March Newsletter (2019)

March 1st, 2019


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


Learning Without Limits


March is a busy month, with Student Parent Teacher Interviews (SPT) in Calgary and Edmonton, and another Vista Virtual School activity in Calgary (last month there was a DNA WhoDunnit? and BodyWorlds). If you haven’t signed up for the March event, see the posts on the website for more information (keep an eye on the website and social media for future activities, too).

It is important for you to attend the SPTs, as communicating with teachers and counsellors is an important part of being successful in distance learning—if you are unable to attend either session, contact your teacher and they will work with you to make sure you (or your child) are on-track in your classes.

Don’t forget about Daylight Savings Time on March 10 and spring forward that a.m.

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.


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

Did you Know?

March is typically the start of spring, which is welcome considering the deep-freeze throughout the province in February. Days are getting longer (and it is getting brighter in the mornings and evenings). We change time this month as well. So here are a few facts and trivia for this month:

  • March is named after Mars, the Roman god of war as it was the month in which the military campaigning season got underway after winter (it was actually the first month of the year in ancient Rome).
  • March is the only month with three consecutive consonants in its name in English.
  • Beware the Ides of March!
  • Vernal/Spring equinox, the First Day of Spring!
Social Media Contest Winner

Congratulations to Tracey P., winner of the February Social Media Contest and the $20 to Indigo/Chapters. Enjoy your prize! Look for another social media contest later in the school year for your chance to win (make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter so you receive updates and notices each month).

Helpful Steps when Submitting Information to VVS

Each month we feature tips to help ensure you submit your registration or information to VVS correctly and efficiently, or we highlight common mistakes when registering or submitting information. This month it’s:

Taking Multiple Courses at Different Institutions

  • You can register in different courses at any school across the province as long as you are not registered in the same class at the same time in two (or more) schools:
    • This includes registering for a course in a classroom setting and distance learning (only for the same class) in the same semester.
      • An example: Registering for Math 30-1 at your local school and also registering for the same Math 30-1 through VVS at the same time is not allowed (for example, taking both classes in the fall semester).
  • However, you can register for the class if you’ve already completed or are re-taking the course (e.g., if you took the class in the fall semester and wanted to improve your mark, you can take it in the spring semester).
  • You can register for different courses at the same time at any school across the province:
    • You can take classes through your local school and VVS in the same semester.
      • An example: Registering for Math 30-1 at your local school and also registering for English 30-1 through VVS at the same time.
      • This can be the first time you’re taking the class or if you are re-taking the course.
  • You can take any VVS class offered during the summer (as long as you’re not registered for the same class during the same time-frame at another school).
Teacher’s Pet - Rosy and Lady

Meet Shelley Rizzo’s two dogs! Each month we feature some of the pets that are part of the staff families at Vista Virtual School.

Shelley has two dogs, a golden retriever named Rosy who turns five in April, and a mixed shepherd/lab named Lady (in the llama coat and booties) who is a year and a half.

These two are BFF’s, and like to “snuggle” in their downtime and when mom and dad are at work.

They love the snow, but with short fur, Lady gets cold and wears her protective gear so she can stay out and play. Rosy also has booties for the really cold “-30” days.

Rosy and Lady like to swim and play in the backyard, and they love their romps at the dog park.

“We believe Lady has some greyhound in her as there are very few dogs that can catch her when she gets up a full head of steam at the dog park. Rosy tries to out-maneuver her and take short-cuts to catch her, but has no hope—so just barks at her in frustration,” says Shelley. “Or when her maternal instincts kick-in, she might be saying: “Stop running so fast, you’re going to fall and hurt yourself”. But I don’t speak DOG so not sure what she’s saying!”

Important Dates in March
A Day at SAITCity

Meet your Teachers

Roxanne Schmidt

How long have you been a teacher?
I have been involved in education as a teacher, program assistant, and volunteer for the last forty years. I began my career as a secondary math teacher, but over the years I’ve taught upper elementary students as well as special education.  I am currently in my fourth year teaching with Vista Virtual School.

Interesting fact?
I enjoy being active and to keep motivated, I enter various races. I did my first Olympic distance triathlon last summer and have signed up for my first aquathon in July 2019.

What excites you each day?
I feel very fortunate to be working with young children, and I always look forward to my visits or Skype sessions with them. Students in grades 1-3 are learning so many things—and I take great pleasure in reading their stories, helping them learn to read, seeing their rather unique drawings, and watching them progress by leaps and bounds.

Recent News Posts on the VVS Website
Tips to Succeed at Distance Learning

Use Study-related Resources

Finding the balance between time to study, time to do assignments, and other life commitments are always a challenge. Learn your study-style, find a good study spot, write out notes while working on your coursework, find ways to manage stress, and take study breaks as needed.

Check out the Simon Fraser University learning and studying resources for help with exams, reading, study skills and more. A lot of the information on this website is geared towards high school and post-secondary students, including effective studying, but there are many other websites that offer study-related resources and tips.

Monthly Events Calendar

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

VVS on the Road
  • Medicine Hat: March 7
  • Lethbridge: March 21
  • Red Deer: March 27 (date change)


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
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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.