Chance to Enhance Raffle Winners
We Are Hiring
Technology For All

Chance to Enhance Raffle Winners

The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation, together with the Calgary Catholic School District, is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 “Chance 2 Enhance 3” raffle. The Foundation is very grateful to all those who supported the raffle- from selling tickets, to buying tickets, to helping spread the word.

Thanks to your generosity, sales reached over $75,000 and the proceeds will be invested in Calgary Catholic schools to help enrich and enhance educational opportunities for students!

Prize  Winner
Toyota RAV4 Tony and Linda Greco
Sundance Balloon Ride Barb Fleet
Calgary Stampede Gift Package Carmela Perez
Pro Sports Game Package Cora Villanueva
Calgary Pro Sports Gift Package Adam Wojciechowski
Stay & Ski Package C. J. Omelian
Alpine Helicopter Tour for Two Stacy Jantz
Fairmont Palliser Afternoon Tea Marie Lomboy
Chinook Centre $100 Gift Card Sheri Lee Diakiw
$500 Bev Kovacs
$500 Jane Durnie
$500 Jennifer Zuchetto
$500 Kelly Nicholls

 

 

Holy Trinity’s Learning Commons Hub


Holy Trinity School has redefined the word “library” for their students with an exciting overhaul of their facilities.

What was the goal for this project?

The creation of the “Hub” has allowed inclusive learning in this rejuvenated learning common space. With the help of funding from the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation, Holy Trinity’s traditional library is now updated with new, interactive tools. iPads, Lego products, a green screen and robotics kits are just a few of the things that have been added to this flexible and vibrant space.

The Hub is becoming a popular place during recess hours for students. They have also been given opportunities during class time to try their hand at coding. Students were able to program a basic computer game upon completing the workbook provided by the library and they take great pride in displaying their work.

How did this funding impact the school?

These additions have created quite the buzz amongst students, staff, community workers and parents of the Holy Trinity community. This excitement comes from the new possibilities that go along with more immersive and interactive learning activities. New learning opportunities mean success for all students.

Several teachers have been using the Learning Commons as an extension of the classroom. Since it’s unveiling students have nurtured new skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, cooperative learning, exploration and creative thinking.

These exciting changes make us optimistic about the future of education and catering to the needs of our diverse student population.

Testimonials

From an administrative perspective I have witnessed many positive impacts from our focus on creating an interactive Learning Commons, including: Students engaged in hands on learning through the robotics and Lego wall resources. Students provided opportunities to express their learning orally using the green screen room. Students learning about computer coding and creating their own video games. Students engaged and motivated to improve their literacy and numeracy skills using various apps on the iPads.” – Rob Ranger PrincipalFlagMark complete

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The transformation that has taken place in our learning commons has opened a whole new world of possibility for my students! Many of our students come from low-income families and do not often get the chance for extra-curricular activities. Through the learning commons I have seen my students in a new light. I get to see them being creative and using their imaginations. I get to see them compromising, collaborating and problem-solving with other students in our classroom. Because of the variety of activities our learning commons now offers, I have students begging me daily if they can stay in from recess to go to the learning commons! We have used the learning commons for lessons and for play alike. My students have used the materials in the learning commons to enhance their learning. My Grade 3’s used many of the building resources during our Building with a variety of materials unit. With the recycled craft materials my Grade 2’s were able to build boats and invent a magnetic toy with ease.”– Miss Dahl Grade 2/3 Teacher

 

Opening up the learning commons space to my students as an extension of our classroom has been a fantastic experience. The students were able to take ownership of the space and engage purposefully with the materials in the learning commons. Through various STEM learning challenges, the students worked collaboratively and displayed teamwork and problem solving skills in a way that would not have been possible had we been confined to the classroom.”  –Mrs. Herbert Grade 3/ 4 teacher

 

The Lego wall is great! Everyone shares ideas and builds projects together. I like sharing our Green Screen projects with my mom and dad.”- Netta Gr. 4 Student

 

The new learning commons is like having the Calgary Public Library and Science Centre together in our school!”Alexis Gr. 6 student

Technology For All

St. Thomas More is a vibrant and energetic teaching and learning community of 280 students who are always excited to involve themselves in new learning opportunities.

What was the goal for this project?

The school’s goal was to foster learning opportunities that will support success for all their students. The children attending St. Thomas More are digital natives and digital learners. They are comfortable with the use and integration of technology within all facets of their daily lives. Technology is an extremely valuable tool in educating diverse learners and meeting individual learning styles.

So, in partnership with the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation, the school was fortunate to have added two more SMART Boards and a Chromebook to their school technology. One SMART Board went to a class that did not have a functioning SMART Board and the second went to a Starting Points class, which was the only class in the school without a SMART Board.

The school was also able to purchase a Chromebook which has gone to the learning commons to support collaborative research for every class in the school to use during their learning commons periods.

How did this funding impact the school?

Providing technology in our learning commons, enables the school to move forward with Alberta Education’s Learning Commons mandate. In addition, the technology added to the learning commons also supports collaborative learning and builds inquiry skills in all students.

The acquisition of these three tools has made a difference for teaching and learning in the building. They have directly supported student learning and has targeted different learning styles, which positively impacts all students, especially diverse learners.

Who was involved?

  • 280 K-6 students were involved
  • 24 adults involved

Testimonials for the win!

Ooo yes we get a SMART Board, I’m so excited to use it!!”- Student

There are so many more interactive and engaging lessons I can do with the students now that I have a SMART Board. And this is going to be great for my visual and tactile learners.”- Teacher

The new Chromebook is being used daily by students researching in the learning commons.”- Librarian/Learning Commons Technician

Fr. Whelihan School Gets Physical

Fr. Whelihan gets physical with new athletic equipment.

We talked to Fr. Whelihan school about the new weight and cardio equipment they purchased thanks to a grant from the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation (CCEF).

What was the goal of this project?
The project was to extend and supplement both our Hockey Canada Skills Academy (HCSA) Off-ice Program and Athletic Performance classes by providing students weight and cardio equipment.

The priority was to develop a program that would use materials that could be easily transported from our fitness equipment storage room to a small gym for student use. The equipment needed to be durable enough to withstand daily use by both our athletic performance classes.

The equipment also needed to be versatile enough to be used by students with little background in athletic training but also able to provide more advanced students and adequate challenge.

How did this funding impact the school?
Fr. Whelihan’s Hockey Canada Skills Academy was in desperate need of training equipment. In previous years, the HCSA off-ice comment was held at the YMCA facility, but changes to district policy resulted in our academy no longer accessing that external facility.

The grant has allowed the school community to purchase a complete set of portable weight and cardio equipment for students. The equipment can be stored in the school’s physical education storage room and is portable enough to be used in a remote location.

This equipment is not only used by our HCSA students, but also by all junior high physical education students as part of their regular physical education program of studies and by several staff members that train together after school.

The testimonials say it all

“I love the new weight equipment. I much rather train at school than at a professional gym where I felt intimidated by older athletes and adults. My strength has improved, and this has helped my on-ice performance.” – Evan

“The new equipment is awesome. We have enough weight sizes that I am constantly challenging myself to use heavier weights “- Stevenson

“I was shocked at how much my hockey coaches know about training. It is really fun to train with them at school.” – Claire

Inspire-A Night With Champions

Thank you to our wonderful athletes, Elisabeth Vathje, Sean McEwen, DeVone Claybrooks and Colin Forbes and our host, the charismatic Beesley, who made our ‘Night With Champions’ such a successful event. We enjoyed your enthusiasm, authentic stories and your honest answers to our questions. You are all truly inspiring!

 

We Are Hiring

Do you want an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children? Are you passionate about Catholic education?  The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation (“CCEF”) is seeking a new executive director.  The CCEF is a non-profit charitable organization established to provide enhanced learning opportunities for students in need in the Calgary Catholic School District. This is a part-time position.  For details of the job posting please click here.

Interactive Learning at St. Martha School

Interactive Learning at St. Martha School

We talked to Principal Lynn Leslie at St. Martha School about engaging students with Osmos, Makey Makeys & Little Bits

WHAT: Our goal was to introduce the students to new ways of learning and to introduce the idea of Makerspace in the Learning Commons. Specifically, we wanted to teach the students how to use the Osmo’s, Little Bits and Makey Makey’s in a responsible manner, have the students experiment with each of the new items and create something and increase math skills with the Osmo.

HOW: With the grant money, we purchased Osmos, Little Bits, Makey Makeys and IPads:

  • Osmos/iPads are physical math/word manipulatives that link to an app on the IPad and allow student to get immediate feedback on their learning tasks (i.e. numbers, tangrams, letters, fractions, etc.)
  • Little Bits are electronic pieces that allow students to create robotics related devices.
  • Makey Makeys are devices that allow any material to become conductive and perform a task like game controllers, music composition etc.
  • IPads, in addition to using them to interact with Osmos, are used to document the step by step documentation and reflection, as part of the challenge expectations.

WHY: The Osmo was introduced to the Grade 2 and 3 classes with much success. The students are very engaged in working together to solve equations with the Numbers software. Their excitement when a bubble bursts and they free a fish is over the top.  After using it for a couple of weeks, their math skills have gotten sharper as they want to beat high scores.

The introduction of Little Bits and Makey Makeys to the Grade 4 and 5 students involved showing them what they were and how to use them. They were given a couple of classes to experiment with them.   The students were then challenged to come up with a project using these items. In a group, the students had to come up with an idea, then research it, design it and build it. Some of the projects included: A Makey Makey Pac-man machine game, Little Bits monster car, Little Bits bubble machine, Dance Dance Revolution Makey Makey, Little Bits Bumper Ball and Water Music melody using Makey Makey.

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • “I like the Makey Makey’s and the Little Bits because they are a little challenging but when finished, you feel accomplished.”- Jewel and Daniella, Grade 5 students
  • “Both the Makey Makey and Little Bits in the Learning Commons are fun and I like that they are electronic.” – Tristan, Grade 5 student
  • “You get to do epic things with Makey Makeys. You could play Pac-man and make controllers.” – Brooklyn, Grade 5 student
  • “Osmo is epic. The Numbers game makes you smarter” – Randy, Grade 3 student

STAFF FEEDBACK:

    • “I love to use the Little Bits and Makey Makeys because they allow my students to create without any limitations. I love the idea that it connects to my Electricity and Magnetism unit and allows students to gain experience creating circuits through hands-on inquiry learning. I am excited that we have these resources in our school, because I believe that they really enhance our student’s learning.” – Grace Goudie, Grade 5 teacher
    • “The technology involved in Makey Makey’s and Little Bits is so simple for kids to use and figure out, and the possibilities to build and create with them are endless! The students noted that you can create something that can actually be useful to you! Students really enjoyed how they could create something you wouldn’t necessarily expect, like building a piano out of a banana with Makey Makey’s. There is a strong curricular connection to Grade 4 as well with our Simple Machines unit and Building Devices and Vehicles that Move. Having more of these materials available to use would allow students more hands-on experience with building with technology for a purpose. Interactive hands-on learning is important for all students, but especially for our ELL population who tend to learn a lot by doing and experiencing. Technology is such a large component of our world and day to day life. Students need experience with using it in a positive and successful manner at a young age, in order to take those positive skills into their lives and the workforce when they are older. These simple, yet extraordinary technologies will foster creativity and possibility in students at a young age that can help instill an entrepreneurial spirit that they can take with them throughout their educational and professional journeys.” – Lindsay Anderson, Grade 4 teacher
  • Our shift towards a Learning Commons environment over the past year has been slow and steady. The grant money allowed us to push full force into creating an environment of inquiry, imagination, problem solving and teamwork. I believe we have achieved one of the benefits as outlined by the Alberta Education ministry, “Learning Commons emphasize active and collaborative engagement and encourage the co-creation of knowledge by all learners”. The level of creativity and energy that is flowing through the room as the Grade 4 and 5 students work on their big projects using the Makey Makey’s and Little Bits is amazing. The Grade 2 and 3 students are so excited to play with the Osmos because they are working to beat high scores and advance levels; their math skills have increased because of this motivation.” – Kathy Conroy, Learning Commons Librarian

HOW THE CCEF HELPED:
The CCEF provided $3,950 in funding to purchase the new Makerspace items, which are positively impacting many students at this K-9 school.

Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.

Learning Through the Arts at St. Rita School

 We spoke to Principal Elizabeth Grill about the impact of arts on her school community

WHAT: The theme of our project at St. Rita was “Learning through the Arts.” Our entire school community had the opportunity to participate in two Artist in Residencies. Specifically, we had a dance residency and a felting artist (fabric arts).

WHY: This funding allowed the St. Rita School community to access the arts in a way that would otherwise not be possible due to financial hardships in our community. There are only a handful of students in our school that have ever had exposure to dance lessons. None of the students in our school had ever done any felting or had an art class outside of school time. The students exposed to these wonderful artistic residencies were full of excitement and positive comments.

HOW: This project allowed us to use arts as a vehicle for learning and creative expression. During our felting residency, each student created an original piece of art. The students found another way to communicate and express themselves. In addition, the teachers learned how to integrate art into subject areas and project work.  The teachers explored curriculum links to the fine arts.  Many of the teachers intend to continue with felting on their own next year.

The experiences with dance and fabric arts were shared with our parent community via our Spring Concert and a Dance Showcase. The feedback was extremely positive with many parents telling us that they were very thankful for the opportunities that their children had to be part of these experiences. We shared our photos and experiences on Twitter and in our weekly communication with our school community.

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • “It was amazing doing hip hop. It was awesome learning the grooves!” – Guanar, Gr. 5 Student
  • “I liked felting soooooooooo much. I might do it at home.” – Katie, Gr. 4 Student
  • I liked felting, it was so cool. My art was even good! I learned how to felt and how to hold a needle the right way. I am glad that I got this opportunity. When we felted, I felt that I would never have this opportunity again. It was so good.” – Gr. 3 student

STAFF FEEDBACK:

  • “A grandparent approached me after the Dance Showcase and told me how she got teary-eyed watching her grandchildren in the Dance Showcase. Her oldest grandson has special needs and she said it was wonderful to watch him up in the front row trying his best to hip hop. She also said that she wanted me to pass along her thanks to CCEF for this opportunity. She said her grandchildren would not be able to learn anything like this on their own. Her daughter has been out of work for a while and the kids just don’t have these opportunities. I would also like to share that one of our students who has had particular challenges participating in any physical activity and who is very withdrawn was right up there with his classmates doing hip hop. It was so incredible that he would participate and that he was enjoying himself so much. That moment was worth every penny of the cost of the Dance Residency.” – Principal Grill
  • “I can’t help but notice how many students I’ve seen stopping and REALLY taking in the different felting projects. They really seem to be admiring them as well as being proud of their own work.  So lovely to see.  “ – St. Rita Staff Member

PARENT FEEDBACK:

  • “Madeleine was introduced to felting as part of a school-wide activity. The completed felting piece of each student was displayed during the school’s annual Spring Concert. Madeleine was thrilled to show and describe in detail how she created her piece, an elephant. She took it one step further and asked if I could take her to Michael’s to buy felting supplies so that she could continue to create new pieces outside of school. She did not even ask me to buy the supplies for her, but she used some of her own hard-earned money to buy the supplies! She was so excited! Upon returning home from the store, she immediately began creating her next piece – a rainbow. It was lovely. She brought the piece to school to share with her class. She is now enjoying creating new art pieces and – in her words – “I did not know you could create so much with yarn!” – Parent of a Gr. 3 Student

 

HOW THE CCEF HELPED:
The CCEF provided $5,500 in funding, which positively impacted all 163 students at the school and all teachers.

Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.

Education is Our Buffalo program at St. Timothy School


We spoke to Principal Kevin DeSouza about supporting First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) students

WHAT: Our goals for this project were: to improve the variety of supports in place that directly impact and improve the education of our students from diverse learning backgrounds and to fill educational gaps in their programming; to see an increase in graduation and post-secondary acceptance rates; to provide specific Aboriginal content and events to educate our school community about Treaty 7, Residential Schools and to bring cultures together through understanding; to continue to build our relationships within the parent and Elder community of Morley and with all of our students; to institute a comprehensive mental health and grief initiative, (SAGE), in conjunction with spirituality to address the many difficult issues our community and students face, often to the detriment of their education; to equip students with Chromebooks to use on a daily basis to facilitate their access to technology, D2L, course work, online programming, teacher feedback and internet resources, which in turn improves homework completion and allows for ADLC and St. Anne’s course work.

HOW:

  • Smudge Ceremony – fall 2016, spiritual ceremony to welcome in the new school year and set up an environment for success with students and teachers.
  • Pilgrimage to Mission and Blackfoot Crossing – an opportunity for students to hear from residential school survivors and explore the history on display at Blackfoot Crossing.
  • Food Safety Course – in keeping with employability skill training, students attended a half-day food safety course to enable students to earn their food safety certificate.
  • SAIT Trip – expose students to higher education opportunities, campus life and the supports available to them.
  • Nature Journals – to continue to offer times in the day where students can reflect, relate, get in touch with nature and participate in healing through eco-therapy.
  • Parent Gathering – Held at Stoney Nakoda Resort on the Morley Reserve in order to continue to build parent relationships, establish bonds and gather insight into how we can involve them more in the education process.
  • Social Skills Group – weekly group run by family support worker to build interpersonal relationship skills.
  • Grief Group – SAGE organized and implemented by the school counselor to address the issues around grief and tragedy that our students live with every day.
  • Technology/Chromebooks – every FNMI student has a Chromebook to use daily in order to facilitate technology and educational needs. (students, parents, teachers, staff)
  • DVD Purchase and Showing – “Making of an Elder” – part of the social studies curriculum to engage students and promote Alberta history and cultural understanding.
  • Aboriginal Day – cultural sharing and community building.
  • Pow-Wow – School-wide dance celebration including Holy Spirit school to promote and celebrate Aboriginal culture. It is an educational experience that promotes community building, cultural awareness and uniqueness of individuals.
  • Acknowledge Treaty 7 Land – display statements, artwork, photos and language to acknowledge Aboriginal culture.
  • 1000 Years Edu-Kit – an educational kit to educate students on Residential schools and promote understanding of intergenerational trauma and how the ‘system’ has had a lasting effect on those cultures.
  • Aboriginal Stories/Book Titles – a continued collection available to all students in the library and for use in classrooms to support curriculum instruction in Religion, Social, ELA, Math and Science.

RESULTS: From 2016 vs. 2017:

  • Improved Attendance – Increase of 19 per cent attendance for those students who previously were attending less than 60 per cent.
  • Improved Literacy Rates – Avg. DRA scores improved by 2 levels, both Independent and Instructional reading.
  • Graduation Success – 80 per cent of student FNMI population graduating.
  • Early SAIT Admittance – 20 per cent early SAIT acceptance.
  • Improved Academic Performance – Jr. High, improvement in academics & assignment completion, by 75 per cent.
  • Parent Roundtable at Stoney Nakoda in Morley – 93 per cent parent/family attendance.
  • Parent Meetings – 15 per cent increase in parents meeting with teachers, counselors and family support workers to access support.

STUDENT FEEDBACK

    • “I can use my Chromebook and track my homework on D2L, I know what I need to do in class.”-Grade 7 student
    • When I smudge at my school, it feels peaceful and helps me to not feel so anxious.” –Grade 12 student
    • “I really enjoy coming to school and it makes learning easier. I like to work in a small group, I feel more comfortable.” –Grade 9 student
    • “I love breakfast!” –Grade 8 student
    • “I want to do this program again next year, it helps me learn, and I want to graduate like my brother, my father was so proud.” –Grade 9 student

 


STAFF FEEDBACK:

  • “The CCEF grant has been an integral component for supporting our “Education is our Buffalo” program for our most vulnerable children and families. It has assisted us in building bridges with our indigenous students from the Stoney Nakoda Nation (Morley). Relationships with parents and children have been enhanced and the parents have experienced positive change. They have demonstrated ownership of their child’s education through simple actions such as calling the school to say “the school bus did not come today.” The parents visit the school on a more regular occasion and have begun to share their story. The parents report that they entrust their children to us.” – Susan MacLellan, School Counsellor, St. Timothy School

 

PARENT & COMMUNITY FEEDBACK

  • “Thank you, thank you, thank you, we know we are here today because of you too, and always helping us to get our son to get to school.” –Parent from Stoney Nakoda on Graduation Day.
  • “J wants to be at school every day, he is happy and has his own Chromebook so he can be like the other kids.” –Parent
  • “No one really cared about us like this before, we get forgotten, but not here.” –Parent
  • “This is an important step in continuing to build trust and our relationship, to help our parents learn about your school, and how important education is. The support they have, how you care about our homes and our traditions, you are willing to listen, and make us feel valued and a part of our children’s education. You came to us and that needs to happen more often.” -Elder from Stoney Nakoda Nation, who attended the parent gathering.

HOW THE CCEF HELPED:
The CCEF provided a grant of $7,640, which positively impacted 420 students at the school.

Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.

Catholic Education Sunday

Thank you to everyone who took part in Catholic Education Sunday 2017! On November 4-5th, our parishes and community came together to recognize and celebrate the gift of Catholic education. Many CCSD students, parents, teachers, administrators and trustees took part in the celebration as readers and shared why their school was special to them. Thank you also to those who gave to the special collection. A portion of the funds raised will be granted to the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation which supports innovative programs and projects in CCSD schools.