Dear families,

School will resume on Wednesday morning (28-7-2021) and from that point there will not be an online learning program available, other than for students where families have been required to quarantine by SAHealth.

Firstly, I wish to acknowledge the work that teachers and school service offices have carried out over the last four school days. The quality of planning and programming has been outstanding, and they have worked closely together to support your child(ren).

In addition, as a staff, we recognise the work that you, as parents and caregivers, are doing at home in order to facilitate this online learning program. I am sure that we are all looking forward to returning to face-to-face in the classroom.

In regards to Woodend Primary School, I will outline what we have been directed to do as we come out of lockdown. We will have to get accustomed to some changes, the most obvious is mask wearing (expanded on below).

Please note, that over the next few weeks, as long as we have no instances of community transmission, there will no doubt be a further relaxation of restrictions. The aim is to minimise the number of people gathering in any one location. As a school, we obviously have two particular times where potentially, there can be a larger number of adults congregating, these being school drop off in the morning and school pick up in the afternoon.

We ask for your cooperation in following SAHealth guidelines at these times.

As the Chief Public Health Officer, Prof. Nicola Spurrier said, just because the hard lockdown is being lifted does not mean that the risks associated with COVID-19 have passed.

According to the Premier, Mr Steven Marshall, we need to consider that we are still on high alert and if we carry out our distancing and other restrictions, then we should remain the safest state in Australia.

What I list below, has been shared with our staff by the Chief Executive, Chris Persse and the Minister, Mr John Gardner. Much of this has already been in the news, therefore I anticipate that you will already be aware of many of these restrictions.

Mask wearing
Recently, I was in Victoria and experienced the use of masks at all indoor venues and it has become a natural part of their way of life. We are now experiencing an increase in areas in SA where we are required to wear masks. As the Delta variant is spread by aerosol transmission, it is quite understandable that all adults now need to wear a mask when entering the school grounds.

As part of our health curriculum, some students briefly experienced what it was like to wear a mask, gaining an understanding that there were correct ways and incorrect ways to wear a mask, and that the main reason for wearing a mask was to protect other people.

SAHealth does say on its website that children under the age of two should not wear a mask. You will notice that primary aged children have been exempted from wearing a mask.

I have added the advice in green as provided by SAHealth. Please note that if you have a child in a secondary school, early childhood setting such as the Woodend Children’s Centre, that further information will come to you from those sites.

Temporary use of face masks in prescribed education settings

The following advice has been provided by the Chief Public Health Officer:

The following face mask requirements apply to education settings across South Australia until advised otherwise:

Face masks in schools, preschools and children’s centres

Face masks must be worn by:

  • adults while indoors, except when teaching or engaging with students
  • all adult visitors to sites, including OSHC.

The following exemptions from face mask use apply:

  • primary school students 
  • staff when teaching or engaging with students
  • during PE lessons
  • all staff and students when outside
  • students or staff who have a medical condition, such as problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability, or a mental health condition.

Face masks will be an additional measure added to the range of other COVID Safe measures  that have been successfully implemented in the past in education and care settings with which you are already familiar.

Please help us to keep the chance of transmission of this highly transmissible, airborne virus to an absolute minimum.

Access to school grounds
Parents, volunteers and non-urgent service providers are being asked not to enter school grounds unless pre-arranged. Parent-teacher meetings will be held online or over the phone.

Therefore we are asking that you leave your child at the school gate and allow them to make their way into their classroom and to join their fellow students. We know that this has been very successful during Covid restrictions and that, particularly with younger children, it has developed a greater resilience and independence as well as confidence in managing this part of their day by themselves.

QR Codes
At this stage, it is unclear if we are required to place these on the external gates or near to entrances for adults to use on entering school grounds. It remains a practice that any adult entering a building must use the QR code at that point. This includes all of our school staff, but obviously not children. If you see a QR code placed at these access points, please make use of them. If not, you can assume that it is just for entry into the front office at this stage. No adults are to enter classrooms, the Atrium of other school building unless otherwise advised.

Physical distancing
All adults will continue to practise physical distancing from other adults at all times. This will obviously refer to being on school grounds, but it is also an expectation if waiting outside of school grounds during drop off or pick up time.

Being unwell
Any student or adult who is unwell must not enter the school grounds and certainly should not be mingling with other adults before, during or after school.

Are any student who presents at school with any signs of being unwell, will be immediately sent home to be in your care. This has been ongoing since the pandemic began, and has enabled us to keep teachers, school service officers and other students healthy and attending school.

OSHC will continue with parents being able to drop the children at the hall door in the mornings or preferably at the gate on Edward Beck Drive. I know many parents have already been doing this and it has been successful. Pick up at the end of the day however, does need to be at the hall door so that you can sign your child out. Masks must be worn when collecting your child from OSHC.

School Assemblies
Whole school assemblies, performances and events will not be happening. We are hoping that we can return to having some form of regular school assembly once restrictions are lifted.

We are not certain if this will impact on our Wakakirri performance (week 4) or the involvement with the Festival Choir which is later in the term.

Camps and Excursions
All excursions and camps will be monitored in relation to the requirements currently in place. If we do need to postpone or cancel any of these during this term, you will be notified as soon as we know ourselves. The only exceptions would be school visits to local parks within walking distance.

At this stage the planned year 3/4 Water Safety program in week 4 is on hold.

School sports
School sports days have been given the green light, but parents and carers cannot attend.

SAPSASA and inter-school sporting events, carnivals and trials are also postponed. Matt Hehner will keep you updated with any changes in relation to these events.

Physical education and sport will continue within the confines of our school.

Instrumental Music
We will continue to provide these lessons.  Please have your child bring their instrument to school on the same timetable that operated during term 2.

Service Providers
Service providers such as Occupational Therapists etc will still be allowed on site to support students.

Kitchen Program
For the time being, we are unable to have volunteers in the kitchen and so will be running a modified program until further notice.

Normal deliveries of school consumables and Canteen food will continue to take place.

The school canteen will continue to operate for lunches and if practicable, will be open for students at recess and lunchtimes as well. Please continue to order as per usual.

Thank you very much for your support during the lockdown.

Please stay safe and we look forward to having all children back at school on Wednesday.

Kind regards,

Steve Freeman