Over the coming weeks we will be returning to on-site, face to face learning. This is a pleasing outcome, and positive for students, families and staff. Our Preps, Yr 1 & Yr 2 classes are due to commence on Tuesday May 26th. while our Yr 3, Yr 4, Yr 5 & Yr 6 students will return on Tuesday June 9th.
The purpose of this lengthy section is to make all families aware of operational adjustments for the remainder of term. These adjustments are required to maintain safety for everyone in our school and wider community.
I’ve arranged these changes under headings to make scanning through easier.
Pupil Free Day
This coming Monday (May 25th) is a pupil free day across Victoria to allow for teachers to switch programs back to on-site learning. This applies to all children regardless of whether they have been attending school on or off site.
Please make alternate arrangements for the care of children. No remote learning is expected on this day.
From May 26th our Prep – Yr 2 students will return to normal classes with their own teachers and timetable. Prior to June 9th all Yrs 3-6 students will continue with remote learning with most of these students remaining off-site and a small number continuing their remote learning on-site.
Once a grade level has returned to on-site learning all students of that grade level are required to attend. Students or families with special needs or requirements should contact me at school as soon as possible.
During the period of remote learning, many families have borrowed learning resources from the school. When your child returns to school, we ask that those resources be returned also. There will be tables set up in the office area for returns from this Tuesday. These resources will be either cleaned by the school, or placed in quarantine for an appropriate period so that they may be utilised again for classroom teaching.
Cleaning & Sanitation
Our school will be engaged in extended cleaning in the course of a school week prior to the end of Term 2. Our teaching staff have timetabled cleaning tasks that will occur during school time and our cleaning contractors have thorough routines after hours.
Students will have access to hand sanitiser and soap and water as the need arises. There will be four key times through the day that all students will be required to use hand sanitiser:
9.00am (prior to learning)
11.30am (prior to eating)
1.40pm (prior to eating)
2.30pm (following second recess)
Students or staff experiencing flu-like symptoms will immediately be sent home.
When your child returns to normal classes, the expectation is that they will be in their normal school uniform, saving their sports uniform for their specialist day.
Prep – 2 will return to normal uniform routines from May 26th.
Yrs 3-6 will return to normal uniform routines from June 9th.
We are cutting down on the handling of food and as a result will not be offering canteen or breakfast club for the remainder of Term 2. We ask that families ensure children have enough healthy food for two lunch eating periods.
Students will not be permitted to use the drink taps around the school. We ask that all students have a drink bottle with them. This should contain only water.
Our school yard will be broken up into zones to cut down on cross age mixing, while our staff will not congregate in the staffroom for these breaks.
Students, in conjunction with teachers, will be putting some thought into appropriate activities for recess. Activities that involve contact will be discouraged.
Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Pick Up
We have been asked to manage the before and after school routines carefully. There will be no staggered morning dropoff as this naturally spreads out between 8.30 and 9.00am .
In the afternoon period we will release students who need to be picked up progressively:
3.00pm Green Team
3.10pm Red Team
3.20pm Blue Team
3.30pm Yellow Team
Please note these times will only be for children being picked up by an adult in the carpark. Students who are walking or riding home will remain at school until 3.30pm.
Parents are asked to not to park alongside the kerb until the time period for their children to be collected.
Parents are also reminded to observe the no standing zones and the 10km per hour speed limit. (!)
Adults in School
Apart from school staff, no adults are permitted to enter the classrooms or playground between 8.30am and 4.00pm. This measure is to reduce distance and proximity of all adults in our community.
Parents needing to attend to school business (fees, uniforms etc) can enter the foyer / office area, but need to sanitise their hands and practise physical distancing. We ask that parents try to phone the office as a preference.
There will be some exceptions to this rule, especially where the learning or emotional needs of a student need to be met, but these will be authorised on a case by case basis.
Before and After School Care
Our OSHC providers TheirCare will be offering free after school care for the remainder of this term. If this is something your family would like to trial – now is the perfect opportunity. All registrations are processed through the TheirCare website: https://theircare.com.au/
Please note, parents picking children up from after school care are permitted on-site after 4.00pm, but are asked to limit their contact with high contact surfaces. We will endeavour to have doors open.
With the disruption to classroom learning and teaching occurring, it has been recognised that assessment and moderation of results will be problematic. A joint decision by Catholic schools across the diocese is that an abbreviated written report will be provided to families.
For St Pius X students this will mean a detailed Learning Conversation agenda that focuses on English, Mathematics and Religious Education. Attention will also be paid to the curriculum concerning Personal and Social Capability.
Parents will be offered the opportunity to engage in a Learning Conversation via video conference and will register for this as normal.
Routine and Wellbeing
We are aware that while most remote learning students have practised good routines at home, this has been more difficult for others. We ask families to maintain standard sleeping and waking times to enable a smoother transition to on-site learning.
The return to school will be difficult for a number of our students. For some this difficulty will be simply around fitting back in with a shared timetable. For others the difficulties may be more pronounced and create higher levels of anxiety. Please be assured that all teaching staff are pre-thinking these challenges and have prioritised wellbeing learning as a key feature for the rest of this term.
I also encourage parents to read the article by clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller posted on the school app. It offers advice to families around the return to school.
A small number of staff may be required to continue isolation or limit their hours. It is likely that Ms Jane O’Donnell (SP2) will be required to isolate even when the students from the senior pod return. Ms Nat Ryan will cover SP2 in Jane’s absence.
I take this opportunity to again thank our whole community for everything that has been done to continue the work of our school in the past six weeks of Term 2. The effort by everyone has been greatly appreciated. While we are still largely separated, the cooperation and collaboration has been enormous. The remainder of this term still requires this partnership to continue as the regulations and expectations evolve.