Dear Parents and Carers
After almost a term in Lockdown we are delighted to welcome your child/ren back to school over the next two weeks. I have listed below some information which might help with the transition.
ACT Health has recommended that schools minimise the co-mingling of children during the school day. To this end, having sought Catholic Education’s approval, we are forming cohorts of children to ensure that children mix with a common group of students during class and break times.
Class groupings will remain as normal and staff will minimise the number of times that students, as a class, need to move around the school. This will include, when possible, using external pathways to other classrooms in preference to using the main corridor.
In Week Four (October 25-29), the children attending face-to-face learning (Kindergarten, Years 1, 2 and 6) will play in their cohort on a dedicated area of the school grounds. The children of Essential Workers in Years 3, 4 and 5, who are attending school in Week Four for remote learning, will also enjoy recess and lunchtime with their cohort. These children should dress in their regular summer uniform and head to their new morning play area when they arrive at school. When the bell goes for classes to start, they’ll make their way to the hall for supervision.
In Week Five (November 1-5), when all children have returned to school (Kindergarten to Year 6), they will also then play with their cohort in a designated area during break times.
These playing arrangements will remain in place for all break times, including before school.
These cohorts and morning play areas will be:
- Kindergarten and Year 1 (K/1 Playground)
- Years 2 and 3 (Lower Belway)
- Years 4 and 5 (Upper Belway)
- Year 6 (Upper Courts)
If you require on site supervision for your child during Week Four please email Petra Cole (email@example.com).
Arrival and Dismissal
Please note that, due to the changed playground areas, the Upper Courts area will be unavailable for parking before school. We recommend dropping your child off at Drive-Through where a member of staff will be there to direct them to their new morning play area. It is also most important that children are not dropped at school prior to 8.30am to avoid the potential cross-mingling that will occur if children are left to sit at the front of the school for extended periods.
During the afternoon dismissal, we intend to slightly stagger the dismissal from classrooms for those children who are being collected in person or via our Drive-Through. In so doing we are hopeful that children will be encouraged to socially distance, and gather and wait, in family groups. Pick up time remains at 3pm.
On wet weather days, on arrival at school, children should proceed directly to their classrooms via the School Hall side entrance
Masks and Drink Bottles
Children in Years 3-6 are encouraged to wear face masks during class time. Children in Kindergarten to Year Two are not required to wear face masks.
Please pack a drink bottle with your child, we have been asked to lock down all bubblers to minimise transmission.
Our Friday Canteen service will resume on Friday 5th November.
As mentioned above, children should return to school in their full Summer Uniform.
School Cleaning Protocols
Following the resumption of face-to-face learning in Week Four, our school will begin cleaning protocols which will mirror those adopted during the 2020 Lockdown. These include the re-establishment of hand washing stations which children will use following each break time. The additional cleaning of prominent “Touch Surfaces” including playground equipment, door handles etc. will also be re-introduced.
Return to School
I realise that many parents will understandably feel anxious about the return to school of their children. Please feel comfortable in the knowledge that our staff are following the advice of ACT Health to undertake receiving both doses of the vaccine. If, however, you are still feeling unable to bring your child back to school on the designated day, a Generic Home Schooling package will be provided as an interim measure. Please understand that this will not involve a daily Teams meeting with the classroom teacher but rather a generic program which will maintain your child’s learning during this period.
Finally, as you can appreciate, to comply with ACT Health regulations, parents and carers are no longer allowed on our school grounds or inside the building. I realise that this may make the transition back to school just that bit harder. For that reason, you might like to take a walk past the school with your child in the lead up to school’s resumption just to re-familiarise your child with the grounds and the normal morning routine.
Please feel free to call our Front Office if you are unsure about any aspect of the resumption of school.
Congratulations parents. You have done a wonderful job in most trying circumstances.
Please contact the front office if you haven’t received your fees or have any questions.
FINANCIAL HARDSHIP DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Catholic Education acknowledges the unprecedented economic impact on many families. If you have been financially impacted or have any concerns around fees, please contact Mr Pollard directly, so that arrangements
Transport Canberra’s dedicated school bus services will recommence on Monday 25 October 2021. This includes ‘S’ trips that divert into schools.
Timings have changed for dedicated school services and the regular timetable. We are strongly encouraging families to check their school pack and plan ahead.
Special Needs Transport continues to run for those families that need this service.
A range of COVID Safe measures are in place to help keep students safe on public transport. Please remind families to familiarise themselves with these measures and talk to their children about them prior to the return to school.
From Monday 25 October 2021 buses will run to a revised interim timetable. This timetable is a similar frequency to the timetable that has been running over the past two months, but with some changes to timings to allow better connections for school students.
Light rail is continuing to run to its regular frequency but will see an increase in frequency from Monday 1 November 2021. This will assist with physical distancing on board. Customers will benefit from extended afternoon peak frequency on weekdays and increased frequency on Sunday mornings.
Consider walking or riding to school – or using a Part way point
Parents and carers may also consider alternative ways to get their children to school. If they live close by they can take advantage of the warmer spring weather and walk, ride or scoot to school!
Part way points are also a great way to get some exercise into children’s days for families that live a little further away and this also helps to ease congestion around schools. Parents or carers can simply drop their child at a point, or park and walk the rest of the way with them.
Park safely and legally
All 40km/h school zones are in place between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday. Speed limits in school zones are there to ensure the safety of children by allowing motorists extra time to stop in an unexpected situation.
Parking across pedestrian crossings, corners, verges and double parking can block kids seeing the road.
For enquiries customers are encouraged to visit www.transport.act.gov.au or call 13 17 10.