April 11 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

As spring begins to take hold in Calgary and we look forward eagerly to a modified, but still rewarding outdoor education program at Camp Riveredge through May and June, we cannot escape the virus, variants, and vaccine that has defined the current, and hopefully final, phase of the pandemic. The increased rate and intensity of contagion associated with variants of concern has once again elevated the importance of our COVID protocols and has also led to revised guidelines from AHS for those who are deemed to be close contacts of a positive case. Following is a summary of key points related to close contacts:

  • In consultation with AHS staff, we have been advised that a close contact to a positive case at Connect will result in both classes within the pod needing to be quarantined. This is due to the contact that may occur between two cohorts during lunch recess, DPA, and phys ed and the extreme uncertainty about which students were in close contact and for how long. 
  • If a student who tests positive rides a school bus, and did so while they were symptomatic, students to either side and within three rows ahead and behind the affected student will be required to quarantine.
  • AHS is now strongly encouraging those who are considered close contacts to have two COVID tests during the quarantine period; the first on Day 1 of quarantine, and the second as close to Day 10 as possible.
  • The quarantine period for close contacts is determined to be 14 days from the last point of contact with the affected individual.
  • Classes who are required to quarantine will transition to online learning and teachers will provide Zoom links as quickly as practical. Students who were absent or otherwise had no contact with the positive case are not required to quarantine but will need to be learning from home as part of the online format for their class.
  • Further information is available at www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page17212.aspx  

 

As we have discovered through our pandemic experience, contact tracing can be complicated and less than precise. For that reason we will always exercise an abundance of caution to keep students and staff safe. In addition, yesterday the Alberta government announced the expansion of the rapid testing program for schools. At this point we are uncertain whether we will be included in the expansion but this information will be relayed to parents as soon as it is known.

Curriculum Review

Since the release of Alberta Education’s K to 6 curriculum, there has been considerable discussion and debate on social media and through mainstream media formats. As mentioned in last week’s update, I strongly encourage you to become familiar with the proposed curriculum at www.alberta.ca/curriculum.aspx and to provide your feedback at 

www.alberta.ca/curriculum-have-your-say.aspx. I would also like to thank those of you who passed along your comments regarding the curricular changes to me… your views are valued and will be taken into consideration as we work through the review process. We have also been gathering feedback from staff and will be discussing our response with the Board of Directors on Tuesday. Once that review and discussion has taken place we will be prepared to share with you our position with respect to piloting the draft curriculum next school year. 

Retirement Notice 

After 14 years as our secretary treasurer, Myra Penberthy will be retiring on April 16th. Myra initially expressed an interest in retiring in the spring of 2020. However, given the challenges the pandemic placed on Connect Charter School, she agreed to continue with us for another year. As a school, we are grateful not only for the excellent work she has done over the past 14 years, but for her flexibility ensuring a smooth transition from her position.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Myra for almost 3 years. Over that time period, I’ve met with many former principals and superintendents from Connect Charter School. One consistent message they’ve shared with me is how fortunate our school is to have Myra on our team. I couldn’t agree more. Her commitment to Connect, our vision, the students and to supporting the staff and Board have ensured that we remain fiscally sound, transparent and informed. Myra has been an integral part of our leadership team and will be missed.

On behalf of our staff and board of directors, thank you Myra. We wish you a very happy retirement and hope you will continue to visit the school from time to time.

 

New Secretary Treasurer

After an extensive, competitive executive search, I am very pleased to announce that Amanda Au-Yeung has been hired as the new secretary treasurer for Connect Charter School. Amanda’s first day at Connect was on April 5th. 

Amanda graduated from the University of Regina’s Bachelor of Business degree program, earned her MBA and Master Certificate in Business and is a Certified General Accountant. She is a passionate life-long-learner who will bring energy, experience and support to her position.

Amanda has experience in the not-for-profit industry having most recently worked for the ALS Society of Alberta as the Manager of Finance and Payroll. She also worked in industry for over 10 years as a contractor, financial analyst and in the accounts payable area. Amanda is passionate about education and kids and will be an excellent addition to our team.

 

Please join me in welcoming Amanda to our team.

Chris Gilmour

Superintendent

Registration Deadline is April 15

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

Registration for new and returning students opens Tuesday April 6 2021 at 9:00am, and closes Thursday April 15 2021 at 4:00pm.

Re-Registration is completed using your PowerSchool Parent Account.

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) are slightly different and are sent separately.

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.

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]

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

FEES

The CONNECT Board of Directors set the following school fees for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Enrichment $615

Lunchroom Supervision $50

iPad/Laptop Insurance and Maintenance $60

Transportation $815

Transportation after April 15 deadline $915

FEE PAYMENT or PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS

PLEASE NOTE: Registration is not considered complete until school fees are paid. 

Payment Plans – There are 2 payment plans that have been set up in PS.

#1        2-installments May 1, Aug 1,

#2        5-installments May 1, Jun 1, Aug 1, Sep 1, Oct 1

 

Enrichment and Transportation fees are eligible for payment plans.

Lunchroom Supervision and iPad insurance are due at registration.

Credit Card Transactions – We are charged a fee for credit card transactions. To reduce the costs of providing this service, a 1% transaction fee, to a maximum of $10, is passed on to the purchaser. This transaction fee will appear on the Fees Checkout screen.

If you need alternative arrangements, contact Laurie Kangas at [email protected] prior to April 15, 2021.

We have a bursary program available to families who require assistance with paying school fees. Please contact school administration to apply for a bursary. All inquiries and payment arrangements are confidential.

Principal Dr. Butterfield [email protected]

Admin Sec Laurie Kangas [email protected]

Thank you,

CONNECT Charter Office Staff

Laurie K, Lori H, Suzanne V, Susan M 

[email protected]

403-282-2890

Ramadan

Ramadan is considered one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims. An important part of Ramadan is fasting during daylight hours, as an inclusive school we will support students who require assistance and support during Ramadan. Please review the information sheet below to learn more about Ramadan.

ing.org/ramadan-information-sheet/

Fundraising Opportunity

School Council’s last fundraiser of the year is now underway. The TeamFund sale is offering products from Bow River Meats and Spolumbos Sausage. 

Check it out here: connectcharterschool.myteamfund.ca and click “JOIN OUR FUNDRAISER”. Orders will be accepted until Thursday, April 29th at 11:00 pm. 

If you have friends or family who may be interested in purchasing, you can easily share your personal link to these supporters once you are signed up. 

Order pickup will be Wednesday, May 12th.

Thanks again for your support of our school. Every order counts!

 

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 is connectcharter-ca.zoom.us/j/97204743362.

 

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.

I wish for you all a safe and wonder filled week;

Phil Butterfield

Principal