Leaders News – COVID-19 Update #15

Dear Parents / Caregivers

Firstly, we take this opportunity to wish you all a very safe and happy holiday / Easter break. It will be a time to stay home, relax and enjoy the company of those closest to you – and of course, practise social distancing measures.

The last two days at school (without students) have been most fruitful with our staff embracing the challenge of what lies ahead for Term 2 and possibly beyond. We are very united in our approach in constructing a remote learning program for students – whether they be attending school or staying at home.

We are very proud of our teaching and support staff, who at the end of term, are still working tirelessly through their morning and lunch breaks (and after-hours). They want to do their best for your children. We would especially like to publicly acknowledge them for their work and efforts throughout these challenging times. 

The first week of Term 2 will be about adjusting to a new mode of learning. Our initial focus will be on social connectedness, wellbeing and developing routines. More details will be provided prior to the start of the new term. With this being new learning for all of us – your ongoing support, patience and understanding will be greatly appreciated. 

A key question for us this week has been, ‘How do we go about managing a new mode of learning that is the same for students at school and those at home – in a way that is both meaningful and manageable?’ This being the case, we realise that we will need to be adaptable and be flexible to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and be responsive to everyone’s needs. School, teaching and learning, as we have previously known it, will be very different.

One of the key challenges will be access to devices and the internet. We are conscious that this may present some issues for families, especially with internet bandwidth. With so many families choosing to have their child/ren learn at home, we are making available school iPads (on loan) for home learning purposes. Requests for devices (pending availability) can be made through the Parent Survey / Home Technology Questionnaire. More information will be available soon, however please note, parents who accept this offer will be asked to sign a loan contract (with a commitment to pay or repair, should the device get damaged, lost or stolen). We share this information now, to prevent any families feeling the need to go and purchase equipment for home learning.

Another challenge will be in relation to parent support / supervision of learning at home. We are very mindful of the potential and ongoing demands of parents supporting their child/ren at home, especially families of younger children. This is front and centre in our planning. We will be providing information to families to support the home learning experience.

Our planning and preparation for Term 2 continues over the next two days and into the holiday period. We want to make it clear that our new mode of learning (home and school) will have some teething problems. Similarly, we know that families will also be adjusting to the home / school learning experience. Our aim is to establish routines and structures that enable students to develop greater independence for their learning and support for families.

We will be providing further information prior to the start of Term 2 re:

  • the collection of any student items from school for home learning
  • arrangements for the collection of school iPads – including loan contract
  • teaching and learning programs

If not already done so, please complete the Term 2 Learning Program Survey and Home Technology Questionnaire. 

With thanks and regards, Paul, Rob and Nicky.