August 27, 2021 – Parent Weekly Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

Our first week of classes is now behind us and it is truly wonderful to have our students return to school and to reconnect with so many parents at the welcome back coffee gatherings on Monday and Tuesday. A huge thank you to our School Council for organizing the coffee, tea, and treats for both mornings. 

We are cautiously reintroducing activities to Connect, including the sports program, which will kick off with the cross country running series for students in grades 4 to 9. Practices will begin next week and further details of upcoming meets will be sent to parents of those students who signed up. Cross country will morph into our ongoing weekly run club after fall break.

Our day camps at the Field Experience Centre are just around the corner, beginning on September 7th and running through to the 22nd. Lots of details will be coming your way to help prepare students and parent volunteers for these first experiences at our new camp. We also look forward to seeing many of you at the family open house tomorrow (see details below).

COVID Protocol Update

We are very grateful to our students and parents who have demonstrated understanding of our need to continue with pandemic precautions as we navigate through the fourth wave of the coronavirus.

There has been considerable discussion regarding the reporting of positive COVID cases and tracing close contacts. We have closely examined the re-entry documents provided by AHS and Alberta Education and have developed the following guidelines for practice:

  • Although it is no longer a requirement for schools to be notified of positive cases, we would appreciate being informed in confidence of a child’s positive result so we can track cases within the school and take any additional precautions to minimize spread of the virus. We will not disclose positive case information – it will be used internally only.
  • The AHS screening tool, which we modified slightly for ease of use, may be found at 

open.alberta.ca/dataset/56c020ed-1782-4c6c-bfdd-5af36754471f/resource/58957831-a4ab-45ff-9a8e-3c6af7c1622e/download/covid-19-information-alberta-health-daily-checklist-2021-08.pdf. Of particular note are the directives following the screening questions that outline required actions if a child presents with symptoms. Please access this link and review the procedures when children are symptomatic or test positive.

Field Experience Centre family open house – August 28th

We are hosting a family open house at the newly acquired Field Experience Centre at Sibbald lake on Saturday August 28th from 9am-3pm. This will provide parents, students, and siblings with an opportunity to tour the site and become somewhat familiar with our new outdoor education site.  Scheduled tours of the facility will take place at 9am, 11, am, and 1pm. You are welcome to stay and enjoy the property and the lake (all children must be supervised) until 3pm at which time we will be closing the site. No RSVP is required and directions to the site are below.

How to get to camp (it is approx. a 50 minute drive from the school so you can judge timing accordingly from your home):

  • Proceed west on Hwy 1
  • Take the exit to Hwy 68 (Sibbald Trail) and turn left to go under Hwy 1 and onto Hwy 68
  • Continue for 23 km – the paved road becomes gravel and broken pavement after the first 10km (note – cell service disappears with the pavement)
  • Turn right into the Sibbald Lake Recreation Area and follow the signs to the public day use parking area
  • Proceed through the green gate at the end of the parking lot and drive onto the camp property
  • You will be directed to the parking area by a staff member

Meet the Teacher – Thursday Sept. 2nd  

Our Meet the Teacher night will take place virtually via Google Meet beginning at 4:30pm. Your child’s homeroom teacher will send you the link and the webinar times are:

Grade 4, 5, 6                     4:30
Grade 4, 5, 6 and 7, 8, 9   5:30
Grade 7, 8, 9                     6:30

While this format does not permit the degree of parent-teacher interaction we would prefer, it does take into consideration the ongoing need to exercise caution and limit large group gatherings. Through these webinars you will be be provided information on long range plans, learning outcomes, upcoming grade or class specific activities, and how you can support your child’s learning and be an engaged Connect parent. 

You will need to sign into Google Meet with a Google account. The name on the account must be yours in order for teachers to admit you to the session. Please turn off camera and audio when logging in.

Volunteer Registration and  Orientation

We will be using the Better Impact platform to register parent volunteers for school camps, activities, and events this year. For our upcoming day camps we are looking for 5 parent volunteers from each homeroom, or 10 from each pod. Due to cohorting this year, we need to keep parents with their child’s pod, so please only sign up for your child’s corresponding homeroom. As camps are starting soon, the deadline to express interest is 12 pm on Tuesday, August 31st.

Each camp is 2 individual days, and you can sign up for one or both days. As they are listed as separate events, you will need to add yourself to both days if that is your preference. 

Date           Grade

Sept. 7           7
Sept. 8           7
Sept. 9           8
Sept. 10         8
Sept. 13         9
Sept. 14.        9
Sept. 15         6
Sept. 16         6
Sept. 17         5
Sept. 20         5
Sept. 21         4
Sept. 22         4

When you sign up in Better Impact, you will be put onto a list of interested parents. That list will be sent to your homeroom teacher, and they will select the 5 parents to join. You will receive notice on September 2nd if you are a selected parent or if you are designated as a backup. 

Having a valid police clearance is a requirement for this trip. If you have signed into Better Impact but don’t see any of the camps, this usually means your clearance has expired. Please contact the office at [email protected] to get that process started.

Haven’t yet created your Better Impact profile? Doing so is quick and easy! Instructions can be found here, and our volunteer committee will review your profile in short order. You’ll get an email that your profile is active and then, as long as you have a valid police clearance already submitted to Connect, you will be able to sign up for volunteer opportunities.  docs.google.com/document/d/19zHLkbVnvX0ZqTgEyYsoUiZvPPEYAp-roR1I-R87pyA/edit

If you have any questions outside of your clearance, you can email our volunteer committee at [email protected]

A volunteer orientation webinar will take place following the last Meet the Teacher session at 7:30-8pm on Sept. 2nd. The session will be recorded and can be viewed by parents who cannot make it to the interactive webinar and may wish to volunteer on upcoming camps, field experiences, or school activities. The webinar link is connectcharter-ca.zoom.us/j/91452285370

Accessing Tech Support

Students (and parents on their behalf) can access tech support for school devices by visiting helpdesk.connectcharter.ca and submitting a ticket. We encourage you to provide as many details as possible including troubleshooting steps tried, pictures of error messages.

School Council and Parent Society

The first regular meetings of Parent Society and School Council will take place on September 21st beginning with the Parent Society meeting at 6:30pm and followed by the School Council meeting at 7pm. The agenda and meeting details will be included in a future update.

Please be sure to check the school calendar at connectcharter.ca/calendar/ for important information on upcoming events at Connect. A reminder that Friday Sept. 3rd is a PD Day and a non-instructional day for students. 

Have a wonderful weekend,

Phil Butterfield
Principal