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 – 02/04/2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Once again, on behalf of the staff at Mindarie Primary  School, I thank you for the support that you are continuing to provide to our school and staff.  Teachers and Education Assistants are really appreciating the emails that they are receiving.  Please be assured that we are all working really hard to make sure that we can provide you with effective Distant Learning from the commencement of Term Two on April 28, 2020.

Essential Resource Packs

As we posted on Facebook yesterday, the Education Assistants are currently creating Essentials Packs for you to use with your children at home.  In these packs you will find tools to help you, such as laminated paper to use as a white board (don’t worry, your children know how to use these), dice, counters and cards for mathematics activities, your child’s pencil case (if it was left at school) and so on.  We hope to have these packs ready by mid-way through next week and we will be communicating with you regarding how you can collect these packs.  As you will appreciate, these packs are taking time to put together so please be patient and wait to be contacted.

Playgrounds

Unfortunately, as of tomorrow, students will no longer be able to use the school playgrounds; senior, junior, early childhood and nature.  We will be blocking off these areas.  Students in years three through to six will be playing on the grassed area of the senior play area. Pre-Primary to year two students will be playing in the lower yard of the Early childhood area.

End of Term One

Tomorrow is the last official day of Term 1, as Monday to Thursday next week are designated School Development Days. During these days, the staff will be preparing curriculum content for each year level and learning how to deliver this digitally.

As per direction from the Premier of Western Australia, parents and carers are required to keep their children at home from the end of the day on April 3.  The school holidays will therefore commence on April 6 and run until April 28.

As Mr Morrison announced today, the federal Government is providing financial support to the Child Care sector. This is to ensure that parents who would normally access vacation care or child care can still do so.  The Government is doing this to ensure that this extremely important area is supported.  Your normal child care provider will be able to provide you with more information in relation to this.

The Premier and Prime Minister were also very clear around essential workers still being able to access care for their children, and they stressed that if the normal practice was for children to be cared for by Grandparents/ carers that fall into the age group of 60 years old and above, and that these cares were self-isolating, schools would provide supervision for these children.

If you find yourself in this situation please advise the school of this, so that we have some clarity of around the ages and number of children we can expect at school next week.

Parents working from home are expected to have their children at home.

Children attending school from April 6 to 9 are required to wear their school uniform.  This is so that we can distinguish them from students attending Keiki.

All gates around the school will be closed next week. Children attending will need to enter via the front gates of the school.

Distance Learning

The digital platform we will be using to support our Distance Learning model is Seesaw. We have purchased licenses to allow teachers to use the full suite of options available on Seesaw. If you are not familiar with Seesaw, instructions will be provided next week.

Teachers will also be linking in with their classes using Zoom.  We will provide more detail in relation to this in future postings.  The feedback teachers have been receiving, via the phone calls that they are making, is that students are missing seeing their class mates, teacher and whole class.  Zoom will facilitate this contact.

Students who need to attend school (according to the guidelines outlined above) from the commencement of Term 2, will be using Seesaw in the same way students will be at home to ensure equity across the student population. Teachers will not be teaching these students.  The expectation for teachers is that they deliver in one way only.

As previously mentioned, provisions will be made for those families who do not have access to the appropriate technology at home.  Mr Gould is currently creating the Mindarie Primary Distance Learning Parent Guidelines.  We expect these to be available to parents and families mid-way through next week.  In addition, Mr Gould is creating a dedicated section on our website that will be a go to point for all Distance Learning.

Teachers are currently contacting families and they are appreciating this contact and also the information you are providing.  This will continue to guide our planning for term two.

With each day, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing our world and how we operate, in ways that we are all finding very confronting, unsettling and unprecedented. As a school, we continue to act upon the regular updates and advice provided by the Federal and State Governments, and the Education and Health Departments. We will continue to keep you informed as things progress.

Once again, thank you so much for your ongoing support during this extraordinary time.

Kind regards

Kind regards,
Barbara Bromley
April 2 2020

COVID-19 Update – 26/03/2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Critical Update

The Premier of Western Australia and the Minister of Education of Western Australia today announced the following:

From Monday 30 March (Week 9), schools will remain open. However, we encourage all families to keep your children at home. The school will remain open for children of parents or guardians who are essential service workers or who do not have alternative care arrangements. Please keep up to date with the programs that have been added to the Mindarie Primary School ‘Learning page on our website.

From Monday 6 April (Week 10), schools will officially close and teachers will cease teaching. The Minster of Education has advised schools to provide childcare, if needed, to children of parents or guardians who are essential service workers or who do not have alternative care arrangements. This will not be teaching time. They will be supervised by Education Assistants, under the direction of Teaching Staff. This care will cease at 2:45pm on Thursday 9 April.

During Week 10, the Minister of Education has advised us that staff are to be preparing a plan for our distance learning model for Term 2 and beyond. What this looks like at this point in time, is still in planning.

Moving forward, I acknowledge that this a scary and difficult time. We are all in this together. Thank you.

Thank you for your dedication to our students. Thank you for the compassion that you have shown to our teachers, our administrators, support staff and office staff.

School Drop Off and Pick Up – Essential Students Only

Thank you for managing this mornings transition to a social distance model of drop off. I will leave this in todays update for reference.

  • All school gates will be now opened at 8:25am and locked at 8:45am.
  • No parents will be permitted to enter school grounds to drop off or pick up students.
  • Children will be met at all school gates by a staff member and asked to go to their classes.
  • Kindy and PP students are to enter and exit via the stairs near the basketball courts where they will be met by teachers who will take children to classes.
  • Parents/ Caregivers of students in other year levels are to arrange with their child the specific gate that they are to enter and exit – reinforce this when you drop off your children.
  • Please allow safe social distancing of 1.5m while you are dropping off and picking up.

iMaths Books & School Photos

  • iMaths books belonging to students who are not returning to school will be left on tables outside the front office in year groups. Please come and collect at any time between 9:00am and 2:00pm daily. Please practice good social distancing during this time. 

Library Books/ Home Readers

  • Please return these to the boxes outside the front office gates.

Other Updates on COVID-19 for Today:

Emergency SMS System 

Yesterday, we sent out an SMS from the school servers. These messages will be sent in critical update situations.

Distance Learning at Mindarie Primary School

We know that families are in the process of setting up learning spaces for children at home – its going to be a journey for you all! 

What we have learned over the last few years is that students love the flexible learning opportunities that we provide at school. This means that it could look very different from family to family, and very different from when we were all at school. Share your learning environments with us at school and we will update our Learning Page with pictures of these spaces.

Kind regards,

Barbara Bromley
Principal
March 26 2020

COVID-19 Update – 25/03/2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Critical Update

We are in a difficult position. As a school, we understand our responsibility on society with regard to the continued education of the children. We also have a significant responsibility on the care,  safety, health and well-being of our staff and their families. 

In line with State and Federal Social Distancing Recommendations, we have implemented new procedures:
 
Major Adjustments to School Drop Off and Pick Up

  • All school gates will be now opened at 8:25am and locked at 8:45am.

  • No parents will be permitted to enter school grounds to drop off or pick up students.

  • Children will be met at all school gates by a staff member and asked to go to their classes.

  • Kindy and PP students are to enter and exit via the stairs near the basketball courts where they will be met by teachers who will take children to classes.

  • Parents/ Caregivers of students in other year levels are to arrange with their child the specific gate that they are to enter and exit – reinforce this when you drop off your children.

  • Please allow safe social distancing of 1.5m while you are dropping off and picking up.

Front Administration/Office Procedures

  • All members of community to utilise all other forms of communication, that is email, phone and school website in order to limit the number of visitors to the front office.

  • The main gate will be shut, but not locked. If it is essential, you may enter to the office. If you must enter the front office, please abide by the social distancing laws.

iMaths Books

  • All iMaths books belonging to students who are remaining at home and have NOT been collected, will be left on a table outside the front office in year groups. This will start tomorrow, Thursday the 26th of March. Please come and collect after school between 3:00 and 3:30pm daily.

  • All iMaths books for students still attending at school will be sent home every day. Please bring it back each day your child returns to school.

Library Books/ Home Readers

  • Please return these to the boxes outside the front office gates.

Other Updates on COVID-19 for Today:

  • Thank you for your efforts with regard to informing the school office that your children are not attending. I need to reiterate that if you are ‘Self-Isolating’ your children, that you abide by the rules of ‘Self-Isolation’ and Social Distancing. Seeing the children out and about, at the shops and in groups outside of school, is disheartening. If you are yet to make the Self-Isolation decision, please advise us of this absence in advance and we can process this until the end of the term. Please do this via the school website: https://mindarieprimary.wa.edu.au/absentee-notification

  • Where possible, students are to walk to school independently or be dropped off by car. As there are 50% less students here right now, the morning commute to school is much easier! We ask that students do not ride bikes or scooters. This is to reduce the number of children who need to enter a shared area, and reduce gathering at the bike racks at the beginning and end of the day.

Distance Learning at Mindarie Primary School
We are working very hard in this arena. Please see the update below for information.

Attendance
It is imperative that parents and guardians inform the school if you are not sending children to school. On top of our already increased workload, our office staff have spent countless hours contacting parents to confirm the whereabouts of your children.

Please keep sick children who are genuinely sick at home.  Children with bad coughs, sore throats, sneezing and so forth.  This will reduce the work load and stress levels of all at school. Please advise the school office via email, Connect or the absentee notification link.

https://mindarieprimary.wa.edu.au/absentee-notification/

Thank you in advance for your support. If you wish to discuss any of the above, please phone the school. Please be assured that we will provide you with updates as we are provided with them.

Kind regards,

Barbara Bromley
Principal
March 25 2020

COVID-19 Update – 24/03/2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Our updates on COVID-19 for today:

  • I can not urge you enough – inform the school if your child is going to be absent. The office spent two hours today, chasing up on the whereabouts of your children. We totally support your decision to keep your children at home. Please respect our office staff and school by letting us know your intentions. If you have made the important and difficult decision to keep your children at home, this is reasonable according to the attendance policy. However, there are strict guidelines that surround this. They are not to be coming and going from school. That is to say, at home on a Monday for ‘Self-Isolation’ and then back at school on Tuesday. We support your decision and can extend their absence in advance until further notice or the end of the term. Please do this via the school website: https://mindarieprimary.wa.edu.au/absentee-notification/
  • Please don’t plan to pick children up throughout the school day to ‘Self-Isolate’. This is another cause of contention among students, some of whom have been getting upset when their classmates leave.
  • Teachers at Department of Education schools have been instructed by the Director General of Education to focus on the students who are at school and classroom learning. We as a school went above and beyond this direction to provide a localised work package to support our kids with their immediate learning. We are currently working with the Department of Education as to what remote learning will be supported by the Department. We are very aware that our families across our school have varied access to technology and we need to be mindful of this to ensure equity for all students across our school and Western Australia. As we know more, we will release more on this matter. Please do not ask your child’s classroom teacher for any extra work.
  • When arranging to collect iMaths books for distance learning, please do so before, or after school. Please keep your visit to the classroom to a minimum.
  • Friday the 27th of March will be the last day for Lunch Orders through the P&C.
  • Sports equipment will now be set into Year level groups. The equipment will be washed thoroughly by the school at the end of each lunch session.
  • We have had to make the very difficult decision to stop the dogs coming to school until such time as we can revert to the front door being closed, this is to ensure the safety of the dogs.
  • Senior Choir has been postponed until further notice.

Students Before and After School

Thank you for your support so far regarding this.

Students are not to arrive at school before 8:15am.

Children are to be picked up at 2.45pm unless attending before / after school care. This is a matter of safety and security.

Attendance

It is imperative that parents and guardians inform the school if you are not sending children to school. On top of our already increased workload, our office staff have spent countless hours contacting parents to confirm the whereabouts of your children.

Please keep sick children who are genuinely sick at home.  Children with bad coughs, sore throats, sneezing and so forth.  This will reduce the work load and stress levels of all at school. Please advise the school office via email, Connect or the absentee notification link.

https://mindarieprimary.wa.edu.au/absentee-notification/

Thank you in advance for your support. If you wish to discuss any of the above, please phone the school. Please be assured that we will provide you with updates as we are provided with them.

Kind regards,

Barbara Bromley
Principal
March 24 2020

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