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Archive for the ‘February’ Category

February is known as the month of love and friendship. There is no better model of this to look towards than Mary, the mother of Jesus, whom our school is named after.  Mary, like any mother, loved Jesus:  she cared for him, fed and clothed him, and worried about him when they lost Him for three days. We can choose to be like Mary by caring for others around us.  Each month students who complete Acts of Kindness have their name put in a draw.  Pink Shirt Day takes place on February 27 this year. This day came about because of an act of kindness done by a few teenage boys in Nova Scotia. They saw that a grade nine student was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt and so they purchased a bunch of pink tank tops. The story was featured on the news and it has now become an international day and the pink shirt is a symbol of kindness. For students and parents who need a shirt, we will be selling shirts for 15$ as the theme this year is Choose Kindness.

Pink Shirt Day 2019 Design

Another quality that Mary demonstrates is being a great friend.  When the angel Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant and needed help, Mary immediately left to help her.  Even though Mary was pregnant and the trip was about ninety miles on a rocky, hilly road, she didn’t hesitate to help out.  While there she for three months she helped with household chores and with the birth of the baby.  Not only does Mary model for us what to do, but the School Act also says that students shall contribute positively to the school and community and behave in a manner that is welcoming, caring, and respectful. To help instill those qualities in our students we are working with students in grades 3-5 to help develop their friendship skills.  Currently we have three groups running where students are learning about positive qualities in friends and skills to help with situations that come up in the course of a day like playing a game, joining in, sharing, apologizing or expressing feelings. We are trying to instill in students some of the qualities Mary demonstrated, such as, compassion, consideration, courage, and perseverance.

A third quality of Mary is that she is a problem solver and takes action when needed.  At the wedding feast of Cana Mary saw that the wine had run out and she went to Jesus and interceded on behalf of the newlyweds. She told the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do and Jesus worked his first public miracle by turning the water into wine.  We want our students to be a problem solver like Mary.  To assist with this, we are blessed to have Alison Luxe from Alberta Health Services presenting to all our students about how to be a problem solver.  Alison uses the acronym “APIE” for the process.  First students must Assess the problem, then they make a Plan to solve it, next they Implement the plan and finally they Evaluate how it went.  If it didn’t work then they go back to the Assess stage and try again.  Alison works through the model with the students by giving them some problems to solve and we are using the same model in our friendship skills groups. This is a model that you can use with your children at home too.

Mary the problem solver.

This month I’d like to challenge our community to follow Mary’s example by demonstrating kindness.  Random Acts of Kindness Day #RAKDay is celebrated on February 17. Personally I do not like the word “Random” when talking about acts of kindness as Merriam Webster defines it as “lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern”. Instead, they should to be “Planned” or “Intentional” as we put thought into being kind to others. During February, plan to Share your Bounty by planning and performing at least one act of kindness each week. #PAKMonth

Here are 10 ideas to get you started doing Planned Acts of Kindness during the month of February:

Hold the door open for someone.

Leave kind notes around the school or the house.

Pick up trash or litter.

Compliment someone.

Sit with someone new at lunch.

Collect books for the library.

Clean up without being asked.

Write inspirational chalk messages on the sidewalk.

If we get some, shovel snow for a neighbor.

Smile at everyone. It is contagious.

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It seems that we just finished the Christmas season and it is hard to believe that we are now approaching the Lenten season. Throughout the forty days of Lent we are mimicking Jesus’ journey through the desert and are focusing on the three pillars of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.  Most of us sacrifice and give something up as a form of fasting which allows us to grow spiritually through discipline. Years ago I had a conversation with Terry Wilson regarding Lent where he talked about how he would do extra things for others. Doing charitable acts and paying attention to the needs of others falls under the pillar of almsgiving.  Last year Mrs. Hoveling introduced me to 40 Acts organized by the Stewardship group from the UK.  Each day during Lent I received an email that had a reflection on a specific word and then there were three choices of action you could take that related to the reflection. I really enjoyed the challenge and learned about myself and grew spiritually from the experience.  I am all signed up and excited to see what the new challenges will bring. If you are interested in learning more or signing up for the 40 Acts Challenge you can find them on the Web, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can do the challenge as an individual or a group so it might be a nice family activity to try.

40 Acts

Thank you to Parent Council for organizing our Shrove Tuesday pancake meal on the 13th and to all the parents who have volunteered to help make this day a success.  We will start the Lenten season by celebrating Ash Wednesday on the 14th at St. Martha’s Church.   Each week we will come together as a community to pray and celebrate during the Lenten season. All our celebrations are marked on the FLVT Events Calendar on the website and are on the calendar pages in the newsletter. I invite you all to come pray and celebrate with us.

February is also survey season and parents may already have received information on completing the Alberta Education Accountability Pillar Survey. Students in grades 4 and 7 and all teachers will also be completing their surveys online at school.  All surveys are anonymous and ask questions about experiences with the school.  In addition to English and French, the parent survey is available in Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, Blackfoot, Cree, Korean, Spanish and Tagalog.  Your participation in the survey provides important information on the quality of education your child is receiving, so we encourage you to complete your survey promptly.

If you want to find out more information and get more involved in your child’s education, come out to our Parent Council Meeting on February 6th at 7:00. Our Superintendent Chris Smeaton and Director of Religious Education, Joann Bartley, will be at the meeting to discuss Bill 24. I encourage you to come out and become informed on the impact the bill. The meetings generally last an hour and I look forward to seeing you there.

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February is known as the month of love and friendship. Jesus gave us the model to follow when he said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12). This piece of Scripture is the grounding root of our new code of conduct that we are developing throughout this year. This month we are continuing to focus on our Wise Virtue.  Wise is tied to the Catholic human virtue of Justice and we described it as the following: I speak up for myself and others even when it may not be popular.  As a school community we all have rights and responsibilities to God, ourselves, the community, and other members of the community. To be just we must respect the rights of others and act in a manner that promotes positive relationships in our community.  The School Act says that students shall contribute positively to the school and community and behave in a manner that is welcoming, caring, and respectful. As students grow they experience difficulties following Jesus’ commandment to love one another. To help teach about positive relationships and deal with conflicts that occur, each class holds a weekly classroom meeting. Working through conflicts teaches necessary skills and allows students to make things right and restore relationships. We are continually striving to improve which is evident from our Tell Them From Me Secondary Survey results where 80% of students in grades 7-9 feel safe at school while the Canadian norm for these grades is 64%. I look forward to sharing with you next month the Wise behaviour expectations students have come up with.

love-one-another

The end of February marks the start of Lent. Thank you to Parent Council for organizing our Shrove Tuesday pancake meal on the 28th and to all the parents who have volunteered to help make this day a success.  We will start the Lenten season by celebrating Ash Wednesday on March 1st at St. Martha’s Church.   Each week we will come together as a community to pray and celebrate during the Lenten season. Please feel free to attend and celebrate with us. As Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving the canteen will not be serving meat on Friday.

Parents of students in grades 4 and 7 may already have received information on completing the Alberta Education Accountability Pillar Survey. Students in grades 4 and 7 and all teachers will also be completing their surveys online at school.  All surveys are anonymous and ask questions about experiences with the school.  In addition to English and French, the parent survey is available in Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, Blackfoot, Cree, Korean, Spanish and Tagalog.  Your participation in the survey provides important information on the quality of education your child is receiving, so we encourage you to complete your survey promptly.  If you want to find out more information and get more involved in your child’s education, come out to our Parent Council Meeting on February 8th at 7:00. The meetings generally last an hour and I look forward to seeing you there.

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February: Shortest but Busiest Month

For a short month February is jam packed with activities. Rehearsals for our spring production Get a Clue are going Monday to Wednesdays for singers, Thursdays for dancers, and Fridays for actors. Students are working hard and I’m looking forward to seeing the results on May 3-5 when our production airs. Our very first production GOOD involved 45 cast and crew members and now we have 70 cast and crew working on Get a Clue. It’s exciting to see how our production has grown to be triple casted for the first time and will feature choirs from the Westside Catholic schools: St. Pat’s, St. Martha’s and Van Tighem’s.

During the second week, we finish up our junior basketball season while our seniors will finish up after the break. While our junior high teams finish up, our grade 6 program starts. Good luck to all our teams and thank you to all our coaches for the many volunteer hours they have put into our students.

Thank you also to Lyndsey G for organizing our Shrove Tuesday pancake meal on the 9th and to all the parents who have volunteered to help make this day a success. We will start the Lenten season by celebrating Ash Wednesday on the 10th at St. Martha’s Church. Each week we will come together as a community to pray and celebrate during the Lenten season. Please feel free to attend and celebrate with us. As Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, almsgiving the canteen will not be serving meat on Friday.

After the Family Day week, our Grade Nine students will be attending CCH on the 24th for an orientation to Grade Ten. Throughout the month students are busy with after school skating, elementary book club, junior high book club, scrapbooking and beading. I’m sure there will be other activities coming up as our Leadership class organizes other activities for our students.

Parents of students in grades 4 and 7 may already have received information on completing the Alberta Education Accountability Pillar Survey. Students in grades 4 and 7 and all teachers will also be completing their surveys online at school. All surveys are anonymous and ask questions about experiences with the school. In addition to English and French, the parent survey is available in Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, Blackfoot, Cree, Korean, Spanish and Tagalog. Your participation in the survey provides important information on the quality of education your child is receiving, so we encourage you to complete your survey promptly. If you want to find out more information and get more involved in your child’s education, come out to our School Council Meeting on the 10th at 7:00.

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