Dear Parents and Caregivers,
First and foremost, thank you for the support that you have provided and continue to provide to Mindarie Primary. We know that these are very different times and therefore we all have to operate differently. At all times, the safety of our students and staff takes precedence. We have also been very focused on providing continuity of schooling to our students learning from home and at school.
As I stated in earlier updates, there was going to be a review of the ‘soft’ start to the commencement of term two. This has happened and today. The Premier, Mark McGowan and the Minister for Education, Sue Ellery, announced the future direction for schooling across the state of Western Australia.
The decisions and direction given were based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, Dr Andy Robertson. This is attached. The Premier and Minister once again reiterated that all medical advice shows that schools are a safe place for your children to be.
What will schools look like from week four onwards?
As of Monday, 18 May 2020 all students are expected to attend school, except for those students medically referred to learn from home.
This means students are either:
• at school;
• have a medical referral to learn from home; or
• recorded as absent if they do not attend.
Over the last three weeks we have seen 92% of our students return to school, which has been fantastic. Our normal attendance rate is 94% to 95%, so the decision released today will only impact on 8% of our students.
What about children with medical conditions that require on going distance education?
For parents with medical advice that their child should not attend school, we will work with you in partnership with the School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health to support your child’s learning from home. If you feel your child is in this category, please do not hesitate to contact me and we will work together on the next steps.
What about children who have immediate family members, residing in the same home as them, who have medical conditions that require that the student continues with ongoing distance education?
For parents who have medical advice that their health would be compromised if their child/children attend face to face learning, we will work with you in partnership with the School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health to support your child’s learning from home. If you feel you are in this category, please do not hesitate to contact me and we will work together on the next steps.
I’m still unsure about school and COVID, can I continue to home school?
The simple answer is no. If your child is absent and they are not unwell or at a medical appointment, then they are expected to be at school from Monday May 18, 2020. If they are not at school from this time forward they will be marked as absent and we will follow up on absences in the normal way.
We are aware that some students may find the move back to face to face learning difficult and possibly stressful. Please, if this is the case, reach out to us at the school and we can put a plan in place to support your child in this area. We can assure you that our students currently back at school, are feeling safe and connected.
We will still be providing ‘Distance Learning’ and Seesaw videos?
Again, the simple answer is no. Teachers will, as of week four, be reverting back to their normal teaching programs and will also be implementing our assessment schedule.
COVID-19 health and hygiene practices.
All of our existing practices will remain in place as we move forward into week four and beyond.
The extra cleaning and hygiene practices implemented at the start of Term 2 will continue.
As part of the social distancing measures, parents/carers still need to drop children at the school gates and not enter the school grounds. Our students are becoming experts at being independent around their arrival and exit from the school. Our staff have also become experts at managing the arrivals and departures from school. I know that some parents have concerns around the youngest children (kindergarten and pre-primary) will become lost. This has not been the case over the past three weeks. We have 95% of our kindergarten students at school today and 91% of our pre-primary students at school. These students have shown huge resilience and independence and their teachers report that they are not showing any concerns. However, if you have concerns around pick up and drop off please contact Mrs Appleton to discuss these.
Moving forwards at Mindarie Primary.
Currently we are looking at the end of the year, especially around special events such as Graduation and Book Awards. We are looking at ways we can make these events meaningful and still adhere to the directions from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).
Please be assured that the State Government will continue to make decisions based on the best health advice. Thank you for your continued support as we move forward.
14 May 2020