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Launching Into the Future

Change is the one constant we can rely on; the world is always in flux. In 2019, blindsided with a new pandemic reality, systemic and societal change demanded that educators and institutions pivot again, and again, to navigate the unknown. Educators manoeuvred through curricula on-line, off-line, and everywhere in between and aspired to be the glue that held learning communities together while navigating an ocean of change. While the pandemic continued on wave after wave, strategic vision planning at STS emerged, morphed, and caught traction despite pandemic struggles and triumphs. The moral imperative for all educators, tapped us on our collective backs; the need for continual improvement beckoned. The need for change, an updated vision, and a new STS strategic framework, was stirring to life.

On Wellbeing and Resilience

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) places the wellbeing needs of students at the center — and it begins with teachers. Walk into any Kindergarten to Grade 12 classroom and you will notice authentic and meaningful connections established between students and teachers. Why? Because at its core, every educational encounter is a relational one that is anchored in trust-building. STS teachers understand the critical role they assume in providing a safe space for students to take well-supported risks in the classroom and on the field. Raising a hand to ask a question in calculus class and trying out for a new co-curricular activity are made possible when students trust the adult overseeing the experience cares about their learning experience. 

The Pinnacle of Deep Learning

Students and parents at STS have continued to show strong support for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), the culmination of the IB educational continuum. Through this Programme, students have the opportunity to go deeper and ask insightful questions, to add to their own perspectives through problem solving, and develop independence and confidence by applying themselves to a wide variety of academic challenges. Not only does this add to their enjoyment of school now, but this leads to success in post-secondary studies and a drive for life- long learning.

The Right Thing to Do

There are times in your life when you see a piece of art and think “Wow, that is amazing!” That’s exactly what the Nil Nisi Optimum sculpture concept did for Justin and me, and we just knew that the right thing to do was to support this amazing legacy piece for the 50th Anniversary of STS. 

During the unveiling on April 8, we were blown away by the passion, leadership, and empathy shown by the artists who built this structure. Justin and I had the opportunity to hear how the artists had poured their hearts and souls into this beautiful work of art: everything from the logistics and fabrication to the shipping and implementation. We could feel the love that went into this piece. 

Learning with Saa'Kokoto | STS's First Nation Elder-in-Residence

A teacher, historian, storyteller, and visual artist - Saa’kokoto is providing STS students with a deep understanding and appreciation of Indigenous culture. His lessons carry a wealth of first hand experience, drawn both from his years as a business leader in his community and as an ambassador of his culture. “I learned a lot about the people, the land. I come from the largest First Nation in Canada which is Kainai west of Lethbridge, and we have two elementary schools, a middle school and high school, and our own college. In my last term in office, I taught a course there at the college and it was accredited through the University of Lethbridge. It was on governance - (a concept) that I could share.” 

Leaving A Legacy

Nil Nisi Optimum and Romance and Rigour are the result of a request for proposal put forth to the STS community in honour of this landmark occasion. We received an overwhelming response from our local artists and sculptors, and the final designs were selected by a formal committee review.

Nil Nisi Optimum was dedicated during a special event held in April 2022, and the official unveiling of Romance and Rigour was one of the highlights of June’s Big Birthday Bash weekend. These events were made even more significant by the fact that these installations were created by three STS alumni and our very own beloved Elementary Art teacher.

Celebrating the Past

It is such a privilege to write on behalf of my Dad, Sandy Heard, and the Heard Family. They all are so proud of what Strathcona-
Tweedsmuir School (STS) has become. My Mom, Lois Haskayne, fondly remembers her years at Strathcona School for Boys and STS, especially her relationships with the teachers and our childhood STS friends that we still have today. There were five of us Heards attending Tweedsmuir and Strathcona, and we moved into the Headmaster’s house when STS moved to the country. We were called the Heard Birds: myself, my sister Janice, Mark, Cynthia, and Rod. 

Learning Purely for Myself

For me, International Baccalaureate (IB) Music was special because it was a subject I chose purely for myself. It offered me a place in school where I could explore a passion and take a break from the stress of Senior School.

Now, that’s not to say it wasn’t difficult. It’s a subject that requires a lot of time to complete assignments and create work. Still, I think out of all my subjects, music is the best representation of what IB means to me because it continuously challenged me to test my limits.

Nurturing the Spark

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) is a unique and special place as it is one of only a few K-12 continuum International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in Canada. The IB framework is an integral part of our school’s identity and the Flourish 2031 Strategic Plan. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is the framework that the Elementary School uses to teach the Alberta Program of Studies. The heart of the PYP is inspiring students to take action in their community in order to leave the world better than they found it. The Primary Years Programme is where students are introduced to their schooling journey and it is where teachers instill a love of learning and encourage curiosity.

New Hybrid Program Connects High School Students with Innovation and Entrepreneurship

For Immediate Release

December 6, 2022 (Calgary and Okotoks) — Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) and Platform Calgary are joining forces to create unique learning opportunities for students.

A new hybrid program centered around immersing high school students in Calgary’s growing tech scene will give STS students access to a specialized curriculum and mentorship experiences during weekly classes held at the Platform Innovation Centre in downtown Calgary’s East Village. The program will play an integral role in establishing our city as a hub of innovation by inspiring the next generation of innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs.

Designing for a Sustainable Future

The future is not what it used to be — but it can be what we make it. As educators, one of the challenges of crafting a truly exceptional education stems from the fact that our students and new graduates are stepping into a very different world than what we may have experienced. The concept of Gig Economies or temporary contracted positions, while not altogether new, has seen a recent surge in popularity, and ensuring that every student of Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) has the tools and resources they need to thrive in any number of diverse environments is more important than ever before.

Fearless Outside My Comfort Zone

In the Speech program there are many different categories of public speaking but the category that challenges even the most seasoned of public speakers is probably Impromptu Speaking. The Impromptu category is completely unprepared. After you are given a topic you’ve never seen before with only two minutes to prepare, you deliver a speech for up to five minutes that is essentially created as you perform it. As a young public speaker, this category terrified me, and I avoided it at all costs. However, encouraged by my dad and my coaches, I worked at the skill, and naturally, it improved over time. The differences between me at the beginning of my STS journey, and who I am now are many.

Built on a Strong Foundation of Philanthropy

Like the bricks and mortar that form our buildings, or the trees and pathways that provide our connection to the natural world, every donation you make not only shapes our campus, but upholds our legacy of creating good humans, thought-leaders, and global citizens.

Romance and Rigour

Having taught visual arts at STS for 16 years, Mike reflected on the wide variety of opportunities that STS offers, and that became the focus of his inspiration. The drawing he submitted provided the seed of an idea that became Romance and Rigour, an eight-foot diameter wooden relief carving featuring an array of independent pieces, all coming together to form a circle.

Immersive Experiences

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) develops the knowledge students require to succeed within and beyond the classroom. While our teachers understand that reading, writing, and numeracy skill acquisition are essential educational outcomes, they also know that 21st century students cultivate other literacies if they are to become engaged in rewarding pursuits.

The Gift of Community

We started a wonderful Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) tradition a few years ago of giving every new student their first STS school tie as a welcome gift. The gifts are beautifully wrapped, and hand-delivered by employees and parents to each new student’s home. Not only is this our way of showing our appreciation for new students choosing STS, but also the tie symbolizes STS’s rich history and a common bond that literally ‘ties’ all STS family members – past, present, and future – together.

Deep Learning in Action

In Grade 10, their final year of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP), students explore an area of significant personal interest over an extended period of time as part of their appropriately named Personal Project. STS MYP students develop and demonstrate key 21st century learning skills they will need later in their education and in life beyond the classroom. Through this highly personalized undertaking, students also develop confidence and strengthen their abilities as principled, life-long learners.

STS Family Fall Fair and Homecoming Celebration 2022 | A Great Success!

The STS community came together on Saturday, September 17, 2022, for the Family Fall Fair and Homecoming Celebration which took place outside in our beautiful courtyard. This STS tradition, put on in partnership with the STS Alumni Association and POSTS, brought together alumni, alumni parents, and alumni staff and their families, along with our STS families.

A Belief in the Impossible

Belief in the impossible has become a key part of the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) ethos. I’ve often wondered what it must have felt like as a founder to be sailing into uncharted territory for the first time. After all, who would have thought it made sense to amalgamate two independent schools, boy’s and girl’s schools no less, and place them in such a remote location? It required a group of brave visionaries who stepped forward to make this impossible dream a reality, and I believe that this is a value that is instilled in every member of the STS family to this day.

STS Swiss Sumer School

In July, twenty STS students headed off to Geneva to attend Swiss Summer School in the picturesque mountain town of Gstaad. After landing in Geneva, the group wasted no time and headed from the airport to the waterfront to see the Jet d’Eau. Then they strolled over to the old town to visit St. Pierre Cathedral and tour the downtown district.