May 6, 2022 Parent Update

Good afternoon Connect parents;

A glance at our school calendar will give you some idea of the increasing frequency and pace of activities at Connect. In addition to planning for the upcoming spring overnight trips in June, several pods have been to the Field Experience Center for day trips. This week grade 4 students began the Swim to Survive program at Canyon Meadows Pool. As you can see from the photo above, this is a ‘two thumbs up’ activity. All grade 4 and 5 students will participate in this program over the next couple of weeks. Boating and kayaking programs will be running through the month of June as we also shuttle pods to the FEC. All of these activities are made possible through the commitment of parent volunteers and we are extremely appreciative of all those who have, and who will be, volunteering on these field experiences that are representative of the uniqueness of Connect’s program. 

It was teacher and educational assistant appreciation week from May 2-6 and it is a good time to take a moment and reflect on the dedication of our staff to student success. Thank you to our School Council for showing appreciation for all of our staff as well. Despite the challenges of the pandemic there is a definite air of optimism and hope that the future is bright and will be full of promise for the Connect community. 

Our rescheduled Connect Our Community open house will be taking place on Thursday May 19th from 3:30-6:30pm. This will be a wonderful opportunity for parents and teachers to reconnect…or meet in person for the first time. There will be three one-hour blocks for families to sign up using the Conference Manager in PowerSchool. Sign up will open on May 13th at noon. We look forward to seeing you soon. Just a reminder that the Connect Our Community event is not a student-led conference or a time to discuss student progress in detail with teachers. It is intended to provide an opportunity to rekindle the sens of community that is so vital to our school. By all means, if you have questions regarding your child’s performance in any aspect of school, contact their teachers to arrange a time to meet in-person or virtually.

Spring Camp Update

It has been over 2 years since we were able to conduct any overnight trips with our students and it is not lost on us that our grade 4 and 5 students, and many parents, have never been on a Connect multi-day trip. These field experiences are an integral component of the outdoor and experiential education pillar of our charter and student participation in these activities is expected. We are also sensitive to the fact that we are emerging from a pandemic in which keeping our distance from others has been the norm, so asking students to share a tent for sleeping may be a concern for those with ongoing health risks involving immuno-compromised relatives. We remain committed to providing a safe environment for students during overnight programs and measures will be in place to ensure tents are sanitized between groups and all food preparation and serving precautions will be taken to reduce the risk of virus spread or contamination during camps. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s attendance at camp, please contact me at [email protected]

Work Bee

A parent work bee will take place on Saturday May 28th from 10am to 3pm to set up the tents, ensure the outhouses and buildings are clean and stocked, clean up the grounds, and prepare the kitchen and infirmary for student arrival. We look forward to seeing many of you at the work bee and if you can bring a shovel, rake, and/or wheelbarrow to assist in the grounds clean up that would help immensely. Please notify your child’s homeroom teacher if you are available to join us for this work bee, indicating the number of adults and children who will be attending.

If anyone knows where we might be able to acquire two C-cans for equipment storage at the FEC, please let me know.

Camp Volunteers

The safe and efficient (and fun) operation of overnight camps depends in large part on the parent volunteers who accompany each trip. To provide adequate supervision of students and fulfill tasks of cooking, clean up, fire building, and a myriad of other jobs, we require 8 to 12 parent volunteers per pod/trip. All volunteers must have a current security clearance check. If you are uncertain of your security clearance status or need to initiate a new application, contact Laurie Kangas at [email protected]. A google form link will be sent to all parents by Monday. Complete the form if you wish to volunteer on this trip and you will be notified once the final decisions have been made. In the event there are significantly more equally qualified potential volunteers than spaces available, we may conduct a lottery to determine selection.  A volunteer orientation webinar will be arranged for late May. 

Parent Information Webinar May 25th

Prior to any overnight field experience we conduct an information session for parents to share details of the trip, including transportation, packing and equipment list, risks and hazards, food allergies, activities, and other pertinent details to assist your (and your child’s) planning and organization. Because all the trips this spring share many elements in common we will be conducting one parent webinar on Wednesday May 25th from 6:30 to 7:30pm. The zoom link for this webinar will be included in the May 19th update.

Schedule

The dates of your child’s overnight trip are on the schedule below. Note for Grade 9 parents: the grade 9 classes will not be going to the FEC overnight but will be going to Camp River’s Edge near Cremona on June 2-3 for a farewell celebration. Details of this event will be shared with you by the grade 9 teachers.

Bus Delay Notification System

We have experienced periodic bus delays due to driver absences. The information below is a reminder to register for the bus delay notification system.

Cancellations and delays may be tracked using the MyBusStop app, and through Southland’s Parent Messaging service. 

From time to time, there may be a delay in bus service due to driver shortages, traffic volumes, winter conditions, construction, mechanical problems or an accident.  These delays may be substantial, and may be inconvenient for parents. In preparation for delayed or canceled service, parents are encouraged to develop a back-up plan. Use Southland’s Parent Messaging Service and MyBusStop to know when your bus is delayed or canceled. 

  1. Southland’s Parent Messaging Service myschoolbusmonitor.ca
  2. MyBusStop app  www.MyBusStop.ca

2021-2022 School code for MyBusStop app: CSCR1A9YTT 

Notification of Delays

Parents have the option of subscribing to Southland’s Parent Messaging system, which will automatically send emails and/or texts to them when their route is delayedFamilies must renew their subscription to the Southland’s service each year. Sign up for this service each year by following the links found on myschoolbusmonitor.ca. There are limitations to this system (ie.Southland is overwhelmed with messages to post); however it will give up-to-date information the vast majority of the time.

Parents can also track their bus routes by subscribing to Southland’s GPS tracking system. Register at www.MyBusStop.ca.  A valid School Code is required each year to register with the app. The School Code can be obtained from Connect at the beginning of each year. 

When using the app, please keep in mind that the data may be delayed by a few minutes.  The bus could be closer than described on the app.

And speaking of busing…

If you haven’t yet signed up for bus transportation for the 2022-23 school year and think you will be needing to do so, please register soon so routes can be established. If you have any questions regarding busing, direct your inquiries to [email protected].

Spring Meat Fundraiser – Order pick up

Volunteers Required: Bow River Meats and Spolumbo Sausages Handover

We need 8 volunteers to help us unload, sort, and distribute our meat orders from Bow River Meats and Spolumbo Sausages. 

This will take place behind the school on May 11th from 2:00 to 4:15 pm.

To volunteer, log in to Better Impact at app.betterimpact.com/Login/Volunteer and click on Opportunities. If you don’t currently have a Better Impact account, go to bttr.im/ta0ot to create one. Note: When creating an account for the first time, it can take up to 24 hours for your account to be approved before you can sign up for opportunities.

School Spirit Wear

A reminder that the school spirit wear online store will close at midnight tonight. Orders may be placed st store.kodiaksports.ca/stores/connect-school.

Lost and Found

Please check the lost and found link below for items that may have become separated from your child. docs.google.com/presentation/d/1e6nlpSsAmoDXWqVVxDbX8xpxPlJaZffEBlryBwVCwp4/edit#slide=id.gc6f73a04f_0_0

Important dates

Check the school calendar at connectcharter.ca/calendar/ and weekly updates from your child’s teachers for dates of class field experiences and other school activities and events.

May 19 3:30-6:30pm Connect Our Community open house

May 20  Professional Development / Non-Instructional Day

May 23  Victoria Day – School closed

May 25  6:30-7:30pm Spring camp parent webinar

May 28 10am-3pm FEC Camp work bee

June 1 Spring camps at the FEC begin

June 2-3 Grade 9’s to Camp River’s Edge

Have an outstanding weekend,

Phil Butterfield
Principal