Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Taking Zoo School Action at St Joan of Arc School

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St. Joan of Arc school has been busy planting native flowers this spring!  Three Grade 2 classes who attended Zoo School during the winter months and have been putting their horticultural knowledge to good use.  Each class planted native flowers, such Gallarida and other pollinator friendly species.  They will be tending to their flowers over the next few months and in June, each student will take their flowers home to plant them in their yards.  What a fantastic way to spread knowledge and awareness to the local community!   Nice work St. Joan of Arc Grade 2’s!  Thank you for doing your part to sustain wildlife in wild places.  

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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Executive Sponsors and Advisors

Advisor Meeting with Executive Sponsors on May 8, 2017:
Sanghamitra Dhar McKenty (CBE), Allison Shulz (Calgary Foundation),
Jennifer Meredith (CBE), Andrea Holowka (CCSD), Frank McClernon
(CCSD), Ita Kistorma (CCSD), Bill Dickson (Community), Donna
Livingstone (Glenbow Museum), Jeannie Everett (CBE), Judy Archer
(Community), Chris Lough (Community), Leanne Courchesne
(Cenovus), Travis Robertson (CBE), Graham Thomson (Community),
Trish Savill (Community), absent Lorelei Piotto (Chevron)
Such a wonderful opportunity to have our Executive Sponsors and our Advisors altogether discussing our CC/OM year and how best to move forward together.  Knowing the importance of giving students opportunities to learn beyond the traditional four walls of the classroom, we aspire to advance what is possible for students within innovative teaching and learning environments, to ensure success for each learner in a vibrant and connected community.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Cell-E-brating Cell Phone Recycling

McKenzie Towne School and DouglasdaleSchool together collected 144 old cell phones and other small electronics in the weeks before McKenzie Town School visited Zoo School. On their final day the class visited the TransAlta Rainforest to drop them off. The students took turns putting the old phones in to the recycling box and then sat observing the gorilla troop; the species that benefits most from cell phone recycling.



Every class taking part in Zoo School is encouraged to take an action or actions to help wildlife conservation before, during or after their Zoo School week.

Thank you to McKenzie Town School and Douglasdale School for their superb effort in supporting wildlife conservation!

How does recycling cell phones help gorillas?
A mineral called coltan is used to coat the electronic components that are part of every cell phone. Coltan is mined in areas where gorillas live. By recycling your phone, you are helping to reduce the amount of coltan mined, which can lead to preserving natural gorilla habitat. By keeping cell phones out of the landfill you will also prevent toxic chemicals from leaching into landfills and groundwater.
All money raised from recycled phones are directed to the Calgary Zoo’s conservation research projects.
Steps you can take:
·         Collect as many old, unused cell phones as you can
·         Bring them down to the Calgary Zoo on your next visit.  Phones may be dropped off at Guest Relations as you enter the zoo, in the TransAlta Rainforest building or at Zoo Security

Blog Entry submitted by: Dawn Hardy, Zoo School Ambassador

Thursday, 23 March 2017

CC/OM's "Cousins" Worldwide

Campus Calgary / Open Minds is part of the Beyond the Classroom Network.

Did you know that there are classrooms recognizable to our very own CC/OM classrooms in Kingston, London, Edmonton, Michigan, and elsewhere?

Open Minds, too, has classrooms in Fort McMurray and in St. John's.

When you're part of Campus Calgary / Open Minds you're part of a community that has evolved for nearly 25 years and is much bigger than most people imagine!

And it all began right here.

That first community embedded week was in 1993 at the Calgary Zoo.  It was a Grade 3 class that came to the Zoo every day for a week. Dr. Gillian Kydd, a science consultant with the Calgary Board of Education worked with the classroom teacher, Angela Rokne, to bring together the key elements that have since become the essence of the program.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

It all began with an idea!

It all began with an idea, Cathie MacDonell and her Grade 10 students from Henry Wise Wood wanted to investigate the idea of homelessness prior to their work at 2School. Support would be offered by various groups.  

Students worked with the Mustard Seed, Calgary Urban Project (CUPS), Drop-In & Rehab Centre and St. Stephen’s Anglican Church.  While working in smaller groups with these organizations students began to discuss the complexities of homelessness. They investigated their initial understanding of what it means to be homeless and realized that they had a fairly biased view on this issue. Through their investigation with these various agencies in Calgary, students gained a better understanding on the concept of what it means to be homeless.  

They also worked with senior leadership at the Calgary Board of Education to gain a understanding in how various agencies work together to solve this issue. Once students collected the required data focusing on reflective personal responses they worked with Nureva Inc. to bring together a collaboration of their experience.   

Working collaboratively with Nureva students brought their Campus Calgary 2School experience alive.  This video elaborates this very unique and positive experience.


This blog entry was submitted by Trish Hubbard, Campus Calgary 2School Coordinator.  To apply to 2School or any Campus Calgary/Open Minds site, click here.  Our deadline for 2017/2018 applications is April 11th, 2017.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Parents are Our Learning Partners!

 Parents are Our Learning Partners!
-a CC/OM week 

“There is such an impact on understanding and relationships when parents are learning partners alongside their children. Truly great learning takes place in the discussions and reflections about the experiences.”
 -CC/OM Team

Ways CC/OM parent volunteers make a difference!

Before the week:
  • Knowing the Big Idea/Question and the CC/OM site their child is attending, parents can visit our website to learn more about this innovative program!
  • Think about and introduce connections outside of school time. This leads to great conversations at home and school!
  • Support students in being safe and meeting their needs. Meeting the volunteer requirements at the school ensures that they are prepared and are well equipped to work with all students.
  • Remember their own needs as we work inside and outside at our sites. Parents need comfortable shoes, the right clothes (seasonal layers) and a hearty lunch and full water bottle as well. Phones and cameras are occasionally useful in a learning context; parents can confirm with their child’s teacher to see how they are being used for this week.

During the week:
  • Sketch and write in journals alongside the students. Parent engagement in the work is a powerful message to students.
  • Lead small groups with questions that promote inquiry (ie. What do you think, I wonder about, Is that the same as, Remember that expert who mentioned….)
  • Listen for the connections to the Big Idea/inquiry question and help students to discover their own.
  • Notice student work and ideas with comments that encourage further exploration (ie. I see that you, I notice, I wonder, I had not thought of that,Why are you considering that, You have made me think of, I see how you added lines to…)
  • Support students asking questions of our experts and ask their own questions to expand the learning connections.  Model great thank yous!
  • Enjoy the time with their child and the class. CC/OM connects the curriculum with the community and provides rich and valuable learning that can be drawn upon throughout the school year and beyond.

After the week:
  • Parents complete the CC/OM evaluations as provided by the teacher, to provide feedback that guides our planning
CC/OM is grateful to its partners and funders and volunteers – thank you!

Visit the CC/OM website above for more information.
CC/OM Vision: Each student experiences personalized learning within
a connected community.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Calling all 2016/2017 participating teachers!

Campus Calgary/Open Minds
Workshop for 2016/2017 Participating Teachers

Now what?
Keeping the CC/OM journey alive throughout the year…

Date: Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Time: 4:30-7:00 (doors open at 4:00)
Place: St. Pius X School - 2312 - 18 Street NW
Light dinner will be provided.

Open to all teachers participating in Campus Calgary/Open Minds
2016-17 school year.

Part A:  Come hear from your colleagues as they share their school journeys with CC/OM. How have they kept the inquiry alive? How do journals support the inquiry?  The big idea has to live everywhere…how does this happen?  Different grades and sites will be represented in this sharing session.

Part B:  All participants are asked to bring an artifact/piece of student work that demonstrates where you are in the journey. Things to consider include:
How have you honoured student voice?
How is the inquiry coming alive?
Where are connections being made and growing?
If you were telling someone about CC/OM, what would be one of the first things you would share about your experience?

Space is limited. Please RSVP by March 3rd to secure your space.

Please contact
Travis Robertson   403-817-7583
Jenn Meredith 403-817-7510
Ita Kistorma  403-651-8500

with any questions.