May 31 Update

Good afternoon Connect Parents;

With only 4 weeks of school left in the 2019-20 year, there are a great many details that still need to be taken care of, even in an e-learning format. Teachers and support staff are beginning to work on report cards, class lists for next year, transition plans for students, and ensuring that Individualized Program Plans are up to date and form an important part of the reporting process. These are all tasks that are normal for this time of year; what is not normal is trying to accomplish all of them remotely yet still ensure there is meaningful collaboration among staff to gain an accurate perspective on each student’s progress. 

Undoubtedly many of you carry forward the question of what school will look like as we enter the 2020-2021 year. It is worth reinforcing that we will follow all of the directives of Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education to ensure student and staff safety. We are also doing a great deal of planning for a variety of scenarios, always striving to ensure we are providing the most authentic and meaningful learning experiences for our students.

e-Learning has evolved and developed significantly over the past 3 months, and with it our awareness of how students learn in this environment has also increased. As we predicted in March, e-learning will be resoundingly successful for some students and a source of extreme frustration for others. We have certainly seen many examples of student success and increased engagement and participation from some, but we are also acutely aware of high levels of anxiety and frustration being experienced by others who find the online format disconnected and not allowing for adequate questioning, conversation, dialogue, and social interaction.

As parents in the role of supporting student learning, you are well positioned to see and hear if your child is having adverse responses to pending Zoom sessions or is withdrawing from the activities for any reason. Please contact your child’s homeroom teacher if you have any concerns of this nature.  As a team we will seek alternatives and solutions – we do not want to see any student feeling self-doubt or angst about e-learning and there are many strategies we can incorporate to help.

This is also the time of year when we would normally be spending a lot of time outdoors and planning year end activities to wind down the school year. This is made more complicated by our circumstances, however teachers and school leadership will be planning some virtual year end wrap up for students.

June is also known as the season of surveys…the time of year when we seek your opinions on the past year and ask for your input on shaping directions for the future. This year’s parent survey is more complicated than in the past but has been created by School Council and the administration to gain your perspective on the effectiveness of school leadership and gauge your perceptions of some options for future programming. The survey will be sent out in a separate email on Monday.  

New Parent Orientation

We will be hosting a virtual orientation for all parents of incoming grade 4 students on Tuesday June 9th from 4:30-5:30pm. This will be an opportunity to provide an overview of the grade 4 program and introduce new parents to the many opportunities available at Connect. The session will take place using a Zoom webinar – the link will be sent to all parents of registered grade 4 students on June 5th.

Alberta School Council Association Award

In February Dr. Kevin O’Connor of MRU submitted a nomination to the Alberta School Council Association for the ASCA Excellence in Learning Partnerships Award based on our Partners In Place collaboration, specifically the Social Problem Solving Through Design Thinking initiative.   Although only schools who are ASCA members can be nominated, we have now been notified that Connect Charter School’s partnership with Tsuut’ina Education and Mount Royal University are being recognized for this work through the ASCA award. 

Due to COVID-19 the award presentations will be delayed until a time when a representative can join us in person. www.connectcharter.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ASCA-Excellence-in-Learning-Partnerships-Award-3.pdf

Retrieval of Student Belongings THIS WEEK 

Although many student belongings were picked up prior to spring break, there are still a lot of shoes, coats, and miscellaneous stuff in classrooms and lockers throughout the school.  Following are the details for collecting your child’s belongings:

    • In order to allow safe retrieval of personal belongings, we will be scheduling pick up times each day from June 1-5 between 9am and 4pm
    • Our custodial staff are emptying all classrooms and lockers of anything that is not owned by the school and will be sorting it all in the gym by homeroom class. 
    • Locker contents will be bagged and affixed with a label bearing the student’s name.
    • Parents will need to register a pick up time through Conference Manager connectcharter.schoolsoft.com/login.jsf and the link will open until June 5th.
    • Time slots will be available to a maximum of 4 families at a time to ensure adequate physical distancing.
    • Non-medical masks must be worn by anyone entering the school.
    • Entry to the school will be through the front door only! A staff member will direct you into the gym (follow the arrows on the floor). 
    • The gym will be divided into sections for each homeroom class. Proceed to your child’s class area and quickly retrieve any of their belongings.
    • If your child has a musical instrument that belongs to the school, it may be dropped off in a designated area of the gym. If you need to pick up a musical instrument for return to Long and McQuade, please see one of the staff members present for assistance.
    • Follow the arrows out of the gym and exit the school through the staff entrance.
    • There will be no access to any other part of the school.
    • The lost and found will be sorted and on display in the mud room as you exit the building.
    • An itemized list of library items was sent out in early May. The book return bin will be outside the front door to allow drop off without having to make an appointment.
    • Technology returns for grade 9 students not purchasing their device and any students not returning to Connect in the fall will happen in the final week of June, details to follow. 

 

  • IMPORTANT: Any belongings not collected by June 5th will be donated to a charitable organization.

 

 

Registration for 2020-2021

A reminder that registration and re-registration is not complete until fees have been paid in full or arrangements have been made with Laurie at [email protected]

 

Volunteer Clearances for 2020-2021

If you are a new parent to Connect, or a current parent whose volunteer clearance is nearing the 3 year expiration date, it is important to keep your clearance up to date.

New Parents – email Laurie if you would like to apply for volunteer clearance with Connect Charter.

Current Parents – will receive new authorization letters if your clearances are expiring in the next 3 months.

From Connect Charter School Council:

A Conversation with Jody Carrington

The Alberta School Councils Association, together with the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia, will be hosting a one hour session with Dr. Jody Carrington, a local psychologist and author of ‘Kids These Days’. 

www.learning-network.org/program/5731 

Online Webinar Tuesday June 9th at 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

“Your Babies, a Beverage and Corona – A Parent Conversation with Jody Carrington”. REGISTER HERE  (registration closes at 12 noon on June 8th)

This is a FREE opportunity for parents.

The survey results from the Alberta School Council Association’s School Re-entry Survey are available at this link: 

www.albertaschoolcouncils.ca/about/the-parent-voice/school-re-entry-survey-results?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=School%20Council%20eNews%20May%202020&utm_content=School%20Council%20eNews%20May%202020+CID_6a32453b9aa805d8632c1c971820cf3d&utm_source=MailGuide%20email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Survey%20Results

Thank you and have a wonderful week,

Phil Butterfield

Principal