As phase 3 of the WA Roadmap unfolds, and we hear about the easing of restrictions ahead, we continue to be cautious but adaptable.
I frequently ask my staff to reflect on what we are doing and on what needs to change or evolve to maintain the absolute best outcomes for our students. One of the things we are currently unanimous on is the need to keep the current drop off arrangements as they are.
I have reflected on this in a number of updates. But to summarise, the school is now more calm, clean and cohesive at the start of each day, than it was previously.
All children have adapted to arriving after 8.30am, getting themselves to class, unpacking their belongings and being ready to begin work at 8.45am. Their independence is fantastic to witness. Children who have anxiety or other special needs have particularly benefitted from the quiet atmosphere. Older children have loved the responsibility of caring for younger ones. Teachers have had time to think and prepare during the 45 minutes prior to class, which makes for calm heads all around.
Our school is cleaned thoroughly between 3.00pm and 8.00am. No visitors coming on site in the mornings means over 200 fewer hands touching desks, door handles and so on, which in turn means children are starting the day in totally clean classrooms. Teachers say the new cleanliness is amazing. It has surely contributed to our lower sickness rate.
Finally, the absolute core of any school and a key to student success is the primary relationship between student and teacher. This connectedness has blossomed. Teachers are able to individually greet each child and quickly make that personal connection each morning, which helps children develop a true sense of belonging. Teachers report their teaching day begins more smoothly than ever.
At the end of the day although our preference is for children to make their own way out and meet you at the gate, I understand that some parents may prefer for various reasons to collect their child from school grounds. This is possible from next Monday.
I’d still like to maintain some aspects from the current pick up system for the benefit of students and staff. I request that you not enter the site before 2.55pm; that pre-primary and year 1 parents continue to use the Coolgardie Avenue entry, so that older children can make their way independently through the quad without needing to walk through crowds of adults; and that the site be clear by 3.15pm – this means essentially collect and go. This will allow our cleaners free rein to prepare the school for the next day, and allow our teachers to return promptly to their marking and planning. At all times social distancing of two square metres applies to adults, including teachers, and parents are still not permitted to enter classrooms.
With regard to access to the site during the day, parents are permitted to come to the office to collect children from Monday. Lara will have your child sent to the office to meet you, so there is no need for parents to go to classrooms during the day, except for meetings.
We are advised that teachers may now hold parent meetings on site by appointment for compelling issues. This will be during the day or after school.
It is incredibly difficult to manage staffing across the school at the moment, with lots of staff on leave following the disruptions caused by the virus. I have cleaners, education assistants and teachers away on an ongoing basis and apologise for any disruptions to programs. I will always endeavour to maintain continuity.
Finally, a quick reminder that it’s the first Centenary Fair Committee Zoom meeting tomorrow, at 7.30pm. To get your meeting ID and password please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are certainly living through difficult times this year, but we are faring so much better here than much of the world. Let us hope that our centenary fair will be a time to come together again, and that all the lessons from around the world will be learned.
Thank you for your support, it continues to be strong and unwavering. Like most of us, my staff are tired and your frequent positive messages are very motivating.