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 from staff and students across all grades are being compiled and we hope to include as many recipes as possible. Please send your recipes until May 14, below. 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

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.

A Day in the Life of Blended+ Students

A day in the life of a Blended+ student is not a one-size fits all experience, and is tailored for students who:

  • Are interested in a more flexible school experience.
  • Prefer to have more time learning from home with high levels of teacher support.
  • Experience barriers to learning in traditional school settings.
  • Want more choice and voice in a personalized learning program.
To showcase the customizable nature of the program, here's how three Blended+ students would navigate the program depending on their individual learning and lifestyle needs.

1. The Student Who is Focused on Athletics

This student thrives in Blended+ as it works with the rigorous demands of training and missing school due to competitions. Many student athletes train for their sport before, during, and/or after traditional school schedules. Rather than missing school, this student may learn online asynchronously at a training facility or at home to maximize flexibility. Combined with live mid-day direct online instruction that’s recorded if the student is unable to attend the class, the weekly learning format of Blended+ helps student athletes plan around missed days due to competitions without falling behind their peers. During blended flex time, this student connects with teachers either on campus or online as their schedules permit. Dynamic in-person learning with peers on and off campus is scheduled mid-week to accommodate travel schedules on either side of the weekend. Project-based and experiential learning connects the student athlete to their peers, teachers, and networks in the community. Combined with a personalized approach, the flexibility of Blended+ helps competitive athletes stay at the top of their game in their sport as well as in school.

2. The Student Who Experiences Barriers to Learning

This student is empowered by a program that’s personalized to meet individual learning needs and strengths. This student may choose to spend blended flex blocks learning with teachers and peers on campus for in-person support and connections. Regular check-ins help build confidence, connections, and independent work habits. Alternatively, if the barriers to learning are better addressed with more time learning from home, they have high levels of teacher access and online support to meet their needs. The weekly learning format of Blended+ helps students to spend more time in areas of need with teacher assistance. Students get extra support with subjects or topics that may not come as easy to them. On and off-campus in-person learning is hands-on and dynamic to help them make meaningful connections with peers through shared and guided experiences, while supports are provided for students who may be feeling anxious about peer interactions. This student can thrive on CA Knights Athletics teams, drama productions, STEAM activities, and real-world learning through International Travel Studies.

3. The Student Who is Focused on Their Studies

This student excels in an environment with increased choice and voice over the time, pace, and place of learning. Having the autonomy to make meaningful decisions about learning as well as involvement in social learning experiences increases this student’s engagement with school. This student may want a later start to the school day if they prefer to learn during atypical hours. This student can choose to learn from home or a local coffee shop during asynchronous learning blocks while joining peers on campus during flex time to work with friends. If this student is part of CA Knights Athletics teams, being on campus for the afternoon would fit well with after school games or practices. The weekly learning format empowers them to go deep with learning and focus on tasks for extended times rather than have learning interrupted by a typical schedule with numerous class breaks. On-campus and off-site experiential learning engages them with real-life projects while developing community networks. They may also choose to participate in International Travel Studies with other CA students to broaden their world understanding.

How Calgary Academy Changed My Child’s Life

By: Calgary Academy Parent, Aaron Lane Our family currently has three children attending Calgary Academy (CA). My story today is about my Grade 12 son, Aidan, and all he has overcome since he started at CA. In 2012, my son was diagnosed by a professional psychologist to have rated in the 5th percentile in Basic Reading Composite, the 6th percentile in Reading Comprehension and Fluency, the 6th percentile in Mathematics Composite, the 9th Percentile in Written Expression Composite, along with having ADHD. To say school was hard for Aidan would be a massive understatement and his confidence was severely hurt because of this. He used to complain of severe stomach pains and had very high anxiety towards school.

Then he started at Calgary Academy

In 2013, Aidan entered Grade 4. Under the brilliant guidance and teaching provided, we noticed things started to change within the first month of him being there. He was smiling and laughing more, and he did his homework every night as soon as he got home. As a parent, it was incredible to witness this transformation. Since then, Aidan has gone on to achieve Academic Excellence every year. He has earned the President’s Award for the past six years and was awarded the Marion Sutherland Award last year for being able to overcome severe learning differences while displaying school spirit and joining school activities. He has now been accepted to three universities in Western Canada for Engineering and has also been offered an entrance scholarship to the University of Victoria. In his words, none of this would have happened without Calgary Academy. CA can change the direction of any student’s life regardless of where they started, and we are so grateful for the entire CA community who made this possible for Aidan and our family. Congratulations, Aidan! 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 taken away their ability to raise funds this year. By showing your support, you are allowing students like Aidan 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. You can support this cause by purchasing 50/50 Cash Raffle tickets here and spread the word to your family and friends. Ticket sales end on Wednesday, April 7 and the draw will take place on Friday, April 9.

Why Teach Dance in PE?

In Physical Education this month, students in Kindergarten through Grade 10 have been participating in a hip hop dance unit. Many classes performed live on Teams for parents on Friday, while others will finish next week. Over the last few days, we have been asked several times, “why teach dance?” and the answer is that it might be the most important unit that students will do in physical education. Besides that is meets curricular outcomes, dance strengthens muscles, improves balance, and increases flexibility. Spatial awareness and movement patterns are necessary in every sport an athlete will participate in. Rhythm and timing are essential in most activities, and cardiorespiratory endurance and flexibility are important for maintaining fitness, improving performance, and injury prevention. Beyond the physical advantages, dance in physical education also provides social opportunities for students to work together in a non-competitive environment. Watching them support one another, as well as push themselves out of their personal comfort zones; all while learning new skills has been incredible! And finally, we dance because it’s fun!

February 2021 Minutes

February 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 
  • Calgary Academy 40th Celebration and Strategic Planning Update – Lindsey Meredith
  • Volunteers Report – Shannyn De Kruyff
  • Research and Innovation – Dana Braunberger and Sarah Hamilton 
5. Next Meeting - April 19, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.  6. Future Agenda Items 7. Q&A 8. Thank You/Dare to Care Presentation