Calgary Board of Education

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Leadership Link | Chief Superintendent & Board of Trustees Messages

The Chief Superintendent and the Board of Trustees regularly communicate with parents in the school’s monthly newsletter. View newsletters

Admin Message | November

October went by in a blur! Staff have been busy working in their Professional Learn-ing Community teams and we have been developing our ongoing School Develop-ment Plan. Teachers are constantly looking at ways to improve practice and support student success. We are incredibly lucky here at DDS. We have 4 teachers, Mrs. Howey, Ms. Kesler, Ms. Kucher and Ms. Ranisavljevic attending the CBE Learning Leader sessions and bringing this learning back to our school. We have Mrs. Blais, Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Salomons and Ms. Weir attending the CBE Literacy Cohort ses-sions and leading our teachers in this work. Mrs. Wutzke and Ms. Ranisavljevic are involved in a Math Research Cohort which they will also be sharing with our staff throughout the year. We are so lucky to have such leadership in our building.

You may have heard of our SPARK start in the mornings. Dr. John Ratey is a leading researcher in the area of the brain and exercise. He believes that, “Regular exercise can raise levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, and improve functioning of brain systems that regulate impulse, memory and attention.” Additionally information from his website states that, "adding exercise to your lifestyle sparks your brain func-tion to improve learning on three levels: First, it improves your mind's alertness, attention, mood and motivation. Second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information. Third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells in the hippocampus."

The staff at Douglasdale School already use body breaks to support students as they are learning, in addition to daily physical education classes. We are now taking the next step by providing 15-20 minutes of high- energy exercise each morning. Activi-ties may include: dance, aerobic activities, games, and running/brisk walking outside. The Spark session ends with 2-4 minutes of mindfulness where we practice different breathing methods and check in with our bodies to make sure we are ready for the day. At this time, time SPARK is open to those students who teachers feel could ben-efit from a “Spark Start”. For more information check out Dr. Ratey’s website at:

Our Remembrance Day Assembly will be held on November 10th at 10:45 AM. At this assembly our Grade 3 classrooms will help us to honour heroes of the past and present and help us to reflect on the freedom we all enjoy today as a result of their sacrifice. We hope you will be able to join us for this important event. We continue to sing O Canada each morning to remind us of our great country and how lucky we are to live here. We are also collecting food items for the Veteran’s Food Bank Drive.

Please enjoy another comic page from our Studio Artist, Jason Mathis. We’d like to again thank the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and our School Council for helping fund this amazing program.

Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to our fun Halloween celebrations today.

Diane Kamitakahara and Shawna Weir

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