Happy New Year everyone!
I sincerely hope you had a wonderful Christmas season, and Santa was good to you. A new year always resonates with hope and opportunity. Now, if you’re like me, you might also have indulged in some new year’s resolutions as well as delicious baking. It seems like a good time to muster resolve to undo a bad habit or to strike up a new good one. Nonetheless, we all know how challenging both of these can be. Good habits don’t magically happen, nor do poor ones instantly disappear.
It occurs to me that the year 2020 connotes the idea of clear vision. Currently, Alberta Education’s vision for 2020 is slightly opaque. In the coming weeks, however, we expect to have clarity about two critical topics: a new funding model and the fate of a long awaited new curriculum. Without question, some transparency around these two topics will help to shape our priorities for next year. In preparation of an expected “leaner” budget, the Board and school leadership will be reviewing options in the coming weeks for anticipated fiscal restraints.
Next Year’s Learning Calendar
Drafts of next year’s calendar are circulating among staff and school councils. We look forward to your feedback this month. Here is the link to the draft 2020-21 calendars on our website. There is an email address on this link to provide your feedback.
Health Canada remains deeply concerned by the increase in vaping reported among Canadian youth, as vaping can lead to nicotine addiction and can increase their exposure to harmful chemicals. Youth are especially susceptible to the negative effects of nicotine, as it is known to alter teen brain development and can affect memory and concentration. We ask for your support in the discouragement of this harmful activity with your children. Here are some links (link1, link2, link 3) to some expert information on this topic.
Diploma Exams are coming - how can I help?
Diploma exams are government created exams based on the curriculum of high school courses. These exams are worth 30% of the final grade. These exams have three main purposes:
- to certify the level of individual student achievement in selected grade 12 courses;
- to ensure that province-wide standards of achievement are maintained;
- to report individual and group results.
Doing well on these exams is important. Teachers, students and parents each play a role in ensuring students are well prepared for them. Here are some ideas to assist parents support their students:
- Ensure students are getting lots of sleep and are well nourished.
- Ensure students are well aware of dates and times for each exam.
- Pay attention to and reduce any other distractions which may impact opportunities for study.
- Encourage your student to do his/her best.
- Encourage your student to access the data bank of released questions for additional practice: https://questaplus.alberta.ca/
- Encourage your student to review the guides to diploma exams made available by the government.
What’s the Accountability Survey from Alberta Education all about, and why is it important for me to fill out?
As an annual check-up on the education system, the Accountability Pillar provides an opportunity for Alberta Education and school authorities to ensure that we are equipping students for success.
The Accountability Pillar uses a set of 16 indicators. Data on these indicators consists of surveys of students, parents and teachers on various aspects of education quality, student outcomes such as dropout and high school completion rates, and provincial assessments of student learning.
From January to the end of February, Alberta Education will be conducting the annual Accountability Pillar Survey.
- In January, parents of students in grades 4, 7 and 10 in our larger schools and in grades 4-12 in our smaller schools will receive a survey from Alberta Education.
- In February, students in grades 4, 7 and 10 in our larger schools and in grades 4-12 in our smaller schools and all teachers will be completing their surveys online at school.
All surveys are anonymous and ask questions about experiences with your school. Your participation in the survey helps provide important information on the quality of education your child is receiving, so we encourage you to return your survey promptly.
Survey results will be available to school authorities in May 2020, and will be reported publicly as part of their 3-Year Education Plans and Annual Education Results Reports.
Thank you for your time and thoughtfulness in completing this survey!
Wishing you a prosperous new year!