To help keep our whole school community safe, starting from next Monday we ask all parents to
Next Monday (11 May) we have over 220 Prep and Year 1 students returning to our school. This is exciting for them and for their teachers, however we don't want this to be short lived and as you know it is important that we all do our bit to ensure that the incidence of COVID- 19 stays as low as it is now, and in so doing ensure that all students can return to school come 25 May.
To that end, and as per the recommendations of the chief medical officer and the Qld Government, as of next Monday, 11 May, we will be making significant changes to the drop off and pick up procedures for all of our students, in order to help control the number of adults who gather at school around pick up and drop off times. By doing this we will enable effective social distancing by the adults in and around the school environment
THE BIGGEST CHANGE: As of Monday, parents will not enter the school grounds at all for routine drop off and pick up.
YEAR 2-6 STUDENTS (children of essential workers):
- School times remain the same 8:45 am-3:00pm
- Please try not to arrive at school before 8:30am
- Students only (unaccompanied by any adults) may enter the grounds through whichever gate they usually use.
- Parents please "KISS and GO" at the gate, or use the Drop and GO zone on Panorama Drive (which saves you having to park).
- All Year 2-6 students must go straight to A block on arrival at school (as per usual)
- Teachers will meet you there for roll marking at 8:45
PREP AND YEAR 1
- Start and finish times for Prep and Year 1 have been staggered to help control the number of adults at drop off and pick up times.
- Prep 9:00-2:30
- Year 1 8:45 – 2:45
- All parents are asked to KISS AND GO at the gate designated for your child's class, where a familiar teacher aide will greet you. (more detailed instructions for each Prep and Year 1 class will be sent tomorrow)
- Your child will then be taken to a supervised play area (for a short play) with their classmates, prior to moving into their classroom for the start of the normal school day!! (Parents will not enter the school grounds at all for pick up and drop off).
- The reverse will then take place at pick up time.
PLEASE NOTE: During the school day, all gates (except the pedestrian gate on Panorama Drive that leads to the Admin building) will be locked at 9:00 and not opened again until 2:30 (or later depending which gate).
If you need to communicate with a teacher or other school staff, please do so via email or phone. Come into the Admin building, only if there is no other option.
Thank you in anticipation of your assistance with this and for helping us to keep our whole school community safe.
Letter to parents
Dear parents and carers
The Premier has announced that from Monday 11 May, 2020, as part of a phased return to school, students in Kindy, Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 are able to return to school/kindy to resume normal teaching and learning.
For students in Years 2 – 10, the current home-based learning arrangements will remain in place. As is the case now, if there is a parent at home who is available to supervise children in Years 2-6, students will complete learning in their homes.
Children of essential workers (working outside of the home) and vulnerable children will continue to be able to attend school for supervision.
If low COVID-19 transmission rates continue, students in Years 2 – 10 will be able to return to school from Monday 25 May, 2020. Confirmation of this step will be made by 15 May 2020.
It is recognised that some parents of Prep and Year 1 students may choose to keep children at home due to concerns about COVID-19. This is an acceptable decision and your child will not be marked as being absent, rather that they are learning from home.
In these cases, parents and carers remain responsible for their children, including ensuring that they stay at home and continue their home learning utilising the material and websites that can be accessed on the learning@home website (qld.gov.au/learningathome)..
If parents choose to do this, it is important to advise the school of your child's absence as you would normally do, and discuss any support you may need.
Frequently asked questions are available to assist you to understand how schools will be implementing the transition back to school-based learning. This includes hygiene practices such as effective hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, restricting visitors to the school and reminding you to notify our school if your child will not attend.
I ask parents and carers to pay particular attention to the requirement for adults to maintain physical distancing of 1.5m at all times if you are in the vicinity of the school grounds. Parents and carers should not gather in areas around the school such as carparks, at the school gate and outside classrooms during this time. Please make use of our stop, drop and go area wherever possible. (PLEASE NOTE: more detailed information regarding a change in drop off and pick up procedures for all students at Thornlands SS will be communicated to you in the next few days).
It is essential that you keep your child home from school if they are unwell. In accordance with Queensland Health Directions parents or carers of any child showing signs of illness will be asked to collect them immediately from the school.
If your child is in Years 2 – 6 , their teacher will continue to deliver prepared lessons and materials via home-based learning, as they have over the last two weeks. Additional resources are also available at The Learning Place and learning@home website, which includes details about Learning@Home TV programs.
Learning@home TV, is broadcast on channel 7TWO from 8.30–10.30am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding public holidays) and features Queensland curriculum-based lessons prepared and delivered by some of Queensland's outstanding school teachers. Content will cover English, Mathematics and Science lessons, along with health and wellbeing segments, and special guest appearances.
In addition, the Department of Education is also launching reading@home TV on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8.30–9.00am on channel 9GO and coding@home TV on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11.30am to 12.00pm on 10 Peach. Both of these programs begin this week to further support children in their home-based learning.
The decision to return Kindy, Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 back to school is an important next step towards returning to our regular school routines and I will continue to update you as soon as any new information becomes available.
Our staff have greatly appreciated all the positive feedback that has been provided to them over the last few weeks. My sincere thanks goes to all parents and carers for your support and understanding during these challenging times.
Update from the Chief Health Officer
Download - Chief Health Officer advice for parents and carers on returning to schools (PDF, 140kb)
Update - 20/04/2020
Dear Parents and Carers
As you are no doubt aware, from the start of Term 2 until at least 22 May 2020, all students will be learning from home, except for students in the following categories:
For your awareness, Thornlands State School staff will work on-site as we would normally, to support continuity of learning for students at home, and to ensure adequate supervision of students who attend school. Some staff, for a variety of reasons, will work from home. Students who attend school will participate in the same home-based learning activities that have been set by their regular classroom teachers, however students attending school will not be with their regular classes nor their regular teacher.
- Children of essential workers on days when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made. Essential worker means any worker who must continue to attend their workplace for essential business during this time.
- Vulnerable children include children identified by schools
Each week parents will be asked to notify the school if your children will need to attend school and on what days they will be attending in that week.
FOR STUDENTS ATTENDING SCHOOL – PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
· Children must be well and not displaying any signs of illness if attending our school site.
· The tuckshop will be closed; therefore, students must provide their own food for the day.
· Students will be required to attend in school uniform.
· At the start of each day, students attending school will meet at A Block.
· After roll marking, students will be allocated to supervision groups for that day.
· We ask that parents drop their children and leave. Please do not congregate inside the school grounds to assist us to maintain social distancing.
TERM 2 ROLL MARKING
- Special attendance procedures for Term 2 have been put in place by the Department of Education for children who are Learning @ Home.
Every morning parents of ALL Thornlands students, who are NOT physically at school, will receive an SMS asking you to confirm (by 11:00am) that your child is attending their Learning @Home program on that day. (We will then record on our system that they are present at school that day).
- Alternatively, if they are not attending us you can notify us as you usually would.
- As per the Education Department's "COVID-19 Student Attendance Management" procedure for Term 2, if we do not receive confirmation of your child's attendance by 11:00 am your child will be marked as an Unexplained absence
- If a student is unwell or unable to participate in the day's learning, please contact the absence line in the usual manner.
This is a whole new way of operating for all of us, but I know that working together, as a community we will address any issues as they arise and together we will ensure that our children are supported and learning at home and, where necessary, at school.
Thank you as always for your support of our great school.
Take care at this challenging time
Update - 14/4/2020
Dear parents and caregivers
As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, our school has been planning for a variety of scenarios — the main scenario being that children and students may need to learn at home during Term 2. I am writing to confirm the arrangement for our school for Term 2.
Term 2 arrangements — Weeks 1–5
The Queensland Government has decided that, in order to reinforce social distancing across the community and slow the spread of COVID-19, students will move to a home-based learning model from 20 April 2020 until at least 22 May 2020 (Weeks 1 to 5 of Term 2). A decision about the remainder of Term 2 will be made by mid-May. During this period, all students who are able to be supervised at home and learn from home are to stay home.
As was the case for the student-free days prior to school break, there will be exceptions for some students who will continue to be able to attend school: those whose parents or carers work in essential roles and must attend their workplace and cannot access alternative care, students identified as vulnerable, and students in designated Indigenous communities.
Each week, we will ask parents of these children to advise the school if they require their children to be supervised at school during this period.
More information on essential worker and vulnerable children classification can be found here https://qed.qld.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media/novel-coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions-for-parents
Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)
OSHC services will continue to operate before and after school care where there is demand for services and particularly for vulnerable or children of essential workers. This will include on-site OSHC or other services off site that cater for school age children, such as long day care or family day care. Parents are encouraged to check with their local service.
Preparing for home learning
I acknowledge this is a challenging time for you and your child as you prepare to help them to learn from home. As you know, our teachers and school staff have been working hard to plan for this approach and have developed learning programs that best suit the students at our school.
As explained (via Facebook and our school website on 03/04) from the beginning of Term 2 we will introduce Year level SharePoint pages. These will include weekly overviews, with all teaching resources hyperlinked, short videos from teachers and links to our Specialist teachers' separate SharePoint pages. Our aim is to provide as balanced a program as possible and provide some more hands on, interactive style teaching/learning opportunities for our students, whilst keeping it as simple and user- friendly for parents as possible!
General information about SharePoint has been provided to you via Facebook and our school website today and it will then go "live" from the beginning of Term 2, at which point your child's teacher will be in contact with you via email and the SharePoint platform.
We understand that some families may not have access to IT resources and as you are aware we have gathered information from all of our families regarding availability of devices in your homes. Not all learning will be online, however, for those families where we have identified a need, we will discuss the possibility of loaning a school device to your child during the next few weeks. Paper copies of resources will also be available where necessary.
You may wish to explore the Department of Education's range of learning@home parent resources online at https://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/learning-at-home. The department is also working with television networks to develop new televised educational programs that will be broadcast on TV a number of days a week. Further information about these programs will be made available in the near future.
Please know that we are here to support you and your children. With our preparation and guidance and your support, I am confident that students will continue to learn and grow in Term 2.
To support parents and carers, some tips have been put together to make the transition easier:
- Treat the first week as a 'starting school' or orientation type of week. Not everything will go to plan, and it might take a while to work out how to find and use the right resources and understand what's best for you and your child. The 'how to' will come first, and then the learning.
- Remember that your child's teacher usually divides their attention between up to 28 students who all work at different paces and need different levels of support. At home, two to three hours of learning each day will usually be plenty. Try using a range of other activities to keep children engaged and stimulated without becoming overwhelmed.
- Routines and consistency can be a source of comfort for parents and children alike, but keep in mind that your routine doesn't have to be the same as a school routine. If you use a timetable at home, make sure it's manageable for everyone and flexible enough that you can adapt it as you learn what works.
- This situation presents an opportunity for students to find out more about themselves as learners and to become more confident in self-directing their learning. Encourage your child to take responsibility for not only learning but also for staying in touch with their teacher, their class and their friends and community.
- If your child is finding a task difficult, make suggestions and answer questions, but try to let them figure things out for themselves as much as possible. Give them opportunities, where appropriate, to take control of their own learning.
- Remember this is new for us, too. You can help us succeed by letting us know if you're unsure about something and using the preferred contact time and method that your teacher will advise you of.
Further information on supporting your child, maintaining healthy learning routines and setting up a learning space at home can be found at https://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/learning-at-home/wellbeing-of-students
While there will be some adjustments along the way as we learn together, our teachers are here to support your child's learning. Please stay connected with your teacher, to our school and to one another.
Thank you for the support you are providing both your child and the school during these difficult times. You would have seen that all over Australia and the world, schooling systems are experiencing the same challenges with many countries also moving to home-based learning in response to COVID-19.
Our dedicated teachers and support staff continue to be here to teach and support your child. Together we will be learning and doing all we can to support you in this new mode of home-based learning. I assure you we will continue to maintain close contact with you over the next few weeks to provide learning for your child and together we will support each other and see all of our students continue to grow.
Update - 03/04/2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Thank you for all your support during the last few weeks. We know this is a difficult time for everyone and as educators we want to help you, as best we can, to maintain and further develop your child's education.
This week our whole staff have been working hard to develop an online platform (Sharepoint) where you will be able to readily access all resources needed for your children to continue their learning, in the event we need to move to Home Schooling in Term 2, starting on Monday 20 April.
As you know we began with parent email groups approximately 3 weeks ago, which included 2 week curriculum plans and associated resources including using students' existing textbooks. However, from the beginning of Term 2 we will also introduce Year level SharePoint pages. These will include weekly overviews, with all teaching resources hyperlinked, short videos from teachers and links to our Specialist teachers' separate SharePoint pages. Our aim is to provide as balanced a program as possible and provide some more hands on, interactive style teaching/learning opportunities for our students, whilst keeping it as simple and user- friendly for parents as possible!
General information about Sharepoint will be sent to you via Facebook and our school website during the holidays and it will then go "live" from the beginning of Term 2 (if we are indeed to be implementing Home Schooling).
I'm sure you appreciate how hard teachers (and other school staff) have been working to prepare a program of instruction for students at home. They are dedicated to ensuring that your children continue to learn in the weeks ahead, but for the next two weeks it is important, that, in preparation for whatever format school will take in Term 2, they have the opportunity to relax and recuperate at home, focussed on their own families. To that end they will not be readily available on their emails during the holidays.
I know you join me in thanking them for their professionalism and understand that, whilst the teachers will not be available over the holidays, they will be back online and feeling refreshed, at the beginning of Term 2 (Monday 20 April).
In the interim, our school website and Facebook will provide you with any new information or updates.
Lastly, on behalf of the whole school staff, I would like to thank you, our parents, for the overwhelmingly positive feedback and thanks, that you have given us in the last few weeks, as the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded. Working together, as a community, there is no doubt we will all get through this.
I hope that the next two weeks, spent at home, are a healthy, happy and positive time for your family.
Update - 27 March 2020
Dear Thornlands families
As you may be aware, the Queensland Government has announced that all Queensland schools will be pupil free next week (Monday 30 March – Friday 3 April).
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
• The Easter holiday break will start a week early for all students and they will not attend school next week.
• Our school will be open next week to provide supervision for children of essential workers.
• Supervision will be provided at Thornlands SS to those children where BOTH parents are essential workers and are attending a workplace outside of the home.
• You must ensure that your child is well and not displaying any signs of illness if attending our school site.
• Those students who need supervision and are in attendance will not be in their usual class groups or with their usual class teacher. There will be a supervision roster and students will engage in largely independent activities for the day.
• The tuckshop will be closed; therefore, students must provide their own food for the day.
• Students will be required to attend in school uniform.
The Pupil Free Days next week are a vital opportunity for our staff to continue working collaboratively on creating meaningful Home Learning plans, which are designed to support all of our parents with the learning of your children, should schools have to remain closed for a period of time.
Thank you for your patience, support and understanding during these unprecedented and challenging times.
The safety and wellbeing of our school community remains our highest priority.