May 24 Update

May 24 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

As our community, and our world, start to cautiously awaken from an extended pandemic lockdown, we may be allowed a small sigh of relief…particularly for those of us desperately in need of a haircut. Although stores and services will be starting to open up, it is certainly worth reinforcing the message from Alberta Health Services to continue exercising precautions related to physical distancing, handwashing, and wearing a mask to prevent spread of the virus. With that in mind, please do get outside and enjoy our open spaces. This article on teaching outside ( came across twitter the other day and may be of interest for anyone looking for outdoor activities to reinforce learning…or just to have fun.  

We have been receiving a growing number of inquiries about how this school year will wind down, including the retrieval of student belongings, and how next school year will begin. While we have a concrete plan for the former, the latter is less clear, however our Superintendent, Chris Gilmour, explains the range of options that may influence our planning in a video message available at

Retrieval of Student Belongings

Although many student belongings were picked up prior to spring break, there are still a lot of shoes, coats, and miscellaneous stuff in classrooms and lockers throughout the school.  Following are the details for collecting your child’s belongings:

  • In order to allow safe retrieval of personal belongings, we will be scheduling pick up times each day from June 1-5 between 9am and 4pm
  • Our custodial staff are emptying all classrooms and lockers of anything that is not owned by the school and will be sorting it all in the gym by homeroom class. 
  • Locker contents will be bagged and affixed with a label bearing the student’s name.
  • Parents will need to register a pick up time through Conference Manager (the same platform we use for student-led conferences) and the link will open and be sent to you on Wednesday May 27th. 
  • Time slots will be available to a maximum of 4 families at a time to ensure adequate physical distancing.
  • Non-medical masks must be worn by anyone entering the school.
  • Entry to the school will be through the front door only! A staff member will direct you into the gym (follow the arrows on the floor). 
  • The gym will be divided into sections for each homeroom class. Proceed to your child’s class area and quickly retrieve any of their belongings.
  • If your child has a musical instrument that belongs to the school, it may be dropped off in a designated area of the gym. 
  • Use the available disinfectant wipes as you need to (only 1 per family) and follow the arrows out of the gym and exit the school through the staff entrance.
  • There will be no access to any other part of the school.
  • The lost and found will be sorted and on display in the mud room as you exit the building.
  • An itemized list of library items was sent out in early May. There will be a designated area in the gym for book returns. 
  • Technology returns for grade 9 students not purchasing their device and any students not returning to Connect in the fall will happen in the final week of June, details to follow. 
  • IMPORTANT: Any belongings not collected by June 5th will be donated to a charitable organization.

Facility Upgrades (a message from Superintendent Chris Gilmour)

Exciting news for Connect!

On April 11, 2020, the government announced an economic stimulus funding package for the province to help support job creation. As a result, Connect Charter School submitted a proposal on April 17, 2020. On Wednesday May 20, 2020, the Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange announced the approval of new capital funding for school boards across Alberta. I am pleased to share with you that Connect Charter School will be receiving $1,400,000 for four capital projects. This funding is effective immediately. 

The four approved capital projects, which were included in our long-term capital plan, include:

  1. All interior lights will be replaced with new LED lighting. This has been a priority as most lights in our school are the original lights that were installed in the 1960’s. This will also reduce our electrical costs.
  2. 2/3rds of our roof will be replaced (1/3rd was replaced a number of years ago).
  3. The main office will be redesigned and renovated, allowing for greater efficiency and access for parents and students; parts of the learning commons will be renovated, making more space for students and providing adjustable work spaces; our shop will be re-designed and repurposed as a photocopier/workroom area. 
  4. Our parking lot will be paved and we will install a new outdoor safety light. This project will ensure greater accessibility and make the area much safer.

The lighting project has begun and I expect it will be completed in early July.

We will tender the roof project soon, however the completion date, at this point, is uncertain.

The majority of the interior renovations will be completed by the end of the summer. 

The parking lot will likely be paved in June.

The government expects these projects to be completed by the end of October, 2020.

I will provide you with an update on these projects before the summer break. 

CMR funding is an acceleration of the long-term maintenance and renewal strategy for school buildings.

I hope everyone is healthy.

Chris Gilmour

Individualized Program Plans

Over the past few weeks, teaching teams have reviewed student IPPs in order to make relevant adjustments that suit an online learning environment, including modifications to goals (where necessary), and updated accommodations and strategies. Parents played an integral role in this process and we thank you for your open communication and collaboration, helping these reviews run smoothly. As teaching teams begin the process of forming class lists, IPP transition meetings will take place in order to proactively plan for student programming and learner needs moving into the next grade. If your family is requiring student services support, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Brittney MacDonald [email protected]

Parent Society 

Parent Society met on Thursday May 21st. Executives and directors for the 2020-2021 school year are:

Traci Zeller – President

Sandra Steinbach-Kane – Vice President & Casino Chair

Jon Himmens – Treasurer

Jennifer Ferguson-Young – Secretary

Brenda Casella- Director & Casino Co-Chair

Mark Yu – Director

Chris Lewis – Director

Casino Update

Parent Society was expecting to be assigned a 2020 Q4 casino date in May, however we were informed by AGLC that our casino will be delayed due to the Covid-19 Crisis.  We will be rescheduled to a later date, presumably sometime in 2021. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep school administration and Connect parents updated as we receive updates from AGLC.  We will need to continue to stretch the funds received from the 2018 Casino.

Next Meeting Date: Thursday, June 18 at 4:30pm via Zoom

Clem’s Garden Podcast – Episode 3

In this episode of Clem’s Garden Podcast, the topic of social media and particularly the use and influence of these platforms during a time of physical distancing and quarantine will be explored with students and staff.

Rube Goldberg Challenge (Student Challenge from Mr. Ferguson))

A Rube Goldberg machine is a complex machine made up of different chain reaction events that is built to perform a very simple task. In my example (which you can see in the video I have attached), I have created a Rube Goldberg machine that drops 2 marshmallows into my cup of hot chocolate. 

Your challenge this week, is to create a Rube Goldberg machine that carries out a simple task. You could drop a marshmallow into your own cup of hot chocolate, or you could have your machine perform a different task such turning of the tap or getting a piece of garbage into the garbage can. Depending on your situation, you could also try to set up a machine outside to perform a task such as having a watering can tip over to water your flowers!

Please see the video I have attached for further instructions.

Rules and considerations:

  1. Ask your parents for permission on where you can set up and film your machine.
  2. Use items from around your house
  3. Follow current social distancing guidelines set out by AHS
  4. Video submissions must be 25 seconds or less. (You may enter a second clip that is also 25 seconds or less if you have more than one sports skill you would like to showcase)
  5. Always make safe choices and use proper safety equipment
  6.  Have fun!

Have a great week everyone,

Phil Butterfield