Weekly Communicator
Head of School Message
Dear GCA Families,

Since the provincial government’s announcement last month that schools will return to in-person learning this fall, we have heard from some GCA families whose children are in a high-risk category for contracting COVID-19, or who live with high-risk individuals (siblings, parents or grandparents), who are not able to send their students back to in-person classes at this time. Our team has been working on a solution for students with these special circumstances. If your family falls into this category, please feel free to contact me. 

While we strongly believe that in-person learning is best for our children’s educational needs and mental well-being, for those who are compromised, it simply isn’t feasible. I'm happy to explain a new off-campus learning option to accommodate these families, so our community understands what this entails.

A group of Elementary students in Grades 1-5 will receive weekly packages to guide home learning in Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies, along with daily videos for Math and Language Arts. They will study God’s Word through regular Zoom gatherings. Their work will be led by off-campus learning teachers and supported by educational assistants. 

In Junior High, the off-campus learning students will follow their class’ regular schedule. Core courses will be live-streamed at the regular times students would usually be in class. Expectations for non-core courses will vary. Subject teachers will be available for questions through email and Zoom meetings. Educational Assistants will provide additional support and monitor student progress.

The pandemic has challenged us to adapt to the ‘new normal’ in every facet of our lives, and that includes how we educate our students. For these families, we want to provide a choice to remain with GCA and continue to receive the high standard of academic education, while protecting their loved ones.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Stanford Hielema
Head of School
Upcoming Dates & Important Info

  • Save the date: we will be holding a Virtual Q & A for parents on Monday, August 31 from 7:00-8:00 pm to review the safety measures we have in place, and answer your questions about re-entry and the school year. Panelists include Mr. Hielema, Mr. Gonsalvez, and Mrs. Allan. We welcome your questions in advance - please share them here. You’ll also be able to share questions through the Zoom chat function. Here is the Zoom meeting URL.
  • Tues Sept 8: Students in Grades 1-9 with last names "A-Lewis" ONLY (8:30-11:30 am)
  • Wed Sept 9: Students in Grades 1-9 with last names "Li-Z ONLY" (8:30-11:30 am)
  • Thurs Sept 10 will resume as normal (full day, all students)
  • Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten families will be contacted by their teachers regarding the schedule and protocols for their first days at GCA.
  • Please click here for the Parents' Guide to the 2020-21 School Year provided by Government of Alberta.

Elementary Updates
Meet the Teacher Dates - Please note the following dates for our virtual "meet the teacher" sessions via Zoom - more details to come soon:
Tues Sept 8
  • Kindergarten - 6:00 pm
  • Grade 1 - 6:30 pm
  • Grade 2 - 7:00 pm
Wed Sept 9
  • Grade 3 - 6:00 pm
  • Grade 4 - 6:30 pm
  • Grade 5 - 7:00 pm
Junior High Updates
Meet the Teacher Night - Please note the following date for our virtual "meet the teacher" 30-minute sessions via Zoom - more details to come soon:
Thurs Sept 10
  • Grade 6 - 6:30 pm
  • Grade 7 - 7:00 pm
  • Grade 8 - 7:30 pm
  • Grade 9 - 8:00 pm
GCA Community News
Mask Protocols
As we get ready to return to school, we want to remind you that everyone in Grades 4 and up (including adults) must wear a mask at school. In JK to Grade 3, masks are optional. Students will receive two masks on the first day of school, and branded lanyards should arrive shortly to help keep masks with the students at all times.
 
Students should wear a clean mask every day, so parents might want to think about purchasing a few others to get their kids through the week. While it will take a bit to get used to wearing masks at school, it’s an important part of keeping our GCA community safe. Thank you for helping us do that.
 
This video was developed by the Government of Alberta to help kids understand how to wear masks.

  • Non-surgical masks
  • Masks that are either solid in colour, or have non-offensive/non-distractable neutral patterns

  • Bandanas
  • Plastic shields (in lieu of a mask)
  • Masks with sports team logos, or any branded logos
  • Masks with other recognizable branding (such as Marvel, DC Comics, cartoon or movie-branded pictures or logos).
Welcome to PikMyKid, our new school safety app to allow parents or guardians to check students out of school from the comfort of their own vehicles. This video provides a great overview of how PikMyKid works. We have also created step-by-step instructions to help you get started.
 
If you have not already done so, please download the PikMyKid App to your device. PikMyKid offers some great FAQs and if you have any trouble during registration, you can reach out to support@pikmykid.com.
 
When you get to GCA, you’ll notice new traffic flow patterns in the parking lots to help with congestion and safety. For a sneak peek, please visit the parent portal.
PowerSchool Unified Classroom
In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out a Student Information System to bring together a variety of functions and communications into one place. PowerSchool Unified Classroom provides access to classroom content, junior high grades, absence reporting and electronic forms. What you would have previously found in Google Classroom, ConnectEd (for Junior High), myGCA and grade websites is now located all in one place.
 
PowerSchool will give parents a more consistent experience from class to class, a centralized point to communicate with the school, and access to student assignments and grades as they are entered. We are confident you will find this system to be more efficient and convenient than ever before.
 
You will be able to access PowerSchool through the parent portal or through the GCA app. Sign up details will come out on September 8.

Monthly Payments
Reminder to all parents on a monthly payment plan: the COVID-19 10% payment reduction for the months of May-August is coming to an end. Regular payments will resume in September 2020. 
apples_in_boxes.jpg
Apple Fundraiser
Our Davison Apple Orchard Fundraiser is on! Purchase a box of delicious BC apples (Honeycrisp, Royal Gala, Ambrosia or Okanagan blend) and support the Grade 7-9 students as they fundraise for their future Camp Homewood and Mission trips. View here for full details and the order form. Apples arrive on October 2.
We are looking forward to having you join us for the Virtual Q & A on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Blessings,
The GCA Team