January 2022 Agenda

  1. Welcome/Call to Order
  2. Approval of the Agenda
  3. Chair Report - Carolyn Whitelaw
  4. Reports:
    • Principal Report - Tim Carlson
    • Reports:
    • CAPA Update - Aaron Lane
    • Philanthropy Update: Patricia Lisevich
    • Lindsey Meredith - 40th Anniversary Update
    • Pointless Poetry - Charlotte Nixon
  5. Next Meeting - March 7, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.
  6. Future Agenda Items
  7. Q&A
  8. Thank You/Adjournment

Bibbity Bobbity BAAM! Brings the Magic Back to the CA Stage

Dec. 6-10 marked the first drama production that has hit the CA stage for spectators in nearly two years. Bibbity Bobbity BAAM! was written seven years ago by CA humanities teacher, Charlotte Nixon, and it came to life in front of eager parents, staff, and our greater CA community, becoming a true fairytale, much like the plot!

“Bibbity Bobbity BAAM! came out of this idea that young people have many skills, gifts, and talents, but when they’re not recognized in the traditional ways that are common in schools, they can get down on themselves. I wanted them to have a character like Petal to see themselves in or look up to as somebody going through the same struggles and overcoming them.” - Charlotte Nixon
Students acting in integrated studies play, Bibbity Bobbity BAAM!Grades 5-8 students began auditioning for Bibbity Bobbity BAAM! in September and the final cast members rehearsed three times a week leading up to the show. The design of the show-stopping set was a collaborative effort by Grades 6, 8, 9, and 10 students, including lighting, projection and sound designers, backstage managers, and spot operators. CA Integrated Studies teacher and Theatre Director, Leeanne McLim, helped bring the play to life, along with many staff who worked tirelessly to ensure the first play back on stage in front of an audience went off without a hitch.
“I think that our students relate to these characters in such a meaningful and authentic way that can’t be replicated other than having lived it. One of my favourite scenes is when Madam Merlin is talking to Petal and says, ‘there are things about you, Petal, that are valuable and worthwhile but they’re not on a test.’” - Charlotte Nixon
integrated studies students taking a bow after Bibbity Bobbity BAAM!When the pandemic halted production on theatre plays in early 2020, students were unable to showcase their passions for an audience. Calling Bibbity Bobbity BAAM! one of the most “incredible experiences of my theatre career,” both Charlotte and Leeanne have seen how supportive each student is with each other and the love for the stage and performance is finally back at CA. It’s not only the students that have shown their support, but parents as well.
“We have an amazing community, which I knew because I get to teach our students and interact with their parents every day, but it wasn’t until this show the I got to see it in action. Not only did the parents show up, but they are so supportive of all the students. For example, a parent showing up with not with just flowers for their own child, but they brought flowers for every student in the show.” - Charlotte Nixon
Calgary Academy teacher and playwrite, Charlotte NixonCharlotte Nixon is an accomplished theatre playwright outside of CA as well, and has published works for Stage West Kids, Calgary Young People’s Theatre, Goodger-Pink Family Theatre in Okotoks, and also won first place at an international playwriting competition in Arizona for Bibbity Bobbity BAAM! Bibbity Bobbity BAAM! was produced by special arrangement with Brooklyn Publishers LLC.

December 2021 Agenda

  1. Welcome/Call to Order
  2. Approval of the Agenda
  3. Chair Report - Carolyn Whitelaw
  4. Reports:
    • Principal Report - Tim Carlson
      • Annual Education Results Report
    • Calgary Academy Student Executive (CASE)
    • CAPA Update - Aaron Lane
    • Philanthropy Update: Patricia Lisevich
    • Building Conceptual Understanding in Mathematics - An Immersive Experience in Division - Sheryl Walters, Sam Kelly, Liz Thompson, and Tanis McLeod
  5. Next Meeting - January 24, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.
  6. Q&A
  7. Thank You/Adjournment

A World of Outdoor Opportunities Awaits at CA

After almost two years of uncertainty with various indoor closures, travel restrictions, and more, one thing has remained the same: that getting outside and spending time in nature has the power to instantly improve wellness. At CA, Outdoor Education (OE) has always been a vital part of how our learners continue to grow their confidence and become better connected to the Calgary community and beyond. OE also directly connects with the CA learning model of wellness, self-awareness, belonging, and relationships. Jason Lindsay, one of CA’s Physical Education teachers, and lead instructor in Outdoor Ed has been running the OE program for the last three years. Students routinely explore the aspen forest bordering CA’s property on bikes and cross-country skis. With Calgary and surrounding area’s diverse terrain like mountains, plains, trails, and rivers, the OE students have no shortage of activities at their fingertips!

"My favourite part about teaching OE is the ‘aha moments’ where the kids are experiencing something outdoors for the first time and realizing their love for it. I also love the connectedness that students begin to develop within themselves when they take on challenges and learn what matters to them. Finally, I love the relationships that are built here within our classes that transcend time." - Jason Lindsey
Most recently, Mount Royal University’s Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership (ETOL) students were tasked with taking on a collaborative project with our 23 Grade 9 OE students. Over the course of two weeks, Mount Royal students led various experiences designed to strengthen and invigorate the enjoyment, appreciation, and skills that CA students have for nature.
“The goal of this project was for students to develop new abilities and take on things that they may never have experienced before, including fire safety, bear safety, tents, and putting our wilderness ethic of ‘leave no trace’ into practice." - Jason Lindsey
There are many upcoming excursions that OE students will take part in this winter, including climbing and a wildness hostel trips including Rampart Creek for Grade 11/12’s and Mosquito Creek and Griffith Woods in January. Stay tuned for recaps!

Celebrating STEM at CA

Calgary Academy recognized National STEM Day on Nov. 8 to celebrate initiatives in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. With such a wide range of initiatives included in the acronym STEM, students' personal interests are a huge component in the project design and intersect with other subjects and disciplines in several ways. From programming robots to competing in engineering challenges, turning artwork into interactive electrical adventures, or virtually connecting for a Q&A with the Canadian Space Agency to chat with a Canadian astronaut trainer, STEM education provides a broad array of learning for students. Jenn Ferguson, who has been co-leading STEM initiatives at CA since 2014, has been one of the trailblazers of the program that encourages the use of technology with purpose, including research, problem solving, critical thinking, and applying knowledge in creative and innovative ways. Some of the primary outcomes of STEM education are computational thinking and executive functioning skills, approaches, and habits of mind.  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

"The STEM curriculum can help students develop and apply skills to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve goals, maintain positive relationships and reinforce social-emotional learning competencies. It presents opportunities for students to participate and succeed in scientific inquiry, engineering design, problem-solving with real-world context, hands-on learning, curiosity, creativity, fostering student engagement and motivation, collaboration and critical thinking." - Jenn Ferguson
Here’s some examples of activities that students have experienced over the years, just to name a few:
"As I look back to what they envisioned then [at the Canada 2067 Youth Summit], the future of STEM education will go to all places that we cannot even imagine yet."
We can’t wait to see what’s next for students! You can follow more of Jenn’s STEM endeavours on Twitter at @FergeeksonGirl. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​

CA’s Spanish Students Thriving with Real-World Projects

For anyone who’s learned a new language, you know it’s far more than just reading textbooks and doing worksheets. It takes real world experiences to fully grasp language concepts and to gain confidence. Integrated Studies teacher, Jessica Fonseca, has been at CA for four years teaching Spanish to Grades 5-12. She immerses her classes in many projects that challenge and inspire students to learn Spanish in a more fulsome way that challenges their creativity.

"Textbooks are good guide, but I’m lucky at CA that I can build my own Spanish program and be guided by what the kids need. We all learn the same things in the classroom, but at the end of the day, each students’ projects will look different from their peers."

Recently, her beginner Grade 6 class was assigned a project called El tanque de tiburones, otherwise known as Spanish Shark Tank. The assignment was to conceptualize and invent a product to help solve a problem they experienced in class. The goal was not only to able to create something tangible, but to introduce themselves and talk in third person about their project. Problems included solving communication issues within friend groups, controlling the classroom temperature, and curing classroom boredom. While these may sound like everyday problems for students, the solutions the students came up with and presented to their peers in another language were incredible.

"We have a lot of hands-on projects because that’s what students need. It helps with motor skills and making sure the language is sticking with them. For example, using verbs in context and bringing them to life."

From a wearable bracelet that translated emotions into colour, to a backpack with a built-in fan to help cool down in the classroom, and essential oil and sand stress balls, there is no doubt that creativity is flowing freely in Jessica’s students.

"The goal is to not restrict creativity. At the end of the day, what they learn from creativity is a lot more than what I had planned for them. To see that spark in their eyes like, ‘wow, I created something’, is amazing. It might even be that a creative seed from a Spanish project applies to their other classes."

What’s next for the Integrated Studies Spanish students? Through Google Earth, students will embark on a virtual field trip to Uruguay in their Latin America project. Using FaceTime, they will converse with someone from the country to polish up their Spanish conversation skills. Other recent projects have included building a display to celebrate Día de los Muertos, with many more exciting projects upcoming! To see the students talk about their Spanish Shark Tank projects on the latest episode of CATV, click here.

Dig Pink 2021

For the last 13 years the volleyball tournament Dig Pink has continued to bring positivity and school spirit to CA in October. This year, 20 volleyball teams took part in this fun event focused on raising funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. It was an intense weekend of volleyball, and ultimately the Rundle College team beat out Bearspaw Christian in the finals to win bragging rights for the 2021 school year. knights volleyball player The Calgary Academy team finished strong in the quarter finals, and the Calgary Academy school came together to celebrate another amazing year of school spirit, breast cancer awareness, and honouring those who have and will fight breast cancer.    

“Dig Pink is important for a lot of reasons, the biggest one for me is that we started this tournament to raise awareness for breast cancer and since then a number of staff members, who I’m privileged to call friends and colleagues, have gone through breast cancer. A couple of years ago we lost a staff member to breast cancer. I think it is important to honour the fight that people who suffer through breast cancer have and to raise awareness and money towards new treatments and new therapies,” said Mark Schuegraf, Jr. School Teacher.
people cheering Most importantly, COVID-19 did not stop this tournament from taking place this year as precautions like proof of vaccination and negative testing were in place. Although there were no fans watching the tournament in the gym, the spirit stayed alive with parents, staff and students watching on a livestream. Schools look forward to participating in this tournament every year and come decked out in creative pink jerseys and even raise funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation at their own schools. Dig Pink is bigger than a volleyball tournament, it brings everyone together because breast cancer is so widespread. Sadly, everyone has either been affected or knows someone who has been affected.
“Ten years ago, my girlfriend at the time, now wife, got diagnosed with breast cancer at a very young age. She went through surgery to remove the lump, a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, and chemotherapy. It was very tough, but we now have a family of five and we are really happy. This tournament is one small thing that I take part in to celebrate people like Megan, my wife, who beat the terrible disease, while we also remember those who weren’t so fortunate,” said Nick Waterbury, Head of Athletics.
nick waterbury with microphone Here is a breakdown of some of the events and activities that took place throughout the week: > CRAVE cupcake and pink athletic drink sales, all proceeds went to support the Alberta Cancer Foundation. > Gimmics Custom Clothing was at the school making custom Dig Pink clothing for everyone. > Virtual pep rally Thank you to the Dig Pink Organizing Committee, all of the teams and players who joined us this year, and the many parents, students and staff volunteers who helped make this event happen.

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
    • Lindsey Meredith - 40th Anniversary Update
  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.