My New Opportunities for the 2018-2019 School Year

Are you interested in school counselling or topics related to student wellness and mental health. Why not join #SCCHAT on Twitter? We are an international PLN that meets the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm MST for an hour long live chat using the hash tag #SCCHAT

Deferred Leave- Part of My Self Care Strategy

Being a school counsellor, particularly one for CCSD, has provided me with so many blessings that I never could have anticipated when I stated my career back in 2000.  The following are just a few of the many opportunities I have been grateful for over the years:

  • Chaperoning traveling music and science field trips (an opportunity to get to know your colleagues and students on a totally different level).


  • Opportunities to develop and run group counselling sessions- watching a team of students bloom while learning about topics such as anxiety and/or healthy relationships.


  • Working in an innovative environment, which embraces my use of technology, and encourages me to expand my PLN.


  • Opportunities to sponsor student initiated clubs

Spectrum Club                                                        BCHS Youth Champions

  • The opportunity to live abroad in Tarui Japan (2013-2014)



Though I have truly loved all of these amazing opportunities to interact with students and colleagues in many amazing ways, I believe that the next opportunity that I am about to access through my district will truly help rejuvenate me, refill my cup and prepare me for another 17 years of excitement and joy with my district.

Deferred Leave

Using this program provided by CCSD I have been deducted 16.67% of my salary for the past five (5) years.   These deductions are allowing me to take a leave during the up coming school year. Not only will I continue to be paid 83.35% of my salary, but my position has also been reserved for me within the district for when I return to work in fall 2018.


I am planning on using my deferred year as an opportunity to connect with those who are truly important in my life. My kids and myself.

A few of my goals for this upcoming year.

  • BECOME A GIRL GUIDE LEADER- my daughter truly loved being a brownie, and I appreciate that she has been able to connect with other positive, empowering female role models. As she moves up into Guides I am excited to join this journey with her.
  • SIT ON THE BOARD FOR EPIC FENCING- my son loves this sport and I want to give back to the community who has provided him with so much.
  • SUPERVISE A PRACTICUM STUDENT- my mentor has chosen to retire this year. I am excited to help a new comer transition into the position that I love so much
  • EXPLORE some Expressive Arts Therapy techniques
  • PREPARE for the 2018 ATACSC conference.
  • REFILL my own personal cup.

BCHS Art Trading Cards: Mental Health Awareness Week 2017


Today marked our the final art therapy based project, sponsored by my Spectrum club’s DEHR grant, for the 2016-2017 school year. For information on past projects please check out the following links:

Heart of A Community: BCHS Students Fill Their Hearts

ART THERAPY: We All Wear a Mask

For this final exercise we decided to try an art trading card technique. Art trading cards, are similar to hockey cards, or pokemon cards. The image on the front represents something about a person. The back of the card provides a name and a few details about the person it represents.

Based on our success with past project, we chose to make this a multimedia task with minimal instruction so that our students had plenty of opportunities for personal reflection.


Students were then asked to complete 3 cards.

  1. To keep
  2. To trade
  3. A final card to contribute to the BCHS commemorative collage.

*although we allowed complete freedom for the first two cards we asked the students to base their third card on what it means to be a member of the Bishop Carroll community


With Spotify “tunes for the coffee bar” channel streaming in the background. We provided our students with two hours to work on their projects.

The results were amazing.

We are waiting for the last few cards to come in and then we are planning to mat the cards in a single frame in order to create a legacy piece to remember not only Bishop Carroll’s 45th anniversary, but also the year we were able to collaborate between art and counselling thanks to our amazing DEHR grant.


Thank you ATA.


Mrs. Luong

Pies Bring Us All Together: Smart Grad 2017

Grad can be an expensive time of year. This year our student grad committee decided to host an event that not only raised funds to help students in need, but also created a positive spirit of community and comradeship within our school community.

1)Each of the teachers, support staff and administrators were given a cup. Over the noon hour the grad committee sold raffle tickets at $1/ ticket. Participants could then select which cup they wanted to add their tickets into.pi12) We purchased one paper plate (safety) and whip cream in order to make the pies.  pi53) Over the lunch hour we invited the school community to participate in this pep rally. Buttons and baking were sold on the way into the gym in order to earn extra funds.

4) Participating teachers were provided with shower caps and plastic bags to cover up. We also made sure to lay plastic out over the floor.

5) Students had a blast checking to see if their name was drawn to “pie” their favorite staff member.


6) Once everyone had been pied a few of our staff members agreed to go up for a 2nd helping, with the honor going to the highest bidder.


Feedback from the day was extremely positive. We earned $685 to put towards grad fees for students in need.

I would highly recommend this to other school who want to build positive school spirit.

Do you have any other suggestions on spirit building activities and events in your community?

Mrs. L

The BCHS 3rd Annual “WE DON’T SAY ” Campaign

2017 Marks the third year of the BCHS Spectrum clubs annual “WE DON’T SAY” Campaign. For information on our previous campaigns please check out the following links:

Creating a Culture of Caring At Bishop Carroll

We Don’t Say 2.0: Our #Carrollculture of Caring Continues

We proudly launched this year’s anti- slur campaign on March 19th, 2017 during the 4th annual BCHS Mental Health Symposium . A big thanks especially goes out to the Bishop Carroll commuity for coming up with our phrases,  Grade 12 executive Olivia Quinn for leading our project,  Arlene Hufalar from the BCHS Photography club for taking photos for us, Spectrum alumni Sara for designing the posters,  Mr. Audet for printing our posters, Mr. O’ Flaherty for approving our messages and Ms. Luong and Boppre for acting as club sponsors.

Here are the phrases that made it into our campaign this year.


What phrases and responses might you have added? Feel free to share this campaign with others, or add comments.

BCHS 4th Annual Mental Health Symposium

On Wednesday April 19th Bishop Carroll’s Mental Wellness Team, Spectrum Club and partnered together to put on our school 4th annual Mental Health Symposium.

(see 1st, 2nd, 3rd)

Our fabulous, student run event,  involved 100 participants from four different schools in the Calgary area. Participants were encouraged to participate in a number of mental wellness activities including building gratitude baskets, sketching to the fabulous tunes of our very own Kate Stevens, making a button with the Spectrum Club  and being the first to view the launch of the The BCHS 3rd Annual “WE DON’T SAY ” Campaign.

Our students were reminded that everyone experiences “Mental Health”, however at least 1/5 Canadians will experience Mental Illness in their lifetime.


One of our morning keynote speakers  was Calgary teen Maggie Harder who was the original initiator of the  Amazon Suicide Shirt Campaign which took place in January 2016. Maggie spoke to our students about the fact that language matters, and it’s important to stand up (in a positive and constructive way) for what you believe is important.

mental health 6

ART THERAPY: We All Wear a Mask

One of the innovative projects I am pleased to work on this year involves a collaboration between myself, another counselling colleague and our art teacher. BCHS Spectrum Club’s mission is to bring people together and spread a message of love … Continue reading