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May 22 Newsletter

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We Miss You!

WE MISS YOU!

We are missing all our students who are learning from home and would love to see how everyone is going. If you are able to, please send in some photos of students completing work for us to share with their classmates. This can be done via the school email (smithton.high@education.tas.gov.au) or through Facebook messenger.

Parent Letter 19th May

19th May, 2020,

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Throughout the past week we have had a steady increase in the amount of students who have been attending school.

As has been reported, Grade 7-10 officially recommences on Tuesday, June 9th. Until then, students can access learning from home, both online (through CANVAS) and offline (through the packs that have been distributed) and can also access learning at school if they can’t be supported to learn from home.

Due to the increased amount of students who are now attending school, we would ask that all students bring the offline materials (which were sent home) with them to school. This will ensure that all students will be able to learn effectively and will also allow equitable access to computers. At the moment we are facing a shortage of computers at school, meaning we cannot have access for each individual student to a computer at the same time.

On June the 9th, students will recommence their Core Subjects (including options) and the timetable that they had at the start of the year. This will allow computer access at school to return to normal as subjects will not be offered online, but only through face to face learning at school and where many do not require computer access.

Pease contact myself, Tim Dunham or Lindsey Blake at the school if you have any queries or need any clarification on the learning options provided up until June the 9th.

Yours sincerely,

Nikki Clark - PRINCIPAL
Tim Dunham - ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
Lindsey Blake - ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL

More Information on Return to Learning at School

PLAN TO RETURN TO LEARN AT SCHOOL

Up to Friday 22 May 2020:

  • Parents and carers will support students to continue to learn at home. Teachers will lead this learning until students return to learning at school.
  • Schools are open for those students who cannot be supervised or supported to learn at home.
  • Teachers will provide tasks for those learning at home. These tasks align with the Australian Curriculum and are a mixture of online and offline activities.
  • Tasmania is undertaking a staged approach to returning students to schools that is cautious and sensible.
  • The return to learning at school is based on public health advice. It is in line with the Government’s Roadmap to Recovery, which outlines the gradual easing of restrictions on people movement and gatherings.

 

Staged return to school:

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  • Our decision to return to learning at school recognises that schools are safe places. It is in the best interest of our learners to get them back to this model of learning as soon as we can.
  • We looked at what other Australian states and territories are doing, and applied what would work best in Tasmania.
  • Our approach to returning to learning at school:
    • recognises the lower numbers of COVID-19 cases Tasmania is now experiencing
    • will get our youngest and senior secondary learners back to face-to-face learning first as their learning can be impacted from an extended period of learning at home.
  • Re-opening our schools in this way will enable us to progressively increase the amount of people movement across the State. We will be able to monitor the impact this has.
  • It is important that you help by ensuring students only return to learning at school when they are scheduled.
  • Maintaining health and safety for learners and staff at our schools is a priority. Schools are implementing practices to support social distancing between adults, and maintaining strict hygiene protocols, based on public health advice.
  • For more information, please see the Parent FAQs.

PARENT FAQs: RETURN TO LEARNING AT SCHOOL


13 MAY 2020


1. When can my child return to school?
For Tasmanian Government schools:From Monday May 25 2020:
• Kindergarten to Year 6 students will return to learning at school
• Year 11 and 12 students will return to learning at school
• Students in Year 7 to 10 will continue to learn at home.


From Tuesday June 9 2020:
• Year 7 to10 students will return to learning at school


2. Is this enough notice for schools to be ready?
Consultation with principals indicates that the timeframe is sufficient to return to face to face learning at school. Schools are being provided with daily advice to assist them to support students and staff and will continue to be strongly supported through the transition to school-based learning.


3. What if I want my child to return to school before their allocated date?
It is important that until your child is due to return to school they continue to learn at home. This is vital in helping to support the Tasmanian community in its fight against the spread of COVID-19.
Schools will remain open for students who cannot be supervised or supported to learn from home during this time.


4. Is it expected that students will attend school from their allocated date?
Yes. Once students resume school-based learning, they will no longer be supported by their school with learning at home.
Some parents or carers may wish for their child to continue learning at home due to concerns about COVID-19. If you choose for your child to continue to learn at home, you remain responsible for your child during this period, which includes ensuring they stay home and continue their learning.


Resources to support learning at home can be accessed on the Department of Education website at https://www.education.tas.gov.au/learning-at-home/.


As is currently the case, parents or carers will be required to communicate with the school about their child’s absence from school. This includes when a parent or carer chooses to keep their child at home due to concerns about COVID-19, as well as when a child is ill.
When you contact the school with this information you may also wish to discuss any support the school may be able to provide to assist you with your child’s learning at home.


5. What if my child is unable to attend school due to being vulnerable due to COVID-19 health concerns?
In these situations your child will still continue to be supported by schools with their learning at home. As is currently the case, parents will be required to communicate with the school about the child’s absence from school. When you contact the school with this information you should also discuss the support the school can provide to assist you with your child’s learning at home.


6. Why are primary and senior secondary students returning first?

In line with public health advice it is important that we take a staged approach for students returning to school based learning.
Research shows the importance of early learning in setting up children for lifelong learning and success.


By allowing our primary schools to return, we can better support our young children through teaching and learning to become confident, involved learners and effective communicators.


At the same time, we can support many whole school communities to return to school-based learning together, rather than splitting primary schools up into different Year groups returning at different times.


The senior secondary years are also important, with many students making decisions about, and undertaking the pre-requisite course work for the pathways they will take after school.


Delaying the return of high schools for two weeks provides Public Health with time to monitor the impact of lifting restrictions for primary schools and senior secondary settings before returning all schools.


7. Is it safe for students to return to school?
The decision to return to school through a phased approach is informed by public health advice.


Schools are identified as safe places for students and staff, and evidence suggests that they present low risk in relation to the spread of COVID-19.


Maintaining health and safety for learners and staff on our school sites is a priority, and schools are implementing practices to support physical distancing between adults, and maintaining strict hygiene protocols, based on public health advice. A range of measures will continue to be in place in schools including:
• students and staff who are unwell must not attend school
• adults must not gather in and around school grounds, car parks, entrances ad outside classrooms
• physical distancing of 1.5 metres is required by all adults
• Public Health advice is that physical distancing between children is not required in schools provided they are well. However, for extra precaution, physical distancing will still be encouraged where practical, provided it does not impact on education provision.
• increased cleaning frequencies of high-touch surfaces
• students will continue to engage in regular effective handwashing and hygiene protocols, including regularly washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser and covering coughs and sneezes


8. How will schools monitor people gathering e.g before and after school?
It is very important that parents and carers observe physical distancing and hygiene protocols when picking up and dropping off students. Advice is that the biggest risk of transmission of COVID 19 on school sites is from adults congregating at schools.


Schools have been provided with information to support them with implementing appropriate physical distancing measures. Schools are best placed to determine what works best for their school setting, however, ideas provided include using designated pick-up/drop-off points in spacious areas and encouraging parents to keep their distance from school grounds if possible.


9. Can parents go into school?
Parents are being strongly encouraged to keep their distance from schools to assist with physical distancing. Only those adults who need to be on school grounds for essential purposes will be allowed onsite.


10. Will student temperatures be monitored?
Schools will not be conducting wide-scale temperature checking of students as there is limited evidence to demonstrate the value of such checks. However, if the temperature of a student does need to be checked, schools have been provided with non-touch thermometers as a supporting piece of equipment for the provision of first aid.


11. How can schools be sure there are enough hygiene products?
The Department has arranged for additional supplies of hygiene products, such as hand wash and sanitiser, to be available for schools throughout Term 2. The Department will continue to work with schools to understand supply issues and ensure that schools remain adequately stocked.


12. Will it be safe to travel on buses?
Yes – our buses are an essential service and bus operators are working hard to ensure buses are cleaned frequently, with a focus on high volume touch points. For extra precaution, where space permits, bus drivers may also ask passengers to leave empty seats between each other or those not travelling with them.


13. What will school look like when students return?
Schools will continue to actively manage routines and protocols in and around the school site. Physical distancing measures will be in place, with a focus on adults, and it is important that these are followed.


Based on public health advice physical distancing is not required for students during classroom activities, although schools may consider implementing strategies to support this area.


There will continue to be a number of activities that will not occur during Term 2 including camps, excursions and assemblies. Your school will continue to provide advice on what restrictions are in place and they will be reviewed based on public health advice.


14. What if my child needs support to ‘catch up’ on any learning missed while learning at home?
The Department of Education is looking at options for additional support that can be provided to learners, particularly in the early years and the senior secondary years, which research suggests may be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of learning at home.


As learners return to school-based learning, an assessment will be made as to where the greatest need is for additional support, and options made available for these learners and their families.


15. What plans are in place for those students who have completely disengaged during the restrictions?
All students’ individual circumstances, including their engagement with education and wellbeing, will be considered as part of the return to learning at school. Schools will support all students, with a focus on ensuring that no student will be disadvantaged at this time. This will also include measures to support additional learning opportunities, where this might be needed for students.


16. What supports will be in schools that support the emotional wellbeing of students during the restrictions?
There are professional support staff in all schools that support the emotional wellbeing of students. These include support teachers, school psychologists and social workers.


17. Are Support Schools required to resume school based learning on the same timetable as other schools?
Yes, Support Schools will resume school based learning on the same timetable as other schools. In planning the return of school based learning, Principals of Support Schools should take a personalised approach to working with the parents and carers of individual students to adjust the approach to meet their learning and wellbeing needs.


18. Should my child who is enrolled at SPACE - an off site flexible learning program be in attendance at this site?
All students enrolled in offsite flexible programs including Devonport and Burnie SPACE, RADAR, Edzone, Student Works and Diverse Learners should now be in attendance on site.


19. My child attends Out Teach should she/he be attending this now?
Students engaged in outreach programs including Out Teach should now be in attendance.


20. Will Launching into Learning programs be offered?
Launching into Learning on school sites will not be offered during Term 2. Launching into Learning may commence from Term 3 on a site by site basis, subject to public health advice. Schools will continue to provide a variety of online and take home options for families to continue engaging in LiL programs.


21. What will happen in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19?
The Department of Education has established protocols, based on following the advice of public health, if a confirmed case is identified in a school. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school, the school may need to temporarily close to allow time for public health to conduct contact tracing and deep cleaning to be undertaken, to ensure the safety of staff and student prior to reopening.


Please note as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, plans are subject to change.

Message from the DoE Secretary

Department of Education
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY


GPO Box 169, HOBART TAS 7001 Australia

OfficeoftheSecretary@education.tas.gov.au
Ph (03) 6165 5757


12 May 2020


Dear Parents and Carers


Supporting your school community – stay COVID-Safe
I want to thank parents and carers for your incredible partnership with teachers to support your children to Learn at Home. I know we have all had to learn some new things to make this work, and this has only been possible because of your effort to embrace the situation that you have been presented with.


Public Health advice is that physical distancing between adults in the school environment is a key way to keep schools safe. What this means is that your school will need to continue to engage with you in different ways while COVID- 19 restrictions are in place. Schools will look a bit different to what you are used to and we will need your help to manage this.


In response to COVID-19, schools are working hard to implement physical distancing and hygiene measures within schools. Here are the key things we are asking for your help and support with as parents and carers:
•Don’t send your child to school if they are sick.
•Follow the school’s advice about where and when to safely drop off and collect your child.
•Respect any other requests that the school might ask for your help with – they want to make your school as safe as possible for everyone.

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•Keep talking with your child about washing their hands and following any extra rules teachers might put in place to help with hygiene and physical distancing.

•Stay connected with your school by email, phone and any other platforms your school recommends. If you need to arrange a face-to-face meeting, contact your school to make a time.


Feel free to contact your school if you have any questions. These things won’t be forever but we all have a shared
responsibility to act in a way that supports everyone being safe.


We are looking forward to working with you for the rest of Term 2.


Yours sincerely
Tim Bullard

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SECRETARY

Return to Learning at School Plan

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March 27 Newsletter

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February 28 Newsletter

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December 6 Newsletter

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November 22 Newsletter

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