January Newsletter (2019)

January 7th, 2019


Click each article below to read this month’s newsletter or read the PDF version.

                                                                                           Learning Without Limits

Happy New Year! We hope you had a great holiday break and are ready to start the new year.

As a reminder, elementary and junior high students should be finished about half of the school program for the year by the end of the month. Most students should also be preparing mid-term exams (elementary students do not write midterms). High school students who are finishing semester one should be preparing for course completion and final exams, and if applicable, planning for diploma exams. Part-time students are also starting courses for the new year! As the first semester ends, if you require additional time to complete your courses, please contact your teacher and/or academic counsellor to negotiate the appropriate extensions.

Don’t forget Student-Parent-Teacher interviews are scheduled for early March. Keep an eye on the website and our social media for registration access.

We’re here to help you succeed, so if you have questions or need planning assistance, please contact your teachers and academic counsellors.

Welcome to 2019!


`   Mike Loitz,         Treena Bradbury,      Frank McCallum,
`   Principal             Associate Principal   Associate Principal

Did you Know?

Students can look forward to a number of new activities in the new year. Plans are in place for student engagement events, field trips and online activities for the remainder of the school year—all students are encouraged to attend (when relevant), as there will be activities both in Calgary and Edmonton.

Invitations will be sent to students, but also keep an eye on the Vista Virtual School website and social media for further information on the events and activities, and how to sign up!

Reminder - Diploma Exam Dates Posted

See the Alberta Education diploma exam schedule for the exam dates. If you have any questions, please contact your teacher.

Accountability Pillar

As part of the Accountability Pillar, Alberta Education surveys teachers, students and their parents/guardians each year. The survey data helps to gather information on the quality of education provided by school divisions/authorities and their schools.

Teachers, students and parents/guardians in grades 4, 7 and 10 are sent the Accountability Pillar survey. Watch for an email in January—from Principal, Mike Loitz—with a unique code that is individually sent to teachers and students.

Please take the time to complete this voluntary survey, as it gives our school, the school division, and Alberta Education important information to gauge the quality of education you/your child is receiving, and ensures every opportunity for student success.

Important Dates in January
  • New Years’ Day (January 1)
  • VVS Campuses Re-open after the Holiday Break (January 2)
  • First Day of Classes (January 7)
  • Diploma Exams (January 14-30)
  • Provincial Achievement Tests; for those eligible to write (January 14-31)
  • Bell Let’s Talk Day (January 30)
  • Semester 1 Ends (January 31)
  • Semester 2 Begins (February 1)
Monthly Events Calendar

Check out our monthly events on our website. This calendar is updated as events are added.

Saturday Options for January Exams

Meet your Teachers

Murray Jarman

How long have you been a teacher?
I’ve been a teacher for six years. I’ve taught Grades 6-12; in all core subjects for Grades 6-9, and high school Social Studies.

Interesting fact?
I love cycling, both road and mountain biking—better at falling than actual skills, but I have fun doing it.

What excites you each day?
Getting my morning cup of coffee! But on a more serious note, I love helping students connect their knowledge and experiences with “school work” in Social, so they can show the whole world how awesome they are. That’s what gets me up in the morning for work.

Recent News Posts on the VVS Website
  • Extra Helpline Time for English (Dec. 27-28 and Jan 2)
  • Extra Helpline Time for Social Studies (Jan. 2 & 4)
  • STEAM Horizon Awards: January 16 Deadline
  • Alberta’s Youth Climate Action Council: Opportunity
  • Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence
  • Berridge Programs – Acting and Film Scholarship
  • Extra Helpline Time for Math and Science (Jan. 2-3)
  • Vista Virtual School — Holiday Closure
Tips to Succeed at Distance Education

Apply what you have learned!

It’s not just about memorization and regurgitation, make sure you think about what you are learning and find ways to relate it to your life and/or real-world activities.

When you can relate what you have learned in class, it helps you to further understand what you have learned…and this helps you be more successful in the future (especially later in the year or if you are taking future classes in the same subjects). Make what you learn useful, and you will internalize the information—and actually retain what you memorized better.

VVS on the Road
  • Medicine Hat: January 10
  • Lethbridge: January 17
  • Red Deer: January 24
Bell Let's Talk—Jan. 30

Mental health matters! On January 30, 2019, Bell Let’s Talk day is working to get awareness out there. Let’s Talk is a national campaign that works to end the stigma and start conversations around struggling with mental illnesses—and getting help when needed.

One in five individuals will experience a mental health event at least once in their life; educating yourself and listening are two ways you can help.

Learn more at https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/, and follow the tweets, facebook posts, watch the videos and participate in the conversations occurring on January 30.

Watch the videos on January 30, as 5¢ from every view, as well as every retweet, text or post with the hashtag #bellletstalk will see funds donated to support mental health initiatives across Canada. Mental health affects us all.

Teacher’s Pet - Memphis

Meet Memphis, Administrative Assistant, Holly Farrant’s Morkie! Each month we feature some of the pets that are part of the staff families at Vista Virtual School.

Memphis is a four-year-old Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier mix. He loves curling up on his family’s laps to nap.

Favourite activities include, being a protector (a.k.a. chasing squirrels), and running around in the snow—until he gets too cold; and squeaker toys are no match for him!

Coming Soon: A February Contest

Keep an eye on our social media and the Vista Virtual School website in February, as we’re having a contest!



Mike Loitz
Associate PrincipalsTreena BradburyFrank McCallum
Academic CounsellorsLise PethybridgeAndrea Robin
Adult Academic CounsellorsChristie BorleWayne Bobrosky
School Hours 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Contact InformationP: 1-855-974-5333VVS Support
Ext. 5317
Edmonton Campus
Ext. 6100

300-10055 106 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T7N 1P4
Calgary Campus
Ext. 6200

341 58th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2H 0P3
School Websitevvschool.ca
School Emailvvsupport@phrd.ab.cavvsadults@phrd.ab.ca
We're OnlineTwitter
Connect with Us

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on events and activities throughout the year. Our website is also a valuable source of information. Do you have a story to tell, or a typo to report? Email Jay Zaal. The newsletter is published monthly and sent to students, parents and guardians by email each month.