November 26, 2021 – Parent Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

Today marks the end of term 1 for the 2021-22 school year. Our first 13 weeks of school have been notable for the tremendous learning experiences our students have enjoyed in school, at the Field Experience Centre, and during local outings such as the Wonder Wander captured in the photo above. In spite of ongoing pandemic restrictions being in place, we are feeling a sense of optimism now that a vaccine is available to children aged 5 through 11 that we may be able to start reintroducing more of our ‘Connect-style’ activities, including electives and intramurals over the next few months. A number of circumstances will need to align for that to happen but we will remain hopeful as we enter into a season where hope and gratitude prevail. 

On the topic of gratitude, a huge thank you to our Parent Society and the volunteers who helped out at the two casinos last Sunday and Monday. Revenue from the casino fundraiser contributes significantly to enriching educational experiences for students at Connect and we are very grateful to the Parent Society executive and volunteers who undertake long shifts at the casino on our behalf. School Council has also been active on the fundraising front with a successful meat sale and ongoing fun lunch program well underway. For those who ordered plants through the Growing Smiles fundraiser, the plant pick up will be Thursday December 2nd from 3:30-4:45pm in the staff parking lot/door area. One more volunteer to help with the plant pick up would be greatly appreciated. If you are able to help out, please email [email protected].  

Proof of Vaccination Update

In October, our Board of Directors updated policy 6.04 and the appendix to address vaccination requirements at Connect Charter School. As of December 1st, everyone over the age of 12, except for Connect Charter School students, entering a Connect Charter School building will be required to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be participating in the testing program. 

In anticipation of more off-site trips taking place at our Field Experience Center and elsewhere that require volunteers, I am requesting you complete the following form (docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeW6Ed0pU3aWCVFSU2yJpBNpFCCWPyZNFgyYKU9V9bo-MmYNw/viewform?usp=sf_link). The form will prompt you for your name, email address and vaccination status. If you are vaccinated, you will be prompted to upload a picture of your QR code. This will allow you to enter our facilities in the future without having to show your vaccination status. We will check all QR codes and track your name, email address and vaccination status. This will ease the process of volunteering at our school or on any of our trips. Note this is a request, not a requirement.

We will have a QR code reader at the main entrance beginning Wednesday for visitors that have not provided their QR codes.

COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11

This week Health Canada approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The Canadian Pediatric Society is recommending that all eligible children get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Appointments for children aged 5 to 11 can be booked through the Alberta Vaccine Booking system, or by calling Health Link at 811. Appointments will be available primarily at Alberta Health Services clinics around the province as of November 26. Vaccines will not be available in schools at this time. 

 Parent or guardian consent is required for children to get their vaccine, and it can be provided either in-person at the vaccine appointment or by a signed consent form. Parents and guardians are encouraged to seek out reliable and factual information to inform their decisions on vaccines for their children. 

 The following information may be helpful:

All public health guidelines, including physical distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, masking when in public and staying home when sick remain in effect. It is important to continue to protect one another during this time.

Term 1 Report Cards

The end of the term also signals report card time as teachers have been working extremely hard to assess student achievement on academic learning outcomes, citizenship, and inquiry. 

Accessing the report card

Report cards will be available in PowerSchool at approximately 3:10pm on November 29th. You can access the Report Card via PowerSchool on a desktop or laptop computer (report cards do not work via the app; and may or may not work on mobile) 

  1. Log in to your parent account at connectcharter.powerschool.com/ 
  1. Click your child’s name at the top if it is not already selected.
  2. Click the “Report Card” button on the left hand side:

Please wait until Tuesday at noon to report any issues with access to allow us to sort any bugs out that emerge when they launch.

Understanding the Report Card

The report card is just one of many ways to track progress of your child(ren)’s achievement at school.  Frequent conversations with your child about daily learning, accessing the SeeSaw learning management system and teacher conferences all provide information related to student growth. 

How is the report Card Organized? 

The first comment in the report card is about citizenship and will provide families with information about the child related to various attributes to be a successful student and community member.  The academic section provides details related to student achievement of curricular outcomes for the grade level they are in.  The academic section includes a level of achievement (Exemplary, Proficient, Acceptable or Not Yet Meeting) and comments with strengths and areas for growth. The report card also provides an overview with demographic information including whether the student requires specialized learning supports (example IPP or ESL) and the attendance records. 

What if I don’t understand something in the report card? 

Student led conferences are a follow-up opportunity to discuss anything that may be unclear with your child(ren)’s teachers.  Referring to previous assignments or assessments can help to offer clarity as can conversations with your child. Conversation Prompts to Discuss the Report Card

What are you most proud of in this term of school?

What course, activity or experience did you most enjoy at school?

What key messages did you hear from this report card?

Is there something I can help you with in your learning or experience at school?

What do you think you might try for next term for continued success or improvement?

Here is my favourite line of this report card.  

Individualized Program Plan Timeline

Individual Program Plans were sent out in October.  Teachers have been monitoring growth during and working with students on their goals since their creation.  January 14th, a progress update will be sent home to families.  IPP transition plans will then be sent to families on the 10th of June; this provides information about the progress made over the year and provides next year’s teacher with strategies and recommendations for the next school year. 

Student-led conferences provide a good opportunity to ask about progress related to the report card or Individual Program Plan.

English as A Second Language Learners

In the case that Alberta Education has identified your child(ren) as an English Language Learner (ESL), your child can receive additional support, assessment and evaluation of their language proficiency. Alberta Education identifies students as ESL in these three different scenarios:

  • Students for whom English is not their primary language
  • Students who communicate in an additional or combination of languages
  • Students who previously attended a language immersion program

 How do families know how their child is doing in their language acquisition? 

In term 2 and 3, families can expect to find a summary of the child’s language abilities in four categories: speaking, listening, reading and writing.  We use both standardized and teacher-created assessments to monitor language development and our inclusive approach to support a range of learners in our classrooms includes support for ESL students.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher if you have concerns related to their language acquisition.  

Student-Led Conference Details

Student-led conferences will be scheduled as follows:

Grades 4-8 

Thursday December 2 4:30pm – 8:00pm

Friday December 3 8:00am – 1:00pm

Families will sign up for a virtual 30-minute block with your teaching team, with a maximum of 4 families per block.

Grade 9, High School Discussion Meetings

Thursday December 2 12:00pm – 8:00pm

Friday December 3   8:00am – 1:00pm

Families will sign up for a 15-minute virtual meeting with your teaching team for a high school discussion specific to your student.

How To Book:

Conference Manager is now accessed through your PowerSchool parent account.

A booking link is not required.

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

  1. Log into PowerSchool at the following URL: connectcharter.powerschool.com/
  2. Select the Application Launch icon   near the top right of the screen
  3. Select the Conference Manager in the menu list that appears.

 Conference Manager will open for bookings Monday November 29, 2021 at 4:00pm.

The site closes for bookings on Thursday December 2, 2021 at 12:00pm.

These conferences will be virtual. Teachers will be sending out the meeting links prior to the conferences.

Grade 9 Immunization (non-COVID)

Grade 9 Parents: immunization (routine, not Covid) consent forms from AHS have been handed out.  Please return to the teacher or the Office as soon as possible.  Thank you!

Research opportunity for Grade 9 boys 

The following research opportunity is being presented by the Centre for Sexuality in support of the Wiseguyz program:

If you are a parent or guardian of a guy in grade 9, please consider giving your child consent to participate in the research study, Understanding the Well-Being of Adolescent Boys. The purpose of the project is to better understand how programs in our school are working and to understand adolescent boys’ overall well-being. The data that are collected as part of this project will be a big help to our school community!  

To find out more about the project and/or to allow your child to participate, please click this link:  UWAB Parent/Guardian Consent  

Alternatively, you can copy and paste this URL into your browser:  

tinyurl.com/x2srn44n   

Lost and Found

The lost and found collection is growing and items need to be reunited with owners. You may view and claim belongings at:  

docs.google.com/presentation/d/1e6nlpSsAmoDXWqVVxDbX8xpxPlJaZffEBlryBwVCwp4/edit#slide=id.gfbfb8eab4f_0_102

IMPORTANT: Any lost and found items unclaimed after 3pm on December 15th will be donated to a local charity.

Approved 2022-23 calendar 

The Board of Directors approved the school calendar for 2022-2023. You may access the calendar at connectcharter.ca/calendar/.  

Important Dates

connectcharter.ca/calendar/ 

November 29  Term 1 report cards available on PowerSchool; Term 2 begins

December 2   Student-led conferences (virtual – 4:30-8pm)

December 3  Student-led conferences (virtual – 8am-1pm)

December 16 Last day of classes for students before winter break

December 17  PD Day/Non-instructional day – no classes

December 18-January 2 Winter break – school closed

January 3, 2022  Classes resume

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Phil Butterfield
Principal