October 18 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents…and welcome back from what I hope was a relaxing fall break. In spite of our one case of COVID-19 that was confirmed by AHS on October 9th, we are confident that our re-entry plan and the COVID prevention procedures we have in place are sound and will continue to provide a significant degree of protection from the virus for our staff and students. We will continue to consult with AHS to determine if there are any further measures we should implement as we enter the next chunk of this school year leading up to winter break.

It is an opportune time to revisit the essential procedures that you can go over with your child prior to their return to school:

  • Daily screening is mandatory and must be completed with your child present prior to 8:30am;
  • Stay home if sick or if symptoms are present; contact AHS at 811 if you have questions regarding symptoms or visit www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16998.aspx for further information;
  • Masks are required by students at all times while in the school building or while outside if physical distancing of 2 metres cannot be maintained (exceptions may be made during physical education and DPA when activity levels are strenuous and masks are not advisable);
  • Frequent hand washing with soap and water and the use of hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible;
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres whenever possible;

Please remember that any child displaying symptoms of illness needs to be picked up by a parent immediately. Your support in reviewing these expectations with your child (ren) is greatly appreciated.

We have enjoyed a spectacular fall, but with the onset of cold and snow we are aware of the need to have a plan for students to eat lunch indoors. On Monday we will be introducing a new procedure for students to eat lunch in their classrooms while avoiding facing each other. They may remove their masks while eating only and must replace them as soon as they are finished. Students will still be required to go outside for the recess portion of lunch and should be prepared for a variety of weather conditions.

Calendar

Even though we are unable to host the same number of activities and events that have been the hallmarks of Connect, the school calendar is still a valuable resource to keep track of upcoming PD days, meetings and webinars. Please bookmark the following link for reference:

calendar.google.com/calendar/u/0/r?_x_zm_rtaid=Yh6_TGMOTTGhNnB2qt83SQ.1602093055908.27907279e61d379f2345a3e1dd238bb4&_x_zm_rhtaid=654 

PE: Dress for the weather!

Rain, snow, or sun – plan to be outside for the next while in PE! This means active clothing in layers, a headband or toque, gloves, waterproof and taller footwear (if it’s wet) like boots, an extra pair of socks for after class, etc. – and always check ahead online for the weather. You will not have access to lost and found items like other years if you forget something – so it is best to come prepared in the first place.

Camp Riveredge for KeeBo 

Camp Riveredge is a GO for students in KeeBo and KeeBo+ who have registered and completed forms. We can’t wait. Families, please check your email for instructions on getting to camp including drop off and pickup times. Please be sure to send at least two masks, lunch, a snack, a water bottle, and appropriate and layered clothing for colder weather (we will be outside the whole day). Mr. Cloutier and Ms. Shergill will greet you in the parking lot on arrival.

Levelled Literacy Intervention

Literacy development in children has always been a focus for our teachers and support staff. Beginning on October 18th we will be introducing Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) to Connect as a means of providing students with significant learning challenges in reading an opportunity to participate in a comprehensive literacy development program.

The Fountas and Pinnell program (www.fountasandpinnell.com/lli/) is designed for students who struggle to comprehend reading material, decode text, or who are unable to process information readily. The LLI program is part of a broader focus on literacy and numeracy that will be reflected in the new report card being unveiled in November (see below for detailed changes to the report card). Recognizing that literacy needs to be integrated into all aspects of learning, teachers will be engaging students of all abilities by incorporating literature across the curriculum and will be able to more accurately assess students specifically in relation to their reading skill set. Our staff have undertaken professional learning in preparation for introducing LLI and the literacy program and will continue to access resources available within our profession.

While all students will benefit from an increased focus on literacy, the parents of those students considered suitable for LLI will be contacted separately and will be provided more information and details of the program. These students will have specific goals on their Individualized Program Plans (IPP) pertaining to literacy development. We will be introducing LLI in a measured way so we can monitor the effectiveness of this model over the course of the school year. 

Parent support for any literacy program is fundamental to the development and success of children as functional and critical readers. Stay tuned for information on a webinar currently being planned to share with parents the most effective supports for middle school  literacy development. 

Revised Report Card Format

We are excited to announce that Connect Charter will be introducing 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 honour 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.

KeeBo Registration Term 2

We will be sharing information with families later this week regarding registration for our online learning program Keebo. Please look out for an email about KeeBo registration later this week. The deadline for term 2 registration is November 6.

Alberta School Council Association Parent Survey

The Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) welcomes your participation in this survey; your contributions are both essential and greatly appreciated!

This survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Please complete this survey only once.

This pandemic research survey closes on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

ALL RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.

Your participation in this pulse survey will inform the ASCA Board of Directors on parents’ perspectives during Alberta school re-entry in the Fall of 2020. 

Survey Participation

This survey is totally voluntary and you are free to skip some of the questions in the survey. In addition, all responses will be confidential. Only aggregate data will be reported. No data from open-ended questions that might identify an individual respondent will be used without permission. You are free to withdraw from the survey any time up until the end of the survey. Because this is an anonymous research survey, once results are submitted it is not possible to withdraw.

ca.surveygizmo.com/s3/50085641/ASCApreventcovidtest 

Parent Drop Off and Pick Up Zone 

A further reminder that the drop off and pick up zone remains along 34th Street. Please do not  use Lewis Drive or the alleyway adjacent to the school. In the interests of safety please respect the measures the school has put into place to keep everyone safe. 

Halloween Information for Parents 

Please see the link below and the attached tip sheet for more information from the Alberta Government on measures to ensure a safe Halloween during Covid. At school teachers will share with parents any activities they are planning with their classes. Some general information that is helpful for everyone to know. 

  • Students wishing to dress up should come to school wearing their costumes.  
  • Costumes should not include any face coverings other than a non surgical mask. 
  • Students are unable to share any treats or candy at school this year. 

www.alberta.ca/halloween-during-covid19.aspx

Picture Day for KeeBo Students and Picture Retake Day 

October 28 is picture day for all KeeBo students and picture retake day for those students who have requested a retake. Mrs. Kangas will be sending out a schedule to KeeBo parents shortly.

Have a great week everyone,

Phil Butterfield

Principal