COVID-19 Update #21 03/07/2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

What an incredibly busy last week it has been with reports going home, reward days, the P&C AGM and meeting and the Board meeting.

Much was discussed at both the Board and the P&C meeting and we will be moving forward on several matters raised at these meetings.

Thank you to all parents who completed the surveys on the possible reintroduction of Faction Shirts and also on the new report format.

The Board approved, in principle, the reintroduction of faction shirts however there still needs to be an official review of the uniform policy to enable this to occur.  The uniform policy will be reviewed early in Term Three, as per requirements.  Once this is done the policy will be taken to the board for discussion and then circulated to the school community for consultation.  We do need to ensure that we address factors such as sun safety in relation to the proposed shirts.

The board also ratified the Reporting Policy.

The next Board meeting will be on Thursday 27 July, commencing at 5.15pm in the staffroom.

At the P&C meeting a new Executive Committee was elected.

President – Mick Self
Vice President – Ariaan Daniels
Secretary – Karyn Anderson
Treasurer – Teegan Sinclair
Uniform Coordinator – Yvette Whitehorn
Vice Treasurer – Alan Woods
Lunch Coordinator – Mandy Twiddy

The P&C will be progressing the Father’s Day stall and Friday lunches.  Discussion is underway as to how we can proceed with icy poles as they want to maintain the school as a cashless area.  Further communication around this will occur next term.  With this in mind, and considering there is very low level use of  school banking, this will no longer be occurring.

The school has donated our school sign to the local soccer club as we are moving to purchase an electronic sign, this will enable us to communicate with our community in a far timelier manner.  One of the big lessons we learnt from COVID 19 was the importance of timely, accurate communication.

The uniform shop will continue to operate as an online shop.  Yvette reported that there has been a marked increase in sales during the time it has been online.  Currently Yvette is considering opening the shop once a fortnight to coincide with assemblies.

The Fathering Project will be holding its first event for 2020 on Friday 21st of August.  It will be a pizza and movie night, held in the undercover area.  A focus of the event will be Paint the Town Read ‘PTTR’, which aims to encourage dads to read to their children.

In moving forward into Term Three the following will be in place;

  • Daytime cleaning will continue, including the cleaning of the playgrounds.
  • Split lunches will continue to be in place.
  • Staff will communicate with parents and families via Seesaw, this will be the showcase of what is happening in classrooms, so you stay connected to your children’s learning.
  • Bikes and scooters can come onto the grounds, students using these must enter via the Abbeville Circle gate closest to the bike cage.
  • Staff will continue to be at the gates.
  • The ‘kiss and drive’ gate is for student use only – this is to discourage parking up there as ‘kiss and drive’ operates more effectively when vehicles do not park in this area.  (The Board endorsed this decision).
  • Parents can enter via any other gate for pick up and drop off.
  • The gates will open at 8.25am and close at 8.45am.
  • Students arriving late must enter via the front gates and collect a late pass from the front office.  Students arriving late must walk themselves to class.
  • The gates will open in the afternoon at 2.45pm and close at 3.00pm.
  • Pre-Primary and Kindergarten children will be taken to their gates by their teachers in the afternoon.  Please advise your child’s teacher if you will be having older siblings collect these children.
  • Parent help in junior classes will be reintroduced.  Teachers will establish a roster.  Please email your child’s teacher if you would like to be on this roster.
  • All visitors to the school site must sign in via the office, this includes parents visiting to help in classrooms, attend parent meetings, do things for the P&C and so on and so forth.  It is best practice that we monitor who is on the school site at any given time.
  • Parents are encouraged to continue to contact teachers and the school via email.

Children will continue to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, where possible only use their own equipment and also only use drink bottles.  We will continue to implement a wide range of best practice hygiene actions.

Any children with coughs, sneezes, temperatures and so forth will need to remain off school until they are well.  The same will apply to school staff.

This week we had our front doors automated, this is in response to several identified needs, the first being to ensure that we reduce touch points for our children, staff and visitors to the school site.  The second is to facilitate easier access to the office for people with prams, or in wheelchairs or with any other specific requirements.  As we now have the doors automated we anticipate that from Term Three onwards we will be able to have our dogs back on site.

Kindergarten enrolments are now being taken, if you know of people residing in Mindarie who may have kindergarten aged children, please encourage them to phone the school to inquire.  Our places do fill up quickly and we do want to ensure that we can cater for Mindarie children.

On Thursday we fare welled our gardener Dennis Taylor.  The staff put on a lovely spread for him.  We have a relief gardener for the first few weeks of next term.

Our first Assembly is scheduled for Thursday 30th July.  TP3 and TP5 will be running this assembly.  We look forward to once again coming together as a whole school.

To all our families, have a safe and restful holiday break.  School resumes on Monday 20th July.

Kind regards
Barbara Bromley

COVID-19 Update #20 05/06/2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

As you would be aware, last Friday the Premier announced the further relaxing of restrictions as we enter Phase 3 of the WA Roadmap to recovery effective as of Saturday, 6 June 2020. As part of the announcement parents/carers will be permitted to enter school grounds to drop off or pick up their children from Monday, 8 June.

We have now received the Department of Education’s communication regarding how these changes will impact schools.

Parents/Carers Onsite

  • Number of parents/carers limited to a maximum of 100 at any time with physical distancing of one person per 2 square metres and good hygiene practices applied. This will need to be strictly adhered to as we have over 540 families.
  • Current arrangements for pick-up and drop off via the school gates will remain in place with gates opening at 8.25 am and 2.45 pm.
  • As the number of parents/carers on school grounds is limited to a maximum of 100 at any time we, as an administration staff propose the following occurs- students entering the grounds independently do so through the following gates – ‘kiss and drive’, Abbeville Circle gate closest to the bike cage, oval gate (which will be through the basketball courts).
  • Pre-Primary students and Kindergarten students enter via the Kindy/Pre-Primary gate they have been using – they can enter independently or with parents – we will have Education Assistants at this gate and we will be doing a head count of adults as they enter and exit.
  • All other parents can enter or exit the school grounds via the front Administration gates, again a head count will be done as parents enter and exit the grounds.  Students wishing to enter independently can also enter via this gate.
  • At the end of the school day again we ask that parents wishing to enter the school grounds do so via the two entry gates; Pre-Primary and Kindergarten via the lower gate and the front gate.  Again, to ensure that we remain true to the requirements of only 100 parents on site these gates will be manned and a head count taken.  Pre-Primary and Kindergarten children will be brought to this gate as they are at this present time.
  • Children leaving the school grounds independently will exit via the gate that they entered through.
  • Siblings currently picking up their younger brothers and sisters can still do so.

Parent Contact with Teachers 

  • Parents/carers can come on to the school grounds to attend scheduled meetings with school staff, this is by appointment only.  Please email your child’s teacher if you wish to make an appointment.
  • The same applies to parents wishing to make a meeting with a member of the administration staff.
  • Teachers will be setting up family Seesaw to further enhance communication between the school and home.

School Activities

  • Interschool activities with a total not exceeding 100 people for indoor settings and not exceeding 300 people in outdoor settings can occur.
  • Contact sport and training is permitted.
  • Interschool sports can occur with a total not exceeding 100 people for indoor settings and not exceeding 300 people in outdoor settings.
  • Assemblies remain cancelled as there is a limit of 100 people indoors at any time, we will continue creating virtual assemblies which we look forward to sharing with parents, hopefully in term four.

Social Distancing

  • Parents on the school site are asked to abide by the social distancing requirements.  There are black markers set at the appropriate distances, parents waiting for children can use these markers to ensure that social distancing is in place.
  • Classroom doors entrances will be marked with a box that delineated the required 1.5-meter distancing.  Parents on the site are asked to stand clear of this.  This is to ensure the teacher is abiding by the 1.5-meter distancing.

Students who are Unwell

Students who are unwell must remain at home. Students who present as unwell at school will be sent home.  Please ensure that their pick up is prompt as we need to ensure that our office staff are not exposed to students who are presenting as unwell.

Collecting Students Throughout the School Day

If you need to collect your child/ren during the school day, can you please call to let the front office staff know beforehand. When you arrive at school, please wait at the Administration gate area and ring again. Your child/ren will then be sent to your car. The office staff will complete the sign out processes for you.

Cleaning and Hygiene

Cleaners will continue to work throughout the day to ensure all high-use areas, such as benchtops, desks, doorknobs, taps and hand rails, are regularly cleaned and surfaces disinfected.

Thank you all so much for the way you have all continued to support the school through the ongoing changes brought about by COVID-19.

Kind regards,

Barbara Bromley
Principal
05/06/2020

COVID-19 Update #19 14/05/2020

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.

Kind regards
Barbara Bromley

14 May 2020

COVID-19 Update #18 11/05/2020

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.

Student numbers

Currently we have 669 students at school.  This represents an attendance rate of 90%.

K PP 1 2 3 4 5 6
88% 91% 92% 86% 95% 89% 83% 93%

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.

Communication

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.

Assembly

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.

Attendance

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.

Kind regards,

Barbara Bromley
Principal
11 May 2020

COVID-19 Update #17 – 4/5/2020

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.

Wet Weather

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.

Student Numbers

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.

Communication

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.

Assembly

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.

Mother’s Day

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.

Kind regards
Barbara Bromley
4 May 2020

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