Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Welcome to this edition of our newsletter and the beginning of our school year. It is great to see so many of our families back from our extended break. When walking around our school it is obvious that students are settled and classes are calm with routines already in place. It is also lovely to see some new faces around our school and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new students and their families. I hope that your learning journey at Banksia Beach State School is one of exciting opportunities and personal growth. I would also like to welcome to our teaching staff Ms Laura Wilkinson who is teaching in Year 3, Mr Andy Cameron who is teaching in Prep, Ms Jessica Schenau who is also working in Prep and Ms Gemma O’Connor who is working in our EHub. We welcome back Mr Tom Watson who has returned to Year 6, Mrs Rebecca Scholte who is teaching Year Two and Mrs Emily Smith who has returned to Year 3.
As we work towards normalising Covid19 in our school and the community as a whole, there are some processes we must observe. At present, there is a limitation on some of the usual routines and activities participated in around our school.
Restrictions apply to parents being on our school grounds. Parents of students in Prep and Year One and students identified as vulnerable are allowed to enter the school grounds, however all other parents are to remain off site. It is understandable that parents wish to assist students with managing their return to school, however, students and their resources are now organised and familiar with their classroom and teacher. If parents or caregivers wish to speak to the class teacher about their student, a phone interview can be arranged by contacting the office.
If a student is unwell, they are to remain at home. Students who become symptomatic at home are to proceed to the closest testing centre where they will be a priority. Once tested, they are to remain at home until they receive a negative result. If the test is positive, the student is to remain at home for seven days from the date of the test and then may return to school if they are well and do not display any more symptoms. If a student begins to experience symptoms at school, a parent of the student will be contacted immediately to pick up the student. On pick up, the parent will be provided with a rapid antigen test to administer to the child at home. It is important to note that school staff will not administer the test. It is also important to note that, although there have been some schools where pop up vaccination centres have been set up, we are not vaccinating students at school with or without parent permission. As our school is a government facility, our facilities may be utilised in the future, however, the community will be informed of this.
If someone in your household tests positive to Covid19, then children are considered to be close contacts. If your child becomes a close contact, they are to quarantine for the same period as the infected person and test negative on a rapid antigen test on day 6 before returning to school.
To prevent mass spreading events in schools, events involving large gatherings will not occur. For our school community, this means that Parades and large-scale band rehearsals are postponed until further notice. Small scale band practice and sport are allowed to continue.
Depending on how the spread of Covid19 impacts the staff in our school, students may at times, have different teachers. Although we are compliant with all measures to prevent the spread of this virus, it is anticipated that we will have staff absent either due to a positive test or because they are a close contact. When this eventuates, please ensure you speak in a supportive manner about this to your student to ease stress and anxiety.
As this is an ever-changing situation, we will endeavour to keep parents informed.
At present there are several major works projects underway in our school. The replacement of seven of our original demountable buildings is underway with two demolished over the holidays. It is expected that the replacement buildings will be installed over the weekend as will an additional building designated to be our future technology labs. These rooms should be functional by the middle of this term. We are also upgrading the hydrant system for our school. Due to these projects, we have several areas of our school off limits to parents and students. We ask that parents and students do not walk between the buildings and stay to our paths and walkways. This is particularly important in the area close to the new carpark as there is new turf and vegetation planted which is damaged by foot traffic. The amount of major works occurring added to the restrictions associated with Covid19 means we are discouraging parents and the community on site. Thank you for your understanding and ongoing support.
The beginning of this term brings new opportunities and challenges to our classes. Our normal 10-week term of learning has been condensed to 8 weeks and our teachers have worked to prioritise and streamline content. Over the next couple of weeks, the students will become very familiar with their achievement standards to be assessed this term and they will be able to articulate current achievements, what they need to improve, how they will go about that and where/who they can go to for help. They will also discuss with staff why they are learning present skills and knowledge. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and motivated staff who are focussed on every student achieving!
I wish everyone well as we enter the 2022 school year and look forward to the journey of learning and achievement ahead!
Mrs Heidi Haydon