You are here

Bulletin - Head of School's Message

I hope all CFIS families had a peaceful and relaxing holiday, as well as an opportunity to recharge batteries and spend time with family and friends. Please see below for my message in this month's Notre Monde newsletter:

Bridging bursaries

I am aware of a number of CFIS families who are suffering a reversal of fortunes due to job loss, illness, and other factors, and I want to take a moment to remind those families about the CFIS bridging bursary program for the 2017-18 school year. Applications can be made online at https://applefinancialservices.ca/. 

When parents suffer financial setbacks due to the economic climate, this generally translates to a negative impact on enrolment at independent schools. The 2017-18 bridging bursary program was approved by the CFIS Society’s Board of Directors in order to ensure that CFIS does not lose families to what we hope will be a short-term economic set-back.

Budgetary levers to maximize resources

Independent school administrators have three main budgetary levers to use as we work to maximize resources dedicated to student learning while maintaining the physical and administrative systems within our schools. The fine balance of setting tuition fees comes down, in large part, to number of students per class and pupil-to-teacher ratio (PTR), employee salaries and benefits and tuition fees. 

As the Head of School, I work closely with the CFIS Society Board to carefully adjust these three connected levers while at the same time ensuring that key indicators for educational success are upheld. At CFIS, our key indicators include quality of instruction, ability to differentiate instruction, and student academic performance and assessment.

Lever 1: Number of faculty and staff/PTR

Research clearly indicates that optimal class size is between 16 and 24 students. Additionally, my preference as an educator is to have low pupil-to-teacher (PTR) ratios in addition to optimal class sizes. 

Pupil-to-teacher ratios provide an additional dimension of clarity about the amount of support available to a student. Student supports and low ratios are key to meeting our mission and ensuring individualized learning for each unique CFIS student. Our learning strategists, literacy coaches, principals, and art, music, PE and Spanish specialists combine with faculty to allow CFIS to achieve the quality of individualized instruction and attention on each unique student that comes with a low PTR.   

Supports for students have increased significantly during the life of the current strategic plan, and continue to be priority within next year’s budget. 

Lever 2: Employee salaries and benefits

CFIS’s faculty and staff are its greatest assets.  As part of CFIS’s strategic plan, the school strives to be an employer of choice on the Calgary independent school landscape. CFIS is fortunate to have a low faculty attrition rate, which reinforces the level of employee satisfaction expressed through annual staff surveys. The cycle of attraction, selection, retention and growth of excellent faculty and staff includes paying them competitively, as well as providing opportunities for professional growth and robust annual performance appraisals.

Over the course of the past four years, salary increases at CFIS have averaged only 0.5% per year (1% percent in 2013-14 and 2015-16, and 0% in 2014-15 and for 2016-17.) Having said that, CFIS teachers who are on the teaching salary grid do receive annual guaranteed increases. The salary grid is part of each CFIS teacher’s contract, and is based on a combination of post-secondary years of education (up to a maximum of seven) and between zero and eleven years of teaching experience.  For example, a teacher with five years of post-secondary education and five years of teaching experience earns just over $76,000 per year. The next increment on the salary grid, for six years of teaching experience, is just over $80,000. That teacher’s salary must be increased to the next grid level for the next year.

In addition to salaries, our school’s benefits plan also strives to be competitive with that of other local independent schools. Over the last three years, an Employee Assistance Program was implemented, along with a modest Health Spending Account for each eligible employee.

Lever 3: Tuition fees

The CFIS Society’s Board of Directors is focusing on creating a strategic financial plan which will enable tuition fee increases at CFIS to be tied to the organizational strategic plan.  

Please see Dr. Dianne Gereluk’s message for additional information about tuition and the Board’s strategic financial plan. 

Additional considerations

As with any other business, the creation of the school’s annual budget always considers the Consumer Price Index (CPI). During our recent work with the highly-regarded Independent School Management organization, we learned that independent schools must have an annual tuition fee increase of, at minimum, CPI, plus the cost of the above-noted annual contracted teaching salary grid increases. For the past few years, this would have equated to an approximate two per cent increase.  

As our school building ages, its expansive physical spaces require increasing ongoing maintenance. Students also benefit from modernization of their classroom spaces. As well, long-term sustainability of the school is dependent on how we maintain our building envelope, and the cost of facility maintenance is built into each annual budget. The implementation of improvements to the school structure, as well as additional programming and other strategic initiatives, also have an impact on tuition setting. 

Our spending compared with other independent schools

The CFIS senior leadership team is skilled at creating ways to maximize student learning while holding the line on expenses. 

One benefit of being a part of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) is that we can compare our spending with that of other independent schools. When CFIS compares its administrative costs, we are often far below our peer group schools. Prioritizing student learning and stretching administrative dollars allows the quality of CFIS’s academic and co-curricular programming to meet and exceed that of schools charging higher tuition fees. 

I can promise that CFIS will continue to put its students first, providing a world-class independent school education for each unique CFIS student while maintaining one of the lowest tuition rates among similar independent schools in Calgary.

If you have any questions or comments about the above, I can be reached via email at mdorrance@cfis.com

Sincerely,

Mme. Margaret Dorrance
Head of School

Board documents for upcoming AGMs

Notice of Annual General Meeting and Special Meeting of the Members of the Calgary French & International School Society

To be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

 

To All Members of the Calgary French & International School Society:

Notice is hereby given that a combined Annual General Meeting and Special Meeting of the Members of the Calgary French...

Read more
Notice of Annual General Meeting of the Members of the
Calgary International Language Foundation

To be held at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

 

To All Members of the Calgary International Language Foundation:

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Members of the Calgary International Language...

Read more
Notice of Annual General Meeting of the Members of the
Calgary French & International School Endowment Society

To be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

To All Members of the Calgary French & International School Endowment Society:

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Members of the Calgary French &...

Read more

The following individuals (listed alphabetically) are candidates for the five seats which will become available on the Board of Directors of the Calgary French & International School Society at its November 29, 2016 Annual General and Special Meeting (biographies are posted below the list of names, in order of receipt): 

  • Garg, Akhil
  • Gereluk, Dr. Dianne
  • Hackman-Carty, Leann
  • Rodgers, Marnie
  • Share, Josh
  • Stowkowy, Steve

...

Read more
The following individual is the candidate for the one Board seat which will become available on the Board of Directors of the Calgary International Language Foundation at its November 29, 2016 Annual General Meeting: 
  • Lyle Guard

Biography of Lyle Guard

Lyle Guard has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Calgary International Language Foundation since January 2015. He obtained his Bachelor of Business...

Read more

A G E N D A

 

Annual General Meeting of the Members

Of the CFIS Endowment Society

 

To be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In the Marcel Tremblay Learning Resource Centre

At the Calgary French & International School

... Read more

A G E N D A

Annual General Meeting of the Members
Of the Calgary International Language Foundation
 
Meeting to be held at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2016
In the Marcel Tremblay Learning Resource Centre
... Read more

A G E N D A

Annual General Meeting and Special Meeting of the Members

Of the Calgary French & International School Society

 

Meeting to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In the Marcel Tremblay Learning Resource Centre

At the...

Read more

As members of the Calgary French & International School Society, all parents and guardians of CFIS students are encouraged to attend the 2016 Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Marcel Tremblay Learning Resource Centre (Secondary Division Library).

At the AGM, a number of Board members will be elected, as is required under the terms of the Society’s bylaws. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Board, you are encouraged to contact M....

Read more

Dates to remember - School-wide

Grocery cards are ready for pick-up in the main office. If you ordered cards by kiddie mail they will be sent home on Tuesday. Please contact grocerycards@cfis.com if you have any questions, thank you.

Grocery cards are ready for pick-up in the main office. If you ordered cards by kiddie mail they will be sent home on Tuesday. Please contact grocerycards@cfis.com if you have any questions, thank you.

Grocery cards are ready for pick-up in the main office. If you ordered cards by kiddie mail they were sent home on Tuesday. Please contact grocerycards@cfis.com if you have any questions, thank you.

Grocery cards are ready for pick-up in the main office. If you ordered cards by kiddie mail they were sent home on Tuesday. Please contact grocerycards@cfis.com if you have any questions, thank you.

Pizza Day and vesti-choix for all full day students from preschool to grade 6.

News - School-wide

We have several openings for students in kindergarten to Grade 6 in our before- and after-school programs. All available spots are five days per week. Families who are interested in these openings can contact Mme Susan Ammeter at sammeter@cfis.com. Please note that there are no before- and after-school openings for preschool and junior kindergarten students at this time. 

Thank you!

Parents have reported old calendar entries in their calendar feeds. We have looked into the online calendar and everything appears to be working correctly.

The likely reason for incorrect or missing entries is that your personal calendar settings are not configured to refresh that particular calendar feed on an hourly / daily basis.

It is important to note that with the exception of sporting events, which may be changed by external bodies, we endeavour to have all calendar...

Read more

In a world surrounded by technology, we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly depend on understanding how technology works.

During Computer Science Education Week, curiosity and interest in computer programming will spread across Calgary French & International School. Students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will participate in the Hour of Code the week of December 5. Will we join the initiative by Computer...

Read more

CFIS is offering the Bridging Bursaries Program again for the 2017/18 school year. The focus of our Bridging Bursary Program is specifically to support current CFIS families who are temporarily unable to afford the annual tuition for their child(ren).  

Online applications for these bursaries can be submitted in confidence through Apple Financial Services at https://applefinancialservices.ca/. There is a $100 application fee.

By Dennis Falconer, dfalconer@cfis.com

We love our active CFIS community, and balance our commitment to keeping students active and healthy with our duty of care in keeping them safe during the school day.

 

Once you pick up your children from the classroom and they are in your care, we ask that you guide them to continue this ethic of safety during the exciting after-school time.

You can help by taking action to:

  • ...
Read more

Help is needed in the library and with classroom books that need repair. There is enough work for 10 parents to help with this work. Please contact Mme Jillian Lee at jlee@cfis.com.

We would love to have some Spanish-speaking parents for Spanish! For the senior high, we would like:

  • Four parents who are willing to have a phone interview about their country of origin. This is for Grade 10.
  • Four parents (could be the same parents) willing to have a phone interview regarding their job: what are their duties, what did they have to study, does being multilingual help, what was their job interview like? This is for Grade 10.
  • A number of volunteers...
Read more

Great news! Starting October 24, CFIS will now accept online bill payments from ATB.

Please contact Mme. Caitlyn Ducasse for more information at cducasse@cfis.com

Foothills Concert Band would like to extend an invitation to all members of the CFIS community. A Calgary tradition since 1968, the Calgary Foothills Concert Band is currently accepting new members in all sections. If you have wanted to dust off your trumpet or flute, or are ready to have fun creating music in a wonderful community, then it is a great time to join the Foothills Concert Band! 

Starting January 9, come by the CFIS band room on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. to give us a try...

Read more

Alberta Health Services has a number of great online resources for parents with children of all ages. Please see this link for their monthly PDF and other resources for children and teens.

http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/9539.asp

Thank you!

Please see this link for the 2016-17 annual calendar. This CFIS Society Board-approved calendar was emailed in early February. The PDF calendar can be found on our calendar page just below the menu on the right, year round. 

Dates to remember - Early childhood division

Students are asked to be in formal uniform for this CFIS open house. Please feel welcome and encouraged to invite your friends and family with children interested in the school. Guests can RSVP for the next open house at http://www.cfis.com/open-houses-. Please note that kindergarten students are not in formal today due to a field trip.

We are going for a series of three outdoor presentations. Dress your child in vesti-choix clothes and warm outerwear with sturdy weather-appropriate footwear, suitable for a nature walk. Also provide a nut-free pocket snack in your child's jacket pocket and a labeled water bottle.

Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.
Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.
Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.
Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.
For this Spirit Day, all students from preschool to grade 6 are invited to wear pink cloths. Vesti-choix. Various activities or discussions around friendship and bullying will be offered during the day.
Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.
Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.

Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.

Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.

Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.

This event is a re-booking from a previous field trip cancelled due to weather. Your teacher has sent an email to this effect. Please refer to this email for more information about this event, including the specifics on what your child needs to bring with them on the field trip.

Your child is invited to bring his/her favorite story or book. Please ensure show and tell items are brought in a separate bag and labelled with the child's name. 

Dates to remember - Elementary division

The Play Your Part assembly from Right to Canada facilitators, for all students from grades 3 to 6, will introduce students Right To Play's mission and purpose. The presentation includes a series of videos, slides and an engaging speaker that will give them a window to children’s lives in other countries around the world.

Students are asked to be in formal uniform for this CFIS open house. Please feel welcome and encouraged to invite your friends and family with children interested in the school. Guests can RSVP for the next open house at http://www.cfis.com/open-houses-. Please note that kindergarten students are not in formal today due to a field trip.

Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.

Please ensure SC Grade 3 students are in formal uniform for this event.

Students in the noted classes will require formal for a field trip today. 

Please ensure AB Grade 3 students are in formal uniform for this event.

Students in the noted classes require formal for a field trip today. 

For this Spirit Day, all students from preschool to grade 6 are invited to wear pink cloths. Vesti-choix. Various activities or discussions around friendship and bullying will be offered during the day.

Please ensure WJ Grade 3 students are in formal uniform for this event.

Please ensure CB Grade 3 students are in formal uniform for this event.

Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.

Please ensure all students in the class(es) indicated are in formal uniform for this event. Thank you.

Please ensure the classes noted in the title are in formal uniform for this event.

The Grade 1 classes will be having an in-school presentation today. Please refer to the Grade 1 monthly newsletter for more details. Formal uniform is required.​

Please ensure the classes noted in the title are in formal uniform for this event.

Dates to remember - Secondary division

Grade 7/8 girls basketball practice from 3:45 - 5pm in the elementary gym.

Gr. 7 boys basketball practice from 3:45 - 5 p m in the elementary gym.

Gr. 8 boys basketball game vs Rundle Academy at CFIS. Game time 4PM.

Students are invited to wear a pink t-shirt over their FORMAL uniform, in recognition of Pink Shirt Day. (Formal uniform is required on this day for all students, due to a previously-scheduled open house.) 

Gr. 9 girls basketball practice from 3:45 -5:15 in the secondary gym.

Students involved in the Secondary Division school musical have a practice. Please see M. Aubert for details.

Following the Junior High Learner profiles sent home at the beginning of February, parents are invited to meet with their children's teachers.

Gr. 7 boys basketball practice from 3:45 - 5 pm in the elementary gym.

Gr. 9 boys basketball game vs Rundle Academy at CFIS. Game time 4PM.

Gr. 7/8 girls basketball game at Rundle College. Game time 4PM.

Gr. 8 boys exhibition game vs WIC @ WIC. Game time 4 pm.

Following the Junior High Learner profiles sent home at the beginning of February, parents are invited to meet with their children's teachers.

Gr. 9 girls basketball practice from 3:45- 5:15 pm in the secondary gym.

Students involved in the Secondary Division school musical have a practice. Please see M. Aubert for details.

Students involved in the Secondary Division school musical have a practice. Please see M. Aubert for details.

Gr. 9 girls basketball practice from 3:45 - 5PM in the secondary gym.

Sr. High boys Team Handball practice in the secondary gym.

Gr. 7/8 girls game 1 of Championship tournament vs Rundle College at 5:15.

Games to be played at Calgary Christian School.

Skating at Bowness Park.

Departure at 1:45. Return at 3:15.

Gr. 9 boys basketball game at Calgary Christian School. Game time 5PM.

Students involved in the Secondary Division school musical have a practice. Please see M. Aubert for details.

Sr. High Boys Team Handball practice in the Secondary gym.

Gr. 7/8 girls basketball championship game #2 vs Trinity Christian School at 6:30.

Game to be played at Calgary Christian School.

Gr. 9 boys basketball game at Tanbridge Academy. Game time 4 PM.

GAME CANCELLED. TA HAS WITHDRAWN FROM LEAGUE PLAY.

Gr. 9 girls basketball game at Calgary Academy. Game time 4PM.

Gr. 7/8 girls basketball championship cross over games. Game time is dependent on round robin ranking in their pool.

If they finish 2nd in pool B, they play at 4pm.

If they finish 1st in pool B, they play at 5:15.

Gr. 7/8 girls basketball finals.

Bronze medal game at 9am

Gold medal game at 10 am

Students involved in the Secondary Division school musical have a practice. Please see M. Aubert for details.

Gr. 9 girls basketball practice from 3:45 - 5PM in the secondary gym.

Gr. 9 girls basketball game vs Heritage Christian School at CFIS. Game time 4PM.

News - Secondary division

Please check the link below if your child is participating in athletics. At times, the CISAA will change game times or locations with little notice. For more information, please contact your child's coach or Mme. Crandall at scrandall@cfis.com.

http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=isaajr