July and August 2019 Newsletter

July 4th, 2019


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


Learning Without Limits


Great job to all full-time and graduating students on reaching the end of the traditional school year! We also welcome all new and continuing part-time students to Vista Virtual School (VVS).

Even though we’re now in the summer, VVS continues to operate year-round, with courses offered for both school-aged and adult students—it is a busy time for students and staff.

Full-time students – we encourage you to register for the 2019-20 school year as soon as you can on the VVS website.

Part-time students (including summer studies) – can register anytime for courses offered by VVS.

Welcome to our new support staff (Cassandra Bailey, Amber Cherneski, Matthew Gonzales, Sophia Ho, Yanique Ricketts, and summer students Natalia Marciniak, Taylor Melvie and Sandy Yimbo). Congratulations to elementary teacher Gwen Wilson-Pickrell, on her forthcoming retirement in July! Thank you to Krista Taylor, whose term ended in June, with Gena Watchel returning from leave in the fall. And Kate Jung is on a leave of absence for the 2019-20 school year.

This is the summer newsletter, as there will be no newsletter in August. The 2019-20 school year will start with the September newsletter.

As always, we welcome your comments. If you have any questions or concerns, please phone us toll-free at 1-855-974-5333, and if you have any stories you’d like to share of your experiences with Vista Virtual School and how this is positively affecting your education experience and balancing with your diverse needs, contact Jay Zaal, our communications and marketing specialist.

Have a great summer, whether you are taking courses through the summer months or if you’re recharging for the next school year!


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

Did you Know?

Did you know you can follow Vista Virtual School on Facebook and Twitter?

Make sure to like and follow us so you know about important dates, deadlines, events/activities, and information about VVS and our student successes.


Tips to Staying an Active Learner Over the Summer Months

It is summer, time to re-charge from your hard work throughout the school year—or it’s time to tackle new courses over the summer in preparation for next year or to further your education!

Many great ways to keep your mind active throughout the summer months (adapted from Ashford University) include:

  • Reading for fun – try to read a new book each week.
  • Games and puzzles – word games and puzzles are best.
  • Studying materials in preparation for the next school year or even take a course.
  • Follow the news and ask questions.
  • Use or follow the map instead of voice-activated GPS to further navigate your travels.
  • Journal or blog your thoughts or activities.
  • Explore, explore, explore!

And make sure you get appropriate rest and take time to relax, so you can be at your best.

Teacher’s Pet - Oliver and Susu

Meet Oliver and Susu, administrative assistant, Stephanie Campbell’s two pet cats!

Each month we feature pets that are part of the staff families at Vista Virtual School.

“Oliver is the grey and white cat. We got him from the Calgary Humane Society two and a half years ago,” says Stephanie. “He’s about eight years old, but behaves like a kitten—he always wants to run, play, and bug Susu. Every day when I get home from work, he trots to the door to greet me. He’s very chatty and always comes when called. I often refer to Oliver as the light of my life (much to my husband’s dismay, lol).”

Susu was adopted from the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society almost a year ago. She’s nearly four years old, and because she is all black with big eyes, she was named after “soot sprites” called susuwatari.

“Susu is little but she will eat anything she can find—she loves potato chips! When she isn’t on someone’s lap, Susu can most likely be found in her other favourite place, the bathtub,” says Stephanie.


What’s Your Plan This Summer?

Keep learning all summer long.

If you are a student going into or continuing high school this fall, or if you are an adult learner, you can register for Vista Virtual School (VVS) courses anytime.

We’re open in the summer, in fact, we’re open year-round! Earn extra high school credits, boost your grades, or make some space in next year’s schedule—there’s still time to enrol in distance learning courses this summer.

Part-time distance learning gives you the flexibility to study from your backyard, while on vacation, while working, or wherever your plans may take you this July and August.

VVS courses are not specific “summer school” courses—they are generally meant to be a full semester’s worth of coursework.

We recommend one to five credits of coursework as a summer goal, though you may enrol in up to ten credits at a time. CALM and CTS courses make great summer learning options, but you may choose from anything in our course catalogue.

Register now for VVS courses this summer.

A few things to note:

  • If you are a Grade 9 student going into Grade 10, you may register for a high school course once you have your final Grade 9 report card.

  • If the course has a prerequisite required, make sure you have completed the necessary course(s) and that this appears on your Detailed Academic Report or final report card before registering. If you are an adult student, make sure you have completed a placement exam prior to registration if you do not have the prerequisite.

  • Part-time students: If you are not able to complete your course by the end of August, you may continue to work on it in the new school year—you have one year to complete your course.

Wondering if summer learning is right for you? We are here to help. Please contact us if you have questions or need further information.

Wishing you continued success in whatever you do this summer!

Recent News Posts on the VVS Website
Important Dates in July and August

July – Register for the new school year (July 2 for Grade 9 students going into Grade 10)
July – Canadian Heritage Month
July 1 – Canada Day
July 30 – International Day of Friendship
August 1-12 – August Diploma Exams
August 5 – Heritage Day
August 16 – National Tell a Joke Day
September 2 – Labour Day

Summer Fun!

All students in grade six can sign up for a free Calgary YMCA membership as part of the Calgary Flames Grade 6 YMCA Program. Learn more at ymcacalgary.org/grade6.

Outdoor pools are free for everyone during the 2019 season – visit edmonton.ca/outdoorpools for more on opening dates & other information about the pools.

Monthly Events Calendar

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

Tips to Succeed at Distance Learning

Make a study plan

Setting up a study plan is a good idea. Since distance learning is more flexible than a traditional school setting, planning things out helps ensure you don’t miss important assignments, exams or deadlines.

Planning makes sure you best use the time you have available to you to complete your course while balancing other areas of your life.

Creating a plan and study calendar shows you what you need to do and when it needs to be completed by. You can even set up or adjust your own personal deadlines to make it work best for you.

And it doesn’t have to be complex. You can just plan the important deadlines, or you can work out study details for each specific assignment or task, focusing on what you need to do for each activity or preparation for the next exam.

Meet your Teachers

Keith Szautner

How long have you been a teacher?
This is my 31st year as a teacher, 28 in a regular classroom, and three in the distance learning environment.

I have taught mostly high school math and physical education, but have had some neat assignments, such as agriculture to grade nines and a combined Physical Education 10/Religion 10 class.

Interesting fact?
I have always enjoyed playing, whether that be sports, board games, or card games, and I feel it has helped me stay young at heart.

What excites you each day?
Students who find different ways to solve problems. Teaching math is great in that most questions have an exact solution, but there are numerous ways to get to that solution. Seeing the way students come to that solution with different approaches is always exciting.

Helpful Steps when Submitting Information to VVS

Not all courses are offered by Vista Virtual School (VVS) are available during the summer months. This is because VVS contracts Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC)’s services for specific courses during the school year for school-aged students. Those courses run from September to June 30.

To see the many courses offered by VVS throughout the year (including over the summer), see the course listing page, or you can view the full course calendar for all the courses we provide—including those that are only available during the typical school year. Many option courses are being added over the next few months.

All courses currently offered by VVS will appear in the course listings, so if you do not see a course you are interested in (during the summer), check back after August 15 to see if it is available in the fall.

VVS on the Road

VVS does not have any scheduled visits to Red Deer, Medicine Hat or Lethbridge during July and August.



Mike Loitz
Associate PrincipalsTreena BradburyFrank McCallum
Academic CounsellorsDominick GalloAndrea RobinChristy Filgate (Special Ed.)
Adult Academic CounsellorsFrank McCallumTreena BradburyMike Loitz
School Hours 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Contact InformationP: 1-855-974-5333VVS Support
Edmonton Campus

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

341 58th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2H 0P3
School Websitevvschool.ca
School Emailvvsupport@pembinahills.cavvsadults@pembinahills.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 Vista Virtual School Support. The newsletter is published monthly and sent to students, parents and guardians by email.