28 April 2020

This morning I met with my whole staff for the first time since we broke up for Easter. When I last saw them we thought teaching would be online this term, and planned accordingly. Today they have all been able to change direction quickly and professionally, with unwavering good humour and grace, and I thank them sincerely. It is a joy to see them all again.

Though it is far from ‘business as usual’, all of us here will endeavour to create as safe and caring an environment as possible for everyone on site.

We have today discussed a raft of logistics, and have planned for the next thirteen days as follows:

Home learning:  Early data suggests 15% of students will be learning at home. Thanks so much to those who sent an advance SMS advising us of this. Class teachers will contact home learners soon via Connect to explain how things will work for their specific year group.

Face to face teaching: We will run a normal timetable and students should prepare for the lessons they had before disruptions.

Staffing: A number of staff have taken extended leave. On the teaching staff, Alex Hogan will be in room 6, and Nadia Dundas will be in art.

Cleaning: The government has stipulated a lengthy list of requirements, including the need for schools to employ a daytime cleaner.  I continue to work though this list with Elaine, my business manager. My Head Cleaner has taken leave as a vulnerable worker, and there has been a lot of movement, but we plan to have a temporary cleaning staff in place by tomorrow and a fixed team by next week.  We will have hand sanitiser and spray disinfectant in every room; a perspex screen in the library and in some classrooms; signage around the school; soap at every sink and a day cleaner cleaning high touch surfaces during the day. I cannot thank Elaine enough for all her work in this area during her holiday, which has been nothing short of amazing.

Social distancing: We will maintain the ‘1.5m’ and ‘groups of ten’ rules with staff, and will follow the government’s directive that no parents or other adults may come on site.  The 1.5m rule doesn’t apply to children, but everyone on site is directed to avoid touching anyone else. It goes without saying, please don’t send any sick children to school.  Children who seem unwell during the day will have to be collected for the safety of all.

Breaks: Students will be assigned to a year group area for recess and lunch to reduce mixing.

Drop off: Parents are asked to drop their children at a gate and let them make their own way in. Pre-primary parents are asked to use the Coolgardie Avenue entrance.  Please don’t bring any children to school before 8.30am.

Pick up:  Please arrange with your children where they are to meet you at the end of the day.  In the case of pre-primaries, teachers will take both classes to the courts and wait with them for parents to collect them from the Coolgardie Avenue entrance.  My deputies and I will man the three entrances at the start and end of each day.

Other: The canteen will remain closed; PEAC will be online (they will contact you); Instrumental Music will run at school as normal; OSH Club will be as normal (they have written to parents).

On another note, enrolments for kindergarten 2021 are open and have flooded in.  Thank you for sending these electronically or by mail.

Finally, thank you to Lisa Walsh who made and delivered totally delicious home-made cakes for the staff today, and to PP0 parents for their inspiring and ultra-cute video – we miss you too!

It is a hive of activity here this afternoon and I am confident we will be ready to teach online and face to face tomorrow.

Stay vigilant and safe everyone.

Lisa Dentith

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