CCSD Flames Student Nights

Calgary Catholic is happy to partner with the Calgary Flames again this season to offer its students, staff, and families a discounted ticket to a Flames game, while also fundraising for their school, CCSD and the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation.

Due to the success of the program last year, we have added a third CCSD Student Night to choose from. The three nights are:

-Friday, October 27th vs. the Dallas Stars

-Thursday, December 14th vs. the San Jose Sharks

-Wednesday, January 30th vs. the Vegas Golden Knights

CCSD Price: $39/ticket. For every ticket sold the Calgary Flames will donate $10 back to your school. Tickets can be purchased here.

Last season this fundraising program raised over $10,000 for CCSD schools and the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation.

Enhancing the Active Living Program at St. Bede School

We spoke to Principal Rose Ferreirinha about the impact of getting students out of the classroom.

WHAT: This project was designed to support our Active Living program for students outside of the traditional classroom. Our goal was to enhance student wellness and life-long learning by providing our students the opportunity to experience activities that will encourage them to be physically active.  The three activities that were identified for funding were: inline skating (Gr. 1 and 2), swimming lessons (Gr. 3 and 4) and curling lessons (Gr. 5 and 6).  By participating in these types of activities, students develop life-long skills around exercise, water safety and skating.

WHY: Many of our students do not have the opportunity to participate in these activities as the majority of our students are not enrolled in sports activities at home. More than 25% of our student population comes from immigrant communities or families with high financial needs.  Through the CCEF funding, all students in grades 1-6 were able to participate in activities outside of the traditional classroom environment.

TEACHER FEEDBACK:

  • Students were very active during the presentation. I heard from a few students that they were asking for in-line skates for Christmas. This spring, children have shared that they have gone in-line skating with their families.
  • Students were eager to go to swimming. At least half of the students were in the new to swimming or beginner swimmer levels and showed noticeable growth in the confidence and skill development by the end of the swimming lessons. Not only did this grant give our students the daily physical activity of swimming, but it gave them the increased confidence and skill to be safer when swimming.
  • Many student who don’t experience a lot of success in the classroom, did so in the pool. Just as some students who are skilled in the classroom, were sometimes less so in the pool. It helped all to experience a new level of learning and develop resilience.
  • Many students in our community do not have a chance to do any of the skills that were developed through the grant. For many of the students this was their first time to skate, and the skills of balance, muscular strength and confidence that were developed was amazing. This grant allowed our students to develop not only develop physical skills, but mental skills as well in confidence to try new things.
  • Our student population is made up of a great number of new Canadians and lower income families. These activities are ones that the students would not have been able to afford or would not participate in regularly.

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • Our school is great because there are fun activities like inline skating – Grade 2 student
  • Thanks for all the things you do like inline skating – Grade 2 student
  • I love swimming! – Grade 3 student
  • I’ve never been curling before! – Grade 5 student

PARENT FEEDBACK:

  • My son had decided to have his birthday party at Lloyd’s rollerblading rink this year because of his new skill he learned and everyone he invited for his class had a blast. They all had already learned from school and they were able to enjoy themselves together with their new skills.
  • Thank you so much for giving the children an opportunity to try new activities and get them active without parents having to foot a big bill. Greatly appreciated.
  • Aside from what they learned, they took away a really fun experience, and talked about it with excitement beforehand and enthusiasm afterwards.
  • Would love to see more funding put towards these things as simple swimming lessons have made a world of difference for my son. He was excited, learned a lot and is more comfortable around water and being under water.

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation provided $8,000 of funding to St. Bede for their Active Living program. The inline skating, swimming lessons and curling lessons positively impacted over 300 students at the school. These experiences would not have been possible without funding.

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

Chromebooks helping new Canadian students learn at Bishop McNally High School

We spoke to Principal Monique Baker about the impact that Chromebooks can have for ELL students.

WHAT: The funds will be used to offset the cost of Chromebooks and a Chromecart for the exclusive use of our ELL teachers with our ELL classes. Our ELL program includes classes for each of the five levels of ELL, as well as preparatory courses for English, Social Studies, Math and Science, which are designed to prepare immigrant students for the rigours of our high school programs of study.  The Chromebooks will be dedicated for ELL teacher and student use in order to effectively deliver curricula.

WHY: The Fraser Institute ranked Bishop McNally in July 2016 as the 16th fastest improving Alberta High School. We were the only major high school in the top 25. We have a track record of developing innovative practices which enhance teaching and learning. Our ELL students will be challenged and supported with the audio accommodations on all exams in Brightspace, engaging in non-literary projects such as Google Tour Builder and Wordle and having easy access to translation tools and books online. Creative uses include using Google Forms as worksheets, self-assessments, exam reviews, as well as formative assessments. Teachers are able to easily view student responses in a spreadsheet and address misunderstandings.

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • “Having the Chromecart changed my life at school because I can go on to research, do work on Google Docs and have easy access to D2L. Also, I can use it translate something that I don’t know in English and watch videos to help understand the new chapter that I’m confused with.” R.M. Gr. 10
  • “The Chromecart has helped all of us as students by making every job that we have to do much easier. It helped us to learn more words and what they mean. Also, the videos have helped all of us to learn more and visualize more.” C.T. Gr. 10
  • “Thank you for the Chromecart we have been using them a lot. We have been reading and doing presentations and finishing some work for school. (Muchas gracia por las computadoras en emos estado trabajando muy bien con ellas.)” L.E. Gr. 10
  • “It provide students like me a great help in our studies. It helps us in doing our research, made our projects easier and help us to learn in a quick way. It helps us to learn especially when we do interactive reading, which enhances our skills in reading comprehension.” L.S. Gr. 11
  • “Chromebooks are important especially here in school. It is used for important purposes such as research, group projects, translating, etc. Chromebooks really helped me at school as it improves my English skills.” A.F. Gr. 12

TEACHER FEEDBACK:

  • “The Chromebooks have been a huge asset in my ESL classes. Students have had the opportunity to complete interactive reading activities, collaborate on group projects and use online translations tools and extensions, such as Google Read & Write. The ability to provide audio accommodations while still in class has been amazing. Thank you for your generous donation in supporting our English Language Learners.” Teacher
  • “For our population of newcomer English Language Leaners, the Chromebooks have provided opportunities that are not readily available to them. Many of our students do not have access to computers at home. As well, many of them have limited skills working with D2L, Google resources and even basic computer literacy. The dedicated Chromebooks have been an introduction to technology for many of these students. Besides computer skills, the Chromebooks have provided exceptional academic support. Bishop McNally’s ELL population continues to grow exponentially. More and more students are arriving with limited education, academic and emotional challenges. The Chromebooks provided support in the form of translation and online dictionaries, resources such as Google Read & Write, audio accommodations and so on. The Chromebooks have been widely used by our ESL program teachers to the great benefit of our students.” Teacher

 

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: The CCEF provided a grant of $6,450 to purchase the Chromebooks and Chromecart. This has positively impacted over 640 ELL students in the school and provided tools to the students that would not be possible without the funding.

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

Improving Musical Literacy at Bishop Kidd School

We spoke to Principal Susan Robichaud about the fun and learning of an overnight band camp

WHAT: We received funding to offset the cost of an overnight band camp to River’s Edge in Cremona.

WHY: Our primary goal was to improve students’ musical literacy by having them work in groups with clinicians from the U of C.  Our second and equally important goal was to provide a new experience for our students, many of whom have not been outside the city since their arrival from another country.  We also included students from St. Rose of Lima’s band program.

HOW: In addition to the music component, students had a true campfire experience complete with s’mores and a sing-along. They went on a hike, participated in multiple outdoor activities including volleyball, football, basketball, ping pong, tetherball and multiple cooperative games. We served Subway for lunch, and the rest of the meals and snacks were prepared by staff at River’s Edge. Male students bunked in cabins; female students slept in the main dormitory.  We also had a movie on at 9 p.m., but only five children came inside to watch it. I think that speaks to the level of enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoors.  A good time was had by all.  It was a GREAT learning experience!

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • “At band camp we did so many different things that are new to some of us. We had clinicians come in and work with us. We learned so many new skills on our instruments. We played in our grade levels and as one big band. We got to go on a hike and connect with nature. We got to go to the gym or go outside to play a sport of our choice. We had a campfire which gave us time to make new friends or reconnect with some old ones. We even got a bit of free time to go play sports, play games or just have fun! None of us wanted to leave after because it was such an amazing opportunity.” – Grade 7 student
  • “Students have learned new skills and good techniques that have significantly helped us to improve in band class. It was a good experience to play with another band class. It helped us improve in learning to play with a different school. It was a very enjoyable experience and we are very thankful for the opportunity. Not only did we play music, we also had choices to play games, gather around a campfire and eat delicious food. Overall, we as the grade nine of St. Rose, are very grateful to have been given the chance to attend this camp.” – Grade 9 students

TEACHER FEEDBACK:

  • “On May 1 and 2, 2017, St. Rose of Lima and Bishop Kidd schools had a combined overnight band trip to River’s Edge Camp. During our time at River’s Edge Camp, students and staff members from both schools had the opportunity to celebrate music education. St. Rose of Lima and Bishop Kidd had the amazing experience of collaborating and learning from one another. Students and staff were fully immersed in both school community groups. Students had the opportunity to work with instrument clinicians specific to their instrument. In addition to having instrument family time, students also worked with their grade group and eventually the large ensemble (consisting of both schools and approximately 100 students in total). Many of the students from St. Rose of Lima have not had the opportunity to play with such a mass band ensemble. They were able to experience a full band sound through this camp. The experience was such a beneficial and everlasting one. Not only did students and staff members make new and lasting relationships, but students embodied a full fine arts education for two days.” – Kathleen Serquina, Music Director, St. Rose of Lima School

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation provided a grant of $4,000 to fund a band camp experience for over 320 students in grades 7-9 that would otherwise not have been possible.

 

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

A Close Encounter With Astronaut Robert Thirsk

A Close Encounter With Astronaut Robert Thirsk

Former Canadian Space Agency astronaut and University of Calgary chancellor, Dr. Robert Thirsk, discussed his astronaut training and International Space Station expedition at a fundraising event at Bishop Carroll High School, hosted by the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation, on May 23.

In advance of the event, a poster contest was held for Grade 6 and 9 students at the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD). Students were asked to design objects that would help people survive on Mars. Seventy lucky students had their winning posters selected and had the chance for a meet and greet with the one and only Dr. Robert Thirsk.

A big thank you goes out to everyone who attended, the Foundation and most certainly to you, Dr. Thirsk. This was definitely an educational and inspiring event for all!

Family Fun Raffle

Congratulations to our Family Fun Raffle winners and we hope you enjoy your prizes.

Annette Gillon The Hangar Flight Museum Passes
Alicia Jones Calaway Park- Family Day Pass
Carolyn Chala Trico Centre- 5 Day Passes
Leah Adviento Calgary Zoo- 1 Family Day Pass
Monna Brophy Heritage Park- 2 Day Passes
Kuruvilla Skaria LaserQuest- 1 Game for 4 Players

Thank you to everyone who bought tickets, we appreciate your support!

New Tools Help Engage Student Learning at St. Basil School

We spoke to Principal Tony Dal Cin about the impact of incorporating new Maker Space items.

WHAT: The funds provided by the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation (CCEF) grant led to the purchase of four Maker Space items: Play Osmo, Coding: Dash and Dot, Bee Bots Numeracy and Literacy and Circuits: Little Bits. Adding these items to our Learning Commons has led to the formation of a Maker Space Club, where students are free to be creative with the items. Teachers have also embraced them in their classrooms, which has allowed students an opportunity to learn through new mediums. Based on the success of these items, the Learning Commons has also added a Lego Wall and will look at continuing to add items in the future for students as they grow as self-directed learners.

WHY: The inclusion of Maker Space items to our ever-growing Learning Commons helped with our goal of creating a collaborative, self-directed learning space. These items, available for classes to use and students who want to join the new Maker Space Club, provide students the opportunity for student-centered learning, engagement and achievement.

TEACHER FEEDBACK:

  • “Students are engaged in a different way than in the classroom. The level of cooperation and teamwork is amazing to see in people so young. Maker Space gives students the opportunity to explore engineering and mechanics in a way that cannot be met in a traditional classroom setting.” – Mrs. Helena Wojtkiw, Grade 2 TeacherSTUDENT FEEDBACK:
  • “Maker Space is building and programming and working with bits and pieces. We have robots and circuits and iPads that we use to program some of our robots. We’ve learned by doing this, and by working with each other to figure out how machines work.”- Grade 4 student and Maker Space Club Member, Anneke G.

 

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: The CCEF grant for $3,200 allowed us to purchase four new Maker Space items, which are available to all 860 students, as well as our Learning Commons Librarian, Maker Space Club teachers, and any teachers interested in using Maker Space items in their class. It has been great to see the positive impact these Maker Space items have had on the students, as they engaged in self-directed learning opportunities. Thank you for providing the funds for us to purchase these items.

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

“Let there be Light” at St. Gregory School

We talked to Principal Craig Kittelson about the impact of enhancing their school theatre.

WHAT: The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation (CCEF) funding was used to purchase a set of LED theatre lights to enhance curriculum and presentation quality at St. Gregory School. This has long been a dream project for our school and with the generosity of the CCEF, it became a reality sooner than we thought possible. Because we received half the amount required to buy a full set of lights (eight lights and supporting equipment), we purchased only four lights and the supporting equipment. For our major theatre productions, we rent four other lights to work in tandem with the new ones. This was a successful compromise until such time as we can purchase the other four lights.

WHY: St. Gregory School has a very successful arts program with the total student population being involved in art, drama, musical theatre, instrumental music, choir (option) and/or Celebration Choir (extra-curricular). In addition, liturgies, a talent show, our open house and various school-wide presentations provide even more opportunities for our students to feel empowered to show leadership in our community.

HOW: During the 2015/2016 school year there were over 100 students actively involved in live performances. The school musical, “Seussical Jr.” was a five month project involving at least 75 students and 6 teachers. Five performances took place in March 2016. This provided an opportunity for our entire school community, as well as guest elementary schools to benefit from quality artistic talent. The show was a huge success. In May 2016, St. Gregory hosted the school talent show, involving another 25 students and amazing talent. The students were thrilled to perform under the lights for the entire school. Three teachers were involved with this event. As part of the Drama 9 technical theatre unit, students were taught how to put up, take down and set stage lights in the classroom to prepare them to run the lights for school events.

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK:

  • “…The dance, choreography, music, lighting, sound, etc. were sensational!  And the fact that you had so many other areas of the program working with you to produce sets, costumes, etc. must have really pulled the school together. Thank you for all you do for our children!” –Peter Teppler, Trustee, Wards 6 & 8, CCSD
  • “I just wanted to pass along some congratulations to you, your team and every student involved in the production. The kids were so well-prepared and did a fabulous job. Their costumes were beautifully and thoughtfully made, the lighting was well planned and executed, the dancing was well-rehearsed, the acting beautifully animated and the singing very well done! And the students ran the whole thing. Very impressive.” – Bethany Yon (Routledge), BMus, MMus, audience member

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • “The best part about performing under the lights is that you can’t see the audience so you don’t get nearly as nervous.” – Alice, Grade 9, Gertrude in Seussical Jr.
  • “My favorite part about the play was when we entered the gym for the first time with all the stage set up and lights on. It was so cool. It made all our months of work seem worth it.” – Bianca, Grade 9, Bird Girl in Seussical Jr.
  • “Walking into the gym and seeing the lights shine across the room made the [talent show] an even greater event as the Gators came out and rocked their performances, showing us things we had no idea they could even do.” – Christopher, Grade 8, news article in school newspaper assignment.

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: Thank you very much to the CCEF for this $4,000 grant. The whole student body ultimately benefitted from the addition of stage lights to our events. The best part is that this equipment will be used over and over again and will become part of the culture of St. Gregory School.

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

 

21st Century Teaching and Learning at Sacred Heart School

We spoke to Principal Richard Campbell about the benefits of adding Chromebooks to classes.

WHAT: With the gracious support of the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation (CCEF), we were able to purchase five of the Chromebooks needed to enhance our Library Learning Commons (LLC) and teaching and learning throughout the school. With additional support from our School Council and matching grant sources, we were able to increase the number of Chromebooks we have to 1.5 class sets. We still have a long way to go as we’d like to be able to have at least two class sets (one for Div. I and one for Div. II), but we feel so blessed to have built our technology to this point!

Our intent with the project has been to continue to develop the Sacred Heart LLC to meet the needs of our students through ‘leading-edge’ learning opportunities. As part of our 3-year-plan, we have been in the process of re-imagining our library to be an updated LLC for a 21st century inquiry-based learning environment that is complete with technology, books and Makerspace building materials.

WHY: Sacred Heart is a small school with a current enrollment of 182 students, serving students from grades K-6 from communities from the west side of the downtown core. The demographics of the school is very diverse. Over 80% of the students are English Language Learners (ELL). The majority of our parents are new to the country and are struggling to meet their own needs in the current economic climate. Many of our students do not have access to technology at home, so having access to the Chromebooks at school is of great benefit to them.

HOW: Teachers incorporate technology into their classroom curriculum on a daily basis. Chromebooks for students means a variety of programs, as well as online access throughout the day – invaluable 21st century inquiry-based teaching and learning tools! Chromebooks have supported our diverse learners in numerous ways – students with learning disabilities can access assistive technology software and ELL students can learn through pictures and visuals. Parents are able to connect with teachers via Google and have immediate access to work that teachers or students have shared with them. Students have been introduced to various sites such as Raz-Kids, Google Read & Write, Translation programs, etc., and for those that have home access, parents are able to encourage their children and support the teaching done at school by allowing students access from home. Students are also able to help parents who don’t speak English because of what they have learned using the translation programs through Google Read & Write or online translators.

TEACHER FEEDBACK:

  • Throughout the year, the 3/4 Girls’ Class has been utilizing the Chromebooks in many different ways to assist their learning and build upon their researching skills. The students use the Chromebooks to research questions, practice their typing skills through Google Docs programs and Creative Online Writers (C.O.W.), Raz-Kids to support their reading online and using the online dictionaries and thesauruses to assist their language learning. During our math lessons, Chromebooks are an exciting and competitive way to practice our learned skills through a program called Kahoot. Students are highly motivated during this time and are consistently engaged. Through religion, social studies and science lessons, the usage of technology supports their learning by researching questions through inquiry-based projects, as well to showcase student presentations and understanding of learned curriculum. During our French programing, students are encouraged to use the online translator to listen to how words are properly pronounced in another language. As teachers in the Calgary Catholic District, we feel that it is extremely important to integrate technology. – 3/4 Girls Classroom Teacher
  • A Chromebook charging cart is housed in our LLC. I can tell you that it is empty all the time! In other words, the Chromebooks are in use every day – and pretty much all day – from all Grades (1-6) either in the library or throughout the school. Receiving these extra five Chromebooks from the CCEF eased the strain of students having to share and also allowed us to designate a couple of Chromebooks in the LLC as a permanent “look up/research” station! – LLC LibrarianSTUDENT FEEDBACK:
  •  Chromebooks have benefitted us through many ways. The people in our generation are so used to using technology, so whenever children like me get to use an electronic device at school, it intrigues us much more than it would if we were doing our schoolwork on paper. It also makes it much easier to correct spelling mistakes and increases the quality of our work. These devices allow us to present our ideas in a variety of ways such as: PowerPoints, documents, videos and much more. We can also use the internet to look up things like specimens of trees and animals. This is also a much quicker way to find synonyms or definitions from a huge range of words. Using the internet has revolutionized the way we think. I feel lucky to be able to use Chromebooks. – Grade 5 Student

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: Thank you for your generous $2,000 grant to Sacred Heart School. We are truly grateful and want you to know how much we appreciate this gift to assist us in creating a more effective LLC and improving our teaching and learning. This project has directly and positively impacted all of our students because we are able to more effectively utilize technology in the LLC and classrooms.

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

 

 

 

Thank you to the Ernie & Leah Hagel Family Foundation

The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation (CCEF) would like to sincerely thank the Ernie & Leah Hagel Family Foundation for providing a $10,000 grant!

This grant was designated for the purchase of Chromebooks for two SW schools in the Calgary area.  It is through the generosity of the Hagel family that students from Sacred Heart School and St. Mary’s High School are anticipating the arrival of their new technology. 

Sacred Heart School currently has just over one class set of Chromebooks, shared by all classes and used continuously.  Many of the families at the school are unable to access technology at home and it is only at school where students are able to be engaged in these inquiry-based learning activities. Sacred Heart is a small school and their School Council finds it difficult to fundraise because families themselves require support and therefore cannot also raise money for the school.

St. Mary’s High School population has continually grown over the past years to a point where the technology is not sufficient to meet the learning needs of students. One group of students who will be impacted by the Chromebooks is the English Language Learners (ELL) who are becoming comfortable with this technology and are able to increase their language understanding. St. Mary’s has already seen the impact in the classroom where the engagement is palpable when a Chromebook is in use. 

The Hagel family’s gift will improve and enhance learning opportunities for over 500 students in two of our schools. The CCEF deeply appreciates the support received by the Hagel family.