The Calgary Science School: Our Story

Deirdre Bailey and Amy Park The process of inquiry can seem “undefinable” at times, however, through the process of documentation, it becomes clearer and more tangible – for students, teachers, and parents.Earlier this month as part of an Action Research project, we proposed to compile a comprehensive video that effectively identified who we are at the Calgary Science School, what we do, how we do it and why. Our schools Exemplary Learning and Teaching Frameworks were carefully woven throughout the video.  Footage from all grades and subject areas served as visual representation of who we are, what we do, how we do it, … Continue reading The Calgary Science School: Our Story

Preparation for Camp Sweet = Increased Chance of a Safe and Fun Experience

Parent Guest Blogger Denise KitagawaClick here to read the entire post and to see her stunning photography.  One of the many amazing things about the Calgary Science School is the fact that students go on two overnight Outdoor Education trips each school year. One trip is to Camp Sweet (about 90 minutes outside of Calgary), where the students sleep in tents and spend a few days camping and exploring the woods and fields – including some free time splashing in the river if it’s warm enough. The other trip is grade dependent. This year, five out of six grades (500 … Continue reading Preparation for Camp Sweet = Increased Chance of a Safe and Fun Experience

Calgary Science School Parent, Student and Staff Interviews

Calgary Science School Parent, Student and Staff Interviews Executive Summary Garry McKinnon-June 25, 2012 The annual superintendent interviews of parents, students and staff members were conducted over several weeks in the Spring of 2012 as a component of the ongoing school evaluation process. On March 8 and 9 during student-led conferences, 48 parents were interviewed. In May and June, grade 4 to 9 students as class groups (approximately 600) were interviewed. As well, teaching and support staff members (36 participants) were interviewed. The feedback generated through the two questions (without any prompting) “What causes you to believe that the Calgary … Continue reading Calgary Science School Parent, Student and Staff Interviews

Collaboration: The Art of Strengthening

Amy Park and Deirdre Bailey [Investigating the truth of opinions] consists not in trying to discover the weakness of what is said, but in bringing out its real strength. It is not the art of arguing but the art of thinking… the art of strengthening. (Gadamer, 1975) Abstract Although there is substantial research supporting collaborative practices in school environments, definitions of the term vary widely. Most often, collaboration in schools remains limited to sharing resources or co-planning. A significantly prohibitive factor in allowing teachers to achieve mutually valuable, collaborative relationships are the perceived or established imbalances of power. Traditionally, collaborative … Continue reading Collaboration: The Art of Strengthening

School Library or Learning Commons: What’s in a Name?

-by Donna Alden, Teacher-Librarian What’s the difference between a school library and a school learning commons, and does the name make a difference? The Alberta School Library Association, which is informed by a larger Canadian and American field of school library studies, offers this: Traditional school libraries are seen as quiet places full of printed books, people reading and librarians ‘shushing’. A Learning Commons takes school libraries into the 21st century. Yes, we still have printed text, and there are still people reading, and there is still a librarian, however the Learning Commons has so much more! There is a … Continue reading School Library or Learning Commons: What’s in a Name?

Parent Engagement: Where to from here?

-by Tanya Stogre, Grade 5 Humanities In the preceding three blogs, I have outlined the research behind why parental and community engagement is important; the differences between ‘involvement’ and ‘engagement’, as well as specific examples of each at the Calgary Science School. In the final blog of the series, I want to look at the question “where do we go from here?” To answer this question, I look specifically to a document written by Dr. Garry McKinnon & Mr. Lyle Lorenz (2005) from the College of Alberta School Superintendents Module Building Effective Partnerships for School Improvement: A Principal’s Guide for … Continue reading Parent Engagement: Where to from here?

Examples of Parent Involvement and Engagement

-by Tanya Stogre, Grade 5 Humanities In the preceding blog, #2 in my 4-part series on parental and community engagement, I discussed the differences between involvement and engagement. However, the distinction was not made to suggest that if a parent is ‘involved’, their actions, care and personal investment in their child’s education is any less than one who is ‘engaged’. In order to create a meaningful and healthy school community, I would suggest that both involvement and engagement are necessary. In this blog, I would like to share with you some of the specific ways parents and the Lakeview Community … Continue reading Examples of Parent Involvement and Engagement

Parent Involvement vs. Engagement

-by Tanya Stogre, Grade 5 HumanitiesIn my first blog in this 4-part series on parental engagement, I gave a brief outline of what the research says about why having parent and community involvement is significant. In this blog, I will discuss the difference between parental involvement and engagement, the importance of the distinction and the research behind it. Involvement: comes from the Latin, ‘involvere’, which means ‘to roll into’ and by extension implies wrapping up or enveloping parents somehow into the system (Benson, 1999, p. 48). The implication in the word is that the person ‘involved’ is co-opted, brought into … Continue reading Parent Involvement vs. Engagement

Parent Engagement: What does the research say?

-by Tanya Stogre, Grade 5 Humanities I have been encouraged to write a series on parent engagement and the implications for the Calgary Science School. As a grade 5 Humanities teacher in my 5th year at CSS, I have had the great pleasure of working with many parents, as well as Lakeview Community residents. In this four-part series in intend to: 1) Outline what the research says about why school, parent and community connections are important; 2) Describe the difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘engagement’; 3) Illustrate what is currently happening at CSS as it relates to both parental and community … Continue reading Parent Engagement: What does the research say?

ConnectEd Canada May 25-27, 2012

Registration for ConnectED Canada is now open. Registration is being generously handled by the Calgary Regional Consortium. You can register for the event by clicking here. We have set aside 150 spots for Alberta attendees and 150 spots for out of province. If the out-of-province spots are not filled by April 1st – the remaining spots will be made available to Alberta attendees. Information on accommodation for the event can be found here. Sign up quickly before it fills up! Continue reading ConnectEd Canada May 25-27, 2012