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

COVID-19 Update #16 – 28/04/2020

 

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Thank you again for your ongoing support in these uncertain times, as we know, things change from day to day, in fact hour to hour.

Please be advised that some of the information in this update was provided in the last update.  New information is in green.

Please be assured, we want our kids, back in school, and safe. We want our school staff, back in school, and safe. Everything we are putting in place is with safety in mind.

Everything in these updates is informed by information received, daily, from the Premier Mr McGowan, the Minister for Health Mr Cook and the Minister for Education.  In addition, via briefings from the Director General of Education.

Schooling

To assist you with your planning we have done the following:

‘Distance Learning’ or Classroom Face to Face

To assist you with your planning we have done the following:

If you are considering Distance Learning

  • Our on-line learning ‘Home Education Learning Packages (HELP)’ are live.  Please have a look on the Mindarie Primary School ‘Learning’ Hub – password is MPS2020
  • These packages will be available in hard copy on Monday March 27 from the front of the school between 10.00 am to 12.00 noon.
  • ‘Can do’ packages for each phase level (K-P, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6) will be available at the same time.
  • The Distance Learning guide has the suggested timetables for given year levels.  Note that these timetables are punctuated with ‘Brain Breaks’ and so forth.  As a student’s normal day at school is.
  • The resource pack for your family has been provided to support the students learning from home.
  • Teachers have set up Seesaw for their classes, this will enable regular communication with students.
  • Student will access Matific, Reading Eggs, Reading Express and Literacy Pro.
If your child will be coming to school for face to face learning.
  • When students arrive at school in the morning they will go to their regular classroom.
  • The ‘Home Education Learning Packs (HELP)’ content will be the content that teachers will teach for the first two weeks in Mathematics, English and Specialist subjects.
  • Dependent on numbers teachers will have their own classes for the majority of the day.  Please note this can only be established once we know numbers.  To provide clarity for example if we have 80% of students at school this will be our action, if we have 50% then we will need to review this, as we need to also be catering for ‘Distance Learning’.
  • These following teachers will not be teaching their classes due to issues – Mrs Kidgill (TA10), and Mrs Gill (TA27).  Mrs Kidgill suffered a brain aneurysm in the second week of the holidays and will be absent for the remainder of term two.  Our thoughts are with her and her family.
  • Mrs Williamson will be teaching TA 10 and Ms Clark will be teaching TA 9 full time. Mrs Atkinson will be teaching full time in TA 3. Mr Steel will be taking on the role of Junior Science. 
  • Student will access Matific, Reading Eggs, Reading Express and Literacy Pro, as they currently do and in line with what students participating in ‘Distance Education are doing.
  • Students will have access to specialist teachers, teaching in the student’s classrooms.  These teachers will be delivering face-to-face the same content that is included in the ‘HELP’ packs.  The only difference will be that this will be timetables through the teaching day as one specialist cannot teach a whole year level of students at the same time.
  • Students will be having ‘Brain Breaks’ and access to manipulable objects in their classrooms.  This will be dependent of hygiene regimes.
  • Dependent on numbers Education Assistants may be working in classrooms or supporting with the preparation of ‘Distance Learning’ materials.
Attendance

All students are required to participate in one or the other form of Education and their attendance needs to be accounted for.  If you opt to adopt the Distance Learning program, please advise us, in writing, if your child is ill and unable to participate on any given day.  Likewise, if your child is participating in the on-site program and is away due to illness please advise us of this in writing through the school website or Connect.

Drop Off and Collection

The Premier, Minister for Education and Minister for Health have been very clear on this.  Parents are not to come onto the school grounds.  In the last two weeks of term one we implemented this policy and our students are parents managed this exceptionally well.  I know that you will continue to do so.

  • All gates around the school will open at 8.25am.  Staff will open these and will be at these to monitor student’s arrival.  Parents therefore have a window of 20 minutes to effect drop.  Please make sure you physically distance at this time.
  • Pre-Primary and Kindergarten students are to enter and exit from the gate at the base of the stairs leading up to the Early Childhood yard.  This is at the western end of the basketball courts.  Early childhood teachers will greet the students at the top of the stairs. The exception to this is if you have an older child who can accompany your younger child to their class.
  • Parents are best placed to determine which other gates suit their families for entrance to the school.  Please ensure that your children know which gates they will be dropped off to and collected from. Please remind older children to collect younger siblings at the end of the day, if this is what is happening.
  • No scooters or bikes are to be ridden to school, this is because we cannot supervise access to the bike cage at the start and finish of the school day or be responsible for the cleaning of this equipment. 
  • All students must have left the school grounds by 2.55pm at the latest.
  • No use of the playgrounds before or after school.
The Mindarie Primary School office will be closed to parents. Access should only be for an emergency.  All  payments need to be on line.

Distancing During Break Times

  • Following recess and lunch breaks students line up in pairs at 1.5 distance each way.  Positions marked on the veranda to support this.  The line will start from the wet area doors and progress around the veranda.  Our verandas are 1.6 meters wide.  We will have in excess of 35 meters on each side of the blocks.
  • Students enter classrooms via the wet area doors, this is because these doors are wider and can be held open, allowing for distancing and also reduction of touch points.  Doors from the wet area into the classrooms will remain open during the day and will be the classroom entrance and exit doors. (Last term we had the external doors open, however with winter approaching this is not an environmentally friendly solution for the students or teachers).
  • At this point in time we are planning to split the students eating time at recess and lunch time to reduce the number of students on playgrounds and also to reduce the likely hood of students not self-distancing. Our breaks will look like this-
  • Recess – Siren sounds – Kindy, year one, three and five students eat in classrooms for 10 minutes at their desks.
  • Recess – Siren sounds – PP, year two, four and six students play for 10 minutes.
  • Then they swap.  Each year group gets 10 minutes play time. 10 minutes supervised eating, talking time.
  • Lunch – Siren sounds – Kindy, year one, three and five students eat in classrooms for 15 minutes.  At desks.
  • Lunch – Siren sounds – PP, year two, four and six students play for 15 minutes.
  • Then they swap.  Each year group gets 15 minutes’ play time.  15 minutes supervised eating, talking time.
This will mean that the half the students are back in class prior to the end of lunch and result in less ‘lining’ up.

Please note that we will make sure that class teachers build in more physically active time, within the parameters we need to follow, so children will not spend all day sitting at a desk.  We need to be clever in how we do this so there will be brain breaks, Go Noodle and so forth.

Please note that the above is also being discussed with teachers on Tuesday.

We will only use the following play areas.

  • Early Childhood Areas – Not the climbing equipment as cleaners cannot clean at a height above 1 meter off the ground and we have been instructed that this equipment must be wiped down.
  • Junior play area and grass area. Not the climbing equipment as cleaners cannot clean at a height above 1 meter off the ground and we have been instructed that this equipment must be wiped down.
  • Tiger turf and central quadrangle.
  • Senior play area.
  • No oval and Basket-Ball courts as these areas are open to the general public for use.
We will rotate year three / four and year five / six areas, week by week, so the students have variety.

Personal Health

This is a highly important aspect and needs your careful consideration.  All staff have been advised that if they are feeling unwell, for any reason, they are not to come to school.  This is for the wellbeing of our students and fellow staff members and ultimately your family’s health.

Sick children

  • If your child is unwell – keep them at home.
  • Notify the school, via email or through the school website, that they are sick and provide the school with information as to what you are doing for the child and the possible duration of the absence.
  • Do not return your child to school if they are still unwell.
  • Teachers will send home any children who complain of being unwell or present with symptoms of illness, such as a cough or sneezing.  
Please help us to keep everyone safe by not sending sick children to school.

Please note, whatever decision you make, regarding your child/children’s learning over the next eight days, we respect your decision and will support you.  If you had previously made the decision to home school and have now changed your mind, that is okay.  We just need you to bring the following back to school;

  • Their pencil case.
  • iMaths book.
  • Home resource pack (the one that went home in the blue bags).
  • HELP pack – collected on Monday.
  • Can Do pack – also collected on Monday.
  • It is essential that all students have their own drink bottle and hat.  Please check this with students daily.

We look forward to welcoming all of our students back to school at the start of Term 2, whether it be face to face or via Distance Education.

Kind regards
Barbara Bromley
28 April 2020

COVID-19 Update – 24/04/2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I provided advice on Monday, in relation to the directions provided by the Minister of Education, Sue Ellery and the Premier, Mark McGowan.

At the time, I prefaced my advice and the direction Mindarie Primary School would be taking, by stating that we are in a pandemic and that things are changing daily.  I also indicated, that because of this fluctuating situation, I was not prepared to give any further on line updates until closer to the resumption of schooling, that being Wednesday April 29.

As you may have noted, since the update provided on Monday, Minister Ellery has provided more information, as has the Department of Education via a media promotion (on line, radio, West Australian). In addition, we had a Minister of Health Update, which will be sent in the attachments below to the update provided today.

Yesterday I also participated in a Webex meeting with the Director General of Education of WA, and today I am participated in a Zoom meeting, which focused on the intricacies we are facing; this meeting was attended by the president of the Western Australian Primary Principal’s Association and key senior Principals, some of whom have been working in the Department of Education with the response for schools to COVID-19.

When I posted the information brief on Monday, the school administration team and I had formed the belief, because we are in a pandemic, that things would change from Monday to Friday.  And they have.

This update is as up to date as I can make it. We will, as a school staff, be meeting on Tuesday April 28 (Pupil Free Day) to finalize the plans for the school moving into Term Two. At this time, we will generate another update for parents, as we are sure that staff may bring up questions and solutions to ensure that Term Two starts smoothly and safely for all on the school site.

Please be assured, we want our kids, back in school, and safe.

We want our school staff, back in school, and safe.

We are also very aware that we have children who cannot be back at school. They have conditions that prevent their return, such as diabetes or other medial conditions, or their parents have respiratory problems (in the severe area), family members may have immuno-suppressant issues, they may have elderly relatives residing with them and so forth. Families may also make the decision to keep children at home for other reasons, and this decision is supported by the school at every level. We respect this, hence these are the children we need to support at home, with ‘Distant Learning’.

I hope that I am being very clear, in this update, as to how Mindarie Primary will operate in the first few weeks of Term Two, 2020.  The plan can only be for the first few weeks as the Premier has stated that the plan for schools will be reviewed after the first three weeks.

Our plans will therefore be tweaked and modified, over the next three weeks, in accordance with the advice from the Department of Education and the Health Department.  Please note that the provisions we are putting in place are in relation to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC); Minister Ellery, Premier McGowan and Minister Cook all refer to these as the basis for their decision to have schools open for term two.

Schooling

We know that the best place for our children is at school, in their classrooms, being taught by their teacher, and if we had a 100% return to school on Wednesday 29 that would be easy to implement.

We have however, many unknowns that are outside of our control.

What we do know is that on Wednesday March 18, when it became very clear that we were in a Pandemic, we had 140 students absent.  So, we had 80% of children in attendance.  A large number of the parents with children absent indicated that they were removing their children as a precaution, regarding COVID-19.  By Wednesday March 25, one week later, we had 48% of children in attendance.

Our great unknown, and something you can assist us with, is will your child be at school or at home.  Once we know this we can plan accordingly.

Please complete the brief survey, attached to this update, to advise us of what your plans for your child/children are. It should only take 20 seconds to complete. Please, if you have already let the school know, thank you. Could you please also complete this survey as well.

You can complete the survey embedded into the bottom of this email, or by pressing the link below:

‘Distance Learning’ or Classroom Face to Face

To assist you with your planning we have done the following:

If you are considering Distance Learning

  • Our on-line learning ‘Home Education Learning Packages (HELP)’ went live today.  Please have a look on the Mindarie Primary School ‘Learning’ Hub – password is MPS2020
  • These packages will be available in hard copy on Monday March 27 from the front of the school between 10.00 am to 12.00 noon.
  • ‘Can do’ packages for each phase level (K-P, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6) will be available at the same time.
  • The Distance Learning guide has the suggested timetables for given year levels.  Note that these timetables are punctuated with ‘Brain Breaks’ and so forth.  As a student’s normal day at school is.
  • The resource pack for your family has been provided to support the students learning from home.
  • Teachers have set up Seesaw for their classes, this will enable regular communication with students.
  • Student will access Matific, Reading Eggs, Reading Express and Literacy Pro.
If your child will be coming to school for face to face learning.
  • When students arrive at school in the morning they will go to their regular classroom.
  • The ‘Home Education Learning Packs (HELP)’ content will be the content that teachers will teach for the first two weeks in Mathematics, English and Specialist subjects.
  • Dependent on numbers teachers will have their own classes for the majority of the day.  Please note this can only be established once we know numbers.  To provide clarity for example if we have 80% of students at school this will be our action, if we have 50% then we will need to review this, as we need to also be catering for ‘Distance Learning’.
  • Some classes will not have their own teacher as those staff are on leave due to COVID 19 and it’s possible impact on their health. Some teachers will be working elsewhere due to some Administration staff being on leave.
  • Student will access Matific, Reading Eggs, Reading Express and Literacy Pro, as they currently do and in line with what students participating in ‘Distance Education are doing.
  • Students will have access to specialist teachers, teaching in the student’s classrooms.  These teachers will be delivering face-to-face the same content that is included in the ‘HELP’ packs.  The only difference will be that this will be timetables through the teaching day as one specialist cannot teach a whole year level of students at the same time.
  • Students will be having ‘Brain Breaks’ and access to manipulable objects in their classrooms.  This will be dependent of hygiene regimes.
  • Dependent on numbers Education Assistants may be working in classrooms or supporting with the preparation of ‘Distance Learning’ materials.
Please Help Us To Support Your Children

To help us to support your children we would really appreciate it if you could make a commitment to one form of educational delivery or the other for the first eight days; from Wednesday April 29 through to and inclusive of Friday May 11.  This will reduce disruption to students and teachers on site.

Attendance

All students are required to participate in one or the other form of Education and their attendance needs to be accounted for.  If you opt to adopt the Distance Learning program, please advise us, in writing, if your child is ill and unable to participate on any given day.  Likewise, if your child is participating in the on-site program and is away due to illness please advise us of this in writing, via.

Implementing the AHPPC Directives

Many of the strategies we have already implemented meet the recommendations outlined in the AHPPC directive.

Physical Distancing

As you are aware, this is the approach that the Government has endorsed as being the most effective.  As you will appreciate, having had your children at home for the past two to seven weeks, it is also one that is hard to implement with children, so we need to change our environment to make it easier to enforce.

Drop Off and Collection

The Premier, Minister for Education and Minister for Health have been very clear on this.  Parents are not to come onto the school grounds.  In the last two weeks of term one we implemented this policy and our students are parents managed this exceptionally well.  I know that you will continue to do so.

  • All gates around the school will open at 8.25am.  Staff will open these and will be at these to monitor student’s arrival.  Parents therefore have a window of 20 minutes to effect drop.  Please make sure you physically distance at this time.
  • Pre-Primary and Kindergarten students are to enter and exit from the gate at the base of the stairs leading up to the Early Childhood yard.  This is at the western end of the basketball courts.  Early childhood teachers will greet the students at the top of the stairs. The exception to this is if you have an older child who can accompany your younger child to their class.
  • Parents are best placed to determine which other gates suit their families for entrance to the school.  Please ensure that your children know which gates they will be dropped off to and collected from. Please remind older children to collect younger siblings at the end of the day, if this is what is happening.
  • No scooters or bikes are to be ridden to school, this is because we cannot supervise access to the bike cage at the start and finish of the school day.
  • All students must have left the school grounds by 2.55pm at the latest.
  • No use of the playgrounds before or after school.
The Mindarie Primary School office will be closed to parents. Access should only be for an emergency.  All  payments need to be on line.

Classrooms

Whilst the need to be distanced at 1.5 meters and been relaxed for the school setting we are still planning to distance students from each other as much as possible over these first four weeks.

  • Following recess and lunch breaks students line up in pairs at 1.5 distance each way.  Positions marked on the veranda to support this.  The line will start from the wet area doors and progress around the veranda.  Our verandas are 1.6 meters wide.  We will have in excess of 35 meters on each side of the blocks.
  • Students enter classrooms via the wet area doors, this is because these doors are wider and can be held open, allowing for distancing and also reduction of touch points.  Doors from the wet area into the classrooms will remain open during the day and will be the classroom entrance and exit doors. (Last term we had the external doors open, however with winter approaching this is not an environmentally friendly solution for the students or teachers).
  • No mat time.  Mat time will be conducted from desks.
  • Children will be seated end to end on desks.  PP and K children will also have a desk.
  • To provide the extra space and also reduce touch points all non-essential classroom materials will be removed from the classrooms.  This will be things such as book corners, dramatic play areas and so forth as these do use up valuable floor space.  These areas also promote close proximity of children, something we are striving to alleviate.  Please let your children know that their classroom will look a little different.
Recess and Lunch Breaks

At this point in time we are planning to split the students eating time at recess and lunch time to reduce the number of students on playgrounds and also to reduce the likely hood of students not self-distancing. Our breaks could therefore look like this-

  • Recess – Siren sounds – Kindy, year one, three and five students eat in classrooms for 10 minutes at their desks.
  • Recess – Siren sounds – PP, year two, four and six students play for 10 minutes.
  • Then they swap.  Each year group gets 10 minutes play time. 10 minutes supervised eating, talking time.
  • Lunch – Siren sounds – Kindy, year one, three and five students eat in classrooms for 15 minutes.  At desks.
  • Lunch – Siren sounds – PP, year two, four and six students play for 15 minutes.
  • Then they swap.  Each year group gets 15 minutes’ play time.  15 minutes supervised eating, talking time.
This will mean that the half the students are back in class prior to the end of lunch and result in less ‘lining’ up.

Please note that we will make sure that class teachers build in more physically active time, within the parameters we need to follow, so children will not spend all day sitting at a desk.  We need to be clever in how we do this so there will be brain breaks, Go Noodle and so forth.

Please note that the above is also being discussed with teachers on Tuesday.

We will only use the following play areas.

  • Early Childhood Areas.
  • Junior play area and grass area.
  • Tiger turf and central quadrangle.
  • Senior play area.
  • No oval and Basket-Ball courts as these areas are open to the general public for use.
We will rotate year three / four and year five / six areas, week by week, so the students have variety.

Personal Health

This is a highly important aspect and needs your careful consideration.  All staff have been advised that if they are feeling unwell, for any reason, they are not to come to school.  This is for the wellbeing of our students and fellow staff members and ultimately your family’s health.
Sick children

  • If your child is unwell – keep them at home.
  • Notify the school, via email or through the school website, that they are sick and provide the school with information as to what you are doing for the child and the possible duration of the absence.
  • Do not return your child to school if they are still unwell.
  • Teachers will send home any children who complain of being unwell or present with symptoms of illness, such as a cough or sneezing.
Please help us to keep everyone safe by not sending sick children to school.

Hygiene

We already have the following in place-

  • No shared equipment (except at the Early Childhood level and this is being cleaned regularly).
  • No use of drink fountains, all children must have their own drink bottle.
  • No sharing of home cooked food e.g. cup-cakes. Please send packaged food such as Freddo Frogs etc. to celebrate birthdays.
  • Hand sanitiser in all classrooms and used regularly.
  • Hand hygiene posters and explicit teaching of in classes.
  • Hand washing enforced before eating and before transitioning.
  • Cough and sneeze posters in all areas, and protocol reinforced regularly during the day.
  • Pedal operated bins with a lid for used tissues.
  • Soap and paper towels in all bathrooms and wet areas.
  • Glen 20 or disinfectant wipes in classrooms to disinfect communal equipment such as iPads and clip boards between uses.
  • Toilet doors propped open (not cubicle doors) to reduce touch points.
  • Reduced manipulable equipment in classrooms to ensure that they are able to be cleaned daily.
  • No library or reading books (as these go home and we cannot control the home situation), students may have access to these materials at school, this will be dependent on teachers wiping them down after use and also ensuring students wash or sanitise hand before use.
  • No borrowing of hats.
  • Only teachers use the Promethean boards.
  • Chairs stacked with touch points facing into the classroom for ease of daily cleaning.
  • Increased cleaning of door handles and so forth.
  • No group work, as distancing cannot be maintained.
  • No assemblies.  We will continue to think of ways we can be together virtually.
  • No incursions.
  • No excursions.
  • No Choir.
  • No after school activities.
  • Students will still do middle, junior and senior sport.  It will be with their class only.
  • Students have their designated toilets and play areas.
  • Cashless office.
  • On line only uniform shop.
  • No icy poles or lunch orders.
 New processes being implemented:
  • No over the shoulder marking.
  • Marking at a point the teacher determines with spacers in place to delineate the spacing required.
  • No cushions, dress-ups etc in classrooms and these cannot be cleaned daily.
  • No games involving touching such as ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’ or ‘Heads Down, Thumbs Up’.
  • Specialist teachers go to classrooms.  Specialist rooms closed.
  • Toilets being cleaned during the day, especially following recess and lunch breaks.
  • Touch points being cleaned during the day.
  • Playgrounds cleaned between use.
  • Sports equipment cleaned after use.
  • Cleaning of the gates, touch points, morning and afternoon.
  • Regular cleaning of work spaces – students will be taught how to do this and be provided with the tools to do so.  (It is a life skill).
  • Taps and high level touch points will be cleaned by day cleaners.
In closing, to those of you who have had birthdays, anniversaries, special family events during this break, I’m sure they were very different celebrations. I do hope that your friends took the time to make your day special in some way.  I have heard of some really innovative ways that these special occasions have been acknowledged.
Our School ANZAC service will go live tomorrow.  I do hope that you and your families take some time out during the day and participate in the service.  Our thanks go to Miss Szczygiel and Mrs MacLean for making this service happen. Our thanks also go to all of the students who participated in the service.  It is another way of us maintaining our connection and school community.

Please note, whatever decision you make, regarding your child/children’s learning over the next eight days, we respect your decision and will support you.

We look forward to welcoming all of our students back to school at the start of Term 2, whether it be face to face or via Distance Education.

Kind regards
Barbara Bromley
24 April 2020

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