Good afternoon Connect parents;
Winter has finally paid a visit to Calgary and is expected to stick around for the next week or so. With ambient air temperatures in the mid -20’s C, and feeling closer to -30C with a breeze, outdoor activities will be curtailed this week. Please heed the following reminders to prepare students for cold weather, and remember that these precautions apply to all students, including those being driven to school.
- Students must wear appropriate, layered, clothing, including a winter jacket, boots, gloves, and a warm head covering;
- Do not leave students unattended at bus stops as buses may experience delays in cold or inclement weather;
- Use the bus delay notification system to determine wait times;
- We will open the school building at 8:00am to allow students to enter the building immediately upon arrival. Students should go directly to their homeroom classes and remain there until classes begin. Students must continue to follow standard COVID-19 safety protocols. Students are not permitted to gather in hallways or any other common spaces.
This will be a short week as the school will be closed February 11-12 for the Family Day extended weekend. The next weekly update will be on Monday February 15th and classes will resume on Tuesday February 16th. Also, a reminder that term 1 report cards will not be accessible to parents from February 15 to March 15th. If you need a copy of your child’s report card for any reason, be sure to download and print it before the blackout date.
School and team sport activities
If you have been listening to media releases concerning plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions across Alberta beginning February 8th, then you may share in some of the confusion and uncertainty that we do in trying to determine the status of school sports and performance activities.(www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx?fbclid=IwAR052yMlSNh0UBNC2lLu_mXucYXNVa9dFdkMDQPBXLcAzm1NOzVBYV4Nd9I)
No one wants to resume school sports and outdoor education activities more than we do, and within the guidelines put forward by AHS and Alberta Education through the summer and fall of 2020, we have managed to provide a robust, skills based physical education and lifestyle program that began with each cohort experiencing 2 days at Camp Riveredge and has led to innovative planning on the part of our staff to introduce students to:
- disc golf
- bike rodeo (bike skills clinic)
- snow fort building
- running (Terry Fox run)
- Wide Games: (Capture the flag, fur trader, infection, dare-a-base) Pool noodles were used to maintain distance.
We focused on sports that by their nature maintained some distance, and that equipment could be readily sanitized.
We avoided high cardio activities.
- Ping Pong
- Yuki Ball
- floor hockey (during week before winter break, therefore small number in each class)
Further planning is underway to ensure our students continue to receive a well rounded and balanced physical education and lifestyle program that will include off-site activities that can be accessed from the school by foot or bicycle, including a further 2 days for each cohort at Camp Riveredge.
We have also carefully constructed our school schedule to ensure cohorts remain distanced from each other during classes and activities as a major safety precaution. Commencing any form of team activity that involves training, practices, or conditioning, would require cohorts to interact in ways that would potentially compromise student and staff health and safety. Furthermore, we have been advised by the Calgary Alternative Athletic Association (CAAA) that governs charter school sports, that no sport teams, games, or tournaments will be held during this school year. We are continually monitoring the press releases from the government and then wait patiently, along with educators everywhere, to have those releases clarified. If the circumstances change or further direction is received, I will provide an update to parents, however in the meantime our commitment to student and staff health remains our priority and team sports will not be resuming at Connect.
Face mask tips
Check out this quick and easy way to make your face masks more effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Samir Gupta, a Canadian respirologist, explains how. www.cbc.ca/player/play/1855491651605
World Reading Month
The first week of our “I Love to Read” month was a success. Students were engaged in a variety of activities throughout the school and in classrooms that encouraged the love of reading.
It has been great to see students curious about what their peers, teachers, assistants and community are reading and recommending books to each other!
Students and staff had fun guessing who our first “Masked Reader” (Yay Mr. Cloutier!) was and we will have another opportunity to guess again this Wednesday!
Upcoming activities this week include:
Read Around the World
Students/staff fill out the Google form to share the setting/locations in books they are reading. We will be taking this information and mapping where our reading has allowed us to travel. We will share the map at the end of the month 😉
A huge thank you for putting this together Louis and David!
Connect Travels through the world- question link
Spirit/ Masked Reader day
Wednesday February 10th
Our theme this week:
Brighten up Someone’s day- Wear your brightest/neon colours! Don’t forget your shades!
Thanks for getting this into classrooms Gail
Excerpt taken from:
Kid President- “Guide to being awesome”.
Schoolwide DEAR times– announced 2X this week
When you hear the “Hockey night in Canada” theme song over the intercom, drop everything and read for 10 minutes.
Looking for more ideas or activities for students/families?
This calendar gives an activity for each day of the month. Feel free to share with Families.
Pink Shirt Day is Wednesday February 24, 2021
Our Pink Shirt Day Committee is very happy to have the ability to bring our school together (albeit virtually,) to raise awareness on important issues around bullying. This year’s theme is Lift Each Other Up
We will be hosting a virtual assembly and are putting a call out to interested students that would like to participate by making a short video clip.
We have two questions for the students to answer.
1.) What does it mean to lift each other up?
2.) Describe a time when someone lifted you up.
Submissions are due February 19th and teachers will be able to assist with video uploads to the google drive.
Along with a special presentation from the Calgary Hitmen, guest speakers from the Center of Sexuality, a school wide activity (to be announced soon), and this student video, we sincerely hope we can all come away feeling even more connected and supported during these tough times. Further details will be sent out in the days ahead.
Pink Shirt Day shirts
To further heighten awareness of the critical importance of Pink Shirt Day, we are offering a limited edition Connect Pink Shirt. Here is the link for the school store. All available items/sizes have been added and orders can begin immediately.
The store will close end of day February 15 and delivered to the school on the 22nd with items going home with students.
Connect Parent Webinar with Dr. Brent Macdonald – February 24, 2021 7pm
“Are we done yet?” COVID a Year Later: How are our kids doing?
COVID has made words like “unprecedented,” “difficult, ”challenging,” “new normal,” and others a daily part of our lives. And we are all just so tired. Students have been in and out of school, living online, and missing a lot of their favourite activities. Sleep has been disrupted, we are in a continual state of confusion around the rules. How have your kids been dealing with all of this uncertainty and change? How have parents been doing? Knowing that we are months away from any possible normal world, what can parents do to help their kids (and themselves) make it through, especially now that we are so tired and our coping strategies have been stretched thin? Dr. Macdonald will address these concerns and ideas with a specific focus not just on where we are, but also on what we can all do to make it through these next few months by using effective mental health strategies.
Dr. Macdonald welcomes questions prior to the workshop – please email any questions or issues you would like to have addressed related to this topic to [email protected]
- How do I reduce my/ my child’s anxiety about possible exposure/ adapting to variants
- How do I speak with my kids about masking/ anti-masking?
- What are the possible long-term stress effects of COVID?
- How can I support my child’s education when I am burning out myself?
- How can I keep my kids’ confusion to a minimum when faced with confusing messages from governmental agencies/ media/ social media?
Have a wonderful week and a very relaxing Family Day weekend everyone.