Connect Charter School

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Connect Charter School
New Calgary Science School 18.jpg
5915 Lewis Drive SW
Calgary, Alberta, T3E 5Z4
Coordinates 51°0′2.1″N 114°8′8.1″W / 51.000583°N 114.135583°W / 51.000583; -114.135583Coordinates: 51°0′2.1″N 114°8′8.1″W / 51.000583°N 114.135583°W / 51.000583; -114.135583
School type Charter
Motto Preparing our students as extraordinary citizens.
Superintendent Susan Chomistek
Principal Phil Butterfield
Grades 4-9
Enrollment 600 (September 2013)
Language English
Team name Lasers

The Connect Charter School, formerly the Calgary Science School, is a Canadian public charter school in Calgary, Alberta; which teaches grades four through nine.


The school was established in 1999 as Calgary Science School and moved to its current location, formerly the Calgary Board of Education's Clem Gardner Elementary School, in 2002.

The school originally conducted placement testing to ensure average academic performance in students admitted to the school, but this is no longer the case. Students can enrol and be granted a spot in the school solely after being selected from the top of the wait list and paying annual enrichment fees, regardless of their academic performance or needs.

In July 2012, the School was granted a 15-year charter from the Alberta Government. The school is accountable to its charter and the six goals identified are as follows:

  1. Promote exemplary learning, teaching and leading through a disposition of inquiry.
  2. Enhance learning and teaching through the appropriate and effective use of technology and maintain an intentional, authentic and innovative perspective in the use of technology.
  3. Engage students in meaningful, real-life learning activities in a variety of rich learning environments, with a focus on mind, body, emotions, creative spirit and ethical citizenship.
  4. Provide environmental, outdoor and global education learning opportunities for students to experience and appreciate the world outside of the classroom and to develop social, leadership and stewardship skills.
  5. Foster a culture of collaboration and caring relationships of mutual respect with students, staff members and parents sharing a passion for learning; together and from others, in the classroom, within the school and beyond.
  6. Nurture thriving classrooms and other learning environments where teachers are informed by research and where students and teachers explore and develop deep understanding as active researchers.

The school was renamed to the Connect Charter School effective January 1st, 2014.


At the time of writing, there are 100 students each in grades 4-9. Wait lists are held for each grade in the event of students leaving or transferring away.

Fourteen buses, owned and operated by Southland Bussing of Calgary service CCS, taking the majority of the kids to and from school every school day.

The library at CCS as seen in 2007

Currently, CCS has over 50 staff members, including janitorial staff, technical staff, office attendants, and those in charge of publications.


CSS maintains a 1-to-1 student to computer ratio, and it finished the transition from a Windows to a Mac base in the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year. Due to an Emerging Technologies grant from Alberta Education, in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years, each student received their own Apple MacBook. Students continue to be provided an iPad or Macbook depending on their grade as part of their enrichment fees and the school's efforts to integrate technology into what it calls "inquiry-based learning".

All CSS classrooms are equipped with SMART board technology, and every classroom has a NEC projector and a screen. Classes use SMART boards for creative math and science debates/discussions.

School events[edit]

  • ConnectED Canada Conference: The Calgary Science School hosted the first and second ConnectED Canada conferences. The conference hosted 156 delegates in the first year and 277 registered delegates from across Canada May 24–26, 2013.
  • Innovate West: will be an annual conference held at the Connect Charter School, formerly the Calgary Science School, celebrating a network of forward thinking educators in western Canada.
  • Lasers got Talent: Groups of students or single students will audition with pieces of music they make, sing and dance to a song or just show off their talents. The best ones perform in front of the whole school. The latest show was on October 30, 2009 when Chase Hadden showed of his yoyo skills and Swish Goswami became MJ and performed on Smooth Criminal.
  • Laser Idol: Students use their stunning voices to sing just like in Canadian Idol, but the age requirement is between Grades 4 and 9, rather than between 16 and 28, just like on the show. Just like Laserband, the best singers are picked from the pack and put up on stage to perform for the school.
  • Peace Festival: Students enter the gym and circle to many different stations that have different meaning. Since CSS has many different races and religions within the walls, most of the stations represent just that. There are stations where you pinpoint on a world map where you're from, there is a station where you get your face painted, and one station in the 2006–2007 peace festival included fictional stories written by grade 8 students, that were designed to be realistic and show some of the problems street children in favelas in Brazil face every day.
  • Lego League: The Calgary Science School periodically participates in FIRST Lego League, as they have since the 2003 edition, Mission Mars. Students are invited to participate either at lunch times or in electives.


From its first creation in 1999, Science Alberta School enforced a compulsory course known as SAS Quest. When the school was renamed as Calgary Science School, the program became Quest. The objective of this course was to familiarize students with everyday problems in the world and how to solve them. This program was removed in the 2004 school year.

For electives (options) there are many choices including: C02 Cars, Digital Film Making, Photography, 3-D Design and Modelling, Animation, Outdoor Pursuits, Game Design, First Aid, Dance and many others.

Students in some classes have the option to do "Explorer Projects". They are able to pick any topic of their liking, and explore the question until answered. Students often have very wide ranges of subjects.

Recently, the plant room was turned into a woodworking shop, and now for grades 6 through 9, there is an elective started by Mr. Scott Petronech called C02-powered Cars. Students carve and sand wooden cars, load them with C02 canisters, and race them.



  • Stephen, Cindy, "School shares peace message", Calgary Herald, December 16, 2004. pg. N.1.Fro.
  • Lewington, Nancy, "Alberta has 'best-kept secret' in schooling", The Spectator (Hamilton, Ontario). September 25, 2004, pg. F.08.

External links[edit]