Transitioning back to on-site schooling

Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has advised that schools can begin a phased return to on-site schooling. The return to school will take place in two stages, and key dates and information are listed below. This will give the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Government time to monitor and evaluate the effects that the staged return to school has on the increased movement of people and transmission within the community.

We understand that the transition back to school, although very welcome, might be challenging for your child(ren) and will have raised a great number of questions. We hope that all the information you need to feel prepared and comfortable with the return to regular schooling is contained in this handbook, however we invite you to contact the school if you have any further questions not addressed in the sections below.

Plan for Return to Face-to-Face Learning at P-4 Campus

PLEASE NOTE: Once a year level has returned, these students will be expected to attend school as normal. This means if you choose to keep your child/children home after their year level has returned to on-site schooling, we can no longer support their learning from home and it will become the responsibility of the parents to plan a remote curriculum program.  This same approach is being taken by all government schools in Victoria, however this does not apply to children who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. For those families, please contact us so we can make an appropriate plan.

Pick up and Drop Off 

  • Parents are asked to use the drive through Woods Road Kiss & Drop Zone where possible for dropping off students in the morning and picking them up at end of day – this helps us meet social distancing guidelines for adults and the department requirements to restrict the number of adults on the school site.
  • Pick up and drop off from cars preferred, with parents asked to remain in their vehicle if possible or not more than 1.5m from the vehicle.
  • Children who walk to and from school with an adult can be escorted to the entrance gates, and then directed to enter the school or meet staff on duty by themselves. If Gilmore Street has to be crossed, it is essential that the school crossing is used to ensure student safety.
  • Please do not drop students off earlier than 8.30am. Staff will be present from 8:30am at both the Kiss and Drop and the front entrance gate, wearing yellow vests. They will greet and support students on arrival, walking them to class as needed.
  • If further support is needed in the morning, parents are welcome to call the front office and a staff member can be arranged to come and meet you and your child if there is significant separation anxiety or negative emotions.
  • Afternoon pick up arrangements as per morning drop off – please use the Kiss and Drop Zone as above.
  • Staggered pick up times will apply – please see next section for details
  • Families unable to use the Kiss & Drop are asked to make sure their child(ren) know where to go when dismissed at the end of the day so teachers can make arrangements to escort children to correct areas as required.
  • Buses will run as normal and bus travellers will follow normal procedure.
  • Students who walk or ride bikes home to follow normal procedure, depart school with younger siblings if this applies or when own year level dismissed.

Staggered Pick Up Times at end of day: 

  • Prep students will finish at 3pm and will be walked by class teachers to the Kiss & Drop Zone to meet parents. Any students who are to be collected at the front of school will be escorted there by a staff member, and bus travellers will be supervised until 3:15 and also escorted to the bus zone by a staff member. Older siblings of Prep students will also be dismissed at 3pm so family groups can meet and be collected at the one time.
  • Year 1 students will finish at 3:10 and the same procedures for dismissal and pickup as listed for Prep students will apply. Older siblings will also be dismissed at this time.
  • All remaining Year 2 students (who have not left early with siblings) will finish at 3:15pm, following the same process – escorted to Kiss & Drop zone unless leaving via Gilmore Street or reporting to the bus zone.
  • Teachers have identified students with younger siblings and will coordinate to ensure students from the same family are ready for collection at the earliest time.
  • If there are any special arrangements or changes to how your child will be collected/going home in the afternoon please contact the office or email your child’s teacher in advance so we can coordinate.
  • Arrangements for pick up times once Year 3 & 4 students resume will be communicated to parents prior to Week 9.

Bus Travel Arrangements: 

  • Adults and children should practise physical distancing at bus stops.
  • Students should practise hand hygiene before and after catching school transport (i.e. prior to leaving home and at the end of the school day).
  • Disinfectant sprays are provided for students and applied to hands on boarding the bus.
  • Transport for approved purposes (eg School buses for students) are exempt from capping of numbers.
  • Although social distancing measures need not be adhered to if not possible, bus drivers will encourage students to spread out and/or only sit with siblings where possible.
  • To support distancing for adult bus drivers the seats directly behind the driver should be kept clear.
  • All bus routes continue to operate according to schedules, but actual run times may be a little shorter until traveller numbers are back to normal.
  • Parents and carers particularly of students with complex medical needs should consider all transport to school options and may elect to use private transport.

Adults on Site: 

The Department of Education & Training advice is to minimise parents and non – essential visitors onsite.

  • Restrictions apply around access to the school site for anyone other than immediate school staff and students.
  • Parents and other visitors only permitted on site if it’s essential and pre-approved via prior arrangement or a phone conversation with office staff.
  • Parents are encouraged to phone the school office to organise to speak with teachers or make arrangements to enter the school if required.
  • Parents are encouraged to continue use of email communication with teachers as required.

Managing Illness / Unwell students:

  • Staff and students must not attend school if unwell and/or demonstrating symptoms of illness.
  • If students are unwell they will need to stay at home and it is recommended that they are tested for the Coronavirus. Students cannot return to school while symptoms are still present.
  • If a student presents as unwell, parents will be contacted to pick their child up from school.

School Operations: 

  • Canteen will NOT recommence operation until Tuesday 9th June – please ensure your child brings their lunch, fruit break and suitable snacks for the day, as lunch orders/purchases will not be available until this date.
  • P-4 Newsletter will continue to be shared digitally via Compass notification and email. Hard copies can be provided if required by contacting the office and making a request.
  • Borrowing through the P-4 Library will be made available to P-2 students from Week 8 (beginning 1st June) and all Library books are asked to be returned in Week 7 (from 26th May) where possible.
  • Returned books will be kept separate for 2-3 days before being returned to shelves.
  • Out of School Hours Care program will resume on Tuesday 26th
  • Monday Play Group will not operate this term, and unlikely to resume until restrictions are lifted.
  • An alternative timetable will apply in weeks 7 & 8, as specialists will be managing a combination of on-site and remote learning classes. Please see attached schedule and share with your child(ren). 

Health & Safety Measures in place:

While the Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice. We also recognise that parents and children may by anxious and extra precautions will be put in place where possible.

  • Extra cleaning of high use/high touch areas will occur for the rest of Term 2 and into Term 3.
  • Playgrounds will be cleaned throughout the day with disinfectant.
  • Students and staff will be reminded to regularly wash hands in the correct way.
  • Recommended hand sanitiser will be located in all classrooms and at entry points to buildings, with students and staff expected to apply when entering and leaving classrooms and school buildings.
  • Teachers will as much as possible make sure students use their own pencils/learning materials/work spaces.
  • Hospital grade disinfectant and wipes will be available for any shared equipment that is required (eg. Devices, instruments, sports equipment. Students will also hand wash and/or sanitise before and after use of shared equipment).
  • Students are not to share food/drinks/snacks nor share toys/materials brought from home.
  • All bubblers/drink fountains will not be available for use – students will need to bring along a drink bottle and we will provide safe refilling taps.
  • Break times and staff supervision will run as normal, however each year level will initially be allocated a particular playground and play areas to minimise mixing across cohorts.
  • Staff will practice social distancing rules – 1.5 metres between each other and 1 adult per 4 square metres.
  • Assemblies and other large gatherings of students will not occur until further notice.

Arrangements for Home Readers:

Although not required or mandated, our campus will be putting clear procedures in place around readers being taken home and the process for returning them. We would like to safe guard everyone at our college and minimise any risk to staff and students whilst ensuring we can get hard cover books back into the hands of our learners so we have developed the following procedures.

  1. Students to return any Home Reader books into relevant Take Home Reader boxes located in their classroom in the first week back (May 26th – 29th).
  2. All books will remain untouched in book boxes until Monday 1st June, when students will resume selecting books to take home for the week. Transition back to normal schooling will be tiring, so no home reading is required in the first week back. We hope to both support students ease back into traditional routines as well as provide a precautionary period of time before books are touched again.
  3. New Take Home Readers / Independent readers will be distributed to or selected by students on the Monday of each week this term, and must be returned on the Friday so they remain untouched over the weekend period.

Although a return to home reading routines is important, we appreciate your understanding in following these precautionary procedures for the remainder of this term. Similarly, many families like to continue home reading routines over the weekend, however we would encourage you to continue accessing reading materials from your home or using online programs – Reading Eggs, Epic, Storybox etc.

Specialist Class Schedule for P-2 – Weeks 7 & 8

Normal Specialist Timetable for Semester 1 will resume in Week 9