Hello CJP Families,
Happy New Year! We are looking forward to seeing the entire school community on Monday. We have missed those who were participating in on-line learning. This past week CJP was quiet, with only 4 classes and about 35 students in the building. For those who were on campus, it was a great opportunity to connect and provide students with intense support and small classes. For many of us, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, one we will cherish for a very long time.
On-line learning, for those who did not choose it, can be difficult. Like all of you, I have young children at home engaging in on-line learning. I know first hand, the struggles are real. The anxieties before the week even started, stresses about logging in – 3 and sometimes 4 times in a day, using the mic and muting, actually speaking in an on-line group, getting all the work done (some just didn’t' get finished...and that is OK) finding the time to “teach” after dinner, when the workday was done, dinner was finished, and there was a small slice of time before everyone dropped from exhaustion. And we can’t forget the meltdowns, the tears, the kids missing their friends and teachers. The struggles are real – I am very familiar. On-line learning is not for everyone. I can say without hesitation, I am so glad to have school open to all learners on Monday. (Insert my happy dance here!) It wouldn’t be fair though, not to mention the joys and gains of being on-line. Certainly this is much safer in a pandemic. On-line learning 2.0 was much smoother than emergency teaching in the spring. The opportunity for parents to get familiar with what your child is doing in the classroom, watching your child as they learn, engage in learning, and respond to the teacher and their peers has been enlightening for many. I am ever hopeful this week of on-line learning at home has provided parents with a glimpse into what teachers are all busy putting into report cards to share at the beginning of February.
As we think about Monday morning, we need to contemplate the safety of all students and the staff at the school. Please remind your children about wearing their mask, continue to supervise hand washing at home to ensure your children are doing a thorough job, remind your children to keep their hands to themselves and keep their distance from others. This will help all of us. Please keep your children home if they are not well. Our entire school was remarkable in the fall, truly inspiring. We need to continue with our diligence. The last thing I want to do is close classes and send kids home. It is unthinkable! I know, not a single person seeks Covid or wants to spread this to a community. Please continue to think of all learners and families in our community. Please be diligent about taking your temperature and ensuring your kids are feeling well before you head to school. This will help to keep us all safe.
Teachers will spend a significant portion of their day on Monday reviewing all safety protocols and expectations. It is a good reminder for all. Safety first. When we are feeling safe and well cared for we are much better learners.
Take good care.
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
Hello CJP families,
May your winter break be restful as we contemplate a quiet, constrained holiday season. I am personally investing in a new tradition with our family - the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, or 'Christmas Book Flood' where everyone curls up on Christmas Eve with a new book to read, a cup of hot chocolate - and maybe some chocolate to eat as well! Sounds like the perfect new tradition during a pandemic - and it carries all the elements of compassion for humanity too 😊 I invite you all to join me!
We wish you the very best of quiet holiday seasons celebrated safely and healthily at home.
Dr. Bettesworth, Ms. Sharpe and the CJP Team
Week of January 4 - 8, 2021
Today we will dive into the beginning plans and thoughts for on-line learning for our K-Gr 6 students here at CJP. It was just a few hours ago the CBE shared their expectations and hopes for the first week of January. As we plan for this single week of on-line learning, we are ever hopeful it will only be one single week. I am hopeful the community that surrounds us and the great province we live in will flatten that curve and look after one another so the spread of Covid is minimized as we move forward. As always, I will share what I know about how school will look during the first week of January. The biggest thing we know, is that plans and directives change quite quickly. So, this is my message for today. Without a doubt there will be changes and updates as we approach the implementation date. Please continue to read updates and e-mails carefully. 1. L&L students are expected to be at school learning the first week of January 2. There will be NO on-line learning opportunity for our L&L students the first week of January 3. Those students, with an IPP and who are unable to meet the regular classroom expectations for learning and who are unable to engage in the regular programing provided by the teacher and who have been identified by our Leadership Team as at risk, will be offered a spot in either an AM or PM class for face to face learning the first week back in January. You will be notified privately, via e-mail Friday evening, if this applies to your child. Your child will not be participating in the learning tasks their regular class will engage in. Also, they will not be learning with their regular classroom teacher as they will be teaching on-line all week. 4. There will be no yellow school bus service the first week of January for CJP students 5. All K-Gr 6 classroom teachers will be dedicated to the on-line learning needs of their classroom learners. It is impossible for classroom teachers to both have identified IPP students in their classroom and simultaneously teach students who are on-line. While I know they are amazing, as of today, they cannot be cloned this quickly. This needs to be taken into consideration when families are thinking of advocating for options (or not) for their learners. 6. As of today, Friday, we do not know with certainty if the Out of School Care will operate the first week back after winter break. This decision will be announced on Monday, Dec 14. We do know, if there are children in Out of School Care during the first week of school they will remain with that cohort all day. We will not be offering those learners an opportunity to learn in the classroom simply because they are present in the building. We will not mix cohorts. The school has offered the out of school care technology for those who do not have their own so on-line learning with their teacher can still occur in some way. Students will be expected to bring their own headphones and support materials for learning. 7. The week of Dec 14-18 all families will receive information on what the week of on-line learning will look like in January. It is expected that all students attend school, attendance will be taken. Those families who have occasionally opted out of in person instruction, or those K families who attended the first weeks of school in September and have not returned to CJP, are all expected to attend all instruction offered to their class the first week of January. Attendance will be taken for all students twice every day. 8. All CJP students who are currently attending in-person classes at CJP will be provided with approximately 3 hours of instruction/ tasks daily during the first week of January. Music, PE and Well-Being classes will be offered a-synchronously through the week via google meets classes. Instruction from the classroom teacher will include synchronous and a-synchronous learning opportunities from a variety of our team members here at CJP. Learning opportunities will be in large group, small group, individual check in, and office hour format. Attendance will be taken daily at the beginning of the day, after lunch and again at the end of the day. The only exception to this will be our AM and PM kindergarten classes. Kindergarten families should anticipate half of all that is stated above. 9. We will do our very best to stagger on-line learning opportunities for our Div 1 and Div 2 teams through the day, however, given the increased amount of time expected to be on-line, families with children in multiple divisions should anticipate overlap of on-line time. 10. For those families with multiple learners, the instructional portion of lessons will be recorded and posted for most lessons so families who are trying to navigate the on-line learning with multiple children and limited technology can access instructional lessons at a later time in the day. 11. If you anticipate that on-line learning will not be possible for your learner in the first week of January, please reach out to your classroom teacher by Tuesday Dec 15th at noon so arrangements can be made for a paper packet to be picked up by the end of the week. We will be unable to provide paper packets in a timely fashion to those who make late requests as our staffing to provide this is very limited. 12. All students should plan to bring all of their materials home Dec 18 that they will need for on-line learning in January. Similarly, students should plan to bring all materials back when face to face learning returns. We are still at the initial stages of planning for the week of January 4th -8th. Next week families should anticipate more information being sent home. Today we are unable to respond to questions starting with “What if...” as our crystal ball is a bit cloudy at the moment. We continue to work through the expectations and guidelines provided to us. As always, we will continue to communicate with our community and maintain transparency about next steps. If you are well informed, then, we will all be successful. We appreciate the on-going support from our community. Kind regards, Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
For a first in so many months, our weekly message leads with assessment rather than Covid-19. Several weeks ago for our face-to-face learners, families participated in parent teacher conferences. Our HUB families just competed their opportunity to participate in parent teacher conferences. While all of our teachers addressed well-being in their conversations with you, many of you likely also heard about the progress your child is making in reading, writing, and math. In all three of these subject areas we are finding more and more of our learners are not at the same place in their learning as their same age peers would have been in years previous. Are we surprised? No. Should you be surprised? I hope not. All of our students lost great learning opportunities as a result of emergency teaching in the spring. Further causing delays are all of the limitations to instruction we are faced with daily, regardless of if you are in face-to-face learning or HUB. Teaching and learning is simply not the same as years past. Additional literacy/ math instruction for struggling learners (often referred to as double dosing), homogeneous groupings across classes and grades to target specific learning, even home reading programs, math games, and trips to the learning commons all lost to Covid-19. In the spring we promised all of our families that when we returned to learning in the fall, we would meet every learner where they were at and we would move them forward. We continue to do this, every single day. We are not lowering our standards, nor are we deviating from the expectations set out by the Alberta Ministry of Education. There are gaps in the learning of our children. In the days and weeks to come, we will continue to speak to you about your child’s learning. Formal report cards will be shared the first week of February to document your child’s learning.
Attached to this document is a purple flat sheet outlining what the report card indicators 1, 2, 3 and 4 represent. Likewise, below is the familiar wording CJP teachers use in their report cards to remain consistent across and between grades when we speak of child learning. If you are used to seeing your child with 3s and 4s on their report card, there is an increased chance you should anticipate 2s.
While a 2 is meeting grade level expectations, it is only adequate. A 2 represents that the learner is on the cusp and likely needs additional understanding of regular tasks to stay on pace with grade level expectations. The learner could be in jeopardy of falling below grade level expectations should interventions and learning be ineffective. There is a list of words you will see used on your child’s February report card in a banner story above.
Teachers maintain open lines of communication with all parents regarding the progress made by your child. Please reach out to your child’s teacher should you have immediate questions or concerns.
Notes and information about assessment and reporting will be a regular part of our weekly message as we quickly come upon the middle of our school year, and report cards become available online.
Dear CJP community,
We all know that 2020 hasn’t gone quite as any of us planned. There have been blessings, there have also been hardships. There are a number of our CJP families who would benefit from some support this holiday season. As a safe, caring, welcoming, and respectful school we are asking all families to do what they can to support our community at this time.
Over the next week (December 7-11) only we are asking for donations to be brought to CJP each day. Our goal is to assist up to 15 families throughout the holiday season by supplementing their meals, and adding some joy for all of us. Based on CBE and AHS guidelines, we need all donations by the 11th to allow time for quarantining of items J.
At our school council meeting last night the parents in attendance we in support of this project. They plan to speak with their children about why we are asking for donations, and how we are all giving a hand up to those who have had an especially difficult 2020.
WHAT CAN YOU AND YOUR CHILD DO?
We are looking for donations.
GIFT CARDS – groceries stores such as Superstore, Walmart, Coop, Sobey’s and Safeway are ideal. Other gift cards that will be helpful include Shopper’s Drug Mart, Sports Chek, Toys ‘R Us, and Chapters. Please avoid gift cards to restaurants and clothing stores as those often only cover a portion of the outing expense.
FOOD – we are asking that the only perishable donations that are sent in be potatoes, onions, and carrots, as we will be distributing within an appropriate time limit for these produce.
Non Perishable requests:
• 5 lbs potatoes
• Turkey/ham (to be purschased with grocery gift cards)
• 2 – 5lbs carrots
• Cookies (or some other treat)
• Gravy packages
• Dinner rolls/cheese buns
• Canned soup
• Canned meat
• Canned fruit
• Canned vegetables
• Peanut butter
• Pasta and sauce
• Snacks (granola bars, gummies, etc.)
GIFTS – in addition to food we are hoping to be able to provide a new, unopened present for each child of the families we are supporting. Ideas include:
• Colouring materials
• Toys: building materials, action figures, dolls, educational items, etc.
We are currently looking for gifts for children in these age groups
- 6 division 1 boys
- 3 division 1 girls
- 6 division 2 boys
- 6 division 2 girls
- 6 division 3/4 boys (siblings)
- 1 division 3/4 girl (sibling)
Dear CJP Families,
As the days fold into weeks and weeks transition to months, we continue to be vigilant in our efforts to hold the COVID-19 virus at bay as much as is humanly possible at CJP. Usually, as I've noted here before, the vigilance takes a great deal of energy! However, our first priority, as a school always student safety. If students feel safe, then they are able to learn.
Student learning across the province has been a huge topic of conversation this week. We must say, there was a huge sigh of relief when we learned K-6 students would remain in the schools learning this December. We truly believe this is best for our students and families who have chosen in person learning. As you know, this week, Premier Jason Kenney announced additional health measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. One of those measures includes having students in grades K-6 move to online learning for the week of January 4-8, 2020. We are working together to plan that week for our students, and will provide you with more information about what you can expect as soon as we have updated information from Alberta Education and our system. We continue to seek clarity on many questions we have, will teachers be teaching from school or home, what about specialized classes...as we learn more we will certainly keep you updated. If you believe that you may not have the technology required to support your child during the week of online learning in January, please contact your child’s teacher directly. If you do not have access to wifi at home, please contact the office as we have access to specialized programs for those who may need subsidized assistance.
There continue to be many questions and concerns from families regarding Covid-19; online delivery of education to our students in the first week of January and what online learning could look like if a class at CJP went into isolation. Also, there continues to be questions about the process and procedure we follow should we find ourselves with another case of Covid-19 amongst our population at CJP. I urge all families to attend our school council meeting this coming week as we will certainly address these questions as part of our leadership report and we hope to have plenty of time to respond to your questions and concerns. As a leadership team, Helen, myself, and our Admin team strongly believe communication and transparency with the community will make the next weeks and months better for all of us. We look forward to talking with you at school council on Wednesday.
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
Dear CJP Families,
Those who send your children to CJP each day, thank you for participating in parent-teacher conferences yesterday and today. The halls of the school, while typically filled with families and the book fair brimming with excitement during these events, last night was much quieter. We missed the busy, we missed the excitement of the kids showing off their classroom to their parents, we missed connecting with families. The substance of the evening did not change. Thank you for asking great questions, taking the time to learn about your child as a learner to better understand how they are thriving, day-to-day, while attending school during a pandemic. Those families in HUB with have this similar opportunity in early December.
One of the things we did learn this evening, during a parent-teacher interview, was AHS sent the two classes with positive cases from November 9 a letter. This letter confirmed the positive case from Nov. 9 and it indicated to the families of a date, Nov 20, as a safe date to return to in class learning. It does appear, from parent feedback, that AHS did confuse room numbers for some students, however, only students who had previously received the letter about their specific class were notified. As you are all aware, Covid-19 cases are very high in Alberta and our system for contact tracing was very overwhelmed. It continues to be very backlogged as you can tell from the very delayed contact from AHS for our Nov 9 case. These are the things I know:
· Positive cases of Covid 19 from early last week (Nov 8-11) experienced a very delayed response from AHS. Also, these cases occurred in a state of transition and backlog, the system was overwhelmed.
· The CBE in agreement with AHS has established new guidelines for positive cases. These guidelines went into effect on Thursday, Nov 12. This information was shared with all families last Thursday in a message from the CBE.
· Should there be another case of Covid 19 in CJP, the school will notify families and the entire classroom, including the teacher, will be quarantined. The precise number of days a quarantine could last is dependent upon direction from Alberta Health. However, the start date will be the day families receive the letter.
· Once our families and teachers were notified of their close contact a number of safety related steps occurred: Classes received an additional deep cleaning and an AHS team was appointed to our school this Monday Nov. 23rd to provide us with additional coaching and support to keep our students and staff safe.
· Captain John Palliser will remain in “Outbreak” status for 28 days. It is unclear if this is from the date of notification from the family (Nov 9) or the date of notification from AHS (Nov. 19)
· Our most recent communication from AHS (Nov 19 letter sent to families and selected staff) suggests all students should be returning to school Nov 20 from the Covid Cases we were informed about on Nov. 9.
· The school cannot provide families with advice, information, answers related to their health. All health related inquiries must go through AHS.
· Finally, we know moving forward, that notification, quarantine, and return dates will be communicated in a very different way should we have another Covid-19 case in our school
We greatly appreciate all of the support from our families as we moved through this interesting and a little nerve-racking process. We appreciate your efforts to always keep the students and staff safe here at CJP. We also appreciate the calm and understanding way everyone navigated this difficult and stressful situation. I expect our response to Covid-19 will continue to change as we learn and grow in our understanding of this pandemic. I am hopeful we will be able to spend some time at our next school council meeting discussing Covid-19 and the school response. I strongly believe that if we take the time to share our information and ideas we will continue to have a strong response to a very challenging and unpredictable situation. We truly are all in this together and we appreciate your communication and thoughts.
Your Leadership Team,
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
Hello CJP families,
This week has been a whirl-wind of activity. This weekend promises to be a quiet weekend, hopefully spent at home. Thank you to all of the families who made difficult decisions this week about either keeping your child at home or sending them to school. Neither of these decisions are taken lightly given our context of Covid-19. The school has not heard anything from AHS regarding the first two cases of Covid in our school community. We know this week has been a challenge. I suspect this will not be the last Covid challenge we see at CJP. With the number of cases on the rise, Covid will keep us on our toes. While we hope everyone in our community is safe and healthy, we realize some of you may not be as healthy as you hoped. Please, continue to communicate with the school as soon as possible should your children receive positive Covid tests. The sooner we are able to mobilize our community, the safer we will all be. With the most recent updates from Alberta Health and the CBE we now have better guidelines to follow should we receive another positive case of Covid in the school.
We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday morning.
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
Dear families, We are fast approaching one of the most important days of the year. A day to remember and reflect. A day to appreciate the men and women who currently serve to protect our beautiful country. And a day to remember those in the past who went off to war on our behalf, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. A sacrifice meant to keep Canada strong and free. A sacrifice paid for with blood and tears. But how can I explain this to my school-age children? How can I impress upon them the importance of this very special day? I'll admit it's a difficult task, one I should attempt. Here are some of the things I do to help my children understand the importance of Remembrance Day. I talk with my children through the year, not just around Remembrance Day. Perhaps this is easier for us as we have Great Grandpa’s war medals proudly on display in our library. This kind of discussion tends to be very short, simple and matter of fact with my 8 year old, but as she gets older I can really start to share some hard truths with her. Truths like the fact that in many different wars over the years, men and women went off to war for Canada. They left their moms, dads, wives, husbands and, in some cases, kids to trudge off to war. They left the comfort of their home for the cold, wet trenches and left the calm of Canada for the constant fear of war elsewhere. These people were likely afraid. Very afraid. They were likely cold and hungry sometimes. They endured seeing friends die right next to them. They went to sleep each night not knowing if it would be their last. And they did all of this for us. For you and me and all of our fellow Canadians. And we should be grateful. Not just on Nov. 11 each year, but every day. For my children, I try to make things personal, when possible. I tell my children about a friend or relative who fought for our country. I have a cousin who was in the services for most of his adult life. We often share his stories, especially when we see him. I tell them about their dad’s grandfather who served in the Second World War, leaving his wife and two young daughters at home. He missed the birth of his third daughter, and met her for the first time when she was three! Great Grandpa was trained as a tank mechanic and served in Germany, Italy, and France. He returned home to Canada, wounded from a gunshot to the leg. While Great Grandpa has been gone for many years, he is still regarded as a hero in our family. I try my best to explain why we fight wars. I try to explain to my kids that Canada might be a very different place if our soldiers had not joined forces with other countries to fight against evil. I talk about why wars, though awful, are sometimes necessary. Our country might not have remained a place where people could feel safe holding true to their culture, religion and beliefs. This country could possibly be under totally different rule today. It took our soldiers, fighting alongside the soldiers of other brave countries, to enable us to continue to be the "true north strong and free." And I am grateful. Sadly, war still exists and I think my children need to know this reality. I will be sure to let my children know that there are soldiers from Canada who are in the line of fire today. They are on peacekeeping missions or are in war torn areas and they are in danger. They are risking their lives even now on behalf of our country. Finally, we always attend a Remembrance Day Ceremony. The last few years we have attended ceremonies at either the Field of Crosses on Memorial Drive or the Military Museum. This year, we will watch a ceremony on line, there are many being shared in this format to keep us all distanced and safe. These ceremonies are an amazing opportunity for our children to see the enormity of this day, the impact, and that others also remember. When I am at a ceremony, perhaps even when I watch one on-line, and the enormity of what's been done for us falls upon me, then sometimes there are tears. Embarrassing for you, my kids? Possibly. But I will never be sorry or ashamed for any single one of those tears. The soldiers who fought gave up so much more than tears. They gave their lives. Their last breath, their life's blood. Their families gave more tears than enough. Never forget, the peace and freedom we have in Canada, we owe to those who came before us. Those who bravely fought to make sure no one could take it from us. Thank a veteran today, thank a person in uniform today, thank a senior and let's be so grateful for all they've done, for their sacrifice for our great country. Lest we forget. Dr. Bettesworth
Dear CJP Families,
A special thank you and welcome to the parents who have roles with School Council. First, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to members of our School Council Executive who completed their three-year term and have moved on to other roles in school council and other areas of contribution in the community. Our school is stronger and runs smoother because of the contribution and care from our School Council. Thank you for all you have done to assist us in our work. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Christine for her role as the Chair of our School Council. For those of you who have attended meetings, I am sure you agree, our meetings were the best run meetings ever. I learned so much about running a meeting and managing a group. You are an amazing role model for all of us. Also, Christine, thank you for your wise advice, your unwavering support for the school community, and your willingness to help out, advise, and problem solve every time we asked. Your contribution and impact on our community is so appreciated! We will miss you.
To our new School Council Executive; Lara, Todd, Martina, Leanne, and Melisa, we are energized and excited to work with you. We know you bring an amazing skillset to our School Council. We are eager to work with you and learn from you. In these turbulent and unsettled times, I feel like we are in great hands with you on the team.
School Council/ Parent Association meets most months. With our meetings now online we have had an increased number of families attend the meetings. We encourage all families to attend these meetings as your involvement has impact on the school. We value your voices and we look forward to hearing from our community at these events.
An update about Covid-19. We have had a noticeable decrease in students being sent home from school. We suspect this is because families are keeping their children home from school when they are not well. Similarly, our staff is staying home when they are unwell. These actions keep all of us safe. We remain hopeful these positive choices will continue. Thank you for your support and cooperation to help keep us all healthy. Even with these great choices and all the great care that is happening, we believe it is only a matter of when we have our first Covid case at CJP, not if. Despite our best efforts, and as Dr. Hinshaw outlined, we believe it is unavoidable. Given these thoughts, I want to share important information, learnings from other schools, and advice with the community. All schools have appreciated the trust and communication they have with families. When a family learns they have a positive case, they quickly notify the school. We can’t express how important this notification is for the safety of the entire community. When we receive a positive case at CJP there will be NO blaming and shaming. Mostly this is because no one would choose to be a positive case. We know the contracting of Covid will happen despite our best attempts to keep it at bay.
Even with increasing case counts in the community, we are still seeing limited impact at CJP, reinforcing that the screening checklist and in school health measures are working. As shared on Wednesday at School Council, we also know of situations where parents are advising schools of children who have received positive COVID-19 test results well in advance of Alberta Health Services (AHS) advising the CBE. Student are also very proficient with technology and quickly share their results with friends, resulting in large parts of school communities knowing about positive results well in advance of the school notifying the community. As always, every parent needs to make their own decision about their child. A parent’s decision is always the right decision, it is a parent’s choice if they choose to send their child to school or keep them home each day.
The school is required to take all direction regarding positive cases from AHS. Sometimes the notification from AHS about a positive case can take far longer than anticipated. This lag is currently being addressed and solutions are being put forth. The school will notify all impacted families about the case as soon as we are able. Likewise, there will be specific follow-up information for those directly affected from both the CBE and AHS. CBE will not direct parents/guardians to quarantine at anytime, directions will be provided by AHS .
The determination of the duration of quarantine and who is required to quarantine for students and/or staff is a decision that is always made by AHS. We provide the information they request (hence our great appreciation of the advance notice from parents as this gives us time to collect and validate all of the data they request) and AHS considers a variety of factors in making that determination based on direction for close contacts. We are not in a position to make that determination on our own. The Zone Medical Officer of Health office confirms the expectation that school authorities are to provide direction based on AHS investigations.
We hope this information provides families with necessary piece of mind and better understanding of the process that follows a positive case of Covid.
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe
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