SCHOOLS OF HIGHLANDS AND BELLEVUE
Alex. Construction Ltd.
Lockerbie & Hole Ltd.
14508 5/12/50 Additional amounts authorized to contract of Alexander Construction Co. for Mount Royal School as follows:
1. Removal or loose sand amp; pouring of extra concrete in excavation
2. Change in mth of construction, requiring additional concrete, lumber & reinforcing steel to permit winter work
14520 19/12/50 Officially named "Mount Royal School"..
14575 20/2/51 Additional amt. $50. authorized to provide Concrete reinforcing mesh for Boiler Rm. floors in Mt. Royal Sch.
14578 20/2/51 Enquiries to be made to see whether Bd. entitled to purchasing priorities which in turn could be used for advantage for purchasing supplies and equipmt. for Electrical Contractor for Mt. Royal School, Cowan Electric Co.
146020 3/4/51 Sec. authorized to issue cheques in part payment purchase school site. from City Land Dept.
14837 23/10/51 Supt. to prepare suitable programme for Official Opening & to include such Trustees in programme as he deems desirable.
14860 13/11/51 Contract awarded to Woodward's Ltd. for supply & installation of drapes in Auditorium, General Purpose Rm., Teachers' Room & Principal's Office in Hazeldean, Montrose & Mount Royal Elem. Schools, at cost of $851.44, as per their quotation.
14870 27/11/51 As Com. League or Home & School Assoc. not yet formed in Mount Royal district, official of Boa~d authorized to incur expense to rent equipment (cups, saucers, flatware etc.) necessary for serving refreshments at Official Opening of School on Fri. Nov. 30/51.
15000 6/5/52 Arch.-Supt. of Plant authorized to proceed with ordering & planting of shrubs & trees on Mount Royal School Grounds.
15093 26 /8/52 S.H. Parsons Construction Ltd informed that tender submitted on Mount Royal Addition delivered after stated Closing time for receipt of tenders and therefore not considered.
15093 26/8/52 Following contracts awarded for construction of 4-room Addition to Mount Royal Elem. School; Arch. empowered to deal with various alternatives called for in the specifications in the best interests of the Board:
Axel Johnson Construction Ltd.
J. W. Mold & Son Ltd.
15114 23/9/52 Extra of $l,022.15 authorized to Axel Johnson Construction Co. for erection of a concrete block fire-wall in the addition to the Mount Royal school, as required by the City Bldg. Inspectors' Dept.
15284 12/5/53 Mount Royal Home and School Assoc. to be advised that Arch. Supt. of Plant has investigated conditions at Mount Royal School re sidewalks within school grounds and reports that that existing sidewalk facilities are adequate; this opinion occurred in by Board; also that it is the Bd's policy to support petitions for local improvements affecting school property.
15285 12/5/53 Extra of $35 authorized to General Contractor, Axel Johnson Construction Ltd.,to cover cost of modifying design of book-case & cupboards in Office-Library in order to accommodate a foul air return duct.
16735 28/5/57 Letter of A. V. Pettigrew, Recreation Commission dated May 21/57 requesting authority to move fence at Mount Royal School referred to Property Committee for consideration.
15392 22/9/53 Following credits resulting from change in General & Addition to Plumbing & Heating Contracts for 4-room Mount Royal School approved:
Change in Door Hardware requirements
Use of Dunham Radiation
Sirocco Utility Blower
18/1/55 Parents of Lyle Cook, of Mount Royal School, informed by registered letter that unless payment of $2, for defacement of a desk at the school, is received at the Bd. office not later than 3 days following, receipt of the letter, the student will be suspended from further attendance at school until the account is paid
15909 22/3/55 Letter re facilities in Elem. Schools received; Assn. to be advised that their resolution will receive consideration in the formulating of building plans.
168487 24/9/57 Letter of Sept. 23/57 from Mt. Royal H.& Sch. Assoc. re Use of vacant classroom at Mt. Royal School as Play school space for pre-school children- sponsored by City of Edm Rec. Commission, referred to Mgmt. & Disc. Committee.
16865 8/10/57 Request for classroom space for play school for pre-school children at Mount Royal School - during day-school hours - not granted.
16769 18/6/57 Request of Recreation Comm. to move fence at Mt. Royal School southward to 112 Ave. not considered at this time in view of objections by Principal and staff May 27/57 11684? 24/9/57 Letter of Sept. 23/57 from Mt. Royal H.& Sch. Assoc. re use of vacant classroom at Mt. Royal School as Play school space for pre-school children- sponsored by City of Edm. Rec. Commission, referred to Mgmt. & Disc. Committee.16865 8/10/57 Request for class room space for play school for pre-school children at Mount Royal School - during day- school hours - not granted. 18492 23/05/61
18492 23/05/61 That the minutes, relating to the discussions as to whether an empty classroom in the Mount Royal School should be made available as play school space under the sponsorship of the Recreation Commission, be forwarded to the Trustees. Unanimously carried.
4/6/57 The letter from E. C. Talbot, President, Mount Royal Home & School Assoc'n re their non-affiliation with the Home & School Council received and filed for information.
25/3/58 Re- Mount Royal Home ' Sch. Assoc'n & the Edmonton Council of Home & School Associations - the Secretary-Treasurer instructed to advise the Council that he take no action; their letter to be filed for information.
1951-52 - 1954-55
1955-56 - 1958-59
1959-60 - 1961-62
1962-63 - 1963-64
1964-65 - 1971-72
1972-73 - 1975-76
1976-77 - 1979-80
Stanley G. Deane
Arthur J.H. Powell
Harold W. Archibald
John R. Powell
Enid R. Brooks
Thor C. Lerohl
1980-81 - 1986-87
1987-88 - 1993-94
1994-95 - 1996-97
1997-98 - 1999-00
2000-01 - 2003-04
2004-05 - 2007-08
Allen F. Kostyk
The MicroSociety System
HIGHER ORDER THINKING TAKING PLACE AT OLIVER (May 2002)
At Oliver School, staff and students have been working on their instructional focus of higher order thinking for the past five years and are using Blueprints for Supporting Teaching and Learning to celebrate, refine and extend their work.
"When I arrived at Oliver in 1997, we looked at the achievement results for our elementary and junior high programs and identified higher order thinking as an area of growth for both programs," says Principal Karen Linden. "Our parents wanted a community of active learners and we adopted some unique programming strategies to improve achievement across the curriculum."
To create a stimulating learning environment for its elementary program, Oliver worked with parents and community partners to become Canada's first MicroSociety School. Working with mentors from the fields of business and governments create their own government, laws, school currency and banking system and run their own businesses or agencies. The MicroSociety concept is a proven strategy for promoting higher order thinking, by giving students the opportunity to apply curriculum in real life scenarios.
"MicroSociety helps students to answer the question, 'Why are we learning this?' and also prepares them for the outside world," says Linden.
The students create their own government, laws, school currency and banking system and run their own businesses or agencies. The MicroSociety concept is a proven strategy for promoting higher order thinking, by giving students the opportunity to apply curriculum in real-life scenarios.
"A lot of thinking goes on in the MicroSociety," says Jordan Peckham, a Grade 5 student at Oliver and the elected mayor of the student government. "We think about problems like they do in the real world and it helps to prepare us for the future."
The school also features the Nellie McClung Girls' Junior High Program. As part of the program, students participate in CEEDS (Curriculum Extension and Enhancement Days) activities in which they plan and implement a wide range of events and projects. Under the guidance of their teachers,the students work on their own in cross-grade teams. Activities have included fundraisers,student crime stoppers, and the design and construction of a secret garden at the school.
Dana Stirrett, a Grade 9 student at Oliver, worked with her CEEDS team to organize the school's annual science fair. "We had to recruit all the judges, order the food and prepare the tables for the displays," says Stirrett. "As a group, we were able to do what we wanted to do, which helped us to become more independent thinkers."
Janice Kerr, a Grade 8 teacher at Oliver, describes the CEEDS program as another successful strategy the school has used to encourage higher order thinking. "When the students plan an event for the school, it gives them a sense of empowerment," says Kerr. "By working in groups, the students engage in both problem solving and active learning."
When presenting class projects, teachers move beyond the basic areas of knowledge and comprehension to encourage analysis and evaluation. For example, rather than asking students to identify the main character in a story, the staff asks them to identify the motivation of the main character.
"We teach them to look beyond the simple question, to help them become more critical thinkers," says Kerr. "We teach our students how to ask questions and how to reach conclusions. This helps them to be successful."
Parents have been integral partners in the school's instructional focus work. "Karen gives us continual updates about how teachers are using the strategies in class," says Brenda Nycholat, co-chair of the school council. "Next year, parents are going to become even more involved in the program so we can follow through with some of this work at home."
Nycholat is pleased that the school is committed to developing students both academically and socially, as well as encouraging them to participate in a greater amount of risk-taking. "The students at Oliver venture out further and take on more challenges and that's due to the school culture," she says.
In addition to MicroSociety and CEEDS, the school staff also makes use of graphic organizers, co-operative learning and questioning strategies in the instructional focus work. The school also plans to analyze the calibre of questions that students ask, as one of the internal measures for assessing their progress in higher order thinking.
Staff collaboration is another important part of Oliver's instructional focus work. Each Thursday, the school takes advantage of early dismissal to look at student work and explore higher order thinking strategies. All meetings have a professional development focus and other school business is dealt with through e-mail or memos.
"Once a month, our entire staff meets together to discuss the instructional focus," says Linden. "We begin each of these meetings with a teacher spotlight, where staff members demonstrate strategies they are using in the classroom." There are also smaller group meetings for elementary and junior high staff that involve discussions about work specific to each program. In addition, there are case conferences, during which staff members analyze what strategies are working best and how to improve programming for specific students. All teaching staff also use one Thursday per month for collaborative planning.
Leadership for the Blueprints work is provided by an instructional focus team made up of the principal, the two assistant principals, two teachers from the elementary program and two teachers from the junior high program.
Next year, the team will expand to include two students - the mayor of the elementary program's MicroSociety and a Nellie McClung representative. They will be joined by the two parent co-chairs of the school council, one representing the elementary program and the other representing the junior high program.
As Oliver's teachers provide leadership for the instructional focus work, the support and custodial staff play an integral role in supporting the instruction that is taking place. "We believe that the physical environment is crucial and helps us to model high expectations," says Linden. "Our school is inviting, orderly and spotless, and this helps everyone to think and act respectfully and responsibly from the moment we walk in the doors."
At Oliver, the crucial work of teaching and learning is always at the forefront. "When we look at the operation of the school, we always focus on the most important work and that is the work of the students," says Linden. The students at Oliver School are using their higher order thinking to bring the curriculum to life, and are learning the skills they need to improve their achievement and prepare for lifelong success.
Watch for future stories on the instructional focus work that is taking place in other schools across the district.
BLUE PRINTS for supporting teaching and learning (epsb)
Many thank to Caron Court, Librarian at the Journal whose knowledge and patience have been great! John Tidridge
One school's budget dilemma; THE CLASSROOM; THE SCHOOL; THE CUTS
The Edmonton Journal
Thu Feb 3 1994
MARILYN MOYSA Journal Education Writer
The class of Grade 4 to 6 slow learners will be integrated into regular classes. In turn, the pupil-teacher ratio will increase in those classes by about four students. Instead of 21 to 25 students per class, there will be 25 to 29 students.
There will be less individual attention.
Instruction in French as a second language may be wiped out in Grade 4.
Today, Mount Royal Elementary School has:
134 students in kindergarten - Grade 6.
A segregated class for behaviorally disordered students and a segregated class for slow learners.
Eight full-time teachers.
Two full-time teacher's aids and two part-time teacher's aids.
A 1993-94 operating budget of $656,135.
The Klein government's cuts means the school has to slash $68,000 from its budget starting September 1, leaving a balance of $565.12
To do this, the principal is proposing: Saving $57,000 in salary and benefits by eliminating one full-time teacher and one full-time teacher's aid. Saving $11,000 by getting rid of another part-time teacher's aid. Softening that blow by cutting French as a second language in Grade 4, saving $6,000.
Mount Royal elementary school principal Ilene Larson rolls her eyes when asked if the provincial government's education cuts are going to hurt students in the classroom. Starting next September, cuts will create higher pupil-teacher ratios and leave teachers at her school with less time for children with learning difficulties, Larson says. "It's going to be difficult to give all the children the support they need so they can be successful in their academic studies."
The busy principal calculates she'll have to hack $68,000 out of her school's $634,000 budget for 1994-95 to help Edmonton's public school board absorb a 12.4 per cent drop in provincial funding Sept. 1.
Each of the board's 200 principals was told last week they must find ways to cut their budgets by nine per cent in 1994-95. At the same time they face an increase of 2.5 per cent in staff benefit payments and other fixed costs.
"It's going to have a direct effect," Larson said Wednesday. "Because we're so small and there aren't many places to look (for money), it will mean the loss of a full-time teacher."
The school's half-day kindergarten teacher is also going to have her hours cut in half because of a 50 per cent reduction in provincial funding.
Two teacher's aides - one full-time and one part-time - also face the axe.
Premier Ralph Klein has repeatedly promised cuts won't affect children in the classroom. But the aides work in both regular classrooms and special-education classrooms to give kids the extra help they need, said Larson. One of the special-education classes is for students with behavior disorders and the other is for students who have learning problems.
Alberta Education has a new policy that encourages integrating children with special needs into regular classrooms.
But Edmonton public schools still let parents send these children to segregated classes at certain schools. Mount Royal is one of those schools, said Larson. But budget restraints mean she'll probably have to eliminate the special Grade 4-6 class for children with learning problems.
"I don't have another choice," she said, stressing school trustees must still approve her proposals for saving money.
The children would be put into regular classrooms. That would increase the pupil-teacher ratio in Grades 4-6 by about four students in each grade, said Larson. They now average about 24 students.
"It's going to make it a real challenge for us to meet the needs of not just the special-needs students, but the needs of all students in all classrooms."
The problem is that there will be fewer aides to call on for backup.
But Larson is asking parents if they'd agree to stop offering Grade 4 students French as a second language. The program currently costs $6,000. It would still be offered in Grades 5 and 6, said Larson.
"If we cut French in Grade 4, that would pay for another half-time teacher's aide." So far, parents have been positive about efforts to try to ease the effect of the cuts, said Larson. "We have a very strong parent advisory committee and we've talked about how to use volunteers more effectively."
But volunteers can't replace highly-trained teacher aides and teachers, she said. The teacher who faces losing her job at Mount Royal next September has 10 years experience and is trained to deal with children with special learning problems, said Larson.
"She has been a really valuable part of my staff and I hate to let her go."
She may end up working in another Edmonton public school, depending on how many teachers are declared surplus in other schools and their seniority.
The effects of the cutbacks on classrooms may be reduced if teachers, custodians and support staff agree to a five per cent salary roll back, said board spokesman Rick Preston. That money will be directed back to schools if the board negotiates lower wages during contract talks next year, he said.
The Edmonton Journal
Sun Jun 15 1997
FIONA McNAIR, Journal Staff Writer
Troy Runzer doesn't like gambling, but says banning it would be wrong.
But the father of two is drawing the line at using gambling to raise funds for his daughter's cash-strapped elementary school.
"What will be next -- strip-a-thons? Gambling is an irresponsible way to fund schools. It teaches our kids that morality is flexible and it is all right to benefit out of other people's misery."
As chair of the parents' council for Mount Royal elementary school in north Edmonton, Runzer recently circulated a letter asking parents to reconsider plans for an October casino fund-raiser.
As an education student at the University of Alberta, he's worked in several local schools as a student-teacher. Runzer said provincial education cuts have been too deep and schools are now forced to fund-raise to simply maintain their standards.
"The only reason parents have stopped screaming about this is because they think it has become hopeless." In recent years, two casinos have netted the school more than $57,000. The money was spent on a new playground to meet provincial safety standards, computers and reading and learning resources for the school. In 1995, the province moved to a new funding system and implemented school-based management. The province now provides a lump sum of $3,700 per student to provide the basics.
Principals, in co-operation with their local school board, priorize [sic]the community's needs to determine what they can afford, says Education Minister Gary Mar.
He said education grants are adequate and parents have always participated in fund-raising for the ``extras.'' "The number of people with addiction problems is relatively small and I don't want to engage in a debate about the morality of it.:
Parents shouldn't restrict the choice of fund-raising venues because some people don't like it, Mar said. But George Tkachyk, principal of Mount Royal, says the education minister is wrong and the fund-raising dollars are not for frills like field trips. He also questions what lessons the children are learning by getting new resources bought with gambling proceeds.
Bauni MacKay, spokesperson for the Alberta Teachers' Association says she fields more complaints from parents every year. "Parents have always fund-raised, but the biggest change is that the money used to be for extras and now it is for basic programs and materials."
Basic Instruction rate, elementary and Junior high.
Senior high per credit
English as a second language
Home Education, per student and sharing of other costs.
$105.31 - $106.17
Wed Jun 18 1997 Journal Staff
Police say an eight-year-old boy did all the right things after he was assaulted on his way to school Tuesday.
The Grade 3 student at Mount Royal Elementary School was walking to school when an intoxicated man grabbed his arm and demanded his name and address.
Police spokesperson Kelly Gordon said the child did not know his attacker. The child managed to struggle free, run to school and tell his principal, George Tkachyk.
Meanwhile firefighters from fire hall No. 7 who witnessed the incident at 113th Avenue and 51st Street, grabbed the suspect. They held him until police arrived.
The student is safe and unharmed, but the incident prompted Tkachyk to send a memo to parents advising that students walk to and from school in groups, with older siblings or parents.
Herman Peter Thorn, 28, was charged with assault.
At Oliver school, every student has a job and everyone pays taxes. You can start your own business or work in the public sector. If you don't show up for work, you lose a day's wages. If you break the law, you end up in court.
It's all part of MicroSociety, a U.S. school reform movement that gives elementary students a taste of the real world for a few hours a week. Oliver was the first Canadian school to try it. Mount Royal will be the second, starting Feb. 10.
We asked some of Oliver's citizens to talk about their work and advise their counterparts at Mount Royal.
Receiver-general Julia Nguyen, 10, earns $88 a week in Moose Moolah, the currency of Oliver. She ensures everyone pays $15 a week in income taxes, as well as business taxes.
Q: What advice do you have for Mount Royal's receiver general?
A: "They have to be good at math, have good writing skills, and have a good memory."
Q: What's the hardest part of your job?
A: "Telling people how much they owe, because sometimes they owe a lot and they freak out."
Q: What's the best part?
A: "Knowing how much money everyone owes." Bank manager Mallory Bard, 11, gets $110 a week to keep track of the money flow. She takes attendance and docks absent citizens a day's pay.
Q: What advice do you have for Mount Royal's bank manager?
A: "Learn how to do math. Know what you're doing. And try not to make mistakes."
Q: What kinds of mistakes?
A: "You can put the service charge as the wrong amount of money . . .. You can fill out a ledger wrong. You can deposit wrong and count wrong."
Q: What do you like best about your job?
A: "Handling the money".
Chief Justice Gloria Alamrew, 10, resolves disputes and oversees Oliver's charter of rights and responsibilities. She earns $125 a week.
Q: What do you do?
A: "I write laws and enforce the laws, and I solve problems that anybody needs solving."
Q: What advice could you offer Mount Royal's chief justice?
A: "I'd say just be able to write very well and be able to read well and don't be too mean."
Q: What's the hardest thing?
A: "The hardest thing would probably be if they're all coming up to me for one little thing they could solve between themselves."
Celeste Moir, 8, is deputy mayor. This is her second term as the MicroSociety's second highest elected official, for which she is paid $85 a week.
Q: What does a deputy mayor do?
A: "You have to help solve problems and you have to make laws to make problems happen less. Sometimes in the year, you have to change the law a little bit because the law isn't working."
Q: What's the hardest thing about your job?
A: "Sometimes you have to make people be sweepers. I don't like to do that, but sometimes you have to."
Q: What advice do you have for your counterpart at Mount Royal?
A: "You should try and make it so the people are free to do things but are still kept from doing stuff they're not supposed to do."
Kristina Correa, 8, works in a crafts shop called Art Galore X 4. She makes animals out of construction paper and sells them. She's paid the minimum wage, $40 a week.
Q: What's your job?
A: "I work in the animal department. You get two pieces of paper and you staple them together and you make different kinds of shapes, and you sell them".
Q: What do you like about your job?
A: "When you get paid. And when you get to go out in the marketplace on your day off and buy stuff. I like working as well".
Q: What's the hardest part?
A: "The stapling part is hard. Sometimes you run out of staples or something. It's better to have lots of staples in your stapler".
Jonathon Savard, 7, works at Dinomania, a shop that makes and sells dinosaur-related objects like dioramas and joke books. He earns $40 a week.
Q: What do you like best about your job?
A: "like making stuff and getting my money".
Q: What's the hardest part?
A: "Bending the metal pins".
Q: What advice do you have for Mount Royal?
A: "I think they should do Dinomania, because it's very fun".
Jessica Peretic, 5, works in the post office, based in the kindergarten class. She gets $40 a week to make stamps and sort and deliver the mail.
Q: What do you like best?
A: ``I like making stamps and making pretty pictures with stamps on it.''
Q: What's the hardest part?
A: "Selling them and making more money".
Q: What advice do you have for Mount Royal?
A: "They should remember not to put the stamps on the paper in the middle".
Prime Minister Andrea and her Nana (Tidridge)
While attending Mount Royal School part of the curriculum was the MicroSociety School, an American based program. It ran in the school for several years but gradually died out. Andrea ran for and was elected Prime Minister in about 1994.
The MicroSociety School
A MicroSociety school is a K-8 learning environment. The innovative concept was created in 1967 as one teacher's effort to restructure his classroom into an academically challenging and interactive place to motivate students to want to learn and succeed. Dr. George Richmond, then a rookie teacher in New York City, introduced the idea of creating a functioning miniature society into his classroom as a tool to bring relevance to leaning and to teach individual responsibility. He discovered that even the most disadvantaged children realized their potential to succeed when school was made relevant to their daily lives.
A MicroSociety school puts learning theory into practice throughout the school and school day. Incorporating real-world experiences into basic curriculum helps students apply what they learn in the classroom to real life and helps teachers and principals transcend the"stand and deliver" daily routine. By making learning relevant, kids not only want to be in school, they want to succeed.
What Is a MicroSociety School?
The MicroSociety School is an innovative design where children create a microcosm of the real world inside the school. Each student has a role in running that world. Young entrepreneurs produce goods and services, elected officials establish laws, CrimeStoppers keep the peace, judges arbitrate disputes, and reporters track down stories. All citizens earn wages in the school's "Micro" currency, invest in product ideas, deposit and borrow money from "Micro" banks, and pay taxes, tuition and rent. Classroom connections are made throughout the day.
How Does the Program Work?
The MicroSociety program has been implemented in kindergarten through 8th grade, from every geographic and socioeconomic community. Typically, students K-8 attend regular academic classes and apply what they learn "on the job" for one hour a day during Micro Time. MicroSociety schools integrate these real-world concepts and skills into curriculum and instruction throughout the day.
"Why Do I Need to Know This?"
It's a question students ask every day. Many children see little connection between their school work and the outside world. And for many students, good grades just don't offer sufficient incentive to succeed.
In the MicroSociety program, rewards are immediate and tangible. Mastery of basic skills becomes necessary to excel as a lawyer, banker, legislator, or entrepreneur. Social and financial rewards transform students from passive learners to active participants in their own development. Self-esteem improves with a new sense of accomplishment.
Reading and Writing to Succeed
Modern economy depends on a literate work force, as well as literate consumers. The MicroSociety program provides a context that makes reading functional and fun. In the courtroom, marketplace and newsroom, reading, writing, and communication skills spell the difference between success and failure. With MICROSOCIETY's reading program, The Reading Industry, students create an entire industry of literacy-related businesses and services.
Math As a Survival Skill
Hundreds of transactions occur during "Micro" time each day. Math and basic economics are elevated to survival skills. Students recognize that financial literacy skills are necessary to buy and sell, create budgets, maintain a checkbook, and calculate taxes. They need geometry to measure floor plans or design jewelry. They apply algebra and statistics to create financial reports and spreadsheets.
Living Social Studies
The MicroSociety program turns social studies into a living lesson in citizenship and government. Students forge a social contract during a Constitutional Convention. They learn how government works in legislature and debate social issues in town meetings. Coached by teachers, children learn to resolve conflicts, negotiate, persuade, and defend their actions in court.
Science In Action
Science lessons come to life when students design new storefronts, when entrepreneurs use technology to invent or manufacture products for the marketplace. "Micro" government researchers apply principles of ecology to promote recycling campaigns and design gardens.
New $1B funding means updates for aging schools: Leaking roofs, erratic heating among failings in some city schools
Thu Jun 8 2000
Patti Edgar, Journal Staff Writer
Mount Royal elementary school shows its 49 years: hallway walls are cracked, some paint is peeled, loose windows are covered with plastic.
But the sag in the roof is what most worries head custodian Pradeep Singh. "When it rains the water just sits here and then it goes into the rooms," he said, scanning the roof.
Mount Royal is one of five public and three Catholic schools that city boards hope will be renovated in the next three years now that Alberta Infrastructure has earmarked more than $1 billion for school construction. At Mount Royal, overloaded sewage pipes sometimes flood the school during rainstorms. The old boiler gives uneven heat on Monday mornings
"We don't let kids wear hats and coats in class, but there will be Mondays where we look away," said assistant principal Bill Wright. "Our gym is so cold some days in the winter that we don't put kids in it. If the school is approved for construction, students will likely change schools for a few weeks or months during renovations", he said.
Mount Royal Super Stars...by John Tidridge
Are we heroes, will we be on the front page? Questions, questions, questions...while the answers may not live up to the expectations of the children, at least they gave of their best.
Where did they give of their best? At the recently held Edmonton Journal School Games, that's where!
All of the young people pictured took part in the Games after qualifying through events run at the school. Although they did not win the BIG prize...they all gave of their best.
If you check the photograph you will find in the front row, from left to right: Andrew Barbe, Lexus King, Joel Whitford. In the rear row, from left to right: Forist Ewanciw, Beverley Porter, Rhiannon Mulek, Taylor Hall, Jade Dye.
I interviewed Lexus King and Taylor Hall, and they both felt it was a worthwhile endeavor, they did not win the ultimate prize but they found the experience of competing rewarding...Lexus was particularly pleased because she had to overcome an asthmatic condition. Taylor was not satisfied with his finishes in the relay and 800 m races but he gave of his best.
This event obviously involved teachers ... Mr. Glenn Newby (who rounded up the children for the interviews and pictures) and Mr. Colin Woelftey. Mr. Woelftey was sure there were many benefits for the children: the fun of competition; having to meet goals, making new friends, plus the advantage of some physical activity.
All in all a time well spent.
Well done Mount Royal!!
Printed earlier in the Highlands and Bellevue Newsletter. Permission for the photograph had been given to the school.
1946 was, I think, my last full year in school, so re-entering a classroom as a one-morning a week helper was in 2003, was quite an eye opener!
Oh, I had heard all the stories about teachers being under stress (I have several friends and family members who are or who have been teachers and administrators), how tough the job was, and so on and so on!! I also have a fair idea of the salaries and PD Days and long vacations. So what's their beef?
First, I have yet to hear any of the teachers, and I make contact with four (over a third of the teaching population) during my short stint in the school, beef. From what I can see they don't even have time for a coffee (or the donut!!). I have come to the conclusion that teachers are the losers when it comes to negotiation rhetoric!!
What I have learned, though, is that teaching is tough. (Please don't say if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen) Every class that I am associated with has a child who is at a (very) different level of learning than the rest of the class. Every class has a child who has learning difficulty that may or may not be controlled through medicine.
The discipline style is so different. While my memory is not what it was, I don't seem to remember any teachers who negotiated with their children to get things done. I watched and listened from a respectable distance as I heard first a teacher, and then the principal, negotiate with a child trying to get her to remove a purse with a long string-like handle from around her neck. I am sure my teachers would not have had the patience or the inclination to deal with the matter this way. This was the same child that the teacher described as having a problem, but they were not sure what is was, yet.
Teaching styles are different too. I was sitting-in on a class. We had finished a project and the teacher gave certain instructions and the children began to wander around the room. I watched in amazement as those children required to carry out tasks, carried them out, quietly, and efficiently. I was even more amazed when the teacher began to read, and the children seemed to be listening. The class ended with everyone sat down and just in time for the end of the story!!
As I recall how worn-out I am from my two and one half hour stint, with three or four students, no homework to mark or prep, or ... I wonder how a person does it all day, five days a week. And... still come back the next Monday, and the next and the next!!
I have always had a healthy respect for my teachers... and my respect now goes to the teachers and assistants that I have come into contact with, this time around, in furthering my education.
Ms. Elaine Ford principal of Mount Royal School, and a strong supporter of children being involved in community affairs, causally suggested I might like to 'do' an article on the activities of some of the children at the school. Piece of cake I thought, as I said yes. I thought I would ask a few questions and... But any way, on with the story!!
I have often questioned the partiality of stories one reads in local and national newspapers. That's slanted I would think, that way or that way...that's not really a true picture of what really happened or what the people actually said. I'd never give a 'slanted' story...
So like Sir Lancelot, I entered the fray with an open mind, not a slanted thought anywhere. NOT!! But, I did try! Honest! But the story is not about me... really! I spoke with seven young people, six of them lads. It worked out at three groups of two and one single... working at a school has done wonders for my math!!
The questions were not directly related to the charities involved... UNICEF, Stollery Children's Hospital, the Edmonton Humane Society or Santa's Anonymous, but to how and why the children became involved. There were certainly no financial perks or benefits. The children all related in various ways that they became involved because it seemed to be the correct thing to do after they had had time to assimilate the material given them. Some of the young people were group leaders or co-captains. Between them they had given up recesses and dinner breaks. Fund raising was a necessity.
Now here is my bias, as one who tries to live the Christian lifestyle and is concerned about the sometimes negative reports on the Christian church, I wondered how many of the children I had spoken to attended church... 85%!! In addition to this, several of the children had participated in family discussions related to helping others!
Please don't read into this that only church goers do good!!
I was duly impressed with the children, their responses and their sense of wanting to help others. All is not lost!!
ID #11845 WILL BE LEAVING THE SCHOOL...SOON (and will have by the time you read this) by John Tidridge
Ms. Judy McKINNON, Administrative Assistant, as the sign on her desk reads, will be retiring as the school year ends at Mount Royal, after 36 years of service. Those that know Judy would say... "That when all around us seems to be...", Ms. McKINNON remains calm and in control.
The only time I have seen a re-action (and I have known her for at least 6 years), is when I told her Cary Grant never did say, "Judy, Judy, Judy"!
I buttoned-holed Judy at her desk on Friday June 5, 2009: she was surrounded by her 'tools of the trade' and stacks of papers. I learned she was born in the early forties (I have the exact date but may need that at some time for leverage!). Schools attended were: Ritchie, Prince Charles, Sherbrooke and Ross Sheppard. Finishing school she began working for the City of Edmonton, Planning Department (Judy, Judy, Judy, why didn't you stay!). Her career with the Edmonton Public School Board on March 7, 1972 as a Teacher Aide: Judy explained that Teacher's Aide were more like 'clerical assistants' in those days, helping with typing and filing.
Ms. McKINNON moved up through the ranks as it were: Her first School was Northmount/Balwin. In January 8, 1973 as a School Secretary (temp) at Belvedere, February 7, 1973, same position at Beacon Heights, February 28, 1973, Parkdale, and on May 16, 1973 a permanent secretary at Mount Royal. From August 20, 1973 until August 17, 1998 Judy had 'other related duties' to perform such as Library and Teacher's Aide, along with the secretary's task. From August 30, 1982 until June 2004, she was 'just' a secretary! On July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2009 she has been Administrative Assistant.
Asked about changes, Judy thought there was a more positive way to discipline children now called positive reinforcement. She was pleased that there was less of a stigma attached to being 'sent to the office' and now children will drop in to show off their latest project. Judy said she had nothing but positive memories of her 36 years, both with the children and the staff.
Judy gets a kick out of former students dropping in and telling of their experiences and successes. It was particularly rewarding the note the Marcel Evaristo, who recently was honoured for 'teaching excellence', was a student at Mount Royal from Kindergarten through to grade 6.
Judy has two daughters and a son, (Shelly, Karry and Jason)... and nine grandchildren. While she has no definite travel plans ... an Alaskan cruise is at the back of her mind. She plans to ease into retirement and to help do this she will remain as 'supply staff', filling in where needed.
Go for it Judy and Ciao!
Care to comment?