Dear parents and carers,
It was so lovely to see students back at school this week. There was great energy, enthusiasm and happiness as everyone reconnected and settled back into school routines. I have been very impressed with the way that Parkhill students have adapted to returning to school and their willingness to embrace our school’s COVID Safe protocols. We look forward to seeing our Y4/5 students on Tuesday, the last cohort of students to recommence in the staged return to school. We request that Y4/5 students enter the school through the oval entrance on Cassinia Avenue to avoid congestion at the front of the school.
Today we farewell Lucy Magura (2/3C teacher) as she goes off to have her baby. Lucy has been fortunate to be able to say goodbye to her class in person as the Y2/3 students returned this week. Lucy will certainly be missed at Parkhill, and we wish her all the best for this next exciting stage of parenthood. Lucy’s replacement Bharti Sood-Anand has been working in the school over the past couple of weeks and was introduced to the class yesterday. We welcome Bharti to Parkhill.
At the end of the year we will be farewelling Chris Logan (Y6 teacher) and Janet Patton (Education Support) as they embark on new endeavours. Janet is retiring after 17 years at Parkhill.
COVID Safety Arrangements
There have been a number of queries from parents this week about our COVID safety arrangements. It is understandable that people are anxious about the ending of restrictions with case numbers still quite high. Here are the things we have put in place at Parkhill, within the context of Department of Health and Department of Education requirements:
Air ventilation – our learning spaces are well designed with excellent ventilation. In addition, windows and doors are open and classes are encouraged to use outdoor learning spaces such as the ample deck areas.
Hand sanitiser is provided and used on entry to school and classrooms after each recess break, or at any time as required.
Where possible, specialist classes will be taken in classrooms rather than the dedicated specialist classrooms to avoid crossover of cohorts of students sharing the same space. Where the specialist program cannot be relocated, such as Art, the surfaces are thoroughly cleaned between classes.
Currently we have designated spaces in the yard for different student cohorts at recess and lunch to avoid mixing as much as possible. At this stage there is no alternate recess or lunch breaks.
Visitors to school are limited to essential school services and operations and are required to provide evidence of their vaccination status. At this stage we cannot have parents or volunteers on-site, as per DET requirements.
It is important that students with COVID symptoms do not attend school and that they get tested. The symptoms to watch out for are: fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and runny nose.
Children, Young People and COVID-19
The Department of Health has developed a fact sheet (see below) for parents and carers, focusing on young people and COVID-19.
The fact sheet includes information about:
symptoms and treatment
getting a COVID-19 test
COVID-19 vaccines, including how to book an appointment
wearing face masks
resources to support conversations about COVID-19 with children
resources to support mental health and wellbeing.
I encourage you to have a look at the fact sheet and share the information with your children.
If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19, you can contact the Department of Education and Training’s COVID-19 phone line on 1800 338 663 (available 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am-3pm Saturday to Sunday, excluding public holidays).
Please reach out if you have any further questions or need support.