Update from the Principal to all Families

Dear Parents

Welcome back to Term 4. Our first week of remote learning is almost over and I am sure most of you, including us, can’t wait.

We are so looking forward to seeing all of our Active Learners smiling faces back in the classrooms and settling them back into the routine of school. As students return to face-to-face learning, we will focus on supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing and give priority to identifying students who will need assistance catching up. It is important that schools have some increased flexibility in relation to curriculum provision in Term 4. In order to focus on the priorities of supporting students who need additional support to catch up, continuing to extend and stretch those students who have thrived and enabling students to make successful transitions, the usual requirements related to substantial attention to all eight key learning areas remain suspended for Term 4. This enables flexibility for schools to effectively support students to catch up on learning they may have missed in the key areas of Literacy and Numeracy. We have made changes to our school timetable and have added support staff and non-interrupted block out times for Literacy in the mornming. It is important that children arrive on time each day so as not to miss the key learning concepts being taught. Our key priorities are Literacy, Numeracy, Health & Wellbeing and Engagement.

All students in year levels returning to on-site schooling are expected to attend school. Exceptions may exist for medically vulnerable students. It is recommended that parents/carers of students with complex medical needs seek advice from the student’s medical practitioner to support decision-making about whether on-site education is suitable.
We understand that some parents may be hesitant in sending their children back.  Kingsley Park is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for our students and staff. We ask for the whole school community to follow our guidelines to enable us to provide the safest possible environment during this time. We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Victoria. Please discuss this with your child and remind them of looking after themselves and practicing good hygiene strategies at all times. As students enter classrooms they are expected to use hand sanitiser, please remind them of the reasons we do this. If you are concerned about them sharing school hand sanitiser, your children can bring their own (please make sure it is named) for keeping in their pocket for use throughout the day but each classroom has one at their door entry. We also have antibacterial soap in all rooms for regular washing of hands, particularly before eating.
We encourage students to maintain distance between them and not 'hang off' each other as they sometimes do. Students are not to share food or devices. Parents are asked to ensure students are cleaning their devices daily at home. School devices are cleaned daily upon returning them to charge at the end of the day. Staff and students are reminded to clean their personal devices including mobile phones regularly. Our  Mobile Phone Policy remains in place so students will not be handling their mobile phones during the school day.

The most important actions school communities can take to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), is to ensure that any unwell staff and children remain at home and regular hygiene practices are ensured. While community transmission is low, we are not required to check temperatures daily. It is important that any staff member or student who becomes unwell while at school be isolated from contacts and return home immediately. Staff and students presenting during the day as unwell will have their temperature tested by a non-contact infrared thermometer. 

We have increased cleaning onsite daily with regular surface areas cleaned frequently. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Education and Training (DET) have strategies in place to ensure any potential outbreaks in schools can be quickly controlled. Any school attended by a student or staff member while infectious will be closed. Deep cleaning, contact tracing, and a review by DHHS staff will occur before the school is reopened.
If your child is feeling unwell at all, please ensure you do not send them to school. If anyone in the home is unwell, as a precaution, it is best to keep children home. Strict hygiene expectations are in place for teachers to follow in classrooms daily, whole school events are limited as are mixed class groupings and gatherings in large numbers. Our cleaning levels have increased greatly and we have a cleaner here all day who cleans door handles and surface touch areas regularly, including toilets.  Windows will be open for increased ventilation and doors kept open for less touch by students and staff. Teachers will utilise outside spaces when they can. Large gatherings in confined spaces will not be held. Assemblies will continue to be online for all to view and accessible from home for parents. Social distancing requirements are not mandated at student level however, are encouraged. In a regular classroom, Middle and Senior students will sit two per table spread out in the classrooms.

Staff and all adults must social distance and wear face masks outside of the classroom. Parents must wear them when outside the school gate waiting for student collection and must social distance. Students are able to wear masks if they choose and we do have some students choosing to do this, some need to without choice as they are more vulnerable than others. Please discuss with your child that students have the right to wear face masks without being questioned.
Students will be allowed on play equipment but must sanitise their hands upon re-entering classrooms at any time. Staff on duty will have hand sanitiser for student use outside during recess breaks.

Students must bring a water bottle to drink from. Use of drink taps at school is strongly discouraged. This means students must remember to bring their named drink bottles to school, these can be topped up in classrooms through the day as needed.

Student start time: Parents are asked to drop students off quickly each morning between 8.30 and 8.45am. Learning time begins at 8.45am so students need to be in class by this time. Drop off needs to be quick. We have limited congestion at this time so we are not staggering morning drop-offs. Please be patient when dropping students off in the ‘kiss-and-go’ zone and DO NOT do U-Turns out the front of the school, please use the roundabout for the safety of all.  Students enter school best when coming in with friends rather than late and on their own. They get caught up in the re-engagement with others as they walk through the gate and happily trot off to class. Coming in on their own makes coming in more daunting. To enter the gate alone and enter the classroom alone causes increased anxiety for many so please ensure they are here on time, not to mention missing key learning time. Our staff are on duty between 8.30am and 8.45am to assist with student entry to class.

Finish times will be staggered. Again we will have two collection sides of the school and two finish times. All parents are asked to complete the form for end of the day exiting arrangements at https://forms.gle/KUxdnyWLNw6JJ7LEA
The form asks parents to decide whether they will collect their child/ren from Franciscan Avenue or Gattinara Drive. This must remain constant so that children do not get confused. Parents will also have choice of collection time, for non-working parents we suggest 3.05pm and for those working or for students walking home our regular finish time of 3.15pm. Students walking home cannot finish before 3.15pm. Students finishing at 3.05pm will be walked to the gate by staff to meet parents.

Parents must have face masks on and are asked to spread out along the fence line so children can easily locate you.
Parents must NOT congregate outside the fence, they must maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres. Prep students without older siblings exiting from Franciscan Avenue will be the only ones to use Gate 2. All Prep students leaving the school on this side will leave via Gate 2 so we can easily locate our Prep parents. Those with older siblings will have a meeting place for exiting as a family group. Parents cannot enter the school gate, this of course also includes the staff car park. The car park gates will be closed each morning and afternoon for the safety of students. Parents must remain off-site at all times, if you require something from the office or are collecting your child early, please park out the front and call the office for assistance.

We had hoped to begin to have external specialists (Occupational Therapists, Speech and Psychologists) onsite as needed from Week 3 however, advice from the DET today has pushed this back. If your child has an external specialist funded through NDIS, please advise them to contact us.

We do have some fun activities planned this term for students (listen out at assembly on Friday – 12.30pm via our website) however, sadly our parents will not be able to come on-site to assist or be part of the fun.
If you have any queries or questions at all, please do ask  as we are all here to work together and assist each other with a safe return to our last term of school for the year. Our students and families have done this before and can do it again.
Be brave, wish them a great day and wave them off with a smile.
Be quick, don’t procrastinate – it only makes the situation worse for the children.

On Monday, notices will be sent home with students including our new canteen menu and Footy Pie and Dress Up Day forms. (Go Tiges!)

We look forward to Monday, enjoy the last week of remote learning with your child and be happy to hand them back over to our safe hands.
Kind regards

Gill Gray    & Matt Brand
Principal       Assistant Principal