Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Welcome to this edition of our newsletter. We are already approaching the middle of our term and our students are well and truly in work mode. This week has brought us new challenges in the form of inclement weather which has meant that staff and students have needed to be flexible with their time and the work spaces they are using. Throughout this, although there have been some school closures, Banksia classes have continued, as have excellence programs and swimming for years 4 to 6. As the weather is predicted to continue until the end of this week we will keep the community informed should any changes occur.
The Premier of Queensland has announced the easing of restrictions from 6pm on March 4. This includes the wearing of masks at school. From March 7, students, staff and the community will no longer be required to wear masks on our site. We will also see the return of events such as parades, ceremonies, excursions and school camps. At this stage, we are awaiting clarification regarding community access to our site, so we ask that parents only enter classrooms when invited to do so by the class teacher and maintain the protocols of social distancing. If students are unwell, please keep them at home and ensure that contact details are up to date in case we are required to contact you about your child’s health or wellbeing during the day. I would like to thank our community for their support and co-operation over the past weeks. By working together, we can maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment.
Despite delays due to weather and Covid19, our major works projects are progressing well. We now have three new demountable buildings on our site that separate our junior and senior ovals. These will become Year 3 and Year 4 classrooms as well as two new computer labs. The new buildings will be open for use by the end of this term. Once these buildings are completed, work will begin on the demolition of the next demountable structures and the building of the next set of new classrooms. We are also undergoing an upgrade of our hydrant system. This has involved the installation of new piping and the concreting of some areas. While these projects have meant significant changes to our physical environment since the commencement of the school year, I commend our students for their common sense and care when moving around our school.
We are now entering the middle of what is a very condensed term and the teaching and support staff continue to work at improving the learning for our students. The leadership team have commenced regular “Walk and Talks” with our students in all year levels to determine student understanding of the nature of their assessment, how they are progressing, specific skills they need to improve and where they can seek assistance. We are also meeting fortnightly to check in around the improvement and progress of students and the best strategies to deliver “next steps”. Over the next few weeks, conversations will begin with parents about student progress, if this has not occurred already. The saying,” It takes a village to raise a child” is very relevant in the learning journey of each student and I encourage you to maintain regular communication with your student’s teacher to stay informed of their learning and collaborate with us to ensure their constant improvement.
Car Parks and Road Safety
Construction, road works, social distancing and the new school year means that pick up and drop off can be confusing and anxious times. There are several ways that the Banksia Beach State School community can manage these times safely and successfully through our car park system.
- Parent Parking – Banksia Beach State School has two car park areas where parents may park their cars and leave them to pick up students within the school grounds. These areas are located at the front of our school and at the southern side of our school between the grounds and the national park. Parents are not permitted to have students enter or leave their car on the roadways or crossings that access these carparks.
- Stop, Drop and Go – There are two areas around our school where parents may pull to the curb, allow their students to leave or enter the car and then drive away. These are located curb side in the new southern carpark and on the road along Sunderland Drive at the front of our school. This is a quick strategy for pick ups and drop offs for older students who can manage their school bags etc and their seating within the car (seat belts etc). In both areas, parents are not to leave their cars and there is a limited wait time for students (2-3 minutes). After this time, parents must drive away and make a loop to allow other parents to use the space.
- Street Parking – There is a limited number of parks available to parents in the streets around our school. Sunderland Drive and Alpinia Avenue are the closest roadways to our school. We ask that, if parking along the streets near our school, drivers observe the road rules and parking directions as well as showing consideration for our neighbours and households within our area.
- The Turnaround – Within our school grounds there is an area of parking that is reserved for staff and parents with a permit. This permit is provided for the pick up and drop off of students with specific needs and is supplied on application. There is no general parking in this area which is located at the front of our school, within the fence line.
It is important to note that both the police and Local Council Parking Officers frequently visit all of these areas at peak times and may issue fines for drivers who are noncompliant with road rules. It is also important to remember that the roads around our school are also classified as “School Zones” and as such have a 40 km/h speed limit during pick up and drop off times. We all want a smooth transition to and from school for our students and using these areas correctly and with courtesy goes a long way in making this possible.
I look forward to seeing our community back for the many events we have planned for the rest of this term.
Mrs Heidi Haydon