The New Normal for PE

This time last year, our gyms were packed with students playing basketball and volleyball. Today, the gyms are empty, and individual sports are in. Last week we sat down with two teachers from the Physical Education department, and what follows is an interview with Tracy Sullivan and Alora Popow. What is different about PE this year? TS & AP: This time last year our courses consisted of flag football, volleyball, basketball and kickball. Obviously, none of that is happening right now. We’ve had to completely reinvent our units to protect our students from COVID-19. There are no team sports, and we are sanitizing all shared equipment after each student’s use. The intentionality in the new structure for PE created much more consistency in programming. Every class gets same programming – one unit per week. This alignment makes it possible for consistency with sanitizing, which is crucial, but has also created a very predictable and safe environment for the students, which aligns much more closely with the CA Way. We’re outside way more than before, which has been awesome. We are seeing payoffs not even related to COVID-19 precautions. Students are taking more individual risks, they are happy to be in class, and there’s been no complains about sanitizing. What’s been your biggest challenge? TS & AP: A lot of our students love team sports and are really good at them. It is challenging not to support their passions. Using PE time for sanitizing instead of activity is also tough. But we’ve felt incredibly supported to get the tools and equipment we need for COVID-safe activities – like a class set of scooters! What have you learned? TS & AP: Teachers are resilient. We originally felt like we had nothing – our usual lesson plan just were not going to work. We all felt like rookie teacher in our first year teaching. Now that we’ve wrapped our heads around the new reality, all we see is our department (and every teacher in the building) coming up with cool new ways to do things. You can teach an old dog new tricks! The shift in mindset, our ability to adapt and overcome, we are all learning new ways to teach – we are even using the technology differently. In summary, things are crazy. But there’s such an atmosphere of “let’s do this; we are a team; we can get through this.” How has this experience informed your views on the educational world? TS & AP: I never thought we could teach PE digitally or remotely. It’s outrageous, but we did it. We’ve learned you really can learn anything, anywhere, at any time. We’ve always believed that personally, but it's different putting it into action. However, just because you can learn anywhere, doesn’t mean it’s a fulsome replacement for a physical experience. Schools are an important place to come together and learn together.

Continuity of Learning Plan

Early in the COVID-19 situation, we began work on the learning continuity plan for CA. We want to assure you that we are carefully coordinating the learning for students and services to our families. We recognize that learning from home may present learning challenges for our families and we want you to know that we are here to support you. The full Continuity of Learning Plan can be accessed here.

Join us for the L&I Cafe

Everyone knows the world is changing, and so is your student's learning experience. Parents are invited to join us for an interactive and engaging Learning and Innovation Café on January 20. The evening will allow parents to experience elements of the CA Learning Model - by working with robots, testing their literacy and numeracy skills, and much more! This is a great opportunity for parents to experience the way your child is learning, so you have a better understanding of the differences between their experience and yours. Challenge your assumptions about what learning looks like in the 2020s. Please RSVP here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CALearningCafe

Share Your Story

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXiK608NHoo[/embed] We’re excited to share the Calgary Academy Legacy Film! For nearly 40 years, we’ve worked with students with unique learning needs to nurture self-confidence and a love of learning. As we look toward our 40th anniversary, we’d love to hear about the impact CA has had on you. Your stories are part of what makes our history so strong, and our future so bright. Learn more about Alison and Ava’s story and the impact of Calgary Academy, and share your stories with us using the link below: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/shareyourCAstory

WE Day 2019: We are heroes

By Becca Bouchard, Grade 8 Teacher: Bass thumping, lights flashing, the audience screaming. Nearly 20,000 voices swelling together: “We will be… heroes!” WE Day Alberta, an annual event hosted by the WE Charity, is a “stadium-sized celebration of doing good locally and globally” held in Roger’s Place, Edmonton. It is a blood pumping, moral raising, and engaging event for students and schools that have aligned themselves with the WE organization. Its purpose is to celebrate our good works with amazing performances from Brett Kissel, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, and Daya! Its other purpose is to inspire altruism; the heart of our REACH principles. This year’s theme was “WE are Heroes”. Heroes are iconically altruistic. They fight for the little guy and stand for what is right, even if they stand alone. We listened to the motivational words of NBA all-star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, telling us to find other people who are passionate about the same issues as us, and to persist through frustrations that come with the long wait of change. The “Man in Motion”, Rick Hansen, inspired us to keep on rolling with our ideas and passions – we cannot let accidents keep us from moving forward. Paralympic athlete, Trinity Tratch, shared how things may seem like they’re going backwards, but you may actually be laying down the stepping stones to success. He found this out that, as a double leg amputee, skiing with one leg was more successful than with both. Finally, we heard from Noor Fadel, a Muslim girl who was attacked on the Vancouver SkyTrain because of her hijab and religion. She radiated resilience, perseverance, and strength as she refused to be silenced and fought for justice. These, and all the other presenters, are heroes. They fight for the rights of others. They inspire people to find their voices. They clear the path for the young people of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. They do the work of heroes. They found that altruism was in their souls. We have altruism in our souls. We go the extra mile for the struggler. We don’t turn a blind eye to injustices. We read the books the students think we’ll love. We allude to the memes our class is obsessed about. We keep the halls clean and beautiful. We supply students with nourishment. We welcome new families into ours. We keep our technology up and running. We pay the bills and sign the cheques. We are philanthropic. We close gaps. We build confidence. We coach. We embrace. We empower. We unleash. We are REACH. We are heroes.

Parent Volunteers 2019

Hello Calgary Academy Parent Volunteers! On behalf of the School Council of Calgary Academy (SCOCA) we are thrilled to have many of you back volunteering with us again this year and also welcome many new parents joining this year for the first time. As many of you know, SCOCA was initiated in September 2018 as was our parent volunteer community. As an organized volunteer parent group we provide support to Calgary Academy teachers, staff and the admin team in a variety of ways. Last year we started a CA Staff Appreciation Meal tied into Parent interview dates to give teachers a hot meal prepared and donated by parents. Our first event was an Italian themed dinner and was a great success and so appreciated by the CA staff that we decided to prepare meals tied into all parent teacher interview dates. In addition to an Italian theme, we also have a Chili night and an International theme night that encompassed many treats from our diverse cultural heritage of many of our families. Our first CA Staff appreciation meal is planned for September 27. We look forward to your ideas on themes for this year! We also provide support with scribing for students that require help for many of their provincial exams. Other opportunities include: create themes and decorate the hallway Bulletin boards, provided onsite support at CA Sporting and Drama productions, the annual Terry Fox Run and Dig Pink event etc. We value your gift of time and will be extending a variety of volunteer opportunities via email to you recognizing of course that some requests may not work with your schedule or area of interest. All new volunteers are required to attend a volunteer orientation, complete the volunteer application and confidentiality form and also obtain their Calgary Academy Volunteer police security clearance. Police Background Clearance to Volunteer - You can apply online at  www.policeinformationcheck.calgarypolice.ca or visit your local police branch in person.  When applying for your Calgary Academy Volunteer Police Background check, you will be required to provide a letter from Calgary Academy ( see attached form letter)  to the police department in order to qualify for a reduced fee of $15 rather than their standard fee of $55. Once approved by Calgary Police,  you will have clearance to volunteer for 5 years with school. The first volunteer orientation is planned for September 16 at 6:00 at Calgary Academy and will cover off volunteer guidelines etc. The first general SCOCA meeting will follow at 6:30pm and we invite all CA families to attend. This meeting provides a great opportunity to meet other families, the new SCOCA Board and CA Admin Team and learn about the exciting plans for the 2019/2020 year ahead.  If you could kindly RSVP your attendance to Shannyn de Kruyff, SCOCA Volunteer Coordinator so that we can plan for appropriate attendance numbers. If you are not able to attend the Volunteer Orientation on September 16, there will be a second one offered in October. If you have any questions about volunteering, please do not hesitate to contact Shannyn de Kruyff anytime at volunteers@calgaryacademy.com.

Fall Welcome 2019

Our annual Fall Welcome is just four days away and we can't wait for this exciting, family-friendly event. On Friday September 6 from 4:30-7:30 p.m., we will be celebrating the beginning of an exciting new school year! You and your family are invited to an evening of fun community-building events. A GaGa ball pit, spike ball, photo booth, petting zoo, face painting, bouncy castle and carnival games are just a few of the activities we will have planned. We will also have a BBQ, orientation events for parents, and grade meet-ups as well. This is a great opportunity to get to know other students and parents! Please note, parking will be provided at Webber Academy and we will provide shuttle service to Calgary Academy. Questions about Fall Welcome can be directed to your child's homeroom teacher.

Alumni Event August 26

Join us at Calgary Academy for a free BBQ and build! This is a great opportunity to connect with alumni and past parents, and help the grads of 2019 build the GaGa ball pit they donated to the school.  Feel free to bring guests and please pass the word on to any alumni, past staff or past parents you’re in touch with. We would appreciate an RSVP for food counts, or e-mail to alumni@calgaryacademy.com.  Thank you! When: Drop in, 3pm-8pm, Monday Aug 26, 2019 Who: Alumni, Staff, Past Staff, Past Parents, CA Community Members Where: Elementary School Playground, Calgary Academy, 1677 93 St SW Attire: Casual & Comfortable, especially if you’re helping build the ball pit at the start of the event! RSVP here! Unsure about GaGa Ball? Learn more by watching the video below: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=C7AHiuScP54&fbclid=IwAR3hPNOA-GgHVpgImumwlQ5U1x9UnV-sw0g2NPJ3OW7DZ_pkVxZ4Bdv3tMM[/embed]

Interested in volunteering in 2019-2020? Start here

Calgary Academy and the School Council of Calgary Academy (SCOCA) appreciates the gift of time and service of all its volunteers. The involvement of authorized volunteers in Calgary Academy provides an excellent source of support and enhancement of the learning program. While welcoming volunteer participation to assist in providing an effective and safe learning environment for our students, we require all volunteers to fill out the following application. Please click the links below to download the necessary documentation. Blank Police Check Volunteer Application Form

Annual General Meeting Recap

Thanks so much to all those who came out to the SCOCA AGM in May. It was a great meeting! We heard from Principal Tim Carlson that the Board has approved new furniture for all classrooms to support a flexible learning environment. This furniture will be in place for September, when the students come back for another year of learning. Something to look forward to, for sure! Jackie McDougall, Chair of SCOCA, provided a summary of SCOCA’s activities throughout the past year. In this, our inaugural year, we have been busy! We’ve hosted several SCOCA meetings, kept in touch with parents through website blogs and emails, established a volunteer base, volunteer orientation and a volunteer handbook. We have kept the volunteers busy with a variety of activities from scribing to helping at Sports Events, Drama Productions, as well as helping out with many other school activities. We have also instituted Teacher Appreciation Meals. We have a lot more planned for next year, so certainly stay tuned! The new SCOCA Executive was voted in at the AGM. Many thanks to those parents who committed their time and efforts this past year and welcome to all incoming Executive members. Your new SCOCA Executive for the 2019-2020 school year is: Chair - Carolyn Whitelaw Vice Chair – John Johnston Volunteer Coordinator – Shannyn de Kruyff Secretary – Pritha Kalar Directors at Large – Ken Bews, Elliot Geskin SCOCA will be offline during the summer months but we look forward to seeing you at the first SCOCA meeting, which will be on September 16, 2019. Details to follow! Look forward to seeing you then. Wishing all our CA families a safe and restful summer, Your SCOCA Executive Team