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Principal's Message | November

Dear Parents/Guardians,
The first two months of the school year has been focused on establishing routines and expectations in classrooms to provide for an optimum learning environment. Students and teachers are engaged in rich learning experiences across the disciplines. We appreciate the healthy routines you also establish at home to support learning, including ensuring that your child has lots of rest, a healthy diet and of course regular attendance. Please make every effort to help your child arrive each day for school on time and ready for the learning that will take place. Chronic lateness and regular absenteeism have the potential to create gaps in your child’s learning and may hinder their success.

As we move into November, we look forward to meeting with families at our upcoming parent-teacher conferences on November 16th and 17th. This is an opportunity for your child to share evidence of their learning and for teachers to communicate with you regarding your child’s progress. Families can expect that the information shared at the conference will be supported by the formal report card that will be sent home on Wednesday, January 31st. For students who are on an Individual Program Plan (IPP), teachers will continue to meet with parents to review the IPP. Beyond these formal communication methods, parents and teachers will continue to communicate regularly as the need arises.

Our staff has begun to carefully analyze our school data to best inform our school development planning for the upcoming year. We will focus on building math skills with a specific focus on the strands; Number and Shape & Space. Our professional learning throughout the year will draw on current research to inform our practice as we work together with system specialists and our lead teachers on staff to personalize student learning. We have the privilege of working with highly competent leaders, teachers and support staff. As in any strong team we hold diverse experiences and perspectives which complement and enhance our work together to achieve excellence in student learning and achievement.

Did you know that we have a Constable from the Calgary Police Service assigned to our school? Her name is Constable Kerri Mattice. In the past, she has been working with our School Patrols. This year we are going to introduce the program, S4 – Start Smart, Stay Safe. This program is a collaborative partnership with the Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Board of Education. It is a proactive, strength-based model of teaching and learning where police, families and schools partner together to build positive relationships, create safe communities and prepare children for the challenges of our complex, changing world. Constable Mattice can work with teachers and students on various themes that build students resilience skills. For more information on this initiative, please see the S4 website.

Our hope for this year is for our students to develop skills needed to be resilient and to believe that they can achieve their hopes and dreams. During the month of September we focused on building the character trait, “Respect” and we saw it living in the classrooms, in the hallways and on the playground. During the month of October, Sundance School community will focus on the character trait, “Kindness”. It is considered to be an admirable and positive quality to possess. As Mark Twain once said, “Kindness is a virtue that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” So then what does kindness look like and what does it sound like? These are questions we will use with the students as we look for how kindness is living at Sundance School. We want our help our students to develop the skills needed to create a culture that is positive and a place where we all have a sense of belonging. We know that when we create a sense of belonging, and the impact it has on student achievement. Please look out for further news on Bullying Awareness Week, November 13-17 2017.

As we continue to focus on building resilience skills in our students, we will continue to build on the character trait of Kindness and work towards building Empathy. Students will learn how to develop empathy and become good citizens within and outside of the school community. Showing empathy means you are strong enough to care. Here is an article you may find interesting to read by Dr. Michele Borba.

In addition to being busy learning, we are also busy having fun. A Huge THANK YOU to School Council for hosting our annual Halloween Dance and the Grade 6 Committee for the fabulous job with the ‘spooktacular’ haunted house. Our first spirit day is “twin day” on Thursday, November 2nd. This day was planned by our Student Leadership Group members and is a great opportunity to build our school spirit. Thank you to the School Council Sundog Lunch committee and the slew of volunteers for coming out to volunteer on our Sundog Lunch days. These types of events remind us that school really is a ‘community’ of ‘learners’.

Warm regards,
Mme. Micheline Huber, Principal
Mme. Christine Chrumka, Assistant Principal