Building Community

As many of you know, education is in a state of transformation and I am a supporter of this cause.  As we change our educational system to better meet the needs of all, it is important that we continue to support student field trips. hike 2014 Why?  They build community.  Without community we can’t build the system our students deserve and need.  Without community we simply become individuals on a mission of self learning.  As a community we become a team dedicated to helping everyone learn.

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in one such community building field-trip, our Grade 6 Southern Alberta Bible Camp (SABC) trip.  It was a blast.  Although our activities during this trip had a curricular base, the students did not learn a lot of curricular objectives.  Instead, they learned and practiced a lot of skills that they need as 21st century learners.  Some of these were:

hiking liturgy spa nite showtime scooters sabc 2014


Walking Together – Walking together is our faith plan this year.  Students and staff are aware we are on our life journey together.  Life is not a solo mission.







Celebrate – We are blessed to be a faith community.  Celebrate your faith with others.





Enjoy life – Whether it is trying to eat spaghetti with a potato masher or just spending some time with a friend.  Enjoy life!






Be confident – Some people love a stage to perform, others do not.  For those that do, seize the moment and perform.  We all have gifts.  Find them and use them.







Be adaptive – You can try new things, like a mountain scooter.  If you do not want to race down the hill, go at it at your own pace.  Life is not a race.




Value diversity – We are all unique, we are all special.  We value the many gifts and perspectives of the people around us.





Lend a helping hand – Help your friend, your neighbour, or even an enemy.  Simply, be helpful and kind.






Enjoy the moments – Enjoy the little things in life.  The quiet moments, the moments around a camp fire watching the flames with your friends.








Take a risk – Be a risk taker.  You may try new things.  You may fail, but if you have the proper supports you will learn from your mistakes.  Fail forward.






Collaborate – Work together to solve a problem.  Collaboration can be a lot of work, but the reward is immense.


rock art 2014a




Be creative – A simple rock can be many things.  Even I can create the image of a mountain on a rock (the real piece does look better).









Be a steward of the environment – We are here to take care of the earth, not to simply use it irresponsibly.




This is not an extensive list of 21st century skills.  It does illustrate that community building trips, like our grade 6 trip, serve an educational purpose.  More importantly though, they build the foundation of community that learning will sit upon.  The better the community, the better the foundation, the better the learning environment.

PS – A big thank to our parents for theIMG_0605 support of this trip.  For your many hours of fundraising and for your trust in us.  Also, a huge thank you to the staff and students for your willingness to come on the trip.  Without staff support and student participation, this trip would not occur.  Thank you.

Back to School Message

September 2, 2014
Dear Students and Parents:

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year at Our Lady of the Assumption School. The year promises to be terrific.

When you enter this school

We welcome new students, families and staff to the school. Most of our classes are currently at a good size. In a few cases, class sizes are larger. Please note that we may have to adjust some class assignments as a result of new enrollment and adjust numbers of students in different grades. We will make these adjustments as quickly as possible to minimize the effect on students.

Please note some important events in September:
• A meeting for all parents of students participating in our Grade 6 Southern Alberta Bible Camp trip is on Tuesday, September 9th at 7 pm
• A Blessing for New Families is at 5 pm and School Council Family BBQ/Meet the Teacher Night is at 5:30 pm on Thursday, September 11th
• Opening Mass is at Assumption Church on Thursday, September 25th at 12:05 pm
• Our first School Council meeting is on Tuesday, September 23rd at 6:30 pm.

This summer I did more reading about transformation in education. We are entering a very exciting time. A key focus of transformation is collaboratively meeting the needs of ALL learners. Our staff is excited about trying some new teaching methodologies and programs, including Project Based Learning.

If you are a bus student, please check the new bus schedules as they are quite different. We now offer busing in the area north of 10th Avenue South (Fleetwood neighbourhood). Please see this link for the bus maps:

We are going to continue to increase communication using technology. Soon you will receive a letter asking for your email address to send school information. You are also invited to “like” us at our school Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, the school @OLAlethbridge and me @GregKostiuk. I invite you to check out our school website at to get some valuable information including: the 2014-15 School Calendar, our school supply list, and a lot of other “stuff”. Please contact the school if you have any questions.

We look forward to working with you to continue to make Our Lady of the Assumption School a great place. On behalf of our staff, I wish you and your children a successful school year.

Respectfully yours,

Greg Kostiuk