September 27 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

With five weeks of school behind us and only two weeks before fall break, we are definitely starting to see an increase in ‘COVID fatigue’ and with that a corresponding decrease in adherence to the precautions that make up our re-entry plan. Prior to school starting in August we stated that we would review our procedures toward the end of September. Well…here we are and we have determined that our re-entry plan and prevention measures are still valid and meet or exceed AHS guidelines.  On Monday morning homeroom teachers will be spending time with their classes to revisit the the following processes and the reasons they are important to keeping Connect students and staff safe:

  • Masks – when, where, why
  • Cohorts – reasons for staying together
  • Physical distancing – in class, during lunch, outside
  • Designated entrances/exits
  • Hand hygiene
  • Daily screening
  • Testing
  • Encouraging an empathetic community around symptoms/testing and nurturing a supportive school community in the event of a positive test.

Please have a conversation with your child on Monday evening to gauge their understanding of why these precautions are important to our collective health.

Camp Riveredge

Camp Riveredge 2.0 is off to a great start and the weather forecast is looking great through until fall break at this point. Please ensure students scheduled to attend Riveredge are dressed in layers for weather that may be chilly in the morning and rapidly warm up through the day.

A big thanks to all who have volunteered their time to make Camp Riveredge a huge success over the last 4 weeks. We do require volunteers as noted below.  Please sign up on Better Impact.

If you haven’t done so already, please remember to fill out the informed consent form which can be found in your PowerSchool account. This consent form covers your child’s upcoming trip and is different from the consent form for their first Camp Riveredge trip (the title of this new consent form is Camp Riveredge 2.0). We require this form to be filled out before the morning of your child’s trip to ensure a timely departure from Connect and to allow us to spend more time at Camp Riveredge. 

Thanks,

The PE Team

 

IPP meetings

The second round of meetings between core teachers and the parents of students with Individualized Program Plans (IPPs) will take place on the afternoon of Friday Oct. 2nd. Only if your child has an IPP, you may register for a 20 minute meeting block by accessing Conference Manager at connectcharter.schoolsoft.com.  Meetings may be scheduled between 12:20 and 3pm. 

If you have questions regarding the use of conference manager, contact Laurie Kangas at [email protected].

If you have inquiries regarding IPPs, contact Brittney MacDonald at [email protected].  

Traffic and Parking Concerns at Connect

We have received reports of students running between cars and school buses and crossing the street without looking for traffic, or biking in the crosswalk rather than walking bikes across. There have also been parent vehicles parked blocking driveways and crosswalks in the vicinity of the school. If you are dropping off or picking up children, please use the designated area on the school side of 34th St. and avoid obstructing crosswalks and driveways.

Terry Fox Run

Our annual Terry Fox Run will look quite different this year. Each pod will run laps of the 1.1km loop around Lewis Drive and up 34th St during scheduled phys ed classes. Donations may be made to the Terry Fox Run Organization at secure.terryfox.ca/registrant/TeamFundraisingPage.aspx?Referrer=%26Referrer%3dhttps%253a%252f%252fterryfox.org%252fschoolrun%252fparents%252f&TeamID=917403 

Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for communities to honour the spirit of reconciliation, and encourage education about the Residential School System. This day of remembrance was named in recognition of the orange shirt take away from Phyllis Webstad when she was sent to residential school at the age of six. Students are encouraged to wear something orange on September 30, and teachers will be addressing the reasons for this day in classes on Wednesday, and throughout the year. This resource may be one used by teachers in the classroom, and may also be something you are interested in perusing yourself.

Information from our Public Health Nurse

As the fall approaches, many parents may have questions regarding Covid -19, Influenza and other circulating infections.

What is the difference between COVID-19 and influenza? 

 In some ways, COVID-19 is similar to influenza (also known as the flu):

  • Both COVID-19 and the flu cause respiratory disease in people who get sick.
  • Both are spread the same way, via small droplets from the nose and mouth.
  • Neither one is spread through the air over long distances and times, unlike a disease like the measles.

There are some key differences between COVID-19 and the flu: 

  • We currently have no specific vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. A new vaccine for influenza is developed each year to protect against the latest Influenza strains.
  • COVID-19 causes severe disease in a higher percentage of cases than seasonal influenza. Estimates of mortality in COVID-19 cases depend on many things, but on average they range from about 3 – 4 deaths per 100 people infected. By comparison, seasonal influenza is deadly in about 1 in every 1000 who are infected.
  • Because COVID-19 can cause such a serious illness, it is critical to keep it from spreading by having people with a cough or fever stay home and away from others.  

COVID-19 Testing in Alberta 

Effective Sept. 17, all Albertans who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are eligible for testing. 

Asymptomatic testing is still available for those that fall into the following risk groups: 

  • Albertans who are close contacts of a confirmed case, whether symptomatic or not;  
  • Albertans who are linked to a known outbreak, whether symptomatic or not; and,
  • Asymptomatic Albertans who are:
  • School teachers and/or school staff;
  • Healthcare workers
  • Staff and/or residents at congregate living facilities, including long-term care;
  • Experiencing homelessness; or
  • Require asymptomatic testing for the purpose of travel

Testing is by appointment, which can be easily booked online by visiting www.ahs.ca/covid.

If using the Internet is not an option, 811 can book an appointment. 

Healthcare workers can still choose to take Healthcare Worker online self-assessment tool.

Why use a mask 

  • Masks are another tool that complement – not replace other measures that have proven to be effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 between people 
  • Wearing a mask in public settings has not been proven to protect the person wearing it, however, it can be an additional measure you can take to protect others around you by preventing your respiratory droplets from contaminating people, surfaces and/or objects 
  • If you use a mask incorrectly, you could accidentally spread infection, despite your good intentions. Therefore, it is critical you use and dispose of a mask properly 
  • Wearing a mask should be used in combination with other measures such as: stay home when you are sick and immediately isolate if you have COVID-19 symptoms. 

What not to do with your mask 

  • Do not touch your face under the mask 
  • Do not use a ripped, visibly soiled or wet mask or if the ear loops/ties are damaged 
  • Don’t wear the same mask for a long period of time; it must be changed when it gets damp 
  • Don’t share masks with another person 
  • Don’t wear the mask below your nose or chin 
  • Don’t let the mask give you a false sense of security; masks are meant to be used to as an addition to other measures such as physical distancing wherever possible, and hand washing. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences will take place via Zoom on Tuesday Oct. 6th from 4-8 pm and Wednesday Oct. 7th from 8am-1pm. These conferences are intended to provide parents with a mid-term snapshot of student progress. A Conference Manager link will be sent out by Oct. 2nd for you to sign up for your conference. If you feel you will need more than the 10 minutes allocated for a parent-teacher conference, please schedule a separate meeting with your child’s teachers and do not schedule a time on Oct. 6-7.

Revised Report Card Format

We are excited to announce that Connect Charter will be using a new report card in the 2020-2021 school year. Three years ago, staff at Connect began a review of our report card. Staff and parents completed surveys, and students joined focus groups, to provide feedback on our report card. We also engaged with experts from Alberta Assessment Consortium, and looked at a variety of report cards from school divisions across the province, as we engaged in a report card redesign process. Reporting and assessment research was reviewed. Our findings have resulted in a carefully crafted new report card that will provide clear communication regarding your child’s progress.  Please direct any inquiries regarding the new report card to Shannon Bennett, Assistant Principal, at [email protected]

What is changing?

  • New Achievement Indicators:
    • The new report card will use the following achievement indicators to describe student progress:
  • One Achievement Indicator per course: 
    • In the new report card, students will receive one achievement indicator that reflects their achievement relative to the Alberta Program of Studies in each of the following courses: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Health, and Complementary Courses such as Art and Music.
  • Narrative comments separated by course:
    • In the new report card, students will have separate comments for each of the following courses: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Health, and Complementary Courses such as Art and Music.
  • A new narrative comment on Citizenship
    • Our school’s vision is to prepare our students to be extraordinary citizens. As such, our new report card provides an opportunity for parents to read about their child’s actions in relation to school values such as the Culture of Mutual Respect and the Exemplary Learning Framework.

What is staying the same?

  • We continue to honor the goals of our charter. Teaching and learning at Connect continues to focus on deep inquiry, the meaningful implementation of technology, collaboration, outdoor learning.
  • Teachers continue to teach through an interdisciplinary approach, often incorporating multiple subjects into tasks and assignments.
  • Students continue to engage in meaningful, authentic learning tasks that connect to the greater community outside of the school.

School Council 

Fundraising Initiatives:

Meat 

 The TeamFund fundraiser (Bow River Meats and Spolumbo’s Sausages) is in its final days. To date, we have raised more than $5,000 for the school. Thank you so much! If you’re still interested in ordering, please visit connectcharterschool.myteamfund.ca. Orders must be in by September 29th at 11pm.

 Order pick-up date is October 7th at 4:30 pm at the school parking lot. You will receive pick-up instructions from Teamfund via email in the coming days. Please note that if you shared the link with other supporters, such as friends and family, you will be sent the information for their orders and you will pick up their orders for them.

We need six volunteers to help on delivery day, October 7th. You should see an email invitation to sign up via Better Impact in the days to come. Please join us if you can.

Masks

Our mask sale is in progress until October 9th. The order instructions are at drive.google.com/file/d/13Y0FA37Fm-btBGjnp4RAw_AdSxO7923f/view .

Thank you for your support of these fundraising initiatives!

Alberta Biz Connect 

The Alberta government has launched a new website designed to support Alberta’s relaunch strategy. Biz Connect addresses the challenges and opportunities presented to Albertans and offers support and ideas for innovative relaunch strategies. 

www.alberta.ca/biz-connect.aspx

Thank you and have an outstanding week.

Phil Butterfield

Principal