June 6 Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

The last week has certainly been one of conflicting emotions as we celebrate the acquisition  of the outdoor centre at Sibbald Lake but also come to terms with the tragic discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Residential School. To better understand the magnitude and implications of the unfathomable events that took place over many years at the residential schools, students were involved in guided discussions with teachers. We also lowered our flag to half mast and held a minute of silence out of respect for those who perished and the families who have been left with unanswered questions about their loved ones for so long. We can only hope that some kind of positive systemic change may emerge from this discovery.

Outdoor Education Centre

As you will know from the message sent to our parent community by Superintendent Chris Gilmour on June 1st, Connect has acquired an Outdoor Learning Centre located at Sibbald Lake in the Kananaskis Recreation Area. While the acquisition of this property as an extension of our outdoor, environmental, and experiential learning programs has been underway for the past 6 months, the journey to secure a ‘home base’ for our programs has been underway for 15 years. During that time, several attempts were made to forge partnerships or acquire land that would represent a special place for our students, staff, and parents. For many years we enjoyed the relative familiarity of Camp Sweet and watched students return year after year with growing confidence, self-assurance, and adaptability. They created memories, learned skills, and developed attributes that all contribute to our vision of preparing students as extraordinary citizens. A large part of this essential toolkit of citizenship emerged from a connection to place, and to the land that we care for. Acquisition of the field experience facility at Camp Adventure will provide us with strong connections to our six charter goals:

  1. Promoting exemplary learning, teaching and leading through a disposition of inquiry.
  2. Enhancing learning and teaching through the appropriate and effective use of technology and maintain an intentional, authentic and innovative perspective in the use of technology.
  3. Engaging students in meaningful, real-life learning activities in a variety of rich learning environments, with a focus on mind, body, emotions, creative spirit and ethical citizenship.
  4. Providing environmental, outdoor and global education learning opportunities for students to experience and appreciate the world outside of the classroom and to develop social, leadership and stewardship skills.
  5. Fostering a culture of collaboration and caring relationships of mutual respect with students, staff members and parents sharing a passion for learning; together and from others, in the classroom, within the school and beyond.
  6. Nurturing thriving classrooms and other learning environments where teachers are informed by research and where students and teachers explore and develop deep understanding as active researchers.

 

Rob Pegg, our Outdoor Education Coordinator, will be overseeing a lot of the site set up and will be instrumental in working with our outdoor education leaders on staff to develop a dynamic and meaningful program for our students.

We anticipate that most pandemic health restrictions will be lifted by our return to school and fall camps will be day trips only; multi-day experiences will begin in the spring. In addition, there will be opportunities for curricular field experiences throughout the year and four-season activities that further develop the comfort of our students in being outdoors. Youth leadership programs will also be an important part of building capacity within our own student population.  Parent volunteers will be essential to all activities and we are looking forward to engaging once more with our parent community.

Where is Sibbald Lake?

Located 75 km from the school, Sibbald Lake is surrounded by a provincial campground on one side and /Camp Adventure on the other. The following maps will give you a sense of the location.

How Can Parents Be Involved

In addition to volunteering for your child’s outdoor activities, there is a considerable amount of work required in cleaning up the site and completing some repairs to buildings prior to students occupying these spaces. Our parent community has always responded enthusiastically to our requests for help and support; we will once again be immensely grateful to everyone who will offer your time, energy, and expertise to make the outdoor experience center the best it can be. Once we are able to take access the site, we will need help with the following preliminary tasks:

  • General clearing of debris to be transported to the landfill (trucks and cargo trailers will be helpful;
  • Mechanical system (diesel generator, wells, solar power) maintenance, start up, troubleshooting
  • Building maintenance and repairs: carpentry, plumbing, electrical. 
  • Commercial kitchen set up and operation

If you have expertise in any of these areas and are able to assist, particularly with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, please drop me an email and we will begin compiling a list of expertise from within our school community.

We will be planning work bees to do the clean up and get the systems started as soon as we can gain access….stay tuned. 

Rankin Hall was built in 2017 and is a modern commercial food preparation and dining facility.

Raven’s perch was built by Stantec Engineering and is an ideal gathering place for large groups.

Camp Riveredge and Kayaking

Our first week of day camps at Camp Riveredge and kayaking at the Calgary Canoe Club are now complete and have gone very smoothly. Students have been amazing at staying in their cohorts and maintaining physical distance as needed. Here is a reminder of the schedule and packing list for both activities. 

twitter.com/positivitypod4/status/1399761190717325312?s=20

New Parent Orientation  – June 9th  6:30-7:30pm

We will be hosting a virtual orientation for all parents of incoming grade 4 students on Wednesday June 9th from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. This will be an opportunity to provide an overview of the grade 4 program and introduce new parents to the many opportunities available at Connect. New families joining for grades 5-9 are welcome to attend this orientation. The virtual session will take place using a Zoom webinar. 

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

connectcharter-ca.zoom.us/j/91452285370

Grade 9 Vaccinations

The following information was provided by AHS with respect to grade 9 vaccinations:

AHS Update Grade 9 Immunizations, Spring 2021:

  1. All school nurses have been re-deployed to COVID immunizations.
  2. Health clinics are not providing grade 9/school immunizations at this time.
  3. Timing guidelines – 2 weeks before COVID immunization

          –  4 weeks after COVID immunization

Yearbook volunteer wanted

We are looking for another parent volunteer to join in yearbook planning.  This role would shadow our current volunteer this next month, co-plan next year, and hopefully take over the following year.  If you would like to be involved, please email Lori Hitchcock at [email protected]

To order a yearbook, visit  ybpay.lifetouch.ca and the school id is 10356221.  

Fun Lunch 2021/2022

Fun Lunch is a School Council fundraiser and raises approximately $30k per school year.  Proceeds from this program go directly to supporting the purchase of priority items for the school. Fun Lunch is offered every Wednesday and a fun snack every Friday school is in session.  We require several volunteers each school term to deliver these lunches and snacks to our student community.  Approximate time commitment per lunch/snack is 1- 1 ½ hours depending on the scheduled lunch/snack. You can volunteer for as many lunches/snacks as you want to, there is no minimum obligation. If you would be interested in volunteering please email the Fun Lunch Committee at [email protected].  The Fun Lunch program start date will be contingent on Covid protocols/restrictions at that time.

Have a wonder filled week everyone,

Phil Butterfield

Principal