August 30 Update

Connect Charter School staff at Camp River Edge on Friday. 

Good afternoon Connect parents;

Without a doubt the highlight of this past week was having all 624 of our students in school for the first time since March 13th. On a daily…and sometimes hourly…basis, we are closely monitoring and reviewing the procedures and precautions that have been implemented to create a safe and healthy environment for staff and students. Some adjustments have been made and more will be coming. Please be sure to check your email frequently and consider any communication from the school to be important. We certainly don’t want to fill up your inbox with frivolous or unnecessary messages and will do our best to consolidate updated information to reduce the number of emails, but it’s possible there will be significant new details to share over the next new weeks. We have also appreciated the constructive feedback from parents who are working hard to support students with some of the changes at school. One suggestion to help students deal with wearing a mask for extended periods of time is to provide them with 4-6 clean masks each day so they can change them frequently. The action of switching masks seems to alleviate some of the overheating and anxiety issues that may arise.

Camp River Edge

Our day trips to Camp River Edge as an outdoor learning space will begin on August 31st and run through to Sept. 17th. During our PD day on Friday, our physical education staff and our art teacher spent the morning at Camp River Edge to receive an orientation to the activity stations students will experience.  

The schedule is:

Aug.31:  7.1/7.2

Sept.1:  5.1/5.2

2:  7.3/7.4

3:  5.3/5.4

8:  6.1/6.2

9:  8.1/8.2

10:  6.3/6.4

11:  8.3/8.4

14:  9.1/9.2

15:  4.1/4.2

16:  9.3/9.4

17:  4.3/4.4

  • The day will consist of a combination of activities focused on building trusting relationships, developing self-confidence, enhancing outdoor skills, and reinforcing curricular expectations. 
  • Students will move through stations through the day, being vigilant of the need for physical distancing, hand hygiene, and the proper use of masks when distancing is not possible.  
  • Students in grades 6 to 9 will cycle from the school to Camp River Edge at 9am on their designated day and will return in time to be dismissed at the end of the day. 
  •  
  • Students in grades 4 and 5 will need to be dropped off at Camp River Edge by parents at 9:30am and picked up at 2:30pm. Unfortunately we are unable to use a school bus for this event and we do not have a secondary plan to get students to camp for the day. Grade 4 and 5 students who cannot be dropped off and picked up will be able to attend school and will be provided with a supervised workspace.
  • KeeBo students are welcome to join their homeroom class for the Camp River Edge experience as an optional activity. Note that while students will be physically distanced and will wear masks when distancing is not possible, there will be 50 students interacting and if such a scenario represents a potential COVID risk factor, KeeBo students may wish to pass on this activity.
  • Students are expected to follow the same COVID safety precautions at Camp River Edge as they do at school.
  • All students and volunteers attending Camp River Edge must complete the daily screening tool prior to getting to school or being dropped off at camp. 

Students will need to bring:

  • Backpack
  • Snack
  • Lunch
  • Water bottle
  • Hat
  • 2 non-medical face masks
  • Bike helmet (grades 6-9)
  • Epipen or inhaler if required
  • Sunscreen
  • Notebook
  • Pencil
  • Additional clothing for the weather

IMPORTANT: Parents must provide informed consent for this learning opportunity by accessing the consent form through your PowerSchool account. The informed consent must be signed prior to your child’s scheduled Camp River Edge day.  If you experience any problems or have questions, please contact [email protected]

We will need 4 parent volunteers with current security clearance to accompany each pod. All volunteers will be required to complete the guest screening tool at www.staging.staging.staging.connectcharter.ca/c19-visitor/. Volunteers will also be required to wear a non-medical face mask whenever a physical distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. Please notify your child’s homeroom teacher if you are able to volunteer.

A message from the PE Team

Please remember to bring a helmet for biking to and from Camp Riveredge if you are in the following classes:

August 31: 7.1/7.2

September 2: 7.3/7.4

For PE class this week (Bike/Scooter Rodeo), please bring a helmet on Friday, September 4th if you are in the following classes:

6.2/6.4

5.2/5.4

4.2/4.4

A Message from School Council Executive

Hello to all parents!

We hope these first few days of school have gone well for your family.   

Right now, School Council is working with school administration on the best fundraising and parent engagement plans for the year. We’ll have more details to share shortly. 

One important heads-up: we are planning a ‘Fill Your Freezer’ fundraiser through the online platform TeamFund for October 7th. Online order forms will be shared shortly. This is a good substitute for the no-longer-available Balzac Meats and allows us to support other local businesses.

Our first scheduled Council meeting is September 15th. We’ll be holding our meetings via Zoom for the foreseeable future; the meeting link will be provided in upcoming communications.  

In the meantime, please stay involved by joining our Facebook group ‘Connect Charter School Parents’ and by following the school on Twitter @connectcharter. 

 Thank you, 

School Council Exec

 

Parent Webinar with Dr. Brent Macdonald

Mark your calendars…School Council and school administration are co-hosting a parent webinar featuring Dr. Brent Macdonald on Thursday Sept. 17th (4:30-6pm). Dr. Macdonald will address many key concerns for parents regarding school re-entry, anxiety, and developing a plan for emotional wellness. More information will be forthcoming. 

KeeBo Information

Monday, Aug 31 is the last day to register students into KeeBo, our scenario 1 online learning program at Connect. Registration closes at 4pm on Monday, Aug 31, after that time, students who are already registered will no longer be able to opt out and open registration into the program will end. Any further registration into KeeBo during term 1 will be considered by administration on an individual basis; these decisions will prioritize the health needs of students and families. 

KeeBo begins on Monday, Aug 31 with an orientation webinar for students at 9:30am, and classes starting at 10:30am following the webinar. Meet the Teacher for KeeBo parents will take place later this week, watch your email for dates and times . Our KeeBo staff are:

Ms. Shergill and Mr. Cloutier: Administration and Registration 

Mrs. Margaret Leland: Grades 4 and 5 teacher

Mrs. Erin Piper: Grade 6 teacher 

Mr. Louis Cheng: Grades 7, 8, and 9 teacher 

Mrs. Suzanne Veiteikis: Student support 

Information regarding registration into KeeBo for term 2 will be forthcoming in a couple of months. 

Daily Screening Update

In most of our communication lately we have emphasized the critical importance of completing the daily screening tool for every student. A huge thank you to those of you who are accurately completing and submitting  the screen.  Public health authorities consider the daily screening tool to be an essential first line of defence in limiting spread of the virus. Going through the motions of completing the screening tool without ensuring the responses are accurate, including taking the child’s temperature, or submitting a clean screen when one or more of the symptoms or conditions exist, is a neglect of social responsibility and may place staff and students at risk unnecessarily. Neglecting, forgetting, or refusing to complete the screening tool creates a strain on the school’s resources as we have to process each of those students individually and it is teachers and support staff who are drawn away from other duties to complete the screen. Connect’s screening tool procedures and rationale are highlighted in a Livewire Calgary article at: livewirecalgary.com/2020/08/28/honour-system-expected-in-schools-for-albertas-daily-health-self-assessment/ 

All this is by way of a plea: 

PARENTS MUST ACCURATELY COMPLETE THE DAILY SCREENING TOOL BEFORE A CHILD GETS ON A SCHOOL BUS OR ENTERS THE SCHOOL…NO EXCEPTIONS!

General Infection Prevention Measures (A message from our public health nurse)

COVID-19 enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth – The T-Zone (not through the skin) when an individual touches their face. 

 Respiratory etiquette is important to prevent the spread of droplets that may contain the     Covid-19 virus.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT PARENTS IN CONSULTATION WITH THEIR CHILDREN FILL IN THE SCREENING TOOL EACH MORNING.

A student who has allergies or other pre-existing medical conditions that cause similar symptoms to Covid-19 should get at least one negative COVID-19 test result. These symptoms would be their baseline health status. The student can attend school as long as they stay the same. Talk to your school about your child’s pre-existing medical conditions so the school may keep a confidential record of these conditions.

Bus Route Dismissal Schedule

Among the procedural modifications we have had to make is the end of day dismissal for bus students. In order to provide optimum distancing, bus students are being dismissed as follows:

Routes 1, 5, 6, 7, 10 at 3:10

Routes 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 at 3:20

Parents of students using buses should have received a notification with any changes to arrival times. 

Picture Day info

Picture Day is Tuesday, September 1

Students in 5.1 and 5.2 will be at Camp River Edge and will have their photos taken on the retake day…date TBD.

After Picture Day, order pictures on mylifetouch.ca using your Portrait ID and Access Code which can be found on your Picture Day order form.

Lifetouch employees have received additional safety training to ensure they are able to maintain physical distancing, enhanced cleaning of equipment and furniture, and mask protocols (students will be asked to remove their masks briefly to capture their im age and will then put it back on)

We require three parent volunteers with security clearance to assist on picture day. Please contact the office at [email protected] or the volunteer committee at [email protected] if you are able to help out. Face coverings and completion of the daily screening tool for guests are required for parent volunteers.

Procedure for signing students in and out of school

While we cannot have parents come to the office to sign out students at this time, it is essential that students who are being picked up from school come by the office before leaving. The sign out/in procedure is:

  • Students MUST sign out at the office before leaving. 
  • Students will wait in the office. 
  • Parents are to use the intercom at the front door on arrival and an office staff member will escort the child to the front door. 
  • Reverse procedure for late arrival or return from appointment.

 

Updating Demographic and Health Info in PowerSchool

Keeping demographic and health information for students current is an important part of our data collection in PowerSchool. Unfortunately parents are not able to amend such information after it has been submitted.  If you need to make any changes to demographic or health information please contact Laurie Kangas at [email protected]

Resources for Parents from the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary

COVID-19 Intervention Services: Strong Mind, Strong Me Program

This FREE Counseling program is being offered to support children and their families who have been impacted by COVID-19. The intervention program is designed to support children and families who may be looking for support and strategies to successfully manage feelings of worry or frustration about COVID-19 and the challenges the back-to-school transition may pose for children and families.

To learn more: werklund.ucalgary.ca/integrated-services/interventions/C19_psychological_intervention

Reading Intervention

This fall, ISE is offering a low-cost reading intervention program for children in grades 2-5. This program will be individualized based on your child’s areas of reading difficulty and will be delivered completely online.

To learn more: werklund.ucalgary.ca/integrated-services/interventions/reading

Anxiety Prevention & Management

This fall, ISE is offering a low-cost small group intervention program for children ages 8-11. This program uses a cognitive-behavioural (CBT) framework to help prevent and manage anxiety in children and teach strategies for success. The program will be delivered completely online. This program can also be delivered individually if parents request.

To learn more: werklund.ucalgary.ca/integrated-services/intervention/anxiety-prevention-management

Ministry of Education 2019/20 Annual Report

Alberta Education’s annual report contains performance measurement results, achievements in key priority areas and ministry financial highlights for 2019/20. The report is available online at www.alberta.ca/government-and-ministry-annual-reports.aspx

Have a wonderful week everyone,

 

Phil Butterfield

Principal