October 25 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

The momentum of our very unusual school year continues to build as we become slightly more comfortable, but certainly not complacent, in our response to the pandemic. The overwhelmingly positive reflections on Camp Riveredge have provided reinforcement of the value in outdoor, experiential, and place-based education that are the foundations of inquiry at Connect. This week each of our KeeBo and KeeBo + cohorts had an opportunity to enjoy a day at Riveredge that resembled winter camp more than a fall outing, but they had a great time nonetheless. 

Building on the charter pillars of inquiry, outdoor education, and technology integration, our grade 4 students have embraced a 4 season project in North Glenmore Park and the Weaselhead to gain an appreciation of ‘place’ as it pertains to the land in its natural form and the influence of man, for better or worse.  We are looking forward to accessing more opportunities for outdoor and experiential learning through the winter and into next spring.

This week we had a stark reminder that winter is not far away, and with the additional cleaning requirements of the school due to COVID, we are asking that all students have a pair of indoor shoes to be left at school and a pair of snow boots to wear to and from school, and while outside for recess, DPA, and phys ed during cold and or wet days. We realize that supplying multiple pairs of footwear can be a financial strain for some families, a reality that is compounded by the rate at which children outgrow shoes. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if providing boots and shoes presents any hardship for you and your family – we will work with the school council to help any way we can.

Please check the school calendar at www.connectcharter.ca/calendar/ for important upcoming dates, including the PD/non-instructional day on Friday October 30th.

Parents drop off and pick up zone

We continue to ask parents to respect the drop off and pick up zones as stipulated in our school re-entry plan. We appreciate the large majority of parents who have been doing this since the beginning of the school year. Having a designated parent drop off zone is a requirement in the guidance provided to us by AHS and Alberta Education. 

The parent drop off and pick up zone is 34 Street

Screening Tool

As the number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise within the province, the latest numbers from AHS show 561 active cases within schools across the province. It is imperative that we all work together as a school community to prevent the spread of the virus within our school. Completing the screening tool each morning continues to be a significant tool we have to keep our school community safe. Please remember to take your child’s temperature and complete the screening questions with your child each morning. 

COVID-19 Update

Alberta Health Services has updated the Guidance for Parents document that highlights three pathways depending on possible symptoms a child may be presenting or based on their contact with a positive case. The links below may prove helpful in determining your course of action.

Guidance for parents of children attending school:

www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16998.aspx 

If your child has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:

www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/ppih/if-ppih-covid-19-school-journey-close-contact.pdf 

If your child has one or more of these COVID-19 symptoms: Fever • Cough (new cough or worsening chronic cough) • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (new or worsening) • Runny nose • Sore throat:

www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/ppih/if-ppih-covid-19-school-journey-a-symptoms.pdf 

Your child has one of more of these COVID-19 symptoms: Chills • Painful swallowing • Stuffy nose • Headache • Muscle or joint aches • Feeling unwell, fatigue or severe exhaustion • Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite) • Loss of sense of smell or taste • Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye:

www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/ppih/if-ppih-covid-19-school-journey-b-symptoms.pdf 

If your child(ren) are required to self-isolate, please reach out to their teachers to discuss learning support at home.

Locker Use

AHS and Alberta Education have provided some updated information on locker use. As we head into winter (okay it’s already here!) both teachers and students would feel some relief in managing the many items our students need for winter weather. We are piloting trial use of lockers to store boots and jackets only. Locker use will be supervised, lockers are to be emptied at the end of each day, lockers will be sanitized regularly, and no locks are to be used. We will be piloting this trial with grade 7 and 9 students this week.  

KeeBo Term 2 and 3 information for parents 

Please review the separately attached pdf for information about our KeeBo online learning program and details for registration in term 2 and 3. Please note that the last day to register is Friday, November 6 and the commitment is until the end of the school year. If you have any questions please email [email protected] 

Current KeeBo parents, we will be sending out separate information to you early this week regarding ongoing registration or transitioning back to on campus learning. 

Bus registration deadline – Nov. 6th

The deadline to register for, or withdraw from, busing transportation is November 6th. Those who are currently registered for busing but opt out for the remainder of the year are still subject to a $100 administrative fee being withheld. Decisions made by Nov. 6th regarding transportation are final for the remainder of the school year. Contact [email protected] if you have any questions regarding your child’s transportation status.

Parent Volunteers

We are so extremely grateful to all the parents who volunteered on the 27 separate camp days this fall; our ability to offer this type of experiential and outdoor education program relies on your generosity of time and service. If you have not already done so and wish to be registered to volunteer on future activities at Connect, register at Better Impact or contact the volunteer committee at [email protected]

  • Volunteers must complete the daily screening questionnaire prior to the activity beginning;
  • Physical distancing must be maintained whenever possible and may require adjustments ‘on the fly’ of supervision requirements.  For example, if a student under the supervision of a parent is injured, the teacher should attend to the injured child and the parent will take over distanced supervision of the other students;
  • Masks must be worn by volunteers whenever physical distancing is impractical, regardless of the amount of exposure time.

A Back to School message from the School Immunization Program

Welcome back to a brand new school year, we hope this message finds you healthy and safe. We are pleased to continue to provide immunization services to your school community as long as COVID-19 response measures allow. 

When schools closed in March 2020, our school-based immunization program was unable to continue. School immunization teams were redeployed to respond to the unfolding COVID-19 crisis and school immunization services have been on pause for the past 6 months. 

Due to this suspension in service, you will notice some changes to our program this year as we attempt to “catch-up”:

  1.     Students in grade 6 in the 2019-2020 school year (now in grade 7) who did not complete their Hepatitis B (HBV) and/or Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series will be immunized within the school setting. We will only immunize those students with a signed consent form from the previous school year(s).
  2.     Students in other grades where an immunization consent form was signed in the previous school year(s) will be immunized in the school setting in order to complete any outstanding immunization series.

If you do not wish your child to complete their immunization series or your child was immunized privately within the past 6 months, please contact your school’s designated Community Health Centre.

More information will be available in the coming weeks regarding school-based immunizations for our target grade 6 and 9 students.  Public Health is developing strategies to address access to immunization for those students who chose to forgo in-class learning this school year.

Continuing with routine immunization programs ensures that our provincial immunization rates remain high and vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks are unable to occur. We look forward to working with our school communities again to help keep students healthy.

Spirit Week and Halloween Activities

This week will be Spirit Week at Connect! Students are encouraged to dress up for each daily theme to show their school Spirit.

Theme Days:

Monday – Crazy Hair or Hat day

Tuesday – Twin/Match Day

Wednesday – Class Colour Day 

Thursday – Beach Day (or Costume Day for some classes)

Students are encouraged to dress up for each daily theme to show their school spirit. However, there are a couple of caveats in the era of COVID. Students cannot be changing into or out of costumes, wigs, hats, etc… at school and particularly not in washrooms. Therefore they have to come to school adorned in whatever spirit wear they are going to use for the entire day, unless a hat or wig gets removed and stashed in a backpack.

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.

Students wishing a retake –  please bring your original proof or a note stating you want a retake on photo day. This will really help us know who actually wants a retake photo, especially with younger students.

Connect Spirit Wear

We are happy to be offering our popular Connect spiritwear again this year! Unfortunately, due to Covid, we will not be able to offer sizers at this time. If you have any questions about sizing please contact Kodiak Sports directly at (403) 291-4479 or [email protected], and they will be happy to help you. The store will be open until November 15, 2020. With delivery around December 7, 2020.

store.kodiaksports.ca/stores/connect-school

Have a wonderful week,

Phil Butterfield

Principal