Message to parents
4th Aug 2020
Message from Chris
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
I want to take this opportunity to welcome you all to the new school year. I want to extend a warm welcome to our families who have been with us over the past years, and to those who are new to the wonderful Glenealy community.
You will have received notifications from ESF regarding the recent announcements made by the EDB regarding the need to start the academic year through online distance learning. I know you will be as disappointed as we are that the start of the school year cannot include on site learning, and will be equally concerned about the situation regarding COVID-19 in the Hong Kong community. Although we recognise this situation is very far from ideal, I want to reassure you that we will do all we can to make sure our distance learning provision continues to provide for the best possible learning experience under the circumstances. We also want the children to feel a real sense of connection to their teachers and friends in class.
This will be the first time that we have introduced our new classes to their new class teacher via a digital medium and I know the teachers are looking forward to meeting their classes. As many of you will be aware, we are a school that always seeks feedback on our approaches, acting upon this wherever possible. Although feedback was very positive on our distance learning approach, we will be continually seeking ways to improve and develop this provision over the term to best serve our children and parents. We will continue to make sure children feel valued and supported and make progress in their learning.
We are currently busy planning for children to return. Our return for children’s distance learning will begin on Wednesday 12th August.
Information the first week of school
Our first live engagement will be an assembly via Zoom at 8.30am on Wednesday morning for Years 4,5 and 6 and one at 9.30am for Years 1,2 and 3. Your child’s class teacher will also meet your child for two additional sessions during the day. You will receive the schedule for these meetings and all of the learning for the first week of term next Monday afternoon.
Please note that Year 1 parents will receive additional information about their distance learning schedule on Thursday of this week.
We are pleased to be launching the new ESF App this year. Please check for the message from ESF which provides the links and guidance for downloading and using the App. We hope you find it a useful and convenient way to keep in touch with school notices. Please make sure you download this as this will be our primary portal through which we communicate whole school messages.
We have a number of parents who have asked about purchasing their child’s school uniform. I want to reassure parents that we will take a very flexible approach to uniform upon return to school. As you are aware, it will not be possible to try on the uniform in the near future. Depending upon when we eventually return learning to our school site, we will set a generous period of time before official school uniforms will need to be worn across the school.
School Exercise Books and Chromebook Loans
As with last year, we will be building on our positive experience of providing exercise books and where needed, the loan of some of our school’s technology to families.
We are currently setting up a system whereby parents can come to the school playground and collect a pack of exercise books in a safe way. We will write to you at the end of the week about this process.
Additionally, for families who require additional technology to support their children’s learning at home we will be loaning some of our school Chromebooks during the period of distance learning. We will send details of how you can sign up for this loan at the end of the week.
Technology for Distance Learning
Later in the week we will write to you with more information about the packages we will use for home learning - with many of which you may be familiar. Children who are new to the school will require their Gmail and Zoom accounts set up - for which we will provide guidance and support later this week and at the start of next week.
Our teaching team will be working from their homes from Monday of next week, busily preparing for children’s return to distance learning. In the meantime if you have any questions please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The year ahead looks somewhat unpredictable, however we stand ready to provide as much guidance, support, care and exciting learning as we can and look forward to ensuring children have a good start to the year.