I'm writing to notify you that we had a fire drill today. It was one of the 3 required firedrills that the CBE requires us to have before Winter Break. There was no actual emergency.
We had been waiting for some warmer weather this week as we have been very busy with the school musical over the last several weeks. Unfortunately, warmer weather was not in the cards, so we made sure that all of our students were bundled up before lunch and scheduled our drill to coincide with what we hoped would be an outdoor playtime at lunch. The fire drill lasted exactly 2 minute and 47 seconds afterwhich all the students were brought back into the school. The brief moment outside would unfortunately be our only fresh air today as our temperature of -10 with the windchill was still -20 degrees.
We need to be aware that emergencies can happen when the weather is less than ideal, and organizing for our firedrill today has prompted an important conversation about what we would do if we had to evacuate the building in severe temperatures, especially since we wouldn’t have the opportunity to bundle our students up. Should this happen in the future, we will evacuate directly to the Crossroads Community Center. There we will wait for emergency personnel to determine if we can return to the school or not, and communicate to parents as necessary.
I want to reiterate that we conducted our fire drill today quickly and made sure that all of our students were appropriately dressed for the weather.
Our students were well organized and focused during this time and are to be congratulated!
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Principal, Belfast School
Registrations will be accepted for all students living in our catchment area.
As many of our students come to us from out of area, we follow CBE procedures with regards to out of area registrations.
We do not do a promotional open house at Belfast. We find that most of our student registrations that come to us from out of area choose our program for our Arts Centered Learning focus or have older siblings that have attended Belfast in the past.
Students applying from out of area will be accepted based on programming and in consultation with their designated school. We will accept packages for out of area students but will not confirm registration until CBE processes have been followed. Should we be in a position of having more registrations than we can accomodate we will follow a lottery process to determine placements. Information about the CBE's lottery process can be found HERE. For this reason we will be unable to confirm registrations for out of area students until February 15th.
To determine where your designated school is please refer to the CBE Find a School tool.
Registration for Kindergarten - Grade 6 starts January 9th.
Kindergarten Registration for kindergarten students will start at 7:30. All registrations will be processed in the order that their completed package is received and assign a number. The purpose of numbering applications is to prioritize family preferences for morning or afternoon registrations. Please note, early registration does not guarantee acceptance for out of area students.
A kindergarten orientation night will be held May 25th from 6-7 pm. During this time we will discuss the kindergarten program as well as things parents can do to help prepare their child for the first day of school.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us at the school 403.777.6250.
Principal, Belfast School
For the last two years our staff and parents have generously reached out to families in our Belfast Community to help make Christmas a little brighter. This year 10 families were supported by staff. Gift wishes are collected and written on anonymous tags that are placed on the tree. Individuals who want to help take a tag from the tree, fulfill the wish, wrap the gift and bring it back to the school for distribution before Christmas. It doesn't take that much time but shows a lot of heart. Thank you to all our staff and parents who made Christmas wishes come true for our students and their families. You are most definitely #BELFASTY
WOW WHAT A SHOW!
There is no doubt that there has been a humongous amount of time, energy and work put into Belfast School's production - A Rockin' Tale of Snow White! For an undertaking this large it takes a very strong and collaborative team. At Belfast we are so blessed by all of our staff and parents who willinging stepped up to make this show come alive! I've reflected throughout the process about the value of the experience. Whenever we commit to something of this magnitude we are making a choice. I know choice for one experience means not being able to choose something else. My evidence comes from the students before, during and after the experience. Staff reflections (to be gathered when we are more rested) and from parents comments and emails following our performances.
There is no doubt that that creativity is an essential part of Belfast School! We often say, it is not about the arts it is about the learner that is discovered in the process of the being involved in an artistic experience. Through the show we have seen our students in a different light but more importantly many of them have had the opportunity to see themselves in a different light as well. We know that for students to be successful in school they need to experience being successful. Success builds on success! We also know that having high expectations for student and helping them to reach those expectations increases students belief in themselves. The impact of our little show will far outlast the performance run. If we ask adults what they remember most about their school experiences it is not the stellar math lesson or the carefully sequenced science unit (although those are important) it is likely the key events (often artistic or sports related) where community came together to accomplish something greater than we can each do individually. The Belfast Family is very proud of our students! Bravo we say to each one! You are the true stars of the show!
I want to thank the following individuals who invested so much to make this show a success. It is likely that I will forget someone in this post, so if this happens please accept my appolgies and thanks!
Ryan Symington: you came to our school this year with a show already chosen and a mandate to make it great! You did just that! Your leadership and vision inspired us and kept us going. We are so lucky to have you here!
Nadine Ayer: This show was your choice - an amazing choice! You provided a platform that could showcase so many of our kids and let them be stars! Thank you for your work on the director team and for your technical problem solving abilities!
Jana El-Guebaly: Such energy! Such spunk! Your work with our Ladies in Waiting, the mirror and the Evil Queen was inspired. These young artists shone under your direction.
Tiffany Dahl and Debbie Boud: Thank you for your creative approach to the technical side of the show and for persevering through challenges with key technical issues. The sets, the props, the backdrop, the animation the crew and the promotional materials - Oh My! You are a dynamite team!
Kelly Knight: Your passion for the choir and efforts to make their role meaningful were extraordinary. Your energy with them was infectious and showed up in the choir's performance. Thank you!
Jim Sangster: You took on a new technical challeng in directing the shadow theatre! Thank you for taking the plunge and for researching the techniques to bring it all to life!
Kati Coates: Your coaching of our young vocalists was that little bit of individualized attention our youn performers needed. Thank you for sharing your talent with them!
Kari Forest: Thank you for managing the ticket system and front of house and all the other details that kept us moving in the right direction!
Our Kindergarten 1/2 team: Thank you for your time and patience while we figured out the details and for being such a great support to the production team.
Anne Marie Robart: Thank you for stepping in to our music position and for supporting our performers throughout the run!
Christine Jansen: Your vision for costuming and your relentless perseverance to make sure that each of our performers felt special has been a gift to us! Thank you for your leadership, your time and your passion.
Laurie Breitkreuz: Thank you for inspiring our stop motion animation and sharing your talent with our young technicians!
Johnathon May: How could we ever have managed without you? Thank you for designing our sound and making sure it was easy for us to run ! Your expertise and time is so appreciated!
Irena Kangas: Thank you for the amazing logo cookies and for mobilizing volunteers to do make up an a large scale!
Les Enser and Matrix: Thank you for coming to our rescue and lending us a projector bulb so that the show could go on!
Our School Council: You are definitely the best school council in the city - maybe the world! Thank you for your support and enthusiasm and for filling in the gaps where you saw them. We are so lucky to work so collaboratively with you!
The arts, it has been said, cannot change the world. But they might change human beings who might change the world.
Reflections from December 2nd, Professional Development Day
Parents today was a very thoughtful and learning filled day for our teachers at Belfast. We started our day talking about Literacy in a broad sense. The CBE has been developing its literacy strategy for Calgary Schools and through this work we have connected to our own beliefs about what Literacy is. We explored the statement: All students come to us literate. This statement challenged deeply. If this is true, what does it mean?
We have come to understand that literacy is much more than reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and representing -- the strands we develop through our language arts curriculum. Literacy encompasses our personal experiences (physical, emotional, cultural and individual) that help us to create and make meaning of our world. Our belief that all children can learn is the based on the fact that all children come to us having already mastered many very complex tasks. Learning to walk and to talk, learning to navigate social situations and to understand their own cultural traditions are all learning contexts that our children have already shown us that they are capable and highly able to learn. We discussed how having broader view of literacy can help create more integrated and interconnected learning. It can also promote deeper meaning making than task that focus on reading or writing in isolation.
We looked to our environment for clues. If we believe students are capapble of lifelong learning, and that literacy is far more than reading and writing, what is the evidence that we can find in our school, and how are we communicating this to our community. As we looked at our classrooms and hallways with a renewed perspective we started to question whether what we choose to include in our learning environment is truly reflective of our beliefs. Comparing our gathered evidence to the CBE's Literacy Strategy we looked for correlation and areas that we could grow together.
Our school development plan is written around improvement of student literacy, focussed on a thin sliver of literacy - non-fiction writing. What we have come to understand as a staff is that even though this is the piece that we articulate in our School Development Plan, there is so much more that we are learning about and imlementing for our students. In the months to come we will challenge each other to approach literacy more broadly and to build on the huge capacity each of our students have to learn.
All students come to us literate.