Returning after Home Learning
This week and next, we will focus on our Back to School transition program. It’s important to us that we cover all aspects of what this involves.
HEAD: Logistics – the what, when and how
HEART: Feelings – how we can best support our children
HEALTH: Safety – how we are planning to best protect us all
For most students, it has been around 60 days of Home Learning – either 13 or 14 weeks. This is a significant change in a routine they are used to, and it makes sense that everyone is having feelings about the conclusion of Home Learning and return to school.
Parents, you have done a fantastic job supporting your children through this challenging time and we know you’ll continue to help ease them back to school in a sensitive, smooth way so everyone can return to the very best approach to learning.
Mrs Outred talks about some changes when we return:
What uniform should I wear? We will return in summer uniform. There will be a focus on opening windows and doors to help ventilation, so please ensure your child has a jacket on cooler days. Please also make sure their jacket is labelled. Sports day for the whole school is on Friday. There is a second sports day specific to your student’s class – if you’ve forgotten when that is, your teacher can let you know.
Please note: We are in the process of changing the school uniform and will update you shortly as to what that involves. We recommend you hold off purchasing new items for a couple of weeks if you can do so.
What days are canteen? Canteen will not be able to be open for the remainder of Term. Please ensure your child brings their own packed lunch.
What events are up next? At this stage, planned events such as sports carnivals and the school musical have been cancelled. We will update you when and if anything is added to the calendar.
Drop offs and Pick ups: We strongly encourage you to do pick up and drop off where you stay in your car. Your student will meet you at your car (guided by a teacher) in the relevant spots on Lagoon Street.
If you have students solely in years K-2 (so no older grades), you can collect your student/s from 2:50pm to help minimise congestion.
If you need to collect your child at the gates, please line up to the left side of the gates on Lagoon Street. Please line up in single file, down towards the Church. Your child will be brought out to you by a teacher.
Coming back to school after more than a term at home will be an adjustment for everyone – and some students may find it trickier than others.
Sonia David, our School Counsellor (and Registered Psychologist) shares this important advice on how to ease students back into life at school again.You can read it here – and we highly recommend doing so.
Our Head of Learning Support teacher Mrs Jade Browett has created a ‘social story’ which you can read to your child. “The aim is to help your child visualise what school may be like when they return, remind them of elements they enjoyed before and touch gently on things that may be a little different. It will also open up channels of conversation for your child to ask anything that may be worrying them.” You can read the story here.
Maggie Dent, parenting expert, is holding a webinar called Practical Parenting in a Pandemic and CSBB is offering parents the chance to access it for free. See this flyer for more details.
Vaccination: At St Joseph’s, all teachers and support staff have been double vaccinated.
Hygiene: Our school hygienist Maeve will be on site every school day to continue to constantly clean surfaces.
We encourage children regularly to wash their hands, and use hand sanitiser after each break.
We remind students regularly to cough appropriately.
Our health policy remains in place – please keep your child at home if he or she is unwell.
Staff and students who suspect they may have COVID-19 must not return to school or work until they return a negative COVID-19 result and are symptom-free. Schools must sight the negative COVID-19 test result.
Masks: Our teachers will be wearing masks, which may occasionally be removed in suitable and approved settings to ensure students can hear. The aim is always to protect staff and student safety. Students are not mandated to wear masks, but it is recommended.
Visitors on site: We will have extremely limited visitors on school grounds.
Dr Nick Coatsworth discusses COVID in schools and children’s resistance levels, at the Catholic Schools NSW 2021 Virtual Education Law Symposium. He breaks down risk and transmission in an easy, informative and practical way. You can watch here.