June 24, 2022 Parent Update

Good afternoon Connect families;

With only a few days left in the 2021-22 school year, it is natural for us to look in the rear view mirror and reflect back on the highlights and challenges of the past 10 months. In my case it is also a time to look waaaayyyy back over a 32 year career in education. I have been extremely fortunate to have taught in a small rural school in British Columbia before moving to the Canadian Rockies School Division in Canmore and subsequently to two public charter schools in Calgary. I would have to say that a career in education was not one that I chose, but rather it chose me. Before returning to a university pre-service teaching program I served for 14 years as a police officer in the Lower Mainland and was reminded daily of the many ways children were affected by the social structures put in place to support families, but which all too often fell short of their intended outcomes. The revolving door of the youth criminal justice system at that time led me to explore options where I might be able to have a positive influence on children who were marginalized and misunderstood. What better pathway to pursue that lofty goal than teaching? I will leave it to others to gauge the degree to which I succeeded in changing the trajectory for some of the students I have worked with, but if only one child benefited from my role as teacher, counselor, or school leader, then I will take that as a sign of success.

My 18 years at the Calgary Science School / Connect have been nothing short of amazing. It has been an honour to work beside a team of dedicated professionals…without exception our teachers, educational assistants, support staff, and facility caretakers share a passionate commitment to providing an enriching and innovative learning environment for your children. Thank you for placing their care…and your trust… in our hands. It is a gratifying feeling indeed, to have watched 18 grade 9 classes walk across the stage and receive their certificates to mark completion of their middle school journey at Connect.   

The future for Connect is very bright and full of promise. The stewardship of Shannon Bennett as principal, Shashi Shergill and Andrea Friesen as Assistant Principals, and Chris Gilmour as Superintendent, will lead to new innovations and opportunities for the school to grow and flourish. Acquisition of the FEC as a hub for outdoor and experiential education provides a grounding space for students to develop a strong connection to the land and reinforce their understanding of place-based learning. It is with a deep sense of pride and humility that I bid a fond farewell to the Connect Charter School community and I sincerely hope our paths will cross again in the future…thank you.

A few year end details…

THANK YOU to our volunteers

We have said it before but it bears repeating…parent power is an essential part of what makes Connect a great school. The commitment of our volunteers to take on any number of roles in support of the school and our students is truly remarkable. The staff and students at Connect are so very grateful to all of you who have given of your time and energy as we emerged from the pandemic into an uncertain new world. It is also understandable that some parents may feel hesitant to reconnect through volunteering to the same degree as before the pandemic began. As a result, some activities have been short of volunteers to maintain prescribed supervision ratios. This is particularly critical when classes are going off campus for day or multi-day trips. If you anticipate volunteering at your child’s fall camp or other activities next school year, please ensure your security clearance is current…it needs to be renewed every three years.

Report Cards

Report cards will be available in PowerSchool as of 4pm on Wednesday June 29th. Be sure to save or print the report card by end of day on July 4th as all report cards will be deleted from PowerSchool as part of the year end rollover on July 5th. Appeals of any report card entries must be submitted to your child’s homeroom teacher in writing before 3pm on Thursday June 30, 2022.

Year End Parent Survey

At the end of each school year we conduct a parent survey to collect feedback on the Connect Charter School experience, including Communication, Safe and Caring School, Technology, Quality of Learning, and Outdoor Education. There are also sections pertaining to School Council and Parent Society activities. By completing this survey you are providing valuable input that the leadership team will use, along with data collected from students and teachers, to inform future directions and decisions for the school. As added incentive, you may choose to include your name and email address on the survey to be entered into a draw for reimbursement of next years enrichment fee for one child. In the event that a grade 9 parent name is drawn, the reimbursement will be for the 2021-22 school fee.

Please note the deadline for completion of the survey is 4pm on Tuesday June 28, 2022, and the draw will take place on June 29th. The survey may be accessed at forms.gle/obxnmZrCPum9VrCx7.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

Early Student Pick Up

The front office is experiencing a significant increase in the number of students being picked up early and needing to sign out at the office. If you know you will be picking up your child earlier than the 3:10 bell, please notify [email protected] and our office staff will have the student waiting for your arrival. It will save time and confusion in trying to locate students in classes.

Locks

Please note that all locks are to be remitted to the office in order to have your deposit returned.  The deadline for this is Monday at 2 p.m.  Locks can be returned to the homeroom teacher and the office will provide a cash refund to the student.  

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

Any unclaimed lost and found items that are not claimed by TUESDAY JUNE 28 will be donated to a charitable organization or saved for use at the FEC.

Shannon Bennett will be providing a final message to Connect families on Wednesday June 29th.

Thank you,

Phil Butterfield
Principal