Friday, 16 December 2016

Happiest of Holidays

As the holiday season begins, we celebrate with you, our connected community.  Our Campus Calgary / Open Minds expresses so much gratitude to each of you for an incredible 2016!  This year, we celebrated with Calgary 100, 000 students in vibrant community settings.  Now, in our 24th year, we continue to celebrate the passion, the partnerships, and the support that makes this all possible!

Back: Graham Thomson, Genesis Centre; Trish Savill, Community; Sanghamitra Dhar McKenty, CBE; Lorelei Piotto, Chevron; Chris Lough, Community; Leanne Courchesne, Cenovus; Bill Dixon, Community; Travis Robertson, CBE; Jenn Meredith, CBE.
Front: Frank McClernon, CCSD; Ita Kistorma, CCSD.  Missing: Donna Livingstone, Glenbow Museum; Judy Archer, Community.
Thank you to all of our partners for all that you do!

Wishing you a joyful holiday season!  Looking very forward to new adventures in 2017 as we embark on the 2017/2018 school year ahead!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

ROCKstars in creating positive change!

How do we make a positive change?  In ourselves?  In our community?

Ms. English's class has been keen to find out throughout the week, and some of their findings may surprise you.

Investigations began at Ranchlands School and continued into Healthy Living School at Vivo funded by Cenovus.

Healthy Living School coordinator Sara collaborating with the Vivo team and Ms. English for an inspiring morning!
Turns out change involves good people, and lots of them: a community that can be inspired together.  It also turns out that change can be lots of fun!

A group learning about and modelling positive change can also inspire a lasting legacy.  That's exactly what happened at Vivo one morning this week as a class left a lasting mark together, as part of the week's shared experience.
Creating a legacy together!

Be sure to check out artists' work next time you're at Vivo!

Ranchlands students, members of the Vivo team, and a curious public watched to see a lasting change unfold right in the Vivo lobby.  And before the paint could dry, the class was off to experience how together challenges could be taken on.

A daunting climbing wall awaited.  At first, were there nerves and some uncertainty?  Sure.

Here again, the class learned about being better together. With safety at the centre, a recipe for success unfolds: listening to experienced experts, looking for opportunities to explore and encourage one another, starting small, learning from experience, and seeing what becomes possible.

All of a sudden the class is hooked!

"Look, Ms. English!"  Turns out, we have a climbing expert in our group!  A class cheers to see their teacher in a whole new light.

"I'm spider man!"  "I made it to yellow!"  "I didn't think I'd want to try it!"

It feels pretty great to make healthy decisions, to try new things, and to explore possibilities.  It's only lunch and it's not just the class that's inspired.

I feel awfully privileged to have been part of the morning.  I've now lost count of the Vivo folks who have stopped by to offer big smiles and to learn alongside a vibrant, curious crew.

No surprise here.  Vivo is a space for collaboration, for play, and for seeing what's possible.  Ranchlands is learning about positive change with a team of inspired and inspiring experts.

How do we make a positive, lasting, change?

Based on today's rock star crew: together.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Remarkable Photojournalism at Calgary Zoo

This blog entry has been submitted by Dawn Hardy and Andrea Beaty at the Calgary Zoo!  Do you have a story you would like to share? Let us know at:!

Lake Bonavista School’s grade 3/4 students took their learning to a whole new level when they became National Geographic photographers at Zoo School, here at the Calgary Zoo! 

Students were taught how to capture an animal’s life and story through photographs in the hopes that it would motivate and inspire people to care, and perhaps, take conservation action. Not only are these students experiencing how to be photojournalists, but they are also artists in the making. These grade 3/4 students are creating photo cards on zoo poo paper to sell within their community. This venture will raise conservation awareness and money which can be donated towards adopting an endangered animal. These are our wildlife conservation stars of 2016!

National Geographic photographers in action! The giraffes, hippos, red pandas, meerkats, gorillas and snow leopards were all photographed so their stories can be told. Back in the classroom after Zoo School the students have worked enthusiastically to produce a rough copy selecting only their very own photos to use to tell their story.

What they have produced is remarkable…see for yourself and remember these are the rough copies!

The finished copies of the stories will be created on the class computers, where the students are deciding every last detail to make it their own, which is what they are most proud of. Isabella was excited she got to “add in my information and my own photos”. Emma, when asked how she feels to share her story said “It makes me feel good, because I want to help so they (Snow Leopards) don’t become critically endangered”.

Xavian said that when he was at the Calgary Zoo, before he came to Zoo School, he would “run around looking at the animals” and now he “gives the animals more attention and stays and watches” This connection with their animal is spoken about through the classroom; Anneka says the Snow Leopard became her favourite animal “when I got to know them”. It is because of the connection the students made with their animals that they wanted to do something to help and so using their magnificent photos, they have created photo cards on zoo poo paper to sell in school. The goal is to raise enough money to be able to adopt a giraffe, hippo, gorilla, meerkat, red panda and snow leopard through WWF. Lake Bonavista Grade 3/4’s are determined they will reach this goal and raise more money to help Canadian animals too, like the whooping crane, black footed ferret and black tailed prairie dog.

Way to go Lake Bonavista!

After selling the photo cards for an evening at Teacher conferences the students have already raised a huge $330! This is enough money to adopt all 6 of their observation animals from Zoo School. Fantastic!

Budding National Geographic Photojournalist Gallery

Happy Holidays from Campus Calgary Open Minds Coordinators and Operations Team!

We've had a wonderful fall working with teachers, students, and experts at all of our CC/OM sites!
Thank you and looking forward to continuing this month and into the new year!

Back: Donna Kipta, Science School; Mary-Ann Quist, Democracy School; Carmen Paterson, The HUB for Inspired Learning,; Sara Anderson, Healthy Living School; Jennifer Meredith, CBE; Bev Copithorne, Stampede School; Amanda Foote, Museum School, Marnie McCormack, Museum School; Travis Robertson, CBE.
Front: Andrea Beaty, Zoo School; Trish Hubbard, 2School; Ita Kistorma, CCSD; Maureen Luchsinger, Cross Conservation School; Sheila Bean, City Hall School.  Missing: Karen Youngberg, Jube School; Caitlin Reid, Aero Space School; Lois Kokoski, University School; Jenny Petters, The HUB for Inspired Learning.

Friday, 18 November 2016

We've spotted some great Open Minds blog posts!

  1. Journals are central to Campus Calgary / Open Minds experiences.  One coordinator, Andrea, at Calgary Zoo shares how journals play a role in the field of conservation researchers, too!

    Take a look at this work at:
  2. Amanda has joined the Museum School team at Glenbow Museum.  Want to hear more about her story?  She has taken the time to introduce herself and her work at:
  3. TELUS Spark has a great blog, too!  See what they're up to and celebrating, like International Science Centre and Science Museum Day, held November 10th.  Find out more at: 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Capturing the CC/OM Story

How is your school year going so far? What's life like in your learning community these days?

Have a Campus Calgary / Open Minds memory or a resource that you would like to pass along? Consider contributing to our blog.

We would love to hear from you and to share your stories!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

What does it mean to be a scientist?

This post originally appeared in the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) News: 
 Scientists collaborate!  Science Minister, Hon. Kirsty Duncan hears the surprises, wonders, and reflections from Science School participants.  Midnapore Grade 4’s captivate TELUS Spark CEO Jennifer Martin as well as teacher Barb Henry and Science School coordinators Donna Kipta and Morgane McDonald alongside family volunteers.

How do our relationships with the natural world guide our choices for the future?  Science Minister, Hon. Kirsty Duncan, and Midnapore Grade 4’s consider together the challenges and benefits of arctic scientific explorations at TELUS Spark.

What does it mean to be a scientist?  Journals and impactful science demonstrations await as Science Minister Hon. Kirsty Duncan and Science School learners share experiences from an entire week at TELUS Spark.  Proud community stakeholder, CEO Jennifer Martin, listens in.

​"I get to meet rock star scientists! This is a big deal to me!" Federal Minister of Science, Hon. Kirsty Duncan and young scientists and Grade 4 students at Midnapore School couldn't wait to explore, to ask questions, and to share experiences.

When Ms. Barb Henry and her Grade 4 class arrived at TELUS Spark each day for five consecutive days, they knew they were arriving as scientists. TELUS Spark is a place where young scientists build new ideas.  While each week is personalized for each participating class, each day at Science School provides meaningful opportunities for hands-on activities and time with experts to spark a sense of wonder.  Each day this week provided new opportunities for comprehensive understanding as the class alongside Science School coordinator Donna Kipta investigated together, "How do our relationships with the natural world guide our choices for the future?"

The fifth and final day of the Science School week was an especially memorable day for considering this big idea, meeting an inspiring fellow scientist. Hon. Kirsty Duncan Federal Minister of Science was pleased to join the class conversation, and to invite TELUS Spark CEO Jennifer Martin in too. Together, the group discussed science, Science School, and our shared responsibilities for the natural world in which we live. Grade 4 learners were proud to work alongside such a notable expert and were pleased to connect their big idea to Hon. Duncan's invitation to simulate an arctic exploration. The group used the experience to begin to tackle the challenges associated with climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The class asked meaningful questions and shared their dynamic experiences throughout the week: seeing behind the scenes what makes TELUS Spark a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) facility, connecting exhibits and galleries to their big idea, and considering potential innovations to protect our natural world.
Like these Midnapore Grade 4's, classes are excited to get neurons firing at Chevron Open Minds Science School. Journals in hand, learners reflect and collaborate to solve authentic problems and spark a passion for learning through science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Experiences provide students with the opportunity to explore while also developing new skills while inspiring ownership and stewardship.

At Science School and beyond, Campus Calgary / Open Minds is an innovative school program that brings the classroom to vibrant community settings. Teachers, students and community experts come together for a week-long curriculum-based experience, designed to meet the needs of each individual learner. The result is a catalyst for learning activities throughout the year that inspire and promote critical thinking and problem solving.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Advisor Kick Off

Campus Calgary / Open Minds Advisors are a group of representatives from Community/Sites, Education, and Funder partners.  We were pleased to have our Advisor team together on September 30th to consider the year ahead as well as to review Stakeholder feedback from our annual Stakeholder meeting.

It is becoming tradition at Retreats to have participants share a personal or site value for the year ahead.  Our coordinator team shared and discussed this year's values:

It is no surprise "connection" continues to be a word that keeps coming up when it comes to our Campus Calgary / Open Minds Community.

Artifacts were used to share Advisor priorities in relation to our new Campus Calgary / Open Minds mission and vision.  Can you see how these diverse artifacts might connect to our shared work together?

We were pleased to host this year's Retreat at the Career and Technology Centre (CTC) at Lord Shaughnessy High School.  The day was significant as staff and students were recognizing Orange Shirt Day remembering the experiences of Residential School survivors and invited us to be part of this meaningful observation.  Advisors were also provided a tour to provide educational context to the day of the Centre by assistant principal, Monti Tanner.

The C.T. Centre facility and Sage Gardens as a ceremonial blessing takes place in conjunction with Orange Shirt Day.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Our Journey into Journalling is already coming alive!

With thanks to our site coordinator from Healthy Living School at Vivo, Leigh Delong:

Found Poetry
Sept. 13, 2016

How do we get our kids to Journal?
It’s great!    Raise the bar!
A for colouring
A+ for creativity
Alright, let’s get started…
Open your journals up
Pages turning…
Their teacher lost it!
Simple pictures  and  words  spark complex ideas.
I feel like there is a connection.
When he would dream everything got more colourful
Changes over time
You almost forget that you are learning.

Found Poetry – CC/OM Evening Session

Spending time with books
Moving, misty eyed, fabulous artwork
Sense of place
Everyday things; important
Excitement authentic
Lesson planning multi entry points
Books smell good
Inquiry vocabulary art by kids


Thursday, 8 September 2016

New Beginnings

Each year coordinators from each site get together at the beginning of our school year to plan and collaborate for the year ahead.

We're excited to see how our Campus Calgary/Open Minds mission will take shape this year. Together our goal is 
To tr​ansform teaching and le​​a​​rning ​​by i​​ncreasing student engagement through community, funder, and educatio​nal partnerships.
And our long term vision is to ensure:
Each student exp​eriences p​​​ersonalized learning within a con​nected com​mu​nity.
Coordinators shared one word that summarized their hopes and priorities for the year ahead:

We also had an opportunity to share artifacts, contributing to a Living Museum.  This Living Museum provided a foundation for a collaborative discussion on how our year can unfold.

Opportunities for collaboration and conversation continue to be an important part of our work together!

Together, we're looking forward to ensuring "Lifeworthy Learning"!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Partner Research Schools Conference

Campus Calgary/Open Minds was pleased to be a part of the first Partner Research Schools Conference in August 2016 by hosting conference participants and guests for a day at the Calgary Zoo, one of the 11 CC/OM sites in Calgary.

Partner Research Schools Conference
Planned jointly between College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) Zone 5, Alberta Education and the University of Calgary, the Partner Research Schools Conference provided opportunities for dialogue regarding leading innovation through research - active inquiry and practice.

With a mission to transform teaching and learning by increasing engagement through community, funder and educational partnerships and a vision for each student to experience personalized learning within a connected community, Campus Calgary/Open Minds is a unique and innovative program in the City of Calgary.

Participants and guests of the conference learned about the CC/OM Program, conservation efforts at the Calgary Zoo, and the way in which the impact of  the CC/OM collaboration has been measured through a Chevron sponsored Social Return on Investment.

Behind the Scenes with Subari
And of course, we shared in experiences available to students during their custom designed weeks of learning in the Campus Calgary/Open Minds Program!  CC/OM thanks its many dedicated partners and looks forward to an exciting 2016-2017 school year!

" We do not learn from experience....we learn from reflecting on experience." - John Dewey

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Celebrating Together!

An amazing end of year gathering with the Campus Calgary Open Minds Team!  Some welcomes and some farewells mixed with some great food and planning for next year.  With lots to look forward to, we are grateful for the opportunity to have spent this time together.  Enjoy summer and all that it brings and we will see everyone in 2016/2017!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

The Excitement Builds

May and June is an interesting time for teachers. They are finishing a year with all of its celebrations and reflections while already thinking about and planning for next year. We have welcomed teachers who are participating with Campus Calgary/Open Minds for the 2016-17 school year to come to their sites for a welcome orientation. This is a time to begin thinking about the world of possibilities that exist in these vibrant community space.  At many sites we welcome teachers who have worked at the site to come back and tell their stories, share their wisdom and offer advice for the coming year.  This is but one example of such experience, captured in a found poem.

The Hub for Inspired Learning:
The Reflection of Two Teachers

Learning alongside my students
Worked collaboratively
Generate ideas
Curricular connections
Journaling prep…wish I’d done more
Looking through journals to see impact on students
Explore where THEY wanted
Building time
Reading with expression
Reaching our day to day learning
Storywriting process
Imagine you’re a banana!
The space allowed them to be free
Exploring the functions of space
Beauty is that you have time!
Immerse in the space and moment
Look beyond what you see
Be open to change
Be flexible to opportunities
As a group we’ve learned how to collaborate together
To slow down,
To listen to each other
This will be lifelong learning
Artists give us skills to share our learning
There are lots of opportunities…as long as you’re looking.

A found poem.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

2016 Annual Stakeholder Meeting

Co-chairs of CC/OM Advisors, Jennifer Gray and Graham Thomson, introduce Exective Sponsors and welcome all stakeholders to the evening event at the Clubhouse of Calgary Stampede's Grandstand.
Campus Calgary/Open Minds is always pleased to bring our community together.  Last week, we were able to have partners from Education, Funders, and Community Sites come together to talk about What we are doing, Why we are doing it, and to ask, What will be the next right steps?.

CC/OM continues to seek ways to build awareness, to build alignment, and consider funding in order to ensure growth and long-term sustainability.  This is achieved through Advisors meeting monthly and meeting in Working Groups related to Awarness, Fund Development, as well as Growth and Sustainability.

Stakeholders received an update on the year from our Operations Team celebrating many achievements.  Stakeholders learned the many accomplishments and future goals for Advisors and Working Groups.

We were pleased unveil our Mission and Vision.

Mission:To transform teaching and learning by increasing student engagement through community, funder, and educational partnerships. 
Vision:Each student experiences personalized learning in a connected community.

This event will be instrumental in setting the direction for upcoming school year. Thank you to all in attendance for your willingness to represent your organizations and to share ideas for ensuring success for CC/OM.

Congratulations to Chris Lough (left), new Grandpa, and representative sharing 15/16 Advisor Updates to stakeholders.
We're better together.  We look very forward to our next annual event and seeing where the new year takes us!