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WELCOME BACK AND THANK YOU

I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone as we return to Term 2, whether you are in attendance at school or continuing to work from home. It was certainly a very unusual end to Term 1 and Easter Break. Our usual end of term events that would have consisted of the Easter Hat Parade, Harmony Day, Faction and Interschool Swimming Carnivals and the ANZAC Ceremony were not held and instead we discovered a new mode of education where students worked from home and teachers made contact via online platforms as we navigated a brave new world. I hope many of you enjoyed the forced sanction of spending time at home with your immediate families and indeed took the time to be part of the Driveway at Dawn on ANZAC Day to pay your respects.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the staff for all of the hard work in preparing for students working at home and setting up a range of activities to remain connected. I think everyone can agree that the staff went above and beyond. Secondly, I would like to thank the entire parent community for their understanding and support of the situation and the generous flow of morning teas, coffee vans and other gifts as an expression of gratitude. We were completely overwhelmed by the support of the community.

Moving into Term 2, it is still a little unknown as to what school is going to look like in the foreseeable future. Today we welcomed back many students and again, the way students were dropped off and the respect for the sanctions required was gratefully received. (As I write this piece for the newsletter, we have not yet had our first pick-up so let’s hope it’s not carnage out there this afternoon). It is difficult to ask parents not to enter the school grounds, but our advice suggests that this is a strategy to reduce the risk for the entire school community. If your child is arriving to school late (after 8:50am) or needs to be collected early, we ask that parents call the office to organise a meeting location. In addition, we also remind parents to notify the school via phone or Connect if your child is staying home/not participating in online learning due to illness.

At this point, we will continue to not have extracurricular activities such as Choir, excursions, and carnivals, but as the sanctions are hopefully lifted in the coming weeks we may see a return of some of these. We will endeavour to hold virtual assemblies starting Week 3 and make this available if possible. The Canteen will open for online orders only from Friday 8 May and the P&C is looking into a modified version for the Mother’s Day stall.

One thing that is going to be essential as we head into winter, is that if children (and staff) have even the slightest sniffle or cold, that they do not come to school. We will need to make sure we do everything possible to reduce the risk of spreading any germs and bacteria. We have commenced extra cleaning throughout the day to ensure commonly used surfaces are cleaned and sanitised and will continue this as long as needed. I am confident that we are doing all we can to maintain a safe environment for everyone.

For the initial 3 weeks of term, staff will work on the planning done at the end of last term and utilise the work packs that were sent home. Students working from home, can expect to be contacted by staff throughout the week and can email, or call for any support and teachers will get back to them. Students at school, need to have their packs here. As stated in the Term 2 Plan yesterday, the Office will remain closed in the short term. All enquiries should be directed via phone or email. The plan for dropping off and collecting children from school was also outlined in this plan.

Hopefully as a State and Country, we can continue to improve and as the term progresses we will see more and more sanctions lifted so we can get back to a fully functioning school model soon. No doubt many of you are wanting to get back into your own sports and leisure activities also, and like me, cannot wait for the Footy to be back.

As always, take care and do not hesitate to contact us at school if you have any questions or concerns.

Matthew Snell

 

 

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Gooseberry Hill Primary School

An Independent Public School