Dear families,

Once again, this has been a school term with a difference. However, we have managed to make our way to the end of the term and while we have had quite a number of students testing positive, (plus a few staff), the support from parents by keeping students home who are unwell, the immediate collection by parents once a student becomes unwell at school, and the comprehensive wearing of masks by adults has meant that we have kept transmission at the school to a minimum.

We rely on parents letting us know when their child tests positive to Covid, as it is only then that we can notify families and put into place any measures required to protect both students and staff. Thank you to all of you who have done that for us. It has been much appreciated. We have a number of staff and parents/community members who are immuno compromised in someway and rely on us to get accurate information to them as soon as possible.

Definitions change such as what a close contact is, and a letter will be sent home shortly outlining what some of those changes are. SA Health has been incredibly supportive of not just our school, but all schools, in working to keep everyone safe.

NB:  Priority PCR testing in metropolitan Adelaide

Staff, students or children from your school or preschool who are recommended to undertake PCR testing (on advice from the department’s COVID Response Team) can access the priority lane at the Victoria Park COVID-19 testing station.

They will need to take evidence that PCR testing has been recommended. This can be the notification which will be provided to sites to distribute to staff and families. 

We welcome Dylan Harlow to our school team. He will be managing the garden part of our Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden program. This is done in conjunction with kitchen and canteen. We look forward to and garden getting back to its functional self, supplying produce to the kitchen program in particular, demonstrating to students the process of ‘paddock’ to ‘plate’.

Parent/teacher/student interviews have progressed well over the last two weeks, and it has been really appreciated by all that teachers and parents can meet face-to-face to have a conversation (albeit with masks and social distancing). Coming soon, will be the relaxation of mask wearing in our community, but I suspect that it will still be prominent within schools. Even in our local community, many people have mentioned to me that they will continue wearing a mask in order to maintain protection.

Sporting activities have been maintained including cross country, swimming, cricket and Auskick. Several excursions which involved out-door activities were allowed to continue, much to the delight of the students.

The Governing Council AGM has been deferred to early in term two. Please look out for more information that will come home regarding the details of that meeting. There will be the opportunity to ask the Principal questions during that meeting. I encourage everyone to come along and hear about the future directions of the school. The meeting is normally about 30 minutes in duration.

Recently a tree audit was carried out for our school, and several trees were identified for pruning or removal. The general comment however is that our trees are in good condition and are managing very well. Our aim is to keep healthy trees throughout the school, as well as ensuring that they are safe and provide shade where possible.

The building is on track to begin later in term two. We are certainly in an interesting period as far as getting tender processes completed, which was slightly delayed due to the recent change of government. We are certainly looking forward to the developments and when students can get into use the new facilities.

I wish to end this update by thanking all of the teachers, school service officers, leaders and groundstaff for the dedication and passion that they each show for the work that we are doing at Woodend School. We have our Site Improvement Plan in action with a summary on our school website, teams of teachers working on curriculum delivery and meeting the needs of each and every child in the school. Teachers have been keen to meet with parents to talk about their child’s progress, and during the impact of Covid, nothing has been too much trouble for any of the staff, with a focus on meeting the needs of individuals.

This update will be posted on the news blog as well as being posted on seesaw. Please make sure that you keep up-to-date with information via these two sources which are our main forms of communication.

Steve Freeman