Weekly Update: March 16-20

Grade 8 students snowshoeing at Barrier Lake, March 11. 

COVID-19 update  

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is creating new challenges on a daily, and sometimes hourly, basis as the spread continues. As of Saturday March 14th, Alberta Health Services has decided NOT to close schools at this time, but has invoked a zero tolerance policy on any student or staff member being present in a school if they display any symptoms of a respiratory illness, including any of the following: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and other symptoms that may be consistent with a mild cold. Students who arrive at school and appear to have any of these symptoms will be isolated to the best of our ability and parents will be contacted to pick up the child. Parents will be further directed to contact Healthlink at 811 for further direction. Children who use school bus transportation will not be allowed to take the bus home. 
  • Respiratory etiquette (sneezing into your elbow/sleeve, self-isolation when symptomatic) and social distancing (maintaining a distance of 2 metres between people whenever possible), are considered primary measures in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • See www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid19-alberta-guidance-for-schools-and-child-care-programs.pdf  for further details.
  • AHS has also directed that anyone who is currently outside of Canada self-isolates for a period of 14 days upon returning, regardless of whether symptoms are present or not. Please visit the AHS website for further details. 
  • Connect is making several modifications to our teaching and learning strategies in response to COVID-19 and the increasing absenteeism among students and staff due to precautionary self-isolation. On Friday we began asking students to take their devices and chargers home and bring them back to school each day. As mentioned in the previous update (connectcharter.ca/2020/03/13/march-13-parent-update/), our staff is in the process of developing a remote learning plan for students who are precautionary self-isolating, or in the event of school closures being announced by AHS. Further details of how remote learning will work are under development and will be shared in a separate communication when available.
  • Please see the COVID-19 page on our website for current information and links to health information: connectcharter.ca/covid-19/

Student Led Conferences

  • Student Led Conferences will be conducted entirely in a remote format on Thursday evening and Friday morning. There will be no in-school conferences.  If your child has been absent and does not have his/her device at home, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher to make arrangements to pick the device up before Thursday. Teachers will not be available for telephone conferences during these times and will prioritize email responses based on student learning needs. We will reassess the feasibility of conducting essential parent-teacher meetings following spring break, based on the COVID-19 situation at that time.

Spring Break

The school will close on Friday March 20th and will reopen on Monday April 6th. Please check your email for updates that will provide important information about returning back to school after the break. During the break, I would direct you to monitor the links on this page for updates from Alberta Health Services and the Government of Canada: connectcharter.ca/covid-19/.

Reinforcing the Importance of Respectful Communication

We are living in stressful times, my friends. COVID-19, oil price wars, and an economic downturn add significantly to the pressures being felt by many individuals and families. It is in these times of heightened anxiety that we need to remind ourselves of the value of communicating respectfully with all the people we encounter in the course of our very busy lives. One of the basic principles of our exemplary teaching and learning frameworks, and a key to extraordinary citizenship, is accepting that ‘we are all in this together’. It is far too easy to act or speak from a place of emotion when our levels of stress are elevated. All too often, relatively minor or inconsequential events lead to outbursts or conflicts that harm relationships and create divisions that leave individuals feeling devalued as humans and deflated as members of a community. 

We must each accept ownership for our words and actions, a simple but complex principle we share frequently with children as we guide them towards being extraordinary citizens. Unfortunately, adults do not always model this tenet and communication can become abrasive or abusive as a result. In these times of extreme uncertainty and stress, I would ask that you reflect on how you interact with the people in your life, whether they be a family member, sibling, colleague, or a casual contact in a grocery store. How we treat people during a short term crisis, or at any time, has a long term effect.


Term 3 Fun Lunch Ordering

Term 3 Fun Lunch ordering has started on the Hotlunches system and you should see the backpack letter coming home with your student(s).  We are attaching the backpack letter in the event you may have missed it. The first fun lunch of Term 3 will be on Wednesday, April 15, deadline to order for that lunch is the end of day Sunday, April 5.

Please note that Grade 8 will have rescheduled lunch/snack dates once the camp dates are confirmed by the school.  We will send out an updated email with those rescheduled dates, but this should not affect your ordering at this time.

We would like to thank you for your continued support of this very important fundraiser, as it supports the purchase of much needed items and programs for our students.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Stay healthy everyone,

Phil Butterfield