About Greg Kostiuk

Principal Father Leonard Van Tighem School Lethbridge, AB "Try to feel, at your heart's core, the reality of others."

2019-20 Student Registration

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Thank you for being part of our learning community.  The 2018-19 school year has been terrific, and we are now planning for the 2019-20 school year. Returning your form right away will ensure placement for your child at Father Leonard Van Tighem School and helps us prepare for the coming year. We would appreciate the registrations being returned to the school office as soon as possible, but please ensure they are returned by March 29, 2019. If your child will not be attending this school next year for any reason, please indicate this on the form and also return it to us. Please see instructions below for filling out your registration as there have been some changes to our student information system.

Alberta Education requires that parent/guardians complete a registration update form annually.  To accommodate changes within the software, we have been updating the new contact area in PowerSchool (our student information system).  Previously each contact was a separate entry for each student. As a result, each contact was entered multiple times into the system. Now each contact will be in the database only once and potentially tied to many students.

As this is still a work in progress, we need your assistance in ensuring that we have accurate contact information in our software.  When reviewing and updating the registration update form, we ask that you confirm that all the following contact information is completed:

  1. Both a home and mailing address is entered for parent/guardians. Addresses will be displayed for additional contacts if you have provided it or if that contact is also a parent in our database.
  2. Please enter the home, work and cell numbers that are available for each contact.  We require at least one phone number per contact.  We also request that you provide the best daytime phone number for each contact.
  3. Do not combine multiple people into one contact line. Please have only one person per contact entry.  We now can enter an unlimited number of contacts so if you require more than the five spots available, please attach a list with the additional contact information.
  4. Please ensure your contacts are in the priority you would like. Please renumber the order with contact priority if needed.
  5. If the relationship has ‘Not Set,’ that indicates that the information has either not been provided or has not been entered.  Please record the relationship.
  6. Please check all information on the registration form and make any changes as necessary. Please also ensure you check off the proper boxes for the annual declarations (Aboriginal status, Francophone eligibility) and sign and check off all areas on the flip side of the registration.

We appreciate you taking the extra time to review and complete this vital information.  If you have any questions, please contact the school.  Thank you again for being part of our learning community.

Respectfully yours,

Greg Kostiuk

Principal

Don’t Be Nice

Ash WednesdayOn Wednesday, March 6, we begin our Lenten journey as a community with our Ash Wednesday Service. Two common themes connected to lent are ‘fasting’ and ‘being a better person.’ The second theme reminded me of a specific personal experience.  Once a week, I take part in a Pray and Play prayer group.  We meet at St. Martha’s Parish, pray the Rosary, and then we go to play hockey. Pray and Play is a great opportunity to gather as part of a faith community.  After one game, I was greeted by a homeless man at the arena asking for money.  I politely declined, as I truly did not have any spare change on me.  Soon after, the homeless man asked me for a ride to the homeless shelter.  I made an excuse that I was driving in the other direction.  I was not ‘being a better person.’

I often ask students to be nice.  Some have described me as a nice guy.  When did Jesus ever mention being nice to others?  When did Jesus ever ask us to be a nice?  I once read:

God does not say: “I was hungry, and you felt sorry for me.  I was naked, and you felt embarrassment.  I was sick, and you had feelings of sympathy toward me.”  All of which would have been simply nice. (Author Unknown)

Jesus does not want me to be nice to my neighbour; he wants me to love my neighbour—all of my neighbours.  He wants the hungry fed, the naked clothed, and the abandoned cared for.

pray-and-play-blogNow, back to my post-hockey experience.  I was polite, but I was not even nice. Had I given the homeless man money, that might have been a nice gesture; but I do not think that could be called love. A ride to the homeless shelter?  We all have to make decisions and safety must be a factor, but on that night I did not exhibit love.  How hard would it have been to ask one of my fellow Pray and Play members—members of a faith community—to join me in giving a homeless man a ride to a shelter?  In my opinion, Jesus would have supported loving actions even more than prayer.  For my inaction and my cowardice, I asked forgiveness.  Faith must be a verb that demonstrates action.  During Lent I want to take up the challenge of ‘being a better person.’  I need to do this, not in a polite way of being nice, but in a challenging form of showing love.

During our Lenten journey, I invite everyone, with God’s help, to become better people.  Our three traditional practices during Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving can help us fast and feastbecome a better person.  During his Sunday sermon, Deacon Michael reminded us we could fast from certain things and to feast on others.  On example he provided was we can “fast from judgement and feast on caring.”  This Lent, I will fast from merely being nice, and feast on loving action.  This Lent, I hope to ‘become a better person’ by going above and beyond being nice by showing loving actions to my neighbours. All my neighbours.

Lenten blessing,

Greg Kostiuk

Exciting News for FLVT

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We are excited to announce that Alberta Education has approved Holy Spirit Catholic Schools request for additional space at Father Leonard Van Tighem School.  Two modular classes will be added to FLVT for the 2019-20 school year.  Thank you to our Board of Trustees and central office staff for advocating for our students.  Once we have more details we will share them with our school community.

Great news!

Greg Kostiuk

Asking Our Parents: The Results

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In January, in order to help give our parents a better voice, we conducted a parent survey called ‘Asking Our Parents.’  We were pleased to have 65 parents respond to the survey.  Some of the survey questions dealt with our School Council and those results will be shared at our School Council meeting on February 12 at 7 pm.  Here are the results of the other questions and the planned action:

Indoor Recesses Days

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Action: We will continue to use -15C as our guiding temperature for indoor recesses.

 Virtue Vouchers

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Action: We will be continuing this positive incentive program.

Class Lists

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Action: We plan on posting class lists before school starts.

 ‘Away During the Day’ Student Cell Phone Policy

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Action: We will be continuing ‘Away During the Day’ policy.

School Photos

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Action: We will be looking at changing to LifeTouch for next year.

 School Communication

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Action: We will be continuing, but trying to improve current school communication practices.

Our parent survey is helping to give parents a voice at Father Leonard Van Tighem School.  We hope to continue to use this strategy.

Thank you for your insights,

Greg Kostiuk

Your Voice Matters

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Alberta Education is conducting the annual Accountability Pillar Surveys from January to end of February 2019.  These surveys are necessary and help guide our school. Parents of students of grade 4 and 7 will receive a survey mailed to their homes directly from Alberta Education.  Also, all students in grade 4 and 7 and all teachers will be completing their surveys online through their schools.

All surveys are anonymous.  Respondents are expected to answer the questions based on the experiences they have had at their school.

We strongly encourage your participation as the results help us identify our school and jurisdiction’s strengths and weaknesses. Survey results will be available to jurisdictions by the start of May 2019 and will be reported publicly by jurisdictions as part of the Annual Education Results Reports in the fall of 2019.

Also, please note if you answer “don’t know” on the survey questions, it indirectly becomes a “no” response.  Please see the below example:

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The Accountability Survey will report that only 33% of our parents believe “High School students demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for learning throughout their lifetime.”  Parents may skip any question they feel does n.ot apply.  Please contact the school if you have any questions regarding the survey.

Also, next week, after consulting with School Council, Father Leonard Van Tighem School will be sending out a school created survey to get all our parents and staff to get their input about some specific topics about our learning community.

Greg Kostiuk

Real Work of Christmas

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Happy New Year to everyone in of our learning community!  I hope everybody had a restful Christmas break with family and friends.  Although Christmas is a joyous time, for some it is not.  I ask everyone to pray and help support the people who experienced stress this past Christmas season.

We have had all the Christmas celebrating, opening gifts, and delicious Christmas meals. We have taken down the Christmas tree and boxed up the decorations.  Christmas is over, but wait; is that all there is to Christmas?  Is it just a time to briefly remember the birth of Christ, give and receive gifts, visit with family, and enjoy big meals?  As Howard Thurman says, now that the Christmas season is over the real work of Christmas begins:

“When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When Kings and Princes return home,

When the shepherds are back with their flocks,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken in spirit,

To feed the hungry,

To release the oppressed,

To rebuild nations,

To bring peace among all people’s,

To make a little music with the heart . . .

And to radiate the Light of Christ,

Every day, in every way,

In all that we do and in all that we say.

Then the work of Christmas begins.”

As Christmas ends and a new year starts, we must remember that the ‘New Year’ is a gift from God.  All the joyous events that we will be experiencing in 2019 will be carrying God’s blessing.  I hope that every day in 2019 we live like it is Christmas Day.  Christ, our Savior will be with us throughout 2019, all we must do is invite and welcome Him in.  As we reflect on the miracle of Christmas, you realize that the work of Christmas has only just begun.  Please work throughout 2019 to support all the members of our community, especially those that may be struggling.  The work of Christmas has just started.

Blessings to everyone in our learning community as we continually celebrate the birth of Jesus and a Happy New Year!

Greg Kostiuk

Safety First

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On Monday, January 7, 2019, we welcome back our students and staff.  We hope everyone had a blessed and safe Christmas break.  As our school community continues to grow we wanted to bring up a safety concern.  Our parking lot can be very congested and can become a safety concern in the morning and after school.  Two main areas of concern are:

  • The very north part of the parking lot (near the baseball diamond) is a ‘No Parking Zone.’  Parents have been blocked in and unable to leave their parking spots.  This area does not allow enough room for both parking and vehicles exiting stalls.  These extra vehicles can create blind spots that students may be walking in.
  • The very east part of the parking lot (nearest the front doors) is a ‘No Parking Zone.’  This area is a fire lane.  Although parents may quickly drop off or pick up students, they may not wait here and definitely not park here.  Currently, we are looking to get proper signage for this fire lane.

We are asking everyone to please take extra care and only park in the appropriate parking areas.  Often, there are empty stalls in the west area of the parking lot.  Always ensure you have a safe route planned to drop off or pick up your child.  Please see this map to see the proper places to park and traffic flow direction:

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Our school division is looking at the issues in our parking lot.  As part of our Infrastructure Renewal and Maintenace (IMR) Plan, there is a plan to reconstruct our parking lot and roadways during the summer of 2019.

Thank you for driving carefully and keeping our children safe.

Greg Kostiuk