I’m sure that this has been uttered many times over the past seven days, however, it is very true that, ”a week is a long time in politics”. A great deal of change can occur in a very short time in politics and this rapid change has impacts on communities such as ours.
Thus, we find ourselves with a new Premier and Deputy Premier and a further adjustment to the timeline for the return of students to face-to-face lessons. Premier Dominic Perrottet announced yesterday an adjustment to the return-to-school road map.
The new timeline is:
18th Oct – Prep, Kindergarten, Years 1 and 12
25th Oct – All students Prep – Year 12
We will be adopting this timeline and our planning to this point has placed the school in a good position to adjust smoothly to the change in timing. A great deal of planning has been underway over the past weeks to adjust school procedures to help maintain the community’s health and safety.
Measures we will be taking include maintaining:
– Good ventilation in learning spaces
– Physical distancing (including the separations of year/stage groups)
– Enhanced cleaning procedures
– Wearing masks correctly
– The expectation that if students are unwell, they must stay at home. Health centre staff will be working with families in case students present with flu/COVID-like symptoms.
– Public Health Order requirements for staff vaccination
Families can help by promoting positive strategies for minimising the transmission of COVID-19 both at home and when sending your children to school.
Information about how our school will operate will be communicated by email and app broadcasts, starting today and progressively through the coming week. Please keep an eye out and read these so that you and your children understand how the return to school will work.
Along with the many practical measures that are being put in place, I do want to mention the need for our own mental and emotional preparation for a return of students. Our school community is a large one, with many varied points of view. For some, the return to classrooms will be a matter of anticipation and relief, while for others they approach this change with hesitancy and a sense of anxiety. In combination with this, it is important to recognise the variety of views regarding the way the pandemic is being controlled and the requirements that are in place.
One of the great things I value about our school is the great diversity. Diversity within a school community can be a great strength. It can also be a source of weakness when diverse experiences and perspectives create division and break down unity as a consequence of forgetting the need to treat others with respect.
The Bible is clear that the ‘fruit’ or evidence of a spirit filled life is seen as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are elements which bring healing and unity. They are also elements that show their true worth when times are challenging, and we are feeling tired or anxious.
It is my hope and prayer that as the school returns to face-to-face lessons and we follow the health advice providing care for one another, that our community (and its members) exemplify this care for others with Christ-like character.
While much of our focus has been on the start of term and changing plans, I do want to mention we have celebrated Book Week this week and thank Miss Leech and the Library staff in making this a fun time. Reading is not just valuable from a functional literacy and knowledge-based perspective. The reading (especially fiction) provides escape and enjoyment, boosts creativity and enhances empathy for others as we read about and begin to identify with their experiences. I had a great time reading a chapter to one of the Year 5 classes this week – I hope they enjoyed it as much as me.
In his service,
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.