I hope that this finds you safe and well and you and those closest to you have successfully navigated the first days of this lockdown. The information included here helps to detail what the next 3 day Circuit Breaker means for our students and broader school community.
The Victorian Government on Friday announced new directions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. As a result, in line with the directions issued from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, all Victorian schools will move to a period of remote and flexible provision from Monday 15 February to Wednesday 17 February inclusive.
We all hoped that we wouldn’t need to have to go through another lockdown to manage the spread of COVID-19, but here we are again. Having been through a few iterations of this type of disruption, I am confident that we will successfully get through this most recent lockdown. The health and wellbeing of our students and school community is integral to our efforts over the next few days and we KNOW that if we remain focussed on this, our students will be able to quickly catch up on any missed learning opportunities.
Department of Education and Training (DET) has issued preliminary advice to schools about arrangements during lockdown and for the provision of educational programs to students. The timing and speed of the lockdown announcement has meant our dedicated and talented staff have worked feverishly over the weekend to ensure our students have the opportunity to access learning tasks over the next 3 days.
We will provide activities for students that helps to maintain continuity in their learning and the attached document details how we will be doing this. It is different to the remote and flexible learning that we were able to offer for large parts of 2020 and takes the same format as the learning offered at the end of Term 1 last year.
If the lockdown extends longer than 5 days we will respond quickly to this and move towards a more sustainable teaching and learning program- similar to our previous model (Webex, SEESAW etc). Indeed, I have asked staff to be proactive and start to think about this and they have commenced planning for a possible return to flexible and remote learning.
There is no minimum requirement for students to complete the work that is offered. We’re hopeful that students will do what they can manage- nothing more and nothing less. Noting the importance of the wellbeing of your child, you will be in the best position to judge how much or how little work gets completed. We are acutely aware that some students may be anxious about what the immediate future holds and a number of students were open in expressing their concerns to us on Friday about this lockdown and what it means for them.
It is not worth increasing their anxiety by having every task completed and any ‘lost’ learning will be picked up very quickly upon the resumption of school – hopefully on Thursday. When we welcome our students back we want them to be refreshed, reenergised and positive about their at home learning experience- as well as being keen to reconnect with their peers and teachers back at school.
The ‘Learning Grids’ that have been created aim to keep students in a rhythm of learning. They will be posted by individual class teachers on SEESAW (update log ins went home with each student on Friday) at the start of each day and they will be accessible through the ‘Purple Pocket’ and ‘Home Learning’ sections on our school’s website. The first of these should be available from 6pm Sunday night. Any work that is uploaded through SEESAW will be acknowledged and receive feedback whenever possible. In between planning and creating these daily grids, teachers will spend time analysing and discussing assessment data that has been collected in the first 3 weeks of term, planning for a possible longer term lockdown and supervising the children or essential workers and vulnerable students on-site.
School staff (teachers, education support and Administration) will work from home throughout the lockdown, unless they are attending on-site to supervise learning programs for vulnerable students and children of essential workers. Only the bare minimum of staff will be required at school. These arrangements are similar to those which applied in earlier lockdowns. Noting this we must only have students who fall into either of the two categories listed below, on-site from Monday to Wednesday inclusive. It is very similar to last years’ criteria for attending on-site.
- Children whose parents are considered essential workers as listed, cannot work from home and where no other supervision arrangements can be made
- Vulnerable children, including children in out-of-home care, children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm and children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service).
Students who attend on-site will be supervised by our staff and expected to complete their work independently- with minimal guidance. Our staff with the help and guidance of our TeamKids connection, will organise some other structured activities throughout the day. There will be NO direct and explicit teaching of skills and concepts, rather some support and encouragement to attempt the learning grids will be provided.
ONLY the main gate along French Avenue will be open and it will be unlocked at 8:40am each day. Students will work inside the Senior School Learning Centre and be required to bring their own lunch, drink bottles, hat and materials to help them to learn – pencil cases and work books etc.
We are not permitted to have visitors on-site and there will be NO breakfast club running during this lockdown.
Although running with a skeleton staff over the next few days we will be available to try and answer any questions you may have. Please email Edithvale.firstname.lastname@example.org or call (9772 1393) and we’ll do our best to get a response to you as soon as we can.
We have been through this before. We have successfully navigated the disruption caused by learning from home and we will do so again. We are all part of a wonderful and strong community. Please keep looking out for one another. These can be particularly challenging times, and checking in on family and friends is critical.
Take care and stay safe