Monday, April 20, 2009

Information Notice

A notice will soon be going out with Haultain and Acadia students about the MTSPA, which reads as follows:

The new McKenzie Towne School is almost here!

Serving K-4 children, enrollment for this new public school is already underway. Although the doors do no open until January, the school Principal, staff, and student population will be in place by August. The McKenzie Towne School Parent Association, a group of parents who share a common interest in enhancing our children's learning experience at the new McKenzie Towne school has also been established.

As a new parent association, our current focus is to educate parents, recruit volunteers, and raise the funds needed for school programming, such as agendas, field trips, and a school playground. Given that this is a new school, we will have a lot of work to do in terms of organizing and fund raising. To do this, we need the help of as many parents as possible. Not only do we need input and fund raising ideas, we need parents to participate in the fundraisers themselves.

How much, if any, funding will be in place for such things as agendas and field trips is currently unknown. We do know that there is no funding for a playground. It is estimated that the cost of a playground is between $150,000 and $200,000. It will be critical to start the fundraising process as quickly as possible if we want to have such things for our children.

A parent association is not all about fundraising though. The association also has an important role in the decision making process about many school activities. Parent associations are often involved in decisions about field trips, special events, and school equipment. While our current focus needs to be on volunteers and fundraising, this is also a great opportunity to be involved in the decisions made at your child's school.

The MTSPA will be holding an AGM in the coming months in order to elect an executive to carry out the business of the association. A website has been created at , where parents can learn about upcoming meetings and fund raising initiatives. Parents can also contact the association through the website.

This is an opportunity to get involved in your child's school. Whether you can give a lot or a little of your time and effort, your input is important to make our school the best it can be. Please contact us today at or 403-257-5524 with fundraising ideas and/or offers to help. Our next meeting is at 6:30pm on May 4th at the McKenzie Towne fire hall. All are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We're Famous!

Well, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but we have had some media exposure. After approaching the SE Calgary News organization to run an article about our association, I was invited to conduct a video interview for their on-line news site. This was a great opportunity to speak about who we are as an association as well as about our needs for fundraising and volunteers. The interview and article were posted on the SE Calgary News website this afternoon and can be viewed here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Notes from the MTSPA Establishment Meeting

Our meeting on April 7th was a productive one with decisions made about the formation of the parent association. A number of action plans were made to move the association forward in its goal of recruiting volunteers and fund raising for school programming initiatives. I have posted the notes of the meeting here . Thanks to Sherry for doing such a great job with these!

Friday, April 10, 2009

McKenzie Towne Information Meeting

I thought it might be helpful to post the CBE's presentation from the meeting in February at Haultain. So, here it is. This is a large file, so if you have trouble downloading it, just let me know and I can email it. I'l continue to post any information we recieve as it becomes available.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Welcome to McKenzie Towne School Parent Association

Welcome to the newly formed McKenzie Towne School Parent Association blog! This blog will be used to keep parents informed on the activities of the association and as a way to find and organize the many volunteers we will need over the coming months. We will be adding an event calendar to inform parents of upcoming meetings. We encourage all to attend and participate as much as possible! We will also be asking interested parents to subsribe to this blog, so that we can start a mailing list to further keep you informed. Stay tuned!

Questions & Answers

We realize that there are a lot of parents out there who have questions about the new school and about how the 2009/2010 year will work. While we do not represent the Calgary Board of Education, we do see this blog as an effective way to relay information from the CBE to parents. To that end, we have created this Questions & Answers page.

This section will be used to answer questions parents have about the school and the parent association. If you have a specific question you'd like answered, click on the link on the home page to email us. We will do our best to have your questions answered and posted on this page. Please note that we are not affiliated with or representative of the CBE; rather, we are offering this service as a parent association to keep McKenzie Towne parents as informed as possible.

Update: We have compiled a list of questions that were raised at the "Meet the Principal" meeting on May 25th with the answers for your information:

Where will my child go in the fall until the new school opens?

All Kindergarten and those Grade 1 students who do not have older siblings will be bussed to Acadia Elementary. Students in Grade 1 with an older sibling in Grades 2-4 will be bussed to Haultain Memorial in Queensland. All Grade 2-4 students will also attend Haultain.

Will there be transportation to the Acadia/Haultain schools for our children?

There will be bus service provided to both schools. Families living within the walk-zone of the McKenzie Towne School will not be charged busing fees for the period until we are in our building Any families in the bus-zone as indicated in the letter April 20th Kindergarten to Grade 4 Regular Program School Designation for Student Residing in McKenzie Towne will be charged the $165/student busing fee to a maximum of $330/family.

Will the students be bussed direct to the schools, or will one bus take all students?

We will not be “married” with another school. At this time, transportation is working on the specific details

If we have a child at Acadia and a child at Haultain, will there be different bus pick-up times?

The busing schedules are dictated by the CBE transportation department. Mrs. Sarginson to follow up.

When will the busing schedules/stops be available?

As with all schools, the schedules are posted on the Calgary Board of Education website. They guarantee schedules will be up by August 24th. . We will aim at having a link to the site once it becomes available.

What is the school start date?

The start date for the 2009/2010 school year will be August 27th, 2009.

What will the school hours be as both Haultain and Acadia currently run on different hours?

McKenzie Towne School will have its own set hours that will carry forward once we are in our own building. These hours have not been determined. Information notices will be sent out with further information when it becomes available or on the Parent Association website.

What can the parents do to help get the school ready to open on time?

Once we are able to get into the school to start setting it up, there may be opportunities for work-bees to get cabinets and shelves together, setting up classrooms, prepping gym equipment (IE. pumping up basketballs), helping with the playground set-up when it is ready to be installed.

Will there be furniture in the classrooms when we start in the new facility?

Mrs. Sarginson is currently pricing out furniture, library books, working with surrounding schools to see what their surpluses may be, or to purchase used furniture.

Will the students have access to computers/smart boards in the new school?

Mrs. Sarginson has said that we will have as much of the updated technologies as possible including smart boards, computers, possibly cameras for classroom use, etc.

If we are in different schools, will we have to attend 2 different Winter concerts? 1 for each school?

No planning has been done at this time. All attempts will be to have something combined.

If there are tradesman on-site to complete projects once we are operational in the new school, will there be guaranteed security for our children?

Any tradesperson working on a school site will wear a CBE security nametag and are fully certified/bonded. Any outside contractors will report to the school caretaker while on the premises. At this time, the school is projected to be completed 3 months prior to occupation, so most projects should be completed.

Do you foresee any shortfalls in your budget to getting equipment for the school?

Mrs. Sarginson is working on a budget to secure enough furniture, etc. for the school. Where available, she may look at going 2nd hand on some furniture to ensure that there is available funds for all aspects of the school, including a 1:6 ratio for computers, cameras etc.

What is the official name for our new school?

We are pleased to inform you that the Board of Trustees unanimously approved naming the school in our community McKenzie Towne School.