September 13 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

Our gratitude to all of you who have made the effort to complete the daily screening tool before your child boards a school bus or enters the school building each day. We realize it can be challenging to make the daily screening part of a family routine, particularly if you have children attending different schools, however it is a cornerstone of our COVID-19 prevention measures and we rely on all of you taking the time to ensure the screen is completed fully and accurately each morning, including taking your child’s temperature. Digital thermometers are once again available at most pharmacies and have become a staple for identifying a symptomatic fever.

Related to daily screening is the effectiveness of cohorts that keep a relatively small group of students and staff together in order to reduce virus spread. The cohorts of students we have at school begin and end within the parameters of our school day. Who students interact with outside of school is beyond our control, but those interactions may have far reaching implications if a student brings the coronavirus into school as a result of a community contact. As the number of positive cases seems to be on the rise, please be mindful of your child’s contacts and the safety precautions being employed beyond school in order to minimize our collective risk. 

I have received a few emails expressing concern about the volume of email being sent from the school and the difficulty in typing to absorb and process an overwhelming amount of information. The beginning of any school year is usually a time when a lot of preliminary details about school organization and events are shared with parents. This year is considerably different as so much of our communication is focused on COVID-19 and school re-entry procedures. We do try to limit duplicate and excessive messages and hopefully in the next while we will settle into more of a rhythm with primarily weekly updates as your information source.  

Air Quality 

Environment Canada is forecasting that smoke from wildfires in the US will drift into the Calgary area through the early part of the week. The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is expected to be moderate at ‘4’ and will not curtail outdoor activities, however it is important to ensure students with asthma or respiratory issues have a prescribed inhaler with them at all times and that a second inhaler is delivered to the office.

Individualized Program Plan meetings 

Teachers will be available on Friday September 25th and Friday October 2nd from 12:20-3pm for virtual meetings with parents of students who have been identified with a specific learning need that requires an Individualized Program Plan (IPP). The purpose of these 20 minute meetings is to share current assessment data and discuss goals and strategies geared towards student success.  The meetings will be conducted by pods and teachers will send out a Conference Manager and Zoom link to parents of students with an IPP by next Sunday.

Message from our public health nurse

AHS now offers a new service for all individuals tested at AHS sites for Covid-19.

The SMS text messaging and auto dialer option is now offered throughout the province. The SMS text messaging and auto dialer option will deliver both positive and negative results. All positive results will still be followed up through a phone call from AHS Public Health for further information and instructions.  

All Albertans will be provided with the opportunity to consent to this method of positive or negative results delivery at the time that they book their test through ahs.ca/covid.  In the case of drop-in testing, this option will be provided at time of drop-in at AHS assessment centre.  It is important to understand that if you opt-in to receive your test result through SMS text messaging or auto dialer, your test result will be sent to your phone, and – depending on your personal text preview settings – could be displayed on your phone’s screen. You can consider adjusting your preview settings on your personal phones to meet your privacy preferences.  Results will also be left on voicemail on the third attempt to reach an individual.

Message from School Council

Please remember to check out our Bow River Meats and Spolumbos Sausage sale on TeamFund and place your order before September 29th. Thanks so much to those families who have already participated. The school keeps 20% of sales, so it all adds up and makes a difference! connectcharterschool.myteamfund.ca

This week, we plan on offering Connect Charter logoed masks (the same ones as the students received in August) for sale via online order. We will also offer a non-logoed option. Stay tuned early this week for an email with details. 

Our first School Council meeting is taking place this Tuesday, September 15th. Please join us via the Zoom link being sent out. The School Council meeting will follow the Parent Society meeting. 

We are still looking for a grade 4 parent to join us on the School Council Executive. If you’re interested, please connect with us at [email protected].

Parent Webinar: Riding a  Bike in the Sand:  Finding the Opportunities in Uncertain Times

Thursday September 17th  4:30-6pm

Many parents, students and teachers have expressed concerns and worries as the new school year has started.  Most of these concerns are valid and well-founded.  However, sometimes there are opportunities to be found in challenging situations.  This session will focus on developing positive ways to reframe the school re-entry process and how best to manage and overcome fears and anxiety related to the Re-Start (not just at school, but also in terms of re-entering the workplace).

 

Presenter: Dr. Brent Macdonald is a registered psychologist in Alberta, PEI, and the Northwest Territories, and is a certified teacher with over 25 years’ experience working with individuals with a variety of complex learning differences. He has taught at the junior and senior high level and was the assistant principal at an independent school for students with learning disabilities. He is a sessional instructor in the Departments of Psychology, Continuing Education, and Community, Health & Education at Mount Royal University.  He is also an adjunct assistant professor with the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.  

Brent is a frequent guest on CBC Radio, Global Morning and Global Newshour, Breakfast Television, and CTV2’s Alberta Primetime.  He is currently the lead psychologist with his own practice, Macdonald Psychology Group (complexlearners.com), which in addition to providing counselling and assessment services, also provides consultation services to educators and parents.

All students will need bike helmets next week. Please see the schedule below

Please bring a bike helmet for this week’s scooter unit for your PE class if you are in .1/.3 (all grades). Please see the dates required below:

Monday, Sept. 14

4.1/4.3     5.1/5.3     6.1/6.3 – Scootering in PE

9.1/9.2 – Cycling to Camp

Tuesday Sept. 15th

7.1/7.3      8.1/8.3      9.1/9.3  – Scootering in PE

4.1/4.2 – Parent Drop off at Camp

Wednesday, Sept. 16th   PE UNIT SWITCH OVER DAY

4.2/4.4    5.2/5.4   6.2/6.4  – Scootering in PE

9.3/9.4 – Cycling to Camp

Thursday September 10th

7.2/7.4    8.2/8.4     9.2/9.4   – Scootering in PE

4.3/4.4 – Parent Drop off at Camp

Friday September 11th

4.2/4.4    5.2/5.4   6.2/6.4  – Scootering in PE

7.3/7.4 – Cycling to Camp

Main Office Updates

Parents please note that we are unable to honour passing on any messages that are received after 3pm. If you need to get a message to your child please contact the office before 3pm. The office is exceptionally busy at the end of the day and the staggered dismissal times add another layer of complexity to an already busy end of day schedule. 

If you are collecting your child early for any reason please note that students must come to the office to be signed out and parents must meet their child at the main entrance of the school. Under no circumstances should students be leaving the building without having signed out at the main office. 

Bus Updates 

Unfortunately we had several reports this week of students not following safety procedures on the bus. Parents, please remind your child of the need to follow  all safety procedures, particularly remaining in assigned seats and keeping masks on. Any student who is unable to meet these expectations will lose riding privileges. Over the next couple of weeks Ms Shergill and Mrs. Bennett will be conducting bus meetings with all routes to reinforce expectations on how we can all keep each other safe. 

KeeBo Update

We have had some queries regarding registration into KeeBo for term 2. We will be sharing information on term 2 registration for all Connect families as soon as we return from fall break. Registration for KeeBo will begin for Connect families in the first week of November. 

Thank you to all of our KeeBo parents and students for your patience as we introduced a new schedule this week. This new schedule provides opportunities for enrichment activities and EA support.  

KeeBo parents: a reminder to let your child’s homeroom teacher and KeeBo teacher know if they plan to attend Camp Riveredge with their cohort class. KeeBo students should be dropped off and picked up from Camp Riveredge, not from Connect

Lost and Found 

Although we have only been at school a few weeks, we have already accumulated a significant amount of items in our lost and found! For obvious health reasons we can not continue to have these items stored at school. Please label your child’s clothing, lunch kits, water bottles etc so that they can be returned to them. 

Vertigo Theatre’s COVID Response

As COVID-19 brought live arts to a standstill, Connect parents Craig Hall and Anna Cummer of Vertigo Theatre adjusted course and began producing radio plays. The podcast is available at vertigotheatre.com

Thank you and have a wonderful week everyone,

Phil Butterfield

Principal