A very warm welcome back to Term 2 even if it is virtually at this stage! We especially welcome back to St Bede’s, Breen Fox after a term’s long service leave. She is wondering why she returned with all that is going on here back in Canberra, but I know she thoroughly enjoyed precious time away with family. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday break, even if we were in lockdown. I certainly made the most of the warmer weather and did plenty of walking. It was lovely to catch up with most of you last week when hard copy packs were collected for the beginning of the term.
Thank you to everyone who has responded to the Google survey sent last week concerning students and return to school plans. This is essential for us to organise supervision with the directive for staggered starts to also apply to staff. We have had seventy respondents so far which is an excellent response. Please complete the survey as soon as possible if you still need to send us your information.
Following decisions made by Catholic Education as well as liaisons with government authorities, all systemic Catholic schools in the ACT will formally transition students to return to onsite learning from Monday October 25 (Term 4 Week 4) for Years K, 1, 2 & 6. Full attendance by all students will occur from Monday November 1 (Term 4 Week 5) with the return of Years 3, 4 & 5. To cater for our multi-age classes, teachers will continue using the remote learning model in Years 5 & 6 so that the students feel connected. If parents have health concerns regarding their child returning to school, please contact me directly on email@example.com YWCA have already resumed before and after school care services for children of essential workers and bookings are now available for students returning from the 25 October.
Whilst I realise that there is a large amount of information in the following paragraphs, the safe return to school involves highlighting a number of issues that we have spent time on addressing so that everyone can stay healthy. Please ensure that you thoroughly discuss the measures outlined below with your child/ren. We aim to establish, where reasonably possible, best practice in relation to health and hygiene during school hours.
STAYING HOME WHEN SICK
SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASK WEARING
ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANING AND VENTILATION
Vaccinations will not be administered at school. Families will need to organise the receiving of injections through their GP or vaccination hubs across Canberra. We are in the lucky position that the ACT has high vaccine rates as the students return to school.
On a more positive note, the renovations in the junior classrooms and corridor are now complete and ready for the teachers to move back in. The classrooms look lovely and bright with new colours and carpet. The drainage issue outside both the senior and junior wing has also been rectified and with all the recent rain, it works beautifully. The new Autex pinboards have also been installed in the corridors as well as new locks on outside doors that were broken or not sealing properly. A very profitable and great use of time while the students have been at home.
To conclude, I want to personally thank you for your ongoing support of our school. It is important to remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is by no means over. It is essential that everyone is fully committed to ensuring that they are practising the protocols outlined above, so that the return of students to school can be undertaken as safely as possible for all those involved. We promise to be vigilant and try to normalise the new ways of practising healthy and safe personal hygiene methods. All instructions and guidelines are designed to keep students, their teachers and the broader community free from COVID-19, as they continue to undertake their education and maximise their learning opportunities.
The transition back to school is going to be another time of readjustment. We need to do this slowly and calmly so that the children can re-settle quickly back into school routine. This routine and some semblance of normality is key as we return and complete the year. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or questions.
Have a lovely weekend. Enjoy being out of lockdown.