1 May 2020
From the Principal
Thanks to everyone for your cooperation regarding the numerous changes to our normal routines here at Our Lady of Fatima. I hope all families enjoyed some time to relax over the Easter period and school holiday time, albeit a very different holiday period compared to what we have become accustomed to. It has been a very smooth start to Term 2 considering all the changes, due to thorough planning and parents and children assisting by moving straight into different routines.
As we continue to move through these uncertain times, as a school community we completely acknowledge and respect decisions made by parents regarding their child attending school or not. We began the term with 62% attendance on Wednesday and that figure has remained quite stable throughout the week. The focus of the learning in each of the classrooms is the content contained in the Learning Grids that have been sent home to all families, to ensure equity to everyone and a level of consistency across each class of children.
I have asked staff to contact families who are participating in the home learning mode each week to see how they are going and whether we can provide any further assistance as they navigate this new form of learning. It is more challenging for teachers to differentiate the learning for children through the Learning Grid as opposed to a normal classroom setting and it is making assessment of school work more complex. The teachers are identifying specific pieces of work they would like returned for assessment, bearing in mind, at the moment, there will be an end of semester report that we are working towards as a summary of the teaching and learning process reflective of this semester.
As far as absenteeism is concerned, this has become far more complex for us too. It is easy to identify a child’s attendance if they are at school, also if a child is actively engaged in the home learning opportunities we can record them as being “present”. But to do that, we must see tangible evidence that each child has completed tasks each day to enable us to mark them “present”. If your child/ren are feeling unwell while participating in the home learning tasks, and are unable to complete their work, please send the class teacher and the front office an email which will enable them to mark them absent.
Drop Off and Pick Up Process
Following the directive that parents are not allowed to come into the school, the Drop Off and Pick Up process is quite different. The morning Drop Off seems to be running quite smoothly which is good, however the Pick Up process in the afternoon has taken a little longer than we expected, particularly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when our Kindy children are here. We have looked at the potential to change the process slightly but we can’t do that without compromising the safety of the children. It is currently taking us 20 minutes from the time the first child is picked up to the time the last child is collected, with some parents having to wait in a queue of cars for quite a few minutes. The most time consuming part of the process seems to be parents of younger children putting their children in the car seats, which I think is quite reasonable, and really important for their safety. I ask parents to be patient with us in the afternoon, for the safety of everyone. Some suggestions to potentially speed the process up for families include:
- Families using a good size family name tag, particularly Kindy and Pre-Primary families. In the past we have made family name tags available in the office on request, but in the short term if families in Kindy and Pre-Primary can design a sign, that would be appreciated.
- Families are encouraged to stagger their times between 3pm and 3:20pm. We have had a big rush before 3pm which has created a back log which has been hard to manage. 3:10pm or 3:15pm would be an ideal time to arrive to avoid the early rush.
As usual, the safety of the children is our number one priority, so I ask parents for their patience while this process needs to unfold, I am feeling confident that things will be back to normal in the near future.
We continue to ask parents to be vigilant and conservative with their own child’s health, if they present with cold/flu like symptoms, please keep them at home until the symptoms subside.
Over the recent school holidays we have had a Chess Board painted in the area under the hall which will allow the children another option when they are out on the playground at recess and lunchtime. We will just need to get a “cage” constructed adjacent to the Chess Board which we can house the life size chess pieces in. Many thanks to the P&F for making funds available for this project, for the benefit of the children.
We are currently looking at a plan for our first P&F meeting of the term on Wednesday 13th May. The plan includes restricting the number of participants to include : executive members, committee members and class representatives from each class, if we can, adhering to the maximum of 10. The hope is that each class will be represented by someone, with the executive members and committee members covering Years 2, 5 and 6. I will contact the class reps from the other year levels to invite one class rep along to join us for the meeting. I apologise for needing to do this, but I think it is a better alternative than trying to facilitate a Zoom meeting or cancelling the meeting as we try to maintain the momentum of the P&F in these unusual times.
Our uniform shop is currently closed for obvious reasons. If parents need to order uniform items, they are encouraged to email the ladies in the uniform shop, arrange payment through the school office and we can either make the items available for you to pick up in the school office or send the items home with your child. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking about school uniform, I would just like to remind parents about the need for predominantly white sport shoes. You will remember this being mentioned at the Parent Information evening at the start of the year and reinforced through a previous newsletter, so when your child needs to update their sport shoes, please ensure they are predominantly white.
On-Line Lunch Orders
We are continuing with the On-line Lunch orders on Mondays and have changed the menu to:
- Sausage Rolls
- Cheese and Salad Wrap
- Ham and Salad Wrap
So two items have been added to the menu and the toasted sandwich option has been taken away, reflective of the feedback provided regarding healthier options. We have committed to trialling this menu for the next 3 Mondays before confirming a plan beyond that.
School Fee Statements
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation we held off sending out Fee Statements at the end of last term. We will be sending these out to all Kindy – Year 6 families next week. This is purely to provide families with an indication of where they are at in relation to their Fees and to allow those who have not yet set up their payment option to do so if possible. I’d also like to again encourage anyone who is experiencing financial hardship to please get in touch and arrange a meeting with me so that we can assist you through this challenging time.
Enrolments for 2021
Another reminder to our community that we are currently taking enrolments for the 2021 intake for Pre-Kindy and Kindy classes. I have started having enrolment interviews on Zoom over the past week or so and will continue to do so until the restrictions begin to ease regarding COVID-19.
Finally, my thanks again to all members of our school community for contributing to what has been a very smooth start to Term 2, in unusual circumstances. The school situation will be reviewed on Monday 11th May across WA and I look forward to providing more information about things returning to something that resembles normality, in the near future.
Best wishes for the coming fortnight.
Prayer for the fortnight
Loving God, at the beginning of this new term help us to keep the Easter message in our hearts and to give witness to it through our lives.
As a Resurrection people we always set our sights on hope for the future. When all seems dark and uncertain draw our attention to the rising of Jesus your Son.
When we reflect on the challenges brought about by COVID-19 guide us to celebrate the new growth that is being cultivated in us by working together as a Christ centred, student focused community of learning.
Open our eyes to the new and exciting opportunities that this new term will bring. Amen.
Dates to Remember
Pupil free day
29 May 2020
01 June 2020
Remote learning tips for Parents and Students
We are faced with a unique situation that has impacted all areas of our lives. During this period many parents have made the decision to keep their children from school and engage in remote learning to maintain their child’s education. Teachers are working hard to offer support to both students at school and at home. Today’s document provides both students and parents with some helpful suggestions on how to get the most out of remote learning. Whilst some of the suggestions may not be relevant to our school’s expectations or context, for example wearing school uniform, there are a number of hints that can help students to focus and maximise their learning opportunities and also help parents to support their child’s development. I hope you find the information helpful.