Dear families,

As we head into week two, there have been additional announcements by Education and Health authorities, indicating that it is safe to send children to school. Given that we have put into place many strategies at Woodend Primary School to keep both teachers and students safe, it appears that it is indeed safe for children to be back at school. We will follow the advice of our Medical experts in this regard and if that changes then we will review what we do at school.

The aim of the Department for Education and the Government, both State and Federal, is to have as many students as possible at school by week three of this term. Teachers have been anticipating this change and this week will see them working directly from their classrooms with the majority of students in attendance.  Specialist teachers will take classes as per their usual timetable and all areas of the school yard will remain open at recess and lunchtime for play. However, I re-iterate, that for the time being, Canteen will only be providing lunches to students.

We will maintain the strategies outlined in the last Covid-19 Update for the foreseeable future, as we do know that we are not in the clear yet. As indicated, the online curriculum program will continue as  planned and students at home will still be accessing that program. As we move forward, the frequency of contact and checking in may look different for children who continue to work from home. There will be an increasing frequency of face-to-face teaching happening in the classroom as well over the next few weeks.

I am aware that for some families, having their child/ren return to school at present is not an option. We will support you if that is your decision. Teachers will still make contact and provide a learning program for any child not at school.

If you have questions or concerns, please raise them with either your child’s class teacher or leadership (via email or the front office). We will endeavour to get back to you within the 48 hours as per our policy (often a lot sooner than that). At present leadership are also involved in providing support to teachers across the school in preparation and planning of the online component of their work and so often are not readily available.

Most teachers spent considerable time during the school holidays preparing for these first four weeks, and are continuing to be very busy managing the students at school and at home at the same time.  As such, it may take longer to get back to you than previously. It may be too, that we have to try several times to make contact as often parents are busy as well and cannot take the call. Thank you for your understanding during this time.

On another note, over the next few weeks, the construction of our new Nature Play Development is expected to begin. That will be an exciting addition to our play areas and students will be able to see the results of their input over the last year, carried out via the Student Representative Council. ‘Betterland’ is the company who won the contract and they are highly experienced in this kind of work, having created many play areas in a wide range of schools in South Australia. We are looking forward to this as it develops.

Kind regards,

Steve Freeman