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Early Learning

Our 100 Voices (Pre-Kindergarten) and Kindergarten programs are based on the Reggio Emilia approach.  In this environment learning is encouraged and developed through student-led investigations, using their diverse perspectives, learning styles, and interests as a guide to inquiry.  The Reggio Emilia approach is based on the following principles:

Emergent Curriculum: An emergent curriculum  that builds upon the interests of children.

Project Work: Projects are in-depth studies of concepts, ideas, and interests, which arise within the group.

Representational Development: Consistent with Howard Gardner's notion of schooling for multiple intelligences; integration of the graphic arts as tools for cognitive, linguistic, and social development.
Collaboration: Collaborative group work is considered valuable and necessary to advance cognitive development. Children are encouraged to dialogue, inquire, compare, hypothesize, and problem solve through group work.
Teachers as Researchers: The teacher's role is that of a learner alongside the children. The teacher is a teacher-researcher, a resource and guide as she/he lends expertise to children.
Documentation: Similar to the portfolio approach, documentation of children's work in progress is viewed as an important tool in the learning process.
Environment: great attention is given to the look and feel of the classroom. Environment is considered the "third teacher." Teachers carefully organize space for small and large group projects and small intimate spaces for one, two or three children.

The Hundred Languages of Childhood

The child is made of one hundred.  The child has a hundred languages, a hundred hands, a hundred thoughts, a hundred ways of thinking, of playing, of speaking.  A hundred, always a hundred... ways of listening, of marveling, of loving.  A hundred joys of singing and understanding.  A hundred worlds to discover.  A hundred worlds to invent.  A hundred worlds to dream.  The child has a hundred languages (and a hundred, hundred, hundred more)...
Loris Malaguzzi--Founder of the Reggio Approach

Special Programs



St. Teresa of Calcutta School is committed to enriching the lives of our students through the use of technology. This is accomplished both by instructing the students on how to use technology, and using technology to facilitate learning.  All students have access to a wide range of educational software, as well as hardware (digital cameras, projectors, mini netbooks), within the computer lab. Grade Six students also take part in live video announcements, which are shown in each classroom. Students are responsible for their own scripts, setting up the studio, and producing the show.


Our music program is based on the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music making and learning.  The students create music with Orff instruments, handbells, percussion instruments, movement speech and voice

In-School Mentors

In cooperation with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Canada, St. Teresa of Calcutta School offers an In-School Mentoring Program. Students in grade 1 through grade 6, are paired with an adult buddy, who spends an hour a week with the students in various educational activities, spending time as a big brother or big sister with them.  A further mentoring program involves high school students from Austin O'Brien school.  Students arrive weekly and are paired with students from Grades 2-6, further providing one-on-one relationship building and support.

After School, Before School, and Lunch Programs 

The Keyboards for Kids Program offers opportunities for students to participate in piano lessons during lunch break, under the direction of professional piano instructors.

YONA Sistema and YONA Explorers Programs

"It's a common scene.   A school bell cuts through the afternoon's silence, and an army of animated children with multicolored jackets and too-large backpacks appear, scurrying towards school buses and parents with a host of stories on their lips.  What's perhaps less familiar, however, are the events surrounding a number of our students for whom the afternoon has only begun.

The Youth Orchestra of Northern Alberta - Sistema (YONA-Sistema) is modeled on the ground-breaking EI Sistema project in Venezuela which uses music for social change, and teaches the values of unity, harmony, and mutual compassion.  Five days a week, for almost three hours each day, fifty-four students receive group instrument lessons, led by qualified teachers, at no cost to their families.  In this caring environment, students are given nutritious snacks, homework help, and engage in free play and physical activity, and are then bussed safely home.  Another twenty-four students meet once per week in a "YONA Explorers" program, building their musical and social skills in an introduction to the YONA philosophy.

By engaging students in a peer-mentored orchestra format, the YONA program has flourished in achieving what was initially envisioned in Venezuela, and has altered the lives of countless individuals and communities in multiple countries and cities. Indeed, this is a very exciting thing to be a part of."