Principal News: Update

I am writing to you today to update you on what the past couple of weeks have looked like for us as a school. As you will be aware, a lot has happened in that time across the globe. But for the most part, it has been “business as usual” for us with teaching and learning as our primary focus.

However, in addition to this, over the past couple of weeks we have been working on developing a school Response Plan to the COVID-19 crisis, and following the directions of the Department of Education and Department of Health. Some actions we have taken have been:

  • Strict cleanliness and personal hygiene measurements have been upgraded across all sites ensuring supplies of soap, hand sanitiser, paper towels and additional cleaning
  • Reduction of shared experiences that pose risk of contamination eg. sharing of fruit platters, playdough etc
  • Focused explicit teaching on washing hands
  • Cancelling all non-essential school events. Some of these have included the following:
    • Assemblies
    • Anzac Ceremony
    • Support from volunteers
    • Pre-service Occupational Therapy Students (Term 2)
    • Board and P&C meetings
    • Larger meetings
    • School photos (Willagee site) – postponed to Term 4
    • Swimming in Term 2
    • Pre-service Occupational Therapy Students (Term 2)

Other events for Term 2 are under review at the moment and more details will follow as we get more direction.

Thank you

Firstly, I would like to thank all the staff at our school for the dedication, care and commitment to ensuring the continued focus on teaching and learning in a time that is extremely challenging to them. While they are concerned for their own health and that of their families, they continue to ensure they keep things as normal as possible so that there is minimal impact on student health and wellbeing.

I would also like to thank you, as parents and carers, for the support you have given the school so far throughout the last few weeks. And thank you for ensuring your child stays at home if they are unwell. If you are choosing to keep your child at home due to concerns about COVID-19, please ensure you let us know as this will be recorded as a “reasonable absence”.  Otherwise, it will be recorded as unauthorised. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Home Learning Packages and Distance Learning Resources

We are in very uncertain times at the moment, but our priority to ensure continuity for learning remains. However, this will look very different to what we are used to. Schools all over the country are now preparing for the possibility of schools needing to close, but despite this, teaching and learning will continue. As some of you may already be aware, teachers have been working on developing a home learning package. This is work for approximately 3 weeks for students to complete at home, targeting the areas of language, literacy and numeracy specific to the learning goals of your child. Teachers will give you this pack when it is completed. Please let your child’s teacher know if you are not returning to school this term and we will make arrangements to get this pack to you.  It is likely that we will be having some pupil free days this term. This will give the schools the opportunity to work together to develop a more sustainable learning program should the school doors close. However, the message is that learning will still be open.

The Department of Education has also been working to provide online access to resources and advice for parents, carers, students and educators.  This will be through the Learning at home website.  The website is now available and resources will continue to be added over the coming weeks. It also includes a wide range of resources and information related to the impact of COVID-19 on students’ health and wellbeing and the impact on families.  Please have a look through this great resource and let your child’s teacher know if you have any questions or need support.

As we move to preparing for possible distance education, I would urge all parents to download SeeSaw as this will be used as the primary means of communication for learning as we move forward. This can be used on a phone, iPad or computer and there is no cost to families. Please speak to your child’s teacher if you are unsure of what to do. It is an amazing resource that I know you will find extremely valuable over the next few months.

BYO water bottles

As per advice received from the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC), it is advised that students bring their own individual water bottles that can be filled from the water fountain as necessary. This will reduce the need for students to drink directly from the fountains. Thank you.

Social Distancing

As you can imagine, social distancing at school is almost impossible. However, in an effort to support this as much as possible in minimising the numbers of people at our school, we ask that, if you are dropping your child off at school, that you leave them at the classroom door if at all possible. I realise this will be very unnatural, but it is a small change we can make that can minimise health risks. I thank you sincerely for your support in this.

IEP Review Meetings

Despite all our COVID-19 management and planning, school life continues. Currently we are in the process of having our school Individual Education Plan (IEP) Review meetings that involve teachers, speech pathologists and deputy principal/principal. This is where we meet to review each child’s IEPs and discuss each child in relation to strengths, challenges, concerns and possible actions required. When these are completed, your child’s teacher will be in touch with you to discuss your child’s IEP. This is likely to be over the phone, based on the current COVID-19 guidelines we are following.  Please take up this opportunity as it will be very helpful as we work together over the next couple of months in a different learning space.

Thank you again for all your support. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or administration if you have any questions or concerns. I will continue to update you as we receive more information and guidelines over the next couple of weeks.

Kind regards

Vivienne Doig
Principal

Principal News: COVID-19 Update

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

While the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve, the Department of Education sector has established plans and a team to support principals and schools. Please rest assures that we are putting detailed protocols in place and are following the directives of our Department of Education. It is important that as a school community we apply common sense, factual information and a practical approach to COVID–19.

If a WA school has to close due to a confirmed case, it will be on advice from the WA Health Department’s Chief Health Officer. The Chief Health Officer will, if there has been a positive COVID-19 test result in our school, close our school temporarily while assessment and tracing of exposure is conducted. A thorough school clean will then be carried out to make the school safe for the return of students and staff.

In this situation the principal will receive direct advice and support regarding the closure process and communication materials from the Department of Education’s Coronavirus support team.

Upon the school being notified, all families will be immediately contacted and provided with the relevant information. This contact may be during the school day, or before or after school. It is therefore important that we have up-to-date contact details for your children, please notify the front office if these have changed.

While it is acknowledged that this may be a stressful time for the community, parents are reminded that schools open and close all of the time and that the reason for any school closure will be to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

School Events

In response to the Australian Government’s announcement regarding non-essential mass gatherings, the school has made the following decisions regarding events at the school:

Assemblies, excursions and incursions at all sites will be cancelled until further notice.

ANZAC service will be cancelled.

Harmony Day breakfast at Willagee has been cancelled (19th March), however students may still dress in traditional dress or the colour orange on this day.

Recess and lunch times across our 3 sites have been modified to minimise the number of students in particular areas at the one time.

How to minimise the spread of COVID-19:

  • Frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or using an alcohol based hand gel
  • Refraining from touching mouth and nose
  • If coughing or sneezing, covering your nose and mouth with a paper tissue or flexed elbow
  • Dispose of the tissue immediately after use and perform hand hygiene
  • Avoiding close contact with anyone if you, or they, have a cold or flu-like symptoms (maintain a distance of at least 1 metre).

Who cannot attend school – advice as at 16 March 2020

The Prime Minister has introduced measures placed on international arrivals into Australia. This means a mandatory 14-day self-isolation requirement will be placed on all international arrivals into Australia. Students who have been tested for COVID-19 should follow the advice of the WA Department of Health and stay away from school whilst awaiting results.

Students also need to self-quarantine if they have been informed by public health authorities that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. They must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case.

COVID-19 symptoms

People with COVID-19 may experience:

  • fever;
  • flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue; or
  • shortness of breath.

For the latest health information and health related enquiries please visit WA Department of Health or access the helpline 1800 020 080.

COVID-19 testing

The WA Chief Health Officer, Dr Andrew Robertson, has advised people should not go to be tested for COVID-19 to either COVID Clinics or GPs unless they are currently experiencing symptoms and meet the testing criteria.

To be eligible for testing people must:

  • be currently experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat AND have returned from overseas travel in the last 14 days
  • OR be currently experiencing symptoms, and be a contact of a confirmed case
  • OR be currently experiencing symptoms and believe they have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19.

This is the situation as it stands, based on current advice and we will continue to keep you informed. Please continue to check the school website for updates.

Your sincerely

Vivienne Doig
Principal

 

Principal News: Welcome to 2020

Welcome to the 2020 school year. We would like to give a special warm welcome to all our new students and their families. It has also been wonderful to see our students from last year return with such enthusiasm after a long enjoyable break. All students have started the term with a very positive attitude towards their learning. We look forward to working closely with you all.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome some new teachers to our school this year. This year we welcome Mrs Jennifer Graham to PP (A7), Ms Lana Jones to Year 1 (A2) and Mr Matthew Ryder to Music at Willagee site Years 1-3. These teachers come with a wealth of experience and will be a real asset to our school.

Prior to our students starting this year, school staff returned to have 2 full days of amazing professional learning. Some focus areas for us so far have been:

  • Sensory Processing and the Sensory Smart Classroom
  • Advanced Phonological Awareness
  • Brightpath

We have started the year with some very special celebrations. Last night I had the honour of attending an awards evening at Curtin University where our Occupational Therapist, Berry Johnson (Lil’ Peeps Occupational Therapy for Kids), was recognised for her amazing work at Fremantle Language Development Centre. Berry received the award of “Organisational Excellence in Occupational Therapy Student Fieldwork Supervision”. We are very fortunate to have Berry and Lil’ Peeps support our teachers and students and this award is testament to the wonderful work that Berry does at our school in partnership with Curtin University students. We would like to congratulate Berry on this great achievement.

Teachers will be conducting their classroom meetings in Week 3 of this term. At this meeting, classroom teachers will outline programs, timetables, classroom requirements and organisation. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, other parents, and to gain an understanding of how you can support your child throughout the year. More information will come out about these meetings shortly.

At the start of the year the speech pathologists and teachers will administer assessments so that we have current data to develop your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). There will be an opportunity for parents to meet with the classroom teacher on an individual basis to review their child’s IEP. This will be held at the end of the term. More information about this will come closer to the time.

Our school P&C is a wonderful group of parents who enjoy getting together to share, support and help raise funds for the school. At the whole class meetings, we will be seeking someone to become the class P&C representative. This role involves attending 6 P&C meetings across the year and sharing information with the parents in your child’s class. All parents are encouraged to be a part of our P&C and please let your classroom teacher know if you are able to help out by being a representative. The first meeting for the year (AGM) will be conducted on Wednesday 26th February at 7.30pm.

Prior to each P&C meeting there will be a workshop for parents and carers. These workshops are fun, interactive and relevant for all age levels. Therefore, the first parent workshop will be Wednesday 26th February at 6.30pm. Details will be provided next week. I encourage all parents to attend our parent workshops to learn about how you can support your child’s language and learning.

As an Independent Public School we have a school board who assists in the development of our Business Plan and school review processes. This week we will be sending out information regarding nominations for the school board and encourage parents to consider taking on this role. If you would like to know more about what the role will entail, please view our school board information webpage here.

We look forward to meeting and working with all parents and families throughout the coming year. Please don’t hesitate to contact the school if you have any questions.

Kind regards

Vivienne Doig
Principal

ParentTV Highlights: This Weeks Snapshot

We are very excited to introduce our families to ParentTV.

Our school has signed up to this amazing resource so it is FREE for you as a parent of Fremantle Language Development Centre to use.

If you require our school code please contact the office: 9312 4850 or email: Fremantle.LDC@education.wa.edu.au

This weeks’ highlights include:

There are so many things on a parent’s list to teach their child, and we’ll bet, teaching them to make friends isn’t very high on that list!

However, learning to make friends, how to talk to new people and how to hold a conversation are lifelong skills our children will need throughout their lives – even into adulthood!

ParentTV expert Claire Orange from BEST Programs 4 Kids shares the basics parents need to be teaching their kids when it comes to making friends.

You can view Claire’s full video here: http://bit.ly/2TET5kk

 

 

Your little one has a new backpack, school shoes and uniforms.

You’ve ordered everything on the book list.

They’re as ready as they’ll ever be…

But, what about you?

Starting school is a huge transition for both kids and parents. It’s new territory for many of us, and with that comes new challenges.

Some kids will breeze in, wave over their shoulder and never look back. But, others will struggle, and as parents, we might struggle with knowing how to help them.

Get some great advice here: https://parenttv.com/blog/starting-school-preparing-your-child-and-you/