Calgary Board of Education

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Principal's Message | December/January

At Panorama Hills School, we work to build a peaceful environment for our students. Each month we focus on a specific virtue which teachers infuse into their daily planning. Most im-portant is the work we do around character development and citizenship which comes out of our specific curriculum areas. As a school, we develop common vocabulary which is taken up differ-ently in each class through their daily tasks.

This year, we had the opportunity to involve the Grade One students in the Roots of Empathy program. The mission of this program is to build peaceful and caring civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. This program is an evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. Empathy is the ability to identify with another person's feelings. The ability to see and feel things as others see and feel them is central to successful social relationships in all stages of life. Babies regularly visit their assigned classroom and each time, a lesson is taught to develop empathy and creating a culture of caring for one another.

Panorama Hills School is also involved in the S4 program. This is a proactive, strength-based model of teaching and learning where police, schools and families partner together to actively build positive relationships, create safe communities and prepare children for the challenges of our complex, changing world. The Start Smart Stay Safe Children and Families Project is a collabo-rative initiative with the Calgary Police Service, the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District. Start Smart Stay Safe (S4) themes and objectives are directly aligned with specific Alberta Education Health and Life Skills and Social Studies Program of Studies out-comes. This program will see visits from our School Liaison Officer to classrooms. Here they will read books with messages around: Using problem solving skills, Making healthy choices, Using respectful communication skills, Building healthy relationships, Safety and Serving others to build an inclusive, resilient community. Teachers are invited to book our S4 officer to visit the class-room and teach a targeted lesson as the need arises.

It is our desire and goal to build collaborative relationships with families as we work to build and instil a sense of peace and care into our learning environment.

We hope you can join us at our December 20 Winter Celebration which will allow students the opportunity to share their musical learning with an inspiring message of hope. Here, they will share the beloved story “The Polar Express.” The opportunity to rehearse, reflect on our perfor-mance and then work to achieve an ever-higher standard is part of our ongoing work on assess-ment and achievement in our school. The students are looking forward to sharing their work with you and we ask that you please make time to join us. We are also collecting food for the Calgary Food Bank and invite you to bring a donation.

Thank you for supporting your children and our school over the past term. As our year closes and we approach our winter break, we hope that you will enjoy your time with family and friends and that you and your children will have time to enjoy some fresh winter air and appreciate the joy and peace of this season.


Allison, Jane and PHS Staff