Monday, December 19, 2011

MTSC/PA Meetings Cancelled

This is a reminder that the School Council and Parent Association meetings originally scheduled for tonight have been cancelled. Please mark your calendars for our next meeting, on January 23, 2012. Details and an agenda will be out prior to that date.

On behalf of the MTSPA, we'd like to wish everyone a happy holiday season. See you all in 2012!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Concert Raffle and Refreshment Volunteers Needed

A message from the MTSPA fundraising committee.

Hello all! The MTS Christmas Concerts are quickly approaching and the Parent Association is looking for volunteers interested in helping out during the events. There are two roles we are looking to fill:

1. selling raffle tickets; or
2. serving drinks/cookies and collecting donations for Toy Mountain at the
refreshment table.

We are looking for 6-8 volunteers for each of the concerts.

Wednesday Dec 14th (Kindergarten Concert):
5:30 - 7:30 - Raffle Table
5:30 - 7:30 - Refreshment Table

Thursday Dec 15th (Grade 1/2 and 3/4 Concert)
5:30 - 8:30 - Raffle Table
5:30 - 8:30 - Refreshment Table

We will stop sales during the performances so if you are volunteering on the night of your child's concert, you would still be able to watch.

Interested parents can e-mail indicating the night and/or shift they would prefer.

Thank you in advance!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gift Card Pick-Up Reminder

Reminder! For those parents who have ordered gift cards, they will be available to be picked up at the school this Thursday, December 8th between 3-4pm or 6-7pm. Please make arrangements to pick them up during one of those times as we will not be able to send them home with students.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meeting Recap

Last nights meetings were filled with so much information it is going to be hard to fit it all here in a short recap.  Thank you to Mrs. Youngstrom and Mrs. Addison for discussing their classrooms learning plans.  We were able to watch videos of some Grade 1 students discussing what they think different people in their school do all day. They then interviewed them to find out what they really do.  We learned how in Mrs. Younstrom's class students use literature to apply math concepts - very cool.

School Council is still in need of 1-2 people to fill the Volunteer Coordinator's position.  Most of the work from the begining of the year is done so it is a good time to ease into the position. The Christmas Concert needs 8 volunteers for each night.

In the Parent Council Meeting we had an update from the Fun Lunch Committee - thank you Bronwen for taking on the Chair position.  They discussed having something every month on a consistent day so parents know when to plan for it.  Our Fundraising Committee has been very busy planning some events and initiatives for the school. Some things to watch for include a bottle recycling program where the bottles kids bring to school go directly to supporting the school's green initiative.  Campbell's product labels will help raise funds for new technology.  Feb 9 will be our next family dance.

The Christmas Concert this year will be on 2 nights.  The first night (Dec 14) will be for Kindergarten parents and the next night will be staggered with grade 1-2 and then 3-4.  2 tickets for each family will be issued due to fire code regulations.  Dr. Slater and Mr. Murphy explained how in past years we have come very close to capacity so doing the concert this way will make it possible for us to still have one.

Finally we discussed what we would like to see done with the Casino Funds.  Administration presented their priorities list to Council.  Some of the items included - presentations, technology, new instruments, and bussing.  We motioned to support 3 Left Feet coming in March dependent on the availability of casino funds.

Our next meeting will be on January 23, 2012. Carol Bazinet, our Area 5 Trustee,  has offered to attend to discuss the portables and what we see for the future for MTS.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meeting Reminder

This is a reminder of our Parent Council and School Council meetings happening on Monday, November 28.  The School Council meeting runs from 6:30-7:30, (print the agenda here). The Parent Council follows at 7:40-8:50 (print the agenda here).

This months meeting will focus mainly on the casino funds and what we as Parents and the School would like to see done with them. Please come out to have a say in where you would like to see the funds spent. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank You to ALL Our Casino Volunteers!

The first McKenzie Towne School Parents Association (MTSPA) Casino event took place on Tuesday and Wednesday last week and was a great success.  We expect that the event will raise over $60,000, which will be spent over the next 2 years, to enhance the educational experience of our children.

A huge thank you to the volunteers who donated their time, their partners who took care of parenting duties on their own, babysitters, our advisors, and everyone else who participated in the event.  It was lots of fun and a great way to get to know other parents within the community.  We also want to thank Laura Rye from Screaming Panda Design for designing our poster, and Staples for the printing service.  Many thanks go out to the following volunteers:

Nelson E                                         Lori-Anne P                                    Rosaleeh H
Rob C                                             Gary C                                            Sean T
Kerri B                                             Amy M                                           Melanie B
Aaron S                                          Joie C                                             Judy V
Tami A                                            James K                                         Joanna A
Laura T                                           Stuart C                                          Stuart G
Shawna D                                       Tania U                                           Linda B
Irene K                                            Pat S                                               Nicole D
Chad F                                           Tiffany V                                          Sydney G
Roswita D                                       Stacey I                                           Dawn C
Michelle SC                                    Launa K                                          Jennifer A
Robert M                                         Heather O

The money from the casino will arrive in February next year but the important job of allocating the funds begins now.  There are some restrictions in how casino funds can be spent, so we will be working over the next few months to determine how best to utilize ours.  We would love to hear from anyone who has a suggestion.  To make a suggestion or be part of the process, either contact the Casino Director by writing to or come to the next MTSPA meeting being held at the school on Monday, 28th November.   
Stuart Gannon
Casino Director

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gift Card Reminder - Orders Due This Friday!

Just a reminder that gift card order forms & payments are due this Friday, November, 18th.

Get your holiday shopping done early - without hitting the malls! A percentage of every gift card purchased goes directly to support our school – with no additional cost to you! It's a great way to purchase gifts for your family, friends, co-workers and employees.

Extra order forms are available on the MTSPA website. If you have any questions, please email

Thank you for supporting the McKenzie Towne School Parent Association.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Urgent - Casino Volunteers Needed!

MTSPA's first Casino Fundaiser takes place next week on Tuesday November 15th & Wednesday November 16th. We urgently need three more volunteers to fill the following shifts:

Chiprunner 11.30am - 7.00pm Tuesday 15th November
Cashier 6.30pm to 2.30am Wednesday 16th November
Chiprunner 6.30pm to 2.30am Wednesday 16th November

If you are able to help or if you need more information please contact Stuart Gannon, our casino director at 403 680 8232 or

This is an important fundraiser for our school, please consider volunteering.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Are you planning to buy gift cards for this upcoming Holiday Season? Do you buy groceries and gas? Do you go out for dinner or movies or frequent a coffee establishment? Are you updating your home with renovations or décor? Does your company buy gift cards for staff or clients?

If so, please help support McKenzie Towne School Parent Association. When you purchase gift cards which are spent like cash, a rebate goes back to our school automatically! There is no additional cost to you! When you order $150 in gift cards, you pay $150 and you get gift cards worth $150!

It’s that simple! Order forms can be downloaded here and need to be returned with payment to the school by FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18th.

Gift cards will be available for pick-up at the school on Thursday, Dec 8th between 3-4pm, or 6-7pm.

Please e-mail with any questions. Thank you for your support!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Volunteer Coordinator Positions

Our Volunteer Coordinator has stepped down from her position, therefore we are now without a volunteer coordinator and are currently seeking one or two people to step into this important role. In the past, this position has been co-coordinated, so could be shared by two willing individuals.

The Volunteer Coordinator(s) supports the school by managing the volunteer forms, arranging for classroom parents and in-school volunteers. This person also solicits volunteers for events on behalf of the school and/or Parent Association as needed. As a member of the School Council executive team, the Volunteer Coordinator attends monthly school council meetings and reports on volunteer needs and other relevant information. Much of this work is already complete for this year, so now is a great time to get involved and ease into the role!

Most of the duties of this position can be done via email and/or phone. This is a critical role for the school and a great opportunity to become involved. If you are interested in taking on this important job, please contact Sean at or Tiffany at

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recap Of Meetings

At tonight’s Council meeting Mrs. Chen and Mrs. Kruger presented on their Grade 1 class initiatives.  Their classes have been selected out of many applications to attend the Eco-Action School at Ralph Klein Park in May.  This is a great opportunity for their students to apply what they are learning in school to the environment.

Our School’s PAT results will be posted on the school’s website in the near future and individual student results will be included in the first report card. The Province has announced they are giving some of the funds back to the schools. This money has been designated for human resources, such as teachers and/or educational assistants.

The Parent Council Meeting voted to financially support a presentation in November called Can I Play Too? put on by the Friend 2 Friend Social Learning Society and designed to foster social inclusion, play and friendships for children on the autism spectrum.  The PA also voted to assist with bussing for field trips.  Discussions on where to spend casino funds will be held at future Council meetings. 

Our casino is on November 15 and 16 and is still in need of volunteers. If you can help out please contact Stuart at Our fun lunch was held October 27.  This event was a great success but is in need of a Chair for any future lunches to occur.  Until someone is able to fill this role the fun lunch program has been suspended.  If you are able to Chair this great committee please let our Volunteer Coordinator Nicole know at

Our next meeting will be held November 28 starting at 6:30pm.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

School Council and Parent Association Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that Monday October 24 is our next School and Parent Council meetings. The School Council meeting starts at 6:30pm and the Parent Association meets right after at 7:30pm.  These are a great place to find out what is happening in the school and to have input on things you would like to see happen.

Come see what opportunities there are for you to get involved.

SUTP Fundraiser

Congratulations to Adelisa in Kindergarten who is the winner of the Wii Entertainment System!

Thanks to all our students and their families who helped sell around 450 Students Union Coupon books raising about $9000 half of which goes right to our Parent Association to be used in school programs.  Some of the programs this money will be used for include bussing for fieldtrips, school presentations and other activities.                         

Even though the contest is now closed we still have some books remaining so please let the school know if you want one.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Casino Volunteer Update

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help at the casino so far. As a reminder, the dates are November 15th and 16th at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino.

We are still short a few volunteers. We require two chip runners to work from 11:30am-7:00 pm on November 15th and one chip runner to work fro 6:30pm-2:30 am on November 16th. A chip runner is a courier for chip orders from the casino games. This volunteer must be prepared to move around and must be able to carry up to five pounds of chips. The position is usually busy at the opening and closing of the casino.

We also are still in need of two courtroom staff to work from 10:15pm-2:45 am on November 16th. These volunteers will sort, amalgamate, count and verify all cash from table games drop boxes. Cash handling skills are an asset and volunteers should be comfortable working with their hands.

We would also like to have another six to seven volunteers that can be called upon to work a shift on either November 15th or 16th should they be needed. The shifts are 11:00am-7:00pm and 6:30pm-close (around 2:30am).

Volunteer forms can be found at this link and are also available at the school. If you are able to fill any of these needs, please email Stuart at or at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Recap of Meetings

Last night marked the first meeting of the year for the MTS Council and the third AGM for the MTSPA.  Thank you to everyone who attended these important and busy meetings.  Highlights of the School Council meeting included an introduction from our principal, Dr. Slater, who spoke about her interest in continuing to work with parents and staff to build a strong culture and community in our school.  We heard from two teachers, Mrs. Steedman and Mrs. Scott about some of the interesting work the grades 2 and 3 students have been doing in art and science.  During the Leadership Report, Dr. Slater and Mr. Murphy were able to provide an update regarding relocatables.  It is expected that work will begin in November to prepare the site on the west side of the school.  The relocatables should arrive after a few weeks and they are hoping to have them ready for students to occupy by mid February. 

As mentioned in previous emails and posts, this meeting also marked the end of the terms for many of the school council executive.  As such, voting took place to select the new executive.  Sherri M, the previous Chair, moves into the role of Immediate Past Chair.  We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication she has put into the role of Chair over the past two years and look forward to her continued support and guidance in her new role.  Sean T. has assumed the role of Chair for both the School Council and Parent Association and Tiffany V has taken the role of Vice Chair.  Tami A. is now officially in the role of Secretary after having helped in that position for the last few months.  Shauna will be our new Key Communicator and Nicole continues as the Volunteer Coordinator.  A second Volunteer Coordinator opportunity is available as this has traditionally been a co-coordinator role, so if you are interested, please email

In the Parent Association meeting, there was some discussion about committees.  The yearbook will remain an ad hoc committee with Debi M and others involved.  There was unanimous interest in a Fun Lunch committee and Cheri S. agreed to take on the task of organizing a group of interested parents.  Please let us know if you would like to join this committee.  With respect to the Fundraising Committee, Amy C. was voted into the position of Fundraising Director as part of the executive of the Parent Association.  A goal of $9000 was set for fundraising activities this year and Amy and her committee will be looking at some ideas of how to achieve this goal.  If you would like to help on the fundraising committee, please let Amy know by emailing her at 

Sherry T. provided the Treasurers' report and has accepted a second term as Treasurer for the Parent Association.  Amy and Sherry T updated us about SUTP sales, which continue until October 15th.  These funds are an important part of the PA's fundraising activities and parents' support is appreciated. 

Stuart G. accepted the position of Casino Director for the Parent Association.  He has been diligently working towards the casino for the last few months and thanked all of the volunteers who have agreed to help in November.  There are a few more positions to be filled, so stay tuned for further information.  Funds earned from casino are anticipated to be received sometime in February, and we will expect to start to have discussions around spending over the next few months.

Finally, Sean provided a playground update.  With the surplus monies from the playground build, 3 toss and score sets were ordered last week and will hopefully be installed before the snow flies.  We look forward to this addition to the outdoor space for the students.

The next meetings of the School Council and Parent Association will be on October 24th, beginning at 6:30 pm.  Look for further information, including agendas for these meetings prior to that date.  We hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reminder - MTSC/MTSPA Meetings

A reminder that Monday night is our first meeting of the year for the MTS School Council and the AGM for the Parent Association.  The Council meeting begins at 6:30 pm in the school staffroom, with the PA meeting immediately following.  Elections will be held for most of the executive of the Council and PA at these meetings.

We have had a volunteer put their name forward for the position of Fundraising Director, however the roles of Key Communicator and a second Volunteer Coordinator have not yet had any interest.  If you are interested in these or any of the positions on the executive, please email  Speaking as the current Key Communicator, I can tell you that this role is a great opportunity to learn about the CBE, our school and the education system in general.  It's also a great way to meet other parents and get to know your school community.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible tomorrow night!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Student Union Ticket Paks

A message from our Treasurer about the SUTP fundraiser.

Welcome back to school!!  Order forms have gone home for students to begin selling the Student Union Ticket Paks (SUTP books) and additional forms can be found by clicking the link on the left of the website.  The books will sell for $20/bk with $10 staying with the Parent Association to be able to provide resources and activities for the students throughout the year. The books will be for sale until October 15, 2011.  An incentive to get your students to sell the books is that for every book they sell, they will have their name entered into a draw for a WII gaming system.

We are looking for any volunteers who can come into the school to assist us in processing the orders. Our goal is to process the orders Monday’s and Wednesday’s and shouldn’t take any longer than a couple of hours.  Amy C. has volunteered to oversee the process, but we would like to have 1-2 additional volunteers for each day to be able to get the sales processed.  There is no commitment to commit every day, if you can do one day, or three days we would welcome you. Times will run from 8:30 until around 10:30 each day, dependant on how many orders have been received to process.

If you can volunteer for any of the days above between September 19 and October 19, please respond to Amy at

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Important - Casino Information

The McKenzie Towne School Parents Association will be holding its first fundraising Casino on November 15th and 16th, 2011 at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino.  Proceeds from the event will be used to enhance the educational experience of all the children at McKenzie Towne School and is a great way to meet & socialise with other members of the community. 

We are eligible to hold casinos only once every two years and have the potential to raise in excess of $60,000 over the two days.  This casino is a critical fundraiser for our school, as it allows the Parent Association to fund a wide variety of items, such as field trips, books, programs, technology etc.

In addition to the general volunteers necessary for the casino, we have an urgent need to fill the remaining key positions, including General Manager, Cashier, Banker and Count Room Supervisor.  These positions must be filled before September 15th in order for the casino to proceed.  Volunteering is easy and fun.  Training will be supplied for all positions and advisors will be there to help us throughout.  There are two shifts per day 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM & 6:30 PM – CLOSE (around 2:30 AM).  The Count Room Supervisor has only one shift per day, which is 10:00 PM - CLOSE (around 3:00 AM).  You can find further information about the key positions by following this link.

If you can help or need more information, please contact Stuart Gannon (Casino Director) or (403) 680-8232 directly.  If you are able to volunteer for one of the key positions, please complete the volunteer form at this link and send it back to school with your child or by email it to Stuart by Monday September 12th. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bus Maps

The 2011 bus information and maps are now posted on the McKenzie Towne School's CBE website.  You can view them here.  School hours for this year are 8:20am to 3:05pm with a lunch break of 11:50-12:45.  Morning kindergarten classes will run from 8:20 to 11:07 and afternoon kindergarten classes will be from 12:18 to 3:05.  Friday classes will run from 8:20-12:15. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back to School!

It's almost that time of year again!  Back to school is less than one week away.  The bus route information should be posted on the school doors this coming week.  Other back to school information can be found on the McKenzie Towne School CBE website.  Agendas will be on-line this school year.  If you are interested in seeing how another school has done on-line agendas, you can visit Cranston's school website.

The first meeting of the McKenzie Towne School Council and AGM for the Parent Association is scheduled for September 26th.  Please watch for agendas to come out soon.  These are important meetings and we encourage all parents to attend.  Many of the executive positions will be coming up for election at these meetings.  If you are interested in serving on the executive of either the MTSC or MTSPA and would like more information, please contact our Chair at  Terms for executive positions are typically 2 years, however, we do not wish to limit people, so if you are interested but can only commit for 1 year, please let Sherri know. 

Our long awaited casino dates are set for November 15 and 16th at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino.  Some information was sent home already at the end of the last school year and more information will be going out in the near future.  We will be looking for a number of volunteers to work shifts at the casino.  This casino could earn in excess of $60,000 for the Parent Association, which will have a direct benefit on the students, but cannot happen without support from volunteers. 

In addition to plans for the Casino, be on the lookout for SUTP book sales beginning in September.  Order forms will go home with students early in the school year.  $10 of each book sold goes directly to the Parent Association.  This has been a successful fundraiser for our school in the past and we look forward to your continued support. 

Enjoy the rest of your summer and we look forward to seeing you for another great year at McKenzie Towne School!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

MTS Capacity Update - Relocatables!

It's official!  We are excited to announce that McKenzie Towne School will be receiving 4 relocatable classrooms, that will arrive in the fall.  These classrooms will be added to the west side of the school.  We do not have details yet about timing in terms of students moving into those classrooms, but look forward to great learning opportunities in these spaces.

Thank you to all the parents who voiced their concerns about our school capacity.  Have a wonderful summer and we look forward to seeing everyone in September!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reminder - MTSC/MTSPA Meetings

It is hard to believe that the end of the school year is just around the corner and our final meeting of the school year is tomorrow (Thursday) night.  Please consider attending these last meetings of this school year.  We will start off with the MTSC Meeting at 6:30 pm, then a short 5 minute break at 7:40 pm followed by the MTSPA Meeting at 7:45 pm.  Each meeting is about hour and will be held in the school staffroom.  Please view and print the agendas for the MTSC and MTSPA meetings to bring along with you.

Hope to see you all there!

Monday, June 20, 2011

MTSC/MTSPA Meetings this Thursday

Just a quick reminder that this month's meetings of the McKenzie Towne School Council and Parent Association are being held this coming Thursday, June 23rd, beginning at 6:30 pm.  Further details, including the agendas for both meetings will be posted as soon as possible.

Hope to see you there.

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.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Recap of Meetings

Tonight's meetings of the McKenzie Towne School Council and Parent Association were lively and well attended.  Thank you to all those that came.  Unfortunately, Art Johnston was not able to attend the meeting.  He did forward responses he had received from the Minister of Education, David Hancock's office to some questions we had regarding the capacity issue, which we invite you to read.   In addition, we received a response from the CBE's Superintendent of Facilities & Environmental Services, which you can view by clicking here.  The information we have received poses additional questions and a need for further understanding.  To that end, Mr. Johnston has invited some parents to attend a meeting at his office on Friday June 3rd.  We encourage parents to submit their questions for Mr.  Johnston (see details on left column).  For background information, you can read the earlier post.  We will plan a further communication to parents once that meeting has taken place.

In other business of the Council, Sherri reminded everyone that the executive terms will be up at September's AGM.  If you have an interest in serving in an executive role, please approach Sherri or one of the other members to find out more information.  Mrs. Pollock and Ms. Anderson provided us with an update regarding the grade one and kindergarten classes and Annette shared the Leadership report, including a thoughtful discussion with parents about the values and vision of our school. 

During the Parent Association meeting, a Fun Lunch was announced for June 21st.  Plans include pizza, drink and dessert for a cost of $4/child.  Stay tuned for further details coming soon.  Our casino dates were announced as November 15 and 16th at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino.  We will be looking for volunteers to work shifts over the two days.  More information including volunteer requests will be coming in the near future.  Sean T continues to make progress in terms of the surplus playground funds and hopes to be able to provide another update at the next meeting.

Our next and final meeting of the school year will be on Thursday June 23rd, beginning at 6:30 pm.  We hope to see everyone there.

Reminder - MTSC/MTSPA Meetings

Please join us tonight for the May meetings of the McKenzie Towne School Council and Parent Association.  The Council meeting begins at 6:30 with the Parent Association meeting immediately following.  Our topic of the month is MTS Capacity.  Please read and print the agendas for each meeting here and here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Important Message Re: MTS Capacity

We are writing today to make you aware of a concern that we believe will have a significant impact on the students of MTS.  You may be aware that when McKenzie Towne School was originally built, it was designed for approximately 450 students, with the option of adding an additional 6-8 relocatable classrooms to accommodate up to 650 students in the school.  These capacities were based on 25 students per class.

The school is expecting enrolment of 500 students next year, which is over the 450 that the school was built to accommodate.  However, we have been informed that we will not be receiving relocatables for the foreseeable future.  According to the CBE, due to the school utilization calculation of Alberta Intrastructure, McKenzie Towne School is not yet nearing capacity in terms of student space.  The calculation is based on student enrolment numbers and school square footage, including common areas.  The CBE has recently recalculated our capacity, and based on the utilization calculation, the CBE and the Province rates the school at 607 student capacity before relocatables are added.  You may be wondering how decisions are made regarding relocatables and by whom.  We have learned that the provincial government is responsible for providing relocatables to schools.  The government considers the square footage of a school when determining capacity, while the CBE considers number of classrooms.  Based on this recalculation, we would anticipate an additional 157 students in our school before relocatables would be added.

MTS currently has 18 classrooms.  Next year we anticipate 23 classes, of which 7 are half time Kindergarten classes, resulting in the need for 19.5 classrooms.  So, where will these students learn?  We have been advised that partitions will be added and some of the common areas of the school will be used for classroom space.  This means that the current use of those common areas for educational opportunities will be modified and there may be additional impacts in terms of noise, disruption, space, etc.  In addition, this problem will only continue to increase without the necessary classroom space over the years to come.  Without additional space, there could potentially be 3 teachers and up to 60 students sharing each set of two classrooms in the near future.

Many parents are concerned about the detrimental impact this will have on the students' education.  Appropriate classroom sizes and spaces are a necessary part of a good education.  This is not a budget funding issue.  The capacity utilization formula was in place prior to the school being built.  The school population was predictable and projected and the promise of relocatables to accommodate that population was made in May of 2008.  The CBE has not followed through on this commitment and it is the students that will feel the impact.

If you have concerns, you are encouraged to make your voice heard.  The CBE has a responsibility to plan for the needs of the students and to allow parents to be engaged in this process.  Our area Director, Jane Rogerson can be reached at 403-777-8780 or, Trustee Carol Bazinet can be contacted at 403-294-8241 or  Our MLA, Art Johnston is our representative in the provincial government and can be contacted at (403) 215-4380 or to discuss concerns relating to the utilization calculation itself or potential funding for relocatables for our school.  Mr. Johnston will be attending our next school council meeting on Monday May 30th, where the capacity concern will be our topic of the month.  We encourage you to join us for this important meeting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Higher bus fees rejected by school board - Calgary - CBC News

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.
Chair Pat Cochrane looked at all the numbers and then shook her head.
"I am not comfortable simply saying to parents you have to pony up a 60 per cent increase in one year. I think we have to have a plan to do it over time."
Added trustee Pamela King: "When we actually are talking about increasing fees and decreasing services, as a parent it frustrates me and as a consumer it frustrates me. I don't think it is acceptable for us to be doing that."
Two of the seven trustees decided to leave the room when the fees were debated, citing conflict of interest reasons.
Parent Larry Leach, who attends most school board meetings, said he was pleased by the rejection of the fee hikes, but he expects parents will pay more for their children's school bus rides in the near future.
Administration will now come up with other options to cover those higher busing costs and the trustees will look at them next month.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Before & After School Care Survey

A survey went home this week to gauge parent interest in a before and after school care program at MTS.  If you did not receive the notice, you can download and print it here.  Details regarding times and cost are on the survey.  Please return the survey to the school or email your response to by May 13th.

Monday, May 2, 2011

March Minutes

The ratified March minutes of the MTSC and MTSPA meetings are now ready.  Minutes of the school council meetings can also be found on the school's website.  Our next meetings are on May 30th.  Stay tuned for more information and the agenda.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trustee Meet & Greet

You are invited to attend a Meet and Greet with Public School Trustees Carol Bazinet and Sheila Taylor this Thursday, April 28th from 6:30-8:30pm at the Lake Bonavista Community Association, 1401 Acadia Dr. SE.  If you were unable to attend last Monday's Council meeting, this is your chance to ask questions, make suggestions and be heard by your local Trustee.  All are welcome to attend.

Key Communiqué - April 25, 2011

Click here for the latest edition of the Key Communiqué.  In it you will find links to updated information regarding the CBE 2010-2011 budget, as well as answers to some questions parents have had recently regarding the role Trustees can play in budget decisions when they are parents of students in the CBE.  On April 27th, there will be a system wide meeting from 7-8:30 pm.  You can attend in person at Sir Winston Churchill High School, or via webinar from the comfort of your home.  Please email to RSVP for the meeting if you are planning to attend.  Please read the Key Communique for more information about this and much more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Transportation Update!

During Monday's Council meeting, parents were made aware of potential changes to school start and end times for next year due to transportation arrangements.  Some parents voiced concerns about these possible changes; the Parent Association encouraged those parents to share their concerns with the transportation department at the CBE.  We have had an update today, and it has been confirmed that our school will now be married to a different school next year for busing service.  This means that our start and end times will look very similar to what we currently have.

Thank you to those who voiced their opinions regarding this issue!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MTSC & MTSPA Meetings

Last night's meetings of School Council and Parent Association were full of information and discussion.  Our guest, Trustee Carol Bazinet was able to provide an update regarding the CBE budget and answer questions from parents.  For more information about the budget, you can visit the CBE's budget page.  We have learned that it is more effective to write a personal letter or make a personal phone call to an MLA, rather than sending a form letter.  The contact information for our MLA, Art Johnston, can be found on the left column of this screen as well as some tips about writing such a letter or email.  Parents with concerns regarding the provincial funding of the CBE and the impact this will have on our children are encouraged to contact Mr. Johnston.

Our Council and PA Secretary, Jaime, announced her resignation from her role.  We are sorry to see Jaime go and very thankful for all she has done over the last 2 years.  Tammy A. volunteered to take the role until the next AGM in September.  Thank you Tammy!

In the Leadership Report, Annette announced that the school will be trying on-line agendas next year.  She also announced a potential transportation change next year that will affect all MTS students.  The CBE transportation department makes decisions about "marrying" schools together for busing purposes.  Due to a decision to marry MTS with two other schools, it appears that our school hours could change significantly in the fall.  At this point, Annette is estimating a school start time of between 9:15 and 9:30 am and an end time of between 4:00 and 4:15.  If you have concerns about this change, the PA strongly encourages you to contact the Transportation department of the CBE at or 817-7433.

Highlights of the PA meeting include a decision to donate the remainder of the candy, chips and water from the dance and Family Skate night to the school.  The PA continues to seek a Fundraising Director to steer the committee.  No further fundraising activities are planned until such time as this position is filled.  A motion was passed to give the playground committee authorization to use the surplus playground funds to purchase playground-type equipment in line with the parent survey and in consultation with the school.  A motion was also passed to fund a presentation at the school and to provide additional funding for the music program.

The next meetings are scheduled for May 30th beginning at 6:30 pm.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Reminder - MTSC/MTSPA Meetings

Our April meetings of the MTSC and MTSPA are being held tonight, in the school staffroom, beginning with a meet and greet at 6:15 pm.  The MTSC meeting will begin at 6:30 and the MTSPA meeting immediately following.  We have a number of interesting subjects on the agenda for both the MTSC and MTSPA meetings, including our guest speaker, Trustee Carol Bazinet and a discussion about our topic of the month, Provincial Budget.

The ratified minutes from February's meetings can be viewed here and here.  We will also be reviewing and ratifying the minutes from the March MTSC and MTSPA meetings tonight.

All parents are strongly encouraged to attend one or both meetings tonight.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

System Parent Meeting April 27th

Please be advised that the last System Parent Meeting of the 2010-2011 school year will be held as follows:

Date: Wednesday, April 27
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Place: Sir Winston Churchill High School, 5220 Northland Drive N.W.
Topic: Phase II of the CBE budget process

This meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the CBE’s 2011-2012 operating budget, a topic of ongoing interest to parents. You can get your questions answered and have an opportunity to talk with parents at other schools about their experiences.

This meeting will also be accessible via webinar. More information on this, and a meeting agenda, will be circulated in the Key Communiqué prior to the meeting.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Karen Drummond at and note if you plan to attend in person or via the webinar.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Upcoming CAPSC Meeting

CAPSC is holding its next meeting on Wednesday April 20th, using a Conversation Cafe style.  They will be hosting special guests on the following topics:

- CBE budget shortfall - have your questions answered by experts from CBE's finance and communications departments
- High school math curriculum changes: presented by CBE’s math specialist, Cheryl Schaub
- School Council advocacy initiatives: several schools have some interesting funding advocacy projects underway that they’d like to share with you.
- Talk to your Trustees: CBE Trustees Cochrane and Taylor will be available to answer your questions and hear your concerns / ideas / suggestions.

The meeting will conclude with an open microphone session regarding funding advocacy.  Bring your ideas and questions!  All are invited.  The meeting takes place at AE Cross Junior High (37th Street and Richmond Road) from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Family Skate Night

Just a reminder that Family Skate Night is happening at MTS tomorrow, Thursday April 14th.  There are 3 shifts this year; if your last name begins with letters A-F, your skate time is 5-6pm, G-M is from 6-7pm and N-Z is from 7-8pm.  There will be a concession table at the event, selling water, pop, candy and chips at low prices for those interested. 

Q&A with Trustee Carol Bazinet

Our next School Council meeting is coming up on Monday April 18th, beginning at 6:30 pm.  This month we are looking forward to hearing from our Trustee, Carol Bazinet.  She will be speaking about the CBE budget for the 2011-2012 school year and will also take questions from parents about this and other topics of interest.

In an effort to be effective with our time, it would be helpful to gather the questions for Trustee Bazinet before the meeting.  Therefore, we are asking parents who have questions for Trustee Bazinet to respond to or through this website with their questions by Friday April 15th.  If time permits during the meeting, we will open the floor to parents for additional questions.

Looking forward to seeing many of you on Monday evening.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Meetings of Note

Just a reminder that CAPSC is hosting their panel discussion regarding next year's CBE budget tonight, beginning at 5:00pm at AE Cross school.  Minister Dave Hancock as well as representatives from the CBE and the Board of Trustees will be present to answer your questions.

Also, you can join Mr. Murphy tomorrow morning between 8:30 and 9:30 am for a Gabuccino at MTS.  This is a great opportunity to meet with administration and share some ideas about traditions and school culture at MTS.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Message from CBE & Key Communiqué - April 4, 2011

Please click here for the latest edition of the Key Communique.  In it, you will find details about the meeting this Wednesday, hosted by CAPSC.  There will be a panel discussion regarding the impact of the provincial budget on the CBE's 2011-2012 school year.  Minister Dave Hancock will be present at the meeting, as well as Pat Cochrane, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Naomi Johnson, Chief Superintendent of Schools for the CBE.  There will be an opportunity to have questions answered by the speakers.  The meeting is from 5-6:30 pm at AE Cross Junior High.  If you have questions or concerns about the budget and its impact, please consider attending this important meeting.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Playground Surplus Funds Survey

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March MTSC/MTSPA Meetings Recap

Last night, the school Council and Parent Association met for its monthly meetings.  Highlights of the Council meeting included a discussion about the CBE budget and how the projected $61.7 million shortfall will affect classrooms next year.  Parents can expect to hear more information over the coming months as it comes available.  In the Teachers Report, Mrs. Pragnell talked about the kindergarten classes and their ongoing inquiry work into the story of a tree.  Kindergarten will expand on their work with an upcoming trip to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.  They are also working with clay and beginning their residency with Directors Cut.  Mrs. Kruger provided us with a report on the grade one classes and their ongoing study of endangered animals.  The classes are beginning to prepare for a grade one assembly in April and are also spending time on the question of "What is My Story".  Upcoming field trips to Aggie Days and to Fort Calgary will expand on their learnings. 

During the Leadership Report, Mrs. Sarginson raised the idea of using electronic agendas rather than the current book format.  The cost for the agenda books is quite substantial.  If you have feedback about how you would like to see agendas for next year, please let Annette know.  On April 7th, parents are invited to come to a Gabuccino at the school at 8:30 am.  Enjoy some coffee and conversation about traditions and culture at MTS.  The volunteer tea is being planned for May 18th with the theme of "Royal Tea".

In the Parent Association meeting, Jaime gave us an update regarding the recent Family Dance, which was a huge success, raising approximately $2500 for the PA!  Special thanks go out to the caretaking staff, Rod and Sandy for all of their help with the dance, as well as to the volunteers who helped that evening and the sponsors of our silent auction.  As the Fundraising Committee is still without a Director, there are no further fundraisers planned.  The date for our casino will be drawn on May 5th; we know that it will be sometime in the fourth quarter of 2011 and funds will not be available until towards the end of the 2011-2012 school year.  This means that fundraising may still be an important priority for the parent association, but cannot continue without a Director in place.  If you are considering helping out in this role, please contact the chair at   In the playground report, Sean T gave an update regarding the availability of some surplus playground funds and is looking for feedback from parents about how to spend these funds.  Look for a survey to be posted on this site in the very near future. 

Next month's meetings are scheduled for April 18th, beginning at 6:30 pm.  We hope to have our school board Trustee Carol Bazinet in attendance to talk about the budget and we will discuss some options about how we as a school council can have our concerns regarding the budget heard.  In addition, the school's wish list will be reviewed again and potentially some spending decisions will be made at the PA meeting.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Reminder - MTSC/MTSPA Meetings

Join us for this month's MTS Council and Parent Association meetings tomorrow night beginning with an informal meet and greet at 6:15 at the school.  You can download and print the agenda for each meeting here and here. The council meeting begins at 6:30 pm and will include updates from the Chair and Key Communicator as well as the Teacher's Report, featuring Mrs. Kruger and Mrs. Pragnell and the Leadership Report from Mrs. Sarginson and Mr. Murphy.

The Parent Association meeting will begin at 7:40 pm.  During this meeting, we will hear an update from the Fun Lunch committee, the Playground Committee and the Casino Director as well as an update about the recent Family Dance.  Parents are encouraged to attend one or both meetings. 

You can also click to view the ratified minutes from the January Council and PA meetings as well as February's unratified minutes of the Council and PA.  Hope to see you tomorrow night!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

CBE and CAPSC Meeting March 16th

 A message from Karen Drummond, Communications Advisor at the CBE:

Naomi Johnson, chief superintendent of schools, will join CAPSC to talk about the CBE's vision for education, the progress we are making and some of the challenges we face. The presentation will be followed by an open question period. The meeting takes place Wednesday, March 16, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in the library (2nd floor) at AE Cross Junior High School (Richmond Road and 37th St SW). Everyone is welcome.   More information is available at:

As well, the CBE has posted updated budget information on the CBE website. If you would like to share print information on the budget with the parents at your school, please feel free to link to or circulate this one-page document that can be found here.  Information on the overall budget survey results has also been posted for your information:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fabulous Family Dance!

A fabulous time was had by all at last night's Family Dance.  An incredible display of school spirit was demonstrated with over one hundred families in attendance.  It was wonderful to see so many students, teachers and families dancing and visiting together.  The gym was transformed with the glowing of the wands and bracelets worn by so many students.  The limbo and conga line were my particular favourites of the evening! 

From a fundraising perspective, the Family Dance was a huge success as well.  An update will be provided at this month's Parent Association meeting on the 21st with the amount that was raised through ticket sales, the store and the silent auction.

We'd like to thank the following generous supporters of our silent auction:

Whissell Contracting                                                 Calgary Herald
Linda Bourque                                                          Supercuts
TD Bank-McKenzie Towne                                         Starbucks-Copperfield and Indigo
Christine Buhr and Shakers Family Fun Centre            Stacey Sanderson and Topper Bowl
Jaime Nason-Epicure                                                Michelle Coleman-Laughter Yoga
Cravings Restaurant                                                  Jenny Edwards-The Pampered Chef
Erin Penaluna and Fitness with Kids                            Sherri Macson-Stampin’Up!
Heritage Park                                                            McKenzie Meadows
Marchmount Cleaning Service                                    Calgary Corn Maze
Meghan Clements-Scentsy                                        Sherry Turanyik
Karen Hannigan-Fifth Avenue Jewelery                      Heather O’Mahoney
Tami Adams-BeautiControl                                       Cheri Sieppert and the Calgary Flames
Tina Pratt-ImageIn Weightloss and Reshaping  Centre

Thank you to all who came out to support this fundraiser.  We hope you had a great time with your family and left knowing that the funds raised will be put to good use in support of programs at the school.  We'll look forward to the 3rd annual dance next year!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Family Dance Tonight!

It's finally here!  The second annual MTS Family Dance is tonight, from 6:30-8:00pm at McKenzie Towne School.  Be ready to dance, browse and bid for items at the silent auction and stop by the candy and novelty store to purchase some treats!  Remember, it's all for a good cause; your Parent Association, which supports programs and activities at the school. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone tonight!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Key Communiqué - March 7, 2011

Click here to read the latest edition of the CBE's Key Communiqué.  In it, you will find a budget update, a link to the results of the budget survey that was recently completed as well as the parent communication survey results.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


The McKenzie Towne School Council and Parent Association meetings are Monday February 28th, beginning at 6:30 pm at the school.  These meetings are a great way to meet other parents, get informed about what is happening in your child's school, ask questions and be part of the decision making process.  Join us a few minutes beforehand for an informal meet and greet. 

In the Council meeting, we will be joined by Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Steedman for the Teacher's Report and Mrs. Sarginson and Mr. Murphy will provide a leadership report, which is always informative.  Our topics of the month are MTS Traditions and Teaming Up 4 Health.  During the Parent Association meeting, we will hear from the Fun Lunch committee and will be discussing and likely making some spending decisions.

Please join us on Monday evening.  Each meeting is expected to run approximately one hour in length.  You can print the agendas for each meeting here and here.  Please bring a copy along, and we hope to see you on Monday evening for one or both meetings.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Reminder - Deadline for Family Dance Tickets!

The deadline to order your tickets for the second annual MTS Family Dance is around the corner!  Orders are due on Monday February 28th.  Tickets are limited, so please send your order in today.  You can print additional forms by clicking here.   Tickets are an incredible $10 per family, with proceeds going to the McKenzie Towne School Parent Association. 

We have a great DJ booked, who is sure to get your feet moving and some fabulous items up for bid at the silent auction, including a Shakers Family Fun Centre package, hockey tickets, bowling passes and lots more.  We will also have a candy and novelty store with snacks, refreshments and glow bracelets and wands for the kids.

So get your family out of the cold on March 10th and join us for some fun and fundraising at the Family Dance!  Contact us through this website if you have any questions, would like to volunteer to help, or have an item to donate for the silent auction.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spending Priorities in the CBE

The CBE is looking for your input into priorities for educational spending for 2011-2012.  Please take five minutes to complete their survey, which can be found by clicking here and have your voice heard.  The survey is available until February 27th.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Family Dance 2011!

The 2nd Annual MTS Family Dance and Silent Auction fundraiser is coming up on Thursday March 10th from 6:30-8:00pm.  The event will be a lot of fun with a professional DJ, candy store and a silent auction with some fabulous items up for bid.  Order forms are going home with students this week, or you can download one here.  Tickets are $10 per family.  There are a limited number of tickets for sale, so send in your order form by February 28th to be assured a spot on the dance floor!

Where else can you get an evening full of fun for a family for $10?!  So come out and join us as we raise some money for our school and dance the night away on March 10th!

If you have an item you would like to donate to the silent auction, please contact us.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Parent Survey

The fundraising committee is interested in receiving some feedback regarding the gift card fundraiser that was held in November/December.  As previously announced, the fundraiser was successful, with $955 raised to support school programs and activities.  We thank everyone who supported this fundraiser. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and provide your comments.  We will use this information in planning future fundraising activities for the school.

Thanks again!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Key Communiqué - January 20, 2011

Please click here to view the latest edition of the Key Communique.  In it, you will find a link to the presentation material and notes from the January 12th CBE System Parent Meeting.  There is also a survey for parents who attended the meeting.

There will be an open house on January 24th at Crescent Heights High School and January 26th at Henry Wise Wood about an All Boys Alternative program in the CBE.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MTSC/MTSPA Meetings Recap

Monday's meetings were busy with lots of updates and information.  Thanks go out to Constable Pete Barker for attending and speaking about the serious issues we are having with traffic safety around our school and bus stops.  Parents are reminded to be courteous of other drivers and the neighbours of the school and to set a good example for the children.  Constable Barker spoke of the importance of policing ourselves; failing that, he will have no option but to start ticketing.  Expect a notice from him in an upcoming newsletter. 

There was also a discussion about our topic of the month.  Each month, we will set aside 15 minutes to discuss a topic of interest.  Let Sherri know if you have ideas for future topics.  This month's topic was bullying.  Mrs. Sarginson spoke about the role the school plays in teaching social skills to the kids.  She will plan to add something in a future newsletter to provide parents with further information to reinforce what students are taught at school.  If you have specific concerns related to bullying and your child, it is important that you speak to Annette or Patrick about it. 

Kindergarten's Mrs. Purdy and grade one's Mrs. Howden were on hand to provide an update as to the learnings and activities of their classes.  Mrs. Sarginson provided the leadership report, which can be read in its entirety in the minutes for the council meeting.

In the MTSPA meeting, a motion was passed to form a Fun Lunch Committee, with Cheryl R as Chair.  Thanks to Cheryl for taking on this role and we look forward to hearing about plans for future fun lunches! 

In the fundraising report, it was noted that the committee is still in need of a Director.  Many of the members of this committee serve in other roles on the council or parent association already.  The committee had an action plan to proceed with the gift card fundraiser, winter celebration raffle and upcoming family dance, but no further plans have been made for fundraising activities in the absence of a committee director.  Please contact Sherri M if you are willing to take on this role.  The fundraising committee members provided updates regarding the success of the gift card fundraiser, which raised $955 for the PA, and the winter celebration raffle, which raised $750.  The raffle prize has not yet been claimed.  Please check your tickets to see if you are the lucky winner.  The committee is researching how to handle unclaimed prizes.  The committee is working on the next fundraiser, a family dance, scheduled for March 10th.  Stay tuned for more information coming home very soon.  A motion was passed to cover the costs of the dance up to $600 for items such as a DJ, refreshments, etc. 

Our next meetings will be on February 28th.  Some items to look forward to at these meetings include some planning into March's guest speaker, an update from the newly formed Fun Lunch Committee,  and a discussion about the winter celebration to give parents an opportunity to provide suggestions and input into the future of this important tradition at our school.  In addition, the parent association will do  a review of  the school's funding wish list and likely make some spending decisions.  We strongly encourage all parents to attend in order to have your input.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CAPSC Meeting Cancellation

The CAPSC meetinng scheduled for tomorrow evening, during which speakers from Alberta Education were to speak about the "Action on Inclusion" initiative for special education has had to be cancelled and will be rescheduled for February or March.  Instead, CAPSC will be holding an informal meeting to discuss parent issues relating to education.  Please feel free to attend this meeting, beginning at 7pm at AE Cross Junior High.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reminder - MTSC/MTSPA Meetings

The next meetings of the McKenzie Towne School Council and Parent Association are tomorrow (Monday) night.  We will begin with an informal meet and greet at 6:15 pm and the official MTSC meeting starting at 6:30 pm.  Constable Pete Barker is joining us to speak at our council meeting, and we will also be spending some time on our topic of the month, 'Bullying'. 

As always, there will be school information from Mrs. Sarginson, the teachers' report, this month from  Mrs. Purdy and Mrs. Howden as well as news and information from other executive members.  Please download and print the agendas for the MTSC and MTSPA meetings.  We look forward to seeing you tomorrow night!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Key Communiqué

The January edition of the Key Communique can be read by clicking here.  There are details about the System Parent meeting next Wednesday, the upcoming CAPSC meeting, kindergarten registration and more.  Our next school council meeting is coming up on January 17th.  Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Key Communiqué

Happy New Year to all McKenzie Towne School families!  Please click here to read the December edition of the Key Communique.  In it, you will find details about the CBE's System Parent Meeting on January 12th.

Our school's January calendar is up on their website and can be viewed by following this link.  Classes start back on Tuesday January 4th.