COVID Update –
We are continuing to have a number of Covid cases within our school community and thank those families who diligently report cases to our school, enabling ACT Health to identify classrooms within which transmission is high. As well as our school’s measures surrounding cohorting, hygiene practices and ventilation, what really supports our community is when families keep their children at home when unwell. School is not a comfortable place for students who are ill, and regardless of whether their symptoms are synonymous with COVID or not, I would ask for their wellbeing that you do not send them to school when unwell.
Some families will notice that we have had teachers away at certain times resulting in some relief teachers and the splitting/combining of classes. When we split classes we try and ensure classes are divided into another class within their cohort. This ensures that students can continue with a similar program and their learning is disrupted as little as possible. We ask that you please be understanding the challenge that covid in particular can bring to our staffing profile, particularly with current seven day isolation requirements for household contacts and those that test positive to covid.
We again had an alarm triggered in one of our buildings yesterday leading to an evacuation of all students and staff. Thankfully this was another false alarm with no course of concern for the safety of our community. Our students evacuated quickly and safely to the oval upon the sounding of the alarm. We of course will share with students that this was a false alarm, but also stress how important it is for them to act quickly and safely should another alarm sound. A school evacuation can coincide with plans of families to pick students up early for appointments and such. In this instance we respectfully ask for your assistance in waiting outside the front office until we receive the all clear from emergency services. Once this is given, students quickly return to their learning spaces and we will then send students to the front office for pick-up as required. We will not be in a position to interrupt the evacuation to release students to families before this all clear.
Dance Workshop –
We have sent out information surrounding a dance workshops which our year 3-6 classes will participate in next week. This is an opt out activity, so if you do not want your child involved in this, please respond to the email sent out on Tuesday as soon as possible. The workshops will be provided by Passion and Purpose, a multicultural dance school that provides hip hop classes and cultural dance for primary and high school aged students. I know a number of our students already participate in external classes run by this group and am delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to our students.
We are continuing to notice some of our families park illegally at school drop off and pick up time and have received complaints from parents within our school community and nearby residents. In response to these continuing issues, the school in conjunction with our P and C will be meeting with the director of the school safety section of Transport for Canberra, Andrew Crichton, to consider options for this ongoing problem. Andrew is meeting with myself and two members of our P and C next Tuesday to look at the issues in person. He will then join a P and C meeting in the near future to have a discussion regarding our management plan and whether this needs any updates in light of his visit next Tuesday.
Students attending OSHC –
After consultation with Communities at Work we will now be letting students from Years 3-6 leave from the school hall in the morning and make their own way up to their learning areas. At the end of the day, we will also let students make their way to the service. I have reminded students through a video message the importance of attending after school care if they are in any doubt as to whether they are meant to attend the service or make their way home. Communities at Work staff will be in a position to advise them through their bookings information. I would appreciate families reiterating this message to their children.
I will be in a position in our next newsletter to announce some changes to our school executive team for term 2 until the remainder of the year. We will be having a couple of new faces joining our team and will unfortunately be saying goodbye to a few of our current school leaders. I look forward to sharing this news with you soon.
Term One Road Map –
Principals were advised of some changes to restrictions at school level today during an information teleconference. I will share these in more detail next week. Unfortunately we are not yet in a position where we can invite parents back on to the site without having a pre-booked appointment. I am hopeful that this situation will be relaxed in the near future, allowing us to resume welcoming parents to school events including assemblies.
Book of the Week –
At my previous school I often shared books that struck a chord with me as a young boy or those that I enjoy reading to my daughter. Once such book is Swallows and Amazons by English author, Arthur Ransome. The story centres around the holiday adventures of four siblings and their boat, The Swallow within the England’s picturesque Lake District. Full of adventure and excitement the story is an excellent read for students in our upper primary years. It is the first book of a series featuring these siblings and friends. There is also a recent movie of the same name which loosely follows the first book. In my opinion whilst being good, it by no means equals the excellence of the written work which is quite often the case when books are turned into movies.