Flood information and messages of support

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Corporate News School News

Here is a collection of information and helpful links for staff and families in Palliser Regional Schools who have been affected by the flood.

Calgary, Brant schools open Thursday morning

As previously announced by Palliser, schools in Calgary and Brant Christian School will reopen for Thursday morning to give students and families the opportunity to clean out lockers and desks and say their goodbyes for this school year.

Calgary Christian to support Morley First Nations in wake of flood

The Calgary Christian School community is offering its support to residents of Morley, on the Stoney Nakoda Nation, west of Calgary, where nearly all the homes were flooded and many roads were washed out.

Calgary Christian’s elementary and secondary campuses set out large boxes in the foyer and asked students to make donations as they cleaned out their desks and lockers on the final day of school Thursday  morning.

In a message to parents, the school asked for donations of toiletries, toothpaste, toothbrushes, towels, shampoo, conditioner, bottled water, healthy snacks, deodorant, soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, baby items, baby formula, diapers in size 4, 5 and 6, non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and toys.

The school was also mustering volunteer drivers to deliver the donations to Morley. Anyone interested in assisting is asked to email blessings@csce.net.

Master’s Academy staff form flood cleanup team

With students away from school until Thursday morning, teachers at Master’s Academy devoted Wednesday to helping to cleanup the community following the flood. The team worked with Samaritan’s Purse to assist with this community effort.

Teachers said the team would reflect the commitment they have to being an ongoing active part of the students’ community. Some families at Master’s Academy were greatly affected by the flooding in Calgary.

Info on how to access flood relief

The Alberta government will give pre-loaded debit cards to Albertans who can't return to their homes and communities. Information on how to access this help is on the Alberta Government website here.

Message from ASEBP to members

Here is information from ASEBP, the Alberta Employee Benefit Plan, for covered members who have been forced from their homes:

With news of the severe flooding in multiple parts of Southern Alberta and the subsequent evacuations, ASEBP would like to assure covered members who have been affected by this natural disaster that we are here to help.

Being evacuated from your home is never easy, but realizing you’ve left behind prescription medications and other medically-necessary items (e.g. braces, canes, etc.) can make the event even more stressful. If you were forced to leave your home without these items, please contact ASEBP as soon as possible. We can assist you with early medication pick-ups, duplicate prescription refill requests, and medical appliance requests.

If you are in the middle of the application process for any of our plans—Extended Disability Benefits, Leave of Absence, Early Retirement, etc.—deadlines will be extended until residents are allowed to return home. For pending applications, ASEBP will ensure they are reviewed in a timely manner so there are no delays or lapses in your coverage.

Our commitment to our covered members extends far past our benefit offerings. If there is anything we can do to assist you and your family during this difficult time, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Toll-free: 1-877-431-4786
Email: benefits@asebp.ab.ca

It is also worth noting that Palliser’s ASEBP benefits package includes an Employee Assistance Program to help cover the cost of counselling, during this stressful time. Information about this benefit program can be found on ASEBP’s members website under extended health care benefits.

Boards, administrators and school councils share message of support

Here is a letter from the Alberta School Boards Association, College of Alberta School Superintendents, Association of School Business Officials of Alberta, and the Alberta School Councils’ Association:

To Board Chairs, Superintendents, Secretary Treasurers, School Councils and Parents,

As we have watched the devastation of our neighbors in the southern part of our province we want to reiterate that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

We know many schools have been affected by flooding in the southern region, and while the urgency of the situation has begun to decrease, the job of assessing infrastructure damage and looking ahead has begun. The devastation has not only affected the infrastructure and operations of our school communities but the emotional loss is being felt acutely.

We are amazed at the resilience and hard work of our senior staff, school staff, trustees, councils and parents that are working around the clock to bring some sense to this devastation. Your leadership throughout this emergency has been unbelievable. We are thankful that everyone is safe.

Those of us not in the flood zone feel a sense of helplessness as we watch in amazement at the recovery efforts taking place. At this time, while the assessment of infrastructure damage is ongoing, we are told that the only kind of donation needed is financial. If you, or your school board would like to make a donation please go to the Red Cross website www.redcross.ca or call 1-800-418-1111.

On behalf of the ASBA, CASS, ASBOA, and ASCA, thank you for all you are doing during these very stressful times. If there is anything that we can do to support you in your efforts of recovery please don't hesitate to contact us.

Warmest Regards,

Jacquie Hansen, ASBA President

Craig Foley, CASS President

Jeanne Fontaine, ASBOA President

Brad Vonkman, ASCA President

Education Minister Jeff Johnson thanks teachers for their efforts

As the 2013/2014 school year draws to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity on behalf of Premier Alison Redford and Alberta Education, to thank Alberta’s teachers. Your hard work and dedication to your students is commendable – you are not only helping your students reach their full potential, you are building Alberta’s future.

This dedication has been especially evident as the whole province pulls together to respond to the worst flooding in Alberta’s history. My heartfelt condolences to all teachers, administrators and school staff who have been affected by these events. Our number one priority at this time is safety - as the situation evolves, please stay in contact with your local board for any updates.

As we move forward from these events, please be assured that now, more than ever, your government is focused on building Alberta. We are working together with all levels of government to support affected families and communities, as well as short and long-term infrastructure needs. On Monday, Premier Redford announced a provincial commitment of $1 billion as part of the first phase of emergency recovery and reconstruction funding for communities and families. Over the coming days and weeks, Alberta Education will work in collaboration with school authorities to assess the damage to schools and identify how to best allocate resources towards the recovery. We will get bridges, roads, and other infrastructure rebuilt and schools reopened, and as Premier Redford has said, we will rebuild together and our communities will be stronger than ever before.

The end of the school year provides us with an opportunity to reflect on what we have accomplished together. As teachers, you are at the very heart of our government’s agenda for responsible change. Many of you have shared your thoughts on Inspiring Education, assessment and flexibility - and we listened.

Recently, we celebrated Education Week. This year’s theme, Inspiring Education: Building Connections, Celebrating Relationships gave us the opportunity to highlight some big changes, many inspired by what we heard from teachers.

We kicked off Education Week by signing into effect the Ministerial Order on Student Learning. This Ministerial Order ensures that we will continue to work with our partners in education—including teachers, students, parents and communities—to ensure that the goals and standards for K-12 education in Alberta remain responsive to the needs of today’s learners. The new Ministerial Order will influence the upcoming Curriculum Redesign, and will ensure that student learning in Alberta continues to be shaped by Inspiring Education.

Another change announced during Education Week was the High School Flexibility Enhancement project. As you know, linking credits to the time a student spends sitting in a desk is too prescriptive for some high school students, especially those who don’t require the full 25 hours of face-to-face instruction currently required. More than 100 high schools will remove the 25-hour standard this coming school year. We are rethinking and redesigning high school to provide more flexibility for students and teachers and I am eager to hear about how this project impacts your students.

When it comes to student assessment, we know that Alberta’s teachers have been asking for change. Soon, your students will have the choice of writing their diploma exams in a digital format. They will also have access to more exam sessions throughout the year. Moving to a digital format will not only benefit students, it will also benefit teachers by streamlining the process for acquiring accommodations for students. For example, instead of having to fill out special forms requesting an exam with larger text, that change can be made automatically in a digital exam format.

 And, beginning next school year, the traditional Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) will be phased out and new, Student Learning Assessments (SLAs) will replace them. We made this change based on feedback from teachers and parents. This new format will allow for better partnerships with parents, as SLAs will allow you to create a learning plan for your students based on their individual strengths and areas for improvement.

 Education Week also gave us the opportunity to unveil a newProvincial Dual Credit Strategy for high school students. We are investing more than $11 million over three years in the Provincial Dual Credit Strategy, which will support schools, post-secondary institutions and businesses as you partner to deliver opportunities for students to earn both high school and post-secondary credits for the same course. These credits could also lead to workplace certification or advanced standing in post-secondary programs.

 Finally, in early May, we were so pleased to participate in theannouncement of 30 new and modernized school projects across Alberta. Along with colleagues from across the province, we announced more than 18,650 new student spaces in 19 Alberta communities. These new schools will help to accommodate Alberta’s growing student population and ease the pressures on existing schools in growing communities. For a complete list of the projects, visit Alberta Education’s New Schools 2013 website.

 We recognize that school infrastructure across the province has been affected by the recent flooding. We will have more information on the government’s plan to begin to address the impact of the flooding over the days and weeks ahead.

 Thanks to you we already have one of the best education systems in the world –and we want to continue to make it better. We need your ideas and your energy to keep improving. Another opportunity for you to help us shape education in our province is coming soon. The Education Act Regulatory Review begins this summer. We will be consulting with Albertans and the education community about the best ways to align education regulations with the new Education Act. The Education Act was an important step in bringing Inspiring Education  to life in our schools and the regulations are a great opportunity to take it one step further and ensure we provide clear direction to the education system. More details about the consultations will be released soon, and I look forward to your feedback.

 Thanks again for a great school year and all the work you do for Alberta’s kids. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch regarding any of these new initiatives. I would also be very interested to hear your thoughts on Inspiring Education and how you are bringing it to life in your classroom.


Jeff Johnson

Minister of Education