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Posts Tagged ‘U of L’

For me, spring is a wonderful time of year as it is a time of new growth and renewal.  My favorite flowers, tulips and daffodils, emerge from their winter’s sleep and I love seeing the trees gradually turn to that special shade I call “spring green”.  Its feels like we also emerge from our winter’s sleep at the school as the warm temperatures allow us to shed our heavy coats and we change from the dark colors of winter to the bright pinks and yellows of spring.

Spring is also a time of renewal at FLVT as people have had the chance to relax over Easter and are refreshed for the last three months of school.  Currently, the production team is busy gearing up preparations for our Spring Production Get a Clue which takes place at the University of Lethbridge Theatre during the first week of May. April is busy with rehearsals: singing from Mondays to Wednesdays, dancing on Thursdays, and acting on Fridays. Full dress rehearsals for the entire cast take place from 10:00 – 4:00 at the school on Saturday April 16 and 23. On Monday May 2 the entire cast is at the University of Lethbridge Theatre all day for a final dress rehearsal.  From Tuesday to Thursday the students will perform a matinee at 11:00 for our Holy Spirit Schools and an evening performance for the general public starting at 7:00 pm.  Tickets for the evening shows can be purchased at the office or at the door and are $10 for adults and $8 for students. I’m looking forward to seeing the end result of all the hard work our students have put into the production. Hope to see you there!

We are also in the midst of new growth as we are planning for the 2016-2017 school year. We are working on timetabling options for our junior high classes and have changed the registration process to a two round electronic format.  In the next week students will be completing an electronic form whereby they choose their top choices.  Once students have listed their choices we will tabulate them and then schedule courses based on student choice.  After we have the schedule made then we will then have students choose their options based on the schedule.  The process takes some time and should be completed in early May.  We are also going to be gathering feedback on junior high core course redesign.  Last year, we looked at research on best practices for scheduling and grouping and we made a shift in philosophy on how we teach our cores. We moved from a single teacher with static class configurations to a team teaching approach with flexible groupings and units. The benefits of the approach is that over the course of three years, students would be exposed to a richer curriculum as teachers are familiar with students’ learning needs and they would build closer relationships with students and parents. Students also have a team of teachers that they can go to for help and could have the opportunity to have a concept explained in different ways. As with every gear change we make, there have been positives and negatives, and we are looking at collecting feedback to incorporate into our planning for next year.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Mr. Parr as he will be moving on to the Associate Principal position at the Children of St. Martha School. A search is currently underway for Mr. Parr’s replacement. I would like to wish him well in his new position and to thank him for sharing his gifts, talents, and leadership with us.

Get A Clue poster22

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In response to feedback from students, teachers, and the community, programs were put in place at Father Leonard Van Tighem to engage students in their interests and passions, as well as foster community connections. In quarter one grade eight and nine students saw their physical education course offered with a new structure and focus. Students got to choose whether they wanted to engage in a competitive physical pursuits style course or were more suited for a lifestyle fitness approach. The intensity of the delivery of the programs was the biggest difference as students used their 90 minutes of class time being active, fostering lifelong fitness habits while experiencing community facilities and organized activities. Students frequently biked to the different venues, exploring activities such as swimming, racquetball, golf, wall climbing and scuba diving; activities that weren’t defined by traditional school gym space. Teacher Mario Pasquotti says “the course was a success, the kids were excited, engaged, and made lifelong connections with activities and individuals in the community.” For the remainder of the year students decide how they would like to stay active with courses such as fitness, yoga, golf, dance, and track and field to name a few.

Instruction with Jim Steacy

Instruction with Jim Steacy

One of the several new courses this year at FLVT is the track and field class. Excited to share her passion with students Patti Pilsner contacted Olympic throwing coach, Larry Steinke and set a partnership that would see Van Tighem students experience athletic events under the guidance of world class Olympians such as Jim Steacy and  Liz Gleadle. “Coach Steinke has extensive experience in long term athlete development. His work in the speed and power events with developmental progressions for young athletes has influenced policy changes in athletics across Canada. For our students to develop their raw athletic abilities under his tutelage was an arrangement that we sought and were excited to bring to life” says Pilsner. The option class was built knowing it would appeal to a group of students, and the response was overwhelming. A second class block was opened up to accommodate the interest, as well as 10 more class spots once the option started. “It is always fun getting to pass along knowledge about the sport I love and have been doing for the past fifteen years” comments Steacy. “The kids at FLVT are working hard and there is some real potential for some great results when their track and field season comes around in the spring!”

When the track and field course wraps up, a Dance Basics class begins. Miss Joy and Miss Aurielle from Joy’s Dance Factory will be leading the charge. Miss Joy and Miss Aurielle are both registered teachers with The Royal Academy of Dance and accredited ADAPT teachers. These ladies are more than shiny credentials, their extensive experiences and awards speak to their abilities and knowledge of tap, jazz, musical theatre, preschool movement, and ballet. FLVT also offers a Dance Elite course for students training for festival or seeking additional private lessons. This course is geared towards experienced dancers who would like to commit more time in their week to their dance career. Each class is about meeting students where they are and supporting their passions and being exposed to world class instruction and expertise.

Written by Patti Pilsner, Associate Principal at FLVT

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