February 21 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

As you can see from the photo above, the end of the cold snap and warmer temperatures has done wonders to get students outside. With the term 2 report cards, student-led conferences,  and spring break rapidly approaching, we are also turning our attention to how we can provide an outdoor education program this spring that is engaging and fun for students and conforms to public health measures. 

We have almost reached an anniversary none of us will be celebrating as the pandemic has dragged on for almost a year. There is hope on the horizon with vaccines starting to flow into the country and more people ‘getting the jab’. Nonetheless, the toll the pandemic has taken on children and adults is often significant and could be long lasting. On Wednesday February 24th at 7pm, we will be pleased to host a parent webinar on The Long Road Ahead with Dr. Brent Macdonald.  This timely and interactive session will focus on mental wellness and strategies parents can implement to help children cope in the coming months.  

Important: To help Dr. Macdonald prepare the most meaningful and interactive session possible, please submit your questions or concerns regarding this topic to Brent at [email protected]  prior to the webinar. 

The zoom link for the webinar is connectcharter-ca.zoom.us/j/91452285370 

Link: Presentation Slides

Overview of The Long Road Ahead

We have no idea as to when things will return to “Normal” and in light of the “New” Normal, do we really want to go back to the Old Normal? Can we create an Alternative Normal? How to put the future in perspective when there is so much uncertainty (financially, education, commerce, personal lives, HAIR CUTS! etc.)? What if, as many experts are indicating, no full return to Old Normal even after vaccines are provided?

Also, how do we cope with the Peaks and Valleys – some days, we’ve got this! Others, not so much! The discrepancies between days (or even hours) can be exhausting in and of themselves – just the change in mood, regardless of the stressor. It’s similar to but also VERY DIFFERENT from) Bipolar Disorder – and we can glean a bit from treatment of that condition, i.e.

1) Developing a routine (but not TOO strict) – routine gives us comfort, but can be a drain – kids are used to bells, adults (outside of prisons) are not – as we develop, we rely on owning our routine – and what we own, we can change! And control!

2) Using others to touch base and challenge our perceptions – is it REALLY that bad (we can get very much into our heads, which can be a bit of a snake-pit of anxiety and worry)

3) Being vulnerable and open NO JUDGEMENT!

4) Distractions – again, nothing wrong with the occasional Netflix binge (who among us has NOT watched Tiger King or Too Hot to Handle?) but better are exercise, socializing online, reading, learning – i.e. I learned how to make Banana Bread. We can all claim learning through the pandemic!

5) Mental toughness is always a part of this – there are things we can do to enhance our toughness where necessary and become more sensitive where necessary.

6) Avoid thinking long term – focus on the do-able and the near future (nobody knows anything!) – this can leave us feeling unstable, so grab on to others and know we are ALL unstable right now

7) We work better with a target and right now, there is no target and what there is moves constantly – best bet is to hold our fire and not waste our shots.

8) Life as Usual is gone. This is a once in a generation opportunity (with all due respect to those suffering – as a species, we have always come out of even the most challenging situation stronger – not to be overly optimistic, but I’m hopeful for changes in education and relationships.

Being strong and looking forward and then for seemingly no reason, knocked down and hard to get up. BUT, it’s Not about how hard you hit it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep getting up. (Rocky Balboa) – Psychological principal is mental toughness – beyond resilience, which is reaction, but perception of challenge and commitment to work through it!

psychologistsassociation.ab.ca/ www.mhfa.ca/sites/default/files/mhfa_self-care-resilience-guide.pdf complexlearners.com/resources

Pink Shirt Day –  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.

Along with a special presentation from the Calgary Hitmen, guest speakers from the Center of Sexuality, and this student video,  we sincerely hope we can all come away feeling even more connected and supported during these tough times. 

Message from School Council

We’ve kicked off a Purdy’s chocolate fundraiser for Easter. An email was sent on Friday, and the link can also be found here: 

fundraising.purdys.com/1312278-82906

Last of the Masks! There are still a few masks available for sale for $12 each. Please email [email protected] with your order before they’re gone! 

 We are looking for parents to join us on the 2021-2022 School Council Executive. If you’re interested, please connect with us at [email protected]. Need a nudge? Here’s what some of our current executive has to say: 

“I would highly recommend that parents become involved at the school through School Council. It provides you an opportunity to support important programs that otherwise might not proceed with parent fundraising. There are also opportunities to meet people from across the school community. It also provides you access to information about the great work of the school that you might otherwise not be aware of. I feel that parents are partners in our kids’ education so it is important to me to have a say in our school and to support learning that is important to me and our family.”

“Joining Connect’s School Council is a great way to get involved and become more connected to your child’s experience at school. As well as meeting other parents, you’ll gain insights into school programs and directly contribute to ensuring the funds and resources needed for these programs to continue are available.”

I joined Connect Charter School Council to make a difference in my child’s educational experience and to provide a positive example for my child. By joining the council it is an opportunity for our children to see first-hand the importance we place on education.

“It is a chance for you to address important issues that are important to parents and school administrators. You have the opportunity to advocate for funding and issues that affect various aspects of education and student well-being.”

“Being involved helps you stay connected with the school and allows you to gain a broader perspective of how you can play a supportive role. You also network and make connections with other parents that share a common goal of student achievement. Working in partnership together helps build a stronger foundation for students to grow and thrive. Volunteering with the council allows you to contribute your skills and knowledge and it is an opportunity to be part of a team to create a positive and caring atmosphere in the school.”

Thank you, 

School Council

Registration for 2021-2022

REGISTRATION for 2021-2022 school year: APRIL 6-15, 2021

Registration for new and returning students will open Tuesday April 6 2021, and close Thursday April 15 2021.

Re-Registration is completed using your PowerSchool Parent Account.

Please confirm your login information ahead of time to avoid registration delays and frustration. 

Reminder – each parent may have their own parent account and student-specific access codes are required.

Here is the PowerSchool Parent Account login link:

connectcharter.powerschool.com/public/home.html

Contact the office if you have any questions about your parent account.

[email protected]

Registration Instructions for new students (siblings, waitlist) will be sent separately during the March application process. 

IMPORTANT DATES

Tuesday, April 6 – Registration Opens

Thursday, April 15 – Registration Closes

Thursday, April 15 – Early Bird bussing registration deadline.

After this date, the transportation fee will increase by $100.

Bus route planning begins as soon as registration closes – late registrations may not be included in the planning of the bus routes and some bus routes may fill up quickly.

After April 15 2021, the waitlist is consulted to fill empty spots for all grades.

STUDENT NOT-RETURNING?

Please let the school office know – IN WRITING if your child is NOT returning to Connect Charter School for the next school year. (current grade 4 – 8) 

Notification to be received prior to April 15 2021.

Email Laurie Kangas – [email protected]

FEES

The CONNECT Board of Directors set the following school fees for the 2020-2021 school year. Fees for 2021-2022 are TBD. They will be confirmed by the end of March 2021.

Enrichment $615

Lunchroom Supervision $50

iPad/Laptop Insurance and Maintenance $60

Transportation $800

Transportation after April 15 deadline $900

FEE PAYMENT or PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS

PLEASE NOTE: Registration is not considered complete until school fees are paid or you have contacted Laurie Kangas in the school office to make arrangements for payment. If you have contacted the office to make payment arrangements by the April 15 deadline, you will receive the early bird transportation fee ($800).

We have a bursary program available to families who require assistance with paying school fees. Please contact school administration if you need to apply for a bursary and/or to find out what documentation is required. All inquiries and payment arrangements are confidential.

Principal Dr. Butterfield [email protected]

Admin Sec Laurie Kangas [email protected]

Thank you,

Laurie K, Lori H, Suzanne V, Susan M 

[email protected]

403-282-2890

Calgary’s Child Magazine – Mid-winter 2021 Issue

The mid-winter 2021 issue of Calgary Child’s Magazine is now available. With so many activities still off the table, what is there to do to keep everyone happy and entertained? This issue has dozens easy, cheap (or free) activity ideas both inside and out in the

Mid-Winter At Home Edition, plus contests, recipes, mental health and relationship advice and much more! 

Direct: www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=693645&ver=html5&p=1

website: www.calgaryschild.com

Minister’s Youth Council (A message from the Minister of Education)

Student voices are critical to our education system and I am committed to listening to the 700,000+ students in our province. I am proud of how the 41 members of this year’s Minister’s Youth Council are sharing their diverse views with me and contributing to Alberta’s education system. While facing the challenges of COVID-19, these hard-working youth have been meeting on Zoom – a change from the in-person meetings in normal times – and continue to have many meaningful and fun experiences as they learn about and share their perspectives on topics like leadership, the education system, government, mental health, post-secondary and much more. 

Looking to next year, I am excited to announce the start of recruitment for the 2021/22 Minister’s Youth Council. We are looking for approximately 40 junior and senior high school students, ages 14 to 19, with diverse interests, identities, backgrounds and perspectives from all regions of Alberta. Of those 40, we will be accepting up to eight returning council members and at least 32 new members. The council will continue to give students the opportunity to make an impact on education, build their leadership skills at the provincial level and leave a legacy that will last well into the future.

Students can apply until March 24, 2021. For more information and instructions on how students can apply, I invite you to visit alberta.ca/student-engagement.aspx

 

There is a lot going on at Connect and we are looking forward to a very active spring as we hope to be able to get students off campus for activities at the Weaselhead, North Glenmore park, and Camp Riveredge. Please be sure to check the calendar at connectcharter.ca/calendar/ for upcoming events and important deadlines.

Have a wonderful week and stay healthy everyone,

Phil Butterfield

Principal