resistant packaging might not work.

Health Canada announced the recall Tuesday of all lots of Junior Strength Acetaminophen Tablets 160 mg and Children's Strength Acetaminophen Tablets 80 mg.

Read the full story here.

June Newsletter

Want to know the schedule of PAT exams taking place this month? Want to read a room 10 rant? Is it okay for 'education' to be spelled, "edjukashun"?

Please click here to find out - in June's edition of the Haultain Memorial School newsletter.

Three options proposed for CBE busing fees

(From the Calgary Herald website)

Administrators for the Calgary Board of Education are recommending “partial cost recovery,” which could equal nine more teaching positions slashed to help cover an $8.8-million transportation shortfall.

Administration released on Monday three possible scenarios which follow a rejected proposal on May 17 that would have raised school busing fees 60 per cent.

That proposal would have meant an increase to $670 maximum per family to send kids to school on the yellow busses.

Read the full story here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

School boards won’t get extra funding for teachers: Hancock

The budget is the budget, education minister says

Alberta Education Minister Dave Hancock told trustees from the province’s cash strapped school boards not to expect an extra funding boost over the summer similar to last year.

“The budget is the budget,” Hancock told trustees at the Alberta School Board Association’s spring general meeting in Red Deer Monday.

In July 2010, the province announced an extra 2.92 per cent increase worth about $66 million to cover a promised wage increase for teachers after the government announced rosier financial picture with a lower provincial deficit.

Read more here.

Charter schools expect interest from worried parents

More parents will turn to charter schools as public schools deal with a budget crisis this fall, predicts a Calgary principal.

School boards across the province are facing a funding shortfall, and the Alberta Teachers' Association has estimated there will be 1,000 fewer teaching positions during the next school year.

"I don't think everyone is acutely aware of what's going to happen, but there's a lot of speculation that class sizes in many schools is going to be incredibly high in the fall," said Josh Van Beers, the principal of the Calgary Arts Academy, a charter school.

"It's my belief that when people see, they are really going to start to looking for alternatives because we know that class sizes make a difference."

Read the full article on the CBC website here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Budget Cuts = Larger Classes

This article clearly outlines what the teachers' unions expect to see for class sizes in September:

‘Kids aren't going to have the one on one time that they probably need to at one point or another to be successful learners," said Jenny Regal, Alberta Teachers' Local 38.

‘This is going to impact teaching and learning conditions for students and for teachers. Teachers are going to see more students, students are going to see less teachers," said David Cracknell, from the Seperate School Teachers Union.

Baby Food Recall


Not sure how many of our readers this will affect but better safe than sorry... Click here for more.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Parents start campaign for more school funding

(From the CBC website)

Parents living in Calgary's inner city are spearheading a letter writing campaign, a last ditch attempt to get more provincial money for their children's schools.

The Calgary Public School Board is cutting 172 teaching and support positions to eliminate a $61.7 million budget shortfall.

Many of the parents participating in the campaign say they live in the inner city, where they pay higher property taxes, but are stuck with deteriorating buildings and soon fewer teachers.

"I feel that we can't just sit and not doing anything. And it's easier to deal with what's going on by realizing you're at least doing what you can. You're able to sleep at night knowing that you're doing something," said Elaine Dube, who is helping to organize the letter writing campaign.

Read the full story here.

Hancock has different take on teacher talks

Alberta teachers did not walk away from talks to freeze salaries as Premier Ed Stelmach stated Monday, according to Education Minister Dave Hancock.

"I have to say the [Alberta Teachers' Association] was there at the table with us trying to work on a solution," Hancock said.

School boards across the province have announced layoffs to deal with budget shortfalls that come from having to fund a previously-negotiated 4.5 per cent bump to teacher salaries.

Read the full story here.

Importance of Spelling

"Can't we just use spell checkers?"

The importance of spelling has been questioned in recent years, as word processing programs are equipped with spell checkers, and some educational reformists have suggested that focusing on spelling holds back the creative processes of writing and that students will naturally develop spelling skills through reading.


This is an interesting read - check it out here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The politics of unschooling: Raising independent trailblazers or lazy free-floaters?

Sarah Boesveld, National Post

Six-year-old Karina Ricci rolls out of bed around 7:30 a.m. She gets dressed, brushes her teeth and makes her bed before eating a leisurely breakfast in front of the TV. She gives her fledgling sunflower and snowpea plants a drink. Then she might play piano, or make something out of play dough. Perhaps she’ll help clean up the house or call a friend to hang out later in the day.
Anything goes, really.

Check out the full story here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guest Entry: More Appreciation

From Tammy C.

I would also like to thank everyone for making this luncheon work. Thank you first of all to all the ladies (and one gentleman) who brought in their favourite dishes - click the 'menu' for mouth watering details! A special thanks to Monika, Ramona, and Tracey for helping me with the setup and clean up, to Amber and Terry for working the lunch room so the regular lunch room ladies could eat the treats, and to Mr. Rochon for lugging the tables in and out of the staff room. By all accounts the luncheon was a big success and everyone was walking around this afternoon groaning about how full they were so that's a great sign! Also thank you to the Parent Association for their $ponsorship of some of the accoutrement.

Appreciation appreciated!

Staff enjoyed a spectacular spread, a fantastic feast, a magnificent meal, all prepared by Haultain parents for our Staff Appreciation Lunch. Our staffroom was transformed into a wonderful dining area, laid out with restaurant-style seating, centre pieces, and a buffet that was to die for. Starter appetizers, salads, main-course entrees, desserts and drinks filled the room! Needless to say, many a staff member left with a huge smile, a bulging belt line, and a go-box for tomorrow. Deep thanks go out to Tammy Campsall, Ramona Lind and Tracey Thompson for coordinating the effort, and to all of the parents who donated the delectable dishes. Thanks also to Terry Wyss and Amber Vergo, who braved the "elements" and covered in our lunchroom to allow our lunchroom staff to enjoy the meal as well.Thanks to everyone who made this special event possible. Your appreciation is DEEPLY appreciated!

A creative idea to increase funding?

Here's a quote extracted from a well written article from the U.S.:

"This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison. The State of Michigan spends annually somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per prisoner, yet we are struggling to provide schools with $7,000 per student. I guess we need to treat our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding."

Interested in reading more?

Click here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Water update

May 25, 2011

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As you are aware, Haultain Memorial experienced a water line break on Tuesday, May 17. Contracting crews, the CBE and The City have been working to repair the leak and had done so over the weekend. While preparing to test and flush the new lines, crews discovered a small crack and leak. Consequently, the pipe had to be replaced again. As a result, we are still without running drinking water.

Temporary, non-potable water service continues to be available and hose lines have been run from a nearby hydrant to provide running water for sinks and toilets. We continue to provide bottled water, however we are also asking that students continue to bring bottles from home.

Again, we apologise for this inconvenience and hope that all will be back to normal by early next week.

Sincerely,

Trevor Barkley, Principal

School Budgets Tied To Oil Revenue

Further to Nick's post about the province building new schools is this article talking about the ups and downs of public school funding. Presently, the cycles of dynamic oil price dictate the education budget allocation from year to year. It seems crazy to me that we can't get budget certainty for education. I agree with and applaud ASCA's efforts to get the province to provide predictable funding structure:

"The “dichotomy” between an infrastructure splurge and programming cuts is part of Alberta’s boom and bust cycle and leaves school boards frantically slashing or hiring from year to year, said Jacquie Hansen, president of the Alberta School Board Association. The group has pressed the province for long-term, predictable funding agreements." - Sharon Armstrong, ATA

What do you think? Should the province be tying the price of a barrel of oil to school budgets?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stelmach unveils plans for 35 new Alberta schools

Premier Ed Stelmach announced today a total of 35 schools across Alberta will be built or modernized at an estimated cost of $550 million to cope with a student population expected to soar by about 100,000 new pupils before the end of the decade.

“This is part of a government investment to address growing student enrolments in some of the fastest growing communities in Alberta and responds to concerns we've been hearing for some time,” Stelmach said. “Our students are the future leaders of our province and deserve positive learning environments.”

Read more here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Interest high for proposed Arab language program

Parents interested in Arab bilingual studies proposed for Calgary public schools got their first look at it during an upbeat open house on Thursday.

More than 200 parents and children packed in to the cafeteria at Central Memorial high school for the event, launched by the Calgary Board of Education in response to an application brought forward by several Calgary parents, including Nayef Hattab.

Hattab, whose three daughters grew up in a CBE without an Arab bilingual program, said such studies would empower his grandson with an advantage over competitors in the future workforce, particularly overseas.

“As a parent, it’s really important for kids to have this opportunity. It will open up a lot of doors in the future,” said Hattab.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Union fears more cuts to Calgary teachers in wake of bus budget decision

By Matt McClure, Calgary Herald

The union that represents teachers at Calgary's public schools worries the board's rejection of a proposed 60 per cent hike in busing fees may result in even fewer teachers and bigger classes come September.

Jenny Regal, local president of the Alberta Teacher's Association, estimates the fee increase would have yielded an extra $2.6 million, savings that will now need to be found elsewhere as the Calgary Board of Education struggles to balance its budget.

"I fear increased job losses," Regal said. "Maybe there's another rock or two that administration can look under."

Read the full story here.

Higher bus fees rejected by school board

(From the CBC website)

Public school board trustees have rejected a large increase in school bus fees.

Calgary Board of Education administrators had recommended a 60 per cent fee hike to cover higher costs, but on Tuesday night the public school trustees voted down the proposal.

The recommendation would have cost parents of an elementary or junior high student $33.50 per month, up from $20 to ride the same bus this year. Senior high students wouldn't have seen any change to their monthly bus fees.

Click here to read the full story.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Provincial Achievement Tests

For parents who'd like to know more about the Provincial Achievement Tests (PAT's) that took place at Haultain this week, click here to view a great resource hub on the subject.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Water line break

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This notice is to inform you of a water line break, which occurred at the school today, approximately one hour before lunch.

Water began flowing from an underground line, directly beside the school, near the parking lot entrance doors. As this occurred outside, there was no direct danger to students. Staff directed students to use alternate doors, to avoid the affected area. The CBE and the City of Calgary were called to attend and assessed the situation. Currently (as of the 1:20 PM press time) water has been turned off at the school while crews further assess the situation. Typically, a line is run from a nearby hydrant to an intake valve at the school, to provide water for our sinks and washrooms, while potable water is provided by the City or the CBE. We will keep you updated as events unfold.

The safety and security of everyone at our school is our number one priority. At no time were any students or staff in any jeopardy. The school followed its safety procedures and students handled themselves admirably.