Victorian students returned to school in two stages – years foundation to 2 and years 11-12 on Tuesday, May 26th. Monday Staff returned to school on Monday May 25th which it was a student free day, enabling staff to prepare for a blend of remote and face to face learning. All other students returned to school on Tuesday June 9th. (Monday, June 8th is a public holiday for the Queen’s birthday). The four day weeks certainly helped to ease us back into something of a routine. Please be aware that our school has 180 students, so our protocols may differ a little to larger schools.
The school leadership has reminded us that:
It’s really important that we focus on the positives today as students return to school, and as we move forward into the emerging normality that will form the experience of being at school. Don’t focus on what has not been achieved over the past seven eight weeks with students; rather, focus on what has, and what will be happening in face to face classes over the rest of the term. There is little to be gained at this point in asking students to ‘catch-up’ if they have not engaged as we would have wished during the period of remote learning
Our new ‘normal’ school routine is now as follows:-
School buses arrive:-
The buses arrive as usual but the front three rows of seats are cordoned off to protect the driver. (Majority of our students arrive on bus). The bus duty teacher ensures that all students use hand sanitiser as they get off the bus. There are 2 sanitisers on tables in the bus shelter. Parents may drop students off but are not able to enter the school grounds without permission. They are not to loiter and socialise with other parents. Students walk through the bus shelter to their classrooms and sanitise hands.
Morning staff briefings:
Before lockdown, these were held at 8:40am each morning in the staff room. All staff would attend and were briefed on the school daily and weekly happenings inclucing any student welfare items. The briefings continue but are now emailed to us. Staff are able to add input prior to the email.
Whole school assemblies:-
Were held in the library every Monday morning at 8:55am. Years 3 to 12 would attend. School assemblies continue to be held but are online using MS Teams. Form and class teachers login to Teams from their classrooms and our principal and vice principal run the assembly with the help of the School Captains. Every student has been made a member of the School assembly team so students who are at home can also attend.
Classes run as normal. However, we still have some remote students and need to cater for these. Most classes remain in the same room with teachers coming to them. Prior to ISO, students would move around classrooms to the English room, maths room, Chinese room etc. Sizes remain the same. The average size of our classes is 18 -20. Students sanitise hands on entry and exit. Physical distancing of 1.5 metres is applied where possible but due to the classroom size it is near impossible. However, staff have to social distance from each other. Sports classes cannot participate in any contact sport.
Play times are as normal. However, younger students are allowed out for lunch 10 mins early to allow them to go to the canteen and ease the queues when the older students are on a lunch break. Students can play on all play equipment. The equipment is all wiped down once a day. However, contact sports are not allowed.
Canteen and drinking water
All students are asked to bring their own water bottles. However, some drink all their water by lunchtime. The canteen seems to be able to fill the bottles up for them. No bubble taps are to be used. Drinking fountains are empty and cordoned off. Students need to order their lunches by 11:30am but otherwise the canteen is open for food purchases at recess and lunchtime. Crosses on the floor mark the social distance required when queuing.
Three cleaning staff are now employed between 10am and 2pm. They surface wipe everything. Most class rooms are wiped down during recess and lunchtime, and when they are not being used. The staffroom, playground and all signs are wiped down while students are in class. Hand sanitisers are available in all rooms. Disinfectant wipes are available to wipe down keyboards, computers and mouse(s).
Weekly Staff Meetings
Take place as per normal times and days but are online using MS Teams.