Good afternoon Connect Parents;
We have enjoyed yet another beautiful fall weekend in Calgary and I hope you and your family have been able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and mild temperatures. We can be certain that winter will arrive soon, and in spite of our efforts to embrace all that the seasons have to offer, a winter of social isolation from friends and family can take its toll. Check out this article from the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute for some tips on sustaining physical and mental wellness during the winter months.
By now I’m sure you are all aware of the sharp increase in cases of COVID-19 in Alberta and across Canada. Alberta Health Services has acknowledged that they are having difficulty keeping pace with the demand for contact tracing to inform all those who have been in contact with a positive case. We are adjusting our notification procedures accordingly to ensure parents of affected students are notified of such contact as soon as possible. If Connect is made aware of a positive COVID-19 case (either a student or staff member) in your child’s class or on their bus route, you will receive an email from the school directing you to isolate your child immediately. AHS is responsible for investigating all positive cases and will contact you directly as well. Your child should remain in isolation until the designated time period has elapsed, or AHS provides you with updated information. We will continue to follow AHS guidelines and will monitor the impact of this process on our students, families and staff.
New information and resources on non-medical mask materials and use is emerging from Health Canada and mainstream media sources. When constructed and worn properly, masks are proving to be a significant factor in decreasing spread of the coronavirus. A review of mask ‘technology’ and revised standards of effectiveness may be found at www.cbc.ca/news/canada/marketplace-masks-test-1.5795481
Please remember that Friday November 20th is a non-instructional day for students.
COVID-19 update from our Public Health Consultant, Nasreen Sunderani
As you may all have heard, Covid-19 cases have trended upwards these past few days. Additional public health measures have been put into place and further decisions will take place as the number of cases goes up. Please take the time to discuss the following Q & A information with your children.
Q: I am a close contact of a COVID-19 case. What should I do?
A: Because you are a close contact of a person with COVID-19 you are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days from the time you were exposed. This is mandatory under the Public Health Act.
Q: What does it mean to be a close contact of a COVID-19 case?
A: Close contacts are defined as anyone who was within two metres of a positive case of COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more of cumulative contact, without consistent and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE). A close contact is ALSO someone who has had direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on), or who provided direct care for a person who has COVID-19, without consistent and appropriate use of PPE.
- For sports that involve close, sustained or intermittent and repeated contact, all members of the teams playing each other are considered close contacts when there is a case on a team.
Anyone who falls into any of the above categories is considered a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Q: Should I get tested if I am a close contact?
A: Yes, since you have been told that you’re a close contact, Public Health recommends that you are tested for COVID-19. Complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment . While you are waiting for your test results you are required to self-isolate. Refer to Advice for People Tested for COVID-19
Q: How do I get my results?
A: Result options.
Q: Do I still have to isolate for 14 days if my test comes back negative?
A: Yes. On the day you were tested, there may not have been enough virus in your body, for the test to pick up. Isolating for a full 14 days ensures that there is no virus in your system and therefore you won’t continue to spread it.
Q: How can I prepare for self-isolation?
A: How to isolate.
Q: What if the person who has COVID-19 shares the same house as me?
A: You will want to do all of the above, as well as taking these other precautions:
- Choose a room in your home you can use to separate sick household members from healthy ones, if possible.
- Choose a separate bathroom for sick individuals to use, if possible.
- Plan to clean these rooms as needed when someone is sick.
- Don’t share household items, like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels and pillows.
- After using these, wash them very well with soap and water, place in the dishwasher for cleaning, or wash in the washing machine.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and counters.
Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and should I monitor myself for them?
Q: What exemptions are there to mandatory self-isolation?
Q: If I’m a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, do my close contacts (e.g. my family, household members, friends I saw before self-isolation, etc.) need to isolate and get tested?
- If you are a close contact of a case and don’t have any symptoms and haven’t had a positive COVID-19 test, your close contacts do not need to isolate.
- If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, it is recommended that your contacts isolate while you wait for your test results.
- If you test positive, your close contacts will be legally required to isolate.
- If you have more questions, please visit www.alberta.ca/coronavirus
Q: I am COVID-19 positive and one of my close contact works in:
- Health Care
- A school setting
- A group home, disability support and shelter workers; and,
- A Correctional facility staff, working in either a provincial or federal facility.
A: Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms who work in the following above roles are encouraged to use the self-assessment tool to help determine whether they need to be tested for COVID-19.
Q: When can a person with COVID-19 spread the disease to others?
For a person with COVID-19 who has symptoms, they can spread disease to others from 48 hours before the start of symptoms and while they have symptoms. For most people, this is until 10 days after the start of their symptoms. For some people this may be longer.
For a person with COVID-19 who had no symptoms when they were tested, they can spread disease to others from 48 hours before they had their test done to 10 days after the date of their test (if they remain symptom free). If the person develops symptoms after having their test, they are contagious to others for the duration of their symptoms. For most people, this is until 10 days after the start of their symptoms.
Q: I have been sent multiple AHS text messages notifying me I am a close contact. Why have I had more than one text sent to me?
A: AHS collects information about each close contact a person with COVID-19 identifies and assesses if the exposure could result in the close contact getting sick. If you are receiving more than one SMS text notification that you are a close contact, it means that you have been exposed to more than one person with COVID-19 disease when they were able to spread disease to others. That is, getting multiple text notifications means that you have had multiple exposures to different individuals with disease.
Q: I have been sent two or more AHS text message notifications that I am a close contact and need to quarantine, but each message has a different date for when I can stop quarantining. When is my quarantine period over?
A: If you are the recipient of more than one text notification that you are a close contact of a person who has COVID-19 and the dates on those two notifications are different, you are required to quarantine until the LATEST date you are notified about. Since each text message reflects an exposure to a different case of COVID-19, the date you had exposure can differ.
Additional information can be found on the Alberta Health Website.
There is a detailed list of Targeted Public Health measures on the AHS website.
Bullying awareness week – Nov. 16-20
This is Bullying Awareness Week, and although we strive every day to ensure our students enjoy a safe and caring environment, this is an opportunity to highlight some resources available to students, teachers, and parents to reinforce the inalienable right of every child to feel safe and to truly belong to a school community.
Parent Society and School Council Meetings
Parent Society Meeting
The regular meeting of Parent Society will take place on Nov. 17th at 6:30 pm via Zoom at connectcharter-ca.zoom.us/j/96669332127
- Welcome & Introductions
- Approval of Agenda
- Approval of the September 15, 2020 Meeting Minutes
- President’s Report
- Treasurer’s Report
- Other Business
- Next meetings–January19,2021 @ TBD please watch Parent Weekly Update for time (via Zoom)
September 2020 Meeting Minutes: connectcharter.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/September-152020-Parent-Society-Minutes.pdf
School Council Meeting
The regular meeting of School Council will take place on Tuesday November 17th at 7pm via Zoom at connectcharter-ca.zoom.us/j/96669332127
Save the dates: Nov. 25 and Dec. 9 at 7pm for parent webinars on screen monitoring and assistive technology. These sessions will be facilitated by Sheila Dillon-Leitch from Apple Canada and David Cloutier, our educational technologist.
Nov. 25 @ 7pm Reading and Writing Accessibility on the iPad
Learn more about optimizing your child’s iPad for their reading and writing needs, including built-in features and add-on apps that will help them to better access and create information. This workshop will be of special interest to parents of developing readers and English as additional language learners.
Dec. 9 @ 7pm Screen Time on the iPad
This workshop supports your development of a family screen time plan, which includes building trust and transparency, and informing your conversations around how your child is using their device. This is the evolution of “parental controls” and a great refresher on our Empowered Use Policy.
Preparation for winter
Please remind students that they are not to enter the school before 8:30am. This precaution is necessary to minimize traffic inside the school prior to the start of classes. Please make sure your child is adequately addressed for winter weather conditions.
Annual General Meeting of the Connect Charter School Society Board of Directors – Nov. 24th
The Board AGM will take place on Tuesday November 24th at 6pm. The format of the meeting (live or via Zoom) is still being determined and will be shared with the parent community shortly.
Connect Spirit Wear (please note order deadline of TODAY, Nov. 15th….)
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.
Stay safe my friends,