Calgary Board of Education

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What makes University School special?

  • University School has very dedicated and experienced teaching professionals on staff. All teachers work collaboratively to ensure the learning experiences for students are appropriate and engaging.

  • Teachers focus on making each child successful by providing them with experiences that are personalized to help each student learn, grow and thrive.

  • Much of the teaching and learning in the school is inquiry-based, which means that much of the student work centers on developing questions that are related to academic disciplines or areas of study and requires students to solve real world problems or challenges through real research and creating new knowledge and understanding.

  • The school places a strong emphasis on utilizing technology in ways that empower students and enable them to engage in inquiry-based work in meaningful ways. The school has a robust wired and wireless network infrastructure that allows students and teachers to use technology when and where it is most appropriate given the nature of the learning.

  • In addition to a strong academic program the school places a very strong emphasis on the arts. This includes having a music specialist and an artist-in-residence. Students at all levels are provided with opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities in the fine arts.

  • The school has a very well equipped learning commons that contains numerous resources and is staffed by a highly skilled librarian and a number of dedicated parent volunteers.

  • University School invites parent participation in a wide variety of ways. Parents volunteer in the classrooms, learning commons, on the school council and in association with a wide variety of special events.

  • The school provides an excellent community-based education program that is convenient for children of parents who work at the Foothills Medical Centre, the Alberta Children's Hospital, and the University of Calgary.

  • University School offers its students a safe, caring and nurturing environment in which to learn. Within this environment diversity, creative thinking, and student leadership are highly valued.

How are classes structured?

Except for Kindergarten, all classes consist of students from two grade levels. Teachers of these multi-aged classes work in teams and are referred to in the school as learning communities. Class sizes (students per classroom teacher) are typically 18-23 students depending upon the grade level.

What is the instructional program like?

Teachers work hard to design an instructional program that is responsive to the gifts, talents and needs of each child.  Our goal is to help inspire in each student a passion for learning.

Teachers often use an inquiry approach to teaching and learning that enables children to develop skills and create meaning in a way that is relevant to their own experiences and interests.  Technology is leveraged as an integral part of the inquiry process to enhance student learning.  We encourage students to become self-reliant and creative thinkers who are able to express and represent their learning in a wide variety of ways.  The collaborative nature of classrooms encourages students to work together and appreciate the contributions that each member of the learning community makes and to also value the benefits that diversity brings.

What do you mean by "inquiry approach"?

Inquiry is a dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world. As such, it is a stance that pervades all aspects of life and is essential to the way in which knowledge is created. Inquiry is based on the belief that understanding is constructed in the process of people working and conversing together as they pose and solve the problems, make discoveries and rigorously test the discoveries that arise in the course of shared activity. (definition from our partner, the Galileo Educational Network - Read More)

Does University School provide support for students whose first language is not English?

Approximately 35% of the students at University School are English Language Learners (ELL). The school has implemented a program which helps students who require additional support to become proficient in English. The school sees its multi-cultural population as a benefit in helping students become prepared to work in a global context. As a result, the school places an emphasis on understanding and respecting the many cultural heritages of our school community and society.

Is lunch supervision provided for students?

Elementary noon supervision service is available for all students in Grades 1 to 6. Students who take the bus to school have the lunch supervision fee included in the transportation fee. Students who are within the 1.2 km walk limit have the option of staying at school for lunch, but the parents must pay the optional lunch fee for to participate in the lunch supervision program.

For CBE information on noon supervision, click here.

Is there before and after school care?

Summit Kids operates an Out-of-School care program for children of parents who work. The program has limited enrolment and parents are encouraged to inquire about availability with Summit Kids. Click here for more details.

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