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Principal's Message - May
This is the time of year in which we find ourselves in transition between this school year and the next. Much has been reported on the CBE website about the impact of the provincial budget on the Calgary Board of Education. Last week we received our school’s resource allocation, (RAM) for our staffing and operational budget and I have to say that on first glance, it doesn’t look too bad for Hidden Valley School. Our Chief Superintendent’s team has been diligent in making cuts elsewhere in the system to minimize the impact on school RAMs. As a K-3 school, we also have the advantage of a 2 percent class size initiative addition to our RAM in a dollar amount. Our resource allocation (RAM) is based on our student population projection for next year which is projected to be at 436. I believe this to be a conservative projection anticipating that we will be slightly higher. I am basing this assumption on the current number of students that are already registered for next year.
While our RAM allows Hidden Valley School to maintain the same number of teachers for next year, I will be in a position of having to surplus one teacher. Our regular program numbers are projected to be lower by roughly 30 students while our French Immersion numbers are increasing. Therefore, it will be necessary to let go of one teacher from our regular program and hire a teacher for French Immersion. Within the CBE, the process of surplussing is based on program need and then on seniority. Surplussed teachers retain their employment status and they are placed in other CBE schools.
As our grade three students begin to anticipate their transition to Valley Creek School, it was such a treat for them to have been invited to Valley Creek’s production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” last Tuesday. Following the performance, I was standing at the doors that some of our classes were using to exit Valley Creek’s gymnasium and so many of our students commented on how fantastic this production was. Our grade three students will visit Valley Creek School for an orientation on May 31.
Our Grade One orientation will be held on the evening of May 23. On that night, members of School Council and our grade one teachers will be there to make presentation and respond to questions. I encourage all parents of students entering grade one next year to attend this event. Our grade one team will be providing information and tips to facilitate a smooth transition for children as they move to grade one from kindergarten. School Council members will speak to the opportunities for involvement in school events and for voice in the supplementary resources that they so generously provide for our school.
During the upcoming month, teachers will be meeting in grade groups to organize classes for next year. There are many variables that they will take into consideration when doing this. Within each grade group, they have the task of balancing classes in terms of numbers, special needs and gender. In addition to this, they need to take social dynamics into account. Often, good friends make for good learning partners. In some instances though, children can be great friends but not well paired as classmates. In addition, it is important that we keep these preliminary class lists balanced so that each teacher is in a position to welcome new students who register during the upcoming months. I’m sure that prior to September, we will have a number of new families moving into Hidden Valley and joining our school community.