February: In the News

Here is a list of the media links available online from the stories released this week:

CBE Radio Eyeopener:  February 2, 2016



Calgary Herald:  February 3, 2016


Calgary Sun:  February 3, 2016


Metro News:  February 3, 2016


February Update: What’s Next?

We continue to advocate for Education Minister David Eggen to re-consider his decision to decline ReThink’s charter.

Today, we are informing the public of the decision to turn down the charter through the media.  The CBC Eyeopener story aired this morning.  Here is a link to the online article:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/alberta-education-rejects-rethink-charter-academy-west-calgary-spanish-science-school-1.3429941

Global News is carrying the story today, and we anticipate that local newspapers will publish the story in coming days.  We will post the links in our Blog section of the website as they become available.

We pose two questions to all ReThink supporters.  Your ideas will help shape our next steps.

  • What do you want to tell the education minister?
  • What do you want to do next? Any suggestions?

Please email your responses to us at rethink.calgary @gmail.com.    We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Gloria Zakariasen

On behalf of the Rethink Team

Continuing to Advocate

In the days since we shared with you the response from the Minister, it has become clear to us there many stories that need telling surrounding students with learning disabilities in Alberta.

So many of you continue to write to the provincial government, call your MLA’s and contact us asking “Is there anything I can do?” We appreciate your support.

We do not believe this story is over until every student with a learning disability has access to effective programming.

If you are….

  • interested in speaking publicly about your families’ story in striving to meets the needs of your child(ren),
  • a health professional interested in expanding the services and supports that you can offer to students with learning disabilities and their families,
  • a student with a learning disability willing to share what school has been like for you,

ReThink is creating a list of potential contacts that we can call on to share their stories when we receive requests from the media or from MLAs.

If you would like to lend your voice to improving public awareness and government’s understanding of the need for more accessibility to effective, innovative programming for students with learning disabilities within the public education system, please send us an email at [email protected] and we will contact you with further details.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Gloria Zakariasen

On behalf of the ReThink Team

November Update

Thank you for the calls and emails we received inquiring about ReThink’s progress to become Alberta’s 14th public charter school!  The final proposal package was submitted to Education Minister David Eggen prior to November 1st. We anticipate hearing his decision by mid-January, or before.  As you may recall from earlier posts, the decision we receive from Minister Eggen is final.  We will keep posting new information on the website blog page, Facebook and Twitter.

ReThink Charter developers continue to advocate for charter approval within the community and government.  We are appreciative of the media opportunities that have helped us inform others about the need for this charter within the Calgary community.

Many parents have asked, “what can I do to help”?

Stories are powerful, and are a part of our daily lives.  Your story – much like the ones shared by ReThink in the media – can have a tremendous impact.  If you have someone in your family with a learning disability, share your story with your MLA and other people of influence within the community so they can understand the challenges facing children with learning differences.  Help them understand what a learning disability is, and why programs such as ReThink’s are so important.

I have posted a list of MLA’s for Calgary and a link to the electoral boundary maps below for your review.

Contacting MLA’s and those in government is one way to advocate for children with learning disabilities.  With knowledge and understanding comes action.

Thank you again for your interest in ReThink!

Kind Regards,

Gloria Zakariasen and the ReThink Team

MLA List

Hon. David Eggen, Minister of Education  Email [email protected]

Hon. Joe Ceci  403 216- 5454  Email:  [email protected] 
Greg Clark  403 252-0346  Email: [email protected]
Michael Connolly  403 216-5444  Email: [email protected]
Craig Coolahan  403 216-5430   Email: [email protected]
Deborah Drever  403 216-5400  Email: [email protected]
Mike Ellis  403 216-5439  Email: [email protected]
Rick Fraser 403 215-8930  Email: [email protected]
Hon. Kathleen Ganley  403 244-7737  Email: [email protected]
Richard Gotfried  403 278-4444  Email: [email protected]
Sandra Jansen  403 826-1619  Email: [email protected]
Anam Kazim 403 216-5421 Email: [email protected]
Jamie Kleinsteuber 403 274-1931 Email:[email protected]
Robyn Luff  403 216-5450   Email: [email protected]
Brian Malkinson  403 246-4794  Email: [email protected]
Ric McIver  403 215-4380   Email: [email protected]
Stephanie McLean  403 216-5436  Email: [email protected]
Karen McPherson  403 215-7710  Email: [email protected]
Ricardo Miranda  403 280-4022  Email: [email protected]
Brandy Payne  403 640- 1363  Email: [email protected]
Dave Rodney  403 238-1212  Email: [email protected]
Hon. Irfan Sabir  403 216-5424  Email: [email protected]
Graham Sucha  403 256-8969   Email: [email protected]
Dr. David Swann  403 216-5445  Email: [email protected]

Link to Electoral Boundary Maps for Calgary

October Update

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. Did you know scientists Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur and author Agatha Christie had a learning disability? Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg and scores of other such varied and talented people have shared their stories of living with a learning disability.   Many who learn differently become very successful and inspiring individuals. At ReThink, we want to help your child optimize his or her learning potential and pursue personal interests and dreams.

The ReThink team will have the final proposal ready to submit to Alberta Education by November 1st. The need and support for the school is certainly high based on parent and community input.

Parent signatures are still required to be included with the proposal. The more signatures we collect, the more solidly we can show the Minister of Education that Calgary parents who have a child with a learning disability want and need this charter school. Parents – please advocate for your child: ReThink is one way to do so.

Statement of Intention Forms are available on the website’s ‘Eligibility’ section.  Note: Signing and returning this form shows you are interested in ReThink for your child. It does not indicate enrolment. Your signature will help make this school a reality, helping your family and countless other families as well.

Meeting: Saturday, October 10th at Signal Hill Library at 1:00PM. We will have forms available to sign at the meeting.

We appreciate all the support via online interest, phone calls and your attendance at the meetings. With your support, I am confident we can offer ReThink Charter Academy to children with learning disabilities in Calgary.


Gloria Zakariasen

If you have kids who are struggling with dyslexia, the greatest gift you can give them is the sense that nothing is unattainable. With dyslexia comes a very great gift, which is the way that your mind can think creatively.” —Child Mind Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a few questions that have been asked. We will add to the list ; please check back from time to time.

Question:  Where will the school be located?

Response:  We don’t know as yet. Once the final approval from the Minister of Education is received, a location will be determined.

Question:  When will we know if the school has been approved?

Response:  ReThink Charter’s final proposal needs to be submitted to Minister Eggen by November 1st. His decision will be made within 60 days of the application being submitted. Once the decision is made, it is final.

Question:  What grade levels will you have for students?

Response:  Our plan is to open the school in 2016 with students in Grades 3 through 6. Each subsequent year, we will add one more grade to Grade 9.

Question:  How many students will ReThink have?

Response:  We plan to open in 2016 with approximately 350 students in Grade 3- 6. Each year the number of students will grow as we increase in grades, to a maximum of approximately 680 students enrolled in Grade 3 -9.

Question:  How can I help?

Response:  There are several conditions that ReThink needs to meet in order for final approval to be granted. One is gathering evidence of parent and community support. We require signatures from parents indicating support and interest in the charter school. The forms are in several locations on our website. We continue to hold information meetings (see Parent Information Sessions post in Blog section).

In the News!

On November 2, 2015, ReThink was featured on CTV News.  The news story includes a family’s journey to understand and support a child with a learning disability, and an interview with ReThink’s Judy Gray.  Watch the story on the CTV link.


We are thrilled to tell the story of Dr. Heather Macdonald, her TriOptimal Learning Model and the connection to ReThink Charter.  The story aired September 24th on Global News.  Watch the clip and be inspired!

Global News

For more information about the TriOptimal Learning Model contact Dr. Macdonald at  Email or the website: TriOptimal Learning Model


Judy Gray had the opportunity to share information about ReThink on CBC’s Eyeopener program on September 14th.  Click on the links to hear the radio program and read the accompanying news story.

CBC Eyeopener

CBC Eyeopener Story


Parent Information Sessions

ReThink Charter Academy is hosting information sessions for interested parents and community members who believe a public charter school such as ReThink is important for children with learning disabilities, for their families and for the Calgary community. 

Saturday, September 19th @ 1:00 pm
Judith Umbach Library – Meeting Room – 6617 Centre Street NW

Saturday, September 26th @ 1:00 pm
Saddletowne Library – Meeting Room – 7556 Falconridge Blvd NE

Saturday, October 3rd @ 1:00 pm
Fish Creek Library – Meeting Room – 11161 Bonaventure Drive SE

Saturday, October 10th @ 1:00 pm
Signal Hill Library – Meeting Room – 5994 Signal Hill Centre SW

To register for a session please send us an email at [email protected], letting us know the location and time most convenient for you.

Hope to meet you soon!