March 14 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents…and welcome to daylight saving time. Like it or hate it, the clocks jumped forward an hour at 2am today resulting in sleep loss for some while others will welcome more daylight into the evenings. We are also into the final week of school before spring break (March 22-April 2). In spite of pandemic travel restrictions still being in place I think staff and students alike are looking forward to a respite from the structure of COVID-19 protocols at school. 

Term 2 report cards will be available in PowerSchool at 4pm on Monday. Conference Manager will also open at that time so you can sign up for student-led conferences that will take place Thursday March 18th from 4:30-8pm and Friday March 19th from 8am to 1pm. Conference Manager will close for bookings at 12:00pm on Thursday March 18th.

You may access Conference Manager through your PowerSchool Parent Account login:

As you know from the past, we use the Connect Charter School Conference Manager to schedule parent-teacher conferences. However, unlike the past round of conferences in December, you will now access the Conference Manager by logging into PowerSchool, so please do not attempt to log in directly to the Conference Manager, but rather follow the procedure below. 

 The new steps to log in and book a parent-teacher conference at Connect Charter School are:

 Log into PowerSchool at the following URL: connectcharter.powerschool.com/

  1. Select the Application Launch icon   near the top right of the screen
  2. Select the Conference Manager in the menu list that appears.

(same place you go for Consent Forms, School Fees, etc.)

You may access Conference Manager at connectcharter.schoolsoft.com. If you are new to Connect Charter School you will need to create a new account.  If you have forgotten your password and want to reset it – click here.If you have questions or need assistance with report card access or conference manager, please contact [email protected]. Please take advantage of this opportunity to dive into the active inquiry-based learning that has been taking place and connect with your child’s teachers via Zoom (teachers will be sending out the links this week). 

Term 3 begins Monday March 15th, however due to the pending spring break, music and art classes will continue in their term 2 rotation for this coming week and a transition to term 3 will take place following break. When we return from spring break on April 5th we enter into a very busy time of our school year. Re-registration will open from April 6th to 15th (see details below) and our pandemic version of a spring outdoor education program will be getting underway in early May. 

Student Safety Concern During Drop Off and Pick Up

First of all…to all parents who consistently drop off and pick up your children in the designated zone on 34th St. adjacent to the playground….THANK YOU! To those who choose to disregard our repeated requests to adhere to our designated zones as a measure of student safety, please read on…

There has been an alarming spike in ‘near misses’ of students coming close to being struck by vehicles along Lewis Drive in front of the school, in the laneways at the rear of the school and north of Lewis Dr., and in the intersection and crosswalk of 34th St and 58th Ave. Our leadership team has been making a concerted effort to inform and educate parents to use the 34th St designated drop off and not the front of the school, the laneways, or the staff parking lot. In some cases we have been met with apologies and acknowledgement of the need for these safety measures, and in other cases we have been met by disrespectful comments. 

The drop off and pick up zone was not established for the purpose of making it inconvenient for parents to drop off children, but is entirely focused on student and staff safety as well as recognizing the importance of maintaining positive relationships with our Lakeview neighbours. There are 10 school buses that need to navigate Lewis Dr. each morning and afternoon. When additional vehicles are brought into the picture, the safety risk escalates significantly, and we absolutely do not want a ‘near miss’ to become a serious injury. Our pleas in previous updates for drivers to use the designated drop off and pick up zone have had little effect. We ask with the utmost respect for the busy lives of parents and students that you make every effort to avoid situations that can put student safety in jeopardy.  I can also appreciate that there may be specific and unique circumstances that require consideration and for those I would ask that you contact me to discuss.  With that said, picking up grade 4 students in the staff parking lot simply because they exit from the staff entrance is not a unique circumstance. They will do just fine walking around the building and out to 34th St…they honestly will.

Change of Dismissal Process and Time

In an ongoing effort to continue to improve on our COVID-19 protocol, we are looking at shortening the end of day dismissal. We know that this unstructured time can be challenging for both students and teachers. We’ve considered a solution that maintains the same bus release times but changes the release time for students who do not take the bus.  

Nothing changes for our bus riders. 

3:10 Bus Group 1 is dismissed – no change

3:15 Dismissal for non-bus riders There will be supervision outside from 3:15 to 3:30 for students who are being picked up at 3:30

3:20 Bus Group 2 is dismissed – no change

School Council and Parent Society AGM info

The Annual General Meetings for both Parent Society and School Council will take place on Tuesday April 20th beginning at 6:30pm. The Zoom link for the meetings will be sent out upon our return from spring break. 

The School Council needs your help!! We have open executive positions to be filled for the 2021-2022 school year. One remaining role is currently vacant: Chair. This is a critically important role in providing liaison between the parent community and school administration. Our leadership team greatly appreciates the time and energy that the school council executive invests in furthering the vision of our school to prepare our students as extraordinary citizens and to promote parent engagement within our school community. School Council works on behalf of all parents, students, and staff members to ensure the school can continue to provide optimal learning opportunities for all students.  Parents interested in taking on a role within either of these important support groups is encouraged to contact Mel McDonald at [email protected]

Volunteering for Parent Society is a minimal time commitment, but has a huge impact on our school community. We meet approximately 5-6 times during the school year and coordinate our meetings with School Council meetings for ease of attendance. If you have any questions about how you can become involved,  please contact Traci Zeller at [email protected]  for more information.

School Council AGM Announcement

School Council AGM Agenda

School Council AGM 2020 Minutes

Connect Charter Parent Society Notice of April 2021 Annual General Meeting 

May 12 2020 Parent Society AGM Minutes 

Purdy’s Chocolates Drive By Pick Up

Thank you for all your support with our Purdys chocolate fundraiser; the orders closed last weekend, and we have raised over $3700!

We could use a few volunteers to help us during pick up on Wednesday. We’ll be starting at 4:45 and distributing orders to vehicles. If you can assist, please email [email protected]. Thank you! 

For those picking up chocolates, the pickup plan is:

  • 5 – 6 pm this coming Wednesday March 17th in the school parking lot.
  • Please approach the school northbound on 34th Street, turn right along the fence line in front of the school (Lewis Dr) and then turn right going south into the alley towards the staff parking lot. Please do not try to get into the lane from any other direction and be respectful of road and alley traffic flow.
  • We have 182 families picking up, so to avoid traffic and waiting, please spread out according to your birthday (January birthdays closer to 5pm… December birthdays closer to 6pm).
  • Orders are sorted alphabetically by First Name on the Purdys account you created, so knowing the name on account will help us find your order.
  • Please check your order when we bring it to your car to help us make sure there are no surprises for the Easter Bunny!

Thank you again for helping us with a wonderful school fundraiser!

School Council 

Alberta Education Assurance  (AEA) Surveys

Alberta Education seeks feedback from education stakeholders annually in order to provide data to schools and inform the direction of educational policy and practice across the province. Formerly known as the Accountability Pillar Survey, a new instrument is being introduced – the Alberta Education Assurance survey. The AEA will be administered to students and school staff members after spring break. Parents will be receiving information from Alberta Education by snail mail that will include a ‘random access code’ that will allow you to complete the survey. The mail out of the RACs will be staggered due to volume but you should be receiving this information within the next couple of weeks. There will not be a paper version of the survey available, however it is accessible in several translated versions. If you wish to access the survey in a language other than English or French, please contact me at [email protected] and I will guide you through the process.  The survey completion deadline is April 23, 2021. Once you have received your RAC you will find the survey at public.education.alberta.ca/APOS/.  As a point of interest, the RAC only identifies the school, not an individual completing the survey.

Reviewing your Family’s Screen Time Plan for the Break and Beyond

It goes without saying that the last year has presented new challenges in managing screen time at home. Looking ahead to the break, while our typical protocol pre-pandemic has been to recall technology, due to the uncertain nature of when online learning might need to take place, we are sending devices home. That said, we are strongly encouraging coming up with a family plan for screen time – this may be no screen time (iPad is put away), a fixed time per day, or maybe every other day, or some combination thereof. Please make time for a family conversation about the upcoming break and invite your child’s perspective into coming up with a plan and expectations for device use over the break. Back in December, we ran a screen time webinar and encourage you to look at it both for some strategies and some of the tools built into student devices to support you – you can view that here: drive.google.com/file/d/1wfpbuw9Ir96r1wQCZwp7stnvhZgOkH7J/view?usp=sharing_eil&ts=5fd508f4. (As a reminder, if you set any screen time passcodes or restrictions – please let your child’s teacher know as these may need to be changed while at school)

We will be sharing more resources for screen time and impulsivity on devices in the near future, but encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher, our educational technologist ([email protected]), or administration for additional support or specific questions.

Re-registration

Registration for 2021-2022 (This is being included in the update yet again as it contains important information that will guide you through re-registration following spring break)

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

Lost and Found

A Message from Dawn Elliott

I would like to send my sincere gratitude to the Connect community for your support with the new digital lost and found. This past year has been like no other and has required numerous adjustments to how we do things here at school. The digital lost and found was a substantial undertaking for me and I have appreciated the support I have received from both parents and students. Just checking the slides regularly and claiming your items is helpful in and of itself, but there has been a noticeable increase in items being labeled, which makes my life much easier. Thank you to everyone who has sent me kind, encouraging notes and to those who have been patient when I have not been able to post the found items as quickly as I would like. We all have had a lot of new responsibilities and roles added to our plates this year, but having a supportive system around us helps lessen the burden. Thank you again.

There is a lot to digest in this update…thank you for making it through to the end. With so much hope on the horizon that COVID-19 may soon be behind us, we are seeking balance between our desire to plan for a ‘normal’ 2021-22 school year and the need to maintain our vigilance and adherence to pandemic protocols for the next few months at least. There will be one small update on Friday as we head into the break and the next scheduled update will be on Sunday April 4th.  

Have a wonderful week everyone,

Phil Butterfield

Principal