“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” – H.E. Luccock
Thank you for your extraordinary efforts throughout the most recent period of remote learning. The energy that learning from home requires can be intense and at a time when many families, have exhausted nearly all of their energy reserves, the response from our community has been extraordinary.
Thank you for your support and commitment to enhancing our students’ wellbeing and helping them to maintain continuity with their learning.
Based on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, schools in Victoria will return to face-to-face learning and teaching for all students from and including Wednesday 28 July 2021.
As part of planned changes to keep our schools safe and reduce the impact of any future outbreaks, we will be required to implement COVID-safe behaviours. These include the following strategies to promote physical distancing, minimise mixing between groups and limit access to school grounds to only those providing essential services:
- To prevent the congregation of parents at school gates and allow safe entry, we will have staggered start and finish times, and separate entrances for different Year levels – see below for details
- Non-essential visitors will not be allowed into school grounds
- Break times will be staggered where possible to ensure cohorts of students remain apart
- All school gatherings such as assemblies and school events will be deferred or held remotely
These restrictions will mean that our school will look and feel similar to what it was like during parts of 2020 and with the main risk of introducing coronavirus (COVID-19) to the school environment coming from adults, close proximity between adult members of the school community needs to be avoided.
Parents are respectfully requested to again NOT ENTER our school grounds. This will assist us to create the conditions for a safe return to school.
The strategies we will put in place are designed to support physical distancing and good hygiene practices to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission within the practical limitations of a school environment. They will not necessarily suit every individual in our community and they may create some short term pain- but the end result will be worth it.
Our foci for all students in their return to face to face learning will be.
Priority 1 – Attendance
Having our students at school helps us to monitor and support their wellbeing and learning in ways that are just not possible through the online environment. Being on-site provides students with the opportunity to engage with their friends and peers and get back into the structures and routines for learning that we know work. We will draw on every resource available to re-engage any students who may have dis-engaged during this recent period of remote and flexible learning.
Priority 2 – Health and Wellbeing
We know from past experiences that some of our students may be unsettled upon their return. Not only will it be important to support the wellbeing of our students, we will again be working hard to quickly re-establish a positive climate aligned to our values of Kindness, Respect and Determination
Priority 3 – Learning
Helping students to re-engage in a full learning program is of course important to maintaining and extending their learning but the re-establishment of structures, routines and positive classroom relationships will also strongly their wellbeing.
Managing safe school arrival and departure including multiple entries and staggered starts
To ensure consistency with physical distancing measures, students and families will not be permitted to congregate at the school gate before or after school and will be required to maintain 1.5 metres between each other as far as is practicable at the start and end of the school day.
Entrance to school grounds
We Request that students of the following Year Levels enter through their designated gate: By opening as many entry and exit points to the school as is safe, and allocating staff to ensure students are safely supervised we are hoping that students and parents feel safe and confident with their arrival/departure from school- and at the same time helping with physical distancing measures.
- Foundation students please enter and depart through the gates located at on Edithvale Road nearest the Hall and closest to Munro Avenue.
- Year 1 students please enter and depart through the gate located on Edithvale Road closest to French Avenue.
- Year 2 students please enter and depart through the gate located at Haig Avenue.
- Year 3 students please enter and depart through the gate located on Edithvale Rd next to the traffic light
- Years 4, 5/6 students please enter and depart through the gates located on French Avenue.
Parents can only enter the school grounds in exceptional circumstances and after contacting the school by phone or email as required to organise. An example might be an early pick up for a doctor’s appointment.
Families may need to plan for and adapt to altered arrangements to arrive and depart at times specified.
Please note that where possible, siblings should arrive and leave together at the same time and through the same gate. Students will be safely supervised while on our school site.
Teachers will help and support children to settle into their classrooms and routines each day
Staggered start and finish times:
- We will have a staggered start and end to each day- organised by year levels (F-2 and 3-6), while also enabling siblings to arrive/leave together at the same time and be safely supervised while on the school site (noting there may be some impact on total instructional time)
- For families with more than one child attending school at different staggered start and finish times, we encourage siblings to arrive together as close to 8:40am as possible and leave together as close to 3:30 pm as practical. Gates will open by 8:40 am
- Lunch and Recess times will be staggered to reduce mixing of grade levels where possible in the playground and reducing possible congestion for our staff in our staff rooms.
- Years 3 – 6 will commence and finish 15 minutes earlier, starting at 8:45am and finishing at 3:15pm. This will come in to effect from 28 July. Recess will run from 11:15 am-12:00 pm and lunch from 1:40-2:25 pm. Year 3-6 students will be dismissed at 3:15pm
- Foundation to Year 2 times will stay as normal, starting at 9:00am and there are staggered finish times (see below). Recess will remain between 10:40 am-11:10 am with Lunch between 12:50pm- 1:50pm.
- Foundation B and C students will finish at 3:20 pm
- Foundation D students will finish at 3:25 pm
- Foundation A and E students will finish at 3:30
- Year 2A and 2B students will finish at 3:20 pm
- Year 2C and 2D students will finish at 3:30 pm
- Year 1A and 1B students will finish at 3:20 pm
- Year 1C and 1D students will finish at 3:30 pm
- All unwell students must stay home.
- Visitors to school grounds will be limited to those delivering or supporting essential school services and operations.
- Additional staff, including parent volunteers, can NOT attend school at this time. Activities dependent on and involving parents (e.g. 1:1 reading) have been cancelled.
- Activities that involve on-site attendance by students from different educational institutions (e.g. interschool sport) will not take place
Staff are on official duty 15 minutes prior to the commencement of teaching instruction. Students should not be on the grounds prior to this time.
Communication with Staff
Although ALL staff will be on-site from July 28, the restriction on parents entering school grounds means that communication channels will remain as they have for the last 8 weeks – with a few minor changes.
If you need to communicate with your child’s teacher, please email, via the School email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the School on 9772 1393.
Everyone can protect themselves and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by continuing effective hand hygiene. Enhanced hygiene measures should continue during the return to on-site teaching and learning.
- All students will be asked to undertake regular hand hygiene, particularly on arrival to school, before and after eating, after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the toilet.
- Strong personal hygiene standards across the school must be maintained including washing of hands after using playground and sporting equipment
- All students will have access to hand sanitiser upon entry to their classrooms in the morning and will be regularly washing their hands throughout the day.
- All staff will be leaving the school grounds at 3:45pm and complete their work day at home. This is aimed at supporting the reduction of adult to adult contact
Face masks in schools
All school-based staff must wear face masks at school, and when travelling to and from school.
Schools must ensure that staff wear face masks when required.
Teachers and education support staff are not required to wear face masks while teaching, but those who wish to do so, can. Teachers must wear face masks in other areas of the school when not teaching (for example, in the staffroom, on yard duty and when providing first aid or taking temperatures), and when travelling to and from school.
Children under 12 years of age and students at primary school are not required to wear face masks when at school, or when attending the Team Kids program
Management of unwell students
- It is important that any student who becomes unwell while at school returns home immediately.
- Any student experiencing compatible symptoms with coronavirus (COVID-19), such as fever, cough or sore throat, should be isolated in an appropriate space with suitable supervision and collected by a parent/carer as soon as possible. Urgent medical attention should be sought where indicated. It is not suitable for an unwell student to travel home unsupervised.
- Health care plans, where relevant, should be updated to provide additional advice on monitoring and identification of the unwell child in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- If a staff member is unsure whether a student is unwell they will contact the parent/carer to discuss any concerns about the health status of the student, and taking a precautionary approach, request the parent/carer to collect their child if concerns remain.
- Students experiencing compatible symptoms with coronavirus (COVID-19) are encouraged to seek the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on next steps. A medical certificate is not required to return to an education setting after a period of illness, however students should not return until symptoms resolve.
- Our Canteen will re-open on Thursday July 29 with a limited menu
- The revised menu be available through Qkr
- There will be NO window sales
- There can be no parent volunteers to assist Di in the canteen
To help give us time to get supplies ordered and delivered Breakfast Club will re-open on Thursday July 29
Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) programs operating in schools can also resume full operations from tomorrow.
We have successfully transitioned back to face to face learning multiple times over the last 18 months and we will do so again.