Telling Our Story – November 2017

Telling-our-story

As of today, there are only ten more school days left in December.  Before we get into the business of the end of December, here is the latest edition of ‘Telling Our Story’ for November.

Year-end Volleyball Tournament

volleyball yearend

Theme Day

crazy sock day

Intramural Day – Thank you, parents, for the T-Shirts

Intramurals

Tshirts

Recognizing our First Reconciliation Students

Reconciliation

Scholastic Book Fair and Remembrance Day Service

Remembrance day & book fairRemembrance day service

Staff PD – Blanket Exercise – Learning about First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Peoples

Staff PD Blanket

Wellness Day

wellness day

November was a very fast month, and we are sure these last few weeks of December will fly by.

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

The Road to Bethlehem

The Road to Bethlehem

The season of Advent is upon us.  Just as the Old Testament prophets were inspired by the Holy Spirit to announce His approach and how John the Baptist was sent to “make ready the way of the Lord”, our celebration of Advent imitates them as we prepare our hearts with the hope of Christ coming into our hearts today.  Advent also reminds us that just like Mary, entirely of her own free will, said “yes”, we must receive grace, strength, and courage to say “yes” to do God’s will.

Advent visual themes

The themes of Advent are traditionally hope, love, joy, and peace.  Although the themes of Advent can vary by parish, the third week is always joy.  It is always a blessing to see the students of Our Lady of the Assumption light the candles of the Advent wreath as we are reminded that we are one week closer to the birth of Christ.

Recently I stumbled upon a different visual for Advent that intrigued me.

Advent visual

Although I plan on carrying on our tradition of modeling hope, love, joy, and peace, I am also going to try to ‘worship fully’ throughout the Advent and Christmas Season, ‘spend less’ money on the people that already have, ‘give more’ to the needy, and ‘love all’ all the time.

Have a blessed Advent and Christmas season,

Greg Kostiuk

PS – If you see me after Christmas give me a Ukrainian Christmas greeting.  In the Ukrainian culture during the Christmas season, you say, “Khristos rodyvsya!” (Christ is born!) This is answered by “Slavite Yoho!” (Let Us Glorify Him!).

Telling Our Story – October 2017

October is always a busy and exciting month at Our Lady of the Assumption School.  Here is the latest edition of ‘Telling Our Story’:

Dyspraxia Day

Dyspraxia dayDyspraxia day2

Superhero Day

Dyspraxia Day3 Super hero

Food Drive organized by 6N

Food Drive

Friday Morning Prayer in Mary’s Place

Friday morning prayer

Hallowe’en

halloween 3 staffHalloweenHalloween2halloween4 staff

Luigis Pasta Tuesday

Pasta Lunch

Baking in 3N

pumpkin pies

Scientists in Schools

Scientist in School

Snack Shack organized by 4/5R

snack shack

Thanksgiving Liturgy organized by 6N

Thanksgiving liturgy

Turkey Trot

Turkey trot

Volleyball

Volleyball

Thank you for a wonderful October.

Greg Kostiuk

 

Catholic Education Sunday 2017

Catholic EducationHappy Catholic Education Sunday,

Today we celebrate Catholic Education.  Please read a copy of the letter from our Bishops that was read at Mass today:

Catholic_Education_Sunday_2017

Also, here is a video sponsored by the Alberta Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association with creative work from Karen Koester of Evergreen Catholic Schools:

https://vimeo.com/240704629

Thank you for sending your children to Our Lady of the Assumption School and supporting Catholic Education.

Blessings,

Greg Kostiuk

 

The 5 Cs

apollo 11 crest

Recently, I attended the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta ‘Marked By God: Leadership in Alberta Catholic Schools’ conference with a team from Holy Spirit Catholic Schools.  It was a terrific conference focusing on the ‘Marks of an Excellent Catholic Leader’.  We plan on implementing some of the ideas we heard at the conference.  Dr. Troy Davies, Superintendent of St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School Division, presented the second mark – Expressing and Developing a Catholic apollo 11Vision.  I was intrigued on his analogy of visioning for Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Mission and Catholic Education.  Dr. Davies listed the ‘5 Cs’ of visioning: Courageous Vision, Clear Focus, Communal, Candid, and Convincing.  He explained how NASA implemented the ‘5 Cs’ and the need to apply them to Catholic Education.  Here is my simple summary of his points:

The 5 Cs NASA’s Implementation Catholic Education
Courageous Vision President Kennedy had a courageous vision as outlined in his words, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard” OLA has the vision of a safe and caring, Christ-centered community of hope and learning.  Holy Spirit Catholic Schools has the vision of Christ-centered learning communities where students are cherished and achieve their potential.  Although both are very good, I wonder how we could improve them to be courageous?
Clear Focus NASA had specific clarity on what was needed to accomplish the vision, a clear focus on the big picture and the small details.  Details matter. We continue to be precise in our academic and faith strategies.  Assessments guide our instruction and help to drive our Continuous Improvement Plan.  Details matter.
Communal NASA had a clear ‘we’ mentality.  They knew they needed a massive team to accomplish the vision. Collaboration among staff and our various stakeholders are welcomed and encouraged.  No classroom or school is an island.
Candid Difficult questions had to be asked and answered, they addressed any and all issues. We do not shy away from the difficult questions.  Our faith is a pillar to help us achieve our vision.
Convincing NASA was excellent in communicating the vision, focus, team mentality, and the need to address any and all issues.  They were able to put the might and passion of America behind their vision. We need to continue to share our many success stories.  Often, it is a challenge to promote the need for Catholic Education in a secular world.  While many see its importance, many also see it as outdated.  We need to continue to convince every one of the former.

I know Dr. Davies did a better job than my simple summary, but his presentation on visioning was both important and appropriate.  I hope to regularly reflect on the ‘5 Cs’ and how they apply to our work at Our Lady of the Assumption.

On a short, related matter.  I have always been interested in the Apollo 11 Mission, so after the conference, I did a little online reading.  I read that astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a Christian, took communion with him to the Moon.  So the first meal on the Moon was the body and blood of Christ.  Pretty cool!

Greg Kostiuk

Education for Reconciliation

ATA Walking Together

During our October Professional Development Day, we will start participating in an ATA project titled ‘Walking Together – Education for Reconciliation’.  The first workshop in the project is ‘Understanding the Legacy of Residential Schools’.  As a staff, we hope it will build upon the knowledge we have developed in studying the Truth and Reconciliation Committee Summary Report.  A few years ago I published a blog called Can You Imagine… – I invite you to click on the link and give it a read.

Throughout the next few years, in the spirit of reconciliation, we will be making ‘Education for Reconciliation’ a priority in our professional development plan.

Greg Kostiuk

Telling Our Story – Sept 2017

Telling-our-story

We had a wonderful start to the 2017-18 school year.  Although September is a bit of a blur now, here are some pics to remind everyone of a splendid month:

September Bulletin Boards

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Crazy Hat Day

Crazy Hat day

Opening Assembly – teacher skits

Opening Assembly

Feel the Pulse Student Retreat

Pulse Retreat

Southern Alberta Bible Camp – Grade 6 Trip

SABCSABC1SABC2SABC3

Terry Fox Run

Terry Fox Run

Welcome Back BBQ

Welcome Back BBQ

We hope you had a terrific September, I know we did.

Greg Kostiuk