I would like to welcome students, parents and staff to the 2021 school year. I particularly welcome the new students and families and look forward to their involvement and input into our school.
The beginning of the year for teaching staff is a time to prepare, plan, discuss ideas and programs with colleagues, think about professional goals for the year and discuss and prepare for the individual needs of the students in their class. At the start of this year, a number of meetings were held with staff, and in addition, all staff undertook a full day’s training in First Aid.
The recent Adelaide Hills bushfire provided a challenge that we hadn't factored in to the start of year plans! Regrettably, due to the bushfire, we had to cancel our scheduled professional development for teaching staff on the Monday pupil free day.
The Cherry Gardens and surrounds fire highlighted the importance of having a clear bushfire action plan and I know many families and staff enacted their plan and evacuated the hills. Thank goodness for the heavy rains and the exceptional hard work, courage and dedication of our volunteer fire fighters, which helped extinguish the huge risk.
As I mentioned in the letter that I sent out via Skoolbag prior to school starting, one thing that 2020 and COVID-19 has taught us is to be resilient, flexible, adaptable and to accept swift decisions and changes to plans at short notice. I thank everyone; staff, students and parents for their understanding regarding the cancellation to Vacation Care at such short notice.
My letter also mentioned the COVID-19 requirements that have been advised to us by SA Health and the Association of Independent Schools SA concerning current restrictions and recommendations for schools for the 2021 school year. Disappointingly we are still being asked to limit parents' time within the school grounds and we have now been asked to implement QR codes. As we know, this disease is highly contagious and so we need to continue to follow the advice until further notice to ensure everyone's safety.
I hope 2021 is somewhat less challenging for us all and the COVID situation stabilises across the country. We all need to play our part to ensure the safety and good health of our community, state and country.
I wish a positive, fulfilling, safe and healthy year for everyone, and particularly for our students, a year full of wonderful learning experiences and opportunities.