Thursday, April 29, 2010

Playground Update

The MTS Playground Project essentially consists of three phases: Fundraising, Design and Build. I am pleased to report that 2 of the 3 phases are now complete! We have reached our final design and submitted our CFEP grant application for the remaining outstanding funds. Though we estimated the playground would cost $200,000, the final total is $194,030. We have raised half this amount ($97,015) through cash donations, in-kind donations, fundraising events and a grant from the Parks Foundation Calgary and therefore were eligible to apply for the other half from CFEP (Community Facility Enhancement Program awarded through the Alberta Lottery Fund). Now we cross our fingers and hope we get the amount we applied for, though we won’t know until late June/early July. In the meantime we are commencing with Phase III – The Build. Though the Build is not scheduled until September (8- 11th), this is a project in itself and requires significant planning. Please watch for information on the Build coming in May/June! 
Annika C.

Council and PA Meeting Recap

Thank you to all who attended Monday evening's Council and PA meetings.  During council meeting, we heard an update about yearbooks - please note that there will soon be another opportunity to order if you have not done so already.  Sherri spoke about the CBE Board Development meeting she attended.  A link to the CBE's presentation on personalization of learning will be posted when it becomes available.  Tiffany attended the CAPSC panel discussion on Special Education.  CAPSC has done a recap on their website about this meeting, which you can link to here.

In the teacher's report, Mrs. Foster talked about the grade one garden box planting project they are planning as part of their learnings about science and community.  This project will benefit the entire school.  The grade one class will be looking for some support from parents in the form of tools, supplies, etc.  Watch for something in the next school newsletter about this project.  Mrs. Purdy gave an update about the kindergarten class and their work with shadows as well as their upcoming field trip to Safeway and their learnings about community and nutrition.  Kindergarten parents can look forward to invitations to a class event related to this work.

Highlights of the leadership report include the fun lunch scheduled for June 3rd.  Thanks to the lunchroom staff for coordinating this event!  Alien In-line is scheduled for June 7-17 with a family skate night on June 17th.  Work has started on a possible artist in residency program at the school.   Each month's leadership report can be found in the minutes for that month's council meeting.

In the Parent Association meeting, there was an update regarding insurance as this work is ongoing.  We heard an update from the playground committee about the build and their back-up plan as it relates to funding.  The fundraising committee continues work on grant applications and plans for next year.  A number of motions were made regarding funding of various items. 

Finally, in recognition of National Volunteer Week, our chair, Sherri, wants to extend a big thank you to all those who volunteer in our school, whether it be attending field trips, reading in the classroom, helping in the office or attending council and PA meetings.  Please know that your efforts are appreciated and we hope that you benefit from it as well.  Below is a short video by that expresses it best.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reminder - MTSC & MTSPA Meetings Tonight!

Please join us for School Council meeting tonight beginning at 6:30 pm.  There will be an update about yearbook, fun lunch and performance events happening in the school as well as a teachers report from Mrs. Purdy and Mrs. Foster.  You can view the proposed agenda by clicking here.  The Parent Association meeting will begin immediately following with updates from the playground committee, fundraising committee and more.  The agenda for the PA meeting can be viewed here.

Hope to see everyone there tonight!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Key Communiqué

Click here to read the latest edition of the Key Communiqué from the CBE.  There is some important information concerning the increase in school fees for next year and an update on special education programming within the Calgary Board of Education.

Our next School Council and Parent Association meetings are coming up on Monday evening, beginning at 6:30pm at the school.  As always, parents are encouraged to attend.  Stay tuned for the agendas for both of these meetings.  Enjoy your weekend and we hope to see you on Monday evening!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CAPSC Panel Discussion on Special Education Tonight

A number of government initiatives are underway to look at the education system in Alberta as a whole and consider education transformation collectively rather than individually.  Such initiatives include Inspiring Education, Speak Out and Setting the Direction.  The Setting the Direction framework is likely to result in changes to Special Education in Alberta, although it remains to be seen what those changes will look like.

CAPSC is holding a Panel Discussion on Special Education this evening from 7-9 pm at AE Cross Junior High.  Panelists will include representatives from the CBE, the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta, and Alberta Education.

This is an opportunity for parents to become informed about what the Setting the Direction team has been working on and to ask questions about the future of special education in Alberta.  All parents are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Your  school council's key communicator will be attending this meeting and will speak to it at our next council meeting on April 26th.  In addition, if as a school council or parent association, we wish to have more information or would like to schedule an opportunity to meet with the Setting the Direction team we can make arrangements to do this. 

As always, we welcome parent input about this or any other topic that concerns you as a member of school council and parent association.

Please note that in the earlier post about this panel discussion, it was stated that there has been a decision to remove coding starting in the fall.  We have since learned that there will not be any changes implemented in the Fall of 2010.  Though changes to the coding system are expected, we have been told the new model will be a better, more responsive and personalized system.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meeting Minutes and CAPSC Update

The minutes from the February 22nd MTSC and MTSPA meetings are now available for your reading enjoyment.  In addition, I received an email from Madeleine Baerg at CAPSC with the following information:

CBE students are going to be affected by Alberta Education’s decision to remove coding (the designations that identify and provide supports to students with special needs) starting in the Fall of 2010.  Obviously, the students who are currently coded will be impacted by this decision.  However, the distribution of funding and the supports available in individual classrooms may change significantly – thereby impacting all students.

On Wednesday, April 21st, CAPSC will be hosting a panel discussion on special education.  The guests who are coming are influential decision makers with Alberta Education and the CBE:

-          Sydney Smith, CBE’s Director of Special Education
-          Kathryn Burke, Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta
-          Dianne McConnell, Alberta Education’s Director of Special Education
-          Anne Davidson, Project Manager for Alberta Education’s “Setting the Direction for Special Education in Alberta” initiative

This event is free to attend and all are invited.  The panel discussion will take place Wednesday, April 21st, 2010, from 7:00-9:00 pm in the library (second floor) at AE Cross Junior High School in SW Calgary.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Key Communiqué

Please click here to read the April Key Communiqué.  Of particular interest to some may be the workshop hosted by Safer Calgary, called "Changing Traffic - Should We Take Radical Steps?" at Richmond School (2701 22 Street S.W.) on Thursday April 15th, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. During the free workshop, participants will tackle a number of controversial pedestrian and traffic issues.  Traffic safety and school crossing has been a topic at our school recently, so this may be an opportunity for learning.  If anyone is interested in attending this workshop, but would like more information, please send an email to me through this website.