The Spectrum FEBRUARY 2014 . issue 6 . VOLUME 11
Connect Charter School
Principal’s Message We are quickly coming up to the time in the school year when teachers would normally be going to teachers’ convention, followed shortly thereafter (thankfully) by the Family Day long weekend. The teachers at Connect Charter School do not attend the Calgary City Teachers’ Convention, and instead host a staff retreat. Reflecting on our retreat, I began thinking about whether parents know what teachers do on those many PD Days and our two staff retreats that we have throughout the year. We use those PD Days for a combination of planning and professional development opportunities. Teachers will share examples of their practice with their colleagues, we sometimes offer a handful of breakout sessions hosted by Connect teachers on a variety of topics, we dedicate a significant amount of time to grade team planning, we hold our curriculum team meetings, plus we include some staff building opportunities such as potluck lunches. We ask a lot of our teachers and so they need the collaborative time on those PD Days to continue to plan innovative and engaging lessons for our students. Much of the professional development on those days is provided internally; we have a tremendously talented staff who regularly share that expertise with their colleagues at Connect. Our retreats in August and February have a very strong focus on professional learning. The teachers decided that the retreat this
February, for example, will be focused on assessment. We have engaged the expertise of Anne Davies, who is a very well known expert on assessment and learning. She will spend February 13 with us, focusing on our guiding question for the retreat: How can we construct an assessment protocol that is meaningful for students, teachers and parents? This is really an extraordinary opportunity for our teachers and will help us continue to further the work of our staff assessment committee, which has taken on the mandate of ensuring there is consistency from teacher to teacher in what we are assessing, how we are assessing student learning and how we are communicating the results of those assessments to students and parents. It is big work and we simply could not undertake this task and all of the other responsibilities our teachers have without providing the time on PD Days and through staff retreats to work together to continue to ensure our students are provided the best quality learning opportunities we can provide. I recognize that it can sometimes be difficult for families to adapt to our modified calendar, with its sixteen PD Days, and I wanted to reassure everyone that those days are an important part of our teachers’ ability to undertake the kind of inquirybased work that people have come to expect from Connect. Regards, Darrell Lonsberry
transportation committee update VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!!
in this issue
Transportation Committee Update .................... 3 School Council Website..................................... . 3 Parent Summit Notice........................................ . 4 History Comes Alive......................................... 5 Go, Connect, Go!.............. ................... 6 Education Act Regulation Review......................... 6 The Truth About Mirs. Shergill............................... 7
Next Parent Council Meeting Info..................... 7 Grade 6 Winter Camp 2014 ............ ................... 8 - 9 What’s Happening In Phys. Ed.......................... . 10 Electives Profiles................................................. . 11 What Stuents Are Reading............................. 12 February Calendar................................................. 13 March Calendar...................................................... 14
Please consider donating some of your time to become a Transportation Volunteer. We have 2 spots that need to be filled: Route 3 and Route 8. This position doesn’t require alot of your time and a transportation training buddy will be assigned to show you the ropes. Please join us! Contact the office today or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. New Contact Information With the recent name change of our school please note our Transportation Committee email will be changing as well. Please watch for updates in the next Spectrum. We always welcome your suggestions and feedback!
School Council Website
You can find us under the Family Zone of our school website: www.connectcharter.ca • • • •
Meeting Dates Who we are Minutes Contact Us – council@ConnectCharter.ca
Transportation Notifications Please remember with our Calgary weather bus delays due to bad weather/traffic can occur. If you are interested in receiving transportation notifications sign up for Southland Transportation’s Parent Messaging System. Directions to sign up can be found at the bottom of the busing/bus delays page at http://www.connectcharter.ca/wordpress/ bus-delays/ Regards, Transportation Committee
School Council Meetings
School Council meetings occur on the first Tuesday evening of the month, beginning at 7:00 pm. Remaining dates for the 2013/14 school year are: • • • •
Feb. 4 March 4 May 6 June 3
Parent Summit Let’s Start a Conversation Discussion topics, based on the recent Parent Survey results, include:
School Learning Getting back to the basics
Bullying & Peer Pressure
Save the Date: April 12, 9:00 – 2:00 Watch for more information to come out soon!
Helping your child deal with anxiety, stress, relationships, and self-harm
- Snap Chat - Facebook - Instagram Do you know what your kids are doing online? Small Group Break Out Sessions
This term in Grade 7,
History Comes Alive! How do you learn history and find a fun way to learn it at the same time? You choose an early Canadian history event and you have a debate with your classmates about which event is most important. Then you make a common craft about your country’s history! A common craft is like an animation with paper cut outs. You can find them here on our project website: http://www.canadianhistorycommoncraftmuseum. com. The teachers wanted the students to find a fun way to learn. The grade 7s created common crafts that described their understanding of an event in early Canadian history. Examples are the War of 1812, the Fraser Gold Rush, and the Settlement of New France. At the beginning of the term the grade 7 students had a debate about whether it is important for Canadian students to learn about their country’s history. After that they were asked to take a Canadian historical test. The average score was 2 correct answers out of 10. Then the students were asked to get their parents to take the test, with similar results. After that, the grade 7 students concluded that Canadian citizens don’t know too much about their own country’s history.
Grade 7 students participating in the History Symposium led by Professors Anderson and Pettit at Mount Royal University The students presented it to the class and got feedback from the class and from the teachers. You can go to the common craft website and vote for what event is most historically significant - here it is again: http://www. canadianhistorycommoncraftmuseum.com
The students thought that it was really fun and a different After that, Humanities teachers Ms. Pereverzoff, Mr. Dittmann, way of learning about our history. Jasveen said, “It was good and Ms. Eloho each chose an historical event in Calgary’s and fun”. Curtis said, “It was a creative way of learning”. history. The events they chose were the flood of 2013, Fort Calgary, and the Calgary Stampede. The teachers debated which event is most historically significant for Calgarians. This served as an example for students of what they would be doing. They chose one event out of 16 that were historically significant to Calgarians and set off and researched it in partners. The goal of this debate was to make the event that they chose the most historically important with research and questions for the other opponents. Each group wanted to eliminate other events that they thought weren’t as important. Then the topics would get cut down to 5 topics. The remaining events became the subjects to make common crafts. After that the students went down to Mount Royal University with the professional historians and discussed Canada’s history. Still frame of a Common Craft scene Students got feedback on their common crafts from the historians.
The Truth About
Go! Go, Connect _______s, Could our Lasers sports teams be no more? No More “pew, pew, pews” (laser sounds that we make when we score)? Surely you know that we have changed our name from Calgary Science School to Connect Charter School. With that being the case, should we change our team name from “Lasers” to something else? What do you think about a new name? Well, our students were surveyed. Some say that this would be awesome, a chance to make our team name new and interesting. However, some say that this would be bad because we have gotten used to Lasers and to the cheer “LA...LAS...LASERS!! LASERS, LASERS, we’re the best!! GOOOOO LASERS!!!! If we do change the name, people need to start thinking of what it could be. Could it be Connect the Dots, Connect Rainbows or something else? Let’s wait and see! By Matt C. and Colin T.
Education Act Regulation Review What is a Regulation?
Can I give input? Ask Questions?
Regulations are the nuts and bolts of how key aspects of the Education Act Legislation are translated into action.
I thought the Education Act received Royal Assent on December 10, 2012? •
Yes, it did. Now the Regulations have to be developed through this review process. They are aiming to have the Regulations enacted in 2015.
Definitely. In fact, you are encouraged to. Join us at our next Council meeting (Tuesday, February 4, at 7:00 PM) and speak to one of the Minister’s Education Act Regulation Review Committee Members – our local MLA Linda Johnson.
Check out Alberta Education FAQ’s on the subject: http://education.alberta.ca/department/policy/educationact/faqreview.aspx
This is Mrs. Shergill, a Humanities teacher with a passion for teaching. Teaching is her second career in life, after she finished university she never thought she would end up teaching but she always liked the idea of working in what is called the “public sector”. She liked the idea of helping people, so initially she worked for social services for nine years, mostly in her native Great Britain. In the last few years of working there, she did a lot of training and teaching social workers about different services and policies. She received a lot of great feedback on her aproach for teaching these subjects, so this lead her to return to university and become a teacher as a full time job. Her favourite part about teaching is the conversations she has with students in the classroom. She loves getting into really interesting discussions about the topics they’re learning in class, especially current events. Connect was the first school that she ever taught at,.She was actually a student teacher at Connect when she was getting her teaching degree and feels lucky to have gotten a job here as a teacher. The most life changing trip she has ever been on with the school was
Bamfield becasue it gave her an appreciation for things that she hadn’t considered before. It made her think of our connectedness with the environment and how valuble sea creatures are to our environment. During most of her time at Connect, she has had at least one of her own children attending. When asked what it was like teaching her own children, she said that it was okay and wasn’t as strange as she thought it would be. After a while, her children just started to blend in to the classroom and accept her as a teacher during the day and their mom in the evening. Overall, she thought it was a very valuble experience for her as a mom and a teacher. She decided to enrol her kids in Connect because she appreciates the vision of the school and the approach to learning and education. It was very clear to her that her children would benifit from this type of learning. She thinks that Connnect has been the perfect fit for her, both as a teacher and a parent.
By: Anastasia S
Tuesday, February 4 at 7:00 pm (in the Library) Local MLA Linda Johnson will be attending to give us a brief overview of the Education Regulation Review Process and then open the floor for questions. Why? So you can: • •
hear what she has to say about the process; find out how our school (and your child) might be impacted; and
ask her questions, or share concerns, that you might have.
It’s a great opportunity to find out what is going on with our Education system and have your opinion heard by those involved.
Winter Camp 2014 Grade 6 Winter Camp is a 3 day field trip that each grade 6 class takes part in at the end of January. This year, as usual, students headed out to the Ribbon Creek Hostel in beautiful Kananaskis Country. Grade 6 Winter Camp started about 8 years ago in 2006. The grade 6 teaching team at the time wanted to create a unique camp experience in the winter because most camps are in the fall or in the spring. They also wanted to avoid heading to camp just prior to the provincial PAT exams, so a winter camp experience was born. This year ,the grade 6’s had a ton of fun building quinzhees, cross-country skiing, going on night hikes, playing the animal game and other fun things. We asked Mrs.Piper (6.3 Math/ Science teacher) what she likes about winter camp. “I love to spend time outside and with my class,” was her enthusiastic reply. Needless to say, the students really enjoyed it too. Cross-country skiiing and quinzhee building seemed to top the list for most of the grade 6 students we spoke to. Until next year!
What’s Happening In...
Electives Profiles Foods The Foods elective, taught by Mr. McKenzie, teaches students how to make delicious meals while learning new skills with certain kitchen tools, such as a knives, peelers and whiskers. This term, students have made many delicous foods from scratch, such as muffins, cookies and soup. Of course, many students are drawn to this elective by the promise of getting to eat tasty food. Along the way, students pick up valuable skills when it comes to cooking and preparing a dish. The term started out with students preparing fairly simple foods, like pancakes and little snacks. As the term has progressed, students have been making more complicated meals. Bon appetit!
Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles In Phys. Ed., students have been participating in a variety of activities, such as capoeira (a Brazilian Martial Art that incorporates samba music), “Pound” (a drumming exercise activity, pictured above), Zumba and more. All of the activities emphasize a “fitness for life” philosophy and allow students to learn about and participate in activities they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to.
The Underwater ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) elective, one of the newest electives, is led by Mr. Lonsberry and is all about students building and testing out ROVs. The point of this elective is making small, remotely operated robots that can do various tasks such as moving. It is definitely one of the most popular electives out there!
Something to think about...
School Council Elections on May 6 Are you, or someone you know, curious about what is involved? Ask one of our members and find out.
Ask any of our current members: School Council Members, attend our next meeting (February 4), or contact us directly at: council@ConnectCharter.ca
”I joined this elective because it sounded like a fun way to make ROVs with my friends“ - Will F.
Do you know what the most popular books in the library are? Do you ever have trouble finding books that work for you? Well, here’s our students giving you a sample of the most popular books in our Anne Tingle library!
February 2014 26
Day 2 28
Day 3 29
Grade 5 student Liam C. readingAlex Rider, an adventure/suspense series by James Patterson
Day 1 4
Day 2 5 Day 3 6 MINISTER’S VISIT CONNECT NAME SCHOOL CELEBRATION Science Fair 12:15 pm School Council FUN LUNCH OPA Meeting 7:00-8:00 PM
Day 6 11
Day 1 12
Day 6 1
Day 5 8
Day 2 13
FUN LUNCH EXTREME PITA
Grade 5 student Natasha G. reading A Series of Unfortunate Events a fantasy series by Lemony Snicket
Grade 7 student Anastasia S. reading Catching Fire, part of the Hunger Games science fiction series by Suzanne Collins
18 Family Day No School
Grade 5 student Gillian C. reading The Warriors, a fantasy series by Erin Hunter
Fun Lunch Mr. Sub
Grade 5 student Jennifer N. reading Harry Potter, a fantasy series by J.K Rowling
Grade 6 student Leander J. reading Darren Shan, a horror/ fantasy series
Day 4 30
ORGANIZATIONAL DAY no classes Board Of Directors Meeting
Day 6 25
Staff Retreat No School
Day 3 20
Staff Retreat No School
Day 5 22
Day 4 1
FUN LUNCH COCO BROOKS MENU B
Day 1 26
Day 2 27
FUN LUNCH MR. SUB
March 2014 24
DAY 3 11
DAY 2 18
St. Patrick’s Day
DAY 6 5 DAY 1 6 DAY 2 7 4 8 Student Led school council Student Led TERM 2 PVA Conferences Report Cards meeting Conferences SHOWCASE 8:00 AM GO HOME 7:00 pm 4:00 - 8:00 PM 1:00 PM SNACK ATTACK JR. ATB no classes Lunch Recess KERNELS POPCORN jr. ATB in THE IAC DAY 4 12
JR. ATB Lunch Recess
for new Client Sign up
DAY 5 13
JR. ATB in THE IAC for new Client Sign up
DAY 6 14
DAY 1 15
DAY 5 21
FUN LUNCH COCO BROOKS MENU A
DAY 3 JR. ATB Lunch Recess Alice in Wonderland musical 1:00 & 7:00 pm
DAY 4 20 Alice in Wonderland musical 1:00 & 7:00 pm FUN LUNCH - OPA
PD/Planning Day No classes 28
BREAK 14 www.calgaryscienceschool.com