Thank you for supporting your children and our school staff during this past fortnight. We return to face-to-face learning and teaching tomorrow Friday June 11, and we are excited at the prospect of seeing our students back at school with their friends and teachers.
Our highest priorities will again include:
- the wellbeing, particularly the mental health, of every student. This means effectively using all available resources to support our most vulnerable students and continuing to support students to re-establish friendships and class groups when back on site.
- ensuring students continue to develop their literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills, build their personal and social capability and are physically active.
There will be restrictions placed on us and how we operate as a school and these are largely similar to those that have been in place in Regional Victorian schools over the last week.
Additional measures to promote COVIDSafe activities should continue to be implemented at this time, including:
Non-essential visitors should be excluded from school sites for this period. For the next week, and until we receive updated advice, ONLY ESSENTIAL visitors (eg- Psychologists, Student Support Service personnel, Health and Wellbeing support Staff) are permitted to enter the school grounds.
Our COVIDSafe strategies will continue to be be adjusted over time in line with the changing risk of transmission in the community. Thank you in advance for helping us follow the DHHS advice we have been given.
Managing safe school arrival and departure including multiple entries
To ensure consistency with physical distancing measures, students and families will be encouraged to maintain 1.5 metres between each other as far as is practicable at the start and end of the school day. The gates will open at 8:45 am and be locked shortly after 9:00am. We will reopen them at 3:30 pm for dismissal at the end of the day. Our staff will be available to welcome students at each gate and support their return to school.
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.
- Years 4, 5/6 students please enter and depart through the gates located on French Avenue.
- Foundation students please enter and depart through the gate located on Edithvale Road closest to the school Hall
- 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 at on Edithvale Road nearest the School Crossing and opposite the STEM centre
- Year 1 students please enter and depart through the gate located on Edithvale Road closest to French avenue and near where the new Sensory garden is being constructed
- In order to reduce adult to adult contact, all parents are respectfully requested to NOT ENTER the school grounds
- 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
- Siblings should arrive and leave together through the same gate – parents please discuss this with your children
- Teachers will help and support children to settle into their classrooms and routines each day
- 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.
- TeamKids are available to support families who need Before and After School Services
To help prepare your child for a return to school, we have included a few tips that we hope will assist in getting our students back up to speed as quickly as possible so that they can successfully transition back to school.
- Morning Routine: Get back into a routine of being ready to start each day early (when school starts, you will have to build in travel time).
- Food: Start preparing snacks and lunches for the day and stick to those (start reducing unscheduled trips to the pantry)
- Drinking: The drinking taps will be available at school for students to fill their own drink bottle
- Toilets: School is very different to home, start trying to take scheduled toilet breaks at the times your child will be having their recess and lunch breaks. This will build the body’s ability to lengthen the period between toilet stops.
- Talk: Talk with your child about what they might expect when school resumes (there are no right or wrong answers as none of us really knows what to expect). Ask what they are looking forward to and reflect on the successes they have had during remote learning. The more confidence and belief they have, the greater the chances of a successful return to school.
Communication with Staff
Although ALL staff will be on-site the restriction on parents entering school grounds means that communication channels will remain as they have for the last 2 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.
Face masks in schools
Face masks are mandatory for all school staff and school students aged 12 or older when travelling to and from school
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).
Students are not required to wear a face mask. Students who are aged 12 or over by Year 6 who are attending primary school are not required to wear face masks at school.
All staff, students and any visitors to schools will undertake regular hand hygiene, particularly on arrival to school, before and after eating, after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the toilet. Staff will direct, support and supervise students where required.
Sharing of food is not permitted.
Management of unwell students
It is important that any student who becomes unwell while at school gets tested and returns home. There are sensible steps schools can take while a student awaits collection by a parent or carer as a precaution.
- Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough or sore throat, or loss or change in sense of taste or smell will be isolated in an appropriate space with suitable supervision and students should be collected by a parent or 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.
- Where students are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the important actions to follow include hand hygiene, physical distance and putting on a surgical face mask (both staff and student where appropriate). See the Department’s guidance for the use of Personal Protective Equipment in education.
- If the care of an unwell child or young person is to be prolonged (for example, because it will take some hours for a parent to collect a child) and maintaining distance is not practical when providing supervision or direct care, the staff member should wear surgical face mask, gloves, gown and eye protection. See the Department’s guidance for the use of Personal Protective Equipment in education.
- Health care plans, where relevant, should be updated to provide additional advice on monitoring and identification of the unwell child in the context of COVID-19.
- If a staff member is unsure whether a student is unwell, they should contact the parent or carer to discuss concerns and take a precautionary approach by requesting the parent or carer to collect their child from school.
- Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will be advised to get tested and stay home until they receive a test result. See Managing illness in schools and early childhood services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Where students have been tested, they must isolate at home until they receive their test result.
- Students are not required to present a medical certificate stating they are fit to return to an education setting after a period of illness, however staff and students should not return until symptoms resolve. If they have been tested for COVID-19, they should also wait for a negative test result. Staff continue to be required to present a medical certificate in accordance with personal leave policy for periods of absence on personal leave.
Each family is encouraged to regularly check the list of public exposure sites in Victoria (where a person with COVID-19 has attended), and if anyone in the family has attended a site at the times listed, follow the instructions given.
The School Breakfast Club program will recommence on Tuesday June 15
Year level or whole school assemblies are permitted when attended only by staff and students from a single school
I’m very grateful for the incredible efforts of our Edithvale school community during these challenging times. With your ongoing support I am confident that we can all be back on site together (hopefully at the end of next week) and keep connected.
Take care and Stay strong