These remain challenging and unusual times for us all. I am unsure whether to describe the school as a swan or an iceberg, either way there’s a lot going on below the surface. It is very strange to be so busy, yet to be doing few of the usual public things.
So what is life like at school these days?
Today we have 95% of children present. This compares to a WA public school average attendance rate this week of around 89%, so we are doing well. Our absent children are all sick. Thank you for continuing to keep sick children at home and for keeping me informed of any contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, which I have to report to the Education Department.
Teachers are busy catching children up and getting everyone re-engaged with the curriculum following home schooling. This is going very well. The additional classroom time we now have due to changes to drop off and pick up and the cancellation of activities, has been invaluable in bringing everyone back up to speed.
I would say there has been an increased focus on classroom learning.
Erika Holst-Marsh, my deputy who manages students with special needs, has been incredibly busy catching up on meetings and updating plans as well as getting to grips with new diagnoses and situations following home schooling. She is quickly working through her list, but has to triage and put medical plans first so please bear with her on this. Therapists and other allied health workers are now allowed to work on our site again, so we are moving forwards.
Of course now that you don’t have the opportunity to chat to teachers on an ad hoc basis, before and after school, please do make use of emails and phone calls and feel welcome to request a meeting time to discuss any concerns.
Next week we will allow students access to the whole site again at breaks. They have done extremely well in their year group areas.
We had another virtual assembly last week. This time we went a step further and had the award winners on screen. They were allowed to wave at the camera which was exciting for classes watching in their classrooms. Francesca sang the National Anthem beautifully.
Drop off and pick up is going well, with students reporting that they prefer the new quiet at these times. Obviously many parents feel the same way as there is hardly any foot traffic on site at 3pm.
I haven’t been posting on Facebook, partly as it is hard to take socially distanced photos, and partly as it has somehow seemed low level, given the situation the world is in. However I hope to start this again next week so that you can see some of the things we are doing.
You may have heard that due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, schools have been offered flexibility in relation to semester 1 reports. There is no requirement to report using grades or to report attendance data. Instead teachers across this district will report on attitude, behaviour and effort and make a comment about progress in English and mathematics. End of year reports will be as normal. Reports will be sent home via Connect on Wednesday 1 July.
Remember that we have a student free day on Friday 3 July and therefore will break up on Thursday 2 July.
Enjoy the upcoming weekend, and hopefully a break in the rain.