October 1, 2021 – Parent Weekly Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

Connect Charter School is located on the escarpment of the Weaselhead Naturalization area, which is the home of the Treaty 7 Nations (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, Stoney/Nakoda, Tsuut’ina, and the Metis Nation-region 3), and I want to acknowledge that we are fortunate and grateful to be able to share this space, and enjoy our partnership with our Tsuut’ina neighbours.

As this week comes to a close, we have been provided with many opportunities to reflect on the legacy of residential schools and the impact of systemic racism on Indigenous communities across Canada. Thursday was the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day that marks a beginning rather than an end as we work with our students to ensure that as extraordinary citizens they embrace a mind set of tolerance, understanding, and empathy. Across all disciplines, our staff have been engaging students in conversations and action planning that reflect a deepening understanding of the need to accept the uncomfortable truth about past relationships between our First Nations and the governments of Canada and the provinces, as well forge an unshakeable resolve to create an inclusive and equitable future. Connect students will continue to develop and implement action plans that recognize that the path forward may not be easy, but it is vitally necessary. In support of this direction, we also encourage parents to speak with your child (ren) about the initiatives being undertaken at school and how they might make a difference to the future of our relations with Indigenous communities, including our ‘partners in place’ within Tsuut’ina Education.

Cross Country Running wrapped up on Wednesday with the final meet of the season taking place at Westmount Charter High School. Connect was not only well represented by the number of participants, but by the team spirit, sportsmanship, and determination as well. Our runners performed exceptionally well at all levels and are to be commended for their enthusiasm and dedication. For those who are interested, cross country running will now morph into a weekly run club that will meet at 7:30am each Friday morning, or Thursday if Friday is a non-instructional day. This is a non-competitive group that will reinforce running as part of a healthy lifestyle. If you signed the informed consent for the XC running team, you do not need to submit another consent form for the run club.  

Connect Charter School named Apple Distinguished School 

Calgary, Alberta- September 29, 2021 — Connect Charter School is pleased to announce it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School (ADS) for 2021-2024. With the goal of enhancing learning and teaching through the appropriate and effective use of technology, Connect Charter School is excited and proud to be recognized with this designation for the fourth consecutive term. 

Highlighted in the ADS application was the inspiring Partners In Place project that included Tsuut’ina Nation Education Department and Mount Royal University. Together, the education partners’ project titled “Social Problem Solving Through Design Thinking” was a collaboration between the stakeholders that focused on solutions to social problems in various communities related to bullying, mental health and anxiety. The project developed the capacity for students to use design thinking and computational thinking strategies, empowered through the use of technology to support the development of their solutions. All students had Ipads and leveraged their use to support this project.

Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. They use Apple technology to connect students to the world, fuel creativity, deepen collaboration, and make learning personal. 

“The essence of the ADS program directly aligns with our charter mandate. It allows teachers to offer different and enhanced learning opportunities for students to explore, engage, create and learn in new and meaningful ways, while teaching through a disposition of inquiry, as outlined in the schools’ Exemplary Teaching and Learning Frameworks. Perhaps what has been most exciting about our journey has been the way it has encouraged collaboration and partnerships in education. Collaborative learning opportunities have really inspired our students” said superintendent Chris Gilmour. “The selection of Connect Charter School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success in creating an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic achievement.”

In the early stages of the global pandemic, Connect Charter School pivoted from in-school learning to at home learning almost overnight. The feedback from our students and parents suggested that because of our one-to-one Ipad program and because our students were so comfortable using existing technology and learning new technologies to support their learning, the transition ensured all students were well supported. Although all students are now back in school, we have begun a research project in partnership with the University of Calgary to explore the efficacy of the at-home learning program we offered. Results from this research will be available in the spring of 2022.

“We have a fantastic team of educators at Connect who engage in ongoing professional development and goal setting around making learning happen in and through technology”, said David Cloutier, Educational Technologist. “This commitment and the work we do with technology helps to equip students for not just the tools, but important skills like computational thinking, critical thinking, citizenship, and creativity.”

“With one-to-one tech, our devices are personalized to us – we can see what we’ve learned in the past, organize in our own way and in one spot, and use accessibility tools to make it fit our needs” noted Lennart, a Grade 9 student who has been at Connect Charter School since grade 4. “One-to-one devices are also great for accessing and creating new information, as well as showing our learning in different ways.”

Chris Gilmour, Superintendent

Ph 403-282-2890

Apple Distinguished School facts:

Schools with the Apple Distinguished School (ADS) Designation worldwide: 546

Number of countries the ADS’ represent: 32

Number of public schools in Canada (as of 2020) according to the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada: 14,600

Number ADS in Canada: 16

Number of ADS in Alberta: 3

Number of consecutive terms school boards have been eligible to apply for the ADS designations: 4

Number of consecutive terms (2 yr and 3 yr) Connect Charter School has been designated as an ADS: 4

More information on ADS is available at ADS.

October Parent/Teacher Conferences – Oct. 5-6, 2021

Parent/Teacher Conferences will take place on Tuesday October 5 2021, 4:00 – 8:00 PM, and Wednesday October 6 2021, 8:00AM – 1:00PM. These brief but important conferences are a valuable opportunity for you to share information with your child’s teachers that may influence the quality of their experience at Connect this year. Academic, social/emotional, or health concerns may be among the topics you wish to discuss, along with interests and activities outside of school that may help teachers better understand the nature of your child’s busy life.

Note: If your child is on an Individualized Program Plan, you will have met with the teachers on either Sept. 24th or Oct. 1st. You do not need to schedule a further meeting during parent-teacher conferences.

Conference Manager will open for bookings at 4:00PM on Friday October 1, 2021, and will close for bookings on Tuesday October 5, 2021 at 12:00PM.

Conference Manager is used to schedule parent/teacher conferences and is now available through your PowerSchool Parent Account.

 The new steps to log in and book a parent/teacher conference at Connect Charter School are:

 Log into PowerSchool at the following URL: connectcharter.powerschool.com/

  1. Select the Application Launch icon   near the top right of the screen
  2. Select the Conference Manager in the menu list that appears. 

Conferences will be in a virtual format using Zoom or Google Meet. You will receive meeting links directly from your teachers.

We look forward to discussing your child’s progress at Connect Charter School!

Terry Fox Run

Our Terry Fox Run will take place on Monday October 4th. The schedule for each of 3 runs through the day is below. 

Connect has always demonstrated solid support for the Terry Fox Foundation and the legacy of cancer research that has helped to advance treatments for several forms of childhood cancer. Please offer your support to this worthy cause through a donation at www.terryfox.ca/ConnectCharter.  

Phys Ed Update – Double Ball Comes to Connect

On Monday October 4th, we will be continuing our work on creating our Double Ball sticks. Students are encouraged, but not required to bring some materials from home to decorate their Double Ball sticks. Some ideas could include, beads, string, colorful yarn, colorful tape, ribbon, or anything else they would like to personalize their sticks with.

Some information about Double Ball

Activity Origin and Purpose

  • This is a team game played in the past by East Coast and Plains tribes including Cree and Chippewa.
  • This game was often played exclusively by women, but now it is played by everyone.
  • Respect is a key component of this game, with the goal of protecting each other from injury.
  • Typically, the game was played similar to lacrosse with two goals at each end of the field. The game was played with no goalkeeper, and games were played to 7 points. 1 point for throwing the double ball in the net, 2 points over the net, and 3 points for wrapping the double ball on the crossbar.

Below is an exemplar of a completed Double Ball stick 

Dyslexia Awareness Month

Mark it Read is the official Canadian celebration for Dyslexia Awareness Month. October 1st, 2021 marks the start of our 4th annual national awareness-raising campaign. Each year across Canada, monuments and buildings are lit up red, schools and workplaces wear red, and cities and towns sign proclamations to officially declare the month of October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. Mark it Read has also been listed on the Government of Canada website as a health promotion month. 

This year’s theme intends to inspire young people across Canada to be proud that they are #PoweredByDyslexia as well as to provide a platform for young voices to be heard. Helping to empower these voices will allow those with dyslexia to learn how to self-advocate for their educational needs.


School Council and Parent Society News

Save the Date! Our Meat Fundraiser is Here – WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Fill your freezers for the fall with meat from Bow River Meats, and Spolumbo’s! Proceeds raised will be used to support our school and students.

Come JOIN our fundraiser in 3 easy steps:

Check out our fundraiser here: connectcharterschool.myteamfund.ca

  1.     Click “JOIN OUR FUNDRAISER”
  2.     Shop online on your own personal page until Monday, October 11th at 11:00 pm

 Sharing is Caring!

After you Join the Fundraiser: You can easily share your personal link to supporters via text, email, social media, and Facebook groups, or download your own personal order form to collect additional orders.

 You can pick up your order(s): Wednesday, October 20th at 3:15 pm

* More details on the webpage and to follow.

Thanks again for your support. Every order counts!

Fun Lunch Update

Friendly reminder to place your Funlunch orders soon. Term 1 fun lunches and snacks start on October 20th. Orders must be placed and paid in full by October 9, as the first fun lunch order will go to our vendor on October 10. We regret that we can not add or change orders once they go to our vendors, as per our agreement with our vendors. Attached is the Fun Lunch Backpack Letter should you need further information about fun lunch. 

If you are paying by cheque for your order, please ensure your student(s) take the cheque to the office on or before October 7th. All cheques should be made payable to Connect Charter School and in the memo please put Fun Lunch. Any orders placed after the cheque deadline can only be paid for by credit card. 

Place your fun lunch orders at: ccs.hotlunches.net/admin/

Connect Charter Casino November 21 & 22

The Connect Charter Parent Society is excited about our upcoming casino on November 21 & 22, 2021 at the Elbow River Casino. The casino is the single biggest fundraiser for the school and the funds raised help to support many outdoor experiences as well as purchase items essential to the enhancement of student learning. 

Thanks to all our amazing parent volunteers who have already signed up to fill many of the volunteer positions. Your support is greatly appreciated and we couldn’t do it without you. We are still in need of volunteers for the countroom on both nights and of backup volunteers for Sunday evening and for both, the day and evening shifts on Monday. Please check out the openings on Better Impact (the school-wide volunteer sign-up site) and see whether you can volunteer for one of these positions. Thanks a lot for your ongoing support.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sandra Steinbach-Kane of the Parent Society at [email protected].

Important Upcoming Dates

Oct. 5 4:10-8pm Parent-Teacher Conferences

Oct. 6 8am-1pm Parent-Teacher Conferences Non-instructional day

Oct. 8 Last day of classes

Oct. 11-15 Fall break

Oct. 18 Classes resume

Enjoy the spectacular fall weekend,

Phil Butterfield