PARENT UPDATE – CURRENT SCHOOL OPERATIONS
TERM 4 – Lifting of restrictions by Education Queensland – effective from Monday 23 November.
We have received information from Education Queensland regarding the lifting of some restrictions. Parents may now re-enter the school grounds within school guidelines.
During this term, the leadership team have discussed with staff and several children the restrictions that have been placed on schools and whether or not we can take any positives out of the experience.
The post COVID experience has seen many staff enjoying the children rise to the responsibility of bringing themselves to the classrooms and organising their own belongings. Teachers have enjoyed getting straight into learning in the morning. They reported that alternative communication avenues still allow them to know what is going on for their children, however they are able to focus directly on their children and learning from the very start of the day.
Parents and staff have been amazed at the transformation of particular students who previously showed separation anxiety in the mornings.
With this in mind, we decided to ask several children (Prep – 6) if they would like to continue to be responsible for getting themselves to class and organising their belongings upon entering the room. The majority of students questioned were in favour of continuing this sense of independence. Interestingly, the students who still wanted their parents to bring their belongings into the classroom were from the middle and upper school.
Please don’t be confused, we love parent involvement in the school and in classrooms and are certainly looking forward to returning to normal. We very much see the school and parent/community relationship as a partnership. What we propose from the experiences this year is to provide zones that parents can continue to enter the school, talk with other parents and pleasantly send their children off to class in a relaxed manner. These zones will also allow parents to scaffold their child’s ability to independently make their way into the school and prepare themselves for class.
These are strategies for the management of these zones.
- The zones are available during the following times – 8.15am to 8.45am and from 2.30pm – 3.15pm. Please be aware that we are also conscious of the parking issues around the school and remind parents that a constant flow of parent traffic and car parks is necessary to accommodate all parents.
- We ask parents with young children to refrain from using the playground equipment in the morning. Parents may use the Prep and Yr 1/ 2 Playground until 3.15pm, but it is then prioritised to OSHC. Priority also goes to a class using the equipment prior to 2.55pm. Parents are responsible for supervising their own children on the equipment. The Year 3-6 playground equipment is not to be used.
- Social distancing by parents (1.5m) is required while in the school.
- Parents like students or staff who are ill should not enter the school. Interestingly, this year the health within the school has been by far better than any year in memory. We applaud our community for supporting this measure throughout 2020 by not sending ill children to school.
- Children will make their way to the pick up zones from their classroom. Parents are encouraged to discuss with their child which zone to meet. Prep staff will walk their classes to zone 3 for dismissal.
We continue to support families to use the 2 minute pick up zones by providing supervision in Ana Street and on Gympie Road after school. More families that use the 2 minute pick up zones help with parking and promote further independence in their children.
These changes will take effect as of Monday 23 November. This means that Prep to Year 2 will no longer be walked to the junior oval and school will conclude at the normal time of 2.55pm for these year levels.
Our teachers are happy to talk with parents. However, to enable teachers to effectively plan, conduct meetings and evaluate student work, parents are encouraged to request a meeting in advance if the matter requires some discussion. Please continue to phone or email staff as additional means of communication.
Guidelines regarding end of year events will be communicated to parents in coming weeks. Events will be planned in accordance with the new Department of Education guidelines and the pre-planning that has already occurred at the school level.
This year has taught us that children are quite capable of stepping up to challenges and accepting responsibility and demonstrating independence. We hope that these Pickup and drop off zones are a compromise that both encourage this growth in our students and maintain the lovely school community feel that Bald Hills State School is known for.
The map below depicts the 4 Zones within the school dedicated to parents to drop off and pick up students.
- Shade area – near demountable in Ana Street
- Main entrance of school in Ana Street
- Sandstone area near Tuckshop
- Prep Eating Covered Area