January 3, 2021 Update

Good afternoon Connect Parents;

Happy New Year and welcome to 2021. I sincerely hope you have all enjoyed a relaxing winter break and were able to spend quality time with your immediate family while no doubt dealing with the anxiety of not being able to see friends and relatives outside your bubble.  I also have no doubt there are many who are pinning a lot of expectations on the year ahead to be a vast improvement over the one just ended. 

With anticipation of a widely available vaccine in the not-too-distant future and the possible easing of COVID-19 restrictions, we must also accept the reality that we are still in the midst of a pandemic with all the uncertainty that accompanies it,  but we remain committed to creating a safe environment for students and staff at Connect. Following are the details of our post-winter break transition back to school as well as some useful links for travellers returning to the country and reminders of the protocols still in place at Connect.

Online learning for all students – January 4-7 (Jan. 8 is a PD / non-instructional day)

In late November the Alberta government directed that all grade 7 to 12 students would shift to online learning beginning November 30, and K-6 students would continue with in-person classes. Included in that directive was a further mandate that all K to 12 students in Alberta would continue with online learning for the first week back after winter break (www.alberta.ca/k-12-learning-during-covid-19.aspx). As January 8th is a Professional Development / Non-instructional day, Connect students will only be online from January 4-7. Currently, all students, with the exception of those registered in KeeBo, will resume in-person classes on January 11th.  

Here are a few reminders and tips for online learning:

  • Attendance will be taken each morning and afternoon. Please report absences using PowerSchool. Parents will be notified if your child is absent from an online class if the absence has not been reported.
  • It is not necessary to complete the daily screening tool, however you may still receive an email alert when you don’t complete it. Please disregard screening notifications you may receive in error.
  • If you require technical support, contact the Help Desk at www.connectcharter.ca/elearning-helpdesk/.
  • Successful online learning requires a team effort of the student, teachers, and parents with open and honest communication at the core. Please direct questions regarding teaching, learning and curriculum to your child’s teacher; questions about school-based decisions related to programming and school operations should be directed to the leadership team and we will respond in a timely manner.
  • Maintaining routines as much as possible is a major contributing factor to success. Students who benefit from any form of medicinal or naturopathic intervention to support self-regulation and attentiveness should still receive the same degree of support while they are working in an online environment as they do while in school. Arguably a greater degree of focus is required of students when all interactions are online.

Important information for returning travellers

If you and your family left Canada during winter break, you are undoubtedly aware of the quarantine and COVID testing requirements for re-entry. Please refer to the links below for information from the Government of Canada pertaining to returning travellers, and the Government of Alberta’s International Rapid Test pilot program:

Returning travellers www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/2019-novel-coronavirus-information-sheet.html  

International rapid test program 

www.alberta.ca/international-border-pilot-project.aspx 

It is an expectation that all public health orders and quarantine or testing requirements be adhered to by members of the Connect Charter School community before students enter the school. A refresher of protocols to be followed in the event of close contact with a positive COVID case or a student testing positive may be found at www.alberta.ca/k-12-learning-during-covid-19.aspx

Educational Technologist Article

We have asked our staff to be very flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. David Cloutier, our educational technologist, unfailingly responds to these calls and is consistently at the forefront of developing new and innovative approaches to accommodate the needs of our diverse learners. 

Visit  www.connectcharter.ca/2021/01/03/education-technology-at-connect-charter-school/ for a closer look at David’s ever evolving and critical role at Connect.

Calgary Regional Consortium Sessions for Parents

The CRC provides professional development support for educators and families. They have organized a Parent Support Series to provide guidance for families through the pandemic.

Calendar

Just a reminder that although many activities at Connect have been curtailed for the time being, there are still important dates and events to be aware of. Please bookmark the calendar link at www.connectcharter.ca/calendar/ to ensure you have the most current information.

Continue to stay safe, my friends, and we will be looking forward to seeing you in person in 2021…rose coloured glasses firmly in place.

Phil Butterfield

Principal