April 4 Update

Grade 5s creating fractal snowflakes prior to spring break. 

Good afternoon Connect parents;

I hope you have all been able to enjoy some time over the spring break to re-energize and enjoy some of the outdoor activities available in and around our precious piece of geography called Calgary. Unfortunately we were advised of two positive COVID cases at the beginning of the break, resulting in some students and staff needing to isolate as a result of being close contacts. To the individuals who tested positive, we hope you have had a speedy and complete recovery,  and to those required to isolate, we thank you for your support in our collective effort to decrease the spread of the coronavirus and variants of concern. As a result of having two related positive cases, AHS placed Connect on ‘alert’ status until April 20th as a precautionary measure. There are no additions to our COVID protocols resulting from the alert status; AHS has assured us we are doing everything in accordance with public health requirements. With that said, the current escalation in positive cases, particularly of variants, is of great concern and we will be revisiting all our protocols around daily screening, use of masks, physical distancing, hand cleanliness, and ensuring that symptomatic or sick children are not at school. We are certainly aware of the degree of concern and uncertainty over in-person attendance at school. Please keep in mind that, as parents, you may exercise your discretion in having your child attend school if you feel it is unsafe for them to do so. While students registered for in-person learning cannot access the KeeBo online program, learning resources and assignments will be available on SeeSaw for those who choose not to attend classes for short periods of time. 

We will be closely monitoring and relaying any further decisions from AHS and the Alberta government that may affect teaching and learning, including outdoor and local, off campus, activities planned for the spring. In preparation for school reconvening tomorrow, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to take time with your child(ren) to review the importance of adhering to the COVID protocols at school and on the bus.

Curriculum Review and Response

Alberta Education has released the new draft K-6 curriculum that is scheduled to be piloted in select schools beginning in September 2021 and implemented across all schools in September 2022. Proposed changes to the Programs of Study may have a profound impact on what teaching, learning, and leadership look like in the years ahead. It is therefore important that all parents and citizens with a vested interest in education take the time to review proposed changes to the curriculum and provide measured responses as you see fit to the Minister of Education and your Members of the Legislative Assembly. Connect leadership and staff will be discussing potential impacts of the draft curriculum on our charter and program delivery when we return from spring break. In the spirit of inquiry, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the proposed curriculum at www.alberta.ca/curriculum.aspx. Our leadership team will be meeting this week to discuss and review the newly released curriculum. I will provide our parent community with our position, feedback, concerns and with a summary of our meetings in next week’s update. While feedback is encouraged (www.alberta.ca/curriculum-have-your-say.aspx) and now being accepted by the ministry, it may be helpful for you to review our position prior to doing so. The upcoming School Council meeting following the AGM on Tuesday April 20th will include the curriculum as an agenda item for discussion. Fact sheets containing overviews of the curriculum components are available at open.alberta.ca/publications/draft-k-6-curriculum-fact-sheets.  

IMPORTANT: Re-registration Opens April 6th

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

Introducing ConnectFLEX

ConnectFLEX is a new initiative that we are opening up to our school community, families on the waitlist for our school, and the general public.

Please see the attached PDF and the ConnectFLEX website for detailed information about the program. Of note to families who have students currently enrolled at our school:

  • This program will not impact students or staff who are part of the current Connect program.  
  • ConnectFLEX is a new program that will run simultaneously but separately from in-person learning at Connect. 
  • Students currently registered in the Connect Charter School regular program who opt to switch to the ConnectFLEX program may not transfer back to the regular program but may be placed back on the waitlist if they choose. 
  • Through our experience at KeeBo, we have recognized that there is a need for a more flexible pathway to learning that responds to a range of learning needs.  
  • To operate this program, we require a certain number of registrations.  If you are aware of any families that would benefit from ConnectFLEX, please share the attached PDF. 

Please visit the ConnectFLEX website for further information, and direct any questions to [email protected]. We anticipate a good deal of interest in the ConnectFLEX program, and ask that current families share the website on your social networks and with friends.

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.

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.

Phys Ed Note

Students will be alternating between the dance unit and curling unit for Phys Ed over the next few weeks. If possible, please have your child download iMovie from Self Service in advance of the week so they are ready to go for the reflection activities. Also a reminder to charge your iPads each night at home!

As we enter the final term of this school year, I would like to acknowledge, and extend my gratitude to, all of you who took the time to send messages of encouragement and support during those few hectic days at the beginning of spring break.  

Thank you and have a wonderful week,

Phil Butterfield

Principal