May 2020 SCOCA Annual General Meeting

Click the video below to see a replay of our May 2020 SCOCA AGM. https://youtu.be/PjM5ArwcVEk

May 2020 Agenda

  1. Welcome/Call to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Reports:
    1. Chair Report: Carolyn Whitelaw
    2. President and CEO Report: Dr. Greg Bass
    3. Mr. Gary Purcell
    4. Student Executive Report: Sarah J
    5. Principal Report: Tim Carlson
    6. Volunteer Report: Shannyn de Kruyff
  4. Q & A
  5. Next Meeting: September 2020
  6. Thank you/ Adjournment

Arlette Speaker Series: Dr. Jody Carrington

The Re-Connection Revolution: Tap into your parenting superpowers

Date: May 6, 2020   Program: Interactive Virtual Reception: 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. Webinar: 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.   Parents! This is a challenging time, but a great opportunity for us to connect and support each other. Join us LIVE to hear Dr. Jody Carrington speak about how to tap in to our parenting superpowers. Dr. Carrington is a child psychologist, highly sought-after speaker and best-selling author of “Kids These Days: A Game Plan for (Re)Connecting With Those We Teach, Lead, and Love.” Expect laughter, stories and a tangible boost to your parenting toolkit. If you join us for the reception, you will also have a chance to meet other parents in your child’s grades and connect with them prior to the talk. If you join us for the reception at 7:00 p.m., you will also have a chance to meet other parents, grandparents and educators and connect with them prior to the talk. This is a FREE, LIVE event made possible by a generous donation from the Arlette Education Fund at the Calgary Foundation. Share with your friends, bring a drink of your choice, and join us! Register now: Arlette Speaker Series - Dr. Jody Carrington

April 2020 Minutes

[embed]https://youtu.be/zVsq-DXDvwg[/embed]

SCOCA April Meeting

For April, we held our school council meeting online for the first time. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend. There were some important school updates as well as a great presentation on executive functioning skills at home from our Junior High Assistant Principal, Erin Ellis. If you weren't able to join us or would like to re-watch the information provided, please view the recording of our meeting below. https://youtu.be/zVsq-DXDvwg

April 2020 Agenda

  1. Welcome/Call to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Reports:
    1. Chair Report: Carolyn Whitelaw
    2. Principal Report: Tim Carlson
    3. Volunteer Report: Shannyn de Kruyff
      1. Thank you to all our Volunteers
  4. Q & A
  5. Next Meeting: May 11, AGM 6:30 p.m.
    1. Future Agenda Items
  6. Thank you/ Adjournment

Gage, Smudge, and micro:bit

Blog post and interview co-written by Gage Ferguson, CA student, and Jenn Ferguson, CA parent and staff member:

As educators, we are often tasked with trying to figure out how we can prepare students for future careers that literally don’t exist yet. As a parent, I feel that this responsibility needs to be distributed amongst everyone who will mentors, influences, and guides our youth navigating the pathways that await them. We need to help them find their spark, what brings them joy, and then connect that to the intersections of these emerging careers so they can create their own future. There is no doubt that there are specific skills, approaches, and habits of mind that our students need to possess to thrive in a rapidly changing world. To ignite curiosity and explore the crossroads between different subjects and disciplines, we need to allow for opportunities that cross-pollinate at school and at home. Student-led inquiries that are rooted in empath and solve problems relevant and meaningful to them are not confined to a siloed environment. Do I think we need to prepare students for the jobs that don’t exist yet? I think we need to build a solid foundation for their skills, knowledge, and dispositions. We also must  foster accountability, encourage empathy, educate sustainability, and help clear the obstacles out of the way so they can prepare themselves to create those jobs. Their future isn’t in our hands… it’s in theirs… we’re just supporting their little hands – lifting them up – until they are capable of doing it on their own. What does innovation look like at Calgary Academy? I’d like to think it’s when “dream it” becomes “do it” and stories like Gage and Smudge happen everyday.  

Gage Ferguson, at age 13, decided to make use of the micro:bit to create a seizure-detecting collar for his beloved bulldog, Smudge. His answers are below.

  Why did you decide to make the seizure collar? The decision to make this came relatively easily after seeing that my dog, Smudge, had been diagnosed with epilepsy. Watching her suffer under the effects of her seizures had scared me half to death, and I knew that I needed to help her, somehow. I’d gotten my head to work devising something to help out. Perhaps a week or so later, I finally landed on a premise I could work off of – namely, a sensor to detect if she’s undergoing a seizure or not. What was the development process like? The development process in and of itself was rather simple, as I’d already had the general idea of what I needed to do. The code in and of itself was similarly simple, and to the point. Making use of the micro:bit’s built-in motion sensor, and connecting it to another micro:bit via radio signals was all I needed to create the prototype of the final product. I admittedly ran into a few issues when it came to the radio – a mistake in my inputs caused it to malfunction to an almost impressive degree until I caught my error. Apart from that, however, it was relatively smooth sailing – and practice tests done after the fact proved that it was a success in the event of a theoretical grand-mal seizure. Are you happy with your prototype? How effective is it? Yes, and no. The prototype works well for what it’s been coded to do. It senses prolonged motion, and if this motion is too intense and goes on for too long, a radio message is sent to a ‘receiver’ bit that promptly changes the contents of its display to alert the user of the potential seizure. However, this only works if Smudge undergoes a grand mal seizure. Under the effects of a focal seizure, she won’t shake nearly as much, and the seizure will be localized almost entirely on her head. Therefore, I learned it wasn’t nearly as effective as I’d taken it to be, as it won’t be able to detect seizures that nowadays make up the majority of Smudge’s seizures. What is a micro:bit, anyways? And why did you choose that? A micro:bit is a small programmable microcontroller device, perhaps a bit smaller than the palm of your hand, that can be coded to perform a wide variety of tasks. Somewhat similar to a VEX robot or the Lego Mindstorms builds, a micro:bit can be programmed, with this code dictating the task it performs. Despite its small size, it houses a large amount of receptors, including light, temperature, and the aforementioned motion sensors. The decision to use the micro:bit came relatively easy to me, if only due to its small size. Its compact nature allowed me to place it upon her collar, and the motion sensor was the icing on top. Its weight helped matters considerably, given I doubt Smudge would enjoy it very much if I’d placed anything heavier onto her collar. What’s your future plan with this device? I have a few goals in mind. The first is to find a way for it to detect focal seizures. Due to focal seizures causing muscles to tense, there may be a way to pitch the idea of an implant to detect this sort of muscle stress by using small sensors to detect this. This way, the final version of this device could in theory be able to detect both kinds of seizures. The second goal is to find a better way for it to notify its receiver. Going about doing this may require cloud access or internet access. The more likely option would be the former, as you can use a cloud service to connect the sensor itself to a mobile device, allowing much more flexibility concerning notifications. [embed]https://youtu.be/l3nzqz-mpN8[/embed] Gage and Jenn also had the opportunity to join CTV Morning Live Calgary this morning to share this wonderful story.

Calgary Academy in the News

"What actions can we take to further the spirit and intent of the Journey of Reconciliation?"

This is the essential question that Grade 7 students in Ms. Calder and Miss Song's class asked when beginning their new Project Based Learning assignment. Designed in  objective of this project was to nominate a "bank NOTE-able" Canadian as part of a call for nominations from the Bank of Canada to appear on the next $5 bank note. The focus of this classroom project was to learn about and choose an iconic Indigenous Canadian they felt was deserving of this honour and design the bank note based on the chosen individual. We were thrilled when Global Calgary reached out and asked if they could visit the class. Click the link below to see the news story from Global Calgary. Thank you to Silvana and Tim from Global for spending time with our students! https://globalnews.ca/news/6591450/calgary-students-design-5-bill-indigenous/ Our students were also featured on an article by Calgary Herald! Students draw five-dollar bills with Indigenous heroes to submit for redesign nominations  

Knights Athletics February Update

By Nick Waterbury, Head of Athletics: The last couple weeks of February saw the end of the basketball season for most teams. The Grade 7 girls finished a strong season of growth at Chinook Winds with their final game and a pizza celebration. Those girls have come a long way! The Grade 7 boys had their playoffs come to an end on Monday but showed tremendous growth throughout the season. There is a bright future for these students! The Grade 8 boys and girls had their playoffs on Tuesday and Thursday this week. Both teams came out against opponents that they have seen all season and shocked them with how much they have improved. These student-athletes will make up a very strong group of Grade 9 basketball players next year. Last Thursday saw the end of the Grade 9 basketball season as well, as these teams finished a very, very busy season. These students have honed their skills throughout the season, and are prepared for an exciting transition into High School basketball. The reincarnation of our Junior Varsity Boys Basketball team with students in Grade 10 and 11 showed us what can happen when you get a group of boys who love the game of basketball together. Though they didn’t see as much success on the scoreboard as they would have liked, the drive from each of these boys to improve and do the best they could was infectious, and very fun to watch. Lastly, our Senior Varsity Boys team came together and surprised a lot of the teams in our league. This young team played some very tough games resulting in favourable outcomes (including the feature game in our home tournament), and have shown dedication to refining their craft. Congratulations to Matt Powell, our graduating senior, on a fantastic career as a Knight. We will miss you! Looking ahead: Badminton try-outs will begin the week of March 2 - 6, before and after school. Please pay attention to your inbox for more information. Track and Field, Floor Hockey, Soccer, and Ultimate Frisbee are also right around the corner. All information will be sent out via email to all Junior High and High School families. The Grade 6 Challenge will begin on March 6 when CA competes against other local Elementary schools in a night of basketball fun. Looking ahead into the spring, these schools will get together again for Badminton and Cross-Country challenges. Good luck Grade 6s! Lastly, if your son or daughter has been involved in Knights’ Athletics this year, please visit your PowerSchool link to see if there are outstanding fees. Attending to this in a timely manner will allow our Athletics program to flourish in the future. Thank you for your support with Knights’ Athletics!

February 2020 Agenda

  1. Welcome/Call to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Reports:
    1. Chair Report: Carolyn Whitelaw
    2. Principal Report: Tim Carlson
      1. Strategic Plan Event - March 6, 2020 - 12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
      2. Principal Brunch - March
      3. Recognition Night
    3. Student Council Report: Sarah J
    4. Volunteer Report: Shannyn de Kruyff
      1. Parent/Teacher Dinner
      2. Upcoming Opportunities
        1. Scribes - March 9, 11, 13, and 16
        2. Last Teacher Lunch - April 24
  4. Next Meeting
    1. Future Agenda Items
  5. Q&A
  6. Thank you/Adjournment