October 2021 Agenda

  1. Welcome/Call to Order
  2. Approval of the Agenda
  3. Chair Report - Carolyn Whitelaw
  4. Reports
    • Dr. Greg Bass
    • Principal Report - Tim Carlson
    • Athletics Update - Nick Waterbury
    • Calgary Academy Student Executive (CASE)
    • Volunteer Update - Shannyn De Kruyff
    • CAPA Update – Aaron Lane
    • CA 40th Celebration Update – Lindsey Meredith
  5. Next Meeting - November 15, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
  6. Future Agenda Items
    • Student Council report
  7. Q&A
  8. Thank You/Adjournment

What to Expect: Off-Campus Experiential Learning in Blended+ 

Students may be off for the summer, but that doesn’t mean our Blended+ program plans are taking a break! Along with ensuring the in-person and online facets of the program are finalized, plans for the experiential off-campus component are only continuing to shape up. 

First, what is off-campus experiential learning? 

Experiential learning is an opportunity for students to gain skills and knowledge in a context that matters. In other words, it is educating through real-life experiences and reflecting on those findings, which leads to a deeper understanding. This expertise is more likely to stand out in memories and be applied to future learnings. 

What will experiential learning look like in Blended+? 

The first day of school will kick off with off-campus activities to begin forming relationships as a team. While our Blended+ Program Leads have incredible ideas about what they want to provide to students, it’s vital that each student has an opportunity to take ownership over their learning in the program. One of the belief statements at Calgary Academy is providing pathways as unique and varied as each of our learners, and Blended+ is no exception.  In September, all Blended+ students will take a trip to the Biogeoscience Institute: Barrier Lake Field Station in Kananaskis, where students will design their own experiments, conduct a field study, and learn how to analyze data to answer their questions. This interactive experience will address multiple curriculum outcomes in math and science for both Grades 9 and 10 in a way that will result in deeper learning.  Blended+ students will also work closely with SAIT throughout the year for opportunities to learn future-ready skills, including The Art of the Possible workshops at SAIT from the School for Advanced Digital Technology. Students will be engaged by hands-on programs, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, cyber security, virtual and augmented reality, and using Raspberry Pi (small devices for people of all ages to explore computing and to learn how to program) to automate tasks.  There will also be an emphasis on physical and mental well-being as students take part in experiences organized by our Physical Education department. These offsite experiences will focus on seasonal activities that students are more likely to continue as adults, including watersports, skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking.  Other off-campus excursions throughout the year may also include Telus Spark, WordFest, and Theatre Calgary, but the bottom line is that Blended+ will have no shortage of opportunities for students to apply to the real-world. 

Introducing Your Blended+ Teachers

With Blended+ launching this fall for Grades 9-10, we are excited to formally introduce your program teachers! Read more about Kim Petersen and Charles Brodeur below.

Kim Petersen – Math & Science Teacher

“I am so excited for the opportunity to be part of the new Blended+ program at Calgary Academy! I enjoy designing engaging experiences and seeing the impact of carefully chosen instructional practices on student success. Blended+ combines the best parts of in-person, online, and off-site learning with the flexibility for students to be empowered to take ownership over their learning.” Kim has taught math and science courses in Grades 4-12 in her 15 years as an educator. She has been an active member of our International Travel Studies (ITS) program for seven years and has taken on an administrative role in the program when needed. As a teacher, she's supported student leadership groups, led students to medals and special awards at the Calgary Youth Science Fair, and coached the high school badminton team. She has organized yearly excursions for students to the University of Alberta for the WISEST Conference as well as for a Chemistry/Physics 30 overnight field trip. Kim has three years of administrative experience at Calgary Academy as a high school assistant principal. Over the last three years, Kim has been an Instructional Design Lead at CA where she worked closely with teachers in Grades 9-12. Kim has led the implementation of Gold Standard Project-Based Learning, high impact numeracy practices, and reimagined course design in our high school. She has a Bachelor of Science in Genetics, a Master of Science in Molecular Biology, and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Western Ontario. Kim has also completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership with a focus on High School Redesign from the University of Calgary.

Charles Brodeur – Humanities Teacher

"As a reimagined school program, Blended+ is the kind of school I’d have loved to attend as a student! I look forward to conferencing with students to identify what works well for them and co-design a personalized experience to fit their learning needs, strengths, and interests. It’s going to be exciting for our group to engage in authentic projects and off-site experiential learning." With over 25 years of experience in education, Charles has taught Humanities in Grades 7-12 and Multimedia in Grades 4-8. He led Grade 9 School-at-Sea west coast trips for 10 years, led backcountry camping adventures, planned grade-wide retreats, coached CA’s debate team to an ADSA regional championship, coached badminton, and led Calgary Academy’s Annual Junior High Debate Tournaments. Charles has four years of administrative experience as an academic dean. In his instructional design role with Headwater Learning Solutions, Charles conducted applied research and led pilot projects to modernize instruction inclusive of robotics and STEAM. Recently, Charles worked with a committee to co-design Calgary Academy’s learning model. Over the last three years, Charles supported learning and innovation at CA as the Director of Assurance. He worked with researchers, learning coaches, instructional designers, and a professional learning lead to advance Calgary Academy’s strategic plan. This year, Charles led the initiative to start a flexible and connected blended learning program at CA with a focus on integrating the best parts of online, in person, and experiential learning. He has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta and a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology with a focus on Online Learning from Boise State University.

A Parent Perspective on Blended+

Parents have many school and program choices and making the right choice for our kids and for our families can be daunting. We want them to be happy, to have friends, to thrive, to become more independent, and to develop the knowledge, skills, and habits to be successful when they move on to the next stage of their lives. It can be a lot.  Traditional school experiences with standardized schedules will likely remain the dominant school model for some time. This will work well for many students and their families—but not all students. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how each child has unique needs, strengths, and interests and it’s no surprise to parents that what works for one child can be quite different than what motivates and works for another child  Blended+ is our new program that might be the right fit for students and families looking for something different. Here are some common themes that have emerged while speaking with parents about the Blended+.

How will my child benefit from taking part in this new program? 

If your child is learning at grade level and would benefit from a more flexible, personalized school experience with high levels of support and community engagement, Blended+ may be a great fit. The program provides increased choice and voice with a focus on transferable skills to help students become self-directed learners in-person, off-campus, and in the community. The weekly learning format empowers students to make meaningful decisions about their learning including—at times—where, when, and with whom they work on tasks. Learning is designed to meet curriculum outcomes while also developing Alberta Education competencies such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. 

Where does Blended+ fit at Calgary Academy? 

The Blended+ program is accepting students from the extended Calgary area as well as students in the Academy and Collegiate programs at CA. Like our other programs, it’s rooted in a commitment to place the individual needs of each student at the heart of everything we do. Class sizes are small, and experienced teachers provide high levels of support. Blended+ is a flexible, university preparatory school experience that combines the best parts of online, on campus, and off-site experiential learning.

How is Blended+ different from online learning due to COVID-19? 

The two experiences are like comparing apples to oranges…or maybe apples to pizza. They don’t equate. Mandated virtual learning as a public health measure resulted in schools that were never designed as online programs asking how they can best replicate in-class learning and meet students’ needs online. Learning took place in a context of isolation from friends and peers as well as other public health restrictions.   At Blended+, we ask a different question. How can we integrate the best parts of online, on campus, and off-site experiential learning to provide a flexible, personalized, and dynamic learning experience? Learning is social in the Blended+ program and students have the flexibility to learn primarily on campus while also choosing times to work from home or wherever they may be

What are the underlying values and beliefs of the Blended+ program? 

Blended+ focusses on the development of transferable skills and habits of mind for students to develop agency, self-directed learning skills, and Alberta Education competencies. It values aligning learning with students lives outside of school, with how technology is reshaping our human experience, and with future-ready skills.  Blended+ exemplifies the belief statements of Calgary Academy including:  
  • We believe in creating pathways as unique and varied as our learners. 
  • We believe we are all learners first, continually redefining what is possible. 
  • We believe social emotional well-being empowers learners to thrive.  
  • We believe in engaging richly with our families and our community. 
  • We believe foundational literacies are critical to deeper learning. 
Still on the fence about whether Blended+ is right for your child and your family? We are setting up times to talk (for however long you need!) about the program, so get in touch with us today. 

May 2021 Agenda

  1. Welcome/Call to Order
  2. Approval of the Agenda
  3. Chair Report - Carolyn Whitelaw
  4. Reports:
    • Student Council Co-Chairs (CASE) – Thomas D. and Zoe T.
    • President and CEO – Dr. Greg Bass
    • Board Chair – Gary Purcell
    • Principal Report – Tim Carlson
    • Volunteers Report – Shannyn De Kruyff
    • CAPA Update – Aaron Lane
    • CA 40th Celebration Update – Lindsey Meredith
      • Golf – Liz Thompson
      • Special Reception – Keith Madge
      • Gala – Sarah Hoag
      • Reunion – Stephanie Chatt
  5. Next Meeting - AGM September 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
  6. Thank You/Adjournment

The 2021 Legacy Award Fundraiser

Last year, despite turbulence and challenges, the Class of 2020 fulfilled a Calgary Academy tradition. Every year, the graduating class creates something for the rest of the CA community to benefit from. Last year, they created the Legacy Award through raising funds to be given to one Grade 12 student annually as they leave Calgary Academy and begin to find their way in the world. The student awarded must exemplify the REACH principles , be involved in extra-curricular activities, volunteer, and be enrolled in a post-secondary program. This student will have been influential in making Calgary Academy a better place during their tenure and is a gift to them to help them achieve their goals as they continue to follow their dreams. Rwan A. was the first student to win the Legacy Award in 2020. Rwan says,

"I was extremely honoured to have been a recipient of the Legacy Award and am beyond grateful that I was recognized. I am currently an engineering student at the University of Calgary; I hope to become a Biomedical Engineer upon graduating. This award has brought me one step closer to achieving that goal. It has helped alleviate some of the financial burden higher education leaves and serves as an inspiration as I continue with my studies.”

  To help fuel another student’s dreams like the award did for Rwan, this year’s Graduation Committee is raising money for the Legacy Award in the form of a cookbook unique to Calgary Academy. Recipes were collected from our CA community, including staff, students, and they families. The cookbook is now for sale until June 25 using the link below for the general public. Parents and staff can use Rycor to purchase. If you choose to support our fundraiser for the Legacy Award, you will be a helping a truly deserving student like Rwan and giving them the proper recognition for the stellar legacy they will be leaving behind at Calgary Academy. - The 2021 Graduation Committee Note: Upon form completion, the purchaser must click “Add to Cart” and immediately make payment using a credit card by clicking on the Cart icon (top right) and entering their credit card information. A receipt will be available for printing and will also be emailed. If a receipt is not displayed, it is likely the order was not placed. Contact Annette Moline at amoline@calgaryacademy.com with questions.

A Reimagined School Schedule with Blended+

Most of us are familiar with a one-size-fits-all school schedule where students switch classes each time the bell rings. What if schedules could be personalized? That’s what Blended+ aims to do. There’s much more choice and voice for students and their families to make a schedule that fit their needs, strengths, and interests. Together with the weekly learning format, students can customize their schedule to spend more time in areas of need and accelerate their learning in other areas during the week, as well as still continue to learn with their peers who aren’t in Blended+. Take a peek!

*Subject to change based on finalization of Calgary Academy schedule

Let’s break down the different types of learning featured in Blended+

  • Blended Flex Learning: this is where students can choose to learn with teachers and peers in our classroom and common learning areas on campus. They can also choose to learn online at home or wherever they happen to be while maintaining high levels of teacher support and connection. During Blended Flex blocks, teachers are constantly connecting with students through 1-1 conferences, small group tutorials, and interactive seminars.
  • Online Direct Instruction: Since daily direct instruction as a class is online via Teams, students can learn anywhere they have online access. During these lessons, teachers instruct, answer questions, and provide guidance. Students learn together with their Blended+ class.
  • On Campus and Off-Site Experiential Learning: On Wednesdays, Blended+ classes are together to engage in learning that works best in person. We make this time count by focusing on active hands-on learning such as labs, projects, and interactive seminars. This is also the time that students will take supervised tests. Off-site experiential learning trips add authenticity to instruction by connecting students with experts, facilities, and networks in our larger community.
  • Phys-Ed and Integrated Studies: Students have the option to take their PE and Integrated Studies courses in-person for the school year. This expands experiences and provides an opportunity for students to learn with their CA peers not in the Blended+ program, but in the Academy and Collegiate programs. For students who prefer a more flexible PE and Integrated Studies schedule, a blended learning option is available that does not require them to be on campus each afternoon.

Our Most Frequently Asked Blended+ Questions

Blended+ at Calgary Academy is a new program starting this fall for Grades 9-10 that combines the best parts of online, on-campus, and off-site learning. It provides high levels of academic support and increased flexibility while also nurturing face-to-face connections and shared hands-on learning experiences.
We’ve had quite a few questions about the program, so we’ve tried our best to answer them.  

1. Why is Calgary Academy adding a new learning program?

At Calgary Academy, we know that the learning needs, strengths, and interests of our students are all different. Blended+ is another way for CA to bring to life our organizational belief of creating pathways as unique and varied as our learners. It provides an additional option for families who feel overserved by traditional school programs or underserved by fully online programs.  

2. What’s does the plus in Blended+ mean?

Blended+ combines the flexibility and personalization of highly supported online learning with active in-person learning on campus. The plus refers to off-site experiential learning as well as the option for students to participate in Knights Athletics, drama productions, International Travel Studies, student leadership groups, and CA events. Students have access to guidance and career counselling as well as other Calgary Academy services.  

3. What types of students are a good fit for Blended+?

Blended+ is designed for students who demonstrate a commitment to academics. It’s a highly supported program for students interested in more flexibility with their schedules including high performance athletes, students who experience barriers to learning, and students who are interested in a less traditional, more personalized school experience.  

4. How does the weekly learning format work?

Learning is planned around a weekly format that empowers students to develop self-directed skills through instruction, guided practice, and 1-1 conferences. Students have the option to accelerate in some areas during the week while slowing down in others to receive extra help from teachers. Flexible asynchronous learning (both on-campus and online) is combined with live online direct instruction, on-campus hands-on learning, and tutorials.  
Click here to read more about how Blended+ schedules can be customized depending on individual learning needs.  

5. I’m worried my child won’t have friends in Blended+. Is there a focus on socialization?

Yes. Blended+ is a cohort-based program with a focus on wellness, belonging, and relationships. Students learn together with their class during scheduled live online classes, in-person during hands-on learning on campus, and during shared experiences off-site. They can also choose to attend Integrated Studies and PE courses in person with their Calgary Academy peers. Additionally, blended-flex learning blocks give students a choice to have more academic time on campus with peers or to learn online.

6. Can students stay in Blended+ for Grade 12 and graduate from the program?

Yes. Blended+ is starting with Grades 9-10 this fall and will expand to a full secondary program by 2023. Students who start in Blended+ this fall will be able to graduate from the program.  

7. How does Blended+ prepare students for their future?

Blended+ is a university preparatory program designed to teach and provide guided practice with transferable skills. These include active reading, note-taking, studying, and test preparation skills to become more independent, self-directed learners. For example, teachers in this program will guide students to set goals and develop systems to plan, prioritize tasks, organize materials, initiate tasks, maintain task persistence, reflect on progress, and course correct when needed.  

8. How does the on-campus part of the program work?

Students in Blended+ will learn in-person for 50 per cent or more of instructional time. Weekly in-person learning on campus is organized to make the most of time together while also building on the core of the CA learning modelbelonging, relationships, self-awareness, and wellness. Designed for engagement and competency development, instruction includes projects, labs, and interactive seminars as well as PE and integrated studies. Time on campus is also used for students to take secured tests. Scheduled blended-flex blocks provide students the option of learning on campus with teachers and peers. Students have the option to attend Integrated Studies and PE on campus.

9. What will the off-site experiential learning activities include?

Built into the cost of tuition, off-site learning leverages networks, experts, and facilities in our extended community. It includes academic and physical education experiences. Academic examples include participating in field studies and service-learning initiatives, learning at local maker spaces, attending community programs, and joining events like Beakerhead and WordFest. Off-site PE learning includes guided activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, wall climbing, curling, and outdoor education pursuits. Students can either meet at Calgary Academy to bus to off-site learning together, or they can meet the group at the location of the activity.  

10. How does transportation work?

Due to the non-traditional schedule of the program, families of Blended+ students have the option to sign up for one-way bussing (either a.m. or p.m. service) at a prorated fee. Two-way bussing is also available. For those interested in public transit, a bus stop that connects with the 69 Street C-Train station is located about a block from campus.  

11. What’s the role of parents in Blended+?

Open communication is important for student success. Parents can support their children in Blended+ by speaking with them about their learning and coaching them to self-advocate with teachers when they have questions or run into barriers. Helping to ensure accountability is built into each day will reinforce the online learning expectations and strategies set by teachers.
A key role for parents is to help plan their children’s online workspace and co-create a daily/weekly learning rhythm. Workspaces at home are ideally predictable, quiet, and free from distractions. Blended+ is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program—meaning students require their own laptop. A second screen, while not necessary, can help with posture and productivity. Parents can also support their child by reviewing the Calgary Academy family handbook together.  

12. What are the tuition and fees for Blended+?

Tuition and fees for Blended+ mirror those of Calgary Academy’s Collegiate Program. Additional information can be found on the admissions tab on Calgary Academy’s website or by contacting admissions@calgaryacademy.com.

April 2021 Agenda

  1.  Welcome/Call to Order 
  2. Approval of the Agenda
  3. Chair Report - Carolyn Whitelaw
  4. Reports: 
    • Student Council Co-Chairs (CASE) – Thomas D. and Zoe T.
    • Principal Report – Tim Carlson 
    • Volunteers Report – Shannyn De Kruyff
    • CAPA Update – Aaron Lane
    • Philanthropy Update – Patricia Lisevich
    • Facilities Update – Darrell Couture
    • CA 40th Celebration Update – Lindsey Meredith
    • Next Meeting - AGM on May 17, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
  5. Future Agenda Items 
  6. Q&A
  7. Thank You/Adjournment  

A Story From Our CAPA 50/50 Raffle Winner

The CAPA 50/50 raffle came to a close this week and we are excited to announce that $10,250 was raised. This means that $5,125 will go towards CA bursary fund and the other half to our lucky winner, Taunya Craig! Taunya's son, Carter, is a current Grade 12 student and he has been positively impacted by Calgary Academy for the last six years. By: Calgary Academy parent and CAPA 50/50 raffle winner, Taunya Craig Carter is graduating from Calgary Academy this year! He has attended CA for six years, starting in their Academy stream, which helps students understand their own unique way of learning, builds on strengths, and develops transferrable tools and strategies. Carter has always been a brilliant mind, and yet he also has a learning disability, one that hindered his ability to write his thoughts - which is necessary for many things, including testing.

He soon bridged that gap and spent the rest of his time in the Collegiate stream. This has allowed him to find a love of learning, make exceptional friends, and be completely 'known' by the staff at CA.

  Carter has now been accepted to the University of Calgary for Astrophysics, so the proof is in the pudding! CA absolutely met his needs and delivered for him. This last year was a hard one for me financially, having my private practice slow down, speaking gigs cancelled, and having to pivot. Once again CA had a solution. CAPA has a bursary program and I was accepted to help with his tuition. In return, we work bingos. Well, with COVID-19, bingos are halted and CAPA had to get creative so they could keep helping deserving kids get the support they deserve in this exceptional school. About the Calgary Academy Parents’ Association (CAPA) 50/50 Raffle The Calgary Academy Parents’ Association (CAPA) raises $100,000 each year through volunteering at bingos and casinos. These funds go towards the Calgary Academy bursary program and COVID-19 has made their typical fundraising streams unavailable this year. Because of your support, you are allowing students like Carter to attend a school that can change their lives by providing them with the education and confidence they need to succeed in an ever-changing world.