School Handbook

Barnwell Staff


Barbara Arend (Principal)

Aaron Edlund (Vice-Principal)


Office Staff
Julie Wood (Secretary)


Amber Blindback (Early Learning Instructor)

Annie Leray (Kindergarten)

Kendra Bailey (Grade One)

Carrie Campbell (Grade Two)

Mandy Wojtowicz (Grade Three, JH Drama, Gr. 6 Language Arts)

Cori Francis (Grade Four, Gr. 3 Social Studies)

Jeff Milner (Grade Five)

Aaron Edlund (Gr.4-7 Math, Elementary PE, JH Option)

Dayna Yanke (Gr.7-9 Language Arts, Gr. 6 Social Studies, JH Option)

Tracy Forbes (Gr. 7-9 Social Studies, Gr. 9 Science, JH Option)

Matthew Hawke (Gr. 6-8 Science, Gr. 8 Math, JH PE, JH Option)

Evan Schaaf (Gr. 9 Math, Gr. 5-9 Band, Learning Support Teacher)

Barb Arend (Gr. 3 Health/Art, Gr. 8 Health/ CTF, Learning Support Teacher)


Support Staff
Lindsey Baceda

Colleen Daniels

Derry Kolody

Tracy Westerhoud

Halli Lilburn

Cindy Johnson


Halli Lilburn 

Kristen Suderman(FSLC) 

Hailey Astolos  (Family Connections Worker- Here on Mondays/Tuesdays)
Lisa Sowinski (Indigenous Liaison)


Student Support

Classroom Support Team

The success of all students is important.  When students appear to be experiencing some difficulty with instruction, students receive additional support from the Classroom Support Team that includes the Learning Support Teacher, Educational Assistants, a Liaison Counselor, as well as other agencies outside the school that provide target support for individual students.  Together, this group of people is available to meet the needs of both students and staff.  Parents of those students who require additional support will be contacted early in the fall to authorize Individual Program Plans.

In addition, our school staff hold collaborative response meetings for all elementary and junior high students on monthly basis to discuss interventions and strategies for students who may be struggling.  

Family School Liaison Counsellor & Family Connections Worker

Kristen Suderman is the new Family School Liaison Counsellor. Her role is to provide support to children, youth, and families to support them in reaching their potential both academically and personally. She will provide counselling services in various areas including peer/friendship issues, self-esteem, anger management, conflict resolutions, mentoring/positive role modeling, organizational and motivational checks, homework skills, attendance issues, behavior modification, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, violence, abuse, divorce, and many more. There is also the opportunity to provide group counselling, classroom presentations, parent/school staff workshops, and connection and referrals to community agencies. Her contact information is as follows:


Hailey Astolos will return to our school in the role of a Family Connections worker.  This position has her working with students in classrooms on topics related to personal well-being. Her contact is

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Liaison Worker

Lisa Sowinski is the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Liaison Worker and provides support to the First Nation, Métis and Inuit students and families. Lisa provides a link between home and school and connects them to appropriate resources or agencies if needed within the community. To reach out to Lisa, please contact:


Snack Program 

Research shows that students who are hungry have a difficult time paying attention in class.  Hungry students don’t learn.  In order to help feed our student’s brains, we also need to feed their belly’s. With financial support from the Government of Alberta and the Breakfast Club of Canada, we are able to provide our students with a selection of morning snacks such as fruits and cereals that are delivered to elementary classrooms at the beginning of the day.  In the Junior High wing, there are self-serve refrigerators with fruit, milk, and cereal that students can access as needed throughout the day.


Student Communication

Uninterrupted instructional periods are important for student achievement.   When classes are interrupted for phone calls, this can hinder the learning for students who can get distracted.  In order to minimize classroom distractions, the office will be taking messages for students that will be given to them during break times.  If your child needs to return your call, they will do so during that time.  We also request that you refrain from communicating with your child via text message during the school day as cell phones should be kept in student lockers.  Thank you for your support in reducing classroom disruptions so that we can optimize our learning time.   

Cell Phone and Electronic Device Policy

Barnwell School believes that individuals have the right to work and learn in a safe, secure environment that respects privacy.  Barnwell School recognizes that teacher directed use of technology can have a positive impact on learning including: research, collaboration, and planning.  Inappropriate use of that technology can interfere with individual rights and the learning environment.  For this reason, the use of technology at our school will be regulated and monitored by school staff.  

Images, voice or video recordings of any type may not be created at any time without the permission of those included in the file. Also, if an electronic device is used to bully any students, it will be confiscated, and disciplinary action will occur.

Online Information

Stay current on the events at Barnwell School by visiting our website:  

We aim to maintain the website regularly with news, events and notices.  It also includes a calendar of events that outlines upcoming activities as well as information about our extracurricular athletics program.

Remember to follow our school Facebook page where we post lots of pictures and highlight the awesome learning and activities happening within our school.

Stay Informed

We use the School Messenger Program to email parents our newsletters and other information.  There are times when we can send text messages to parents using the School Messenger Program.  This allows us to notify parents about school closure events or reminders of upcoming events.  If you are not currently enrolled, please use the following information to get signed up.


Student Dress Code

Student Dress Code

Dress and appearance are very personal choices and, for the most part, are left to the discretion of the parent and student. At school, our goal is to encourage students to demonstrate good judgment regarding what they should be wearing in social settings as well as be prepared for the ever changing weather that happens in southern Alberta. Whether students are in school learning or outdoors they should wear clothing that is deemed appropriate for a public school setting and appropriate for the weather.  Elementary students go outside on a daily basis for recess. Please send them to school with warm coats, snowpants, hats, mitts, and boots in the winter months and other seasonal clothing as necessary. It is recommended that you label all of your child’s clothing so that it is easier to retrieve if it is sent to the lost and found.


Fire regulations, health, and sanitary concerns mandate that students should always wear footwear while in school.  It is highly recommended that during the winter months, students have a pair of indoor shoes to switch into.

A change of clothing is recommended for junior high physical education classes for the health and hygiene purposes. In order to preserve our flooring so that it is in proper condition for our physical education classes and our athletics programs, students are asked to wear running shoes with non-marking soles.

School Spirit Wear

We like to celebrate our school spirit with “Purple Pride Days!” Students are encouraged to wear the colour purple on those days or wear their Barnwell spirit wear to show their school pride!  Spirit wear is available for purchase online at:

Home-School Partnership

The research on effective schools is clear.  Students in those schools where parents and teachers work well together, exhibit higher achievement.  Problems and concerns are also more effectively resolved and communication occurs early.  If you have any concerns about your child, please contact the teacher involved.  If you have further questions or concerns, after speaking with the teacher, please contact the principal. 

School Advisory Council

Barnwell School has an active School Council composed of parents, a teacher, a community member and the principal.  By attending regularly scheduled School council meetings, parents can keep informed, have a voice on school issues, and take an active role in their child’s education.  Meetings occur once a month and will be posted in the school bulletin.  Your attendance and support is urged and welcome.

You may contact the school advisory council directly by emailing: 

School Safety

At Barnwell we are committed to ensuring the safety of students. In addressing this, we ask that parents do not enter the bus loop to drop off or pick up students until after the buses have left. We ask that if you are dropping off your children during a recess block, that you use the parking lot. Students are unpredictable and we want to reduce the risk of student injury by having vehicles enter the bus loop when our kids are outside. There should be no parking at any time in the bus loop.

We will hold periodic fire & lockdown drills as a means of practicing preparedness in the event of an emergency.

School Attendance & Punctuality

At Barnwell School regular and punctual attendance in classes is expected of all students. Strong attendance and a commitment to being on time for class are foundational in the success for students at any level.  

Reporting Absences 

Parents are asked to contact the school by telephone to communicate if their child will not be in attendance on a specific day or for an extended period of time. Students are responsible for completing any missed work due to absence. Students and parents should make every effort to let teachers know in advance of planned absences.  Parents should also contact the school if their child is going to be late. 


In the case that a student’s lack of punctuality or attendance becomes a chronic issue, a parent meeting with the  teacher and administration will occur so we can work together to support the student..  

Report Cards & Parent / Teacher Interviews

There are 3 reporting periods per school year. The report card will indicate the student’s achievement in each subject and a record of his/her attendance. Parents should realize that the report card has limited value in reporting student progress. In order to obtain a full picture of the progress of a student, parents and students should attend parent-teacher-interviews or contact their child’s teacher if they have any questions. Report card dates are: November 10, February 16, June 15.


Report Card Assessments

All Horizon students in Grades K-9 will be assessed using an outcomes-based report card.  The Horizon outcomes-based report card is tied directly to the Alberta curriculum.  The provincially mandated curriculum describes what a child is expected to know and be able to do each year for each subject. This year Grades K-6 will be following the new curriculum for Language Arts, Math, Physical Education & Wellness. The report card will tell you if a child has met these specific expectations. It focuses on clear descriptions of how well a child has acquired the key knowledge, skills, and attitudes in each subject. There are no letter grades or percentages on the report card. Instead we use four levels of achievement: 

Teachers use this scale for their assessment practices. It is important that parents focus on the descriptors as opposed to the numbers or words as a student working at a “beginner” level is operating at grade level. Report card comments often provide more insight into student strengths and areas for growth.


Welcoming, Caring, Respectful, and Safe Learning Environments

We want our students to feel safe and respected in our learning community.  As such, we expect students to follow guidelines as outlined in Horizon policies and th Alberta School Act.    The Alberta School Act (School Act, Section 12) outlines the expectations of students in Alberta.

A student shall conduct him/herself so as to reasonably comply with the following code of conduct:

  1. a)  be diligent in pursuing his/her studies;
  2. b)  attend school regularly and punctually;
  3. c)  cooperate fully with everyone authorized by the board to provide education programs and other services;
  4. d)  comply with the rules of the school;
  5. e)  account to his/her teachers for his/her conduct;
  6. f)  respect the rights of others

Code of Conduct

It is the belief of Barnwell School that good student behaviour is a necessary condition for a safe and effective learning environment. Therefore, there are guidelines for behaviour. These guidelines are based upon the consideration for safety, respect of others, and the provision of an environment conducive to learning and personal growth. 

All students of Barnwell School are expected at all times to:

  1. Treat all school staff, fellow students, parents, members of the community, and guests of the school with courtesy and respect
  2. Display a spirit of honesty, integrity, and responsibility
  3. Comply with the school rules and make efficient use of their school time
  4. Refrain from disruptive behaviour that would deny any other student their right to obtain full benefit of their education experience
  5. Attend school regularly and punctually
  6. Be neat and clean in appearance and dress in a manner which is appropriate to the standards of the school
  7. Refrain from the use of offensive language
  8. Respect the property and rights of others
  9. Refrain from the willful destruction, damage, or loss of school property or the property of others

Playground Expectations

  1. Use the playground equipment appropriately.
  2. Play Safe games that will not potentially harm or endanger each other.
  3. Respect the rights of participants in organized games and not disrupt the activity.
  4. Stay within the sightlines of supervisors.
  5. Outdoor exercise equipment is off-limits for all students in elementary grades.

What is Bullying?

It is not always easy to know when your student is involved in a bullying circumstance.  Sometimes what we think is bullying is actually conflict or students being mean or rude. This chart provides some guidelines in helping to determine whether an incident your child was involved with could be considered bullying.   At Barnwell we believe that all students should feel safe at our school, if you believe that your child is being bullied, please contact school administration so that we can provide the support your student needs to resolve the problem.  

Character Education

On Fridays during Period 5 we will be doing our character education program across the school.   Students will work in cross-graded teams and will explore themes such as love, honesty, truth, respect, bravery, humility, and wisdom.  The lessons during this time will include some information on the Indigenous approach and understanding regarding these traits using the 7 Grandfather teaching.   

Students will gather in these groups for school assemblies and other events as well.  Our goal is to continue to build a community of learners who are welcoming and collaborative.