Advent Greetings to our Families and Community Friends!
A huge thank you to all parents and students who attended our Parent Teacher Conferences last week. We appreciate your support and learning partnership as we seek to involve our parents in educational decisions for their children. Nearly 50% of our conference times were booked this session. If you were unable to meet last week, please contact our staff to book an alternative meeting time or a phone conference. Parent teacher conferences offer an excellent opportunity for home and school to jointly support student learning!
We also extend a very heartfelt thank you to our School Council executive and new volunteers who greeted parents as well as sold poinsettias, coffee and lollipops both days. Look for more information on our December council meeting inside this newsletter edition!
St. Alphonsus Fine Arts School is becoming filled with the spirit of Advent as we move towards the mystery of Christmas. Our elementary students are well on their way preparing for this year’s beautiful Advent Concert entitled “The First Creche: A Gift from St. Francis” on Wednesday, December 18th at the University of Calgary Theater. We are thrilled that Mrs. Carpino has accepted the position of guest clinician to support our students and staff to make this the BEST concert ever!
More information on our elementary celebration can be found on the third page of our newsletter. We look forward to seeing you there!
Our Junior High Band will feature a “Christmas Prelude” concert on Thursday, December 12, 2013 in the school gym. We invite all our families to partake in this musical celebration of both Christmas and Concert Band selections.
During December, students and staff will be celebrating weekly Advent liturgies in their classrooms to prepare themselves for the coming of Christ! We will gather together on December 20 at 10:30 am in our final advent liturgy before we leave for Christmas Break.
To further celebrate the season, our Student Council will be hosting “Advent Spirit Week” from December 16th to 20th. Students are encouraged to get in the festive spirit by dawning Christmas hats, sweaters and more! We look forward to lots of smiles and Christmas cheer in our halls!
We are thrilled and grateful to receive another grant from the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation. This year the Foundation awarded St. Alphonsus School $7500.00 towards a new sound system for the gym. With the money raised through School Council’s cheque writing campaign last June, we are eager to have this great enhancement to our fine arts program installed in our gym!
We will be sending out a Mini-January Update on January 10thin lieu of the January Newsletter.
Please visit our website often at http://www.cssd.ab.ca/stalphonsus
On behalf of our staff and students, I wish you and your families a blessed Christmas with a 2014 New Year full of good health, peace and joy.
Shalom and Peace!
Mrs. Gruending Mr. Bonertz
Principal, St. Alphonsus School Vice Principal
Greetings Parents and St. Alphonsus Community Members!
Our St. Alphonsus wood art in the front foyer that has graced our entrance for the past decade is ready to retire as he has become tattered and in need of significant repair.
Any families or past alumni of St. Alphonsus wishing to have a picture taken in front of the wall are welcome to do so before Friday this week. We will have our own resident staff photographer (Ms. Hunter) take a professional photograph of it for anyone who requests a glossy 4X6 copy for their memory album! We will dedicate a photograph of it within the school as well.
This change has stimulated some further freshening touches in our front entrance.
Our display case will be replaced with a bulletin board that showcases our athletic teams / players and upcoming athletic events.
We are also working with one of our district artists, Mr. Al Gerritsen to create religious images that help make our Catholic faith visual in the building. We are very excited to bring some of Al’s distinctive work into our school! I thank school council for supporting this project that was introduced last year.
We are looking forward to meeting with you during our parent teacher conferences this Thursday and Friday! Our conference manager is still open if you have yet to book a conference time. Just a reminder that there are no classes for students on Friday. The link for the Conference Manager is:
(DO NOT include “www”)
The poinsettias have arrived and they are absolutely beautiful! Please ensure that if you have ordered a poinsettia that you are available to pick it up starting Thursday at 4:00 p.m. or Friday starting at 9:00 a.m. Thank you to our families who supported this fundraising event. Tickets for Elementary Advent concert will also be on sale during conference times. The cost is $7.00 per ticket.
Blessings for a great end to your week!
On behalf of the staff of St. Alphonsus, I thank you for your continued learning partnership!
November Newsletter Welcome
It’s hard to believe November is here! Before we move forward, I wish to extend sincere accolades to our Student Council for hosting an outstanding school spirit day on October 31! It was joyful throughout the building as students dressed up as their favorite bible / storybook character! I hope your children shared their great day with you and are looking forward to our next school spirit day!
November is also a month that is particularly important to us as we celebrate All Saint’s Day, All Souls Day and Remembrance Day. The feast of All Saints is a reminder to praise the men and women of faith who courageously lived the teachings of Jesus and guide and inspire us. On Friday, November 1, all the employees of our Calgary Catholic School District gathered together for our annual Faith Day to be spiritually nourished in a day of prayer and celebration of God’s work in our lives under keynote speaker Father Eugene O’Reilly.
We will be providing poppies to our students for a donation of their choice to support the Canadian Legion.
All parents and guardians are warmly invited to attend our school Remembrance Day Celebration and Liturgy hosted by Grade 8 Hafichuk and Grade 9 Weiss on Thursday, November 7 at 10:45 in the school gym.
We carry the theme of peacefulness into our school as it is our November virtue for our Elementary Student of the Month. At school, we also gather together as a Catholic Community to celebrate and show respect for those men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we may live in freedom.
To improve school communication, our Elementary Team is now hosting an Edmodo website for parents to access and our Junior High team has expanded their D2L – please check out these great digital opportunities to become involved with your child’s education. Both webtools can be accessed from our school website! We welcome feedback to make it a valuable homeschool communication tool for you! Please check us out at: http://www.cssd.ab.ca/stalphonsus
Blessings for a peace-filled month! Watch for news coming home soon on our school’s Christmas Service Project as well!
With peace; Shalom!
October 15, 2013
I am so excited to return to St. Alphonsus! I extend my gratitude to all who prayed for me and my family during our time of loss. Grief is indeed a part of life and we are blessed in our Catholic faith to know that our loved ones are with God and that God continues to care for us as we move forward without that person in our lives. Let us continue to pray for all who struggle with illness or who are surviving a death of a loved one.
School Council is moving along with fundraising and we ask for you to respond generously to the Lamontaigne campaign. The deadline to order some fabulous items in time for Christmas delivery is October 21, 2013. Please contact Milton Kim, our fundraising coordinator at email@example.com with any last minute questions you may have. School Council is also running our annual QSP Magazine drive staring in November so please watch for those packages to come home in the next few weeks. Our November School Council meeting is scheduled for November 5, 2013 at 6:30. All parents are welcome and are warmly invited to attend!
Do Justice is our District Religious Theme for our school year. The students and staff at St. Alphonsus are committed to this task! Activities for October include:
- feeding the hungry by bringing in food for St. Vincent de Paul
-20 of our Junior High students under the supervision of Ms. Weiss, Ms. McCaffrey and Ms. Macgillivray will be attending WE DAY on October 24. This event will kick off our new year of “Being the Change” to end poverty in the world!
- Jacket Racket Campaign – 25 Years in Calgary! St. Alphonsus is participating in Jacket Racket Calgary once again this year. Please click here to find more information on how to donate and how to order warm winter items! 2013 Jacket Racket
Catholic Community of Caring
We celebrate our Grade 2/1 under Ms. Johns and our Grade 8 under Ms. Wronska for hosting our Thanksgiving Liturgy this month! Thank you to our many parents and family members who attended – your presence always makes our liturgies special!
Our Student Council is hosting our annual- Dress up as your favorite story book character on October 31, 2013. To keep with the fun theme of this day, please refrain from gore or scary costumes.
Hot Lunch Day!
School Council is hosting our first Hot Lunch day on Friday, October 25, 2013. Forms should arrive home today, October 17, 2013 and are due on Monday, October 21, 2013. Our lovely Ms. Albert will email the form as well.
Catholic Education Sunday
November 3 is Catholic Education Sunday, which is a recognition and celebration of the wonderful work that is taking place throughout the province in our Catholic schools. It is an opportunity to support Catholic education in our community, to ensure the continued success of our Catholic schools, and to promote the mission of Catholic schools to spread God’s message of love and peace in the world.
Catholic Education Sunday is also an opportunity for us to share our spirit of generosity. The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation is a resource dedicated to enhancing the educational experiences of students in the Calgary Catholic School District. The foundation provides grants that support innovative programs and projects that touch the lives of all students in all our schools. On November 3 there will be a special collection at each mass. Look for the envelopes in the pews of your parish. Your contribution will make a difference. For more information about the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation, visit www.theccef.ca.
Home School Communication
Our Junior High parents have access to homework and on-line mark books for their children via D2L. We encourage you to log on each week as a discussion point with your child. Our elementary teachers are learning to use “Edmoto” to promote school communication with our elementary parents as well. We encourage you to email or call if you have questions or would like to update the school with new information. We appreciate your support!
On behalf of the staff at St. Alphonsus School, I extend a whole-hearted and warm welcome to the 2013 – 2014 school year! I hope the June floods were followed by sunny summer days that treated your family to many fun filled events that will bring smiles in years to come. I sincerely thank our community for supporting our school efforts to ensure everyone’s safety during the last week of June. It reminds us how blessed we are to be able to unite and respond in prayer during troubled times. Please let us know if your family remains impacted by the flood or sustained significant damage.
Looking forward, our staff has been diligently working towards making this new school year a wonderful experience for all students. We are very excited to share the variety of learning opportunities we have planned for the students!
As this was the first year without a major building renovation project, we are thrilled to open our doors with shiny floors and new bulletin boards! Our caretaking staff has done an exceptional job cleaning and organizing our school and we thank them for their efforts. We continue to look for parent volunteers to assist us with our front garden up-keep! If you are have a green thumb and would like to lend a hand, please contact Mrs. Gruending. Our maintenance department has leveled the ground surrounding the tarmac and field from the parking lot to the back of the school. We hope the gravel will reduce the muddy walk during rain and melting snow.
In regards to staffing and school enrollment, all District schools are staffed according to a formula that factors in student enrollment and program needs. In September, student enrollment can fluctuate; therefore we are unable to confirm class sizes and placement of students until the final enrollment counts are determined nearer the end of September. Students and parents can expect elementary and junior high classes to shift during the first few weeks of school. Our Area Superintendent has worked closely with our school throughout the staffing process. We will keep you updated if classroom changes occur.
Due to our enrollment, some of our elementary classes will remain combined. Combined grade classes offer a creative learning community where dedicated staff guide and encourage academic excellence. When organizing combined elementary classrooms, several factors determine the placement of students: balance of class size and gender, social maturity, learning styles and group dynamics. In both combined and single graded classes, teachers work closely with students to meet their individual learning needs. We are excited to begin a new year filled with endless learning opportunities!
Principal, St. Alphonsus
Please note that the District information on HPV vaccinations is posted under the Parent Information Tab. Letters will be sent home with female students from Grades 5 to 9 on Monday.