Dear Parents and Caregivers,
First and foremost, thank you for the support that you have provided and continue to provide to Mindarie Primary. We know that these are very different times and therefore we all have to operate differently. At all times, the safety of our students and staff takes precedence. We have also been very focused on providing continuity of schooling to our students learning from home and at school.
As I stated in earlier updates, there was going to be a review of the ‘soft’ start to the commencement of term two. This has happened and today. The Premier, Mark McGowan and the Minister for Education, Sue Ellery, announced the future direction for schooling across the state of Western Australia.
The decisions and direction given were based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, Dr Andy Robertson. This is attached. The Premier and Minister once again reiterated that all medical advice shows that schools are a safe place for your children to be.
What will schools look like from week four onwards?
As of Monday, 18 May 2020 all students are expected to attend school, except for those students medically referred to learn from home.
This means students are either:
• at school;
• have a medical referral to learn from home; or
• recorded as absent if they do not attend.
Over the last three weeks we have seen 92% of our students return to school, which has been fantastic. Our normal attendance rate is 94% to 95%, so the decision released today will only impact on 8% of our students.
What about children with medical conditions that require on going distance education?
For parents with medical advice that their child should not attend school, we will work with you in partnership with the School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health to support your child’s learning from home. If you feel your child is in this category, please do not hesitate to contact me and we will work together on the next steps.
What about children who have immediate family members, residing in the same home as them, who have medical conditions that require that the student continues with ongoing distance education?
For parents who have medical advice that their health would be compromised if their child/children attend face to face learning, we will work with you in partnership with the School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health to support your child’s learning from home. If you feel you are in this category, please do not hesitate to contact me and we will work together on the next steps.
I’m still unsure about school and COVID, can I continue to home school?
The simple answer is no. If your child is absent and they are not unwell or at a medical appointment, then they are expected to be at school from Monday May 18, 2020. If they are not at school from this time forward they will be marked as absent and we will follow up on absences in the normal way.
We are aware that some students may find the move back to face to face learning difficult and possibly stressful. Please, if this is the case, reach out to us at the school and we can put a plan in place to support your child in this area. We can assure you that our students currently back at school, are feeling safe and connected.
We will still be providing ‘Distance Learning’ and Seesaw videos?
Again, the simple answer is no. Teachers will, as of week four, be reverting back to their normal teaching programs and will also be implementing our assessment schedule.
COVID-19 health and hygiene practices.
All of our existing practices will remain in place as we move forward into week four and beyond.
The extra cleaning and hygiene practices implemented at the start of Term 2 will continue.
As part of the social distancing measures, parents/carers still need to drop children at the school gates and not enter the school grounds. Our students are becoming experts at being independent around their arrival and exit from the school. Our staff have also become experts at managing the arrivals and departures from school. I know that some parents have concerns around the youngest children (kindergarten and pre-primary) will become lost. This has not been the case over the past three weeks. We have 95% of our kindergarten students at school today and 91% of our pre-primary students at school. These students have shown huge resilience and independence and their teachers report that they are not showing any concerns. However, if you have concerns around pick up and drop off please contact Mrs Appleton to discuss these.
Moving forwards at Mindarie Primary.
Currently we are looking at the end of the year, especially around special events such as Graduation and Book Awards. We are looking at ways we can make these events meaningful and still adhere to the directions from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).
Please be assured that the State Government will continue to make decisions based on the best health advice. Thank you for your continued support as we move forward.
14 May 2020
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Last week we were really tested by the weather and it was fantastic to see how resourceful everyone was. Our students are definitely growing in independence with every week that passes. This week the weather promises to be nice – so that is a positive.
Content, Teaching and Feedback
Printed copies of HELP packages, for student continuing ‘Distance Learning’ for weeks three and four were distributed on Friday 8 May and are still available from the office, should you need these copies. Please just phone the office. 9407 1100.
In relation to feedback, teacher will only be providing feedback to students in relation to the task they have requested be uploaded to ‘Seesaw’ for teacher feedback. Please note that in relation to other tasks, parents, siblings or other family members can provide feedback.
Given, as you will see from the numbers below, that teacher have almost full classes, tomorrow will be the last Seesaw message from teachers. If you need any assistance in relation to Distance Learning, please either email or phone your child’s teacher and they will get back to you as soon as they are able to.
Currently we have 669 students at school. This represents an attendance rate of 90%.
The above graph shows the attendance distribution accross the whole of Mindarie Primary School. Year 5 has the lowest and Year 3 the highest.
It is also important to note that generally our school has an attendance rate between 94% to 95% on any given day so we are fairly close to being back to normal. Again, we stress, that as of this point in time, student attendance is governed by parental choice.
This may change after the Premier’s statement next Friday May 15 and we will, of course, provide this update when it is made available to us all.
In information provided by the Department of Education Western Australia, there is a strong statement around parents and teachers communicating electronically. All discussions about student learning and progress should be undertaken via phone or email.
Bikes and Scooters
Please reinforce with your children that at this time, they are not to ride bikes or scooters to school.
This week we will be hosting our first virtual assembly. This is being hosted by the students in TA26 and TA28. We will be giving our Achievement Certificates and following the general assembly format. We know that it will be very memorable. Unfortunately, due to privacy and safety concerns, this will only be available for students who are at school and will not be made available for students at home.
Teachers must be provided with evidence that a student is engaging with distance learning for them to mark a student as an E (this indicates that they are learning off site). This evidence can be either via uploaded work or, if you dont have access to Seesaw, completed HELP Pack and activities to teachers. If teachers do not have this evidence and have no note or explanation as to why, students will be marked with a U (an unexplained absence). These absences will be followed up as they normally are. Parents, if your child is sick or at an appointment, please advise the school of this fact.
Once again, to all members of our community, thank you for the support you show to our staff and our school. We know that times are changing and we look forward to hearing the future directions regarding education from Mr McGowan on Friday.
11 May 2020
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Firstly, thank you to you all for the trust that you have shown to our staff at Mindarie Primary. Last week the drop off and collecting of children was seamless and this was largely due to the manner in which you approached this. The children all managed really well with the new model and indeed showed themselves to be very resilient and also very responsible. It was lovely seeing older siblings walking younger siblings to class. It was also terrific to see the students amazing awareness of social distancing and their skills at hand washing.
Their classrooms did look very different to the ones that they left during term one, this did not phase the students and they have very quickly settled into this new classroom structure. Feedback from the kindergarten teachers has been that the children love having their own space (desk). We have learnt a lot during the past six weeks and the staff at Mindarie have shown how resourceful and flexible they are.
Today did present a few challenges, around the weather, so we have done some brainstorming around this. We do ask that if possible students do have a raincoat. I am aware that this will not be a popular fashion choice for older students, however with this week’s forecast, it is a sensible one. Otherwise and umbrella is a good idea. The Bunnings umbrellas are an excellent choice, large, durable and cheap!!
Content, Teaching and Feedback
I trust that our students working on ‘Distance Learning’ are finding that the lessons are engaging, relevant to their year level and not too complex. Class teachers are following these lesson plans at school, so all students are accessing the same content. There are pros and cons to both forms of learning. ‘Distance Learning’ is one-to-one or one-to-however many are in the family, ‘Face-to-Face’ is one teacher to however many students are in the class. Teachers are currently preparing the educational content for the next two weeks; weeks three and four.
In relation to feedback through ‘Distance Learning’, teachers will only be providing feedback to students in relation to the tasks they have requested be uploaded to ‘Seesaw’ for teacher feedback. Please note that in relation to other tasks, parents, siblings or other family members can provide feedback that would be beneficial.
Printed Copies of the HELP Packages
Printed copies of HELP packages, for student continuing ‘Distance Learning’ for weeks three and four will be available for parents to collect from outside the office on Friday May 8 between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm. We ask you to adhere to these times to reduce congestion around the school.
Please, only collect the package from the school if you are continuing ‘Distance Learning” at home.
On numbers, last week we had 52% of our students at school. This week, as of today, we have 69% of our students at school. Some students are absent due to illness; others are still choosing to ‘distance educate’. As the Premier and minister have both said, it is parental choice. This will be reviewed by the Premier and Minister at the end of next week. We will continue to take our direction from them.
As you will all appreciate, these are very tumultuous and strange times for us all, whether at work, at home or working from home. The staff at Mindarie are working hard to deliver a ‘face to face’ teaching program and to also maintain their connection with students learning from home. Please note that it the stance of the Department of Education Western Australia that teaching staff are not required to respond to communications outside of their normal working hours. In addition, teachers and school staff are not required to respond immediately, however they will make every effort to respond within a reasonable time-frame. The school day at Mindarie commences at 8.30am and finishes at 2.45pm. Staff do remain on site for up to one hour after the end of the school day.
Bikes and Scooters
Please reinforce with your children that they are not to ride bikes or scooters to school. Social distancing in the bike cage is almost impossible. Also we do not have the staff to supervise this.
Next week we will be having our first virtual assembly. This is being hosted by the students in TA26 and TA28. We will be giving our Achievement Certificates and following the general assembly format. We know that it will be very memorable. This will be uploaded to Seesaw for our ‘Distance Learners’ to engage with.
Our thanks go to the P&C and especially to Dianna Bagnell for all the work around the Mother’s day stall. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, our stall will not go ahead this year. Dianna did give an early shout out about this, just to remind Dad’s and significant others that they will have to source their own gifts. To all our mums, do have a restful Mother’s Day.
Once again, to all members of our community, thank you for the kind support that you show to our staff and our school.
4 May 2020