Parent Update January 30 – February 2 – Connect Charter School

Connect Charter Family Weekly Update

January 30 - February 2

This Week's Highlights

Some days begin with mindfulness.

We are excited to provide families with a ‘sneak peek’ of our updated Exemplary Framework. This framework provides a lens through which our unique charter is realized at the school, communicate values and helps to align stakeholders. 


  • Board of Directors Feedback Session
  • Student Focus Groups
  • Several larger group and then small group sessions with teachers 

The frameworks have been updated in several ways:

  • More current (previous frameworks were developed in 2010)
  • Student-friendly language
  • No redundancy with the Teacher Quality Standard
  • More deeply connected to our charter goals

Next Steps:

The plan is to transform this ‘flat’ written document into an interactive, multi-media format with lived examples and to work with this document to then make needed adjustments.

We are firming up details about our spring camps.  We hope to have a ballpark camp cost figure to families next week. As we get closer to spring, more communication will come to families along with dates for virtual parent information sessions.

We wanted to share some updates. Note the grade 5 trip has changed location since the last communication.

Grade 4: Dinosaur Provincial Park

Grade 4 classes will camping at Dinosaur Provincial Park Campground in school tents. During this camp, students will tour the Bassano Dam, participate in curricular tied activities at the Dinosaur Provincial Park interpretive Centre, and get active with a swim at the Brooks Aquatic Centre.

Grade 4 Accommodation: Dinosaur Provincial Park Campground (Tents – provided)

Grade 4 Dates: June 19-21 Grade 4.1 and 4.2  and June 21-23 Grade 4.3 and 4.4

Grade 5 Circle Square Ranch Camp

Grade 5 classes saddle up for an adventure at Circle Square Ranch camp.  This historical themed location is the perfect setting to horseback ride, canoe, rock climb, try archery and test balance on the low ropes challenge. 

Grade 5 Accommodation: Dorms at Circle Square Ranch (Indoors)

Grade 5 Dates: June 7-9 Full Grade

Grade 6 Cultural Exchange

Grade 6 classes will be traveling to the Culture Camp of Mother Earth’s Children’s Charter School  for 2 nights and 3 days of activities. Programming at the Culture Camp will focus on Indigenous Worldview and Ways of Knowing, while connecting to nature in Central Alberta. Students will also be visiting Edmonton to take part in the Alberta Legislature. Students will also get a swim in at the Terwillegar Recreation Centre.

Grade 6 Accommodation: Dorms at Mother Earth Charter School  (Bunks – indoors)

Grade 6 Dates: May 1 -3, Grade 6.1 & 6.2 and May 3 – 5, Grade 6.3 & 6.4

Grade 7 Ribbon Creek

The Winter Camp at Ribbon Creek has been a popular field experience at Connect for many years. Students will enjoy a short bus ride out to the Kananaskis where they will be staying at the HI Kananaskis Hostel. While at camp students will participate in x-country skiing, snowshoeing, quinzee building, and other outdoor education skills. Should there be little snow, we adjust the program with hiking.  Stargazing with a guide during our darker months enhances the experience. 

Grade 7 Accommodation: Ribbon Creek Hostel Dorms (Bunks – Indoors)

Grade 7 Dates: January 23 – 25 (Grade 7.1)    January 31 – February 2 (Grade 7.3)    February 6 – 8 (Grade 7.2)    February 13 – 15 (Grade 7.4)

Grade 8 Writing on Stone

Grade 8 students will get the opportunity to experience a Southern Alberta tour to Scenic Writing on Stone Provincial Park (WOS). Along the way we will stop for a full day of curricular tied activities Led by Professor Ken Vos at the University of Lethbridge. Activities will include: Exoplanets, an Electric Guitar workshop, Optical Illusions and more. At WOS, students will camp, take part in curricular tied activities at the Interpretive Centre and hike the famous Hoodoo Trail. On the way back to Connect there will be a stop at Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens and a tour of a water treatment plant

Grade 8 Accommodation: Writing on Stone Provincial Park Campground – tents provided

Grade 8 Dates: June 5-7 for 8.3 and 8.4 and June 7-9 for 8.1 and 8.2

Grade 9 Blue Lake Camp

Columbia Outdoor School & Blue Lake Camp is located near Canal Flats, B.C. The camp offers rich programming related to leadership development, supporting our students with the upcoming transition to high school. While at camp, students will participate in curricular tied activities, low & high ropes, challenge courses, canoeing and much more.

Location: Columbia Outdoor School and Blue Lake Camp (near Canal Flats B.C.)

Grade 9 Accommodation: Cabins at Blue Lake

Grade 9 Dates: May 29- June 2

Here are some tips to access your child’s IPP:

Instructions for sign off:: In your inbox you will see an email from “[email protected]” notifying you that the IPP is ready for viewing and signing. When you click the clink it will take you to Powerschool to log-in and sign-off.
**Reminder** IPPs cannot be viewed using a mobile device or iPad at this time. You must access it on a desktop or laptop computer (Windows or Mac). Chrome browser (if possible)

If you have any questions or would like to meet with the homeroom teacher to discuss your child’s IPP please email the teacher directly.


In September, Connect Charter put forward a proposal to the Alberta Education mental health grants. The focus of the grant was to enhance mental wellness for children through outdoor experiences. Our grant proposal was accepted and we are excited to share some details of the pilot. 

There are two central components that enhance programming for students as a result of the grant.  1.  Teachers will access Open Parachute, a Canadian-based, interactive program to support mental health topics on a developmentally appropriate continuum.  Many topics align with the Alberta curriculum. For more information about Open Parachute, visit their website at this link.  A 5 minute video on the homepage a great place to learn about this program. Teachers will begin learning to incorporate Open Parachute in their health and wellness lessons in February and students should be interacting with this program by March. 

2. The second opportunity for students will happen next year.  Students will engage in Thrive Days (2 per year).  These Thrive days will give students opportunities for a workshop experience at the Field Experience Centre.  Workshops might include facilitators such as: yoga instructor; wellness coach; art therapist; Indigenous Knowledge Keeper; Outdoor Education Specialist and more.  

Our grant partnerships include Mount Royal University,  Open Parachute and Howl Tours.  In our grant proposal, Calgary Arts Academy was included to engage in the same pilot, hoping to develop teacher practice and enhanced mental health opportunities for their students.  The pilot will run between the two schools in parallel and will benefit twice as many students while enriching teacher practice for twice as many teachers.

Thanks to everyone who turned out at our Tuesday meeting to hear updates from Principal Bennett, as well as other school happenings. In case you missed it, here is the news in brief:
– 50/50 CASH Raffle will be launching soon. Last year’s winner took home over $7,000!
– Save the Date for Family Movie Night at Connect. Thursday, April 20. 
– Over $7,000 in equipment requests were funded by School Council and Parent Society. Thank you to our supportive community for continuing to take part in Fundraisers. 
– Looking to get involved? We need some additional parents to help or lead a couple of remaining activities this year. It’s a great way to meet other parents and get to know the school. We’ll also be looking to fill executive positions for next year – it’s never too early or too late to take part! Email 
Still got lots of bottles from the holidays? Not doing “Dry January”? Try SKIP THE DEPOT and have your returns go directly to the school!

Employment Opportunity – Education Assistant (1)Please note the employment opportunity at Connect Charter School.

Have a wonderful week, Connect!

Shannon Bennett 

Shashi Shergill
Assistant Principal

Andrea Friesen
Assistant Principal