River Heights Elementary

October 2018 News

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The 8 Cross-Curricular Competencies

In a Framework for Student Learning Alberta Education describes a cross-curricular competency as an interrelated set of attitudes, skills and knowledge that are drawn upon and applied to a particular context for successful learning and living. They are developed by every students, in every grade and across every subject/discipline area.

A. Critical Thinking

B. Problem Solving

C. Managing Information

D. Creativity and Innovation

E. Communication

F. Collaboration

G. Cultural and Global Citizenship

H. Personal Growth and Well-Being


School Events

  • Monday, October 1 - Terry Fox Run (wear red & bring $2, if you can!)
  • Wednesday, October 3 - Gr.4 Classes to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump 7:00am-5:00pm
  • Wednesday, October 3 - ELP-Gr.6 Goal Setting Conferences 5:30pm-7:30pm
  • Wednesday, October 3 - Parent Council Meeting at 7:30pm (Gr. 1 teachers will be presenting)
  • Thursday, October 4 - Orange Shirt Day "Every Child Matters"
  • Friday, October 5 - PD Day (no school for students)
  • Wednesday, October 10 - K1 Hearing Screen
  • Thursday, October 11 - K2 Hearing Screen
  • Monday, October 29 - Lifetouch School Photo Retakes
  • Wednesday, October 31 - Halloween activities in the afternoon

River Heights Community Book Club!

Announcing our first Book Club title:

Kids Are Worth It!: Raising Resilient, Responsible, Compassionate Kids by Barbara Coloroso

Barbara Coloroso's international bestseller delivers a powerful message about giving children the gift of inner-discipline and the importance of offering them opportunities to make decisions, take responsibility for their actions and learn from their own successes and mistakes. Rejecting the "quick fix" solutions of punishment and reward, Barbara uses everyday family situations -- from sibling rivalry to teenage rebellion -- to demonstrate sound strategies for giving children the inner discipline and self confidence that will help them grow into responsible, resourceful, resilient and compassionate adults.

Barbara Coloroso is an international bestselling author and an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN and has been featured in the New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, and Newsweek, among others.

Her uniquely effective parenting and teaching strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education, and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, university instructor, and mother of three.

Over two dozen copies have kindly been gathered for us from across Alberta by the Medicine Hat Public Library via interlibrary loans. Please feel free to visit their circulation desk to grab a copy for yourself! A library card is only $5 for the year, if you don't already have one. (A big thank-you to Keith McLean with MHPL for his support!) Please note: Kids Are Worth It! has been published many times since its first release in 1994. The small differences between the publications will not impact your experience. Whichever version you find will work!

Our book club meeting date for this title will be Wednesday, Dec. 5th @ 8:30 pm (immediately following our Parent Council meeting) at River Heights School.

Please connect with Laura Gale or Laura Underschute if you have any questions!

Caring for our Environment

We are very proud of our grade four students who have established school-wide initiatives to help us all take better care of our environment.

They have set up compost bins (worms and all!) and are teaching us all how to use them. They have analyzed the garbage we produce at school and have found we throw out A LOT of food and A LOT of recyclables. They have analyzed our recycling practices at school and have found that we are missing the mark when it comes to following recycling guidelines. They have partnered with Crayola to set up a felt marker recycling program (feel free to bring dry markers from home to be recycled). And they worked hard to create a presentation explaining their ideas which they shared with every class. We truly appreciate their efforts in educating us all (grown-ups included!).

In their analysis (involving lots of big math) the grade four students found we throw away an astonishing amount of single-use plastic (baggies, wrappers from packaged foods, etc). They suggest parents/guardians consider buying big packs of snack and lunch items (like goldfish crackers, applesauce, and yogurt, for example) and sending portions to school in reusable containers (one student pointed out that doing this would save money for their family).

The grade four students have also expressed concern with the HUGE number of plastic forks and spoons that are being handed out every day to children who have not packed their own from home. The (very wise) suggestion from the grade four students is that the school simply stop handing them out. Their reasoning is:

1) if we keep handing them out, no one will learn to remember their own,

2) after just a day or two of not having a spoon or fork available, students will take responsibility for packing their own, and

3) it will save the school money. Can't argue with that logic!

So, starting in October, the school will no longer hand out plastic forks and spoons. Please be sure to send utensils along from home, as needed.

Thank you, grade 4, for helping us all become better citizens of Earth!

RH Gear

Thank you to all who ordered River Heights clothing through our online store! We are looking forward to receiving our orders; we have been told we can expect them to be ready the week of Oct. 9th! Your order will arrive to Sports Connection and you will receive an email indicating that it's ready for you to pick up at the store.

Though we set prices very close to cost to ensure accessibility to as many families as possible, we are excited to share that $978.74 will come back to the school as our profit! This money will go towards funding field experiences for our students as teachers thoughtfully plan for off-campus learning.

Our online store will re-open again in November (we will set the timing so that orders will be ready before Christmas). We hope to add some new items to the winter store. If you have any suggestions, please email Mrs. Gale at laura.gale@sd76.ab.ca.


Screening Tools

All schools in Medicine Hat Public School District are utilizing a literacy (reading), and numeracy assessment tool to provide a general idea of how students are performing in each area. These assessments are used with students in grades 2 through 10.

The purpose of these assessments are to help teachers plan supports for students in building literacy and numeracy skills. Teachers continue to use other classroom based assessments and diagnostic tools to guide planning and instruction. No single assessment reflects all skills required for students - multiple and different types of assessments are needed.

The literacy assessment being used is the STAR reading assessment, a brief online reading comprehension assessment.This tool provides teachers with beginning information to plan supports for students and engage in conversation with students about their reading and next steps. This assessment will be used three times throughout the school year.

The numeracy assessment being used is the Math Intervention/Programming Instrument (MIPI). This assessment is completed only at the beginning of the school year and has students answering questions on mathematical concepts they would have learned in the previous year. For example, a grade 6 student would answer questions based on knowledge and skills he or she would have learned in grade 5. There is no need for students to study for this assessment. It is simply a way to help teachers know where each student is in their math knowledge and skills and tells us if students need more help in math.

Both of these assessment tools are part of the many ways we plan to support students and offer a wide range of assistance to meet each child’s unique needs.

Report Card


The report card should provide straightforward information about:

  • what a student knows and can demonstrate relative to the graded curriculum

  • what the student needs to do next.

Report cards are a summary and only part of the story. It is important that through discussions with your child, with teachers, and with your school, you learn about all that is part of your child’s school day and learning. When you are more deeply informed about your child’s achievement, you can support and celebrate the learning that is taking place.


Outcomes describe what your child is expected to know and do according to the Alberta Education Programs of study. The report card has specific categories in each of the four main subject areas (Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science), to help summarize the many outcomes covered. Teachers use specific outcomes to reflect student achievement in each of the categories.

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Achievement Indicators describe the level to which your child is achieving in each of the categories on the report card.

If your child receives an M for MEETING, they have achieved the grade-level outcome to an ACCEPTABLE standard. If your child receives an E for EXCELLING, this demonstrates a DEEPER LEVEL of mastery within the grade-level outcome.

It is important to note that not all specific learner outcomes can be evaluated at the excelling level. Some outcomes may only reflect knowledge or skill that is either met or not met.

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Over the course of the term, teachers gather examples of your child demonstrating their understanding of the learning outlined in the curriculum. These may include class assignments, tests, presentations, projects, and performances. Teachers may also make notes on observations of your child in class and talk with your child about their learning to gather as much information as possible before assigning a level of achievement in specific areas.


Teachers, based on the needs of a student, may need to add additional information about the type of programming that affects the way your child’s achievement is recorded. Your child’s teacher may still reflect a level of achievement next to the outcomes on the report card, but they may be based on adaptations or in the case of some students, the level of achievement and growth may be reflected in an Individual Support Plan (ISP). Parents should always be aware prior to the report card if these indicators are used.

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The Learner Attributes allow you to see how your child is developing the learning skills and abilities needed to succeed in their own learning as part of the classroom community. These Learner Attributes focus on participation, cooperation, quality work, and respect for self and others. Teachers use observations to identify how often these attributes are demonstrated using the scale below:

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Parent Council News

Thank you to all parents and staff who came out to our first parent council meeting of the school year. Our next meeting is Wednesday ,October 3, 2018 at 7:30pm in the Library Learning Commons. Grade One teachers will be presenting. We have a different grade share at each parent council meeting and, as parents, this is a great platform to meet staff, hear their learning outcomes and see how they not only meet them but surpass them. We have a really unique learning model at River Heights and it really shines during these times of sharing. The school admin team also gives an update and Parent Council shares with parents budget updates, committee updates, and upcoming events. This is a great way to stay informed and be involved in your child's education. We have a great group of parents volunteering their time to help make our school a better place for staff and students.

Note to ALL PARENTS: please sign up for our Parent Council Remind App. If you have the app, search for @rivheipc and if you do not have the app, text (587) 409-2952 and put @rivheipc in the message. We will send messages communicating with hot lunch volunteers, calling out for more volunteers, informing of meetings, etc.

Also, we want to remind parents to support our hot lunch program which runs every week during the school year. We have hot lunch every Friday unless there is a PD day or holiday and then it runs on Thursday. We are super fortunate to have such an amazing hot lunch program but need your support for it to be a success. Purchase as many as you can for your children and volunteer as much as you can. Starting in November we will have the parents of 2 grades/month scheduled to volunteer to run a hot lunch and you will need to message on Remind to fill those spots. The other hot lunches will be open to all parents to volunteer. There will also always be someone to oversee.

Lastly, make sure you check out our Facebook Group: RIVER HEIGHTS SCHOOL PARENT COUNCIL)


Thursday, October 4 - Taco in a Bag + freebie

Friday, October 12 - Dairy Queen

Friday, October 19 - Pizza + smoothie

Friday, October 25 - Taco Time + frozen treat

Your Parent Council Team:

Co-chairs: Katie Albers + Taneill Selinger

Treasurer: Kristin Cassell

Secretary: Tara Betts

*Please feel free to contact us by leaving a message at the school office*

Immunization School Program Changes

Dear Parents:

Changes and Updates to the School Immunization Program

Alberta Health has made changes to the school immunization program that will take effect in the 2018/19 school year.

What is changing?

HBV and HPV vaccines

Previously in Alberta, Grade 5 students were offered three doses of vaccine for Hepatitis B (HBV) and three doses of vaccine for Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Alberta is moving from a three-dose vaccine schedule in Grade 5 to a two-dose vaccine schedule in Grade 6 for both HBV and HPV vaccines. Alberta Health has made this change to align with the evidence, which shows that administering two doses at least six months apart will provide children with good protection against Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus diseases.

The Grade 9 school immunization program including the diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (dTap) and Meningococcal (MenC-ACYW) vaccines will continue to be offered.

The HBV vaccine given in a two-dose series is approved for children 11 years up to and including 15 years of age. In Alberta, the majority of students are 11 years of age in Grade 6, therefore HBV immunizations will be offered in Grade 6 rather than Grade 5.

The HPV vaccine given in a two-dose series is approved for children 9 years up to and including 14 years of age who have a well-functioning immune system. HPV immunizations will be offered at the same time as the HBV vaccine, in Grade 6 rather than Grade 5. A three-dose series will continue to be offered to students with compromised immune systems.

Catch-up immunization program

In the 2018/19 school year, public health nurses will be reviewing the immunization records of all Alberta students from Grades 1 to 9 to assess immunization status. You will be contacted if your child is missing immunization information.

With your consent, your child can be offered the immunizations they are missing at school. You will continue to have the final decision on immunizing your child.

As per current practice, if a highly contagious vaccine-preventable disease, such as measles, occurs at school, children with missing immunization information or declined immunization may be excluded from school to protect their health. In some cases, children may need to stay home for several weeks.

Below is an outline of the changes that will occur to the school immunization program in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 school years.

2018/2019 School Year

Students in Grade 5 will not be immunized with the HPV and HBV vaccines, as they will be offered the vaccines the following year in Grade 6.

With your consent, children in Grades 1 to 9 who are missing immunizations will be offered immunizations at school.

2019/2020 School Year

Students in Grade 6 will be offered immunization with the HPV and HBV vaccines as a two-dose series.

With your consent, children in Grades 1 to 9 who are missing immunizations will be offered immunizations at school.

Alberta Health Services, Public Health will work closely with the schools and school authorities to ensure that immunization does not interfere with students taking the Provincial Achievement Tests.

More information on immunization and Alberta’s routine immunization schedule and changes to the school immunization program is available at www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/immunization.html

If you have any questions about immunizing your child, please contact your school’s public health nurse, call 811 or visit http://immunizealberta.ca/.


Alberta Health Services

Community Information

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