2 April 2020

Tomorrow is the last day of coordinated learning in schools.  Next week teachers will be preparing online learning at home programs for term 2.

We have ended this week with 403 children learning at home, and 17 learning at school. About half of those at school are the children of medical and social workers, who are working daily with the public on the front line of care.  We have tried hard to maintain a safe environment, especially knowing that many of these parents are possibly working with COVID-19 positive patients during the day.

We did have a few restless hours yesterday evening, when a parent of a child attending school this week started to display symptoms, however I am relieved to say the test was negative.

This does however bring the absolute seriousness of the situation into stark reality and brings me to arrangements for next week.

Next week, schools are providing supervision for children whose parents have no option for home care. I do urge everyone to try to keep their child at home for their own and others’ safety if at all possible.  I read today that there are now three confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Town of East Fremantle: COVID-19 statistics

I know there are single parents out there with no back up who are working in the community on the front line, who would love to be able to keep their children at home with them, but cannot.  There are other families where both parents are treating sick patients all day long or working in front line businesses like Centrelink with no option for leave and no other family care option. So many people are doing it tough in so many different ways.

To this end, if parents feel they have no home care option, please can you email me today or tomorrow with your request, so that I can put an appropriate supervision roster in place to look after your child.  What this looks like will depend on who the children are, their age and their motivation. This supervision won’t be with their normal teacher, and will be in a multi-age group setting but it will be as safe and caring as we can make it.  Thanks for everyone’s understanding and support of each other on this.

Teachers are this week sending out their final Connect notice for the term.

A number of my staff will be on leave during term 2, either due to their own vulnerabilities regarding age or health, or due to their commitments to their own children.  Once I have a clear picture of who will be teaching which ‘virtual’ groups and how this will look exactly, I will of course advise you via this blog. I hope to do this by next Friday.

Finally, the Government has advised that all playgrounds have to close – we now have danger tape around ours so please avoid it in the holidays. The juxta-positioning of the brightly coloured playgrounds and the ‘danger’ tape is sobering. Such difficult times for everyone.

The most important thing for all of us is to stay safe and be compassionate. Everyone is facing challenges and it is hard.

Thanks for being such a caring community.

Lisa Dentith

PS:  We love the chalk rainbows around the Town! If you have a photo of one your children have drawn that I can use on Facebook to share the love, please email it through… thanks!