May 9 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents:

What a roller coaster the last week has been! As Connect moved to online learning, the government announced that most K-12 schools in the province would move to a learn-from-home scenario until May 25th. Further public health measures were also implemented to try and stem the rapid rise in cases of COVID-19 and flatten the curve in time for summer, including reduced outdoor gathering numbers. While we were trying to process all of that, a media release announced the availability of COVID vaccines for children aged 12 and up. Beginning tomorrow (May 10) parents may book children for a vaccine through AHS or a participating pharmacy. More information on the vaccine rollout may be found at 

www.alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine.aspx

In spite of the optimism around continued vaccine rollout to younger ages, we must also remember that we have students as young as 8 years old when they first start grade 4 and until a vaccine is available for the younger grades as well, we must remain vigilant. As we look forward to vaccines working together with COVID-19 related health regulations and protocols to put the pandemic behind us, it will be important for all of us to remember that even though we are vaccinated we must still respect the procedures of wearing masks as required, maintaining physical distance, adhering to proper hand sanitizing, and sticking to cohorts until we receive direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) that it is ok to relax those precautions. 

Mental health awareness week  

There is no doubt the pandemic has taken a toll on many individuals and families. Notwithstanding the potentially devastating  impact of the coronavirus itself, the social isolation and the loss of engagement in ‘normal’ activities such as sports, gatherings with friends, and travel have had a detrimental effect on the physical, emotional, and mental health for many. Mental health week was officially recognized from May 3-9, but we all got a little too busy here to recognize that we missed it. The information and tips are valid all the time, so here are a couple of pertinent links you may wish to check out. We take the social, emotional and mental well being of our students very seriously at Connect, and rely on our relationships with parents to ensure observations and information on a students demeanour, changes in behaviour, or other potential signs of emotional distress are communicated, discussed and responded to quickly and effectively.

mentalhealthweek.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Mental-Health-Week-2021-Fact-Sheet-FINAL-EN.pdf 

mentalhealthweek.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MHW19_School_Overview-ENG.pdf 

Draft Curriculum Response – a message from our Superintendent, Chris Gilmour

Connect Charter School has taken the time to carefully review the draft K-6 curriculum document. We have decided not to participate in the draft curriculum pilot in the fall of 2021. The continued impact of the global pandemic on our staff, students and parents combined with the learning needs at our school significantly influenced this decision.

Connect Charter School is committed to supporting the ministry’s focus on improving the K-6 curriculum in our province. To do this, we will provide feedback directly to the ministry during the 2021-22 school year. 

I encourage all parents and guardians to provide the ministry with feedback on the draft K-6 curriculum document using the following link:

www.alberta.ca/curriculum-have-your-say.aspx?utm_source=google&utm_medium=sem&utm_campaign=K6&utm_term=Have-Your-Say&utm_content=sitelink

Thank you.

Chris Gilmour

Superintendent




Parent Society Meeting – May 11, 2021 6:30pm

The regular meeting of the Parent Society will take place on May 11th at 6:30pm. This meeting will be used to establish executive roles for the 2021-22 school year. All parents are welcome to attend – the Zoom link for this meeting is connectcharter-ca.zoom.us/j/96141086249 . 

Agenda

  1.   Welcome & Introductions
  2.   Approval of Agenda
  3.   Approval of the January 19, 2021 Meeting Minutes
  4.   Election of Executive (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary)
  5.   President’s Report
  6.   Treasurer’s Report 
  7.   Bank Signing Authorities 
  8.   Casino Report due in June
  9.   Business:
  10.   Casino Chairperson – Any updates if applicable
  11.   Director’s Liability Insurance expires in June
  12.     Discuss 2021/2022 Meeting schedule
  13.   Other Business
  14.   Next meetings – June 2021
  15. Adjournment

School Council Meeting – Zoom link connectcharter-ca.zoom.us/j/96141086249

Welcome to the first Connect Parent School Council meeting with the newly elected executive members! 

Please join us Tuesday, May 11th at 7:00 PM and bring your ideas as we introduce the new executive and plan for the 2021/2022 school year. Members of council will share their roles and provide some basic information on how our school council and parent society operates.

In an important address, Dr. Butterfield and the school leadership team will be providing updates on online learning, the impacts of COVID-19 on student learning, and the protocols and precautions that are in place to keep students and staff safe.

We are still looking for a Chairperson for our school council. Please direct your enquiries to [email protected]

To help prospective school council members decide if a role on the school council is right for you, here is a PDF of the Connect School Council Operating Procedures: drive.google.com/file/d/1xqeODhMcyDzk828_zE3cyaY8JiFcycPc/view?usp=sharing

Agenda:

  1. Introduction to meeting
  2. Presentation and Q&A with Dr. Butterfield, Shashi Shergill and Shannon Bennett
    • PLEASE SUBMIT QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE BY ACCESSING THE GOOGLE FORM AT forms.gle/gKb2vcpiq86u2WEQA. This form should now be accessible to everyone 
  3. Brief overview of school council and parent society
  4. An introduction of the new executive 
  5. Roles
    • Role of chair – Lisa
    • Role of VP – Lisa
    • Role of treasurer – David 
    • Role of secretary – Rochelle
    • Role of member at large – Laura
  6. Treasurer report
  7. New business 
  8. Schedule next executive meeting and discuss cadence for parent school council meetings
  9. Wrap-up

 

Meat Sale Fundraiser

Orders will be picked up on Wednesday May 12th in the school parking lot. 

A few pointers for a smooth pickup: 

  • Please bring your order sheet. It has been emailed to you.
  • Pickup window is 3:45 – 4:30 pm
  • To enter the 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 line from any other direction and be respectful of road and alley traffic flow.
  • Please wait until the school busses have departed before attempting to line up.

Thank you again for helping us with a wonderful school fundraiser! We smashed it and raised over $8,200 for the school! 

We do need some pickup day volunteers to help with unloading, order prep/sorting, and loading into vehicles. Start time is 2:30. If you are able to help, please email [email protected].

On Mother’s Day, we recognize all the moms, guardians, and caregivers who have supported children impacted by at-home learning during this pandemic. 

We realize the shift to online learning has been challenging and I speak on behalf of all our staff when I say that our preference would be to have all our students in school. Unfortunately we are unable to do so but our commitment to provide ‘optimal learning for all students’ remains at the core of our collective teaching and learning practice.  Thank you for your continuing support and understanding during these final, but very difficult, stages of the pandemic.

Stay safe everyone,

Phil Butterfield
Principal