Coronavirus (COVID- 19) Update

23 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians

RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

I wish to update you with information and decisions made by St Peter’s regarding the Coronavirus.
This letter will also be posted on the School Website, under News, for future reference.

In line with the latest advice from Commonwealth and WA governments, St Peter’s is planning to remain open at least until the end of term to provide the best possible education to your children. In line with the Prime Minister’s and the WA Minister for Education’s advice, parents may choose to keep their children at home during this unprecedented time.

State and territory Premiers and Chief Ministers have committed to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee advice that says that it is safe to keep schools open.

In considering the potential risks associated with COVID-19, our school has been working with Catholic Education Western Australia in conjunction with the WA Department of Health and the Department of Education throughout the evolution of COVID-19 to ensure we have the best possible preparedness and response strategies in place.

We are working hard to ensure our teaching and learning continuity plan supports students to engage in remote learning should our school be required to close. Those students who are not attending school because parents have chosen not to send them will be able to engage with their learning by accessing the online learning through See Saw or Teams.

Whilst supporting family decisions and the need for children to continue learning at home, it is important to ensure that our teacher workloads are carefully handled and that we are mindful of the fact that our staff are still teaching a class of students face to face throughout the school day. Teachers will endeavour to provide students learning from home, with a range of activities similar to what is happening in class; however, the learning at home may look slightly different to what is happening in class (time spent on activities, level of differentiation and limited teaching points for example).
By keeping the activities simple, it will hopefully alleviate any back and forth communication between school and home that could impact our teacher’s ability to maintain learning both here at school and for those at home.
The main priority for staff is to maintain focus on classroom learning programs. Please allow 48 hours for a response online.

Please be assured that while the school remains open, social distancing will be enforced and cleaning regimes will continue to be completed to the highest possible standards to mitigate risks associated with the
spread of the COVID-19 virus.
I ask that you also have conversations with your child about the importance of these measures.
If your child is feeling unwell in any way, please keep them at home.

In acknowledging the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 for families in our school community, I also assure parents that we remain determined that no family seeking a Catholic education for their child be denied the opportunity due to financial difficulty. Catholic Education Western Australia is addressing potential concerns relating to fees and affordability that may arise as a result of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a changing situation that is affecting many areas of our lives, and it is normal for all of us to feel anxious and worried, your child included.

Our teachers and other school staff are doing a wonderful job in providing pastoral support to students at this challenging time. It is important to remember that as parents, you can help your child process all the information they are receiving and the changes that are taking place around COVID-19. You can stay informed and provide factual, age appropriate information about COVID-19 that will help your child feel informed and empowered, rather than afraid.

Everyone in the community has a part to play in helping control the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to follow the latest advice of the Department of Health. I will keep you informed about any changes for our school as updates become available.

The Leadership Team continues to add to measures already in place and add/adjust further measures as we receive communication from CEWA and Dept of Health in relation to Coronavirus. Please find below additional and/or updated measures to what we have previously published:

Drink Bottles – Today, we had several children arrive without water bottles. Please ensure they have two water bottles as all drink fountains have been turned off. We ask that parents please support us in this measure so that there is a reduction in the number of people in the classroom in the mornings.

Library Books – There will be no more borrowing of books this term. Please return all books by the end of this week, Friday 27th March. Children can still read books at Lunchtime. They will sanitise hands as they enter and exit the Library. A roster has been established to ensure social distancing requirements are met at the break.

Recess and Lunch Distancing – We are once again distancing the students to smaller groups as they eat their food at the beginning of Recess and Lunch.

-Years 1, 2 and 3 are in the Undercover area.
-Years 4, 5 and 6 are in the Quiet area.

Canteen – For the rest of the term, our two Canteen Manageresses, Laura Antenucci and Olyvia Browne will operate the Canteen. No parent help required.
As a safeguard, all recess and lunch items are to be purchased online through the Quickclick app. That way we remove all handling of money.

Thank you for your support at this time, and as a Catholic community, I encourage all of you to pray for those coordinating our response in Australia, and for all of those in Australia and abroad affected by COVID-19.

Decisions are always made in the best interest of our children and I thank you for your continued understanding and support.

Stay Healthy, Stay Calm and Stay United.

Pina Hutcheson