December 10, 2021 – Parent Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

It has been a busy week at Connect with Peace Festival getting underway. A huge shout out to our grade 9 students for their leadership in planning activities for all grades, and to their teachers for such wonderful modeling of extraordinary citizenship in caring for our entire school community.

As part of Peace Festival, our Grade 7s are organizing a virtual food drive in the hopes of supporting not just Calgary’s bipeds, but our furry friends as well.  Yes! The food bank provides food for families in need – the whole family, including pets.  If you have a few dollars to spare, consider reaching into your pocketbook to reach out to our community by clicking the link below.  Donation receipts are available. www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/67634/donation

Our grade 4’s have enjoyed an early winter day camp at the FEC this week and we are looking forward to the winter day camps beginning on January 17th. Evan Ferguson and David Cloutier have installed six wildlife cameras around the FEC site, two of which are connected to wifi and can be monitored at school. The camp is a busy place, in a magical kind of way, when we’re not around.

Travel advisory during winter break

If your winter break plans include travel out of Canada, please familiarize yourself with any travel and re-entry regulations that may be in effect. The rules seem to change daily, but these links may help you stay informed.

COVID-19 public health actions | Alberta.ca

COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada – Travel restrictions in Canada – Travel.gc.ca

Parent Webinars

Our series of parent webinars will be getting underway in the new year. Overviews of the first two sessions are below: 

January 19  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Executive Functioning

Mr. Les Redick will present the latest on executive functioning and ADHD. 

Parents are led through a discussion of how ADHD presents itself from early elementary school through to adulthood. Parents are shown what ADHD looks like at home and how it may look different at school. Parents are given strategies on how to manage ADHD at home and how to support teachers in the classroom. 

As a parent of a severe ADHD child, Mr. Redick will share personal experiences as he speaks to topics like: Time Blindness, Poor Social Skills, Emotional Outbursts, Homework Issues, Poor Problem Solving/Time Management, Drug Use and Medications. 

February 2, 2022 Centre for Sexuality 

Family, friends, and parents play an important role in the lives of children and youth who are 2S/LGBTQ+. Research shows that gender and sexually diverse youth experience improved health and well-being when supported by the adults in their lives. This workshop will increase participants’ knowledge and awareness of gender and sexual diversity including the differences between sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Participants will be given practical tools and resources to build comfort and skill in supporting and affirming 2S/LGBTQ+ children and youth.

Feb 2 – Lunch and Learn Webinar (12:00 – 1:00 PM): 

us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZErfuGgqT8tH9f982-B6-NXxc9lz5gxSSYd

Feb 2 – Participatory Evening Workshop (6:30 – 8:00 PM): 

us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwscO-tqT4rE9RZex3TlQwUQkZQXUusAk7n

Devices over Winter Break

As we continue to face some ambiguity (at this point, most likely situations when a family is exposed to COVID or experiences symptoms of COVID and has to stay home) and as we want to make sure students have access to technology for learning, we will be sending devices home over the winter break in a restricted mode, much like the fall break. A limited number of apps will be available. These restrictions will lift on our return in January. Please keep devices charged (or turned off after charging) so that when they come back, they are ready to go!

Calendar explanation re: January 3

In the November 5th parent update, I included an explanation of how our school calendar is developed and the complexity involved in seeking alignment with other school jurisdictions.  I have included this piece again as I sense there are still lingering questions regarding the calendar, and specifically why Monday January 3rd is a school day rather than a PD day or an additional day of winter break. The reason lies in our goal of scheduling a specified number of instructional days in a school year. On occasion, as with Jan. 3rd, we do not have alignment with all other schools, although there are several that also have students returning that day. It is important to know that we understand the sometimes complicated nature of juggling family dynamics when multiple school calendars are involved. In many instances students may miss a day or two before or after an extended school break to accommodate a family vacation, and that is perfectly understandable; if that is going to be the case with your child this year, please notify the office and your child’s homeroom teacher

From Nov. 5, 2021 update…

We have received a couple of inquiries regarding the school calendar, and it may help to understand the complex process involved in developing our calendar each year. The calendar is developed two years in advance and is approved in two phases by the Board of Directors, first as a ‘tentative’ calendar, and subsequently as an ‘approved’ calendar in the year preceding implementation. Prior to being presented to the Board, draft versions of the calendar are shared with the School Council Executive and school staff for feedback. Scheduling PD days, Parent-Teacher Conferences, Student-led Conferences, and school breaks take into consideration the proposed calendars of the Calgary Board of Education and Calgary Separate School Division. Whenever possible we try to align our non-instructional days with the other jurisdictions as we understand how complicated it can be to juggle multiple children in different schools. Finding that synchronization is not always possible or desirable; a case in point being the adjustment this year to have the October parent-teacher conferences on a Tuesday evening and Wednesday, rather than the Thursday and Friday leading up to fall break. The reasoning is that we were experiencing declining attendance at conferences on Thursday and Friday and hoped to increase that attendance rate by moving them to mid-week. The change in timing, together with the option of meeting virtually, led to a 100% attendance rate in many pods. In other instances we have had to make decisions to ensure we are in compliance with Alberta Education guidelines for days and hours of instruction. Other dates that do not match the CBE calendar may occur due to the fact that we have more PD days – a commitment our Board has made to promote exemplary teaching and learning at Connect. So…although we strive to ease the challenge of having children in different school jurisdictions, it is not always possible and we appreciate your understanding of how we try to maneuver through these complexities. The current approved calendar, approved 2022-23 calendar, and the daily google calendar of activities may be viewed at connectcharter.ca/calendar/

Lost and Found 

Please review the google doc to claim any lost and found items. Any unclaimed items after Dec 15 will be donated to a school in need in the city. 

docs.google.com/presentation/d/1e6nlpSsAmoDXWqVVxDbX8xpxPlJaZffEBlryBwVCwp4/edit#slide=id.ged0b839a2f_0_18

Important Dates

connectcharter.ca/calendar/ 

December 13-16 Peace Festival

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

January 14 Term 2 IPPs will be reviewed by students and teachers and sent home

January 17-March 8 Winter day camps (see calendar)

January 19 Parent Webinar – ADHD and Executive Functioning

February 2 Parent Webinar – Centre for Sexuality (see above)

Have an outstanding weekend.

Phil Butterfield
Principal