Extended Winter Break

On behalf of everyone at Father Leonard Van Tighem School, we wish everyone a Happy New Year and a blessed 2022.

As per the recent government announcement and Mr. Sampson’s below December 31, 2021 letter, the winter break for students has been extended till January 10, 2022.  Later next week, we expect to hear more news from Alberta Education.  In addition to Mr. Sampson’s letter, all co-curricular events (including basketball practices and games) are cancelled during the extended winter break.

Also, here is the current government isolation requirements: https://www.alberta.ca/isolation.aspx

December 31, 2021  

Good afternoon families of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,  

As many of you have no doubt heard, on December 30, 2021 the Government of Alberta announced that, due to the increasing numbers of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the province, the winter break in all Alberta schools will be extended.    

As a result, our Holy Spirit students will not return to school until Monday, January 10, 2022.  

The Government of Alberta has also noted that:
– 8.6 million rapid tests and 16.5 million masks will be provided to schools.
– January Diploma Exams will be cancelled.  A decision about April and June Diploma Exams will be determined later.  

During this time, school jurisdictions have been asked to determine the impact that the Omicron variant will have on staffing and prepare for in-person learning the week of January 10th.  Depending on the Government’s subsequent decisions, further changes may be required and will be communicated when known.   

We appreciate your continued patience and support while our schools contend with the new challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please know that we remain committed to the continuation of education for all of our students.  In the meantime, we wish your family a holy Christmas Season and a blessed New Year.  

Sincerely,  Ken Sampson, Superintendent of Schools

Merry Christmas!

We wish every member of our FLVT community a blessed and Merry Christmas.  Traditionally, our elementary classes perform a Christmas Concert every two or three years.  Unfortunately, we could not host a Christmas Concert this year due to various pandemic restrictions. So instead, we have a collection of video performances to share with you.  A huge thank you to our students and our elementary music teachers (Mrs. Martin-Wersink, Mrs. Rogers and Miss Wright.  The first video is the collection of all the performances, and the second link is to a playlist of performances.

Please click on the playlist icon in the top right-hand corner.

We hope you enjoyed the performances.

Merry Christmas!

Draft Curriculum Changes – Update

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the new draft curriculum. Please see the below message from our Minister of Education regarding changes to the draft curriculum:

December 13, 2021

Thanks to the important feedback we have received from Albertans on the draft Kindergarten to Grade 6 curriculum, Alberta’s government is taking significant steps to strengthen the draft, adjust the timelines for implementation and move forward on a new curriculum for elementary students. You can read more or watch today’s news conference online.

In recognition of the unique pressures the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on students, teachers and families, we are making changes to curriculum implementation timelines. New curriculum in three subjects will be the focus of province wide implementation in September 2022: English Language Arts and Literature, Mathematics, and Physical Education and Wellness.

Implementing a strong English and Mathematics curriculum will help our younger students, whose learning may have been disrupted during the pandemic, to build strong foundational reading, writing and numeracy skills. Physical Education and Wellness curriculum will support early learners with wellness in response to the pandemic and introduce them to financial literacy skills. Prior to implementation in September 2022, the draft Mathematics curriculum will be updated this spring to reflect the ongoing feedback we receive.

To help set the course for successful implementation, the government will seek advice from an advisory group of education and curriculum experts early next year. This group will also provide recommendations on implementation strategies for the remaining K-6 subjects.

Based on feedback from Education partners, piloting school authorities and Albertans, we have made content changes to English Language Arts and LiteraturePhysical Education and WellnessFine Arts (Music) and Science curriculum to add clarity and strengthen the content. All other subjects, including draft French language curriculum, will also be updated and new drafts will be released in the spring.

In response to the substantive feedback we have received about Social Studies, we have developed a draft design blueprint that outlines scope and sequence and lays out a plan to make curriculum content changes. This draft blueprint and what we hear from Albertans in the new year, will inform a new draft Social Studies curriculum that will continue to make sure students learn historical content, build civic skills, explore First Nations, Métis and Inuit and Francophone perspectives and learn about different cultures and communities. We will also continue to work with you and other stakeholders to gather feedback that will inform revisions to First Nations, Métis and Inuit and Francophone perspectives in subject areas outside of Social Studies.

There will be new engagement opportunities where Albertans can provide their feedback on the updated draft content, as well as the design blueprint for Social Studies, starting in January 2022. Virtual information sessions will also be offered starting this week. Please encourage your school communities to register for the virtual sessions and sign up to find out about new engagements when details are available at alberta.ca/curriculum-have-your-say.

In the spring, we will carefully consider feedback from all engagement opportunities and classroom piloting to finalize the Social Studies design blueprint. This will be released with the updated drafts of other subjects. Please read the updated curriculum on new.learnalberta, share these links with your school communities, and visit the main website: alberta.ca/curriculum.

On behalf of Alberta’s government, thank you for the extensive and thoughtful feedback you and your school communities have provided. I am confident that, together, we can continue to develop an updated curriculum for elementary students that will provide them with the knowledge and skills they need for their future success.

Sincerely,

Adriana LaGrange

Minister of Education

Last Week 2021

For the last week of school before the Christmas break, we have a variety of Christmas fun activities planned for our students.  Here is a listing of what we have planned:

  • Monday:
    • Elementary Classes – Christmas Pancakes (sponsored by School Council)
    • Elementary Classes (K to 3) – Pds. 7-9 – Outdoor games.
    • Tuesday:
      • Elementary Classes (4 to 6) – Pds. 7-9 – Outdoor games.
    • Wednesday:
      • Jr. High Classes – Christmas Pancakes (sponsored by School Council)
      • Christmas Hat/Sweater Day
    • Thursday:
      • Hot Chocolate in the AM
      • Red and Green Day
    • Friday:
      • Our traditional Christmas Bingo
      • Students will be in homeroom for various activities.

Merry Christmas!

Southland Bussing Update

December 9, 2021

Good day families of students riding the VT W3 Bus,

As you are no doubt aware, a significant bus driver shortage exists across Alberta that has been impacting the VT W3 over this past week.

Rather than providing daily notifications, we wanted to let you know that a 15-minute delay is expected for the morning run of the VT W3 from now until the Christmas break begins.  

Southland continues to actively seek spare drivers and is currently training new drivers who should be ready to serve after the Christmas break. We anticipate that these efforts will alleviate many of the delays that are impacting several routes.

Additional updates will be provided when new information becomes available.  In the meantime, thank you for your understanding and patience.

Sincerely, 

FLVT School

Draft Curriculum Survey Results

Thank you to all those who shared their thoughts regarding the current Draft K-6 Curriculum in October 2021.

A summary of the results has been prepared, please see the below document:

To view all of the comments provided by our community, please visit: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/report/35c737a9909b8bbea0194f4046c472c2

Thank you.

AHS Immunizations for Grade 6 to 9 Students

December 17, 2021 Update

Please read this update from AHS regarding immunizations:

November 30, 2021

Hello,

A Public Health school nursing team will be immunizing at FLVT on 30 NOV 2021 in the morning for Grade 7 & 8 students who have returned a signed parental consent form for Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus vaccines. In the last two weeks, these consent forms were sent home from school with your child.   

A school nurse will also attempt to contact parents of eligible students in Grade 7 & 8 if we have not received this year’s signed consent form. If you haven’t already, please return the school immunization consent form as soon as possible.

For more information on Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus vaccines, please visit the Immunize Alberta website at immunizealberta.ca. If you have any questions, please contact the Lethbridge Public Health office at  #403-388-6666 and speak with our Intake Registered Nurse).

Advent Message

December promises to be an exciting month.  Although the pandemic will dampen many of our group activities, we will be doing our best to continue our Christmas traditions.  Some will be virtual or recorded, including Advent Celebrations, Advent Mass, and elementary Christmas Concert. In addition, we are planning to have some fun activities near the end of the month.  We will feel the Christmas spirit at our school.

Advent is a special time.  To me, Advent has two messages.  One is the buildup to the celebration of the birth of Christ.  This buildup includes the season of Advent and the call to “make ready the way of the Lord.” By focusing on the themes of Advent, we can definitely “make ready the way of the Lord”:

  • HOPEHOPE is a core belief in our faith.  Let us be HOPEful tools to express God’s love to another.  Let us serve others not out of obligation but in the hope that the kingdom of God is in our midst.
  • PEACE – We pray for the people suffering from conflict, whether the conflict is near or far.  We pray for a PEACEful solution to all conflict, conflict in our community or conflict in our world.  Our actions for the common good allow PEACE to grow.
  • JOY – May we JOYfully use the gifts that God has given us.  Let us use our many gifts to spread JOY to everyone.  We experience JOY in understanding creation and serving others.
  • LOVE – God, we know you are with us and in us.  We thank you for the sign of your LOVE in the many gifts you give us.  We are empowered to make positive choices by God’s gift of LOVE.  Every day, we choose to LOVE our neighbour.

The second message of Advent is that we do not have to wait.  God is with us now, here in our lives.  In the words of Mother Teresa, “It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you…yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.”

May this Advent and Christmas season be a time of great joy to everyone.

God Bless,

Greg Kostiuk

Advent Prayer

O God,
rejoicing, we remember the promise of your Son.
As we light our advent candles,
may the blessing of Christ come upon us,
brightening our way
and guiding us by his truth.
May Christ our Savior bring life
into the darkness of our world,
and to us, as we wait for his coming.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Volunteers Needed

We are requesting your help with our School Council Winter Fundraiser. We need volunteers for the December 1, 2021 pick-up. Please see the following document for details:

Here is the link to sign-up:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JtcfU0VFgH43eJuLg3x9Y3ZnWnziXZzqq3rxvc9TS70/edit?usp=sharing

Thank you for supporting the fundraiser. Just under 500 products were sold. The sales were just over $13,300, which means $4,170 was raised to help support our students.

Thank you for considering this volunteer request.

Unvaccinated Students (less than 12), International Travel and School

The following link brings you to the official Government of Canada’s website that speaks specifically to federally governed COVID-19 related matters. The two-page handout can be found here:

Essentially, because of the fact that children under 12 years of age are not eligible to be vaccinated, the federal government has stated that they are not permitted to attend school for 14 days after the arrival date back into Canada, even if they remain asymptomatic.