August 20 Update

August 20, 2020

Good afternoon Connect parents;

What an amazing first day of school this has been! It has been five long months since we have heard the laughter of our students and watched them act like normal teenagers…at least as much as they can while trying so hard to keep physical distance. A great many elements of our re-entry plan were implemented and worked well. One of the critical pieces that needs to be revisited is the COVID daily screening tool. Thank you to everyone who completed the survey prior to your child getting on the bus or entering the building. 

Daily Screening Tool

While we had a few legitimate technology errors related to the screening, unfortunately, we also had 67 students who did not have a completed screen before arriving at school this morning. As a result of these incomplete screens, staff members had to be pulled from other duties to administer screening assessments to those students before they could join their class. In addition, ten records were incomplete. [Note that the screening must be completed on days when students are not in school due to staggered entry, family holiday, etc. This does not apply to non-instructional days, such as PD days or school holidays.] 

COMPLETING THE DAILY SCREENING TOOL IS NOT OPTIONAL…IT IS MANDATORY FOR ALL STUDENTS!! If your child was absent, or you did not complete the screening tool today you will have received an automated message  with a reminder about completing the screen every day. It is imperative that the screening tool be completed accurately and if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions that you keep your child home until such time as they receive a negative COVID test.

Please note the screening question below which would imply that if your child is in contact with anyone in your household with these symptoms they need to stay home. 

  • Have you had close unprotected* contact (face-to-face contact within 2 metres) with someone who is ill with cough and/or fever? 


Students who have a clean screening but show up at school displaying any COVID symptoms will be placed in the infirmary and will require pick up by a parent immediately.

These procedures have been detailed in previous updates and emails. If you are uncertain of the expectations:

  • review the previous updates and
  • reread the email with the subject line: ACTION REQUIRED, Connect Charter COVID-19 Screening Tool. 


**It is the responsibility of every person within our school community to comply with these expectations to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and it is inconceivable that anyone would disregard the expectations that have been put in place to keep your children and our staff safe.**

We realize there is a learning curve to some of the procedures being implemented for school re-entry, however the daily screening is one we need to get right straight away.

A couple of other considerations regarding the daily screening tool are:

  • Symptoms such as runny nose, minor cough, or sore throat MUST NOT be considered to be normal seasonal ailments and ignored. Any of these seemingly harmless conditions require that your child stays home until they receive a negative COVID test result;
  • Regardless of whether a student’s daily screen results in a ‘green light’, any child who develops or displays any symptoms at school will be isolated and parents will be contacted for immediate pick up;
  • If you submit a daily screen and receive a red stop sign, and then realize you made an error on the screening tool (hands up if you’ve ever done that when submitting a form on your phone before), email the office at [email protected] as soon as possible explaining the error;
  • As mentioned in previous updates, if your child has a pre-existing condition that presents with any COVID symptoms, it is recommended to get a test to use as a baseline for monitoring the symptom in the future;
  • Ensure the date on the form is the current date before submitting (if it isn’t, please refresh the page). We have found some parents had opened the URL the previous night, and thus created a record for the previous day (i.e. created an entry for August 19 on August 20). This is also important to ensure you are filling out the latest questions, which are subject to change.

Water bottles 

On another note, several students were observed drinking directly from the water fountain. Each fountain has a touchless bottle filling unit and students are expected to have a water bottle with them each day for refilling as needed.

We are still working several kinks out of our re-entry implementation and will undoubtedly continue to do so for some time to come. It is truly wonderful to have students back in the building and to be able to chat with some parents out on the field this morning was a bonus. We will continue to keep you updated as we fine tune our procedures. In the meantime we are looking forward to seeing our grade 5 and 6 students tomorrow and the grade 4s on Monday.

Phil Butterfield


Grades 7, 8, and 9 students attended school today.