Monday, 17 December 2012

As we approach our winter break, I would like to extend warm holiday wishes to all of our MidSun Community.  We have so much to be proud of.  Our students are doing a great job in school.  Our completion room has been full these past weeks as students elect to attend after school and get their work done.  Our Centennial High School tutoring program has had record numbers.  Student achievement is up.  We are anxious to get the results from our Tell Them From Me survey that students completed this week.  Their voice is an important part of setting the direction for school improvement.  We have hired a new educational assistant, Karen Johansen, who is working to help us improve literacy by providing a program called Precision Reading to struggling readers at MidSun.  She has already begun to work with students on this daily reading initiative that aims to increase reading fluency and comprehension.

Our fall sports have all done very well and our students have been actively participating in clubs like debate, catering, art and badminton.  Chess club starts in January. Our intramural program has been a real success with many students storming the gym over the noon hour to play games like bump, badminton, or dodge ball.  This week has been particularly fun with such leadership events like “Wrap the elf” and gingerbread house decorating.  One of the most rewarding aspects of school life heading up to our holiday is the generosity that our community showed during our Adopt-A-Family program.  Three families will have a wonderful Christmas with gifts and a complete turkey dinner thanks to all of you.  Way to go, MidSun!

Parents we need your support. School does not begin until 8:55 AM and we would ask that students are not in the building until at least 8:30 AM as our teachers are often not even here yet.  They are arranging for their own child care!  The same goes in the evenings when we ask that students are out of the building by 4 PM unless they are in a supervised activity.  Please arrange to pick your child up promptly after their scheduled event is finished.  Completion room is over at 4:30 daily.  Thank you for your help.

The New Year will bring a few staff changes as Ms. Theroux, will be going on a leave and will be replaced by Mr. Gordon and Ms. Duthie will be moving to Janet Johnstone School and Ms. Semos will return.   We hope to see you out at Parent, Student, Teacher conferences this Thursday and Friday. If we don’t see you have a very merry Christmas and all the best for a wonderful New Year!

Warm Regards,
Veronica Saretsky
Principal, MidSun School  

Senior teams battle it out at Centennial High School's feeder tournament this weekend

Both our Senior Boy's and Senior Girl's basketball teams worked hard on the court this past weekend in Centennial High School's annual feeder school tournament. There was lots of high paced action.  Our students played well and represented MidSun School proudly.  It was a great way to get ready for regular season play.  Keep up the good work Lakers!

Debate Tournament

On Thursday Dec. 13th, MidSun hosted a Debate Tournament that saw 100 students from 10 different schools engage in a tournament of wits, cunning, and knowledge. 
The resolution that was being debated was:
“Be it resolved that pharmaceutical companies should hold patents on medical discoveries”.  MidSun had three teams enter and they were great ambassadors for the school.  Our very own, Brad H, received 2nd place for best speaker in the open category.  Great job to everyone involved!

Mr. Howie

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Google Apps for Education.

Innovation and Learning Technology will be launching the integration of Google Apps for Education.  The intent is to start assigning Gmail accounts to some year round students by the third week of September 2012. Our school has decided to be one of the early adopters of this new service.  Once all required technical and operational support elements have been tested and verified, Gmail accounts will be systematically deployed to all remaining schools using a phased approach.  The Innovation and Learning Technology website will also keep up to date information about the Google Apps and Gmail launch.  You can visit for more information.

Your child’s privacy is important to us. We would like you to know that some personal information about your child is being sent to Google Education. This includes their full name, what school they attend, and of course the CBE provided e-mail address.

Your child will be able to login to their Gmail accounts by using their current email and the SAME password.  For example: If their current email is, they will now use

Students will eventually have access to their files, calendars and collaborative tools to create documents, presentations and sites whenever they have access to the Internet - at any time, from most types of devices. It is important for parents to know that with cloud computing applications of any kind, that student data will not necessarily be housed in Canada. This means that data could be located on Google servers throughout the world, and subject to US legislation. Private information such as IPP's and other secure data will remain on CBE servers. Any other privacy concern you may have about Google can be found at:  Privacy and Security EDU Site

Having access to Google Apps for Education requires responsibility on the part of student, teacher, and parent.  Understanding the importance of Digital Citizenship and having these conversations with your child will help prepare him/her for safe and successful online collaborations.  For more information on Digital Citizenship, please visit

If you would like more information, please feel free to email me via email (


Kaushik Tailor
Learning Leader, Midsun School

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Parent/Teacher Interviews

We have the opportunity to try Conference Manager , an online booking system, for our upcoming parent student teacher conferences that are scheduled for Thursday December 20, 2012 from 2:00-4:30 and Friday December 21 from 9:00 AM – Noon. 
Teachers have been contacting parents of students that they believe need some extra support and booking appointments this week.

The site opens for booking by parents at 6:00AM on Monday Dec 17, 2012. Each time slot is 5 minutes.  If you would like a ten minute interview, please select two consecutive sessions.  You may add any comments to let the teacher know if you have a particular concern you would like to talk about. Be sure to put travel time between interviews.

We hope that this will allow our teachers to be prepared for your interviews and make the time more productive for everyone.  Please call our office at 403-777-6430 if you have any concerns.

MidSun School
Parent-Teacher Conferences- Dec 20 & 21, 2012

The link for the Conference Manager is:

Parent Account is required to use the Conference Manager. However, you only need to go through the registration process the first time you use the system. If you have never registered in the Conference Manager use the link above and click the “Register Now” button.

Can’t remember your password?
If you already have a Parent Account, click on the link above, select “Forgot your password” and enter the email address you used to register in the system. You will then receive an email containing instructions for resetting your password. If you do not receive an email, you might have entered an email address the system does not recognize. Please also add to your address book in your computer mail.  This will override any spam filters that might be blocking the email. If the problem persists, please contact the office and ask them to access your Parent Account, confirm your email address and reset your password.

Step 1 - Conference Manager Opens to Parents – 6:00 AM; Dec 17, 2012
If you used the Conference Manager in the past, your email and password are still in the system. You can simply access the Conference Manager using the link above.

Step 2 – Book your Parent-Teacher interviews
Select the teachers with whom you want to book interviews. You will see each teacher’s schedule. Select one session for a 5 minute interview or two consecutive sessions for a ten minute interview. Be sure to leave travel time in between your interviews. After booking your appointments you can print off your schedule. You will also receive an email confirming your bookings. You can log into the system at any time to view your bookings, print, cancel or re-schedule appointments.

If you do not have Internet access, you are welcome to contact the office and we will schedule your conferences on your behalf.

We recommend adding
to your address book

Important Dates: 
Dec 17 – Start scheduling your interviews at 6:00 AM
Dec 20 – 2:00 - 4:30 Parent Teacher Interviews
Dec 21, 9:00AM-Noon – Parent Teacher Interviews
If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact the school at 403-777-6430. Please let us know if you like this system! Special thanks to the School Council for purchasing the conference manager!

Midsun Band News and Performance

MidSun Band Christmas Concert
This evening, December 12, 2012 you have the opportunity to hear all three grades performing your favorite Christmas carols.  The presentation is at 7:00 with doors opening at 6:30.  The Salvation Army Brass Band will be performing from 6:30-7:00 as you find your seats.

Grade 9 Band performs at the Alberta Legislature.

The Grade 9 Band had a very successful trip up to Edmonton on December 7th and 8th.  Students gave up two days off of school to perform at the Alberta Legislature, Michael A. Kostak Elementary School, and at City Centre Mall, and had a workshop with Mr. Rob Speers at Harry Ainley High School as well.  Students also enjoyed some downtime bowling at West Edmonton Mall.  Our band students should be very proud of the way the performed throughout the trip, both musically and as mature citizens representing our school!

Scott Campbell Band Teacher/Director

Monday, 10 December 2012

More Pre Holiday Fun Events

Get your items into your TA Teacher: items, gift cards, money, etc. Leadership will be around to collect the items on Friday December 14th.  Contact Mrs. Amirault in the Phys. Ed Office with any questions.

Get your pennies into your TA Teacher. Help provide clean water to the children of the world. Leadership will be around to collect the items on Friday December 14th.

In the ATRIUM at lunch. Buy a raffle ticket for $1.00 or 5 tickets for $3.00 to win 2 tickets to the HITMAN Game on Saturday December 15th.
Tickets are on Sale from Monday December 10th to Thursday December 13th. Draw will be announced on announcements on Friday Morning. Supporting Adopt a Family!

Buy a Candy cane for a friend for $1. Lots of flavors to choose from. Fuzzy Peach, Sour, Raspberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Buttersctoch, and traditional peppermint. Send some holiday cheer to your classmates.  Sales will be happening at lunch starting on Dec 10 through to the 18th of December. Delivery days will be December 12th, December 14th and December 19th.

Cream Soda and Vanilla Ice Cream in a Red SOLO CUP!  With a straw and spoon too! YUMMY! YUMMY! YUMMY! Pick your Frosty Float up from room Tuesday December 18th at lunch. $4 for a frosty float! Tickets on sale in the atrium at lunch with the Candy Grams!

Upcoming Fun Events

Coming Events


Gr 7 Gingerbread Challenge - Monday Dec 10th in the Atrium at Lunch
Gr 7 Window Decorating Challenge - To be completed by Friday Dec 14
Gr 8 Minute to Winit! - Dec 10-14th in the Gold Pod hallway at lunch.  Sign up and come have fun!
Gr 8 Student Appreciation! - Dec 20


WHEN: Monday December 17th in the gym at lunch
Wrappers: 3-4 students from your TA and a present student.
3-4 members of your TA must arrive in the gym to wrap one of their classmates as a present. You will be provided with a roll of paper, a couple of bows,, have access to ribbon and tape.

The most creatively wrapped student present will earn the top points.
You can bring your own supplies if you wish. Be creative!

WHEN: Wednesday December 19th
Come dressed as a tree, elf, Santa, dawn your favourite Christmas sweater, make it look like the Season is upon you! Literally! or dress in another cultural holiday related to the holiday season.
10 Points for making an effort to be dressed in the holiday spirit
20 Points for going that extra mile!

WHEN: Wednesday December 19th

There has been an AVALANCHE at the NORTH POLE! The elves are trapped and we need a search and rescue team to find the elves.
5 members of your TA must compete in this challenge to recuse the elves and save Christmas!
The snow is creamy vanilla pudding, the elves are gummy bears….and watch out for the deer poop made of chocolate chips! Find the elves and clean up the mess at the North Pole before the other teams!
WHEN:  Wednesday December 19th at lunch
RESCUERS: 5 people from you TA
Come on out and support your rescuers! Yes this is like Worms in Dirt BUT BETTER!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Mid Sun Book Club is up and running. We have two clubs: a grade seven group (with 5 participants) and a group open to grade eight and nine students (6 participants). We meet monthly over the lunch hour to discuss the book we have just read. The next meeting is Wednesday, December 12. We welcome new members to come and share our love of great stories. Simply stop by the library for a permission slip.
So far the Grade 7 group has read This Dark Endeavour (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein) by Kenneth Oppel. The group (of 5 students) rated this novel 3.7 out of 5 stars and when asked who they would recommend the book to, they unanimously said the boys in Grade 7. It is a very imaginative, dark and sometimes scary book. Next week we’ll be discussing Ghost Messages by Calgary writer Jacqueline Guest. Called a 19th century Nancy Drew, the thirteen-year-old protagonist Ailish is a feisty Irish fortune teller. I cannot wait to hear what the students thought of this story.
 The Grade 8&9 group first read Divergent, by Veronica Roth, one of the hot new titles in Young Adult fiction. The group rated it a 4.5 out of 5 stars and some students intend to read the second book of the trilogy. Set in futuristic Chicago, the population is divided into factions, groups of people with unique cultural values, religions and behaviors. There are five different factions in the city: We had a lively and surprising discussion about which faction the students identified with and why. On December 12 we’ll be discussing Maze Runner by James Dashner, another dystopian science fiction. It will be interesting to hear how it compares to Divergent.

submitted by Sue LeBreton, parent volunteer.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Tell Them From Me Survey

From December 10th to December 17th , an online school survey for students called Tell Them From Me (TTFM) will allow every student in Midsun to give their input into school improvement initiatives in an anonymous way.  Each student will be given a random username and password ensuring their anonymity. The survey will take place during Living Skills classes, and every student in the CBE will be participating. A second part to this survey will take place towards the end of the year. It will be used to monitor any changes. The intent of the data is to address any critical concerns (i.e if 90% of students indicate they are bullied, etc). In a nut shell, it is similar to the Student Accountability Pillar Survey but is made available to all students (instead of only Grade 7) and has two parts (as opposed to one).

This survey tool has been implemented in over 45 school jurisdictions across Alberta over the past two years.  If you would like more information about this survey please visit the Alberta Education website.  

The student survey will be completed online and will require approximately 30 minutes to complete. TTFM measures topics such as social/emotional outcomes (e.g. student engagement, emotional health), physical health outcomes (e.g. physical fitness), and drivers of student outcomes (e.g. quality instruction, classroom context). The survey also allows students to give their thoughts and feedback in an open-ended question response.  Bill and I have created a time table for the Living Skills teachers and have blocked off Room 7, 10, and the Library during the time frame.

TTFM was created by The Learning Bar, based on the work by co-founder Dr. J. Douglas Willms. Dr. Willms is recognized internationally for his work on the development of educational monitoring systems, including the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Since 2004, Tell Them From Me has quickly grown to become Canada’s largest national school survey.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me via email ( Alternatively, if there is enough interest, I can create a workshop/committee one afterschool to provide more information and discuss this in further detail.


Mr. Tailor