Good afternoon Connect parents;
As a school that thrives on movement, physically and intellectually, the restrictions made necessary by the COVID pandemic over the past 10 months have led to some interesting coping mechanisms. One strategy that we have encouraged among staff is to consider this year follows the wisdom of the adage, “How do you eat an elephant?”…”one bite at a time”. By breaking the year into smaller pieces it decreases some of the anxiety that emerges at the prospect of an entire school year of COVID. Today marks an important milestone in this journey as December 18th has been circled on the calendar for some time….and the elephant is getting smaller and smaller. Mind games or not, we have all had to find ways to get through 2020 and a pandemic that did not come with any kind of instruction manual. Through the commitment of our staff, the resilience of our students, and the support of our parent community, we have made it to this critical juncture in the school year relatively unscathed by the pandemic.
It is easy to look ahead and think we can flip the calendar to 2021 on January 1st and a vaccine will be waiting for us that will instantly get everything back to normal. Reality can be a cruel wake up call, however, and what we do know for sure is that when school resumes on January 4th, all K-12 students across the province will be in a government mandated online learning mode for at least a week, returning to in-person classes on Monday January 11th. (Note: you will receive specific information from your child’s homeroom teacher about the online schedule. Friday January 8th is a PD/non-instructional day and there will not be any classes for students). There may be further announcements from the government over the break so while it may be preferable to hibernate for the holidays, please do listen for any updates from the provincial authorities or the school regarding changes to the post-winter break schedule.
In spite of the ongoing COVID response measures that will continue to restrict movement and interaction, we will be looking forward to having all our students back with us in-person or on KeeBo as soon as possible. We have additional snowshoes on order, thanks to our Parent Society, and plan to get students outside as much as possible in the new year.
Finally, we realize this holiday season may be like no other we have experienced – social isolation and being distanced from friends and family runs so counter to our human instincts to congregate and celebrate. Children are particularly susceptible to feeling the effects of isolation and may not always be able to explain why they are feeling down or depressed. The following tips have been shared with students and are provided here for parents to consider as well.
Planning a lot of fun activities as a family can help fill some of the void left by not being able to socialize. Here are just a few ideas:
- Movie theme nights
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Family skating parties – Bowness Park is particularly amazing this year
- Family book club
- Zoom with extended family and friends
- Board game tournaments
And on another note, on behalf of the entire staff, I would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to School Council for the thoughtful holiday gifts and recognition of the commitment our staff make to our students. We truly are a strong and resilient school community and it is so gratifying to know we have the support of our parents through these very challenging times.
And with that, my friends, on behalf of the Connect Charter School staff, I wish you all a very happy, safe, and healthy holiday season.
Much gratitude for the staff appreciation gifts from School Council. 🎄