January 29, 2022 Parent Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

It is always so amazing how our parent community continues to find ways to support our school, even as we slog through the final (hopefully) weeks or months of the pandemic. Our Parent Society has been granted permission by the AGLC to conduct a 50/50 raffle in support of our programs. As of today, the total raised is $2270, which means if the draw was held today the winner would take home $1135. Our goal is to reach $20,000 with a total prize of $10,000. Scan the QR code above or access the website at www.rafflebox.ca/raffle/ccps to purchase your tickets. Sales will end on February 16th and the draw will take place on February 17th. A huge thank you to our Parent Society executive for launching this fundraiser, and to our School Council for ongoing support of our many school initiatives that are funded through the fun lunch program, meat sales, and the numerous other fundraising events that are undertaken through the year. Speaking of which, the Easter chocolate sale that was a big hit last year will take place again in March. Stay tuned for details.

Like almost every other school in Alberta, Connect continues to be affected by high levels of absenteeism that have a direct impact on teaching and learning. Our student absentee rate has remained consistent this week, averaging about 13% or 80 students per day who are absent for a variety of reasons.  We have also had several staff members absent for COVID related reasons but our roster of substitute teachers has been able to cover classes and ensure continuity of instruction. Although our absentee rate may be relatively constant, it is characterized by an irregular pattern of students beginning quarantine or isolation and those returning to class following isolation. As a result, teachers, support staff, students, and parents are faced with some unique challenges:

  • We most definitely support the public health order requiring those with symptoms, positive rapid or PCR test results, or those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated household contacts, to quarantine and isolate as directed (www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page17239.aspx).  Nonetheless, the rhythm and flow of a classroom is disrupted when different students are leaving and reentering each day.  This may result in the need to review material more than once or condense curricular outcomes slightly if students have been ill or have had challenges completing work through SeeSaw during an absence. We do not consider this to represent a critical loss of learning at this point but recognize it can be a source of anxiety for some students and parents;
  • Reducing student anxiety over missed work and disrupted learning has emerged as one of our top priorities. Parents have a key role in supporting children by reassuring them that they will have opportunities to revisit curricular outcomes and their future is not in jeopardy due to these circumstances that are beyond their control. If your child is in quarantine or isolating and is completing school work from home, ensure you: 
    • have access to your child’s SeeSaw profile (use their profile, not yours, in order to get all the information available), 
    • maintain regular contact with teachers, and 
    • establish priorities for reasonable tasks to be completed within manageable timeframes;
  • By way of addressing any lost instructional time, we are allocating the space in the timetable normally allocated for electives to be used for additional core instruction. Teachers and educational assistants are scheduling support time for students learning from home, and our complementary and phys ed teachers are preparing activities that will be available in SeeSaw to supplement core subject materials.

There are many aspects of the pandemic that have adversely affected children and adults. Anything we can collectively do to reduce anxiety and reinforce the importance of self care and mental wellness will contribute to us reaching the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel as a healthy school community, ready to step back into our active, engaging, and dynamic programs. 

Creative Tech in Canva

One of the new creativity and collaboration tools that’s been made available to students and staff as a school is Canva for Education (www.canva.com/education/) – students will have an opportunity to explore this tool on their iPads further next week in Creative Technology. Like other cloud education apps we use, information remains private and is not shared outside of Connect, nor is more information than necessary shared with Canva to access the service. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Cloutier (4-5-6) at [email protected]  or Mrs. Rattai (7-8-9) at [email protected].

Parent Mid-year Survey

The Board of Directors Communication Committee, School Leadership, School Council, and Parent Society are seeking parental input to gauge deeper understanding of how parents selected Connect as a school for your child(ren) to attend, what makes our school unique, and what we can do post-pandemic to revitalize our connections as a school community. 

Although it may seem like an odd time to be asking parents to assess the strength of our school community, we are asking that you complete one of two surveys related to our community – its strengths, areas for growth, and ideas for revitalization when the pandemic reaches its conclusion. If you have a child in grade 4, 5, or 6 and do not have any children in the upper grades, we ask that you complete the brief survey at  forms.gle/dhzFR63cmrDWs8ms9. If you have a child currently or previously in grades 7, 8, or 9, you may complete the slightly longer survey at  forms.gle/YHxZixMh5au6xHSa7. The surveys will remain open until Friday February 4th.  

Winter Camps

Our winter camps are proceeding very well, with few interruptions and exceptional weather. More snow would be a bonus and is in the forecast for next week. The first round of day camps will wrap up on February 8th and we are beginning to explore the viability of a second round to begin after the Family Day weekend. 

Parent Webinars

The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Executive Functioning webinar originally planned for January 19th has now been rescheduled to Wednesday February 2nd at 6:30pm. A zoom link will be sent to all parents on the afternoon of Feb.  2nd. 

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. 

The Center for Sexuality session that had been on the calendar for February 2nd is being rescheduled to a date in March that is yet to be confirmed.

New Grade 4 2022 Families – Reminder 

APPLICATION FORM with ADMISSION DOCUMENTS REQUIRED – Due January 31, 2022

Please email [email protected] with any questions or to obtain the Application Link again.

K-6 Curriculum Review Update (January 26 release from the Minister of Education, Adriana LaGrange)

Since releasing the draft Kindergarten to Grade 6 (K-6) curriculum in March 2021, Alberta’s government has been committed to engaging with all Albertans and listening to feedback every step of the way. Today, we are furthering our commitment by providing another way for Albertans to share specific, constructive feedback on the draft K-6 content and the draft Social Studies design blueprint.

From January 31 to February 28, 2022, Albertans can participate in virtual engagement sessions to have their say through focused conversations on the draft K-6 curriculum. We are providing up to 44 engagement sessions across five regions: north, Edmonton and surrounding area, central, Calgary and surrounding area, and south. This regional approach will enable communities to share local insights and unique perspectives. While Albertans are encouraged to participate in their region, they have the flexibility to attend any session that works best for them.

During each session, one draft K-6 subject or the draft K-6 Social Studies design blueprint will be considered. The sessions will feature focused, small group conversations facilitated by independent engagement specialists to ensure balanced two-way dialogue. Albertans can sign up for notifications about upcoming engagements and register for sessions at alberta.ca/curriculum-have-your-say.

This spring, we will carefully consider the feedback from all engagement opportunities, education partners and classroom piloting. This valuable insight will be used to finalize the Social Studies design blueprint, develop the corresponding draft Social Studies curriculum and further revise all subjects in the draft K-6 curriculum.

Important dates

Calendar connectcharter.ca/calendar/ 

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

February 2 6:30-8pm Parent Webinar – ADHD/Executive Functioning (see above)

February 4 PD Day/ Non-instructional day – no classes

February 8 5:30-8pm Board of Directors meeting

February 15 6:30-7pm Parent Society Meeting

7-8pm     School Council meeting

February 17-21 Family Day Weekend break

February 23 Pink Shirt Day

Parent Webinar – Literacy Development

Have a spectacular weekend and stay safe everyone,

Phil Butterfield
Principal