Swifty's News - September 2021

École James S. McCormick School

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At École James S. McCormick School, we put safety first. We have many polices and procedures in place (both before and during COVID) for ensuring student safety.


But safety doesn’t just mean physical safety. We believe students need to be and feel physically, emotionally, socially, and psychologically safe for in depth learning to occur. Learning is very difficult when students do not feel safe and secure. Students are treated by the staff with respect and dignity, and they are taught to treat each other in these ways as well. We also teach students how to treat themselves with respect and dignity so they have confidence to learn and grow.


At École James S. McCormick School, we understand we have a mandate to prepare students for the future. But with technological changes, climate change, globalization, etc., it’s hard to know what skills will be needed in the future. According to a LinkedIn article called, 12 Jobs You’ll Be Recruiting for in 2030, “some 85% of the jobs that today’s students will be doing in 2030 haven’t been invented yet.” The article predicts there will be jobs such as internal organ and body part creators; self-driving car mechanics; and biofilm installers. Many of the students of our school will be graduating by 2030, and we need to prepare them for an ever-changing world with continually evolving demands. The staff of ÉJSMS has stepped up to the challenge.


At École James S. McCormick School, we teach the Alberta Education curriculum using a range of instructional strategies that includes learning outdoors, learning through the maker movement, and learning through the use of technology, including robotics and coding. In our classrooms you will find staff and students using hands-on and inquiry-based approaches to learning. The best we can do for our students now is ensure they have many opportunities to think creatively, learn to problem solve, collaborate with others, and struggle with challenges so they learn stick-with-it-ness.

At this link you will find important information, such as


  • our school's Code of Conduct and dress code
  • why we don't allow electronics on the playgrounds
  • whether we are a nut free school


Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the school's expectations for students. :)

Check us out on Instagram!

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Our very own assistant principal, Craig Fullarton, is the guest chef at Cilantro and Chive this month.

Proceeds from the Burger of the Month go to Aspire, which is a highly supportive organization for many of our students.


And also, the burger is delicious! You only have a few more days to try out Craig's creation before September 30!!

Follow us on Twitter too @ejsmschool!

School Council Meetings are Online for Now


And TONIGHT is the first one!


All guardians are welcome to attend any meeting and vote on topics. The first meeting of the year is on September 23 at 7:15, but going forward, they will be on the last Thursday of the month whenever possible. Click here for the Google Meet link.
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Admazing Savings Coupon Books

See your Parent Portal to order. Did you know...

Each purchase = a chance to win prizes!

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Morning Drop Off

Supervision starts at 8:20, so students should not arrive before that time. All grades 1, 2, and 3 students remain outdoors when they arrive at school, which gives them the opportunity to play and get fresh air before classes (which is good for endorphins and learning).


They know where to line up when the bell goes. Please encourage your children's independence by giving them the opportunity to look after their own things and line up on their own when the bell goes at 8:33. It's a confidence-growing opportunity!

It's almost Picture Day!

COVID Expectations

We kept most of our procedures in place from last year, such as using multiple entrances and washing/sanitizing when transitioning from one place to another. As a result, the students won’t have noticed much change after the government’s announcement last Wednesday. However, we have tightened up with staff mask wearing and student cohorting.


We are still required to send students home if they have any symptoms and greatly appreciate the understanding and patience guardians have demonstrating when getting these pick up calls.


Occasionally we get a call from a guardian saying someone in the household has COVID, so the whole family is staying home. This degree of caution within families is greatly appreciated by the school staff, students, and other parents/guardians.

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Daily Health Checklist

The Government of Alberta has added Household Contacts to its daily health checklist. Please see the revised requirements below.

Students must now stay home for 14 days from the last day of exposure if someone in the household has COVID.

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Our Tipi is Back Up!!

Our partnership with the correctional facilities in Bowden is alive and well. We are thrilled to have our tipi back in our outdoor classroom.
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What else is in our outdoor classroom?

Some pumpkins, of course! The kindergarten students planted seeds in the spring, so there should be some pumpkins ready to harvest soon.
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Ms. Cooke's students copied the tipi design and made their own structure!

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Jumping Right Into Learning!

Grade one students did some counting and comparing with their names. They are working on mathematical terms like longer, shorter, and equal to. Great work Mrs. Reid's class!


Ask your child the difference in length between two of the names, and you find out how hard this question is for little learners!

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Mrs. Somers Brown's grade ones are learning to label their pictures. Mrs. Somers Brown drew a picture of time she spent by Jasper, then modelled how to label the parts of the picture. The grade ones are going to be doing lots of sounding out of words! The labels might only be one letter long to start with, but it's all part of the learning process.
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Mrs. Sexsmith's class is exploring ways of making 52 using a Jeopardy approach.

Answers might include


  • What is 4 x 13?
  • What is 5 tens and 2 ones?
  • What is 3 tens, a twenty, and 2 loonies?
  • What is 2 quarters and 2 pennies?
  • What is 60 - 8?


Great thinking, Grade Threes!

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What's coming up at our school?

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I am running for...

Students will be invited to name someone who has battled cancer and run in that person's honour. They can choose Terry Fox or anyone else they know. You might want to have this conversation with your child to help him or her identify someone to name.
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Our school is hoping to raise $500.00.


Terry Fox said, "anything is possible if you try." Inspired by his amazing example, our school is proudly taking part in this year's Terry Fox School Run. Please consider supporting us in our try, and help us raise much-needed funds for cancer research.

Halloween Costumes

Given the ages of our students, we try to avoid anything that might scare other children. Some masks are okay, while others are not. See examples below. The first set illustrates masks that are not allowed, while the second set illustrates what is allowed. We also prefer weapons stay home.